If you see yourself designing and creating software systems, then computer science might be the right course of study for you. If you are thinking of becoming a manager or administrator to a technical enterprise, a degree in computer science or information and computer sciences could provide you with the background needed to achieve your goals. If you are thinking about becoming a researcher in a technical field, information and computer sciences could provide you with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed.
Computer science is a dynamic and rapidly growing area that has become an integral part of the world that we live in today. Having a degree in this field will provide you with a deep understanding of theories and emerging technologies. This knowledge and experience will allow you to develop cutting-edge solutions that address today’s challenges. When applied in an interdisciplinary fashion, students can also draw on their other areas of interest such as biology, business, cyber security, economics, engineering, information assurance, languages and linguistics, mathematics, physics, public policy, etc., to address a wider range of complex issues.
The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), which is the professional organization for computer scientists and information professionals, lists the following 10 reasons to major in computing (read more details):
- Computing is part of everything we do!
- Expertise in computing enables you to solve complex, challenging problems.
- Computing enables you to make a positive difference in the world.
- Computing offers many types of lucrative careers.
- Computing jobs are here to stay, regardless of where you are located.
- Expertise in computing helps you even if your primary career choice is something else.
- Computing offers great opportunities for true creativity and innovativeness.
- Computing has space for both collaborative work and individual effort.
- Computing is an essential part of well-rounded academic preparation.
- Future opportunities in computing are without boundaries.
The opportunities for computer scientists continue to grow and broaden. The ACM lists the following career paths that are characteristic of computer scientists (read more details):
- Computer Engineering: Typically involves software and hardware and the development of systems that involve software, hardware, and communications. (Check out the B.S. in Computer Engineering.)
- Computer Science: Currently the most popular of the computing disciplines; tends to be relatively broad and with an emphasis on the underlying science aspects. (Check out the B.S. in Computer Science.)
- Information Systems: Essentially, this is computing in an organizational context, typically in businesses. (Check out the Shidler College of Business Information Technology Management program.)
- Information Technology: Focuses on computing infrastructure and needs of individual users; tends to involve a study of systems – perhaps just software systems, but perhaps also systems in support of learning, of information dissemination, etc. (Check out the B.S. in Computer Science.)
- Software Engineering: Focuses on large-scale software systems; employs certain ideas from the world of engineering in building reliable software systems. (Check out the B.S. in Computer Science.)
- Mixed Disciplines: The use of computing in other fields such as bioinformatics, medical informatics, gaming and animation, computational and data sciences. (Check out the B.A. in Computer Science, the Minor in Computer Science, or ask about interdisciplinary opportunities from another major.)
The ICS Department at the University of Hawaii will be happy to help you begin your journey in this exciting field.