Students think: "In this minor, I've got to do it all by myself — and they're wrong."
The value of a computer science minor
You can choose any career field, and a computer science minor will help you stand out.
Why? Because a computer science minor isn’t simply about coding, databases, hardware and software.
It’s about problem-solving.
It’s about knowing how to find the best tool for the job — or, sometimes, how to create it.
It’s about being cross-disciplinary. You can be the person who understands how to incorporate technology into any career that interests you: physician, music producer, sociologist, designer, language specialist, choreographer, geneticist, or anything else you can imagine.
Employers want the cross-disciplinary, analytical skills that you can gain from studying computer science or data science. Consider just a handful of the hundreds of opportunities you can unlock with a computer science minor (source: Glassdoor):
The best thing about these fields is that you don’t have to wait until mid-career to earn a strong salary. Our own UIC computer science graduates report right-out-of-college salaries that average $70,000 to $80,000.
As a CS minor, what will I actually learn?
Think of the computer you use most often. Do you really know how it does what it does?
Through your computer science minor, you’ll come to understand the basic building blocks of what computers do and how they handle information.
- You’ll learn how to solve problems in the real world by translating them into a way that can be represented in a computer.
- You’ll learn some programming languages that you can use to get computers to perform important tasks for you.
- You’ll learn how to use common programs like spreadsheet software in a much more advanced way — as tools that you can adapt and manipulate to get things done in school or at work.
Most importantly, you’ll build confidence! You will be familiar enough with computers to experiment with new approaches to common problems. You’ll have concrete experience in creating tech solutions for your UIC classes, and you’ll be able to bring those skills to your future employer.
Give me an example.
One of our UIC students got a job doing animal behavior observations in Australia. His role? To count and record koala bear movements. He was able to use his UIC computer science skills to create an app that would allow him to record the data easily and accurately on his phone.
After doing this project, he found that when he was at a party and people were talking about tech, he was able to be a part of the conversation.
With a computer science minor, you can join the conversation, too.
Computer science is a team effort.
Lots of people have a mental image of computer scientists as non-social, quiet people who are always glued to their computer screen.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
Learning computer science at UIC means cooperation. Puzzling it out together. Working as a unit to get through the hard parts. One of our UIC computer science professors recently said, “I have yet to find a discipline in computer science right now that doesn’t require collaboration.”
If you like sitting down with a fun group of people, each of whom brings a little piece of the solution to crack open a big problem, this could be the perfect minor for you.
Break Through Tech Chicago can help you to formally “apply” for the computer science minor (which makes it an official part of your academic program). We also provide a strong community that will support you as you choose and take your five required courses.
Ready to make a CS minor part of your UIC education? Fill out the “Minor/concentration form” (for College of Engineering students) or the “Minor request form” (for students in other UIC colleges) on the College of Engineering resources page to get started!
Interested but need more information first? We encourage you to read the FAQ linked below. After you’ve read the FAQ, email us at email@example.com with any further questions — or just to get in touch.