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Bsc in Computer Science

  1. Jul 12, 2010 #1
    Guys, I need help. I got an unconditional offer for BEng or Bsc in Computer Science from University of York. There are few things I want to know:

    1) What is the difference between 4 year bachelor's degree(offered in U.S, Canada etc) and 3 year bachelor's degree(offered in U.K). Is there any difference in courses offered or credit-hours? Do both of these degrees have same value?

    2) After doing my bachelors from UK, can I do masters from some other country(U.S, Canada etc)? I mean UK offers 3 year bachelor's degree while countries like U.S offers 4 year bachelor's degree.

    3) This is really important. Can I choose a different subject for my master's degree than what I chose for my bachelor's degree? I'll be doing bachelor in Computer Science, will I have to do master in Computer Science as well? If no, then what other subject can I chose for master's degree?

    4) Computer Science or Computer Engineering?

    And, oh, which University is better, University of Alberta or University of York?

    Help, please?....Thanks!

    Zain Raza
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 12, 2010 #2
    To do post-undergrad work in engineering you must have some engineering background. For physics majors it's easier because there aren't that many classes required to catch up. For computer science however, I'd say it's impossible. CS is almost like a math degree, and engineering is basically like applied physics.. i.e. not theoretical CS or mathematics-like at all.

    Computer science is related to mathematics, and you can work in a lot of different fields with a computer science degree. Every field requires some sort of computational-based experiments and developments. For example, my uncle did his BS in computer science with a minor in mathematics and did his graduate work on cognitive science and artificial intelligence. Basically he would model the human brain. So there are lots of things you can do.
  4. Jul 13, 2010 #3

    I understand it's really difficult, but can I "apply" for master's in engineering after doing bachelor's in CS?

    Maybe, I can do minor in physics. Will that help?

    Can I do MBA or master's in Software Engineering after Bsc in CS?

    It's all really confusing, I just can't decide what I want to do. I love CS, but according to my uncle, who lives in Canada, there aren't many CS jobs available out there and people who are doing Bsc in CS are facing unemployment. He wants me to do Computer Engineering, but I don't think I really like it.

    Which one would you prefer, computer science or computer engineering?(in terms of salary, availability of jobs etc)
  5. Jul 13, 2010 #4
    Nope. Like I said, CS is almost like math. I've never heard of anyone being able to go from a BS in CS to engineering for an MS.

    Also, I'm pretty sure your uncle doesn't know too much about the job market as a whole. Computer scientists can get lots of different jobs, mostly as software engineers. There is always a demand for highly skilled software engineers (not code monkeys, that is different). Your uncle may be referring to the outsourcing of those code monkeys, but there will be jobs for computer scientists. Of course, you make yourself marketable by getting an M.S., unless you're wanting to do research in theoretical computer science or something, then you get a Ph.D.

    They're two different jobs. Both will require programming, but computer engineering can get you software jobs as well as engineering jobs. It comes down to personal preference really. One doesn't really have an advantage in terms of salary over another, and both can be outsourced.
  6. Jul 13, 2010 #5
    They both have the same value. The difference comes at the level of the high school graduate, and the fact that degrees in the UK are more specific to a single subject.

    Yes, you can do a masters. The 3 year degree in the UK is not strictly true, though everyone from England makes the same assumption. 3 year Bsc hons exists in England. Scotland is 4 years. Similarly, Msci in England is 4 years, but 5 years in Scotland. This is because English entry requirements expect A-level results (as is the standard in english high school) but in Scotland we expect only higher level, completed a year earlier than A-level. Have you checked to see if York offers undergraduate Masters courses? These would be 4 years, and normally it isn't too late to transfer to this until the end of your second year of university.

    Generally, you would need to study something related e.g. a physics graduate could qualify for entry into various engineering masters programmes. Computer science is a bit more limiting, however. The Msc programmes you would qualify for would likely be informatics related, something like forensic informatics where you would study law.

    Have a look at the course outlines for each, do a bit of reading around the net on the subjects that differ in each and, ultimately, decide which one you think will be more fun.

    This is a pretty terrible question! :smile: It's so difficult and so completely personal to choose between universities that you certainly shouldn't be asking random people on a forum. Visit both of the universities. Have a look at their course descriptions, read a bit about each of the subjects you would touch on. Most importantly, visit the universities. Visit and visit the cities in which they are based. Can you see yourself living there for 3-4 years? Does the atmosphere of the university fit for you? They are key questions.
  7. Jul 15, 2010 #6
    fasterthanjoao, mate, you rule!

    York does offer undergraduate master courses, but I don't want to do masters from York. Don't get me wrong, York is a great university, but I want to go to some other better university for masters.

