Interested in Computer Science?
Learn more about what all you can do with a major in computer science from Texas A&M!
This is the second article in my series: Milestones for computer science enthusiasts. The first post is for freshmen, and it can be found here.
If you’re a sophomore reading this article, you’re probably in your major by now, or are going through the Entry-To-A-Major/transfer process to get into computer science. In my opinion, sophomore year is technically the first year of your college experience, curriculum-wise. This is because now you can actually start taking a lot of the major-specific courses that were previously not accessible to you.
1. Getting a head start
Computer science has many required courses to take, which normally span over sophomore and junior years. In my personal experience, I’ve found that it’s better to finish off as many requirements as soon as possible, because that will allow you to spend more time taking interesting electives of your choice. Sophomore year is when your access to all the CSCE courses is unlocked, and you should utilize this to learn about a variety of topics. Keep your coursework manageable, but try to add more of the required classes so you can quickly get them out of your way.
2. Exploring your options
This is the best time for you to explore the vast field of computer science and try different avenues. Maybe you’re interested in virtual reality, self-driving cars, biotechnology or neural networks. Try to take small steps toward the career you’re interested in by working on personal projects and/or getting involved in research labs.
Now, if you’re anything like me, you might have trouble figuring out what you’re interested in. Worry not! Like I said, this is your time to explore! Try out different things, give them maybe 2-3 weeks of engaging work, and if you don’t feel enthusiastic about the topic, drop it and move on to something else.
3. RECOGNIZING THE POWER OF GOOD MENTORSHIP
Being a sophomore, you have access to so many upperclassmen who have experience with almost everything you will likely encounter any time soon. They’ve taken the same classes as you, they’ve worked in research labs with different professors, they’ve interned at different companies, gone through different interview processes, and they’ve been at Texas A&M longer than you.
I have had so many upperclassmen help me along my journey at Texas A&M, and I will forever be grateful to them for that. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your TAs, or the leaders of any clubs/student organizations that you’re part of, and ask questions. Aggies are always willing to help!
4. FINDING MEANINGFUL WORK EXPERIENCES
5. START DEVELOPING YOUR LEADERSHIP SKILLS
The best way to show to employers you possess the necessary skills is to have some kind of leadership experience.
Whether it’s taking on the project manager role in a class project, being the director of a hackathon or leading workshops for a group of students; do whatever you feel passionate about. Find unique ways to exhibit your leadership skills and don’t hesitate to tell your story!
These are things that helped me in my sophomore year and some lessons I learned along the way. Hopefully, I’ll have more pearls of wisdom to share by the end of this semester. For all the rising juniors out there, stay tuned for the third part of the series!