What is "Computer science" major?

Discussion in 'General Off-Topic Chat' started by phoood, Mar 6, 2007.

Mar 6, 2007
  1. phoood
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    Member phoood taking it to a whole new level.

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    I have no idea what my future is going to be like. I don't even have any significant goals set for myself, besides the fact I'm going to some college (I haven't even thought about WHICH ONE). So I hope that if I seriously think about it, I'll come up with something.

    I don't want to be a nurse ( [​IMG] ) so I was looking through the SAT handbook and came across a list of majors. There were many computer related ones, but from what I've seen, almost every person who goes into computers is majoring in "Computer science".

    So what is Computer science?
    What do you do in there?
    What do you learn?
    What kinds of jobs go hand-in-hand with Computer science, jobs that require it?
    Do they expect me to be knowledgeable before I take that class, or any class for that matter?

    For the people taking any computer classes in college,
    Do you enjoy what you're doing?
    -DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO AFTER COLLEGE? ( I must know )
    Do your parents support your decision?

    For the people who are working and have a degree in Computer science,
    What are you doing right now? (Your current job/career)
    What are your plans for future jobs?
    Are you happy with your decisions?

    If you have anything else to say, please do. I'm a junior high school student if you must know.

    This is the closest thing I have ever came to seriously thinking about my future. I have lots of doubt and questions, so I hope gbatemp's amazing community will help me out.
     
  2. phoood
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    Member phoood taking it to a whole new level.

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    And yes, I love computers.
     
  3. Veho

    Global Moderator Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    I'm studying at the Electrotechnics and Computer science college (Robotics and Process Automation [​IMG] ).

    If it's the same discipline there as it is here (and I don't see why not), computer science deals with everything vaguely computery, from programming and software development to telecommunications network design and administration to hardware and microchip design, depending on what courses you take. With a degree in computer sciences, you are a high-level IT professional, not the kind that has to service boxes and stretch wires, but the kind that gets a job in software development or system administration for a truckload of money. If you're inclined towards computers, go for it.


    EDIT: Yeah, lots of maths.
     
  4. tama_mog

    Member tama_mog Kupo

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    1) Computer Science....short way to put it is understanding abstraction and problem solving by thinking differently than conventional methods/solutions. You'd probably start by understanding some basic algorithms that's textbook in hopes of applying these skills in future programming endeavors and perhaps even you coming up with smarter methods. Aim for the gold, solve a NP problem in polynomial time.

    2) Mostly programming is what you do, afterall, you have to learn how to communicate with a computer and write applications/code before progressing onto problem solving.

    3) Pending on which specific aspect of computer science, you could learn anything from operating systems, basic assembly, functional languages like C or LISP, or higher level languages (more common) like Java or C++. You'd have to have some command of stronger mathematics/logic skills than conventional majors as well to proceed.

    4) Programming jobs, afterwards maybe moving up and becoming supervisors and advisors....then maybe ultimately coming up with the next big gad and start your own company.

    5) I don't know about other classes, pre-reqs for my first CS class @ Cal was knowing how to write a recursive program in any lanuage (cobalt, lisp, C++, Java, whatever).

    6) Nowadays programmers are a dime a dozen, so unless it's your passion to program and understand different programming paradigms....I do not suggest this if you're in it for the $$. You'd be better off learning to be a businessman/entrepreneur. It's not for people that likes using computers, it's 2 different things to like running applications in windows vs programming/coding....the people that make this mistake suffer in CS and most end up dropping out.

    7) I have a degree in applied mathematics and computer science, I'm in sales/high level management under a manufacturing company....totally unrelated.

    8) Future plans, nowhere near goign back to coding, had enough internships to know it's not for me to live my life in a cubicle coding for the rest of my life making change.

    9) Very Happy.

    It's good that you're a junior and are thinking about life after high school, you're probably already way ahead of the game compared to your classmates. Just take a look around all other majors before you make any solid choices....and the 1st 2 years of college even for people are for experimenting so don't feel like you're locked down. The worst thing you can do for yourself is to pursue a major you hate and end up hating your career for the rest of your life. Do what you love, not what others want.
     
