by Aisling Goodey
Whether you enrolled for a Bachelor’s or a Master’s degree in Computer Science, you want to be a top student and prove you constantly advance your computing skills. Regardless of your specialisation, Computer Science degrees are challenging, even if you are a super tech fanatic and passionate. So how do you deal and work with a significant amount of new information you learn every day?
Here are five basic tricks you need to keep in mind if you want to be a successful Computer Science student, if not, the best in your class.
1. Focus on developing you practical Computer Science skills
What do you learn during Computer Science degrees? Most IT courses are not all theory compared to courses from other types of degrees, like Sociology or Economics. Even if Computer Science and Information Technology degrees include theoretical classes, their approach is far more practical.
For instance, right after a theoretical class, you will have to apply that knowledge through practical exercises in a computer laboratory.
Sure, you may have to work on essays, but they will always have to include practical work or projects – both successfully combined, with logical explanations for each step and chapter from your work.
2. Studying the night before a deadline will NOT work
Try to get your assignments done well in advance of deadlines, ideally have them ready a week in advance. Otherwise, you’ll just get tired, your code won’t work, and you’ll fail the assignment.
Computer Science and IT is one of those areas where it is absolutely necessary to keep working throughout the semester because sometimes you’ll need to take a break to get some clarity as to why something isn’t working. So do yourself a favour and work all the way through the semester. That doesn’t mean you should spend every minute studying; it means you’ll have to be constant with your learning progress throughout the year. You’ll do far better this way.
3. Don't expect to learn everything during courses
All Computer Science and IT courses rock. However, they won’t cover all the skills you might need in a job. For example, if you’re planning to go into software development, you might learn a considerable amount of programming languages, but you may need to go beyond that for work.
You may have to understand and get the hang of new programming languages on your own, without anyone to teach you. It might be a good idea to look for introductions to online programming languages, some of which are even offered for free, such as Python, MATLAB, Java, and much more.
So schedule your time properly and after completing your core assignments, hit Google, and find out what type of computing skills are tech companies looking for. Particularly, look into further details on the exact requirements at those specific companies you dream of working for.
You could also make little websites or programs just for yourself, to test your abilities and push yourself further.
If want to study Information Technology (IT) at top-ranked universities, check programmes offered by some of the best universities ranked by The Times Higher Education.
Top 3 best universities in Europe for a Computer Science degree:
Top 3 best universities in the USA for a Computer Science degree:
- California Institute of Technology
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Georgia Institute of Technology
4. Don’t be a lone wolf
Being able to work on your own and independently motivate yourself is great, and you’ll need that. But don’t forget that you’re not alone, and its’ highly unlikely you’ll be alone in the workplace as well. You’re likely to be part of a team.
And team work takes some skills you’ll need to brush up on and work constantly. Once you’ll find a good study group, you’ll surely enjoy to meet with your peers, share ideas and work on interesting projects. After all, that’s just the classical way innovation starts: with a few genius minds that come together and work on a new invention until it becomes trademark.
Worldwide popular destinations for a Computer Science Master’s degree:
- Masters in Computer Science in Italy
- Masters in Computer Science in Denmark
- Masters in Computer Science in the U.S.
- Masters in Computer Science in Germany
- Masters in Computer Science in the UK
5. Remember: You still have a life
If you study a Computer Science degree, it may seem pretty daunting as you'll need to learn more, study more, do more. But don’t forget to live your life. Have fun, meet up with friends, go clubbing or travelling, get involved in some student activities.
Your studies are critical, but they shouldn’t be the only thing in your life. Going out and having fun will refresh your mind and increase your grades. Relax, have fun, and good luck!
See examples of universities that offer you the chance of getting hired at Apple or Google.