Why study computer science?

Posted 11 September 2020
Circuit board assembly

So, why study computer science at university? Our interaction with technology and the role of computers in our daily lives is ever-growing, and that creates exciting career opportunities. With emerging tech that influences everything from healthcare to agriculture, you could be at the heart of the latest innovations. 

Six reasons to study computer science

Have you ever wanted to develop an app for a mobile phone? Or wondered how self-driving cars actually work? If you’re keen to use your problem solving skills to create technology that will enhance today’s society, then read on to discover why computer science is the future. 

1. Computers are everywhere

There’s not an industry out there that isn’t using data and computer technology on a daily basis. Everything from finance and banking, gaming and mobile applications, to healthcare and security all require the specialist skills of professional computer scientists. 

2. Financially rewarding

Computer scientists are some of the most highly paid in the world as their skills help businesses keep up with emerging trends. Areas such as cyber security and artificial intelligence, for example, have a shortage of skilled workers so there are plenty of exciting employment opportunities.

3. Choice of specialisms

With a computer science degree you can explore a range of specialisms depending on your career goals. Industries looking for talented programmers include AI, computer security, government, healthcare, agriculture/agritech, education, machine learning and financial services.

4. Global opportunities

Multinational companies around the world are looking for computer scientists to solve their business problems. This could be anything from how to analyse big data and drive business strategy to using artificial intelligence to map the evolution and spread of COVID-19.

5. Develop transferable skills

One of the benefits of studying computer science is you will develop skills that are useful in any career. For example, being analytical and good at problem solving are essential skills any employer would look for.

6. Unlock your creative side

If you choose to specialise in multimedia programming, you’ll use creative and technical skills to develop computer products. This might mean writing code to programme functions and graphics for use on mobile phones and computer games.

Why is computer science important?

Computer science is the study of how we interact with information and the role of computers in our daily lives. As a computer scientist, you can play an important role creating technology that improves society. Below are just some of the ways you could make a difference.

Predict the future

Machine learning algorithms can now be used to predict natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis. The skills of computer scientists will be useful in research and trials, so there are plenty of opportunities for progression and learning in your career.

Improve the world

Computer scientists research technological advancements that support society and make people’s lives easier. For example, robotic technology is used in the healthcare sector to administer physical therapy or act as a personal assistant that helps with personal care or training. 

Stop cyber attacks

Cyber attacks are a risk for individuals, businesses and governments. As more and more of our lives are online, and companies store large amounts of user data, a robust approach to security is essential to stop threats.

Why study computer science abroad?

Studying abroad gives you the opportunity to experience another country and culture, improve your language skills and broaden your horizons. Choose to study in Holland and you will benefit from a globally-recognised education with courses taught in English. It’s no surprise that more than 100,000 international students choose to study in Holland every year.

You can become an expert in the underlying technology of computer systems with a bachelor’s in Computer Science at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU Amsterdam). This three-year degree invites you to explore how we use data and prevent elections from being hacked as you learn logic, maths and programming languages.

If you need additional preparation before starting your degree, Holland International Study Centre provides foundation courses leading to universities in the Netherlands. The International Foundation Year in Science, Engineering and Computing is a specialist programme for international students, designed to give the support you need to achieve the academic and English language requirements for a Dutch university.

Computer science in the Netherlands

The Dutch economy ranks in the top 20 largest in the world (iamsterdam.com) and Amsterdam has an exciting mix of innovative start-ups and multinational companies across the technology scene. Amsterdam Science Park is a centre for science and technology, home to innovative research on big data and artificial intelligence, as well as leading scientific developments. With post-study work opportunities for international graduates too, the Netherlands is an exciting place to start your career.

If you need any more reasons to choose the Netherlands, the country is home to many world ranking universities that offer an education driven by research and inspired by critical thinking. VU Amsterdam is known for promoting freedom of expression and is ranked among the top 150 for Computer Science according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020. You’ll learn from world-renowned researchers such as Professor Andy Tanenbaum, the creator of MINIX. It is also the only institution in Amsterdam to offer a specialisation in Software Engineering.

What jobs can I get with a computer science degree?

Computer science can lead to exciting career opportunities across a range of industries. These are just some jobs you could go into: 

  • Applications developer
  • Cyber security analyst
  • Software developer
  • Data analyst
  • IT consultant
  • Network architect

Meet one of our students

Giovanni travelled from Sri Lanka to study the International Foundation Year in Science, Engineering and Computing. He shares why he’s passionate about computer science: 

I was always into understanding how things work and taking things apart, putting them back together. And when I was 13 I started building robots for competitions and I actually made it to the finals in several national competitions.

I feel that in my country, computers and people don't exactly go in sync together, so I feel that there's a lot of room for opportunity in my country. I'm taking this time here to reflect on what exactly I want to do, and I want to get to know the subject a lot better so that I can make the decisions better in the future.

Giovanni from Sri Lanka
Studied International Foundation Year in Science, Engineering and Computing
Now studying BSc Computer Science at VU Amsterdam

Find out more about starting your studies or check the latest COVID-19 information.