FAQs for Prospective Computer Science Students
What is Computer Science?
Computer Science deals with all aspects of information technology. It is not just about programming, but also deals with the analysis of problems and the structuring of information. It goes from the scientific exploration of fundamental questions to the development of cross-discipline solutions.
Computer Science is a key technology of the 21st century. As an interface between humans and a computers between business and society it provides hundreds of attractive job perspectives.
What do Computer Scientists do?
The job profile of computer scientists is multifaceted. It goes from software development to hardware design, from consulting and management to education and research. Many of our students launch their own startup company. Graduates from JKU work in key positions in business and research, many of them also made a successful career abroad. JKU and its Computer Science department are know for their practical orientations and have an excellent reputation both in Austria and abroad.
A survey found out that 44% of our graduates work in software development, 19% in industry, 13% in research, 6% in banking and general services, and 5% in education.
What is the typical salary?
In 2002 the average gross salary for Computer Science graduates was 3150 Euro per month. 13% of our graduates earned more than 4300 Euro. The initial salary after graduation depends on the commitment, the focus of study and the negotiation skills. Usually it is between 2300 and 3000 Euro per month.
What are the career prospects?
The career opportunities for computer scientists are excellent. The demand for well-trained IT experts vastly overtakes the supply. Most computer science graduates are already offered a job before they finish their study and can select among various job offers.
Are the courses in English or in German?
The majority of the courses in the bachelor study are in German, although there is a growing number of courses in English. The master studies in Pervasive Computing and Bioinformatics are completely in English, the other master studies are partially in English.
How long does it take to study Computer Science?
The Computer Science studies at JKU consist of a 6 semester bachelor study and a 4 semester master study. After 10 semesters students get the degree of a "Dipl.-Ing." (equivalent to a Master of Science). About 36% of our students finish their study within 10 semesters, some even manage to finish it faster. The median duration is 12.8 semesters, but one has to take into account that many students are working part-time and therefore need a bit longer than full-time students.
What are the requirements for a Computer Science study?
In order to study Computer Science you don't need to be already proficient in programming, operating systems or hardware management. This will all be covered during your study. Much more important is that you are good in formal thinking and enjoy problem solving. Creativity is also an important aspect, because computer scientists are engineers, and engineers create novel hardware and software systems.
Of course, more and more students already learned about IT in school. These students will find the first courses easier than others, but also students who never got into touch with computing before manage to pass the courses, and the differences in previous knowledge are soon compensated.
Is Computer Science a mass study?
Every year about 100 students enrol for Computer Science at JKU. In total there are about 1200 Computer Science students in Linz. Compared to other studies, Computer Science is far from being a mass study. There are no crowded lecture halls as well as no problems in getting a place in a lab or in a practical. Higher semester students are often individually supervised by professors and participate in the research projects of the institutes.
Is Computer Science for women?
The traditional gender role model is responsible for the fact that women still make up for only about 15% of all Computer Science students -- this is completely unjustified. Female students often get better marks than their male colleagues; more and more women have an excellent career in computing.
Can Computer Science be combined with other areas?
Of couse! In order to learn also about economy, for example, one does not have to study business informatics. 10% of all courses in Computer Science can be freely selected from other studies at JKU, e.g. from mechatronics, business, law, or foreign languages.
Where can I get further information?
General information for prospective students can be found here. The JKU department of Computer Science is also represented at all career information fairs in Austria. For example, every September there is such a fair at JKU (SIM), but there are also similar fairs (BeSt) in Vienna, Salzburg or Wels. These fairs can be used to talk to professors and students in order to get detailed information.
Special information for first years students can also be found here. For pupils who want to peek into Computer Science we offer special workshops as well as the opportunity to test JKU for one day.
If you have specific questions you can also contact the head of the curriculum committee:
Prof. Dr. Hanspeter Mössenböck
Tel.: +43 (732) 2468-4340