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Job Skills Applied Physics BS is good for programming jobs?

  1. Sep 23, 2016 #1
    An Applied physics BS in Italy (a lot of C programming, analog and digital electronics with arduino and assembly and digital design) plus as many CS exams as i can (i'm thinking about OOP in Java 8, algorithms analisys and design, database theory and SQL and Multicore programming in Java and OpenCL) is employable for software development company as a CS BS?
    In this way, considering the higher level of math and physics (a lot more than in a CS degree) we must learn the disadvantage of not having an IT degree can be turned in an advantage opening more job positions?
    (I.e. I'm thinking about scientific programming)
    Thank you!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 23, 2016 #2

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    So you have an Applied Physics BS and ou have a lot of programming classes as well.

    The only problem you face is whether a company will choose you over a CS graduate and that's hard to say.

    They may view you as over qualified with all the extra math. I would mention the math and physics you took on your resume or job application but only in a supporting way and instead focus on the CS courses that you think are directly applicable to the job.

    Again this all depends on the job, basically you must tailor your resume to match the job using the courses and experience you have as the bait to entice the employer to bring you in for an interview.

    If the job focused on using programming, Arduino and some physics related to optics then that is what you'd stress first followed by the other stuff in order of relevance to the job.

    Companies will have an assumption that a CS BS can do the following things and you must convince them that you have the same skills.
     
  4. Sep 23, 2016 #3

    QuantumQuest

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I'd stress out the point that the whole thing depends on the sort of job - into the IT industry in general, that you apply for. The skills you mention are very good, but they're not the perfect match in order to be employable by a software development company, in general. Their demands are more relevant to a CS degree. This entails also extensive educated knowledge of algorithms, data structures, many programming languages, design and implementation of software tools (compilers included) and in many cases web development skills, as well as other things, you find on a typical CS curriculum.

    Now if you restrict that to scientific computing, then I think that your skills are more than enough. I don't say in any way that you can't get a software development job, but you'll definitely need more skills.

    Also, the factor of working experience must not be overlooked. In software industry this is an absolute must. Extensive knowledge has to be backed up by at least some projects done, with a fair degree of complexity and other kinds of working experience on the subject are always considered plus.
     
  5. Sep 23, 2016 #4

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    For scientific programming I'd like to add that you should be familiar with MATLAB, numerical Python, Julia, R, C/C++ and Fortran or some subset thereof as these frequently popup in modeling and simulation contexts.

    Often the work environment will be locked into MATLAB + FORTRAN + C/C++ or be more progressive and using numerical Python, R and possibly Julia.

    A good numerical Python distribution (ie has numpy and sympy integrated in) is the Anaconda distribution with Julia. Some instructions for getting it on your computer:

    http://lectures.quantecon.org/jl/getting_started.html

    I like Julia and think its the future of numerical computing. It has the hooks to integrate with the other languages well and its modeled on MATLAB allowing a MATLAB shop to consider switching to an open source environment provided theyy aren't too invested in the MATLAB toolkits.
     
  6. Sep 23, 2016 #5
    Maybe you're talking about Software engineers.
    Here in CS classes you don't learn "many programming languages" but just Python (first was C) and Java to learn OOP paradigm, then some C and some functional concept.
    All the rest is THEORY, algebra, probability, computational complexity, combinatorics, algorithmics, logic, logic design...
    They repeat often that "Computer science is not programming, programming is only a tool" ;)
     
  7. Sep 23, 2016 #6
    Thank you all for the answers! :smile:
    I wish to learn it asap, i'm very courious of its potential.
    Fortunately kind of every post by software companies here say "CS, Mathematic, Physics or other quantitative fields degree required" so i can hope to study and begin to work in the meantime... :wink:
     
  8. Sep 23, 2016 #7

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    One other resource to consider the company youre interested in. Perhaps you could contact them to see what they are looking for. Preferably talk to a hiring manager and not the HR people who wont really know the job specifics.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016
  9. Sep 24, 2016 #8

    QuantumQuest

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    I don't talk only about software engineers.

    I don't know what holds in your country, but usually there is some separation - this holds at least to the west cultures I know of. After some point, there is a branch to Theoretical CS, Applied CS and the mostly relevant to engineering things (signals, digital systems etc.) or some sort of this anyway. There are surely topics in the first years about all these at the introductory level, but there is specialization later.

    True that. Computer Science is all about algorithms. But this cannot devalue the importance of programming in CS.
     
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