Should I Study Computer Science? Analyzing The Pros And Cons

With career opportunities in high-paying fields like software engineering and data science, it’s understandable why many students consider studying computer science. But is it ultimately the right choice? This field offers immense potential but also has downsides to weigh.

In this in-depth guide, we’ll assess the key benefits and drawbacks of studying computer science to help you make an informed decision.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Studying computer science can lead to lucrative, future-proof careers in tech but requires strong analytical and math skills. The rigorous curriculum pays off for those with an aptitude for programming and passion for computing theory.

We’ll start by looking at the advantages of studying computer science, like plentiful job prospects, intellectual challenges, and high earning power. We’ll then outline some of the challenges, including tough advanced math prerequisites and long hours of study.

We’ll also suggest alternative paths to working in technology. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of the pros and cons of studying computer science.

Key Benefits of Studying Computer Science

In-Demand Jobs and Strong Salaries

One of the major benefits of studying computer science is the abundance of job opportunities and competitive salaries in the field. The demand for computer science professionals is continually growing, as technology becomes an integral part of our daily lives.

From software development to data analysis, there are numerous career paths to choose from. According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 11 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.

This indicates a promising future for those pursuing a career in computer science.

Career Advancement and Leadership

Studying computer science can open doors to rapid career advancement and leadership opportunities. With the continuous advancements in technology, companies are constantly looking for individuals who can drive innovation and lead teams in implementing new solutions.

By acquiring a strong foundation in computer science, you gain the skills and knowledge needed to take on challenging roles and make a significant impact in the industry. Whether you aspire to become a software architect, a project manager, or even an entrepreneur, studying computer science can equip you with the necessary tools to excel in your career.

Intellectual Stimulation

Computer science is a dynamic and intellectually stimulating field. It’s a discipline that encourages problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity. As a computer science student, you’ll constantly be faced with new challenges and puzzles to solve, which helps to keep your mind sharp and engaged.

The field also fosters a culture of continuous learning, as technology is constantly evolving. This ensures that you’ll never stop growing and expanding your knowledge as you delve deeper into the world of computer science.

Variety of Career Paths

When you study computer science, you open up a wide range of career paths to explore. The skills and knowledge you gain can be applied in various industries, including healthcare, finance, gaming, cybersecurity, and more.

Whether you’re interested in developing cutting-edge software applications, analyzing big data to make informed business decisions, or designing secure networks, there’s a career path in computer science that aligns with your interests and goals.

This versatility allows you to choose a career that resonates with you and offers long-term job satisfaction.

Flexible Work Environments

A major advantage of studying computer science is the flexibility it offers in terms of work environments. As a computer science professional, you have the option to work in diverse settings, including corporate offices, startups, remote positions, or even as a freelancer.

This flexibility allows you to create a work-life balance that suits your preferences and lifestyle. Additionally, advancements in technology have made remote work more prevalent, giving you the opportunity to work from anywhere in the world and collaborate with colleagues from different locations.

Potential Downsides to Consider

Heavy Math Requirements

One of the potential downsides of studying computer science is the heavy math requirements. Computer science is a field that heavily relies on mathematics, especially when it comes to algorithms, data structures, and computational theory.

Students who struggle with math may find it challenging to grasp these concepts and may need to dedicate extra time and effort to strengthen their math skills. However, it’s important to note that many universities offer support services and tutoring to help students overcome these challenges.

Rigorous Curriculum Demands Time

Computer science programs often have a rigorous curriculum that demands a significant amount of time and effort. Students may find themselves spending long hours studying, coding, and completing assignments.

Balancing this workload with other responsibilities can be demanding, and it requires excellent time management skills. However, the hard work and dedication can lead to rewarding career opportunities in the tech industry.

Constant Need to Learn New Technologies

The field of computer science is constantly evolving, with new technologies and programming languages emerging regularly. As a computer science student, you will need to stay updated with the latest advancements and continuously learn new technologies to remain competitive in the job market.

This can be challenging, as it requires a commitment to lifelong learning and adaptability. However, it also presents exciting opportunities to work with cutting-edge technologies and be at the forefront of innovation.

Less Social Interaction Than Other Majors

Studying computer science often involves spending a significant amount of time working independently or in small groups. While collaboration and teamwork are essential in the field, there may be fewer opportunities for social interaction compared to majors that require more group projects or face-to-face interaction.

However, many computer science programs offer extracurricular activities and clubs where students can connect with like-minded individuals and build a strong network.

Potential for Outsourcing

In today’s globalized world, there is a potential for certain computer science jobs to be outsourced to other countries. Companies often look for cost-effective solutions, and outsourcing can be an attractive option.

However, it’s important to note that there are still plenty of opportunities available in the computer science field, especially for those with specialized skills or expertise. By staying updated with the latest technologies and continuously improving your skills, you can position yourself for success in a competitive job market.

Alternatives to a Full Computer Science Degree

While pursuing a full computer science degree is a popular choice for those interested in the field, it’s important to know that there are alternative paths to consider. These alternatives offer different levels of education and can be a great option for individuals with specific goals or constraints.

Here are some alternatives to a full computer science degree:

Coding Bootcamps

Coding bootcamps have gained significant popularity in recent years as a fast-track option for learning programming skills. These intensive programs typically last from a few weeks to a few months and provide hands-on training in programming languages, web development, and other technical skills.

Bootcamps are a great option for individuals looking to quickly gain practical coding skills and transition into a career in the tech industry.

Associate Degrees and Certificates

For individuals who want a more structured and comprehensive education, pursuing an associate degree or certificate in computer science can be a viable option. These programs typically take two years to complete and offer a curriculum that covers the fundamentals of computer science.

While not as extensive as a full degree, associate degrees and certificates provide a solid foundation in programming, algorithms, and other core concepts.

Computer Science Minor

If you’re already pursuing a different major but still want to gain a basic understanding of computer science, opting for a computer science minor can be a great option. This allows you to complement your major with courses in programming, data structures, and other computer science topics.

A minor in computer science can enhance your skill set and make you more versatile in the job market.

Complementary Double Major

For those who want to delve deeper into computer science without committing to a full degree, pursuing a complementary double major can be an excellent choice. By combining computer science with another field of study, such as business, mathematics, or design, you can gain a well-rounded education that opens up a variety of career opportunities.

This option requires careful planning and time management, but it can be highly rewarding.


For individuals who prefer a flexible and self-paced learning approach, self-study is an attractive option. With the abundance of online resources, tutorials, and coding platforms available, it’s possible to teach yourself computer science skills from the comfort of your own home.

While self-study requires discipline and motivation, it can be a cost-effective way to learn and develop the necessary skills to pursue a career in computer science.

Ultimately, the right alternative to a full computer science degree will depend on your individual goals, timeline, and learning preferences. It’s important to carefully evaluate each option and consider factors such as cost, time commitment, and the specific skills you want to acquire.

Remember, the key is to find a path that aligns with your interests and aspirations in the world of technology.


Studying computer science can pave the way for lucrative and rewarding tech careers given the right skills and interests. However, the rigorous coursework and math prerequisites are not for everyone. By evaluating both the pros and cons, you can determine if studying computer science aligns with your professional aspirations and academic strengths.

Similar Posts