How Hard Is a Computer Science Degree?

TROY's Computer Science program allows you to tailor your degree to your interests and career goals.

TROY's Computer Science program allows you to tailor your degree to your interests and career goals.

How Hard Is a Computer Science Degree?

Have you always been fascinated with computers and technology? Are you excited about where emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) can take us? If so, a computer science degree may be an ideal area of study for you. 

Computer science is a fascinating and rewarding field with nearly endless career possibilities. Computer scientists work on cutting-edge projects and create technologies that can change the world. As a computer science professional, you might code, program, analyze data, or troubleshoot and improve technology. But you’ll also explore, discover, invent and build. 

If you’re thinking about a computer science career, you may be wondering if a computer science bachelor’s degree is the best choice for you. You might have questions like, “How hard is a computer science degree?” and “Is a computer science degree worth it?” We’ll take a deep dive into these questions and more. 

What Do You Learn in Computer Science?

Computer science encompasses a broad range of studies, including software development, AI, computer graphics, programming and human-computer interaction. It also involves computation, logic, data and algorithms, which can be used for websites, applications, artificial intelligence, video games and robotics. Almost every industry uses computer science, from business and healthcare to education and entertainment.

To become successful computer scientists, computer science majors study math, physics, calculus and statistics and develop skills in research, problem-solving and analysis. They also learn foundational computer science concepts including algorithms, data structures, operating systems and programming languages. 

Depending on the program, computer science majors may also study AI, machine learning and web development. At Troy University, computer science majors have opportunities to gain hands-on experience in each of these areas, along with computer organization, databases, computer networking and more.

Computer science degree programs go beyond theory so you have what you need to apply what you’ve learned in different jobs and industries. Your courses should build on one another to help you master the content and refine your skills. 

Computer Science: An Exciting, Yet Demanding Field

While learning computer science is fascinating, it can also be challenging. Computer science requires a strong foundation in mathematics, exceptional attention to detail and technical skills. Learning programming, data structures and algorithms, operating systems and computer systems, and other aspects of computer science can take substantial time and effort to master. That can make earning a computer science bachelor’s degree challenging.

If you want to excel in AI, machine learning and other areas as a computer scientist, it helps to be good at math, says TROY Professor Suman Kumar, Chair of the Computer Science Department.

“The better you are at math, the better you’ll perform in your studies and eventually, your career,” says Dr. Kumar.

But you don’t have to be a math expert to be a computer science major, he adds. 

“If you don’t have a strong background in math, TROY’s program provides the foundation you need to be successful,” explains Dr. Kumar. “That’s really the purpose of our foundational computer science courses.”

To excel as a computer science major, you’ll also need problem-solving, critical thinking, analytical and communication skills and the ability to collaborate. By focusing on your strengths and bringing an openness to learn, you’ll set yourself up for success in your degree program — and in your future career. 

Is a Computer Science Degree Worth It?

While earning your computer science bachelor’s degree can be challenging, it can also be rewarding. You’ll be well prepared for in-demand computer science jobs and have skills that transfer to almost any industry, including software publishing, game development, financial services, government agencies, computer systems design, education, healthcare and more. Some of the top computer science jobs available to graduates with a bachelor’s degree in computer science include:

  • Software engineer: You’ll use programming languages to design and develop software. You’ll also test and maintain software applications. 
  • Data analyst: You’ll collect, clean and analyze data to answer questions and solve problems. You might also interpret and communicate data for businesses, healthcare institutions, marketing agencies and educational institutions, to name a few.
  • Web developer: You’ll help bring website designs to life using HTML, CSS, JavaScript and other web technologies, ensuring websites are user-friendly, responsive, accessible, secure and functional. 
  • Cyber security analyst: You’ll help protect businesses and organizations against cyber risks and attacks. You’ll monitor, detect and respond to threats against networks, systems and data. 
  • Machine learning engineer: You’ll build, train and deploy programs that can learn from and act on data. You’ll also use your expertise in algorithms, math, statistics and programming to train artificial intelligence systems. 
  • Game programmer: You’ll help create video games by writing and developing software. To get into the video game industry, you may need to earn a master’s degree in computer science

With your computer science bachelor’s degree, your career outlook is bright. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that employment in computer and information technology occupations will grow much faster than all occupations through 2032. In May 2022, the median annual salary for computer and information technology careers was $100,530, the BLS reports. 

Beyond preparing for good-paying and in-demand jobs, a computer science degree will lead you to a rewarding and fulfilling career. For all of those reasons, earning your computer science degree is worth it. 

A Computer Science Program with Supportive Faculty, Hands-On Learning

If you’re concerned about how hard a computer science degree is, you can relax knowing you’ll find support at TROY. 

“Our faculty interact with our computer science students on a daily basis,” says Dr. Kumar. “We care about our students and work very closely with them to help them develop the skills they need to excel in the field. We have small class sizes because we believe that student-faculty connections are instrumental to a quality education.”

TROY professors also intentionally design their courses to gradually build technical expertise. You’ll prepare to tackle real-world challenges by practicing those skills, problem-solving and critical thinking. 

“Often, we give students open-ended projects that encourage them to use critical thinking skills,” adds Dr. Kumar. “We ask our students what they think about a problem rather than providing the answer to it. And usually, they come up with multiple solutions or ideas that could work.” 

How To Get a Computer Science Degree 

If you’re interested in becoming a computer science major, research available programs. Look for reputable programs led by experts. Choose the one that best fits your strengths, interests and career goals. While there are numerous paths to becoming a computer scientist, earning a bachelor’s degree will increase your chances of employment and boost your salary potential.

TROY’s program, for example, offers a broad range of computer science courses and internship opportunities to enhance your skills. You’ll be able to tailor your computer science bachelor’s degree to your interests and goals, whether you want to work in AI, software engineering, computer security or web development. 

Additionally, Dr. Kumar shares, “Our faculty are very connected to the local industry, meaning we can create networking opportunities for our students.” As a result, TROY’s computer science majors do internships with Medicare, CGI, Alfa Insurance, the Internal Revenue Service and other leading companies, organizations and government agencies. 

Finally, TROY faculty remain at the forefront of the industry. Dr. Kumar notes, “We constantly monitor how the industry is evolving and what we can do to help our graduates succeed in an ever-changing field. We keep up with advances in the industry and contemporary trends — and we also adapt ourselves and our research.”

Learn More About the TROY Computer Science Bachelor’s Degree

Want to know more about why a computer science degree is worth it and what you can do with one? Explore TROY’s computer science bachelor’s program page.