Minor in Computer Science

Going to grad school

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4 Replies - 2184 Views - Last Post: 22 May 2009 - 06:10 PM

#1 nebulinda  Icon User is offline

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Minor in Computer Science

Posted 26 April 2009 - 02:12 PM

I am majoring in physics/astronomy right now, with a minor in computer science. The minor I decided to tack on kind of last minute, so I'm doing 5 or 6 classes in my last three semesters. Even though I'm still not very far into the minor, I've begun to like programming more than doing physics. I've also done a couple research projects on topics in astrophysics, and I don't really enjoy doing research. I'm 90% of the way through a physics/astronomy degree, so I don't want to change my major.

If I'm not too concerned with going to a really top tier school, what are my odds of getting into a master's program? I know I'll probably have to take some "catch up" courses, but I'm a little worried that I'd still be woefully behind everybody else.

Since I don't want to go to grad school for astronomy, I don't really want to take the physics subject GRE. Should I take it anyway, or would CS programs not care? Is there a CS subject GRE?

Thanks for answering my questions and offering any advice.

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#2 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: Minor in Computer Science

Posted 26 April 2009 - 02:33 PM

Yes, there's a CS subject test for the GRE. Most schools want the general test and then the supplemental CS subject test if your major is in something else, like in your case.
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#3 arthurakay  Icon User is offline

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Re: Minor in Computer Science

Posted 20 May 2009 - 01:05 PM

Just curious... why do you want to go straight into a graduate program?

In my experience, you are less likely to get a job with a Graduate degree in CS than someone with only 2 years work experience. You won't make more money off-the-bat either, no matter what anyone says.

The fact is that work experience trumps education in the computer science world almost every time. I would recommend saving yourself the tuition/loan money and just look for a job now. A Masters in CS might be useful somewhere down the line (say for management or senior positions), but it won't matter until you've been working for like 5-10 years. In fact, some companies will pay for you to go back to school at that point.

Just my two cents.
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#4 nebulinda  Icon User is offline

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Re: Minor in Computer Science

Posted 22 May 2009 - 01:30 PM

Thanks for the advice. I'm just worried that no one will want to hire me with only a minor. Also, as is usually the case with physics, if you don't go to grad school right away you probably never will, for whatever reason. There's also almost zero physics-related jobs you can get with only a bachelor's. I guess I'm thinking about CS degrees/jobs in a physics mindset.
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#5 skaoth  Icon User is offline

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Re: Minor in Computer Science

Posted 22 May 2009 - 06:10 PM

I wouldn't worry to much about having a physics degree. In my cubicle area 2 of 4 have physics degrees. Of those 2 1 is a network engineer, and the other a software engineer.

I find that people with physics degrees are just as knowledge able in the majority of areas that CS people are. If you want to get into programming and you were disciplined enough to get a physics degree than I'm of the opinion you'll do fine as a developer. The only thing you'll need to catch up on is the programming language(s) but this is a minor thing compared to the CS topics. I've seen people even myself get caught up in knowing programming languages instead of the concepts and problem solving skills.

as far as the graduate classes. you can do a post bach where you take about a years worth of cs classes before tackling the CS masters program. I've seen people do this.

This post has been edited by skaoth: 22 May 2009 - 06:11 PM

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