Why Computer Science?
Reasons to be a Computer Science Major at Susquehanna University:
- Computer science is the study of how computers work. It encompasses not only programming, but also operating systems, networking, security, graphics, hardware architecture, artificial intelligence and much else. All of it great stuff.
- Computers are pervasive, and they will become more pervasive in coming years. With the dot.com bubble burst and the downturn in the economy, computer science enrolments have declined sharply across the nation, but with economic recovery and the growth of computers, people are starting to worry again about a lack of qualified computer science graduates. Remember that freshmen entering this year are looking forward to a job market four years from now.
- Two of the top ten jobs in the Wall Street Journal's list of Best Occupations are in computers.
- The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says jobs in computer and mathematical sciences are expected to grow the fastest among all professional and related occupations in the next decade.
- The computer job market is rebounding after the dot-com bust, but nationwide computer science enrolments are down 60 percent from their peak. Industry is getting worried about a lack of new computer science graduates, even as the first big wave of computer experts hired in the 1960s reaches retirement age.
- The Susquehanna computer science faculty is dedicated to teaching, and we really do like our students. Our offices are on the ground floor of Seibert Hall, and our office doors are open.
- We offer a good variety of undergraduate courses, which can be seen in our catalog or handy chart. By offering a lot of half-semester courses and offering some courses alternate years, we can offer a much wider variety than might be expected from a school our size.
- We offer a Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science, and a Bachelor of Science degree. The B.S. requires an extra math course and extra physics course in addition to the B.A. requirements.
- Besides our regular courses, we also offer special Topics courses. In the spring of 2005, for example, we offered a course in Digital Imaging, based on the personal expertise of one of our faculty.
- We are not an engineering school, so we don't have hardware engineering courses, but our Department of Physics does offer courses in Digital Electronics and Analog Electronics, which many of our majors take.
- The department has a mobile, radio-controlled robot, which is used for class projects in several courses such as Software Engineering.
- We have no large classes. Our freshman-sophomore classes are capped at 30 or 35, and our upper-level classes are mostly capped at 20.
- There are sometimes opportunities for excellent students to participate in faculty research through the university's Summer Partners program, which provides a student stipend for one-on-one summer work with faculty members.
- We provide several standard mathematics and statistics software packages over our campus network, and some others are installed in the math classroom and computer lab.
- There are computer-related campus jobs available for students. The department hires homework graders and lab helpers for courses. The Office of Information Technology hires about 80 students per year for jobs ranging from lab monitoring to high-level software development. Web applications used by the university are written and supported by students. We don't have graduate students here, so undergraduates get jobs that might go to graduate students elsewhere.
- Through a special Microsoft academic program, we are able to supply our students with free Microsoft software, including operating systems such as Windows XP and compilers such as Visual Studio. Students may install the software on their own computers and keep it forever.
- The university’s Sigmund Weis School of Business has a major in information systems, which is the study of the application of computers to business, government and such—like enterprise operations. The computer science and information systems majors have several courses in common, and if you start in one and decide later you want to switch, it is easy to do so.