Learn Computer Science

a Comprehensive Guide to Start Learning Computer Science

Computer science is among the broadest fields, predating narrower fields like data science and artificial intelligence. Computer science focuses on developing and implementing complex tools, platforms, and software systems. While the main themes of data science are statistics, algorithms, and analysis, the main themes of computer science are more likely to be software engineering, development, and administration.

Explore the wide array of careers in computer science, from web development and software engineering to data science. Discover the growth potential and salaries in this booming field, as well as how to acquire the necessary skills through various educational paths.

Key Insights

  • Computer science encompasses the study of information systems, computation, hardware and software design, machine learning algorithms, and data visualization.
  • Careers in computer science include Software Developers, IT Security Analysts, Data Scientists, and Product Managers, with a projected growth rate of 21% between 2021-2031 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Acquiring computer science skills can be achieved through various educational paths, including immersive bootcamps, certificate programs, or self-paced online classes.
  • Noble Desktop offers comprehensive computer science training in interactive bootcamps including Full Stack Web Development Certificate, Data Science Certificate, and Software Engineering Certificate programs.
  • Salaries in computer science can vary greatly based on the specific role and level of expertise, with many positions offering competitive compensation in relation to other industries.
  • Free online resources like introductory courses, tutorials, and seminars can also provide a basic understanding of computer science for beginners.

If you’ve always wanted to learn computer science but can’t figure out how to get started, this guide is for you. Here, you’ll learn more about the various ways to learn computer science, free resources to take advantage of, and the types of careers that commonly use computer science.

What is Computer Science?

Computer science is an immense field that encompasses the study of information systems, computation, and automation. Hardware and software design, machine learning algorithms, and data visualization fall under the computer science purview.

On the theoretical side, computer science includes information theory, algorithms, and computational theory. The practical side of computer science covers hardware and software design and implementation. While data science has emerged as a discrete discipline in recent years, many computer science pros still consider it a subcategory of the larger computer science field. 

Read more about what computer science is and why you should learn it.

What Can You Do with Computer Science?

Computer science classes cover a wide range of subjects, encompassing anything from web development and software engineering to data science. Tools like Python and Java are popular among numerous career paths in this growing field, and as far as computer science applications go, the sky’s the limit.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Computer and Information Research Scientist job outlook is especially bright: they estimate a 21% growth rate between 2021-2031, well above the average growth rate of five percent. Top positions for computer science professionals include Software Developers, IT Security Analysts, Data Scientists, and Product Managers.

Areas of specialization for computer science professionals include programming languages like Java, the development and application of robotics, and the development of new systems, tools, and programming languages. In our ever-more connected digital world, computer science generalists and specialists can thrive both now and in the future.

Careers that Use Computer Science

Computer science is a broad field, so it’s essential to understand how different professions use it in various ways.

Full Stack Web Developers use computer science skills to design and build out the layout of a website. Their skill set typically includes HTML and CSS, JavaScript, or other programming languages. They may also need familiarity with graphic design tools and databases. An immersive web development certificate program can provide multiple skills to get you started.

Data science pros take a different approach to their computer science training. They may learn tools ranging from Python programming to machine learning models and data visualization. Popular tools among Data Scientists include SQL, Matplotlib, NumPy, and Pandas. Many data science pros also prepare for entry-level roles through comprehensive certificate programs.

Cybersecurity professionals also learn computer science skills, though with a unique emphasis. An Information Security Analyst or Cybersecurity Analyst may begin their computer science training by learning everything from Python to digital forensics, Linux, and cloud computing. Here again, immersive training in computer science tools and skills can launch a successful career.

Why Learn Computer Science?

Learning a field like computer science can take many forms, from Python programming to software engineering. With the urgent demand for computer science professionals in numerous sectors, there’s never been a better time to study this exciting field. Machine learning, web development, and application development all fall under the computer science category.

Want to learn more? If you’re interested in a computer science career, consider enrolling in a comprehensive bootcamp or certificate program. These immersive courses can prepare computer science beginners for entry-level positions in web development, data science, or software engineering.

Read more about why you should learn computer science.

How to Learn Computer Science

To master computer science for your career, you’ll want to learn different tools and skills. Live online or in-person classes are among the best learning options for computer science students.

Live computer science courses offer a variety of benefits. Students can get real-time answers to their questions, and live courses are both hands-on and interactive in most cases. For those who cannot commute to an in-person computer science class, live online computer science courses can be just as beneficial. Noble Desktop’s Full Stack Web Development Certificate is an example of one such program, available both in-person and online.

Another attractive option for computer science beginners is the on-demand or self-paced training model. On-demand computer science courses typically require a small fee or subscription to a particular platform, though some are available free of charge. Featured computer science topics range from building Android apps to JavaScript and Ruby on Rails. 

While they may not offer the same level of engagement as live or on-demand classes, free seminars, tutorials, and blog posts can also benefit students beginning a computer science education. Computer science trainees can find free seminars like Intro to Front End Web Development, the Intro to Node.js seminar (appropriate for web development students), and Intro to SQL, a perfect choice for data science and Python programming students.

