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hypnotique
Ive been trashing my head over what I should go to school for since culinary and nursing didn't work out too well for me and I'm considering doing something in computers since ive had a fascination with learning how computer viruses work and how they are created and basically computer security in general.

so uh...
what courses should I take and any tips on schools and other general things i should know about before becoming a computer major?
mipadi
Well, first of all, what do you mean by "computer major"? Do you mean:
  1. computer science - studies the theoretical aspects of computation, close cousin to applied mathematics (this is what I studied)
  2. computer engineering - mostly studies hardware, a close cousin of electrical engineering
  3. software engineering - a mostly bullshit course of study "studies" how to "build" software
  4. computer programming - learn to write software, i.e. be a "code monkey", generally a 2-year course
  5. information technology - act as a network or computer administrator
  6. management information systems - learn how businesses can make use of computers, abbreviated MIS which also stands for Math Is Scary

Answering that question will likely lead to others.
hypnotique
QUOTE(mipadi @ Sep 22 2009, 06:11 PM) *
Well, first of all, what do you mean by "computer major"? Do you mean:
  1. computer science - studies the theoretical aspects of computation, close cousin to applied mathematics (this is what I studied)
  2. computer engineering - mostly studies hardware, a close cousin of electrical engineering
  3. software engineering - a mostly bullshit course of study "studies" how to "build" software
  4. computer programming - learn to write software, i.e. be a "code monkey", generally a 2-year course
  5. information technology - act as a network or computer administrator
  6. management information systems - learn how businesses can make use of computers, abbreviated MIS which also stands for Math Is Scary
Answering that question will likely lead to others.


Computer Engineering mainly but I would like to also dabble in Computer Science , Information Technology and possibly computer programming.

Basically i like to learn a bit of everything possible in a subject.
Maccabee
are you sure your up to it? programming seems easy when you are writing kiddy scripts but when you really get into a language it really is like learning a new language. but harder.

Side note:
I find it funny how so many people have told me about a "family member" who has a degree in computers. haha. Then I say doing what in computers and they say, they just do computers...
mipadi
QUOTE(hypnotique @ Sep 22 2009, 07:31 PM) *
Computer Engineering mainly but I would like to also dabble in Computer Science , Information Technology and possibly computer programming.

Basically i like to learn a bit of everything possible in a subject.


A study of one will typically touch upon topics in the others. Think of them like a Venn diagram. I'd draw one for you but Venn diagrams of 6 elements are kind of a pain to draw.

If you're interested in computer engineering, some other questions to think about are:
  1. Do you want to go back to college for a full 4-year program? A computer engineering program usually takes around 4 years, maybe a semester or two shorter if you have some transfer credits.
  2. Do you like math? I mean, really like math? Enough to marry it?
I studied computer science, and up through what I took in grad school, my courses touched on topics like...
  1. programming in Java;
  2. how microprocessors, memory, etc., work, at the physical level;
  3. how graphics are handled by a computer;
  4. programming language theory;
  5. compiler optimization;
  6. functional programming;
  7. information theory, security, and cryptography;
  8. how operating systems work, including kernels;
  9. reasoning about algorithms and how to efficiently store data;
  10. how to generate random numbers and simulate certain systems;
  11. calculus, including multivariate calculus;
  12. linear algebra;
  13. discrete math and graph theory.
Some of those, such as graphics, programming language theory, and information security, may not be covered in a typical computer engineering curriculum. And as an engineer, you'd probably also take differential equations on the math side of things, as well as courses like physics and chemistry, which I wasn't required to take. But in a nutshell, that's what I'd expect a typical curriculum to contain.

Here's the summary of the computer engineering program at my (old) school, as an example. (N.B. I took computer science, not computer engineering; computer engineering wasn't offered until the year after I graduated.)

Here's the summary of the computer science major where I did (part of) undergrad. (W&M doesn't have computer engineering.)
butre
engineering hi5.

Actually I'm probably going to do info. tech. Just because there is slightly less math involved.


Anyway, from what I see, Computer Science seems to be a more all-encompassing course, and would be more useful. Judging by what you said in the first post and what you said about viruses and computer security, information technology would be more interesting to you.
hypnotique
QUOTE(mipadi @ Sep 22 2009, 08:25 PM) *
A study of one will typically touch upon topics in the others. Think of them like a Venn diagram. I'd draw one for you but Venn diagrams of 6 elements are kind of a pain to draw.

