Few fields are as challenging and competitive as computer science. Such a price though is paid for diverse career perspectives and future well-paid jobs. Conquering tough college courses and graduating with a top-notch skillset is a personal and professional challenge for many students. But with some effort, perseverance, and smart strategic decisions you can do it with the best outcomes for your career.
You can find lots of general advice for becoming a successful student in computer studies. But we believe that this field has its own specifics, influencing the whole approach to studies and career building. That’s why we’ve prepared a list of useful advice targeting various aspects of becoming a successful specialist in IT.
Get Comfy with Basics
Sure, you’ll have all the key disciplines in computer science during your first years of studies. But starting your studies already prepared at least with the basic knowledge would give you precious advantages. The least you can do is to learn crucial vocabulary or tech jargon you’d be hearing a lot. This would help you avoid being shocked with new complex terminology and free your brain for substance.
Same goes for math. No surprise that mathematics is a foundation of most skills you’ll develop in computer science. And most courses would be math-heavy both in theoretical and practical aspects. So, give yourself a benefit of less stress by deliberately improving your relationship with mathematics before your studies start.
Work With Real World Tasks
Most college courses would at some point use case-studies to practice new skills. You’d do yourself a service by starting practicing on your own as early as possible. Write a simple program like a calculator or favorite songs list maker.
With advancing in your skills development consider joining a hackathon. This is a dynamic group event for different specialists from various spheres aimed at development of a useful app or algorithm for solving unorthodox challenges. You can learn a lot from the best experts and try working on a real-life challenge.
There is of course a more extreme way to put your skills to test. You could create your own personal challenge like developing a video game or a piece of software, so you’d work on it during your studies. Such an approach deepens your knowledge and broadens skillset. Moreover, it would look seriously impressive on your resume.
Join a Team
As participating in hackathons would prove, learning by doing solo and as a part of a team are two totally different speeds of professional development. You could advance your progress with trying internships in the companies of different specializations. In addition to practicing a lot with real tasks, you’d be able to get insights helping to choose your future career path.
Group dynamics in IT bootcamps work the same. Being a member of a team united with a common goal improves knowledge retention, productivity, and overall confidence. Benefits of joining the bootcamp lie within informal but often more creative approaches learned in comparison to classrooms.
Dig for Extra Knowledge
Your college professors are most probably very good and could teach you a lot. But you’ll be smart to absorb everything on your chosen topics from diverse sources. It ensures you’re keeping your expertise up to date, knowing of all the important developments in the sphere. Some students even chose to flank more dry theoretical subjects with little value applying to essay writing service for help with assignments. And the freed time is used on self-directed learning.
For your extra-curricular studies, you can choose open online courses, corporate courses with free or limited access (try your luck on getting into such programs), self-studying opportunities via books and tips from IT web-resources.
Create Your Public Portfolio for Future Employment
Resume is sufficient for some of the jobs, but most probably you’d have to present more tangible results of your achievements. It may be weird for some, but you should work on your public portfolio from the very beginning of your studies. As soon as you can show code, you’ve contributed to, or a working algorithm, add it to your webpage.
All the activities we’ve talked above like bootcamps, or hackathons have presentable work products. In addition, you could ask your team-members for testimonials regarding your input and skills. It could help you fight that empty resume effect of a college graduate.
We suppose, everyone would agree that there is no point in going to college just for the sake of having a degree. A student’s focus should be always double-fold – simultaneously on the successful academic performance and on paving the solid foundation for future employment or business opportunities. Such approach helps in navigating college life with useful and not so subjects, choosing necessary and practical knowledge and skills. Self-directed learning also ensures more mindful presence during the years of education – a very valuable skill for life.