Books represent gateways to new worlds, allowing us to gain valuable knowledge on virtually any topic. Those interested in exploring computer science books face two challenges. First, just like you can’t build a good house without a proper foundation, you can’t expand your knowledge if you don’t understand basic concepts. Secondly, technology is always evolving, so besides understanding how things work, you need to stay current with the latest trends.
Finding books that help you build a good foundation and follow innovations isn’t easy. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through hundreds of titles to find the good ones. Here, we’ll introduce you to the best BSc Computer Science books that will set you up for success.
Top BSc Computer Science Books
These BSc Computer Science books can “program” your mind and help you absorb knowledge.
Introduction to Computer Science
Many people are eager to learn how to program and immerse themselves in the IT world. But the first step toward that is adopting fundamentals. Before jumping into the IT industry, you need to learn more about computer science and the basic concepts behind it.
Computer Science Illuminated by Nell Dale and John Lewis
This student-friendly book sheds light on computer science. It explores operating systems, hardware, software, and networks from “neutral ground” (without focusing on particular programming languages). Therefore, if you don’t “speak” programming languages just yet, this book will be your best friend.
Intro to Python for Computer Science and Data Science: Learning to Program With AI, Big Data, and the Cloud by Paul Deitel and Harvey Deitel
If you want to be a programming expert, you may need to speak Python, a universal language with a wide array of applications. This book teaches you how to use Python in computer science and offers the perfect balance between theoretical and practical knowledge. It transforms complex information into comprehensive and engaging data.
Data Structures and Algorithms
Finding the best BSc Computer Science book on data structures and algorithms can feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack. We found the needle for you and offer the best options.
Data Structures and Algorithms Made Easy by Narasimha Karumanchi
This book is a winner in the data structures and algorithms game. It’s the perfect option for beginners interested in learning the topic from scratch and building a solid foundation for more advanced levels. It covers basic concepts and moves on to more complex stuff without overwhelming the readers.
Data Structures and Algorithms in Java by Robert Lafore
If you’re familiar with Java and want to start with data structures and algorithms, this book is the gold standard. It will guide you on a journey from basic Arrays and Strings to advanced structures like Hash-Tables and Graphs.
Computer networks are grids through which computing devices “talk to” each other and share data. Here are the books you can use to improve your knowledge and get ahead in your career.
Computer Networks by Andrew S. Tanenbaum
If you want to understand the nitty-gritty behind computer networks, this book is the way to go. Hop on a journey through email, the world wide web, video conferencing, and much more, to understand how the networks work and how to use them to your advantage.
Every chapter follows the same, easy-to-follow structure containing basic principles and real-life examples.
Computer Networking: A Top-Down Approach by James F. Kurose and Keith W. Ross
This beginner-friendly book takes a somewhat unusual approach. It first introduces students to applications and uses them to explain fundamental concepts. That way, students are exposed to the “real world” early on and can understand how networking works with ease.
An operating system for a computer is like oxygen for a human; it can’t live without it. Operating systems are interfaces that support everything computers do. Here are the best books about them.
Operating Systems: Three Easy Pieces by Remzi Arpaci-Dusseau and Andrea Arpaci-Dusseau
How do operating systems work? What are the three basic concepts hiding behind every OS? Find the answers to these questions and learn everything OS-related in this book. While beginner-friendly, this amazing study can be combined with more advanced materials and offer a deeper understanding of modern OSs.
Guide to Operating Systems by Greg Tomsho
This book represents a detailed guide on installing, updating, maintaining, and configuring operating systems and everything related to them. Besides offering general info, the book explores specific OSs and allows you to peek into this world without feeling overwhelmed.
Database systems are like virtual warehouses where you can keep your data secure. They’re the ones we can “thank” for easy information retrieval, browsing, and organization. If you want to learn the ins and outs of database systems, these books can help.
Database Systems: The Complete Book by Hector Garcia-Molina, Jeffrey D. Ullman, and Jennifer Widom
This book is the holy grail for many computer science students. It offers a comprehensive approach and detailed explanations of everything related to database system design, use, and implementation. The book is extensive, but it’s written in an engaging way, so reading through it is a breeze.
