We can’t all change the world!
There's no doubting it's an academic achievement to be proud of. But here's the bad news. Graduating from college with a computer science degree under your belt is no guarantee of success, at least not in the sometimes intimidating space inhabited by the high tech startup. Because, truth be told, you're far more likely to fail than to succeed. Three out of four is the usual figure bandied about. And that's on the optimistic side. The pessimists put the figure as high as 90 percent.
Worth the effort?
Depends on who you really are, your aims and goals, not to mention outlook on life. That can often be shaped by where you actually studied for a degree in the first place. Nowadays, let's be honest, students are spoilt for choice, with the number of excellent universities both in the Americas and Europe offering computing-based degrees growing by the year. At least it seems that way.
Similar degree programs are also offered in regions such as the Middle East, attracting students from all over the world because of their quality. One such centre of excellence making a name for itself is the popular American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates and their computer science degree programs that have proven to be very successful. But there are many others.
No degree, no chance?
Wrong, but maybe you'll need the next big idea the world is waiting for in order to succeed. Check out the life stories of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, founders of Microsoft, Apple and Facebook respectively. By any stretch of the imagination, you can't say they didn't have anything but a huge impact on the modern world. And they also made more money than most of us will ever make in a thousand lifetimes. They've also got something else in common – all are college dropouts. No degree, no chance? Hardly!
That just about covers most of the rest of us, the 9-5 crowd simply looking to make a reasonably comfortable living so we can pay bills, live in decent homes and raise families. Nothing spectacular and no lofty aims to change the world. But this is where a degree-level education can make a real difference, providing us with job and career opportunities we would never have had access to otherwise.
Know what they are and whether potential monthly pay cheques are going up, standing still or going down? If you don't then you need to check out NACE, the National Association of Colleges and Employers. The organisation collates all manner of data from both government sources and employers and then three times a year publishes the findings in its Salary Survey. The information covers the starting salaries for new US college graduates in a whole range of disciplines, including computer science.
The good news is the latest survey, which was published in April, shows starting salaries for computer science graduates are firmly on the rise again. This is a reverse of the September 2013 and January 2014 Salary Survey reports which showed average salaries dropping by 2.5 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. You can read more about NACE here.