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#1 Mylo  Icon User is offline

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Getting into University/Importance of degree in computer science?

Posted 22 March 2012 - 07:18 AM

So I plan on getting into the programming field, whether it be software engineering, web development, or even making databases etc. I'm in my last year of senior schooling (Year 12). I achieve high grades in Math and IT, however, I do not do well in English, which affects my ability to get into university. I don't have any particular course in mind, but I'd still like to go. The courses related to Information Technology require around an OP of 10, and a pass in Math and English. I admit I have absolutely terrible time management so I have not achieved as well as I could have, so I should be able to improve my grades quite a bit if I pick up my act. I did do two summative (affects OP) assessments badly though, due to it being a group assignment (I find it very difficult to work in groups), almost failing both even when I'm a A-A+ standard. I am sitting on a B- minus now because of it. I'm not sure I can get that back to an A even if I do well on the next three.

Basically, I'm concerned about my chances of getting into University. I think due to the assignments that didn't go well, and my low grades in English (D+, though this doesn't contribute to this year), I may not get into University assuming I do pass English. So my question is...

If I don't make it into University to get a degree? What other options do I have for getting into University, or getting a degree, and how would it affect my chances of getting into the IT industry?

Thanks

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Replies To: Getting into University/Importance of degree in computer science?

#2 SpartanGuy07  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting into University/Importance of degree in computer science?

Posted 22 March 2012 - 08:00 AM

Well think of it this way, if you get into a job in software engineering, web development, or database management, you will need to have really good English skills. Developers of all kinds (at least in my workplace) constantly present to colleagues,write documentation, work with remote developers (temps and out of office workers), and business clients. All of these things require good communication.

It is also very important to have good group skills. Almost any project you work on in software development will have a decent sized team that you need to interact and corroborate with. If you are having problems working with groups in high school, you won't find it any easier in college or the work world.

If these two things are not your strong suit, maybe you need to rethink the path you are planning to pursue.

Other than that I would suggest what always seems to be suggested...work on some freelance projects. Maybe you can do well for your self and create your own side business (though this will still require good communication skills). But if you can prove yourself competent enough in the area of development, you can definitely score some good temp jobs/contract/freelance work. Though I realize this is not the same as getting a degree, maybe after some time you will be able to/want to return to school.

This post has been edited by SpartanGuy07: 22 March 2012 - 08:02 AM

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#3 Mylo  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting into University/Importance of degree in computer science?

Posted 22 March 2012 - 08:55 AM

Well it's not so much the English language itself I have trouble with. It's far from perfect, but I'd say it is better than the the majority of people I know. It's the things that are part of the English class that I have trouble with. These things include creating monologues, auditions for TV shows, story writing, poetry, and so on. I'm not good at creative writing nor media. My IT classes almost always require us to write reports, usually alongside a project detailing the development phases, goals, reasons, etc. I have always gotten A's in these, with the exception of group assignments. Although getting a high mark can mean different things in different situations, I don't think it can be considered terrible.

As for groupwork, it is hard to work well with group members largely because of communication, but also because of their abilities. Only 3 people out of around 20 sit on a C+ on higher. We are also limited to 3 hours of work split between 3 sessions each week. If I were to be grouped with my friend however, who also is into IT and programming like me, I reckon I we would do fine. I can't do this with the people in my class though, because they don't have the skills in areas that we have gained outside of class previously, like in web development, programming, building databases and so on, they're pretty much useless when it comes to that. Although I can't vouch for what it would be like if I hadn't had the practice beforehand. I do try to share the responsibilities around though and have everyone contribute to give them a chance, it would be better to do it myself though.

I can't say for sure that I would work well in a group in a professional environment since I haven't had that opportunity, but I think I would have a much better chance.

Freelancing sounds like an option, infact I'll probably do that if things don't work out, thanks. Still, I would prefer to learn alongside doing University to make better use of my time. I could learn a lot more in computer science if I attended which I may not have self studying, along with the degree.

Do I need to go to University via school, or can I just leave school, then go to University and submit an application? Maybe this depends on the area I live in, but Queensland seems to make it very unclear.
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#4 darek9576  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting into University/Importance of degree in computer science?

Posted 22 March 2012 - 10:07 AM

You could just make a portfolio and apply for entry position jobs straight away without uni. This joh might not be your dream job but when you look at your dream job in 3-5 years, it will say:

"Requirements: Degree in ABCDEF OR relevant work experience"

that you will have.
Good luck.
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#5 SpartanGuy07  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting into University/Importance of degree in computer science?

Posted 22 March 2012 - 01:01 PM

View PostMylo, on 22 March 2012 - 11:55 AM, said:

As for groupwork, it is hard to work well with group members largely because of communication, but also because of their abilities.


Trust me when I say this probably won't change when you enter the working world!