Database Systems: Design, Implementation, & Management by Carlos Colonel and Steven Morris
Building your virtual warehouses for storing data may seem impossible. But it can become your reality thanks to this excellent book. It contains clear and comprehensive instructions on building database systems, offers concrete examples, but also focuses on the bigger picture and latest industry trends.
Designing and constructing software is no walk in the park. If you’re interested in this industry, you need to build your skills meticulously. Books that can help you on this exciting (and sometimes frustrating) journey are reviewed below.
Clean Code: A Handbook of Agile Software Craftsmanship by Robert C. Martin
In this book, Robert C. Martin, a software engineering legend, discusses the seemingly insignificant differences between bad and poorly-written codes. He explains which “symptoms” bad codes manifest and how to clean them.
Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction by Steve McConnell
One of the first (and smartest) steps toward building quality code is getting this book. Here, the author summarized everything there is to know about constructing software. Since the book contains both the basics and the more advanced construction practices, everyone finds it useful, both beginners and pros.
Additional Resources for BSc Computer Science Students
BSc Computer Science books aren’t the only spring you should drink water from if you’re thirsty for knowledge on the subject.
Online Platforms and Courses
Online platforms and courses are great resources for those who want to expand their knowledge and learn how to cash it in. The internet is overflowing with great courses focusing on various aspects of computer science. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Open Institute of Technology (OPIT) – The institute offers a comprehensive online BSc in Computer Science. Throughout the program, students get acquainted with everything computer science-related. After completing their studies, they’ll be able to land high-paying jobs.
- Udemy and Coursera – Although not “official” institutes and universities, these platforms deserve a seat at the table. Both Udemy and Coursera offer quality computer science courses held by some of the most respected names in the industry.
Coding Practice Websites
You’ve read books, attended courses, and feel like you know everything there is to know about the theoretical part. But is there a way to put this theory into practice and see whether your codes work? The answer is yes! Practice makes perfect, and coding practice websites will become your best friends and help you conquer programming.
- Coderbyte – Solve real-life coding issues and drive your skills to perfection. With over a dozen available programming languages, you can try out as many ideas as you’d like.
- HackerRank – HackerRank is home to hundreds of coding challenges. Plus, it has leaderboards, so you can see how you compare to other coders. It’s also home to useful tutorials, and since the website is popular, you may even be able to land your dream job.
Computer Science Forums and Communities
Is there a better place for like-minded people to meet and discuss the topics they’re passionate about? Computer science forums and communities should be an important stop on your way to becoming an expert on the subject.
Tips for Success in BSc Computer Science
Success doesn’t happen overnight (at least for most people). If computer science is your true passion, here’s how to master it:
- Focus on the basics to create a good foundation.
- Put your thinking cap on and practice problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
- Participate in group projects and collaborations (teamwork makes the dream work).
- Keep up with the latest industry trends.
- Gain valuable hands-on experience through internships.
Acquire Computer Science Knowledge Effectively
Although books don’t offer practical knowledge, they can be invaluable allies in setting a great theoretical foundation. By carefully choosing the best books and putting effort into developing your skills, you’ll become a pro in a jiff.
Soon, we will be launching four new Degrees for AY24-25 at OPIT – Open Institute of Technology
I want to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the Product Definition process that has shaped these upcoming programs.
🚀 Phase 1: Discovery (Late May – End of July)
Our journey began with intensive brainstorming sessions with OPIT’s Academic Board (Francesco Profumo, Lorenzo Livi, Alexiei Dingli, Andrea Pescino, Rosario Maccarrone) . We also conducted 50+ interviews with tech and digital entrepreneurs (both from startups and established firms), academics and students. Finally, we deep-dived into the “Future of Jobs 2023” report by the World Economic Forum and other valuable research.
🔍 Phase 2: Selection – Crafting Our Roadmap (July – August)
Our focus? Introducing new degrees addressing critical workforce shortages and upskilling/reskilling needs for the next 5-10 years, promising significant societal impact and a broad market reach.
