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"Major" Question

by motman2k / January 1, 2007 3:22 AM PST

I'm not sure which forum this should go in, so I'll try here.

Can someone explain to me the differences in College "Majors" such as Computer Science, Computer Information Systems etc? I am interested in going into a computer field, but would like to hear first hand experience from anyone that may know more details.

Thank You

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microsoft certification schools
by ~Brandy~ pccatastrophe / January 1, 2007 4:02 AM PST
In reply to: "Major" Question

I hope you do not mind this is not the answer you are looking for, however it is a great place to post my view of the rise in random "schools" offering courses in preparation for microsoft certifications. These schools are so appealing to most adults as they are centered toward fast pace learning. Beware! The people teaching these types of classes often have no teaching experience whatsoever, and will literally assign homework and read the book out loud to you, and that is it. I would advise anyone wanting to attend one of these to make sure they talk to someone else who has attended the place they are wanting to go; the school's poster boy does not count.
I had one unusual experience a few years ago with an online school specializing in microsoft certification who was all to eager to get my credit card number. I had to "act now" to receive their special tuition reductions.
Obviously you will not encounter the same problems when educating at a typical college. Just incase you or anyone else was leaning another way I just thought I would offer a quick advisory. Thank you!

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Pretty simple
by jackson dougless / January 1, 2007 7:36 AM PST
In reply to: "Major" Question

There are three major computing majors typically offered at the university level. There's Computer Engineering (CprE), Computer Science (CS or ComS), and Management Information Systems (MIS).

Computer Engineering is the lowest level of the three. It deals with designing and building computer hardware, and writing basic software programs to interface with the hardware. A typical job for a CprE graduate might be working for a company like Cisco writing drivers for network gear.

Computer Science is sort of middle of the road. They take the hardware designed by the CprE people, and then build a program to make the hardware perform some function. A typical sort of job for a ComS graduate might be working for Microsoft developing Windows or some other program such as MS Office.

Management Information Systems, is the highest level of the three. MIS people combine the efforts of the CprE and ComS people, and put them to use inside a business. A typical sort of position for an MIS graduate would be like a system administrator, who sets up and manages a lab full of systems.

CprE will involve LOTS of math, since it's often part of the engineering college at a university. So, expect at LEAST a full year of Calculus. More likely, you're looking at a year and a half to two years of Calc. It's a great thing to go into if you like messing with soldering irons, circuit boards, and all that stuff. There will also be a fair amount of programming involved.

ComS is what I like to call the code monkey degree. ComS is focused on programming, and only programming. You will learn more than you ever wanted to know about search algorithms, and really just algorithms in general. You will spend your days writing code, fixing mistakes so the code will compile, then debugging the code you wrote. Most universities will require a full year of Calc for this major. They should probably require more, particularly advanced algebra classes, since programming is all about algebra.

MIS probably has the most diversity in its range of duties. You'll learn a little bit about programming, and a bit about hardware, but mostly you'll learn about how to combine the hardware designed by the computer engineers and the software written by the computer scientist, and making them into something useful. Often times, this major is part of the business college, so you'll be required to take a smattering of business classes. A little accounting (beancounting as I like to call it), some finance (the people I jokingly call the overeducated beancounters), economics (gambler's anonymous), transportation and logistics (translog -- who, what, where, when, how). Good news is, if you don't like math, you're usually only required to take a semester of business calc, which is a watered down version of regular calc. Some schools also require a finite math course, which I like to call funny math with matrices. It's a sort of alternative way of solving the same problems you normally use calc for.

This is probably all way more information than you really wanted, and some of it will vary from university to university. So, if you're interested in the specific required courses for a particular major, phone up someone in the guidance office, or advising office, or whatever other stupid euphemism they may have come up with. Do that for any of the schools you're looking to apply to. Half of what you learn at college, is how the college system works.

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reply to: Pretty simple
by caktus / January 1, 2007 1:19 PM PST
In reply to: Pretty simple

Like yout euphemisms. :^O :^O :^O :^O

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by motman2k / January 3, 2007 4:47 AM PST
In reply to: Pretty simple

that sums alot up!

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