- 1 What is computer science – simply explained
- 2 Computer science: definition
- 3 Requirements for entry into computer science
What is computer science – simply explained
What is computer science and which tasks do it include? You are interested in computer science and ask yourself: What do you do as a computer scientist? There are many different tasks and activities in computer science. With this article we give you an overview of computer science.
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Computer science: definition
Computer scientists are loners and tinker with their computers in the basement. This is probably the picture that most people have in mind. However, this idea was neither true today nor in the past.
But on the contrary: Computer scientists are in great demand and usually work with many computer scientists on projects that are commissioned by customers. To do this, however, they also have to have a lot of knowledge and soft skills in order to be successful in projects. A degree in computer science is not necessarily one of the courses that most people find easy. However, if you have a basic technical understanding and describe yourself as a team player, studying computer science can be the right thing.
The core task of computer science is generally concerned with the storage, processing and display, but also with the transmission of information. Digital computers are mainly used for automatic processing. Over the years, computer science has developed from formal systems such as logistics, mathematics, theoretical computer science and also through law.
Tasks – job description computer scientist
The Duden “Applied Computer Science Basic Knowledge School” (2001) gives the following explanation: “Computer science is the science of automatic information processing. Computer science deals with the laws and principles of information processing processes and their algorithmic implementation with the help of automated information processing systems.
Information-processing processes must be described in a “computer-understandable” form and appropriate means designed so that such “programs” can be processed ”.
The progress of our social change is developing from an industrial to an information society and is facing economic as well as complex challenges in administration – keyword digitization 4.0.
It should also be pointed out that information systems represent a sub-category of IT systems.
Theoretical computer science
Theoretical computer science deals with the fundamental issues of processing, structures, transmission, reproduction and how these are related to each other. The contents include the theory of formal languages, algorithm theory, logic, automaton theory as well as information and database theory.
Sentences, algorithms and solutions to problems emerged from models obtained with the help of mathematical abstraction. Theoretical computer science thus forms a formal skeleton that computer science brings through with mathematical knowledge and methods.
This is another main area of computer science, which also forms the interface between computer science and electrical engineering. Technical computer scientists design, produce, implement and operate the components of communication and information systems and also work particularly with hardware components and system-related software. The technical computer scientist course contains many practical components and has a strong scientific/mathematical focus.
Practical computer science
The field of practical computer science deals with the performance, reliability, efficiency and security of applications and computer-based solutions. In addition to a good understanding of logic and formal procedures, mathematical-statistical principles are also an important prerequisite for practical computer science. Another important aspect of practical IT is software technology, the operating system and the associated IT languages.
Applied computer science
Since applied computer science excludes the problem areas for the use of information processing technology and prepares application programs, it is in close communication with society. Therefore, applied computer science has a particularly influential effect on the social and cultural character of a society.
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Requirements for entry into computer science
In computer science there is no particular way of starting your career. Whether with an apprenticeship or a degree, as a career changer or without a certain skill, which is an absolute must-have for certain employers – the possibilities to gain a foothold in computer science are diverse.
The following 3 points should give you an insight into the school and academic requirements and also explain certain hard and soft skills that particularly support your career path in computer science.
Bachelor/Master studies or training as an IT specialist?
In the course of the technological change in our society, the job description of computer science has developed into a very popular subject in recent decades. In America you can study computer science at vocational academies or universities. 6-8 semesters are required for the Bachelor and an additional 2-4 semesters for the Master. Due to the ever advancing digitization in almost all areas of life, the chances of a job and a good salary are particularly high.
You can also start your career as a computer scientist through an (usually three-year) training. In general, the training to become an IT specialist is divided into two main areas, on the one hand IT specialist for system integration and on the other hand for application development. You decide on one of the two special fields at the beginning of your training.
In hardly any other profession is further training as important as in IT and data processing. The rapid pace of digitization places increasing demands on IT specialists, so there are numerous opportunities for further training. By and large, the advanced training qualifications can be divided into three levels that build on one another.
But there are also many career changers in the IT industry, many of whom try to find their way into the world of technology through further training through distance learning. Since it is only possible for very few working people to take a few months leave for this certification or even to quit the job.
These distance learning courses then usually last around 6 semesters, which corresponds to a standard study period of 3 years.
Training courses can also be completed at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry; the duration of the entire course is between 12 and 15 months. Here you have to be physically (and hopefully also mentally ;-)) present, mostly twice a week for about 3-4 hours each time.
The price is problematic both with distance learning and with IHK advanced training: the all-encompassing advanced training – for example to become a computer scientist – is rarely offered for less than $ 2,500, even with convenient installment payments, this can represent a financial burden that is not to be assessed as being negligible.
In addition to the IT specialist, there are three other IT training courses that you can choose from, such as: IT system electronics specialist, IT systems specialist or IT specialist.
Hard skills in information technology
Hard skills are the competencies that you are taught at university during your studies. We’ll show you the TOP IT skills that companies need.
There are different programming languages and not every company works with the same programs, so it is important to be familiar with as many languages as possible. The following table shows a list of well-known programming languages:
Programming languages overview
|C.||Preferred when programming operating systems or in system programming.|
|C++||Enables efficient and machine-oriented programming|
|C#||Used in programming computer games and operating systems. Microsoft owns the rights.|
|Java||Object-bound programming language. Used for animated websites, cloud computing, apps for Android and business software.|
|PHP||Scripting language mainly used for building dynamic pages and web applications.|
|Python||Universal and high level programming language popular on Google and Facebook.|
|SQL||Is a database language and is used to edit and query databases.|
Aside from programming languages, there is another factor in computer science that can really help you advance in your career in computer science – we are talking about different (programming) platforms.
If you work in IT, you need to have a lot of programming skills. The following platforms are currently particularly popular with companies:
Soft skills in information technology
In addition to the hard skills that are taught at the university, the soft skills of a computer scientist are in the foreground. Since most computer scientists today have to work together with many other computer scientists, there is a particular focus on soft skills that are particularly relevant in a team.
The image that computer scientists are all sitting in one chamber and programming all day does not apply in reality. In most cases, computer scientists work in a team on different solutions. Communication skills are required for this collaboration to work. You have to exchange ideas about different approaches and, if necessary, offer questions or assistance for help. An IT professional should be able to explain and illustrate complex processes. To this end, work is increasingly being carried out across departments, so that employees from other departments must also understand what the computer scientists are working on. In these areas, strong communication pays off as a soft skill.
A software project can drag on for months or even years. This can be a test of patience, especially in the last phases. Customers suddenly have different wishes or ideas about how the project should be implemented. Then it is important to keep calm and look for solutions. As a specialist, you should be able to empathize with the customer and find solutions. It is important to have an overview of the entire project, as well as the advantages and disadvantages for the customer and the company.
Reliability plays a big role in most jobs. In software development in particular, computer scientists have to struggle with deadlines that are often difficult to meet. It is all the more important that you have good time management and that colleagues and customers can rely on you. Anyone who would like to work in project management should be able to count reliability among their soft skills.
In order to be able to work in a team, it is obvious that teamwork is one of your soft skills. You should be able to act as a closed team and support one another. There are many experts on a team and the challenge is to use them effectively so that everyone can take on their expert role and no one is neglected.