For ten years or more, we have heard about how computer science degrees are the future. This has a lot of people asking when that future is going to be. The short answer is: Not yet.
The internet is growing exponential and the jobs just keep coming. One of the biggest questions that people have is: do I need a degree from MIT to still get a great computer job? No.
An associate’s degree: There are lots of great degrees that will get you some amazing jobs. A two-year degree for a programmer can earn a salary of over $45,000 per year. That’s a great salary for a career that starts with a two-year commitment at a community college.
A bachelor’s degree: A four-year degree in computer science can qualify you to work for a salary in the mid-90’s, a fantastic salary for a four-year degree compared to almost every other field. The best part is that since it is an ever-evolving industry, making sure that you get lots of continuing education can mean even more money and more job security.
Post-graduate Degree: With a PhD or a Master’s, there are very few doors closed to you. These degrees may take awhile to get, but they are fantastic for getting a great salary. The median starting salary with one of these degrees is about $110,000.
A few notes on succeeding in computer sciences:
-No techno geek should need to be told, but you need to be looking not at what’s hot now, but what will be big down the road. There are some very reliable people who have a great sense of what will be happening next. One of the best sources is the TED talks. Online or on your TV, these are lectures given by some of the most interesting and influential people in the world.
-Don’t always run after the latest piece of tech just to say you have it. In general, the real wave of money and technology begins after a piece of tech is proven. There is a couple of exceptions. If Google, Apple or Microsoft put out something new, it can become ubiquitous in a matter of months.
-Find something that really interests you and specialize in that. For example, if your thing is Android apps, stay on that. It’s Google and it’s successful. All you need to do is try to stay on top of the latest news.
-Keep learning. There are hundreds of certifications and things that you can learn every day. Keep learning more. Every time one of the big boys release a new incarnation of something, everyone will need someone to maintain. That someone should be you.
-Have fun. Learn, read and enjoy. Just as with every other job: Once this becomes a drag, find something new to do. People who hate what they do don’t do a good job anyway. And no one wants to be mediocre.
By| Bob Peryea
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