Which Apple products are best suited for which college majors?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by aiman.shahab, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. aiman.shahab macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2017
    Hey All. I'm curious to know, what Apple products, especially Macs, do you think are best suited for individual college majors? For example, what would be best for a Business student to purchase vs a Comp Science major?

    Other majors: Engineering, Digital Media, Graphic Design, Math, Sciences, Literature and Communication, etc.

    I'm assuming cost may be a factor for most college kids. Thanks!
  2. Mousse macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2008
    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    Computer Science student: A cheap Linux machine, preferably a laptop. The dearth of free compilers on Macs will the driving force here. There are oodles of free compilers, for practically any programming language, available for Linux. For the rich college kid Comp Sci major, a MBP.
  3. flyinmac macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2006
    United States
    for computer science degrees, a Mac would be a significant inconvenience.

    If you work with today's professional Cisco routers and switches, you're going to want Windows and yes... RS-232 serial ports.

    Even on the PC laptops, we still end up using a USB to RS-232 adapter. But on desktops, we can add standard serial ports.

    Typically you can administer the routers and switches through a terminal program. Which you can find on any computer ever made.

    But, in the Cisco Academy structure (which is what most universities utilize), the software necessary to perform the assignments is predominantly Windows.

    The lessons in the other complimentary courses tied to the degree program also require Windows.

    And a VM isn't going to cut it in many cases because you'll be managing VM's. And running VM's on a VM isn't going to produce productive results.

    It's not that you can't perform tasks on a Mac. It's more that the curriculum is designed around Windows. And likewise, in the workplace you'll also be using Windows (except for when there's proprietary OS's on given hardware).

    So, a Mac user will find themselves pretty much always in Bootcamp mode.

    And when it comes to VM's, performance is key. You want a lot of CPU cores, tons of memory, fast hard drives, lots of storage space, and a high CPU clock speed. Not combinations usually found in Macs (though the latest releases are much better than prior models).

    And, they'll need the dongles to get the connections required by enterprise technology devices.

    In the context of required courses, the only time you'll get away with using the Mac OS, is for classes such as English, math, business, etc.
  4. Strelok macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2017
    United States
    Really depends on what software you need. For Chemical Engineering most of our software is proprietary and we can only use the university computer labs for those (Aspentech). The only other software I need is MatLab, Mathematica and MS Office. All of those obviously work fine on macOS or Windows. Personally I prefer having both a desktop and a laptop, with the desktop being windows based and the laptop macOS. I received my MBPr 3.5 years ago and bought a cheap refurb for $300. For something as simple as business you could get away with pretty much anything. You also don't have to be rich to have a MacBook. Just think of it as a long term investment, $1800 sounds expensive until you realize you can use the laptop for 10 years if you really want to.

    Most people will be fine with MacBooks, while those who require specific software will probably want to look elsewhere.
  5. BarracksSi Suspended


    Jul 14, 2015
    For a music major, get a tuner, metronome, and a case of mechanical pencils.

    Oh, I guess you can get a computer, if you want to do recording...
  6. D.T. macrumors G3


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL
    There are plenty of opensource, free tools for MacOS. C, C++, Go, Java, the huge number of interpreted languages, Python, Ruby, Perl. Tons of free options for servers/services, DBs, etc. Heck, now there are a number of elective tracks for specific development like mobile that actually use XCode :)

    I'd say routers/switches and IT infrastructure, and what sounds like certification for a CCNA/E, etc., don't have all that much to do with a traditional Comp Sci class in most universities. Comp Sci is [lots of] math, algorithms, data structures, computational models - then some specific tracks in things like AI/ML, graphics, etc.
  7. Tomorrow macrumors 604


    Mar 2, 2008
    Always a day away
    I've said it before, and I'll say it again - go with whatever your academic department recommends.
  8. smallcoffee macrumors 65816

    Oct 15, 2014
    North America
    Since we're speaking only of Apple products, the 13inch MacBook Pro is the gold standard of laptops for college students. I don't think you need anything else. There is always the talk about "xyzzy engineering program won't work on the Mac" but that's why you pay your student technology fee, so just use the lab for those assignments.

    If you aren't a science and engineering student I really think the iPad Pro is the way to go

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