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Computer Science Major

edited December 2006 in Everything Else
This question goes out to Scott, Rym, and possibly anyone who knows about the many tribulations of college. Although the college application process is going fairly smoothly for me, I still need some guidance as to what I need to do in order to have the best college experience I could possibly receive. I am currently looking at getting a Computer Science major, but I am not sure what to do or what will happen to me once I get it. I'm fairly skilled in the art of CS, and I truly enjoy the work that comes with it.

Still, will it get me a job? Will I be able to find work after college? Will I be able to enjoy my life after I graduate? This is a very sensitive time in my life, and I am worried that I may end up homeless if I pursue the possibly fruitless major that I truly want to be in.

Damn, I just revealed my age to you guys. Take of it what you will. Please do not discredit my opinions due to my age.


  • Don't really worry about finding work after college. That depends a lot more on you as a person than what your major is. I know plenty of people with the exact same degree that I have who are working shit jobs or not at all. I know plenty of people with the same degree who are much more well off than I am. I know people with no college education who are mega rich. If you end up homeless it will not be because you selected a useless major.

    If you're sure that you really want to go to college you just have to pick the major that you will enjoy doing. If you know what you like, it isn't hard to select the major that matches. Computer Science is about creating software by writing code. If that's what you want to do, do it. The only thing you have to worry about is picking Computer Science when you really wanted Computer Engineering or Information Technology.
  • Ah, that's reassuring. Going to college is not a question, and I definitely have the grades to go to most of the better colleges. Regardless, if I pick the wrong major, it may end up killing me...figuratively. What are the major differences between Computer Engineering and Computer Science? Is there a high demand in Computer Science jobs?
  • Ah, that's reassuring. Going to college is not a question, and I definitely have the grades to go to most of the better colleges. Regardless, if I pick the wrong major, it may end up killing me...figuratively. What are the major differences between Computer Engineering and Computer Science? Is there a high demand in Computer Science jobs?
    Don't feel like that once you pick your major your first year, you are locked into that major. Many, if not all, will allow you to switch majors your first two years without having to spend an extra semester making up classes. Take electives your first year to get a feel for what each one is, and then feel as if you made the right decision. Colleges also have undeclared majors if you don't feel like making a decision yet. CE deals more with the hardware side of computer development while CS deals with the software side.
  • Changing majors really depends on the school. Most schools claim that they have great programs allowing freshmen to be undeclared and figure out what major they want to be in as they go along. Most schools claim that you can switch majors if you are unhappy. If the school says it, it is technically true, but it doesn't mean it is something you want to do.

    For example, I know a lot of people who went to state school. State schools tend to be very lenient with major changing. Not sure what you want to do? Terrific. RIT is the opposite. Yes, you can change majors at RIT, but that means you have to apply for a different program. You can't just switch willy nilly. If they accept you to the school for one major, they might not accept you into a different program. Also, changing majors usually flushes some existing credits, which you already paid for, down the hole. If you change majors at a school like RIT, you can expect to spend another year on average to get your degree. So much depends on the school.

    Here are the types of jobs different majors will train you for.

    Computer Science - The guy who writes the code that makes everything else work. Everything from the software in your iPod to Firefox.
    Software Engineering - The guy who writes specifications and documentation for software projects.
    Information Technology - Network designer, database administrator, system administrator, etc.
    Microelectronic Engineering - The guys in the white suits in the clean room making chips at IBM/Intel/Nvidia/AMD
    Computer Engineering - The guy who designs the video card that has the Nvidia chip on it.
    Electronic Engineering - The guy who designs the schematic and layout of the circuits in your iPod, mobile phone, DVD player.
  • I'll take Compputer Science, thank you. With the coding skills that I would gain from that major, I'm sure I'd be able to make some cool programs for personal use. I'm also considering going to RIT, since it's supposedly a very good Computer Science school. Any college recommendations? If grades aren't an issue, then what Universities do you guys recommend?
  • Snipe - I have no college degree yet I am able to support my wife and daughter, own our two cars outright and pay on a small mortgage. Oh Yeah, I also live in CT!

    It's all about having mad skillz!

    That piece of paper may get you interviewed but it will not get you a job... Unless you are the owner's kid!
  • I should point out that sometimes we EEs have to actually do the programming for the microcontroller or FPGA in the devices we make.
  • edited December 2006
    I considered Electrical Engineering before. My current high-school is The Science Academy of South Texas, which, in conjunction with RIT's Lead the Way program, provides courses that expose us to all sorts of engineering practices. We even have courses like Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Digital Electronics, and that stuff. Still, after all that exposure, I didn't really enjoy Electrical Engineering too much. Maybe I just didn't get to the meat of the content.

    And Steve, mad props to your success. It's commendable that you're capable of holding together a family under those circumstances. Unfortunately for me, though, I will surely be disowned from my family if I DON'T go to college. The same goes for religious practices. I can't blatantly show that I'm an atheist in my family or else I would get disowned by my very religious community.
    Post edited by VentureJ on
  • I don't know what is up with this disowning business. I've heard lots of people say that their parents would seriously disown them if they did this or that. I can't believe that a parent who would disown their own child, under any circumstance, truly loves that child. Well, maybe if the kid turned into a crazy serial killer, but that's about it. I need someone to convince me that a parent who would disown their kid for choosing not to go to college, or changing religions, loves their kid. It makes no sense to me. I need an explanation.
  • Well "disowning" was probably a gross exaggeration, but it is probably the best way to describe the situation in a single word. To be more specific, my parents would lose all respect for me and would be completely embarassed of being around me around family-friends. I live in a mostly Asian community that holds education and religion higher than anything else. To them, who cares if you're not social. Who cares if you're not a very good person? Who cares if you're a complete asshole? If you have good grades, every mistake is justified. My parents even said so themselves. If I don't go to college and get a job, they may "love" me, but they won't necessarily acknowledge my existence.

    BUT, this isn't a parental discussion. This is a college discussion.
  • BUT, this isn't a parental discussion. This is a college discussion.
    But here's a parenting discussion!
  • YAY! somebody knows about Project Lead the Way! I am studying to teach technology; specifically I want to teach in a project Lead the Way school.

    Anyway, I went Clarkson University for a while for Computer Engineering and knew many CS and Software Engineering students, they seemed to find pretty good jobs. Carnegie Mellon University is also a great CS school.
  • Carnegie Mellon University? Hmm...that's interesting. Do you know any good CS Universities in Texas?
  • Unfortunately I am from NY so I am most familiar with schools in the north east.
  • Cramit, where in NY are you from? I went to high school in Malone, about 40 minutes from Potsdam.
  • I live right near Albany. I am very familiar with Malone and the Taco Bell/KFC there-in.
  • Ah, the absolute best that little shit-hole town has to offer. See now why I moved to suburban Ohio?
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