If I could go back to my teenage years and pick one skill to start learning younger, it would be programming. Learning computer science has opened countless doors for me, even though I started late and had very little formal training. I often think about how much further I would have progressed by now if I had started younger and been taught by someone other than the forums of StackOverflow.
But the truth is that most teens don’t have the opportunity to learn programming because it’s not taught widely in school. This is why I’m so excited that TutorPace has decided to start offering online computer science tutoring.
How Computer Science Opens Doors
According to Forbes, the average salary for someone with a computer science Bachelor’s degreewas $60,000 in 2013, compared to the average of $45,000 for all degrees.
Differentiating Factor during Job Search
Even if you don’t decide to work as a full-time software engineer, knowing how to program can still help you get a great job. I know this because it did for me. When I was searching for a job in the final semester of my MBA program, my ability to program landed me a great job as a Big Data Analyst. My brother had a similar experience. He was a graphic designer who learned how to program and build websites. He’s now the Creative Director at a design agency.
Be Your Own Boss
Knowing how to program can also enable you to become your own boss, in two different ways. First, if you have a business idea and decide to found a startup, your life will be much easier if you can program. It can save you from having to hire an expensive developer and being beholden to them every time you want a new feature or an upgrade to your website. Second, web developers can work as freelancers. You can either earn extra money on the side or set out on your own.
I can tell you that my tutoring business would never have grown to what it is today if I didn’t know how to program. Without that knowledge, I couldn’t have built a tutor search engine that helps students find a tutor. And I couldn’t have built a tutor pricing calculator that helps tutors and students discover how much tutors charge near them.
How to Learn Computer Science
Now that you know how valuable computer science knowledge is, how can you begin to learn?
- Take a couple courses in the computer science department
- Participate in a Hackathon
Adults and Professionals
- For the autodidact, try StackOverflow
- Hire a tutor through an agency like TutorPace