There are so many electives to choose from in high school. Each of them could lead to a student finding their passion and can prepare them for the future. If your child is interested in computer science, here are the best electives for them to take in high school.
The best electives to take in high school for computer science are mathematics, sciences, and classes that involve working and designing things on computers. These types of electives help students explore the various uses of technology to prepare them for their future studies.
Below, we’ll go into detail about specific electives and how they prepare you to study computer science. We’ll also look into other electives that you can still take if your school does not offer some electives that are based on computer science.
Technology, Science, Computer Electives
There are a lot of electives you can take that are related to computer science and technology. However, depending on where you live, your school may not offer all of these electives. If you attend a very small school, it may not offer a computer lab or more advanced classes. You can get a good foundation for a study of computer science in a variety of ways though, so look for any classes like the ones we’ll talk about below.
It is likely your high school may offer some sort of computer class. This may include computer science, computer programming, typing, programming languages, or computer repair. These classes are the perfect electives to take in preparation to study computer science. They will teach you most of the basics you need to succeed. Some of these may not even be official classes, but after-school programs instead. Make time in your schedule to take part in these after-school activities and gather as much knowledge as you can.
Your school may not have specific computer science electives, but they may have other technology classes. These classes will help you become familiar with operating a computer, working with various software, and may even teach you a bit of coding. At the very least, they will teach you some basics of technology that you will be able to apply to future classes you may take related to computer science.
The electives you can take or look for that are technology-related include information technology, audio production, video game development, web programming, word processing, electronics, and robotics.
Design classes are going to teach you the basic design principles that you’ll use in your computer science studies. These types of classes will focus on layouts of websites and apps, how to create these layouts, RGB and CMYK, and how to use various software for design. You may find classes listed as animation, app development, graphic design, or web design.
These classes are very applicable to your computer science education. Most of the topics or programs covered in these types of classes will carry on to your computer science studies.
There aren’t many science electives that are related to computer science. Most of the science classes that are related to computer science we already talked about above. It is important to do well in your science classes overall.
Even though the information being taught may not be directly connected to computer science (dissecting frogs, the study of atoms, chemical reactions), a lot of what you’ll learn in those classes can still apply to this field. The scientific method and various scientific practices will prepare you for the scientific aspect of computer science.
You’ll also get in the mindset for studying how things work and why, which is what you’ll be focusing on (just in a more technological sense and not biologically). Problem-solving and a curious mind are important to the field of computer studies!
Mathematics is going to be a part of your education in high school and will continue to be a part of your computer science education. Learn to enjoy math or at least find some useful applications to appreciate while doing math. Take time to understand the basic math classes you are taking such as algebra and geometry.
These fundamental classes will help prepare you for the more complicated math classes you’ll take in the future. If your school offers pre-calculus or calculus, take those as well. Look into the after-school activities your school may offer that relate to math. Likely, they won’t have any math electives, so look for any opportunity to broaden your mathematical knowledge.
Other electives that get you in the mindset for working with technology, but aren’t directly related to computer science:
- Film production
- Music Production
- Media Technology
- 3-D art
- Digital Media
- Desktop Publishing
- Production Technology
- Auto Body Repair
- Auto Mechanics
- Building and Constructrion
- Heating and Cooling Systems
- Metal Working
If your school only offers one or two electives relating to computer science, or none at all, it’s okay. Taking some of the classes we listed above still gives you that hands-on experience and puts you in the mindset of creating and working with technology. Some of the fundamentals and concepts will be fairly similar.
If you never take or took these classes, don’t worry. The point of a college major is to prepare you to become an expert in that field. They will teach you everything you need to know, and you won’t be behind if you didn’t take any electives for computer science. Taking these electives may prepare you a bit more or give you a little head start, making the beginner classes easier.
You can also reach out to teachers that teach technology, science, and mathematics classes to see if any of them have studied computer science or something similar. You can talk to them about starting an after-school club to see if others are interested in the same subject. You could also talk to them about creating a computer science class. Most teachers will be excited to share their knowledge of computer science and will help you find a way to learn.