Quote

I can't say for sure that I would work well in a group in a professional environment since I haven't had that opportunity, but I think I would have a much better chance.


Try looking for a (summer) internship at a local company. One where you might be able to work under a professional developer who has the experience to be able to teach you and give you an intro into what things would be like in the career. This shouldn't be difficult you just need to search around.

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Freelancing sounds like an option, infact I'll probably do that if things don't work out, thanks. Still, I would prefer to learn alongside doing University to make better use of my time. I could learn a lot more in computer science if I attended which I may not have self studying, along with the degree.


If you get into a university definitely go into that, however I would freelance (or find an internship) on the side while you attend school. It will add invaluable credentials to your resume.

If you do not get into university, at least in the US (where I live), it is possible to "audit" classes at local community colleges. This means that you don't get credit toward a degree for the class but you can sit in on the class and listen to the professor and still be active in the class. Doing this will probably help you learn some new material in the IT/comp sci area. But I really don't know the school systems in Australia, so if you have a guidance counselor or someone you can talk to in your high school regarding University transfer and graduation I would seek them out.

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Do I need to go to University via school, or can I just leave school, then go to University and submit an application? Maybe this depends on the area I live in, but Queensland seems to make it very unclear.


In the US high school is not tied to a University. You can choose to apply for universities and start a few months after graduation or you can wait a year (or two) and then apply. But like I said above, try to find a guidance counselor to talk to.

This post has been edited by SpartanGuy07: 22 March 2012 - 01:02 PM

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#6 moiseskline  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting into University/Importance of degree in computer science?

Posted 18 May 2012 - 05:01 AM

Quite honestly, I donít see the problem with your English. However, if you feel like youíre not as good, why donít you take up tutoring in school? Might help. Computer science is currently in-demand and I would highly recommend you go ahead with your plans of studying it. Why donít you look into programs offered by California College San Diego? Iíve been looking at colleges where I could pursue a bachelorís in computer science and this is one of my options. Iíd suggest you read a review about California College San Diego to learn more about the college and its programs. Good luck with your education.
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#7 Gungnir  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting into University/Importance of degree in computer science?

Posted 27 May 2012 - 09:31 AM

I'll level with you. I dropped out of highschool in the 12th grade because of reasons (I accidentally my pencil case). Jokes and memes aside, I'm still in university today. You could fail every single class, but if you're determined to get into programming then you'll make it work.

As for whether or not a degree is important? It certainly is. You could be a genius savant programmer who dropped out of elementary school to build a cyborg that can perform sexual favors if you feed it $100 notes - But if your resume doesn't include a degree, or significant experience in the field, then 9 times out of 10 you'll be unemployable (and believe me, that 10th job is nothing special).

Following your dream (if it's a dream worth following) means having to go through the education system, and that means learning from people who have failed that dream (no offense to any teachers).
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#8 Hamdemon  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting into University/Importance of degree in computer science?

Posted 31 May 2012 - 07:37 PM

If your grades suck you can always go to community college your first two years. It's cheaper anyway and the classes tend to be less competitive and in some cases, smaller. Once you get a certain quota of college credits at a community college they won't even look at your high school grades or even an SAT score most places. You might struggle getting into a top university that way though. Take math up to the highest calc they offer, engineering physics and whatever programming classes and your standard general eds like english you'll need for your degree anyway there and then try to transfer.
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#9 NecroWinter  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting into University/Importance of degree in computer science?

Posted 01 June 2012 - 09:58 AM

View PostHamdemon, on 31 May 2012 - 07:37 PM, said:

If your grades suck you can always go to community college your first two years. It's cheaper anyway and the classes tend to be less competitive and in some cases, smaller. Once you get a certain quota of college credits at a community college they won't even look at your high school grades or even an SAT score most places. You might struggle getting into a top university that way though. Take math up to the highest calc they offer, engineering physics and whatever programming classes and your standard general eds like english you'll need for your degree anyway there and then try to transfer.


This.

SAT's are for suckers. I never took SAT's, did as bad as possible in HS while still graduating, I decided to go to community college after years of working, I ended up doing so well that I got letters from places like penn state saying that if I were to apply I would be accepted. I turned them down, and im in a private university now.

SAT's are only good if you want to go to a ivy league school or something, also perhaps a school that wont take a specific community college credits (such as a college outside your region). Im lucky in that my local community college has a lot of transfer agreements with many universities, and I have a lot of options near me.
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#10 leontd  Icon User is offline

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Re: Getting into University/Importance of degree in computer science?

Posted 10 June 2012 - 08:09 AM

You can go to a community college and see if they have transferable credits to a university you want to go to. If they do, then you can attend there and eventually transfer to that university. The benefits of this is that you can start fresh and not worrying about the GPA and other examination scores from High school, unless you are applying to an ivy league or other top ranked school than that is a different story.
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