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[Whitepaper] How to prepare for a top Computer Science Degree in the US

Tips from a former UC-Berkeley Admissions Counselor
With high starting salaries, good job opportunities and projected growth in demand for tech skills, computer science is one of the hottest majors in many countries. In a place like the USA, not only can computer science graduates expect the highest starting salary of any undergraduate major ($66,800 USD/year, or about 38,000 RMB/month!), they can also expect job opportunities in a variety of industries, from finance to healthcare to tech, and will enjoy job stability as IT jobs are projected to grow by 24% in the next decade.
All in all, there are a few compelling reasons why you may want to pursue a degree or skills in technology:

-       Higher pay - starting salary for Computer Science (CS) majors in the USA is at $66,800 USD/year, or about 38,000 RMB/month; in China’s Tier 1 cities it’s starting around 15,000 RMB/month

-       More cross-industry job opportunities - there are currently over 1.4 million unfilled software jobs in the USA, and in China, the digital economy will create over 415 million jobs in the next 15 years[1]

-       More flexibility - with such high demand for developers, employers offer more flexible schedules and perks, and graduates with CS degrees have preferable work visa policies in many countries like the United States and Canada. Beyond this, you also have the power to build your own ideas and get a job in any major city.

The future of education and work

Nowadays, more knowledge of technology will be crucial for students and employees from every academic background. It’s precisely for this reason that the world’s leader in STEM education, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, recently announced the creation of its brand new College of Computing, which opened its doors in September 2019.
“Computing is no longer the domain of the experts alone. It’s everywhere, and it needs to be understood and mastered by almost everyone.”

-- MIT President L. Rafael Reif
MIT is also changing its general education requirements to make sure that all MIT graduates – whether in humanities or sciences – are capable of understanding the fundamentals of computing and programming. “To state the obvious, AI, in particular, is reshaping geopolitics, our economy, our daily lives and the very definition of work. It is rapidly enabling new research in every discipline,” said MIT President L. Rafael Reif in a letter to the MIT community on October 15, 2018.
Whether you’re a tech person, a business person, or a humanities person, having a strong understanding of technology will be crucial in the future.
With such high starting salaries, high job growth and steady demand, it’s no wonder computer science is one of the most promising degrees, both for undergraduate and graduate school. 

However, it remains a mystery to most students on how to best prepare for such a degree at the best schools.
With competition fierce at the best schools, and with very few high schools and universities in China offering suitable hands-on technology classes, some students, parents, and counselors may feel reluctant to apply directly to a computer science major in the West. Even if they do apply, they may have concerns over how to put together their best application.
That’s why we’re putting together this whitepaper: 

“How to prepare for a top computer science degree”. 

The goal of this document is to help demystify the application process and requirements for anyone applying to computer science programs in the West. 

All of this is researched and written by a former Admissions Counselor for UC-Berkeley’s Master of Information and Data Science who is also an alumni admissions interviewer for Yale University.

Click here to download a copy of this whitepaper 

What's contained in this white paper? 

  • What are the variations of degrees in Computer Science?
  • What academic preparation should you have? 
  • What technical skills do you need to succeed in a top tech degree?
  • What technical tools do you need to know?
  • What coding languages should you learn?
  • What resources can I use to prepare?
  • How do you demonstrate your interest and skills? 
  • What kind of projects should you work on?

Best of luck to all you students and young professionals aiming for a top tech program!

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