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#1 zawmbee  Icon User is offline

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CS courses?

Posted 31 May 2011 - 06:48 AM

I was wondering if anyone here as attended, or has an aspiration to attend a Computer Science course in University? I just wanted to know what the standards were like and what you've got out of it. I understand it's further learning and has obvious benefits, but is it necessary? I'm currently at GCSE level and I found out I might not be able to take Mathematics, which is needed to attend pretty much any CS University course. But I don't understand how it really works in the work environment. I'm going to be programming throughout myself, but when I want to go in for a job interview, will I necessarily need CS credentials saying I have a masters degree or major? Or will they accept the fact that you can be self taught? I always thought University was just further mastering your skills and a way to prove your skills -- like A-levels. I was wondering if a CS course if advised, or can I get away with not attending a University course about CS. I currently don't understand the University scene, but I was hoping I could get some more insight from experienced programmers.

Also, is there anyway I could get Maths A-levels outside of school? Because I really need one. But hopefully my 6th form lets me take Mathematics :<

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#2 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: CS courses?

Posted 31 May 2011 - 07:02 AM

There are a bunch of similar and related threads listed here, discussing math, CS vs. Software Engineering majors, certifications, etc. The condensed version is that if you can program and have a portfolio to prove it, a degree isn't always necessary. If you're not interested/able to take the required math classes, perhaps an Information Systems/Software Engineering/whatever equivalent is offered in the business department might be better to take, since CS is very math/theory heavy and the business equivalent is not.

Does your school offer some sort of college credit programming class like the AP Computer Science course? If so, you might want to take it since it's equivalent to a college intro to programming class spread out into a year.
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#3 zawmbee  Icon User is offline

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Re: CS courses?

Posted 31 May 2011 - 07:16 AM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 31 May 2011 - 07:02 AM, said:

There are a bunch of similar and related threads listed here, discussing math, CS vs. Software Engineering majors, certifications, etc. The condensed version is that if you can program and have a portfolio to prove it, a degree isn't always necessary. Of you're not interested/able to take the required math classes, perhaps an Information Systems/Software Engineering/whatever equivalent is offered in the business department might be better to take, since CS is very math/theory heavy and the business equivalent is not.

Does your school offer some sort of college credit programming class like the AP Computer Science course? If so, you might want to take it since it's equivalent to a college intro to programming class spread out into a year.

Ff, I should have searched first. I'm sorry, haha. Thanks for that, I will definitely check out those links. The Universities I had in mind don't accept Information Systems or Physics are a substitute for Maths. Maths is a must :/

My school doesn't offer the AP Computer Science course.

Also, how could you have a CS portfolio without attending any courses?
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#4 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: CS courses?

Posted 31 May 2011 - 07:25 AM

"Computer Science" is often used to describe strictly theoretical aspects. You want programming, web design/development, database management, etc. Did you make a game? Include that. What about a website for somebody or yourself? That's part of your portfolio.

Martyr2 has a whole list of projects you may consider tackling to build your portfolio.

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The Universities I had in mind don't accept Information Systems or Physics are a substitute for Maths.

Nor should they. Physics and IS aren't substitutes for math. I'm just saying IS is a less math-intensive major. Physics, if anything, is just as math intensive, more so for Calculus and Analysis than Discrete Math.
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#5 zawmbee  Icon User is offline

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Re: CS courses?

Posted 31 May 2011 - 08:04 AM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 31 May 2011 - 07:25 AM, said:

"Computer Science" is often used to describe strictly theoretical aspects. You want programming, web design/development, database management, etc. Did you make a game? Include that. What about a website for somebody or yourself? That's part of your portfolio.

Martyr2 has a whole list of projects you may consider tackling to build your portfolio.

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The Universities I had in mind don't accept Information Systems or Physics are a substitute for Maths.

Nor should they. Physics and IS aren't substitutes for math. I'm just saying IS is a less math-intensive major. Physics, if anything, is just as math intensive, more so for Calculus and Analysis than Discrete Math.

Oh, that's really cool. I never knew they'd accept your online portfolio. That would explain why people have them. But I always thought you still needed a degree.

I'm all for being self taught and making a portfolio, but I'd prefer a university course and degree, because it will be hard for me to put programming at a priority over my studies (that's why I'm finding it hard now). So I'd love for my hobby, education and home life to fuse. If you understand me.
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#6 macosxnerd101  Icon User is offline

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Re: CS courses?

Posted 31 May 2011 - 08:06 AM

A degree is great, and I'm not discounting its value, but a CS program isn't a reliable way to learn programming. There are many CS graduates that can't program their way out of a paper bag. Not all firms require a degree for IT and programming jobs. :)
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#7 zawmbee  Icon User is offline

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Re: CS courses?

Posted 31 May 2011 - 08:45 AM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 31 May 2011 - 08:06 AM, said:

A degree is great, and I'm not discounting its value, but a CS program isn't a reliable way to learn programming. There are many CS graduates that can't program their way out of a paper bag. Not all firms require a degree for IT and programming jobs. :)

Hahaha, thank you for the wide words! I'm still going to opt for persuading them to let me take Maths and hopefully get into a Computer Science course; how I see it is it's not only further training, in addition to my self training, but it's only a way to validate my achievements. If I try and succeed, I will have legal documents to prove my abilities. While if I fail, well, it doesn't matter as much -- I come out with all the knowledge and can make that portfolio and hopefully go into self-employment. I truly don't want to do anything else for University :/
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