The offerings of a computer college curriculum largely depend on different factors such as the computer degree (such as 2-year diploma programs, 4-year bachelor's degree or 1 to 2 year graduate certificates) or the program (such as computer programming, software development, informatics and security, database application development and system administration). Different computer universities and computer schools also offer different subject names, topics and subject lengths. However, computer classes generally follow a curriculum that would include these major components:
- Introduction to computer systems. This subject is taken typically during the student's freshman year, in order to acquaint him with what his chosen course entails. Different computer schools and courses may have a different name for this subject, including introduction to data structures, programming fundamentals, introduction to computer programming, etc. During the freshman year, many other basic programming/software subjects would be taken up, again depending on the particular course, in order to lay the foundations for the student to be ready for more specialized courses ahead.
- Programming languages and operating systems. A student would typically have to undergo introduction and application subjects in relevant programming languages such as C or C++ and Java. He would also learn to work with different operating systems such as Linux, Unix and Windows systems, along with how to work with them, through systems and systems plus programming.
- Applications courses. A major part of a computer curriculum would be applications courses, which would train the student to handle more specific demands of the industry. This would include training in interface-based programming; access programming; how to do software or event trace; database systems, management and design; computer networks; etc.
- Theories. A student should be well-acquainted with the theoretical frameworks as well as history behind computer programming.
- Ethics and other related topics. A computer curriculum would include the ethics of working in a computer-related industry, along with the basic business principles and relevant computing laws. Other topics would include human factors in computing, marketing principles, social responsibilities and professional practices within the computer community.
- General courses. Especially in bachelor's programs, a student would be required to take general courses in the liberal arts and humanities to ensure his well-rounded and holistic training. Typically, these courses take the form of a free elective and the student may choose which particular subject to take. In some computer schools, however, these general courses must still be related to the student's course, so he must take a math, science or programming elective.
- Advanced studies. A computer degree will typically require a student to get acquainted with different but related fields such as artificial intelligence, robotics, electronics and numerical methods.
- Thesis or practicum. A school may require a student to undergo practicum or thesis work for him to be exposed to the computer community and to learn to apply the foundations of his computer studies.
There you have it! These are the general components of a computer college curriculum. If you're interested in pursuing a degree in computers, make sure that you inquire at your preferred school about its specific courses and subjects. Good luck!