computer science

computer science

Learning Computer Code is Becoming Essential for Business Success

According to The New York Times, most foreign languages go in and out of fashion, but one language that is going to become increasingly valuable to know is computer code.

OK, so it’s not a spoken language, but learning to “speak” computer code is a great skill to have. The number of night classes and online classes that teach this language has been growing quickly as more and more people want to learn how to design websites, as well as iPhone apps. It also has many real-life applications for future employees, such as allowing you to customize a blog for your company, a skill which employers might find very appealing.

“Inasmuch as you need to know how to read English, you need to have some understanding of the code that builds the web,” said Sarah Henry, an investment manager. “It is fundamental to the way the world is organized and the way people think about things these days.”

Some colleges are also getting on board and offering classes that cater to this new field of interest. Stanford University offers two computer science classes that are free and offered online. So far, more than 100,000 people have tried out the classes.

Another way that you can learn computer coding is through Codeacademy, a new company that offers interactive lessons to help people learn how to write code. More than 1,000,000 people – including the mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg – have signed up for the program since it started last summer.

Why the sudden interest in this field? I think that Peter Harsha, the director of government affairs at the Computing Research Association, said it best:

“To be successful in the modern world, regardless of your occupation, requires a fluency in computers. It is more than knowing how to use Word or Excel but how to use a computer to solve problems.”

What’s Your Bachelor’s Degree Worth?

degree worthYou probably thought that earning a bachelor’s degree meant making more money. But with the current challenging job market, recent graduates aren’t receiving the starting salaries that they probably expected.

But there’s still hope on the horizon. Although starting salaries had been on a downhill slope, they are starting to stabilize.

2010 graduates’ average starting salary is $48,288, according to a survey organized by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, also known as NACE. While that’s 0.7 percent down from last year’s average starting salary, Marilyn Mackes, NACE executive director, said that the decline appears to be leveling off. Read the rest of this entry »

How Gaming Can Improve Education

how-gaming-can-improve-educationEducators often struggle with the problem of how to better integrate real-world skills into a textbook-bound, often theoretical curriculum. Reports suggest that the biggest hurdle to changing the system is that the alternatives are so difficult to implement. With the spread of computer-equipped classrooms, could social gaming provide a means of teaching real-world problem solving skills? Mashable reports.

In New York City, Quest2Learn has integrated a range of new technologies into its curriculum. Sixth graders learn geography from Google Earth, share their ideas through an internal social networking platform, and give presentations via podcast. The school promotes gaming as a rule-based learning system that allows students to solve problems, devise strategies and receive constant feedback. Quest2Learn emphasizes that its courses are not in any way made up of commercial video games, but are rather based on theories of game-play. Read the rest of this entry »

Five Highest Paying Bachelor’s Degrees

graduation cap and diplomaIn today’s competitive job market, no one can argue the necessity of having your bachelor’s degree. But the question is: in which field should you get that degree to get the biggest paycheck?

Engineering and math-related jobs seem to offer the highest salaries, particularly with the demand for these jobs increasing faster than the number of graduates. If you’re hoping for a job that will “show you the money,” you may want to consider these top-earning degrees from the Payscale College Salary Report:

Environmental Engineering

Engineering degrees count for seven of the top ten on Payscale’s list of best undergrad degrees for top salary. Engineers use their analytical and scientific knowledge to develop products and solve problems. Read the rest of this entry »

Linux Use Illegal at Boston College

A student was targeted by police at Boston College… for using Linux? A warrant for search was issued after student Mr. Calixte sent an email stating that another student was gay. Reports say he was targeted because he uses Linux. The computer science major is employed by the Boston College IT department (has since been suspended), and the warrant application states that he is called a “master of his trade among his peers.” From Calixte police seized his computers, flash drives, digital camera, iPod, cell phone, and an Ubunto Linux CD among other things.

Here are a few interesting excerpts from the warrant application:


Mr. Calixte's arrest warrant. (via Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Read the rest of this entry »


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