When people think of an average computer science student, it’s difficult to get away from the classic stereotype. You know the one. A fairly quiet young guy, digitally savvy yet socially awkward, who prefers the company of online role-playing games and instant noodles to nights out and fine dining.
We’ve become so used to pigeonholing the ‘computer geek’ – an image reinforced by popular films and TV shows like IT Crowd – that we tend to overlook the reality. The fact is that computer science is no longer a niche subject these days and has become more and more popular in the last five years – whether for good or bad.
According to a major UK study by Voucherbox, a degree in computer science also offers far better value for money compared with the average arts degree. Voucherbox found that a Computer Science student pays as little as £20.50 per hour of teaching time, compared to a whopping £29.50 per hour for the average Arts student. No wonder more and more students are choosing to enrol in the subject every year. It’s also enough to make us rethink our image of the traditional geek.
Spend less on education. Perhaps earn more upon graduation. Great deal or what?
Do Geeks Even Exist Anymore?
For sure! You’re probably thinking, “Why is this question even being asked?” – and you’re right.
To quote Simon Pegg: “Being a geek is all about being honest about what you enjoy and not being afraid to demonstrate that affection. It means never having to play it cool about how much you like something. It’s basically a license to proudly emote on a somewhat childish level rather than behave like a supposed adult. Being a geek is extremely liberating.”
Being a geek is all about what you are passionate about – computers, videogames and comic books, books, movies…whatever. Sure, things have changed, with many topics becoming mainstream, but it’s all about the scope and depth of one’s interest. Everyone loves a good TV show, but a geek knows the ins and outs of the story arcs – and the stories behind those arcs.
So Do We Still Have “Real” Computer Geeks?
Stereotype aside – or no, let’s embrace part of that stereotype – go to your IT department. You might not find Moss’s twin, but I bet you’ll find someone with similar traits. Looks don’t even need to be taken into consideration – instead, how about an obsession for hardware and software?
Heck, take a look at yourself and your friends. Always waiting for the latest graphic cards? You might have something going for you there…
So yeah, the computer geek stereotype may still exist, but who the heck cares?