  5. thegame07

    Member thegame07 GBAtemp Psycho!

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    thats the way to think and you will enjoy your life [​IMG]
     
  6. DEF-

    Member DEF- GBAtemp Regular

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    I've also studied computer science, but I took a special path compared to most people. Here in my local college we had a path towards computer networking, which I took. This was not something that I knew much about before I took it. But afterwards i'm very happy with my choice. I know most that is needed to be know about computer networking, and there pretty many jobs for me out there now, atleast in Sweden. Also my direction saved me from most advance math/programming courses, which I really hate.

    Very happy with my choice.
     
  7. rest0re

    Member rest0re GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    computer science is about programming, its not about playing funny games on computer or installing windows vista [​IMG]
    its all about math/theory/coding ... very interesting stuff, but hard, i heard. never studied it.
     
  8. tyasawa

    Member tyasawa GBAtemp Regular

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    :/ hum im doing computer science.. in my uni, CS is like the general one.. but then will be divided into several major like information system, software engineering, multimedia, networking etc. Im taking information system btw...

    before i answers your questions, i want u to know.. Im not that knowledgeable on this.. XD

    So what is Computer science? studying the computers.. algorithms, networking, programming... and stuff.. not that much on the hardware though... [​IMG] im bad at giving description..
    What do you do in there? Thousands of programming assignments.. deadline = no sleep (hum its because im a last minute person).
    What do you learn? hum.. since im only interested in web developmenet, database and programming.. that's what i learn.
    What kinds of jobs go hand-in-hand with Computer science, jobs that require it? Ok.. a lot of job u will be able to chose.. 'o' too lazy to type...
    Do they expect me to be knowledgeable before I take that class, or any class for that matter?
    I dont think so, they'll teach u from the basic. But a little bit of knowledge will help. I know nothing when i entered uni.. the only thing i was strugling with is programming.. but couple of exercise fixed that.

    For the people taking any computer classes in college,
    Do you enjoy what you're doing? yups
    -DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO AFTER COLLEGE? ( I must know ) getting residence and working here doing IT projects..
    Do your parents support your decision? YES.. [​IMG] they dont want me to take architecture..

    For the people who are working and have a degree in Computer science,
    What are you doing right now? (Your current job/career) cannot work full time here.. dont have residence yet.. so im studying masters and sometimes doing projects.
    What are your plans for future jobs? couple of years doing jobs on sofware / web development then =D being a housewife.. just making website thingy at home (and get paid for that hopefully) while waiting for my husband to go home.. heheh half kidding
    Are you happy with your decisions? YUP.. i didnt know it would be this challeging.. =D

    for me.. studying bussiness is far harder that computer science.. [​IMG].. so be sure about what you like. All fields required hard work.. but it will be fun if u doing what u are interested in no matter how hard it is.. (try to convince myself)
     
  9. Westside

    Member Westside Sogdiana

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    One thing I must warn you of. Unless you go to an outstanding University, it is rather difficult to get a job. My father got a Bachelors Honours at some normal University. He ended up as a truck driver instead.

    I also regret sometimes, as the mathematics get rather difficult.
     
  10. R-Unit 4

    Member R-Unit 4 GBAtemp Regular

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    I wanted to but my parents destroywed that dream so now I want to be a vet or lawyer...As for you question, computer science is where you learn about the coding of c++...if you want to learn hardware then you should learn Computer...whatsamomoi?
     
  11. phoood
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    Member phoood taking it to a whole new level.

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    Thank you all.
    I'm seriously thinking about this and I think I like it.

    In Soviet Russia, Computer science major you [​IMG].
     
  12. Psyfira

    Member Psyfira Credit: 0ml. Insert tea to continue

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    Computer Science is a very general all-rounder degree. They'll teach you a bit of lots of different things. It's up to you to get well versed enough in any of them to be employable by the end of it. If you know which aspects of computing you want to go into already then I'd suggest taking a more specialised course, or going for something like "Computer Science with Multimedia Systems" as a degree title.

