By Shayna Gail Velasquez, 1st Year MSci Computer Science
Computer science is the perfect bridge between technology and creativity, combining practical and creative thinking – both of which I enjoy – which convinced me to pursue it as a degree in university.
Technology has transformed several aspects of our lives and I want to contribute to the world’s technological evolution. I knew through my interactions with technology from when I was young that I wanted to work in this sector, but through further research, I became aware of the under representation of women and minorities in STEM fields, as a woman of colour myself. To some, discovering this imbalance may deter them from studying computer science, however, I used it as motivation and was determined to contest the stereotypes and prove to myself that I could pursue this field despite the challenges I may face in a predominantly male-dominated sector and even make a positive impact.
Studying computer science allows me to encounter limitless possibilities and equips me with various transferable analytical, interpersonal and problem-solving skills that I can apply throughout my studies, career and life in general. To me, it is more than just programming or developing software as it encompasses a wide range of complex topics from artificial intelligence, machine learning and cyber security – all of which have the potential to change the world, like how technology has the power to help solve global issues from climate change to the global health crises. By taking this degree, I hope to be able to meaningfully contribute to this progress.
Another appealing trait of computer science is its ever-growing demand. Technology is everywhere and having the ability to understand and work with it is becoming increasingly important in many fields ranging from finance to healthcare. It would be useful for protecting many companies from cyber attacks, making employees’ lives easier with updated efficient applications and more. The problem-solving involved also instills awareness of how there will always be solutions, despite how long it takes you to discover them, further proving the importance of creative thinking.
Additionally, unlike other fields, computer science is frequently evolving and due to the field’s constant evolution, staying updated with the latest trends and technologies is a vital aspect of the profession, allowing me to become a lifelong learner, having the opportunity to continuously learn and overcome new challenges by applying my knowledge, which I love.
While programming seems monotonous at the start, to me, it can be considered as an art form, as the ability to create something from scratch with a machine mesmerises me – whether it be a website, game, application or even something incomprehensibly out of this world. There is nothing more satisfying than writing code and having it successfully run.
By choosing to study computer science, I hope to inspire other women and girls who are interested in technology to do the same, fearlessly. It’s important to encourage and support underrepresented groups in tech, as diversity can only foster innovation and creativity, leading to even bigger breakthroughs in the industry. Choosing computer science was simple as the endless possibilities of the field, practicality, creativity, ever-developing nature and the opportunity to promote diversity in the tech industry are some of the reasons I am passionate about pursuing this degree.