    I know you have already answered it, but can I take some extra "course" that will allow me to do masters in engineering after bsc in Computer Science?
    Maybe, I can do double majors in Computer Science and Physics. Not sure if my university offers it.

    I already mentioned it, I prefer Computer Science. But, my uncle wants me to do Computer Engineering. According to him, Computer Engineering is better than Computer Science.( in terms of salary, availability of jobs etc)

    Can't visit, I live in Pakistan.

    Another question, ha ha, can I apply for double master's degree(Masters in Computer Science and MBA)?

    hadsed, that really helped. Thank you.
  8. Jul 15, 2010 #7
    I see that you live in Pakistan, reading your last post. This may be why you perceive the job opportunities for engineers versus programmers to be better. Software programmers are generally a lot easier to outsource because there are no factories making chips and no labs outside of US based companies (there are exceptions of course). You will see however a lot of programmers since the fixed cost of outsourcing is almost nothing.

    If you plan to live in Europe or the US, then I say it doesn't matter a whole lot. However if you aren't planning to do that then take my previous advice with a grain of salt and remember that this is from an American's perspective.
  9. Jul 15, 2010 #8
    If you wanted to work in the UK, then a masters isn't really necessary, well this is the same for a lot of places as well. The post-grad masters would come in useful if you were looking at

    It would need to be a 'double major'. In the UK, this would just be half an engineering degree and half a computer science degree and is normally just referred to as 'Combined Hons'. I have seen some places with combinations like this - it's worth looking in to if you feel strongly enough.

    Like the previous poster said, it won't matter too much depending on where you're working. Though, I remember reading some grim statistics on employment rates for Comp Sci graduates recently. I'm afraid I don't have a reference, nor do I have a comparison with computer engineering. Having said this, the market will be very different by the time you finish your degree - computer related jobs change, a lot.

    This is a bit of a problem - but luckily you have the internet. You seem to be savvy enough that you'll have taken it upon yourself already to do a good bit of research. One thing to think about as well is how any hobbies you have might factor in - outdoor ones for instance.
  10. Jul 16, 2010 #9

    Actually, my uncle was talking about Canada. He thinks that Computer Science field is saturated. There are lot more programmers out there than the number of jobs available, that's what he said.

    There are lot of job opportunities available for programmers here in Pakistan. It's pretty easy for programmers to get a job in a 3rd world country.

    Money doesn't inspire me, I like to learn. But, I also want to have a secure future. That's it.

    Looking at?

    This got me slightly confused. Doing Combined Hons in Computer Science and Physics means that I will have to take all "bachelor's in Computer Science courses" together with all "bachelor's in Physics" courses. Right?

    If unable to do master's in engineering, I think I will go for double master's in Computer Science and Business Administration.

    Maybe, I'm worrying too much. I just hope everything turns out well.
  11. Jul 16, 2010 #10
    Sorry - I had meant to say if you are changing field or wishing to specialise more.

    No. You would take half-and-half. Combined hons means you'll still to the same number of credits in total as the single hons students. For example, my degree was combined in Astronomy and Physics - I took the same number of credits each year as the single honours physics students so this meant that I simply took half the amount of physics, and made the rest up with Astronomy modules.

    This is the reason that combined hons is limited to a selection of courses - there are some courses where the amount of 'core material' as it were, is simply too great to allow only half of it to be studied and still incorporated into a degree. The reason it works with physics + astronomy is that astronomy is a type of physics - they are very closely related. This does not mean that it is only combinations of this type that work, however.

    I have a friend that completed an electrical engineering and music degree, for example.

    Worrying is a good thing at this point. It is good that you are looking in to all of the options that you have - it will help you satisfy yourself that you have made the right decision if nothing else. And double masters..? You mean a masters degree in computer science, then another in business administration?

    You should also remember that by the time you have finished your Bsc you will likely be sick of going to lectures. Yes, you may love knowledge - but there is a limit to what you will wish to subject yourself to. There are other reasons you want to limit things as well - it isn't really much help to pretend that you can shoe-horn lots of extra fields in to your education. You need to choose what you want to study, and stick to that.

    If you think you'll be interested in the business side of things there will no doubt be computing related business post-graduate courses out there. You could even do something like an MRes or an MPhil, which I think could potentially be very interesting for a cross-over of that type.
  12. Jul 21, 2010 #11

    Right, thanks.

    Yeah, that's what I meant. I'll have to earn them sequentially -- i.e., one at a time. It takes time, but makes you more marketable.

    I understand, but you can always take a gap year. I got burnt out with studies after completing my A'levels last year. Took a gap year, and now I'm ready to study again.

    That's exactly what the problem is, I find it hard to decide what I want to do in future. It's not just about having different degrees. I'm curious, and I like knowledge. But, like I have said before, I want to have a secure future as well.
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