CS vs Math and opportunity cost

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In summary, the speaker is a transfer student at a small private college and has a dilemma due to the school's strict credit cap of 140 credits. They have 2 options - stick to their original plan of a Math major and CS minor, or switch to a CS major and potentially exceed the credit cap with an appeal. Their goal is to go to graduate school in computational neuroscience or statistical machine learning, but they are concerned about not having enough time to study for the GRE and gain research experience in their current major. They are also a nontraditional student with a family and their spouse supports their pursuit of a Phd. Their boss wants them to eventually make a good amount of money, and it is unclear if this depends on a job
  • #1
TheKracken5
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Hey everyone, so I am a transfer student at a small private college and I am currently having a dilemma.

My college has a pretty strict credit cap at 140 credits, so you are not allowed to double major and can only get a minor if it fits into the major as well, but I transferred in with a bunch of credits so I have 2 options. My goal was to do a Math major and CS minor but I will only be able to take 1 or 2 extra courses on top of it before I hit the cap. Or I talked to the computer science department and if I switch right now, since I still have more than the 140 credit limit left to do the major, the school will approve a appeal to go over the credits. Also the department head of CS said I can substitute some of the courses with upper division mathematics courses.

The opportunity cost comes into play here. If I stick to the math major I will be done after next winter semester. But if I do the CS major it will another 3 years. Either way I have school funding and my loan amounts to 5k per year to help cover living costs.

My goal is to go to graduate school in computational neuroscience or statistical machine learning related fields.
My biggest concern of staying in the math major is that I won't have time between now and grad school applications to really study for the GRE and get any sort of research experience (there is little to none here) and my grades will only show 2 semesters worth of grades to grad schools.
 
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  • #2
TheKracken5 said:
My college has a pretty strict credit cap at 140 credits,
What!? Perhaps you mean there is a cap to the number of credits that is funded by a scholarship.

My goal is to go to graduate school in computational neuroscience or statistical machine learning related fields.
Have you investigated what educational backgrounds such programs expect of applicants?

My biggest concern of staying in the math major is that I won't have time between now and grad school applications to really study for the GRE and get any sort of research experience (there is little to none here) and my grades will only show 2 semesters worth of grades to grad schools.

Is there a CS part of the GRE? How is it that grad schools will only see 2 semesters of grades? Where would you expect go get research experience if you switch to a CS major? - at your college in the CS department?
 
  • #3
Stephen Tashi said:
What!? Perhaps you mean there is a cap to the number of credits that is funded by a scholarship.Have you investigated what educational backgrounds such programs expect of applicants?

Is there a CS part of the GRE? How is it that grad schools will only see 2 semesters of grades? Where would you expect go get research experience if you switch to a CS major? - at your college in the CS department?

My university indeed has a 140 credit limit cap not including the scholarship, but that applies as well. The only way to get it appealed would be in my case if I switch to a major that has requirements that will automatically put me past the 140.

Diverse backgrounds, but the minimum requirements are some programming, DEQ's and LA (already have these). But I want to be an exceptional applicant.CS is not part of the GRE.

They will only see 2 semesters because I will have only complete 2 semesters by this next fall at this university. My community college grades were rather poor there for a while.

I would consider myself a nontraditional student, I am married and with 1 child.
 
  • #4
TheKracken5 said:
I would consider myself a nontraditional student, I am married and with 1 child.

What does "the boss" think about your remaining at your current college for 3 more years? Does she like the town?
 
  • #5
Stephen Tashi said:
What does "the boss" think about your remaining at your current college for 3 more years? Does she like the town?

We absolutely love it here. She doesn't mind my staying in school a while longer and supports me going for a Phd as well, but since we want a large family the boss says I better be able to eventually make a good amount of money!
 
  • #6
TheKracken5 said:
boss says I better be able to eventually make a good amount of money!

Does making a good amount of money depend on getting a job in private industry? Or is a salary as an assistant, associate, or full professor sufficient? I don't know anything about the prospects for an expert in machine learning in private industry. My impression is that private industry is a grab-bag of situations - physics majors getting jobs as wall street traders etc.

You should evaluate whether getting into the Phd program you want is a can-or-can't situation or whether it is only a question of being in a more prestigious vs less prestigious program. How important, salary wise, is it to graduate from a more prestigious program? I can see it matters if you go job hunting to be a teacher. If you go job hunting in private industry, I don't know. The crucial point may be how well your Phd thesis topic matches what a private company is interested in doing.
 

Related to CS vs Math and opportunity cost

What is the difference between computer science and math?

Computer science is a field that focuses on the study of computers and computational systems, including their theory, design, development, and application. Math, on the other hand, is a broad field that deals with numbers, quantities, structures, and patterns.

Which field has better job opportunities, computer science or math?

The job opportunities in both fields are plentiful, but they differ in terms of the skills and roles required. Computer science jobs often involve programming, software development, data analysis, and information technology, while math jobs may include roles in finance, economics, statistics, and research. The demand for both fields is constantly growing, and it ultimately depends on an individual's interests and skills.

What is opportunity cost in the context of choosing between CS and math?

Opportunity cost refers to the potential benefits that are lost when an individual chooses one option over another. In the context of choosing between computer science and math, the opportunity cost could be the potential career opportunities or skills that an individual may miss out on by choosing one field over the other.

Which field has a higher earning potential, computer science or math?

Both fields have the potential for high earning, but it depends on the specific job and industry. In general, computer science jobs tend to have higher salaries due to the high demand for skilled professionals in the technology sector. However, math-related careers in industries such as finance and research can also offer competitive salaries.

Can I combine computer science and math in my career?

Absolutely! In fact, many fields, such as artificial intelligence, data science, and cryptography, require a combination of both computer science and math skills. Having knowledge and skills in both fields can open up a wide range of career opportunities in various industries.

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