Now, there is no doubt that some colleges do require all students to take one CS class. The problem is that not enough do. This scenario is especially nonsensical considering that CS teaches problem solving like no other — even theoretical math and physics courses. Why? Computer science is all about finding the easiest way to do something — the method that is most efficient and requires the least lines of code.
So, let’s say I want to create a program for my theoretical t-shirt business that keeps track of profits. It seems pretty easy right? Find revenue and then subtract costs… but something you may not have realized is how many unique routes a programmer may take to create a program that accomplishes this given task. Unlike a paper-and-pencil logbook, programs are dynamic since there are always many different ways of accomplishing the same thing.
Nevertheless, some methods are more practical than others. This is the programmer’s job. He must figure out the “easiest” method to implement a particular assignment. And thus, programming is “difficult,” mainly because it entails thinking about how to do a particular task, and ensuring that it is the most efficient and economical approach. Once the programmer has this “algorithm” — just a fancy term for a series of instructions the computer follows to do something, kind of like a recipe — in mind, actually typing the code into the computer is a fairly simple task.
Unlike many of those math and physics courses, computer science is an extremely versatile tool. Indeed, you can use programming to enhance your lifestyle in almost any case. Want to create a business? You need a website. Want to do college research? Many labs around the world use MATLAB to assist in creating accurate data-tables and graphs. Want to create Halo, Call of Duty or Mario? Programming is a must.
Furthermore, in terms of numbers, CS pays off; computer science majors make on average $60,000 right out of college. That’s second only to engineering (and even that by only $3,000) and is significantly higher than business (at $54,000), math and sciences (at $42,000), and humanities & social sciences (at $37,000). Read the entire study done by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) at Forbes.