Computer Science / Network Admin / Programmer

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#1 St18009  Icon User is offline

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Computer Science / Network Admin / Programmer

Posted 22 June 2014 - 03:56 PM

Hello
I didnít know where to post this so I just chose here. Sorry if itís the wrong place.
I want to earn a bachelorís degree in either computer science or programming.
I read the pre requisites for computer science are mostly math.

This is one subject I find to be very difficult. I would like to know how much math is involved in the major itself and how much is available in the job.
I was told a by a programmer that his job has zero math in it. That coding is understanding concepts. He told me if I wanted to be a programmer I would have to either know C++ or java to get a job after college. He told me other languages are to basic and I would be working with unix systems.

I told him I donít want a job that could be out sourced. He told me I could be a network admin, and that companies need to have a programmer on site in the USA.

I did some research and found that a network admin requires a computer science degree and a MSCE certificate. Also the courses in computer science have programming too.

I would like to know how on point is his information and how much math is involved in school and job of a programmer and someone going for computer science.

Thank you for you time and sorry if my info is all over.

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Replies To: Computer Science / Network Admin / Programmer

#2 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Computer Science / Network Admin / Programmer

Posted 22 June 2014 - 04:06 PM

Moved to the Student Campus.

Regarding math, a CS curriculum isn't solely about software engineering. There is usually a minor's worth of math built in. You have your calculus sequence, discrete math, and generally some linear algebra. Sometimes there is more and sometimes less. As for more on math, check out my blog entry. Aside from math and programming, there are low-level operating systems courses, HCI/GUI courses, theoretical computer science, and other relevant areas. CS is more than just coding, and most degree programs give you some overview for this.

In the workforce, unless you're in a niche area, you won't be using much math beyond basic algebra.

As for languages, Java and C++ are both solid choices. Look at job postings in your area to get a feel for things, though. Different localities have different languages in demand. My locality is a .NET town, for example.
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#3 andrewsw  Icon User is online

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Re: Computer Science / Network Admin / Programmer

Posted 22 June 2014 - 04:41 PM

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He told me if I wanted to be a programmer I would have to either know C++ or java to get a job after college.

There are many other languages, and jobs in those languages. However, it is true that C++ and Java are the most commonly taught languages. You can expect to study one, or both, of these languages, but further down the line you may fall in love with another language, or a specific area of programming.

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He told me other languages are to basic and I would be working with unix systems.

I disagree with the first part and don't know why he would say (or know) the second, unless unix is particularly prevalent in your locale?

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He told me I could be a network admin, and that companies need to have a programmer on site in the USA.

Do you want to be a network admin?
Do ALL companies need to have a programmer on site? What kind of companies? This statement isn't particularly meaningful on its own.
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#4 St18009  Icon User is offline

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Re: Computer Science / Network Admin / Programmer

Posted 22 June 2014 - 07:10 PM

Thank you for your answers / advice.

Can someone tell me if being a programmer involves math in day to day work and if its in courses ( school ).
I donít know if I want to become a network admin. I want a job the pays well when I am done with college.

When it comes to math I second guess myself constantly. I do study hard. Even if I an equation is easy and I solve it. I almost always think I didnít get the right answer even though I have. I donít know how what to really do about that.

I really appreciate the help and hope I'm not coming of as an ass.
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#5 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Computer Science / Network Admin / Programmer

Posted 22 June 2014 - 07:11 PM

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I donít know if I want to become a network admin. I want a job the pays well when I am done with college.

You know - there's something to be said for having a career in something you enjoy, and not just for the money.
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#6 St18009  Icon User is offline

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Re: Computer Science / Network Admin / Programmer

Posted 22 June 2014 - 07:16 PM

Sorry, for me its about the money. I do agree with some people when they tell me " I'm happy I have a job where I don't dread what I do day in day out ".

I know people who absolutely hate their jobs but are paid very well for them. They good lives outside of work.

Please don't be offended by that.
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#7 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Computer Science / Network Admin / Programmer

Posted 22 June 2014 - 07:27 PM

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Can someone tell me if being a programmer involves math in day to day work and if its in courses ( school ).

See my last post.

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When it comes to math I second guess myself constantly. I do study hard. Even if I an equation is easy and I solve it. I almost always think I didnít get the right answer even though I have. I donít know how what to really do about that.

Practice. And then practice some more. I make lots of careless errors when solving equations, and I'm a math major. After your freshman calculus sequence, most of the math becomes proof writing or discrete math. So it's more conceptual and logical, than equation based. Not saying you don't deal with equations in higher level math courses, but it's different than crunching a derivative in freshman calculus.
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#8 RandomlyKnighted  Icon User is offline

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Re: Computer Science / Network Admin / Programmer

Posted 22 June 2014 - 08:09 PM

I'm not sure what programs are offered at the universities in your area but around here we have two options. The first is a degree in Computer Science and the second is a degree in Computer Information Systems. At my university, the degree's are similar in the sense that students in the CIS degree take all the CS classes that the CS students do except for 1. Our minor is also Business Administration instead of Mathematics, but we are required to take at least an Applied Probability course and either Business Calculus or Calculus 1. Try checking out the various programs in your area and see what is available to you.
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#9 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Computer Science / Network Admin / Programmer

Posted 22 June 2014 - 08:30 PM

St18009, you seem to have misunderstood the nature of the problem. Math is not actually about performing calculations - the calculations on your assignments are just there to show you interesting things, or to make sure that you're following the details. Math, at bottom, is about reasoning concretely and correctly about well-defined abstract entities, and about constructing useful abstractions from known results.

This, as it turns out, is also a good description of the programmer's job - the programmer is exercising the same skill set as the mathematician. In order to program well, you have to be able to think mathematically. So if you really think you can't hack the math, you might want to think again about the programming. It might not be the field for you.

