Computer Science Programs In America
Areas of Study
Computers are connected to so much of what we do these days, and so there are many different ways to study computer science at the post-secondary level.
At universities or 4-year colleges, computer science may be a College or School of its own, be part of a multi-focused College such as Computer science and Engineering, or may be a department within another College such as Science. Entering direct from high school, you can take a competitive four-year Bachelor of Science (BS) in computer science, computer engineering, and with specializations like bioinformatics, robotics, artificial intelligence, computer architecture and computer theory. Bachelor of Arts degrees in Computer Science are also available. Computer science is a field that relates to many others, and undergraduate degree programs in computer science are often flexible so that you can combine interests, from music to psychology, through a joint concentration or double major. Honors programs and co-op options are often available at the bachelor's level, and students who want to accelerate their studies can apply to a five-year integrated bachelor's and master's program.
At the community and technical college level, you can take a 2-year Computer Science Associate in Science (AS) degree, or an AS degree in a number of different computer-related specializations, such as management information systems, computer graphics and visualization, computer programming, computer network engineering. Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees are also available in many of the same fields. Associate's degrees are designed to lead students directly to employment or to transfer to 4-year university or college programs. At community and technical colleges, you also find shorter certificate programs (usually 1 year) in subjects such as project management, Web design, Web development technologies, network administration, and various programming languages.
At the career college level, many general schools or schools focused on other fields (such as business or travel) offer computer courses, but you can also find specific computer training schools. Career college programs are designed to lead directly into employment in specific jobs (such as computer repair and network specialist, computer office assistant), and you can choose from associate's degrees, diplomas and certificates in areas such as data management, computer graphics, computer game development, databases, networks and network security. Career colleges also include courses leading to professional certification.
At all levels, study generally combines classroom theory and learning with practical computer lab work. Co-ops and industry partnerships/ internships are often part of the curriculum, and a number of program-specific scholarships are available.
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