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#1 Vodkacannon  Icon User is offline

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Software Engineering or Computational Sciences: Confused about my path

Posted 24 August 2013 - 05:44 PM

I find math, science, and programming very interesting. It's that melting pot called physics that really gets me going.

I'm more or so worried about how and if I will be able to make a living for myself and enjoy what I do. My first choice was computer science but then I slowly began to realize that comp. sci. isn't as good as a programming degree or a software engineering degree when it comes to entering the tech industry. Comp. sci. is too theoretical & not enough practical.

So my big question is: Are there jobs in the computational mathematics/science field or do you have to be super smart and lucky? Maybe software engineering is a more secure path when it comes to a career.

When I say computational mathematics/science I tend to think it's a field where you have to create, test, and analyze scientific models with computers. At least that's what I think the field is...

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Replies To: Software Engineering or Computational Sciences: Confused about my path

#2 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Software Engineering or Computational Sciences: Confused about my path

Posted 24 August 2013 - 06:39 PM

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My first choice was computer science but then I slowly began to realize that comp. sci. isn't as good as a programming degree or a software engineering degree when it comes to entering the tech industry. Comp. sci. is too theoretical & not enough practical.

Perhaps this is just your school? I've always found a lot of current CS degrees to have the theory component, but strongly emphasize things like systems and other practical areas. The Business IT routes tend to be good too, but are sometimes geared towards Business Analyst positions.

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So my big question is: Are there jobs in the computational mathematics/science field or do you have to be super smart and lucky? Maybe software engineering is a more secure path when it comes to a career.

Depends what exactly you want to do. Regarding computational physics, you'll probably want to do graduate work in Physics. I'd say super smart qualifies there. You could also look at going to work for a place like National Instruments or Texas Instruments, where they focus on a lot of numerical analysis. If you want to go this route, you might almost be tempted to double major in Math and Physics (the physics part if you want to do computational physics). See if your school offers a Computational Mathematics degree. If you don't want to outright major in math, at least consider a minor with a focus on differential equations and linear algebra. Those two subjects are used heavily in Numerical Analysis.
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