Our decision? To channel our energies on full BScs and MScs, and steer away from shorter courses or corporate-focused offerings. This aligns perfectly with our core mission.
💡 Focus Areas Unveiled!
We’re thrilled to concentrate on pivotal fields like:
- Advanced AI
- Digital Business
- Metaverse & Gaming
- Cloud Computing (less “glamorous”, but market demand is undeniable).
🎓 Phase 3: Definition – Shaping the Degrees (August – November)
With an expert in each of the above fields, and with the strong collaboration of our Academic Director, Prof. Lorenzo Livi , we embarked on a rigorous “drill-down process”. Our goal? To meld modern theoretical knowledge with cutting-edge competencies and skills. This phase included interviewing over 60+ top academics, industry professionals, and students and get valuable, program-specific, insights from our Marketing department.
🌟 Phase 4: Accreditation and Launch – The Final Stretch
We’re currently in the accreditation process, gearing up for the launch. The focus is now shifting towards marketing, working closely with Greta Maiocchi and her Marketing and Admissions team. Together, we’re translating our new academic offering into a compelling value proposition for the market.
Stay tuned for more updates!
Far from being a temporary educational measure that came into its own during the pandemic, online education is providing students from all over the world with new ways to learn. That’s proven by statistics from Oxford Learning College, which point out that over 100 million students are now enrolled in some form of online course.
The demand for these types of courses clearly exists.
In fact, the same organization indicates that educational facilities that introduce online learning see a 42% increase in income – on average – suggesting that the demand is there.
Enter the Open Institute of Technology (OPIT).
Delivering three online courses – a Bachelor’s degree in computer science and two Master’s degrees – with more to come, OPIT is positioning itself as a leader in the online education space. But why is that? After all, many institutions are making the jump to e-learning, so what separates OPIT from the pack?
Here, you’ll discover the answers as you delve into the five reasons why you should trust OPIT for your online education.
Reason 1 – A Practical Approach
OPIT focuses on computer science education – a field in which theory often dominates the educational landscape. The organization’s Rector, Professor Francesco Profumo, makes this clear in a press release from June 2023. He points to a misalignment between what educators are teaching computer science students and what the labor market actually needs from those students as a key problem.
“The starting point is the awareness of the misalignment,” he says when talking about how OPIT structures its online courses. “That so-called mismatch is generated by too much theory and too little practical approach.” In other words, students in many classes spend far too much time learning the “hows” and “whys” behind computerized systems without actually getting their hands dirty with real work that gives them practical experience in using those systems.
OPIT takes a different approach.
It has developed a didactic approach that focuses far more on the practical element than other courses. That approach is delivered through a combination of classroom sessions – such as live lessons and masterclasses – and practical work offered through quizzes and exercises that mimic real-world situations.
An OPIT student doesn’t simply learn how computers work. They put their skills into practice through direct programming and application, equipping them with skills that are extremely attractive to major employers in the tech field and beyond.
Reason 2 – Flexibility Combined With Support
Flexibility in how you study is one of the main benefits of any online course.
You control when you learn and how you do it, creating an environment that’s beneficial to your education rather than being forced into a classroom setting with which you may not feel comfortable. This is hardly new ground. Any online educational platform can claim that it offers “flexibility” simply because it provides courses via the web.
Where OPIT differs is that it combines that flexibility with unparalleled support bolstered by the experiences of teachers employed from all over the world. The founder and director of OPIT, Riccardo Ocleppo, sheds more light on this difference in approach when he says, “We believe that education, even if it takes place physically at a distance, must guarantee closeness on all other aspects.” That closeness starts with the support offered to students throughout their entire study period.
Tutors are accessible to students at all times. Plus, every participant benefits from weekly professor interactions, ensuring they aren’t left feeling stuck on an educational “island” and have to rely solely on themselves for their education. OPIT further counters the potential isolation that comes with online learning with a Student Support team to guide students through any difficulties they may have with their courses.
In this focus on support, OPIT showcases one of its main differences from other online platforms.
You don’t simply receive course material before being told to “get on with it.” You have the flexibility to learn at your own pace while also having a support structure that serves as a foundation for that learning.
