Computer Science/Computer Engineering majors

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by Liberty Belle, May 2, 2013.

  1. Liberty Belle

    Liberty Belle <font color=green>I was going to reply, but I see

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    My son (a freshman) is thinking of declaring his major in computer science or computer engineering. He previously was considering Political Science, but, I think, wants a more practical degree.

    Is there anything you can tell me about it? He's always been decent/good in math (mostly A's, some B's), but not a math genius. Will that be an issue?

    TIA!
     
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  3. Nette

    Nette DIS Veteran

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    Well all programs are different, but in mine, I was required to take 3 semesters of upper level math and 1 semester of upper level statistics. I ended up taking Calc 1,2,3 and some stat course that I don't remember. But I've always been good at math and like it.

    Really Comp Sci is more about logic and algorithms than computational math. Your son might want to take an intro programming class before he declares that major. Most Comp Sci degrees are based in computer software engineering.
     
  4. Liberty Belle

    Liberty Belle <font color=green>I was going to reply, but I see

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    Thank you, I'll talk to him about that. I think he is leaning more towards computer science than computer engineering.
     
  5. EMAW_KSU

    EMAW_KSU DIS Veteran

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    What college math has he taken? Calc 2 was a weed out course here.
     
  6. Liberty Belle

    Liberty Belle <font color=green>I was going to reply, but I see

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    I'm embarrassed to say that I don't know. I *think* Calculus (1).
     
  7. Geoff_M

    Geoff_M DIS Veteran, DVC Member, "Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

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    As someone with a BS in CS and 25+ years work experience, here's some things to consider. If your child is thinking about going for a "computer" related career, I'd recommend they look at from the system's design or project management angle instead of hoping to become a programmer. IT jobs have changed a lot since 2000. Planning, requirements gathering & design, and project management are still largely done in-house, but more and more companies are outsourcing (often overseas) actual code development. I'm not saying that one cannot get work as a developer today, but a kid that can demonstrate that they can work with a customer to determine what type of application will meet their needs, can offer suggestions to the customer, can effectively document the user requirements and translate them into good design specifications will have more job opportunities than one that can list a number of computer languages that they know and say they're good at creating databases and writing queries.

    In addition, unless your child wants to work within the computer industry itself, I'd have them also look at (if they have one) the business school for a program in Informatics, or Business Information Systems.
     
  8. StitchesGr8Fan

    StitchesGr8Fan DIS Veteran

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    I second this as someone who started towards a CS degree, switched to business, and now have a career that merges both skill sets. Geoff's post is spot on.
     
  9. tar heel

    tar heel <font color=royalblue>Where will we get our news i

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    I think the degree requirements will vary, depending on whether computer science is in engineering or arts and sciences at his school. My son's program was in the engineering school, which worked out well for him because he initially was majoring in mechanical engineering. The first-year classes were very hard, but I can't tell you how many math classes. He had credit for two calculus classes and one stat from AP. I know he had to take another stat and several math, but some of them may have been because he was originally an engineering major.
     
  10. Nette

    Nette DIS Veteran

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    I'm not sure I agree with the PPs that most software engineering is going overseas. Here in Austin, there is a shortage of good programmers. My company (and many others) are still hiring developers.
     
  11. rwdavis2

    rwdavis2 DIS Veteran

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    Agreed. Being able to specify what a system is to do is key. I have 33 years in the field and we are doing more work into software that writes large portions of the application software making for less actual coding. But , considering how badly Disney does web software there may be plenty of work there for any competent person. :banana:
     
  12. AustinTink

    AustinTink DIS Veteran

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    You must not work for Dell. ;)

    But, yes, it is true Austin is still a hotspot for programmers. My husband is looking to hire quite a few right now.
     
  13. Cavy

    Cavy Earning My Ears

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    My DH is a CS major. He had to do three semesters of Calc and all sorts of other math classes (differential equations, linear algebra, etc). He had enough math to do a math minor. Then, when he graduated in 2007, could NOT find a job :scared1: . We did not want to move at the time, but he would have done better in a different area.

    BUT

    Now he has a good job, not in programming, where they utilize his programming skills (and that he probably got because of those skills). Guess they looked better than my liberal arts degree after all :thumbsup2
     
  14. Nette

    Nette DIS Veteran

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    No I don't work in Hel... I mean Dell. ;)
     
  15. joanne312

    joanne312 DIS Veteran

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    This is all very, very accurate. DH has a CS degree and he does very little, if any, coding at all. He needs to understand it, obviously, but the majority of his days are spent in scrum meetings, sprint planning meetings, etc. Its all on the business side of things. Most, if not all, coding is done off shore. DH is very happy in his career, but I don't think this is what he envisioned when he originally chose to be a CS major 15 years ago.
     
  16. Geoff_M

    Geoff_M DIS Veteran, DVC Member, "Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

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    I never said "most"... When I first started my career I worked as part of a corporate MIS department that was filled with programmers that wrote and maintained the vast array of custom written applications my company used. Over time, the trend within corporate IT shops is to shift to COTS (customized off-the-shelf) applications and trim the numbers of in-house programmer/developers. Just four years ago in my IT department we had about six developers... today we have two. The bulk of what development/support work we need done is farmed out to a firm in Russia. My last major project was coded mostly in India on a fixed-bid basis. However, almost all of the business analysis, requirements gathering, application design, and such is still done in-house by employee resources. This is the primary "growth" area for IT jobs. Add to that if you get formal training in project management.

    Now, if you're working for a company that is producing applications as a product to market and support, then yes, they will need a good deal of development resources. And yes, programmer jobs in the US certainly still do exist... particularly if you want to work as a contract worker. But the heyday of CS degree holders being in strong demand as programmers has long passed.

    To drive that point home, here's a recently published report from the Economic Policy Institute that found the demand for "STEM" (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) workers peaked in 2000 and we are now graduating far more young adults with STEM degrees than we have openings for. In particular:
     
  17. FlightlessDuck

    FlightlessDuck Pluto's personal nose scratcher

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    My program required one advanced math class and one math/cryptography class.

    The amount of math a computer science major will use day-to-day depends on the specifics of the studies as well as his/her actual job. From a software development perspective, you mostly need to be able to think logically.

    My company is also having a hard time finding qualified programmers here in the states. Most jobs have NOT gone overseas. In fact, my company used to use programmers in India and it just wasn't working out for us.
     
  18. Katy Belle

    Katy Belle DIS Veteran

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    Subscribing. DS17 is heading to college in the Fall. Seriously considering Computer Science as a Major. I will have him read this!
     
  19. rwdavis2

    rwdavis2 DIS Veteran

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    Don't let anything we say discourage him too much. It's still a pretty good field to get into.
     
  20. Katy Belle

    Katy Belle DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! Its just hard to figure out what direction he should go. This will at least make him think about the other possibilities.
     
  21. Sadie22

    Sadie22 DIS Veteran

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    A young man I know who was recently seeking employment as a software engineer found many opportunities throughout the region. People skills and being able to work directly with customers seems to be very important, as someone else stated.
     

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