12 Replies - 1100 Views - Last Post: 23 June 2016 - 11:08 AM

#1 andrewn   User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 22-June 16

Computer Science Specializaiton

Posted 22 June 2016 - 08:06 AM

I am currently an engineering major with a concentration in comp science and I am at a crossroads. I am having difficulty deciding whether to specialize in cyber security or software engineering. I have researched both topics thoroughly and think I would be very happy doing either, but I want to see if there are any people who are experienced in either of these fields that could provide me some insight. The financial benefits of being a CISO seem to be similar to that of becoming a Software Architect. In your opinion, what field do you think has the most job security and pays better? Which field seems more worthwhile. What language/discipline is a good place to start?

Thanks in advanced!

Is This A Good Question/Topic? 0
  • +

Replies To: Computer Science Specializaiton

#2 modi123_1   User is online

  • Suitor #2
  • member icon



Reputation: 14149
  • View blog
  • Posts: 56,721
  • Joined: 12-June 08

Re: Computer Science Specializaiton

Posted 22 June 2016 - 08:10 AM

Dude.. those are, like, life choices you need to buck up and make yourself. Everyone field has ups and downs, and the possibility of long time careers or burning out and failing. The majority is up to you to make the magic happen.

You can find salary info everyone (like salary.com) and that ranges from place to place.. year to year. Job security? Once again that is on your shoulders..
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#3 CTphpnwb   User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 3796
  • View blog
  • Posts: 13,742
  • Joined: 08-August 08

Re: Computer Science Specializaiton

Posted 22 June 2016 - 08:14 AM

There is no job security. Be prepared to change, and hope that technology doesn't replace so many jobs that the competition for what's left leaves most people on the street.

Pick the one you like, as you're likely to be better at it.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#4 andrewn   User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 0
  • View blog
  • Posts: 2
  • Joined: 22-June 16

Re: Computer Science Specializaiton

Posted 22 June 2016 - 08:16 AM

I appreciate the comment, but I am simply looking for insight and opinions. Not having anyone decide my fate for me. I am hoping that some professionals would give their 2 cents.

View PostCTphpnwb, on 22 June 2016 - 08:14 AM, said:

There is no job security. Be prepared to change, and hope that technology doesn't replace so many jobs that the competition for what's left leaves most people on the street.

Pick the one you like, as you're likely to be better at it.

Thank you for your insight
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#5 modi123_1   User is online

  • Suitor #2
  • member icon



Reputation: 14149
  • View blog
  • Posts: 56,721
  • Joined: 12-June 08

Re: Computer Science Specializaiton

Posted 22 June 2016 - 08:34 AM

Okay so let's explore that for a minute. Insights and opinions on what specifically? I've been doing what I've been doing for a number of years, and I had enjoyed some companies and hated others. Bounced back from layoffs due to outsourcing while watching other coworkers flounder and now bend tacos.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#6 jon.kiparsky   User is online

  • Beginner
  • member icon


Reputation: 11090
  • View blog
  • Posts: 18,973
  • Joined: 19-March 11

Re: Computer Science Specializaiton

Posted 22 June 2016 - 08:40 AM

These are two very different areas. Can you find some people who work in the jobs you think you're interested in and ask them some questions? That might help you get a better understanding of what it is you're getting into.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#7 Skydiver   User is offline

  • Code herder
  • member icon

Reputation: 6282
  • View blog
  • Posts: 21,604
  • Joined: 05-May 12

Re: Computer Science Specializaiton

Posted 22 June 2016 - 07:13 PM

Moving this to the Corner Cubicle since this in not C/C++ specific...
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#8 Skydiver   User is offline