For additional tutorials, check out Noble Desktop’s YouTube channel, where you’ll find playlists like Front End Web Development and Python, Data Science & SQL.

Read the full guide on how to learn computer science.

Free Introductory Computer Science Course Online 

Are you considering a career in computer science but not ready to dive into a full-length course? If you’re looking for a simple computer science overview or cannot commit to a full-length bootcamp or certificate program, check out the many online resources you can use to start learning computer science for free.

Say you want to study to be a JavaScript Developer or Full Stack Developer. Consider beginning with the Intro to Full Stack JavaScript seminar on Noble Desktop’s YouTube Channel. In this free introductory course, you’ll learn about topics like React and the JavaScript MERN stack development, among others.

Want to learn data science as part of a broader computer science curriculum? Your education can begin with Noble’s data science video tutorials. These include Get Started in Data Science, Intro to Python Fundamentals, and Exchanging Excel for Python.

Additional free online courses include:

  • Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python) from the University of Michigan
  • Google’s IT Support Professional Certificate program
  • Neural Networks and Deep Learning from DeepLearning.AI
  • HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for Web Developers from Johns Hopkins University
  • The Java Programming and Software Engineering Fundamentals Specialization program from Duke University.

Read about more free computer science videos and online tutorials.

Level of Difficulty, Prerequisites, & Cost 

Any challenges associated with learning computer science depend on the requirements for a particular position. While Web Developers may need to master JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, Software Engineers may need Django, React, and MongoDB expertise. It all depends on the sector and the company’s specific requirements.

Costs also vary. Some entry-level computer science positions require a degree, but a bootcamp or certificate program can prepare students for many other entry-level roles.

Programming languages like Python and JavaScript are freely available, and their libraries and frameworks are also free. Many students begin learning computer science by watching online tutorials or seminars, but most realize the need for formal training in the classroom.

Read on to learn more about how difficult it is to learn computer science.

How Does Learning Computer Science Compare to Other Fields?

Learning within the computer science field can involve numerous programming languages, apps, and discrete skills. Data science professionals may need Python and SQL, Web Developers may need HTML and CSS, and Software Engineers may need to know JavaScript.

While experts estimate it takes at least six months to master computer science fundamentals, many beginners immerse themselves in bootcamps or certificate programs to get in-depth training in a concentrated timeframe. The most significant difficulty may reside in deciding which avenue of training to pursue. Keep in mind you may need a broad-based computer science curriculum, while other students will require more targeted training in any of the following roles:

Cost is another relevant factor; your budget and availability will also influence your decision about how to master computer science skills that meet your goals.

To learn more about relevant computer science areas like web development, data science, or even product management, check out the linked Learn Hubs from Noble Desktop.

How to Decide the Best Way to Learn Computer Science

In deciding the best method to learn computer science, think first about how and in what way you want to use the skills and knowledge you’ll get from training. Beginners may not want to invest income yet want a high-level overview of the field. Students at this level should consider a free introductory tutorial like Noble Desktop’s Intro to SQL.

If you want to develop a working knowledge of computer science, plug a skill gap, or grow within your current position, consider enrolling in a course like Noble’s Front End Web Development Certificate or JavaScript Development Certificate.

Want to master computer science for your career? One of the best options is a lengthier program like Noble Desktop’s Full Stack Web Development Certificate or Software Engineering Certificate. These immersive bootcamp-style courses prepare students for entry-level positions and include 1-on-1 mentoring plus the option to retake the programs at no additional cost.

Learn Computer Science with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

If you want comprehensive computer science training in an interactive environment, check out the Full Stack Web Development Certificate from Noble Desktop. This in-depth program gives participants all the tools they need to build webpages and apps, plus training in hosting, server, and network environments. Featured topics include HTML/CSS, JavaScript, and MongoDB, to name a few.

Is software engineering your main goal? Consider enrolling in Noble’s Software Engineering Certificate program. Here you’ll learn front end development with JavaScript and React along with back end development using Django (Python), all taught by instructors with expertise in the field. Small class sizes and 1-on-1 mentoring mean you always get individual attention and gain essential skills in Flexbox, Grid, and Bootstrap.

If you focus your computer science training on the subcategory of data science, Noble Desktop’s Data Science Certificate gives you the skills you need for an entry-level position. This immersive program provides training in essential tools from Python programming to machine learning fundamentals. It’s a great way to prepare to work as a Data Scientist, Data Analyst, or Machine Learning Engineer.

High school students preparing for the AP Computer Science exam can benefit from Noble’s live online computer science NextGen Bootcamps. These summer classes offer an ideal way to learn disciplines like web development, Python programming, or data science in a beginner-friendly environment.

Software Engineering Certificate: Live & Hands-on, In NYC or Online, 0% Financing, 1-on-1 Mentoring, Free Retake, Job Prep. Named a Top Bootcamp by Forbes, Fortune, & Time Out. Noble Desktop. Learn More.

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