Computer Science in College

In December 2009, the National Science Foundation (NSF) held the Computer Science Education Week, designated by the US House of Representatives “..in recognition of the transformative role of computing and necessity of rigorous computer science education at all levels.”The said event emphasized on the need to include more computer science courses for secondary level students, citing the foreseen demand for information technologists in the next several years; and that, while several of the employment opportunities will not require full degrees, “..all of them require a solid background in computer science.” (NSF, 2009).
Advancement in the computing science field will most definitely be heightened by seeking higher and continuing education. In fact, the popularity of computer science, along with other related programs, saw an increase in the last year throughout several colleges (Markoff, 2009); making it one of the most sought-after college majors in the US. Generally defined, this field of study involves the examination of computing theories and their applications. Computer science majors delve into how computers operate, various programming languages, algorithms, operating systems, understanding the internet, website development, information systems, and many others.Basic requirements for a computer science degree include at least 120 credit hours worth of various courses which include applied mathematics, natural and physical sciences, humanities, social science, and technical writing.

Computer science students are prepared to be experts in the application of mathematical and computing principles in developing and implementing computer-based systems and software as well as conduct effective research on computing and other affiliated disciplines. The Association for Computing Machinery indicates several career options for computer science graduates, a few of which are:* Software design and implementation
* Computer technology application
* Management of IT infrastructures for organizationsOther career options include network administration, website and web graphics design and development, and computing research. The average salaries for computer science and computer engineering graduates, ranked among the top-earning degrees in the country, are both pegged at USD 61,000 (Pepitone, 2009). Combining a computer science degree with other fields of study such as biology, engineering, psychology, forensics, journalism, advertising, business administration, and several other courses should make way for even more lucrative careers.Attending any college will surely require huge costs and going for a Computer Science degree is no exception. There are, however, financial aid options available. The amount of scholarships and grants vary with each college and are awarded to qualified students. Application for federal student aid begins with accomplishing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form which is available online.

A number of top corporations also offer undergraduate scholarships as well as future employment opportunities in their respective fields. For those seeking acceptance into graduate schools, rendering hours as research or teaching assistants may help supplement tuition costs. In recognizing the statistical decline of women in the field of computer science, the committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) also lists fellowships for women who wish to further their computer science education .

Definition of Forensic Science

Forensics is a field of science dedicated to the methodical gathering and analysis of evidence to establish facts that can be presented in a legal proceeding. Though crime scenes and laboratories are perhaps, most often associated with forensics, there is also computer or network forensics, forensic accounting, forensic engineering and forensic psychiatry, among other specialized fields that are today an integral part of forensics. In the United States of America, forensics was a fairly obscure topic for the general public until the double-murder trial of Orenthal James Simpson in 1995. In the historic case that gripped the entire nation, weeks of testimony were heard on DNA blood evidence, shoeprint evidence, fiber evidence and other forensics. Since then, a bevy of forensics-based television shows have regularly topped the ratings, making it a household word.

Those who collect forensic evidence must follow strict procedures to protect the evidence from getting contaminated or destroyed, and must preserve the chain of custody. Since science is unbiased and sound, forensics is considered a very critical part of any investigation. While witnesses may often be mistaken, have credibility issues, hold a stake in the outcome, have fading memories, or even pass away, forensics “tells the same story” no matter how many times it is tested, or how many years have passed. The field of forensics is so vast that it requires specialists or criminalists at every point of investigation, from tire track analysis, to odontology, to the lands and grooves that make every gun barrel unique. From microscopic evidence and transfer evidence such as fibers and hair, to blood splatter and forensic entomology, there are many fields of specialization within forensic science.

Though forensics deals with circumstantial evidence, it is often widely considered as the best and the most compelling evidence that any prosecution or defense lawyer can have in his or her arsenal. Some people suggest that the public’s awareness of forensic science might be potentially compromising to law enforcement, producing educated criminals who might be more apt to try and effect a clean crime scene. Experts generally tend to believe that it is nearly impossible to avoid leaving behind trace evidence at a crime scene, even when extraordinary efforts are made to the contrary.