  • Code herder
  • member icon

Reputation: 6282
  • View blog
  • Posts: 21,604
  • Joined: 05-May 12

Re: Computer Science Specializaiton

Posted 22 June 2016 - 08:40 PM

This is just my opinion. Years ago, I dreamt that I would enjoy being a Software Architect and be focused on solving the "big problems" and charting the direction that software should be taking within an organization. I'd gotten disillusioned with that dream because all my past and current experience with folks who have the title "Software Architect" seem to be out of touch with reality and tend to do a lot of hand waving when I ask them specifics about their plans for the organizations that I've worked in. It's almost like "I'm an architect. Here's the grand plan for the building. Don't bother me with the geological engineer's report that a sinkhole will likely develop under the foundation, or that acoustics will suck in most of the rooms because of the amount of glass and open flat surfaces. The builders will take care of finding a solution." Don't get me wrong. Most of the software architects I've worked with are brilliant, and I like them as people.
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#9 jon.kiparsky   User is online

  • Beginner
  • member icon


Reputation: 11090
  • View blog
  • Posts: 18,973
  • Joined: 19-March 11

Re: Computer Science Specializaiton

Posted 22 June 2016 - 09:25 PM

The thing that software architects have in common, in my experience, is that they're decent programmers who can talk plausible nonsense for arbitrary lengths of time and look convincing in a suit. Some of them also can think well about the structure of a large-scale computer program and make a useful contribution to the planning of same, but that seems to be mostly a coincidence when it happens.
Was This Post Helpful? 2
  • +
  • -

#10 Skydiver   User is offline

  • Code herder
  • member icon

Reputation: 6282
  • View blog
  • Posts: 21,604
  • Joined: 05-May 12

Re: Computer Science Specializaiton

Posted 23 June 2016 - 06:07 AM

I always strive to be a "capable software engineer" rather than a "decent programmer". If I'm doing things right, I'm even a "pragmatic software design engineer". :)
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#11 baavgai   User is offline

  • Dreaming Coder
  • member icon


Reputation: 7197
  • View blog
  • Posts: 15,003
  • Joined: 16-October 07

Re: Computer Science Specializaiton

Posted 23 June 2016 - 07:00 AM

View Postandrewn, on 22 June 2016 - 10:06 AM, said:

Which field seems more worthwhile.


You're asking a programming boards this so, um, programming? :P I'd say the two fields depend on your tolerance for change. Some folks like learning new things: programmers. Some like stable rules and then learning everything to be found within that rules domain: sysadmin/netadmin/security guy.

If were a network security guy 10 years ago, you knew the IP stack, protocols, firewalls, routers, etc; skills you still use today. By the way, that IPv6 thing you were getting ready for; still not here.

If your were a programmer 10 years ago, .NET just just knocked you on your ass and the WinForms you've finally learned will be dead in five years. That ActiveX control you learned C++ for; already dead.

View Postandrewn, on 22 June 2016 - 10:06 AM, said:

What language/discipline is a good place to start?


For security, pretty much anything on the Cisco test. For programming, learn NodeJs today, knowing it will be something else tomorrow.
Was This Post Helpful? 1
  • +
  • -

#12 Skydiver   User is offline

  • Code herder
  • member icon

Reputation: 6282
  • View blog
  • Posts: 21,604
  • Joined: 05-May 12

Re: Computer Science Specializaiton

Posted 23 June 2016 - 10:53 AM

Again just my opinion, but the few CISO's I've run across seem to have tools fetishes: hardware firewalls, automated code checkers, automated penetration tests, tools for scanning vulnerabilities, etc. They don't quite seem to believe in education and training people to be more secure.

Probably just comes with the territory. Security officers distrust trust human judgment; architects need to dream big and not get bogged down by the details.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#13 baavgai   User is offline

  • Dreaming Coder
  • member icon


Reputation: 7197
  • View blog
  • Posts: 15,003
  • Joined: 16-October 07

Re: Computer Science Specializaiton

Posted 23 June 2016 - 11:08 AM

View PostSkydiver, on 23 June 2016 - 12:53 PM, said:

They don't quite seem to believe in education and training people to be more secure.


I think that comes with the territory.

The minute password rules become too complex, people start writing them down and keeping them under their keyboard. Hell, some folks sticky note them to the monitor!

People want to feel secure but tend to reject the inconvenience of being secure; security is fundamentally at odds with people's natural inclinations. For security, you can't trust that something is locked if you're simply told it's locked; if you don't rattle it you're not doing your job.
Was This Post Helpful? 2
  • +
  • -

Page 1 of 1