Anyone here have a Computer Science degree?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by AJ Muni, Oct 13, 2006.

  1. AJ Muni macrumors 65816

    AJ Muni

    Aug 4, 2005
    I'm currently a pre-med/pre-pharmacy major, working on my BS in Biochemistry. A couple of people have tried to talk me into getting a BS in computer science, but I feel like I dont know much about it. I have read in numerous articles how its in such demand, and how it always ranks in the top 10 for career opportunities. I love computers, and always thought how cool it is to program and stuff. Also, I'm sure that falling back on a computer science degree has alot more opportunities than if I were to fall back on my biochem degree. So, does any1 have a degree here in computer science? Do u like it? How are the job opportunities? How is the salary? Thanks in advance.
  2. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    I was a CompSci major in college for a year before switching majors to a more general IT program. Unless you absolutely love programming, and the thought of sitting in front of your computer typing code for hours a day thrills you, then don't go with CS. That's the reason I switched. I never did mind programming in small amounts, but it just started boring the hell out of me having to do it all day, I'm much more happier in the IT field.
  3. bearbo macrumors 68000


    Jul 20, 2006
    if you are in pre-med, i'd recommand you stay there... there is far more need for doctors than there is need for computer scientists.. not to mention you will make FAR FAR more money on average (well, that is, unless you invent the next greatest OS or something...)

    however if you have time, you might want to consider minor or double major in CS, i dont know what are the requirements in your college... and if you truly believe you like CS far more than pre-med, then you can consider it again later... but for now, if you are fine with biochem and going to pursue pre-med/pre-pharmacy, that's a great choice

    or if you want a change, you might also want to consider change from biochem to biomedical engr, with a minor in CS.. and still pursue pre-med... :)p )... that way you have all the opportunities open for you

    what year in college are you?
  4. RedTomato macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2005
    .. London ..
    I did part of a CS + AI course at Edinburgh University.

    CS at degree level is very heavily mathematical and logical. There's not all that much working with computers. You'll be working with abstract mathematical and logical concepts and constructions.

    Most people who do well at CS have already done a fair bit of computer programming. Pick up a guide book to C, something a bit higher level than the dummies guide (look on amazon) ( but don't get the 'ABC' book).

    If you actually complete all the code samples and enjoyed all of them and understood all the logical structures, pointer referencing etc, and want to spend 2 years doing more of the same, then go for it.

    If as you said, you 'love computers' then prehaps go for a more general IT degree where you can learn about networking, computers in medical / biology etc.

    If you're good at medicine and good at computers, and can combine the two, you'll never be short of a job in medical IT.

    There's far fewer jobs in medical computer science, and these tend to be at PHD / research level.
  5. ®îçhå®? macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2006
    Not yet but am planning on doing that so possibly.
  6. bowens macrumors 6502a


    Jun 19, 2006
    Trenton, FL
    I came within a semester of a CIS degree but decided to change to business management. I just couldn't stand all that programming. Thousands of lines of code for meaningless crap.
  7. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    Not me. Had a buddy who does though, and he's pretty happy. Of course, he's the type of guy who REALLY like writing code.

    I prefer a different kind of problem solving, myself.
  8. Foggy macrumors 6502a

    Jul 4, 2006
    London, UK
    I have no idea what its like in the states but over here when I did my degree computer science was predominantly theoretical. We did courses on software development cycles, chip architecture, logic, maths, graphics, history of computation etc etc and maybe 1 or 2 courses a year in programming (procedural, object oriented, logic, functional).

    I have been working in IT for 14 years now and in all that time have used virtually none of what I did or learned in my degree.
  9. kainjow Moderator emeritus


    Jun 15, 2000
    I started with a CS degree at a normal humanities college, then transferred to a tech school and am now studying Computer Engineering, which is more hardware. I like the degree more, but the school isn't as good. But I am taking less other classes, and more stuff that relates to my degree.

    But in my tech school, I can tell you with certainty that the majority dislike programming and don't grasp it. Everyone else mostly understands the electrical parts - however I'm the opposite.

    But like others say, CS is much easier if you already have a basic knowledge of programming.
  10. erickkoch macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2003
    That's what I do. There is a field of healthcare IT specialists. I work in clinical laboratory science and manage the labs computer system. I had met someone who said he was working on a masters in healthcare informatics. Never heard of such a thing before.
  11. Demoman macrumors regular

    Mar 29, 2005
    Issaquah, WA
    Yes, I have a BA in Poly Sci from San Diego State. My minor was history. I went back to school and received a BA in CS.
  12. nadyne macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2004
    Mountain View, CA USA
    Whether you should switch your degrees is dependent on what you want in life. If you're thinking that maybe medicine isn't for you, then switching degrees is absolutely appropriate. What you should switch to depends on what you want.

    I've got a BS in CS, and I'm currently employed professionally in software, but I don't write a line of code. There are lots of different options for someone with a CS major. Development isn't the only gig out there. My particular field of interest within CS is human-computer interaction (HCI), and my title is user experience researcher. I study how people use software and try to make it easier. It's an awesome job, and I love it. I've been a coder before, and while I liked it well enough, it just didn't grab me like my current gig does. :)

    Perhaps one option for the short-term would be to add a CS minor to your biochem degree, and take some classes there to figure out what you might like within the field: animation, artificial intelligence, human-computer interaction, operating systems, software engineering, programming languages, technical writing, ... There's so much to choose from, and quite a lot of it isn't just sitting in front of a computer and typing out code.

    Salaries are entirely dependent on which field you choose, where you do it, and how good you are. That's the same as medicine, right? A plastic surgeon in Hollywood makes more than a OB/GYN in Detroit.

  13. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    I was going for a CS major for a year, but 1. I'm not thaaaaat interested in programming and 2. I'm terrible at math (which the major required a decent amount of)

    I have a friend that majored in CS though and by the time he graduated he already had a very well paying job at a local tech company.

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