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BS/MS in CS or BS in CE/CS (combined major)

  1. BS/MS in Computer Science

    1 vote(s)
  2. BS in Computer Science and Computer Engineering (combined major)

    1 vote(s)
  1. Jan 6, 2015 #1
    I am a freshmen at Northeastern University. Right now, I am in the College of Engineering, where I am on track to earn a combined degree in computer science and computer engineering. However, I could easily transfer to the College of Computer and Information Science, where I could earn a master's degree in computer science.

    I am more interested in computer science, but I feel like the degree is incomplete without many hardware/physics classes. I want to have an understanding of electricity/magnetism and circuit design, neither of which is offered by the straight CS degree. I also feel that the computer engineering degree would open up a lot of job opportunities in fields like robotics and aerospace, where integrated systems and low-level hardware work are (presumably) extremely relevant skills.

    Unfortunately, there are practical matters to consider. I can only afford school right now because of my scholarship and financial aid money, support which lasts for eight semesters. I could finish the master's degree in that time if I do CS. If I stay in the combined program, I would not be able to earn a master's degree without paying a lot out of pocket.

    Does a degree in computer engineering open up a lot of doors when compared with a degree in computer science only? Or is a master's of computer science more valuable than a bachelor's that covers the two disciplines? If I do computer science, am I doomed to work in a corporate setting for the rest of my life? I hear computer engineers get the opportunity to do lab work.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2015 #2
    I would need more details but this is what I would weigh if I were in your position,

    1. BS/MS in CS
    • Are electives an option? If not , I might self learn a few things so that I can show I'm knowledgeable in the subject when interviewing for possible positions that interest me.
    • Two degrees that I don't have to accumulate a lot of debt for? Awesome
    2. BS in CS and CE
    • If I want to pursue graduate school I may want to find an employer that offers reimbursement as an employee benefit.
    • Allows me to get into courses that interest me.
    It really depends on what you want to do in life. Do you want to attend graduate school? What kind of things do you want to do?

    I have seen openings in my area for software engineers for flight simulators and minimum requirements for them is a Bachelor's in a science related field. They would then determine if you would be a good fit for them based on your experience and or knowledge of what they need. Don't let yourself fall into the thought that you're limited to what you can do by what your degree is in.
  4. Jan 6, 2015 #3
    Good point. I do want to attend graduate school, and I am more interested in computer science, but I feel that the computer engineering degree might make it easier to penetrate hardware-centric fields like robotics.
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