Reason 3 – OPIT Can Adapt to Change Quickly
The field of computer science is constantly evolving.
In the 2020s alone, we’ve seen the rise of generative AI – spurred on by the explosive success of services like ChatGPT – and how those new technologies have changed the way that people use computers.
Riccardo Ocleppo has seen the impact that these constant evolutions have had on students. Before founding OPIT, he was an entrepreneur who received first-hand experience of the fact that many traditional educational institutions struggle to adapt to change.
“Traditional educational institutions are very slow to adapt to this wave of new technologies and trends within the educational sector,” he says. He points to computer science as a particular issue, highlighting the example of a board in Italy of which he is a member. That board – packed with some of the country’s most prestigious tech universities – spent three years eventually deciding to add just two modules on new and emerging technologies to their study programs.
That left Ocleppo feeling frustrated.
When he founded OPIT, he did so intending to make it an adaptable institution in which courses were informed by what the industry needs. Every member of its faculty is not only a superb teacher but also somebody with experience working in industry. Speaking of industry, OPIT collaborates with major companies in the tech field to ensure its courses deliver the skills that those organizations expect from new candidates.
This confronts frustration on both sides. For companies, an OPIT graduate is one for which they don’t need to bridge a “skill gap” between what they’ve learned and what the company needs. For you, as a student, it means that you’re developing skills that make you a more desirable prospect once you have your degree.
Reason 4 – OPIT Delivers Tier One Education
Despite their popularity, online courses can still carry a stigma of not being “legitimate” in the face of more traditional degrees. Ocleppo is acutely aware of this fact, which is why he’s quick to point out that OPIT always aims to deliver a Tier One education in the computer science field.
“That means putting together the best professors who create superb learning material, all brought together with a teaching methodology that leverages the advancements made in online teaching,” he says.
OPIT’s degrees are all accredited by the European Union to support this approach, ensuring they carry as much weight as any other European degree. It’s accredited by both the European Qualification Framework (EQF) and the Malta Qualification Framework (MQF), with all of its courses having full legal value throughout Europe.
It’s also here where we see OPIT’s approach to practicality come into play via its course structuring.
Take its Bachelor’s degree in computer science as an example.
Yes, that course starts with a focus on theoretical and foundational knowledge. Building a computer and understanding how the device processes instructions is vital information from a programming perspective. But once those foundations are in place, OPIT delivers on its promises of covering the most current topics in the field.
Machine learning, cloud computing, data science, artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity – all valuable to employers – are taught at the undergraduate level. Students benefit from a broader approach to computer science than most institutions are capable of, rather than bogging them down in theory that serves little practical purpose.
Reason 5 – The Learning Experience
Let’s wrap up by honing in on what it’s actually like for students to learn with OPIT.
After all, as Ocleppo points out, one of the main challenges with online education is that students rarely have defined checkpoints to follow. They can start feeling lost in the process, confronted with a metaphorical ocean of information they need to learn, all in service of one big exam at the end.
Alternatively, some students may feel the temptation to not work through the materials thoroughly, focusing instead on passing a final exam. The result is that those students may pass, but they do so without a full grasp of what they’ve learned – a nightmare for employers who already have skill gaps to handle.
OPIT confronts both challenges by focusing on a continuous learning methodology. Assessments – primarily practical – take place throughout the course, serving as much-needed checkpoints for evaluating progress. When combined with the previously mentioned support that OPIT offers, this approach has led to courses that are created from scratch in service of the student’s actual needs.
Choose OPIT for Your Computer Science Education
At OPIT, the focus lies as much on helping students to achieve their dream careers as it does on teaching them. All courses are built collaboratively. With a dedicated faculty combined with major industry players, such as Google and Microsoft, it delivers materials that bridge the skill gap seen in the computer science field today.
There’s also more to come.
Beyond the three degrees OPIT offers, the institution plans to add more. Game development, data science, and cloud computing, to name a few, will receive dedicated degrees in the coming months, accentuating OPIT’s dedication to adapting to the continuous evolution of the computer science industry. Discover OPIT today – your journey into computing starts with the best online education institution available.