And as far as pay goes, there are much easier jobs that pay much better. Go into management, or marketing. You don't need to know anything, and a half-assed manager makes much better money than a half-assed programmer (because nobody can tell that a manager is half-assed...)
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#10 St18009  Icon User is offline

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Re: Computer Science / Network Admin / Programmer

Posted 23 June 2014 - 09:41 PM

Well a family member wanted this for me before they passed so I feel well you know. . .

Ok let me maybe put this in easier terms. which is easier to get a bach in programming or computer science and wich pays more.
I can be good at math when I study, I know that for a fact. I just dont want to be sitting there doing calc type math at work.
They only reason I brought math up is because I saw it in the pre reqs. And my programmer buddy said there is no math involved in his job at all.

Thank you for your time again.
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#11 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Computer Science / Network Admin / Programmer

Posted 23 June 2014 - 10:28 PM

Your family, I'm sure, wants you to be happy, healthy, and able to support yourself.

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Ok let me maybe put this in easier terms. which is easier to get a bach in programming or computer science and wich pays more.

A professor of mine taught us about a rather infamous algorithm last semester. It's the MGME algorithm, and it utilizes a greedy approach. I suspect you're using a closely related algorithm- the MPME algorithm. MGME stands for Maximum Grade Minimum Effort. Of course, MPME is Maximum Pay Minimum Effort. So I think you're looking at this the wrong way, like jon.kiparsky already stated.

Programming isn't easy. Frankly if you're going to get your ass kicked in one, you'll get your ass kicked in the other. You're the one that has to live with the decision. Take some classes in both. Talk to advisers at your school. Feel out the programs yourself. It's not like we have a feel for the programs at your school, since we're not there. And make sure to take classes outside of your major. Branch out some. It helps broaden your horizon, as well as give you areas to apply the IT. That makes you more well rounded and a better job candidate. It also gives you some direction if either degree track turns out not to be the case. Because nobody dead set on a degree path ever changed their majors. Least of all me. ;)
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#12 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Computer Science / Network Admin / Programmer

Posted 23 June 2014 - 11:01 PM

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Ok let me maybe put this in easier terms. which is easier to get a bach in programming or computer science


Computer science is a branch of math. "programming" is not a well-defined field, but I'm going to assume you mean something like "software engineering". Probably the latter is easier for most people.

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and wich pays more.


Well, neither pays anything at all, of course. A degree is just someone's testimony to the fact that you've completed a certain amount of coursework. The degree is pretty meaningless. The program is what's important, and what you get out of it, but that depends on what you put into it. Since it sounds like you're mostly interested in getting past it, you're likely to get almost nothing out of it, which doesn't bode well for your prospects. Trust me - any employer worth working for will be able to tell whether you care about your work, and they don't want you if you don't.

Maybe you should look for something that you want to do because it actually interests you. Or better, look for several somethings with that quality, then pick the one that seems most likely to move you towards a career that will pay you enough to live in the manner to which you would like to be accustomed.


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I can be good at math when I study, I know that for a fact. I just dont want to be sitting there doing calc type math at work.


Well, you're not likely to be doing problem sets at work, you're safe enough there.

Have you done any programming at all? That might be a useful step. Maybe you should see what you'd be getting into.
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#13 St18009  Icon User is offline

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Re: Computer Science / Network Admin / Programmer

Posted 24 June 2014 - 07:43 PM

So software engineer is easy math wise?

Are any of the jobs below light on problem solving?

Database management
Network Administrator
IT consultant
Systems Analyst


Excuse me but why do any of you care if I like my job or not?
Its a job. I work in a medical facility. I have physical therapists working there who cant stand their jobs but like the pay. When I ask some of them why they chose that career, they tell me its because they were idiots. The bosses themselves don't like what they do especially when they know a patient will expire but still keep them in the facility to bill the insurance to the very last second. The majority of the doctors don't care about their patients ( they don't even know medications they are taking even though they prescribed them themselves ). The nurses tell me they can't stand their patients and their families.

The point I'm trying to make is I do not like my job, I am content about it. I do it anyway and do it well. I worked in other medical facilities and not one of my employers cared about how enthusiastic I was.

I will get the degree and work regardless if I like it or not.
Also I have no idea what I like, I have not known for over 2 years. I am 25 years old and frankly its embarrassing to me.

I'm fine with solving problems and things along those lines.

Jon.kiparsky, when you said I do not have to solve problem sets at work. It was a stroke of relief.


I attended some web design classes in the past which I enjoyed. ) if that comes any close to programming )



This is the school i'm looking into if it matters.

http://catalog.nyit...._bs/curriculum/

http://www.nyit.edu/...e_list/CSCI/UG/
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#14 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Computer Science / Network Admin / Programmer

Posted 24 June 2014 - 08:12 PM

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Are any of the jobs below light on problem solving?

That's pretty much all you do in IT. You solve other people's problems.

The thing about asking whether or not you will enjoy this is because it's a lot of hard work in a sometimes high stress environment (constantly changing deadlines and requirements, difficult clients who don't understand the medium, new features breaking old features, etc.). With doctors, they have four years of undergrad and then four years of med school to weed them out and prepare them for the job. With IT, if you choose to get by with the bare minimum, you won't be prepared for the workplace. It's a fact. The projects you do in class are small, maybe small-medium-ish on the larger side. This is in comparison to what you'll deal with in the real world working on real code bases.
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#15 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Computer Science / Network Admin / Programmer

Posted 24 June 2014 - 08:13 PM

View Postmacosxnerd101, on 24 June 2014 - 10:12 PM, said:

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Are any of the jobs below light on problem solving?

That's pretty much all you do in IT. You solve other people's problems.



On the other hand, approximately none of them will be math problems.
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