Programming the Future: Imagine Yourself in Computer Science | UNCF

Programming the Future: Imagine Yourself in Computer Science

From sophisticated medical technology to the latest video games, computer science has a hand in nearly every industry today. While black and white undergraduate students pursue degrees in computer science and math at similar rates, only a fraction of black students complete their degrees and go on to a career as computer scientists compared to their white peers. Diversity matters in every field, even those that seem less interpersonal in nature. When more of us are represented, more solutions are made available to a wider swath of Americans.

Group shot of students working on laptops

Why Should You be a Computer Scientist?

If you’re both a logical and creative thinker and you’re great at communicating your ideas to others, you’re already equipped with skills that will help you excel in the field. Practical know-how is especially crucial here as you progress towards your degree: analytical skills, problem-solving skills and technical skills such as programming or coding are must-haves. 

In a field that evolves so quickly, it also helps to be someone who wants to be a lifelong learner. For you, keeping up with the latest innovations isn’t a chore; instead, it keeps life interesting! Being an innovator in one of the most rapidly-changing industries certainly has its perks. For the foreseeable future, your skills will continue to be in high demand.


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Preparing for Success

As early as high school, you can start setting the foundation for job-specific skills you’ll develop later on. Take as many advanced math and science courses as you can. If your high school has a robotics team, get involved—it’s a great way to get hands-on experience. Of course, take computer science classes if your school offers them. If not, check out your local community college to see if it offers a course you can take over the summer. This way, you’ll not only get a head start on the skills you’ll be required to develop in college, but you may also be able to earn credits that can transfer to your college transcript. Once you’re looking at colleges, make sure to research schools with computer science majors to see if they have up-to-date technology in their classrooms. This way, you can hit the ground running with your degree in-hand at a workplace that keeps up with the industry’s rapid progression.

5 female Huston Tillotson University students

Huston-Tillotson University

UNCF Schools to Check Out

At Huston-Tillotson University, you don’t have to wait to graduate to get involved in the computer science community. Located in Austin, TX, one of the country’s most dynamic technology centers, Huston-Tillotson has partnered with tech giants such as IBM, Dell, Inc., Apple, Samsung, Google and others. With so many large employers in the area, Austin is a great place to land a job right out of college in computer science. Xavier University of Louisiana offers three undergraduate degrees in computer science: computer science, computer information systems, and computer science with a dual-degree in computer engineering to allow you to fine-tune your studies to your specific area of interest. Shaw University offers a bachelor of science in computer science designed to prepare students for graduate study or technical careers in software development, computational science, networking, science and electronic commerce. Their Innovation Lab funded by the National Science Foundation offers students hands-on access to the latest technology used in workplaces today.

shaw univ innovation lab robots

Shaw University

Scholarships and Opportunities

By choosing a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) degree, you open yourself to a wealth of opportunities tailor-made to your specific area of study. Both The Fund II Foundation UNCF STEM Scholars Program and the Proctor & Gamble STEM Scholarship offer high-achieving students pursuing a degree in STEM with support to jump-start their path to success. Computer science is among the eligible majors for the William Wrigley Foundation Scholarship, which is to be disbursed November 2019. The Dell Scholars program is open to students pursuing a variety of majors, and provides flexible funding to support you on your way to graduation.

Of course, there are far more opportunities available than those we’ve listed above. Contacting an expert can help you zero in on the options that are best suited to you. Submit a major interest form on our website, and we’ll be in touch to help you decide on options for your educational path. And, to receive updates on the latest news about our schools and scholarships on a rolling basis, follow us on UNCF social media. Pursuing a degree in computer science is a great way to set yourself for a dynamic, fast-paced and exciting career ahead. This is just the beginning!

Tagged as: Huston-Tillotson University Shaw University Xavier University of Louisiana Feature Article Career Ideas HBCUs Member HBCUs STEM Scholars