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Windows 7: Computer Sciences.. Help Choosing My Major?

17 May 2009   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64 / Ubuntu 9.10
 
 
Computer Sciences.. Help Choosing My Major?

I'm currently deciding on a major to pursue in college...Narrowed it down to computer sciences (not that that's at ALL a narrow field). I'm what you would call a computer noob, but I'm very interested and I make good grades in the AICE program (accelerated learning) across the board; So I like to think I have the capacity to learn. I just don't know where to start with the vast knowledge computers require. I'm leaning towards the 'software track' but I wonder if that's a wise move? I want to be someone who, in say 10 or so years, can test the latest OS beta from Microsoft and be able to write tutorials and understand individual components of the Windows registry. Someone who can actually play a role in helping shape the computer community for the positive. Most importantly though, I want something that would lead to a stable job with substantial income. I know I'm asking a lot, and some of you may laugh at me, but every other question I've ever asked here was answered thoroughly so I figured I'd ask this one here as well...

My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2009   #2

Vista Ult64, Win7600
 
 

Hi, ask on this link and see what it tells you you should do.

Wolfram|Alpha
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2009   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64 / Ubuntu 9.10
 
 

Haha! Wolfram Alpha is pretty insane. Kudos to the man who built it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


18 May 2009   #4

 

TBH: I am going back to school majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science so that I can pursue graduate work in Computational Finance (aka Financial Engineering). I have worked in IT since before they were calling it IT, and realized that stable income for me all by myself and stable income to raise a family on comfortably are two entirely different concepts.

As to what you want to do, well, here is the deal - Comp Science, at least here in the states, is a lot more programming and a lot less IT type stuff - being able to learn quickly doesn't mean *squat* as much as being able to reason out a problem - writing code is problem solving, and debugging code is Uber problem solving. You have to have a good knack for it - I know *many* intelligent people with good learning skills that simply cannot handle programming b/c it is way too tedious for them - and by that I mean that it requires a lot of patience and time to write and debug code.

I also know many people that are not necessarily dumb, but are not anywhere near a level called *highly* intelligent that are programmers - they know code inside, out, and backward, and they *love* fixing things, solving problems, and the like.

You can learn as easily as you want to (and I know, I have a 150+ IQ and can easily learn most things without any effort) and not like programming - for the most part, I really don't care for it, except that it is now going to be my bread and butter, in that M$ is developing a language specifically for calculations (and geared more toward financial computations) called F# (pronounced F-sharp). I hope that one day soon that little language that is 100% .Net compliant will be my ticket to writing my own ticket.

As for making a decision, we'd need a bit more info - are you just starting school, have you ever taken any programming classes (HTML does not count), etc....

Also, what are your future goals (other than the ones that you have already listed)?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2009   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64 / Ubuntu 9.10
 
 

Well, I'm only a junior in high school. No programming classes.. Self taught HTML but you said that doesn't count. As far as IT vs. programming, I have virtually no experience with either so I guess I can try one and if it's not panning out, do the other... Johngalt I see you and people like Brink all over the place on this site seemingly always knowing the solutions to problems. How do you learn those skills? You say you're going back to school. What was your major originally?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2009   #6

 

Wow, a lot of questions - from a High Schooler, no less. but that is a good thing, trust me....

As for knowing things, I cannot speak for others, but for me it's because I have a good head for remembering things technology related, and most of the things I learned I learned b/c i broke something and had to figure out how to fix it. As for other skills, like communication, reasoning, etc., well, I cannot say I really learned them so much as enhanced and honed them in my formative years - I love logic problems, always have, and I am the first person to sit down and try to figure out what is wrong with something - but programming takes a special bit of patience b/c while there are definitely many ways to do it, it is sometimes hard to say one way is better than another way, and thus you can get pretty lost in the shuffle trying to figure out why someone did something, and spend hours trying to fix it - only to see, later on down the line, *why* that someone did that something hat particular way. Sometimes the answers that we seek are not the most obvious ones....

As for my major originally....

well, I started out as Electrical Engineering, then switched to Biology Major and Chem minor to pursue pre-med. I then dropped that idea when I started making decent money (in the eyes of a 22 year old) doing IT work, and then dropped out altogether for about 10 years, then went back to school for an honest to goodness IT degree. I again dropped out b/c I was making more money and had less time than I needed to, and now after having another 7 year stint in IT I have decided that all the certifications in the world will still not get me to a place that a simple Bachelor's + Master's + Ph. D. will.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2009   #7

Windows 7 Professional x64 / Ubuntu 9.10
 
 

Ah I see. And yes, only a high schooler...sorry if I annoy. I figure I'll find something I'm suited for within my first year of college and then stick with it the whole way through; Especially since you say that certifications are meaningless in comparison to bachelor's, masters, and PhD... Well, you actually helped me out. Thank you very much johngalt
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2009   #8

 

On the contrary - asking questions is a good thing.

And I should be more specific - certifications are meaningless to me - some people swear by them and it is their bread and butter - it is up to you to decide.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2009   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Mint 9
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Gemini Man View Post
Well, I'm only a junior in high school. No programming classes.. Self taught HTML but you said that doesn't count. As far as IT vs. programming, I have virtually no experience with either so I guess I can try one and if it's not panning out, do the other... Johngalt I see you and people like Brink all over the place on this site seemingly always knowing the solutions to problems. How do you learn those skills? You say you're going back to school. What was your major originally?
Hey gemini! I too just finished my Junior year (WOW we are going to be seniors !?!?!?!?! )

Welcome to the forums. I may as well throw in my hat here:
I too was thinking about computer engineering (ok so not the same, but similar), as well as computer sciences (I know some Java, and want to learn C, but JohnGalt is right, it is tedious. I have spent 4 hours (as well as a lot of other time that weekend) trying to fix a little tiny problem. Only half solved it...).

~Lordbob
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2009   #10

 

Ummm,


wow. Just, ... wow.

Neither of you come off as Juniors in friggin HS.

Some of our adult members could learn a lot from the two of you....

Congrats on becoming seniors - I am officially a senior in College....(20 years later).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Computer Sciences.. Help Choosing My Major?





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