In the last thirty years, computing has made transformative strides and, with it, so has society. The advancements in engineering, social networking, and household technology have all been caused by advancements in computing.
Safe to say, computing is no longer an abstruse field meant for few. In an age where technology dominates society, computing skills are more important than ever. Computing relates to so many areas – engineering, science research, economics, etc. – and has tremendous potential. However, in order for society to keep making leaps forward, today’s students will have to step forward as tomorrow’s statisticians, engineers, and computer scientists. Computing skills are invaluable and can take one anywhere, but they cannot be acquired or embraced suddenly. In order for students to prepare themselves for the future world of computing, they must focus now by seizing opportunities and stretching their limits.
For students, opportunities start with their classes. Not all students have the same opportunities made available to them by their schools, but maximizing those opportunities that are available to them is what counts. That means pushing oneself in math and science classes – including computer science (if offered). Computer science is often treated differently from more traditional sciences, but it is one of the most potent fields today. Additional opportunities in computing lie outside the classroom. Some good computer programming competitions include the American Computer Science League and USA Computing Olympiad. A good site for practice is Project Euler. Through these programs, one can improve algorithmic programming skills greatly.
It is important to note that opportunities grow exponentially. Delving into computing by doing things such as those listed above will expand your horizons immensely and open a new scope of possibilities for you. Just a few years ago, my knowledge in computing was limited to Algebra II and basic programming. Since then, the opportunities I have taken advantage of have transformed me into an active programmer and advocate for increased emphasis on computing.
From the time of the Aristotelian elements and the four humors to the mass production of smartphones and the discovery of the Higgs boson, computing has remained a vital element in the world. But, now that computing has taken off, let us be that vehicle which continues to drive it forward.