If you're interested in computer engineering, some other questions to think about are:
  1. Do you want to go back to college for a full 4-year program? A computer engineering program usually takes around 4 years, maybe a semester or two shorter if you have some transfer credits.
  2. Do you like math? I mean, really like math? Enough to marry it?
I studied computer science, and up through what I took in grad school, my courses touched on topics like...
  1. programming in Java;
  2. how microprocessors, memory, etc., work, at the physical level;
  3. how graphics are handled by a computer;
  4. programming language theory;
  5. compiler optimization;
  6. functional programming;
  7. information theory, security, and cryptography;
  8. how operating systems work, including kernels;
  9. reasoning about algorithms and how to efficiently store data;
  10. how to generate random numbers and simulate certain systems;
  11. calculus, including multivariate calculus;
  12. linear algebra;
  13. discrete math and graph theory.
Some of those, such as graphics, programming language theory, and information security, may not be covered in a typical computer engineering curriculum. And as an engineer, you'd probably also take differential equations on the math side of things, as well as courses like physics and chemistry, which I wasn't required to take. But in a nutshell, that's what I'd expect a typical curriculum to contain.

Here's the summary of the computer engineering program at my (old) school, as an example. (N.B. I took computer science, not computer engineering; computer engineering wasn't offered until the year after I graduated.)

Here's the summary of the computer science major where I did (part of) undergrad. (W&M doesn't have computer engineering.)


Im open to 4 years of school (i like being in school to be honest)
As for the math thing. I'm really really really freaking bad at math like i can manage basic algebra sort of....and thats about it.
mipadi
QUOTE(hypnotique @ Sep 22 2009, 11:14 PM) *
Im open to 4 years of school (i like being in school to be honest)
As for the math thing. I'm really really really freaking bad at math like i can manage basic algebra sort of....and thats about it.


I don't want to crush anyone's dreams, because I think you can do anything if you put your mind to it; but if you study computer engineering, you either (a) have to be really adept at math, or (b) like it enough to put a lot of effort into learning it. Calculus, diff EQs, that sort of thing, are no picnic. I'm not that strong in math either, and it's probably what holds me back the most.
Uronacid
Honestly, if you like security I would go into Information Technology. Security is your job as a network admin.
mipadi
QUOTE(Uronacid @ Sep 24 2009, 09:49 AM) *
Honestly, if you like security I would go into Information Technology. Security is your job as a network admin.


I thought your job was to tell people they can't do cool stuff on the network.


"Hey, can we open up the Postgres port to the entire 128.113.215.129/25 block?"
"No."
Uronacid
QUOTE(mipadi @ Sep 24 2009, 12:36 PM) *
I thought your job was to tell people they can't do cool stuff on the network.


"Hey, can we open up the Postgres port to the entire 128.113.215.129/25 block?"
"No."


No
hypnotique
QUOTE(Uronacid @ Sep 24 2009, 08:49 AM) *
Honestly, if you like security I would go into Information Technology. Security is your job as a network admin.

Thats what my one friend who does IT told me. Im considering it, hows the math in that if any? LOL
butre
Math isn't near as big a deal in IT as it is in engineering or programming.
Uronacid
QUOTE(hypnotique @ Sep 24 2009, 05:17 PM) *
Thats what my one friend who does IT told me. Im considering it, hows the math in that if any? LOL


I'm not going to lie to you. There's pleanty of math in any computer field. The entire foundation of computers is built around math. Don't think you're going to avoid math by jumping into one field over another, however you need to know less math in IT than you do in other feilds.

It is mandatory that you have a clear understanding of IP addressing, binary, and some programming/scripting language to excel in IT. Unless you're going to become an IT manager. IT managers just make everyone else do the math.
mipadi
QUOTE(Uronacid @ Sep 25 2009, 10:11 AM) *
IT managers just make everyone else do the math.


Only if they someone else to manager. Hypothetically speaking, if you were to take a systems programmer, change his title to Manager of Information Technology, and fire his only underling, he'd be an IT manager but still have to do all the math.

Not that that happens in real life.
hypnotique
Im looking into Devry University.

Ive looked them up and saw alot of horror stories but those were all on yahoo answers so im sort of on the fence with anything from there.

Good school or bad school?
emberfly
lol @ yahoo answers.

full of trolls.
hypnotique
LOL i know.
Its awful
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