Official CS Minor vs. Just Taking CS Courses?

  • #1
Hello! I'm a sophomore applied mathematics and physics double major, and I have ~30 credits to spare on any courses I might want to take before I graduate. I'm going use this "extra space" to take computer science courses.

I have been programming with Python for several years now and I have already been exposed to many concepts of computer science, so this field isn't totally foreign to me. However, I don't plan on taking the first intro computer science course because I would not be exposed to any new material. I figured I would just take the courses that are new to me.

The thing is, I can't declare an official computer science minor unless I actually take that intro course. And unfortunately the department will not let me substitute an upper level elective in its place :(

So here's my question: Is it better to take the intro course and get the official minor or just take the coursework and not worry about it? In other words, does it matter if I have an official minor if I have the coursework?
 

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  • #2
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You already have a double major, so I don't think that an official minor is important. The second major really counts also as your minor. On any job application, you can just state that you have a strong CS interest.
 
  • #3
Dr. Courtney
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The CS world is one which demonstrated abilities count more than official degrees. Coursework and completed projects count for demonstrated abilities. Listing of a minor on a degree is less important, especially with the double major already.
 
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  • #4
symbolipoint
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The CS world is one which demonstrated abilities count more than official degrees. Coursework and completed projects count for demonstrated abilities. Listing of a minor on a degree is less important, especially with the double major already.
I'm just curious about this. How much more does on-the-spot skill checking count? The student one day meets for an interview for possible employment for a computer job or programmer job, and the interviewer is aware of his CS course work credit, but wants to know of some specific skills and abilities, and then asks specific solve-a-problem types of questions in order to assess the student, now job interviewee?
 
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I'm just curious about this. How much more does on-the-spot skill checking count? The student one day meets for an interview for possible employment for a computer job or programmer job, and the interviewer is aware of his CS course work credit, but wants to know of some specific skills and abilities, and then asks specific solve-a-problem types of questions in order to assess the student, now job interviewee?
It's definitely something to be mentally prepared for. Hopefully, they will let the person work the problem as he would on the job (test compile, debug, test run, etc.).
On one of my first interviews, in a prior lifetime, I was asked a question that was so trivial that I was surprised and speechless. I wasn't mentally prepared for that type of question. I had taught that subject and knew everything about it, but I said nothing. Luckily, they didn't make me an offer and I wound up at a much better place. :>)
 
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symbolipoint
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It's definitely something to be mentally prepared for. Hopefully, they will let the person work the problem as he would on the job (test compile, debug, test run, etc.).
On one of my first interviews, in a prior lifetime, I was asked a question that was so trivial that I was surprised and speechless. I wasn't mentally prepared for that type of question. I had taught that subject and knew everything about it, but I said nothing. Luckily, they didn't make me an offer and I wound up at a much better place. :>)
The interviewer possibly knew the question was trivial, and this might have been part of the intent of that question.
 
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The interviewer possibly knew the question was trivial, and this might have been part of the intent of that question.
Could have easily been. But I was expecting graduate level questions and didn't handle a trivial question at all. My bad. I don't think that place needed anything advanced anyway, so it was probably the type of thing they wanted me to do on the job. That's why I'm glad I didn't end up there.
 
  • #8
symbolipoint
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Could have easily been. But I was expecting graduate level questions and didn't handle a trivial question at all. My bad. I don't think that place needed anything advanced anyway, so it was probably the type of thing they wanted me to do on the job.
hard to know from my limited point of view. You might know better, since the company interviewed YOU (and hopefully, you interviewed them, too). I could only imagine the interviewer asked you more than just one trivial question, like a couple more not-so-trivial ones, too.
 
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