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How To Approach This?

  1. Jun 5, 2008 #1
    I'm interested in software development as well as hardware development. A computer engineering program might satisfy my initial needs but my concern is how to properly branch off from there. My desire is to be able to switch seamlessly between the two fields, let's say working for Microsoft on web video software or working for Cisco on wireless networks projects.

    I want flexibility and efficiency. What's the optimal approach here?

    CS --> EE OR CE --> Dual EE/CS?

    Thank you.

    Jordan Joab.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 5, 2008 #2


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    Wether the course is called Computer science, Computer engineering, software engineering, electrical engineering or IT is pretty decoupled to what is actualy taught.

    In general, my advice is to do as 'pure' a ugrad degree as possible so you have a good grasp of the core stuff and then specialise in the area you are interested in either in a final year project, a masters, or in industry.

    The actual title of your ugrad degree is generally irrelelvant - except perhaps in countries where 'engineer' is licenced and you have to have an accredited degree to work in the field.
  4. Jun 6, 2008 #3
    Pardon my ignorance, what would be a "pure" ugrad degree? Math?

  5. Jun 6, 2008 #4
    If you want to write code for Microsoft or Cisco, CS would probably be preferable.

    If you want to write code for Microsoft and design antennas or other hardware for Cisco... well, good luck. An EE would be more suited for the Cisco position, while as I said, if you want to write code, CS.

    People specialize. I'm afraid that these two are just a bit too far apart, and you'll have to make a choice.
  6. Jun 6, 2008 #5
    You are correct. You have also reached the root of my problem. This is the very reason why I still can't reach a final decision. The truth is very annoying.

    Jordan Joab.
  7. Jun 6, 2008 #6
    The world is full of possibilities. This is both a feature and a bug. :smile:
  8. Jun 6, 2008 #7
    Is more of a bug for me! :cry:

    I dislike specialization.

    Jordan Joab.
  9. Jun 6, 2008 #8


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    Ideally yes!
    It wasn't meant in any elitist sense.
    There is a scale of theory vs application - from some CS courses which are basically maths degrees through to ones where the textbook is "Learn MicroSoft XYZ in 21days"
    Tradiationally the top CS dept do not teach any 'industry standard' languages - instead using specialist langauges to illustrate specific aspects of CS.

    You want to use the opportunity at college - surrounded by peoplewho understand these things and want to teach you, together with the freedom from project deadlines, to learn the hard stuff.
    You can pick up the latest in demand language of the day when you are in a job - it's much harder to learn CS on the job only knowing a specific language.
  10. Jun 6, 2008 #9
    I see. I don't believe I can obtain a pure undergrad degree. I'm not particularly bright or smart but a normal person with an active imagination. I don't think imagination gets anyone but writers anywhere. One of my concerns is that a CS degree has a higher risk of being outsourced than most Engineering degrees. And if I somehow end up with a Math, Physics, Chemistry, etc. degree I feel those would push me to a teaching career and that is something I'm not particularly looking for. Technology is what interests me the most but then, what path to purse and how to tread it? :confused:

    My only real option is to go to class and see what I like but I'm not sure that's going to help me decide. I think I'll probably end up choosing CS out of frustration and confusion. Here are a few links to the college programs I'm interested in:



    Jordan Joab.
  11. Jun 6, 2008 #10
    Well, that's not true at all. Imagination is a large part of engineering. You have to not only imagine what you want to do, you have to imagine how things could go wrong.
  12. Jun 6, 2008 #11
    I seem to be an expert in this particular sub-field.:cry:

    TMFKAN64, you are a CS guy, no? Would it be a bother to check out the 1st link I provided and tell me how good that CS program is, please? Thank you sir.

    Jordan Joab.
  13. Jun 6, 2008 #12
    forgive my ignorance, but arent these software and computer jobs in GREAT DANGER of outsourcing? isnt it too risky to decide to go into this field?
  14. Jun 6, 2008 #13
    That's what I keep hearing however we have little gems like:



    That tell us this field will "grow much faster than the average." The Gov says so. Right. Makes me wonder how many of those positions will end up in China, India, Russia, and elsewhere. I don't want to spend 4 years in school just to end up with an outsourced degree.

    Jordan Joab.
  15. Jun 6, 2008 #14
    wow thats SUPRISING info from the government's website. Locally, from what ive been hearing isn't good. ive been hearing on the news that silicon valley companies like Yahoo and Google, which is in California, laid of hundreds of employees. Now, hoenstly, i don't know if thats exclusively like janitors or the service jobs, but i don't doubt theres a lot of computer scientists and engineers getting laid off. My moms reads newspapers and they tell me all those CS and engineering jobs are all going overseas...My uncles friendwho went into engineering like a decade ago actually went backto shcool to be a dentist. with this trend, i just won't believe the BLS report. Like ive been hearing about outsourcing for years now...so yeah, if i were you, i would probably do somethign else. But thatys jsut me.

    I Hope you figure thigns out!
  16. Jun 6, 2008 #15
    Your uncle's friend is more data than that examined by the bureau of labor statistics?

    I'm sorry, but it seems like everyone on here has some story about their ex-roommate's neighbor's cousin not being able to hold an engineering job, like that indicates the workplace rather than the worker. I'm not inclined to call B.S. on the BLS study until I see an actual, statistically sound study that points the other way.
  17. Jun 7, 2008 #16
    Well, I'm a CS guy working on becoming a physics guy. :smile:

    The curriculum looks reasonable, but then they all do. It's almost impossible to really evaluate a school based on a list of required courses. This program seems pretty standard to me, both in terms of the distribution requirements outside of the major and the depth and breadth of the CS courses required.

    As for outsourcing... every company I know regardless of size has an overseas operation as well as their Silicon Valley organization. I'm told startup funding is scarce if you don't have plans to outsource... the VCs will assume that you aren't serious and don't know anything about business if you plan on doing all of your development in America.

    That said, outsourcing is an economic phenomenon... I think it will probably put downwards pressure on CS salaries, but I really doubt that all of the programming jobs are suddenly going to go overseas. After all, things have already gotten so expensive in Bangalore that it's hardly worth it to outsource jobs there any more.
  18. Jun 7, 2008 #17
    Well, this is really frustrating.

    Jordan Joab.
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