    What do you learn?
    More software than hardware. A combination of math-based theory, programming, and software design theory. They cover a little bit of theory on hardware architecture but not much. (knowing how to build a computer won't come up at all)

    Here's what my course covered: Mathematics (discrete, set theory, probability), Programming (Java as a main language, sometimes a bit of C++), basics of using UNIX, Scripting languages (Perl, Javascript), software design, data structures, networks, AI, and some more specialist stuff in the final year (3D Graphics (openGL), some web backend programming and internet theory)

    What kinds of jobs go hand-in-hand with Computer science, jobs that require it?
    Programming, either for investment banks or software houses, consultancy, stuff like that. Just browse a job board to get an idea. A lot of employers put "needs a 2.1 degree" in their vacancies just to narrow down the applicants. It's just words on a piece of paper, they prefer people who've had practice and have actually got evidence of projects on their own time too. In fact, it's very difficult to get an IT job without doing work experience placements during the summer your course.

    Do they expect me to be knowledgeable before I take that class, or any class for that matter?
    Depends on the university. Southampton were really good, they had an optional first year module on really basic things to bring people up to speed, and the Java programming labs split into 2 ability streams; one for people who were struggling and needed more help and one for people looking for a challenge. The best part was that they didn't monitor which one you were in, so there was no embarassment admitting you were in the lower set or showing off for being in the higher one, you just did what you needed to do. It was great [​IMG]

    DID YOU KNOW WHAT YOU WERE GOING TO DO AFTER COLLEGE?
    No I didn't. [​IMG]

    Do your parents support your decision?
    They did. And this is the age when you really should stop caring what they think and just do what will make you happy, I know it's hard to suddenly start thinking like that (hell I'm 23 and I still haven't got the hang of it) but it's the truth. It's your life, you're the one spending three years learning this stuff [​IMG]

    For the people who are working and have a degree in Computer science,
    What are you doing right now? (Your current job/career)

    Looking for work. Without work experience I've found it difficult to get employers to even consider me. And I didn't specialise enough during my course to have the right combination of skills to meet most vacancy requirements.

    What are your plans for future jobs?
    I really want to go into web programming (probably backend, moving through to design). I didn't consider it on graduation because I didn't know enough of the right languages, but going for what I do know (J2SE) didn't get me far so I'm now teaching myself some extra web technologies. I really hope it works out [​IMG]

    Are you happy with your decisions?
    I made the right decision at the time to do Computer Science. I didn't know what field I wanted to go into and it was a good all rounder. If I was going to uni right now I'd go for a web-based computing course instead (graphics, flash, web development). However, I really regret not doing placement work experience, or lining up a job before leaving university.

    If you have anything else to say, please do.
    It really is worth it. The course is fun, it's nice to do something you want to for a change. And living away from home with new friends is an invaluble life experience, it makes moving out of your parent's house easier and it's a hilarious way to learn how to cook (and have a giggle at everyone else's trial-and-error disasters as well [​IMG] )

    Just something to bear in mind; going to university does not mean an instant good job. Half of the grads I know are either unemployed or temping / doing minimum wage stuff. Those who did placements durning their course got decent graduate jobs.
     
  13. Mchart

    Member Mchart GBAtemp Fan

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    College these days is such bullshit. It used to be that going to college was a big deal, and that you would be able to immediatly get a very well paying job. Now its hard to even find a job at all, and you still need more education. Which means more money wasted for education, and yet you dont even have a job yet.

    I went to college, majored in history, minor in CS. I then discovered that I wouldn't be able to get any jobs worth shit without more education. I joined the military, and now i'm raking in the money doing an easy ass job.

    DO NOT go into college thinking that is it! If you want to be able to live comfortably on your own, you will need way more then a college education. College education these days is worth about as much as a high school education was worth mid 70's and before.
     
  14. Veho

    Global Moderator Veho The man who cried "Ni".

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    Wow, judging by your descriptions and comments, the Computer science college program you have over there is crap [​IMG]
     

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