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Dated: Jun. 16, 2012
If you're starting college and trying to choose your major, you may be wondering if computer science would be a good fit for you. You might be interested in computers and technology and good at math, for instance. Unfortunately, computer science is one of the most challenging and time-consuming majors, and you'll need more than just an interest in computers and math skills to achieve your academic goals. Attending one of the many computer science schools and succeeding as a computer science major requires that you have a number of soft skills.
Here are a few of the most important ones you'll need:
- Memorization Abilities - Everything you learn as a computer science student will come in handy later in your career. If you're not able to store and recall information you've learned easily, computer science may not be the best field for you. For instance, if you get a job as a programmer after you graduate, frequently forgetting coding rules and processes will negatively impact your job performance and could even cost you your job.
- Patience - Computers are complex and frustrating. They often don't do what we want or expect them to do. Sometimes even following a specific protocol by the book doesn't achieve the results you want from a computer. If you don't give up easily and are able to be patient with yourself and with technology, you'll succeed as a computer science major.
- Attention to Detail - Computers require explicit instructions from us to work. One typo or misuse of parentheses can be the difference between a program working and not working. So, being able to spot errors and fix them is essential in the field of computer science.
- Project Management Skills - You'll be assigned a number of projects during your time as a student of computer science. These projects will oftentimes be difficult and time-consuming, and sometimes you'll need to work on multiple projects at once. If you have trouble finishing big projects and meeting deadlines, you'll struggle. Additionally, the ability to manage projects will be even more essential once you enter the working world with your computer science degree in hand.
- A Knack for Interpersonal Communication - If you think programmers, developers, and computer scientists work alone all the time and don't need any social skills whatsoever, you've been misled. As a student, you'll need to be able to effectively communicate with your professors and peers as you work on projects. Additionally, once you've landed a post-college job, you'll need to be able to interact well with your supervisors, coworkers, and clients (many of whom won't be computer science people).
Don't panic if you don't have one or two of the soft skills on this list. If you're motivated to achieve your goals as a computer science major, you'll probably develop the soft skills you need. Just use the list above to help you decide whether or not your personality and strengths would be a good fit for a computer science program.
This guest post has been provided courtesy of Mariana Ashley, an education blogger who offers accredited online colleges news to those investigating their career options. You can find her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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