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Engineering Computer engineering, should I go for it?

  1. Mar 4, 2012 #1
    I've always been passionate about computers, I am half decent at programming in C++ and would like Computer Engineering because of all the applicable situations (most of all robotics). I went all through high school wanting to be a CompE, now got into the ideal school, and need to make a decision soon but the workload and fact that I'm not great at Math or Physics is scaring me away and makes me think I should go into Statistics or Computer Science. Any thoughts or advice?

    Edit: I'd also like to add that I don't mind Physics or Math, but I don't have the natural ability that I feel you need to have to enter Engineering.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2012 #2
    You will never know unless you try.
    Just try and see where it takes you.
    You can always change majors if you can't handle it. If you try you can do it though trust me.
  4. Mar 7, 2012 #3


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    Hey btic and welcome to the forums.

    You should know that in a large way, computer science is a form of applied mathematics: the math is different since you are dealing with discrete structures and paradigms in contrast to the continuous structures that exist and are used classically in math.

    In terms of mathematics or 'mathematical reasoning', computer science and engineering all require this as opposed to just the engineering.

    What might be a good option if you go to a university that has a common year is to choose engineering and do the first year before you make up your mind.

    Depending on the university, you might be able to do a common electrical/computer/telecommunications engineering first year course that contains all the math so that you can transfer to mathematics/statistics and enough computer subjects so that the transition to computer science is made a lot easier (You will still probably have to have other first year requirements met at some point for comp sci depending on the program). If you can pick the right program, you might be able to do all the math, physics, programming and other engineering courses that allow you to not do any more courses if you transfer but again you would need to check with the university first.

    I think if you meet the prerequisites and get into the course, then you have every chance to succeed if you play your cards right, work hard, use your resources and just stick at it for a few years.

    Also if you need help, just go to your lecturer, TA, professor or come here and ask a question on PF. If its homework you have to do your part in showing your working and your effort but if its a general conceptual question then you won't have to do that much (although you will need to make your question very clear which is a very good skill to develop).
  5. Apr 10, 2012 #4
    hi btic, i'm in a similar situation. I decided to go for it; that is, to major in computer (hardware) engineering, instead of software engineering or comp sci at penn state next fall. the curriculum looks a little intimidating, but i'm determined to do well. i love building circuits and messing with firmware; i also know that this is one type of job that i would love to do. i look forward to building robots and other arduino-like projects with low-level coding. i also know that if i don't major in hardware engineering i will regret it forever. i've never really liked math, but physics has sparked my interest in math. Just go for it; prioritize, be disciplined, and you should be fine.
  6. Apr 10, 2012 #5
    I never thought I would be in love with dynamic programming languages because I work only with static type ones until I could land on a job as a web developer. Things change. I do too. The language is not hard, only I thought about it so hard. Engineering the language itself is hard though. So now you enter hardware engineering field but what if you can't find a job later in life while the software field grows larger. If I have a company, I am sure I will never hire a software engineer who can not set up a simple LAN or assemble a computer correctly. Individual contribution to a company's industrial project tends to be just around that simple tiny parts (in all forms from swim to yes-men styles) whilst academics is more of gray matter use.
  7. Apr 11, 2012 #6


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    The question of the originial poster reminds me of a guy considering to break up with his girlfriend....or stay together with her....etc.

    The guy asks all his friends what he should do....he asks the opinions of several girls....he then goes to his parents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews,....etc.

    In the end.....there is really only one question:

    What would you do?
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