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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok I pretty much choose this forum because this doesn't really fit anywhere but I think I need some advice on this...

I'm pretty torn between a few degrees/career paths to go down and I wanted some advice from people some of whom should be in these fields..

Now initially I was told I should go for Computer Science, but later on I found out that there is large amounts of Physics and A-level maths in it so I decided to go for Software Engineering as although I'm not bad with maths, I don't enjoy it and are not doing it at A-level...I looked around and its not required Software Eng and I love programming but am not a big fan in the maths department although I just started C/C++ about 2 months ago.

Now I have always had a strong interest in 3d modeling, coding and creating games and was also wondering what the best degree is for the game development field? I'm also a bit confused about the discrepincys between the two as they both seem to lead down the same path..

My Question is what would be the best degree to go for out of Computer Science and Software Engineering? I also considered the possibility of doing Software Eng as a bsc and then doing a masters in Computer Science..Some advice on pay and working hours would also be great...

Any advice would be brilliant as I can't decide and thought I might seek outside help :)

Thanks

Doctorzeus
 

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Hi,
I'm not a computing graduate but just an observation or two ...
I see lots of posts from people who want to become games developers and I'm guessing that career choice might be highly overpopulated with graduates.
What about similar careers that use computer modelling in the real world? Make massive things for real! Why not look at architecture, civil engineering (the Channel Tunnel could use a twin!), aircraft or ship designing, traffic management, urban development .....

All things that need a real combination of computing and creative skills in the real world with the same skills that would let you keep games design as a hobby 'til you deisgn the next 'must have' game?

Richard

Richard
 

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I think BSc..Then MASTERS then PHD
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi,
I'm not a computing graduate but just an observation or two ...
I see lots of posts from people who want to become games developers and I'm guessing that career choice might be highly overpopulated with graduates.
What about similar careers that use computer modelling in the real world? Make massive things for real! Why not look at architecture, civil engineering (the Channel Tunnel could use a twin!), aircraft or ship designing, traffic management, urban development .....

All things that need a real combination of computing and creative skills in the real world with the same skills that would let you keep games design as a hobby 'til you deisgn the next 'must have' game?

Richard

Richard
Thanks for the reply

I believe that you need a Bsc in Engineering for that, Software Engineering is strongly debated that it is actually a Science and has basically nothing to do with structural engineering and the like, its actually taught by "mathermatics and Computing" departments at Uni's not the Engineering dep.

Thanks for the info though :)

Doctorzeus
 

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Coding and programming are the manufacturing skills of our generation. They're commodities and are provided at much lower wages in developing countries. It's unlikely that you'll find a job churning out code that pays a salary sufficient to repay your student loans.
 

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Strange, 'coding and programming' are still highly paid jobs here in the US. Of course if you're looking to become a millionaire then you'll need more than those skills, but if all you need is a decent living & to repay those student loans then there shouldn't be any problem.

However, if you don't enjoy math (particularly algebra) then you're very unlikely to enjoy programming.
 

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Thanks for the reply

I believe that you need a Bsc in Engineering for that, Software Engineering is strongly debated that it is actually a Science and has basically nothing to do with structural engineering and the like, its actually taught by "mathermatics and Computing" departments at Uni's not the Engineering dep.

Thanks for the info though :)

Doctorzeus
I'm thinking of combined degrees such Computer Studies and (pick from UCCA) :up:
 

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I'm speaking about my personal experience and did not mention the UK at all. I have no idea where your comment is coming from.

I've worked for several companies, and many of the routine IT functions including support and coding have been off-shored. I also have many colleagues who are programmers that are now unemployed after losing their jobs to India and Russia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Strange, 'coding and programming' are still highly paid jobs here in the US. Of course if you're looking to become a millionaire then you'll need more than those skills, but if all you need is a decent living & to repay those student loans then there shouldn't be any problem.

