Author Topic: Clarification of (college) majors  (Read 2237 times)

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Offline BlakPilar

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Clarification of (college) majors
« on: October 04, 2011, 06:21:16 pm »
Ok, so, I'm only a junior in high school, but I've been told numerous times that now is the time I should start looking into colleges. However, I'm kind of confused. I am absolutely 100% sure that I want to get into either enterprise software engineering or game development. My problem is that I'm not exactly sure how to go about looking for colleges for this. I've seen colleges that offer software engineering, computer engineering, game development/engineering, and (most commonly) computer science. I can tell the difference between software and game engineering, but how do they differ from computer engineering and computer science? And how do computer science and engineering differ from each other? Is science more of the software aspect, and engineering the hardware side? I'm not sure on the difference between these, and it's something I need to know when looking for colleges lol.

Also, not sure if it helps, but by the time I go to college, I will know C#, Java, and C++ (with knowledge and experience with VB, though I don't much care for it).

And, though I'll reply, thanks in advance. :)

Offline AngelFish

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Re: Clarification of (college) majors
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2011, 06:32:06 pm »
Computer Science is the field as a whole. The different names for the subfields is kind of confusing. There are a lot of grad students in it that don't really understand how the fields are significantly different.

Computer Science: The study of computation (everything else is a subfield of this).
Software Engineering: Writing programs
Game design: ...You can imagine

I'd recommend doing Software Engineering and having a minor in Game Design. As a rule, the more general the field for undergrad, the better.

None of these really have much to do with hardware. EE's (Electrical Engineers) are the ones who have to learn the hardware.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2011, 06:33:02 pm by Qwerty.55 »
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Offline Quigibo

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Re: Clarification of (college) majors
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2011, 06:57:27 pm »
Here at Berkeley, they actual combine EE and CS into a single major: EECS and I have to take classes in both.  I can clarify what the difference is between computer engineering and computer science is:

Computer science studies: algorithms, artificial intelligence, compilers and interpreters, computer vision, optimization, and other fields like this.  Its mostly the actual science behind all the programming.

Computer engineering is more about: Code organization and style, creating large scale projects, computer systems, documentation, abstraction, version control, etc.  Its the engineering to create code, how to actually build real world projects.

Electrical engineering does have some fields that are mostly CS too: instruction set architecture, signal processing, and robotics to name a few.

But for any one field, they aren't ever insanely focused on one subset of CS.  Generally, any CS department regardless of how they label themselves will offer classes in all of these things.  So it doesn't really matter what the program is labeled as, just find a good one you like.  Also, game design is something too specific to major in, I don't think most colleges would have a department just for that.  It's more like what you want to do after college.  Most do have a game makers club or similar, so you can always join that.  You can search by rankings as a start, but it really comes down to how their program sounds to you.  Maybe talk to a student there and ask whats good and bad.
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Offline BlakPilar

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Re: Clarification of (college) majors
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2011, 07:17:14 pm »
Ahh, okay. Now I get it. I think I'll stick with your idea, Quigibo, and just go with game design in a club or something. Quite honestly, I'm really into compilers and interpreters and all that good stuff, so I think computer science is the one for me. As for a college, I was looking into RPI, so I'll have to look more into it.

Thanks guys!

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Re: Clarification of (college) majors
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2011, 07:21:19 pm »
Don't know if anyone can really comment on this, but which of Computer Science/Computer Engineering/Software Engineering would  offer the most job security and availability in the future.  With the economy the way it is, and the fact that I don't have much a preference among the three, I am considering just taking on the one that offers the most secure future.

Thank you for any help! :)

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Re: Clarification of (college) majors
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2011, 08:05:14 pm »
I do not know about other Computer fields, but the Game Development grows by ~30000 positions every year. Though it has real bad job security ironically because they fire a ton of people after a project is finished. But those individuals are usually rehired for a different project or by a different company. It's apparently quite easy to get a job in the Game Industry.

What I'm actually am doing personally is I am getting an Associates in Computer Information Systems. After that I'm going to get an IT job while going to a university for either Game Development or Computer Science. Either way I'm minoring in the other. :P
« Last Edit: October 04, 2011, 08:06:37 pm by HOMER-16 »

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