Why You Should Be Taking Computer Science Courses

Computer Science - aka programming/coding - is an essential skill in many key professional sectors. For example...

Want to work in product design? Chances are you’ll want to design something for a tech company, meaning you’ll need to work closely with engineers.
Want to do medical research? You’ll probably need to code to run your experimental tools, and you’ll probably need R to analyze your results.
Want to formulate public policy? It’s Stata for you.
Finance? Financiers who only know excel are increasingly second-tier with respect to those comfortable with SQL and scripting. My first job was in Private Equity, which is now being eclipsed by algorithmic trading.
Consulting? All of the major firms are majorly building up their big data teams.
Want to build a business? You’ll be completely beholden to engineers and completely in the dark about half of your company unless you have some level of software understanding.
Are you a lawyer looking for billable hours? Hopefully, you can convince all those tech companies you understand their problems.
Want to be an actor? Well, ok in this particular case you’re off the hook… for now.

So, what are you waiting for? Go sign up for your school’s computer science classes! But wait, doesn't everyone complain about computer science?

Here’s the rub: the US has a major deficit of software engineers. The New York City software recruiting scene, for example, is ruthless - even small startups with scarce resources pay independent headhunters substantial sums of money for every engineer they recruit, to say nothing of the larger ones. The software engineers, typically younger, are getting paid relatively large salaries and live in the middle of the city. Even the ones that live in more rural areas work remotely (the recruiting market for remote engineers is almost as hot at the moment as the “regular” one and is equally established). Few of these software engineers might be inclined to teach.

Combine this with a truly antiquated curriculum (the AP Computer Science curriculum still uses Java, which the world has generally left in the dust), and students who brave their school’s computer science programs spend their time using dinosaur-like tools to spin their wheels on strange mathematical calculations instead of using a modern toolkit to quickly build apps, web pages, server platforms, robots, etc. If I were a student, I probably wouldn’t want to take computer science either.

So there’s the problem, but what’s the solution? While this issue is clearly a systemic one that requires a solution at a policy level, I can speak about the individual cases I've encountered at LogicPrep. We currently tutor all ages (high school freshmen to college seniors via Skype) in all manners of computer science. With some students we focus on learning the prescribed curriculum and building the student's comfort level - coding is an entirely new mental framework which often requires a good amount of work to adjust to. With other students, we supplement whatever they’re learning in school with projects ranging from robots that track lines to machine learning.

So, consider having another look at computer science. Your future job-seeking, salary-maximizing self will be very glad you did. Here at LogicPrep we can help you cross whatever hurdles might come in your way, or learn clutch skills (all with the latest industrial tools) that you’ll eventually come to lean on heavily.