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Part of Western Governors University

October 22, 2021

Information Technology

How Much Math Does Computer Science Require?

Computer science is an exciting field for anyone looking to turn their love of computers into a career. It involves a deep understanding of computers and their applications, as well as the design of devices that calculate.

Because nearly every industry utilizes computer systems, earning an online IT degree can prepare you for a range of computer science careers in some of the top companies in the world. In a program such as WGU’s, you’ll learn how integrating math, problem solving, engineering, and critical thinking to a plethora of functions, including robotics, algorithm formulation, software and hardware development, and artificial intelligence will help you succeed.

If you’re interested in pursuing this career path, math is one of the primary skills in the catalog that you’ll need to succeed. This article will give you a better understanding of what kinds of math computer scientists should know and will provide tips for how to master your math courses.

What Kind of Math is Used in Computer Science?

Computer science is a broad field, so if you’re looking to get your computer science degree, the kind of math you’ll need to know will depend on your specific program and career path. But generally speaking, most degree programs require a basic understanding of calculus, algebra, discrete mathematics, and statistics. These courses are important in helping you understand programming languages, data structures, and more.

Why Does Computer Science Require So Much Math?

Computer scientists have to be fluent in the language of computers, and that language is math. Success in this field requires critical thought, abstract reasoning, and logic—all of which are mathematical ways of thinking.

Understanding the facts and figures of math are also essential for any kind of computer science job. For example, to build a self-driving car, a computer programmer must be able to use mathematical equations to program turns, acceleration, emergency braking, etc.

For all these reasons, most jobs related to computer science require an in-depth knowledge of math, which you can acquire in advanced math courses offered as part of your major requirements.

Tips for Mastering Math Courses

There’s no way around it: math can be hard. The good news is you don’t have to be a math whiz to master your courses—you just have to be willing to put in the work and ask for help when you need it. Here are some tips to help you get through your courses:

Utilize Study Helps

If you’re in a computer science degree program like WGU’s, you can use a multitude of resources and study helps to help you in your major requirements such as:

  • E-textbooks
  • Library services
  • Web-based tutorials
  • Simulations
  • Online classes
  • Learning communities

These resources are approved and available to students directly or through WGU’s affiliations with third-party education providers.

Ask for Help from Faculty

First things first: Don’t be afraid to ask for the support you need. If you’re struggling in a math course, reach out to your mentor or instructor as soon as possible. At WGU, every incoming student is assigned a Program Mentor, a faculty member who has experience in the field you’re studying and who can give one-on-one guidance throughout your studies. If you need help in your math courses, they can help you make the best of your learning resources.

Form a Study Group

Study groups can be a great support system to help you through your math courses. Plus, research shows students who study in groups can retain more information as opposed to what they hear in class or read on their own. WGU offers cohort communication options through learning communities. These cohorts help break down the learning, and each day of the cohort, your mentor will check in with you and provide additional learning aids. You’ll also be able to participate in live sessions where you can go through material with fellow students and Program Mentors.

If you’re interested in the exciting world of computer science, know that math will be a big part of your day-to-day role. A degree in IT from WGU can equip you with the skills needed to join this fast-growing career field.

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