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 Post subject: Not sure how to go about this, have questions too
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 4:48 pm 
Malware specialist
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Well, next year I'm going to college (August 2007). I will be majoring in computer science. What I'm trying to figure out is if this is for me. So based on what I tell you below do you think it's right for me:

1. I love removing and collecting malware
2. I love building computers and troubleshooting them
3. I like helping people
4. I hate trigonometry, but like algebra
5. I love researching about computers and doing anything involving computers

So would computer science be right for me?

Another question I have is, is there any opportunity available in computer science. Basically when I get out in about 4 years am I going to be able to get a job involving computers or am I wasting my time?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:14 pm 
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Well if you are wasting your time, so are hundreds of thousands of other CS majors/graduates.

Will you get a job: Depends. Grades, co-op experience, willingness to relocate, luck, how well you interview,etc

If you like programming and that is what you want to do, then dont worry about getting a job.

When I was a recruiter a few things stood out that I viewed as potential roadblocks to entry level CS & engineering graduates:

1) Not willing to relocate.
2) Horrible interviewing skills. This used to really grate on my nerves. At career fairs the companies attending were announced months in advance and time and again students would show up in their new suits, fresh resume's and not know a damn thing about the company they were applying to.

The first question I always asked: Why are you interested in my company? If they couldnt answer that, I listened to them, but I wasnt hearing them. If a potential candidate couldnt take 10 mins to look up our website, then I didnt care about their grades, experience, skills, etc.

Basically what I am trying to say:
The only CS & Eng graduates that cant find a job are the lazy ones.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:48 am 
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I'm a sophomore CS major so I'll try to give you an idea at what it's like. Your first 4 points don't have much to do with computer science. That is IT work. The last point however is a HUGE part of computer science. Now when I say researching computers I mean a theoretical approach to many computer science fields such as algorithms. A large part of the research in the field of computer science is done to improve the speed of important algorithms(the code running on your computer).

Computer science has nothing to do with hardware in any consumer-oriented way. Computer science applies to the hardware on a very basic level, understanding the structures and how to fundamentally write low level programs. If you are really interested in the design on hardware(CPU's, GPU's etc.) then electrical engineering would be your major with a possible minor in computer science.

I think the bottom line here is this. Most of what you listed as liking to do is IT stuff, what an IT department would do at a company. Now there are IT programs but they're less... academic. It's more of a trade. Now, when I first entered college I had the same kind of passion for computers. I did the same kind of things, spent hours on newegg/mpc forums, did troubleshooting and building for money, etc. Once I took my first computer science class though I found I really enjoyed it. It had nothing to do with computers in any sense I had or you have right now.

Here's what I'm going to suggest to you. For first semester, take intro to computer science. See how you like it. While you take it also do research on the field of computer science. See some of the applications, the kind of work thats being done. After that first semester you can then determine if it's for you or not. Theres a lot of knowledgeable CS people on the forums, so if you want to know in detail about any subject someone is bound to know a bit more then wikipedia.

Oh yeah, and CS isn't just programming, theres a lot more to it.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:58 pm 
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Well hopefully it's for me. I almost failed my first programming class (the teacher expected us to know everything and never showed us anything). Thanks for the information.

Also what kind of job outlook am I looking into? As in, what kind of positions? Not just places where they hire computer scientists. But is there any opportunity?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2007 12:05 pm 
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Bump for someone to look at this thread :?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:11 pm 
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I recently graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Data Communications and Networking. I wanted a major that was focused enough so that I was still interested in everything I was learning, but also broad enough to open a lot of doors for me when I graduated. Here is some advice for you while your at school:

1.) Get envolved, most campuses offer computer clubs/organizations that will get you in touch with other people in your major with similar interests. If a club doesn't exist, find out how to start one!

2.) Find out if any co-ops or internships exist for your major, it is essential in our field to get "the edge" over other applicants for a job. Our field is growing rapidly and you need to have all the experience you can asap. My freshman year I randomly emailed my old school district and asked them for a job and they hired me as a part time desktop technician. I stayed with them all throughout college and when I graduated they hired me as their full-time technology specialist. The job position didn't even exist, I was able to create it! Even if you get a job for minumum wage, it will definitely (note that it is spelled correctly) pay off for you in the end. Your future employer should be able to glance at your resume and say, "Wow, this kid just graduated."

3.) If you have the oportunity to test out of any "cake classes" such as Microsoft Office 101 to save yourself some money and credits, my recommendation is not to. We IT people claim to know all their is to know about Office productivity software since we were born but in reality when your employer asks you to create a simple access database, or setup a mail merge in word most people will look at him or her pretty dumbfounded. (True Story)

4.) Try your best to atleast pass all of your programming classes. I strugled like crazy to get through them. I don't think 4 years of programming for a networking major was necessary but in the end it was worth it because it, once again, gives you an edge. Now when my boss asks me to write him a Hello World program in C++, i'll be able to do it no problem!! :wink:

5.) Get certified! Take your A+ and Network+ exams asap. They don't expire and you might as well get them over with while the stuff is fresh!

Hope this helps you out, most of all just remember to have fun with your major. This is something you will be doing everyday after you graduate, if you don't enjoy what you do, what's the point of doing it.


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