However, if you don't enjoy math (particularly algebra) then you're very unlikely to enjoy programming.
Apparently Experienced Software Engineers here in the UK gets payed on average £120,000 per annum...I don't enjoy maths but I still love programming...I did talk to some people recently who advised me that it has always been a question of whether you can think logically in the sense that programming requires. I admit that game programming does require stuff like vertex algebra but I'll probubly have to bear through that :) . After a bit of research today I did get the distinct impression that Computer Science goes more into the understanding while Software Engineering is more of the application...I dunno if people agree with this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm speaking about my personal experience and did not mention the UK at all. I have no idea where your comment is coming from.

I've worked for several companies, and many of the routine IT functions including support and coding have been off-shored. I also have many colleagues who are programmers that are now unemployed after losing their jobs to India and Russia.
Thanks for the reply.

Ok I take my comment back, yeah I have heard of that happening...I was going to have paid work experince at a company that creates phone apps but my contact basically got made redundent :(.I think it depends what industry you go into, although I may be wrong...whats your occupation if you don't mind me asking? I agree with you that the initial "IT Bubble" has burst now, could you suggest an alternative pls?

Thanks

Doctorzeus
 

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I don't enjoy maths but I still love programming
Could depend on the type of programming that's done, I suppose-I've always found that designing efficient algorithms is *very* similar to algebra which is what led to my conclusion about math & programming.

I've also *heard* about programming jobs being outsourced but don't see it actually happening all that much. Again, it might depend on the field-I tend to work with accounting/MIS programming which extends to data entry & reporting, but not into Web or graphics programming very much. Obviously it does happen to some extent or you wouldn't keep hearing about it-but I think it's pretty well known that the media tends to blow things out of proportion so it's questionable to what extent it actually occurs.

Can't speak too much about the pay-it undoubtedly differs both by country & field, but I think it also differs by level. I noted that you said 'Experienced' which in my area often means they're looking for a team leader. I've worked as that & found that I don't enjoy it so I take the 'application programmer' or 'maintenance programmer' jobs where I'm more comfortable. Those don't pay significantly more than other professional-level positions, but that's good enough for me to live decently. I've seen others take those jobs who can't really handle it (when I had the job others said I did well, but like I said, I wasn't happy) so I don't consider that pay as normal. But your point is good-if you're good then the field does pay rather well, and if not then it still pays decently (as long as you're not a screwup).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Could depend on the type of programming that's done, I suppose-I've always found that designing efficient algorithms is *very* similar to algebra which is what led to my conclusion about math & programming.

I've also *heard* about programming jobs being outsourced but don't see it actually happening all that much. Again, it might depend on the field-I tend to work with accounting/MIS programming which extends to data entry & reporting, but not into Web or graphics programming very much. Obviously it does happen to some extent or you wouldn't keep hearing about it-but I think it's pretty well known that the media tends to blow things out of proportion so it's questionable to what extent it actually occurs.

Can't speak too much about the pay-it undoubtedly differs both by country & field, but I think it also differs by level. I noted that you said 'Experienced' which in my area often means they're looking for a team leader. I've worked as that & found that I don't enjoy it so I take the 'application programmer' or 'maintenance programmer' jobs where I'm more comfortable. Those don't pay significantly more than other professional-level positions, but that's good enough for me to live decently. I've seen others take those jobs who can't really handle it (when I had the job others said I did well, but like I said, I wasn't happy) so I don't consider that pay as normal. But your point is good-if you're good then the field does pay rather well, and if not then it still pays decently (as long as you're not a screwup).
I totally agree, I was also told that in most the maths helps you write more efficent algroitms and code..I had a prime example a month ago when I was writing an ISBN number checker, in short one of my for(;;) statements was centred around "x-10" which I know if I hadn't worked that out then it would of added 10+ lines of code and although it was hardly difficult to work out it still showed how its true..

I'm really just looking for a job which I enjoy and obviouslly an 'ok' wage to be able to pay off the loans I get...web and web-form programming I think is relitivly easy-going in the maths department cause it only initiates small pieces of code at one time so resources are not as much of a biggy in the grand scheme of things..I did talk to my friends Dad who owns a Web-hosting and designing buisness before they did a merger with Microsoft and moved to the US...I do quite like the application programmer job in working towards creating apps which fix everyday problems although I've never worked on a team project so don't really know how good/bad it is..
 

