How to Answer "Why Did You Study Computer Science?" (With Sample Answers)

flat art illustration of computer science student

Why do employers ask "Why did you study computer science?"

Employers often ask this question during job interviews to get a better understanding of your motivations and interests. By understanding why a candidate chose to study computer science, an employer can gain insight into their values, strengths, and career goals. Additionally, the answer to this question can provide the employer with information about the candidate's knowledge and expertise in the field of computer science.

How to answer "Why did you study computer science?"

When answering this question, it's important to be honest and specific. Avoid vague or generic answers such as "I like technology" or "I wanted a stable career." Instead, focus on your personal reasons for studying computer science, such as a passion for problem-solving or a desire to work on cutting-edge technologies. You can also talk about specific experiences or classes that helped shape your decision to study computer science, such as a school project or internship. Additionally, you can discuss how your studies have prepared you for a career in the field, such as by gaining technical skills or learning how to work in teams.

How to prepare for this question

To prepare for this question, it's a good idea to think about your reasons for studying computer science before the interview. Take some time to reflect on your experiences and interests in the field, and consider how they align with the job you're applying for. You can also research the company and the position to get a better understanding of their needs and expectations. This will help you tailor your answer to the specific job and show the employer how your studies have prepared you for the role.

Common mistakes interviewees make when answering this question

One common mistake that interviewees make when answering this question is giving a vague or generic answer. Avoid saying things like "I like technology" or "I wanted a stable career." These answers don't provide the employer with any specific information about your motivations or interests. Additionally, they can make it seem like you haven't thought carefully about why you chose to study computer science.

Another mistake to avoid is giving an answer that is too focused on your personal interests and not enough on the employer's needs. For example, saying "I love playing video games, so I decided to study computer science" may not be as effective as an answer that emphasizes how your studies have prepared you for the job and how you can contribute to the company. It's important to strike a balance between sharing your personal motivations and showing how your studies align with the employer's needs.

Four sample answers and why they are good or bad

  1. "I studied computer science because I'm interested in technology and wanted a career that would be challenging and rewarding."
    This answer is not as effective as it could be because it is vague and generic. It doesn't provide any specific information about the candidate's motivations or interests, and it doesn't show how their studies have prepared them for the job.

  2. "I studied computer science because I have a passion for problem-solving and enjoy working on complex technical challenges. I also wanted to work in a field that is constantly evolving and offers opportunities for growth and learning."
    This answer is a better response because it provides specific reasons for the candidate's interest in computer science. It also shows that they have thought carefully about their motivations and how their studies have prepared them for a career in the field.

  3. "I studied computer science because I want to work on developing new technologies that can help make the world a better place. I'm especially interested in using my skills to work on projects related to renewable energy or healthcare."
    This answer is a good response because it shows the candidate's personal values and interests. It also demonstrates their knowledge and expertise in specific areas of computer science.

  4. "I studied computer science because I wanted to learn how to build and design software applications. I've always been interested in creating things and I saw computer science as a way to turn that passion into a career. I also wanted to work in a field that is in high demand and offers a good salary."
    This answer is not as effective because it focuses too much on the candidate's personal interests and not enough on the employer's needs.

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