Study Computer Science in the USA
Why study computer science?
To be in the business of computers is to be into every business. Almost every business – not just the e-commerce companies – is powered by computers. On top of that, individual identity itself is shaped by networked computers in this age of smartphones and ubiquitous internet; that creates jobs for software developers who don’t serve any corporation. In short, if you can acquire marketable expertise in the field of computer science, and almost all kinds of expertise in this field are highly marketable, you are not going to lack employment opportunities – no matter where you are.
Why study computer science in the USA?
The United States of America is the place where the modern computer – originally with valves in lieu of microchips – was born. The first organization to use computers was the US army and they used it to plan the offensive against Japan. Since then the computer has grown smaller in size and bigger in importance. It’s no wonder that the US universities possess the capacity to teach you more about computers than do institutions in other countries. On top of that, the US economy is always in need of more computer experts. At least so it has been since 2000, primarily because the computerization of business has been far more expansive in the US than in any other country. With so much being done with computers, the US as a nation could not produce internally all the computer experts it needed. That’s why it continues to import computer experts of all types even today. That means you not only get a good education but also get good job offers. Needless to say, the initial salary for a computer guy is much higher there than anywhere else.
SAT or ACT score, IELTS or TOEFL score, and good marks in math in school. You need to secure good marks in physics and chemistry or chemistry and biology if you want to study computational physics or computational chemistry or computational biology though.
Cost of doing the course
Tuition fees vary widely from one university to another. It can be as low as $26,000 a year; it can also be as high as $95,000 a year. The cost of living will exceed $1,000 a month even for a hermit but won’t touch $2,500 unless you turn a hedonist. Over and above that, you have to procure health insurance which is mandatory.
Top universities to study CS in the US
Arguably, the top 10 places to study computer science in the US are MIT, Stanford University, University of California—Berkeley, Harvard University, California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign, University of Washington, and Princeton University. However, there are different lists of top 10 universities to study artificial intelligence, programming or computing theory.
Top CS courses in the US
BS or BSc in computer science, cyber security, game development, web design, animation, software engineering, computer engineering, cloud computing, information technology, computational science, information systems and application development are some of the top undergraduate courses available in US colleges in this field.
Work while you study
International students on F-1 or M-1 visa are allowed to work either on-campus or in specified training programs. They cannot work off-campus in their first academic year. They can work on-campus – in the library, cafeteria, or student center.
They can take up employment off-campus after completing their first academic year – through programs specifically for international students seeking employment such as Optional Practical Training (OPT), Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension, and Curricular Practical Training (CPT).
OPT allows international students to work temporarily up to 12 months. You can complete OPT either before or after completing your studies, but you can’t work for more than 12 months in total either way.
However, international students successful in obtaining a degree in STEM subjects can apply for 24-month extension of their OPT.
Curricular Practical Training allows international students to gain work experience directly related to their major through temporary employment, paid or unpaid internships, or cooperative (co-op) education.
Last but not the least, many schools help international students with finding employment on and off the campus.
They should mention the number of hours allowed per week. I think its 20.
Healthcare benefits for international students
US law requires that each J1 visa holder must have medical benefits of at least $100,000 per accident or illness, repatriation of remains coverage amounting to $25,000, cover for emergency medical evacuation of the student to his or her home country up to $50,000, and a deductible of no more than $500 per accident or illness. The insurance provider must be one of those considered qualified by the US state department.
F1 visa holders need not meet government mandated standards such as those given above (for J1). They have less stringent health insurance requirements, which are not determined by the US government but by the educational institution they are enrolled at.
Internships and placement opportunity
You might even get to intern in the Silicon Valley – at one of the world’s biggest technology companies like Apple or Google.
Postgraduate study opportunity
US universities offer postgraduate courses in computer science in a huge number of specialized fields which include networking, data systems, game development, telecommunications, artificial intelligence, robotics, cryptography, simulation and modeling, and computational physics, chemistry, biology or statistics.
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