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Hi doctorzeus,

I have a BS in Engineering/Mgmt Sciences and a Masters in Computer Science, and worked for many years in the Software Engineering field doing among other things: Compiler design/implementation, OS kernel engineering, real-time distributed networking, graphics driver development, parallel run-time multiporcessor development for a real-time language, kernel deamon development, Internal Unix consulting, etc - i.e. mostly in the "system" software engineering domain rather than the "application" layer domain of software development.

Either a Software Engineering or Computer Science degree to lay the foundation. Don't be scared of maths - it is the very foundation of science - the more you know, the more you want to know. If I had it to do over, I would go for a BS in Math, MS in Software/Computer Engineering, PhD in Computer Science.

Remember - problem solvers are needed in the real world. Don't blindly take the word of others as gospel - investigate the matter yourself and decide for yourself. Infuse your scholastics with reading computer science/engineering journals (as I did when studying at Boston University by going to MIT's Barker Engineering Library in my spare free time). You will then come out with a more theoretical understanding of some problem areas you may work in the future and be able to navigate the problem spaces in which you will work by both being more knowledgeable, and better able to apply your knowledge to the task to make a sound development that actually solves a problem rather than becomes a problem later on. Also, remember, you will need to learn the difference between process, commuication and articulating ideas clearly both in software engineering and being able to commuicate and lead others technically or managerially.

-- Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi doctorzeus,

I have a BS in Engineering/Mgmt Sciences and a Masters in Computer Science, and worked for many years in the Software Engineering field doing among other things: Compiler design/implementation, OS kernel engineering, real-time distributed networking, graphics driver development, parallel run-time multiporcessor development for a real-time language, kernel deamon development, Internal Unix consulting, etc - i.e. mostly in the "system" software engineering domain rather than the "application" layer domain of software development.

Either a Software Engineering or Computer Science degree to lay the foundation. Don't be scared of maths - it is the very foundation of science - the more you know, the more you want to know. If I had it to do over, I would go for a BS in Math, MS in Software/Computer Engineering, PhD in Computer Science.

Remember - problem solvers are needed in the real world. Don't blindly take the word of others as gospel - investigate the matter yourself and decide for yourself. Infuse your scholastics with reading computer science/engineering journals (as I did when studying at Boston University by going to MIT's Barker Engineering Library in my spare free time). You will then come out with a more theoretical understanding of some problem areas you may work in the future and be able to navigate the problem spaces in which you will work by both being more knowledgeable, and better able to apply your knowledge to the task to make a sound development that actually solves a problem rather than becomes a problem later on. Also, remember, you will need to learn the difference between process, commuication and articulating ideas clearly both in software engineering and being able to commuicate and lead others technically or managerially.

-- Tom
Wow, thats great help thanks! :) :up:

I'm starting to lean towards a Bsc Soft Eng then a Ms in Computer Science then maybe even a PHD in Computer Science..although obviously I wanna get out into the workforce to get some team-experience...The Bsc Hons I am thinking of doing comes with 1 year of payed work experience at the end as well :)

Thanks

Doctorzeus
 

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Strange, 'coding and programming' are still highly paid jobs here in the US. Of course if you're looking to become a millionaire then you'll need more than those skills, but if all you need is a decent living & to repay those student loans then there shouldn't be any problem.

However, if you don't enjoy math (particularly algebra) then you're very unlikely to enjoy programming.
Yes, Those programmers and software engineers get very high salary. IT industry is growing like nothing!! So, this is the super industry.
 

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By the way why do you live in anartica? lol
Hi doctorzeus,

Ha, ha! You are not the first person whom has mentioned that to me. Think (longitude, latitude) coordinates, and there you have it - not exact, but close enough, i.e. West of GMT and North of Equator!

-- Tom
 
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