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gizmo2134

Life Long Decision

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Let me start off by saying I'm 19 years old, was accepted to NC State and I was planning on majoring in Computer Engineering or Computer Science but the decision is driving me crazy. I've read many articles on here to find out which is the best path to take for the future in order to get into the gaming industry. I am in no way graphically talented and I am interested in becoming a programmer. To me it seems that Computer Engineering is more of a hardware/technical field, whereas Computer Science is more on the programming side which is what I am more interested in. I am aware that whichever field I take I will have to further my knowledge with classes there after but what is the best path to take. Any advice or information is greatly appreciated as I will be speaking with the school on Monday. Thanks

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I think you are already done; you said Computer Science is more of your thing. I also believe it is more suited for game development, but that may or may not be an opinion. You should also take into account that this is not as dramatic as a life long decision; it turns out that your education level is more important than the (exact) area. To examplify, I finished my MSc degree in Computing Science while I'm currently employed as a researcher at an Econometrics faculty, while running a game development business. It is as broad as you want to see it.

Greetz,

Illco

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When I started a CE program back in 99, I was worried that maybe I should be doing CS instead. I told my advisor that I wanted to program, so maybe CE wasn't for me. He said that the CS program makes good programers, but the CE program makes excellent programers.

It's a little cheesey, I know, but I think it's true. In CS, you'll learn about how to use programming languages. In CE, you'll still learn how to program, but you'll also know about everything that goes on underneath that, probably from the ground up, starting with a calc-based electricity and magnetism physics class. (At least that's what we did here at Univ. of South Carolina.)

I may be stepping on some toes since there are so many CS folks around here, but I think it's kind of like the difference between the people who are content to use software and those who feel a need to understand it and create it. If the part of programming you like is being 'behind the scenes' and knowing how things really work, the I'd go with CE. If, on the other hand, you'd be content to just use the compiler and CPU rather than understand them, then maybe CS would be better.

Oh, and CE will probably have a bunch of circuits classes the first year and a half, but don't let that fool you. The programming classes will come eventually.

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Your best bet would be to go with CS if u really want to further your education in programming. My suggestion is to take the CS and go with the programming, plus CE is a whole lot more boring.

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Take a look at the degree your specific school offers.

I have no doubt that what kingnosis said is true. However, in my university, quite the reverse is true. CS makes good programmers, and CE makes people who can program if they have to but aren't particularly good at it.

I find that there are wide variations between university degrees, and you should really look into the ones your school offers to decide what's best for you.

Cheers,
--Brian

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Quote:
Original post by Illco
it turns out that your education level is more important than the (exact) area.


I'll second that. When I was first looking at college and what I wanted to study, one of the first pieces of advice I received was that getting your degree will not provide you with all the skills your job requires. They will have to train you when they hire you. The degree shows them that you are able to learn what they need you to learn.

Now, this isn't to say that it isn't preferrable to get a degree in your field. A degree in your field will provide you with more relevant background knowledge.

So, here's my advice for choosing between CE and CS. As mentioned, CE focuses more on hardware and CS focuses more on software, but both overlap. So, which will help you acheive your goals? It's easier (not necessarily easy, but easier) to learn the software side outside of class because the resources are more readily available. So, if you're willing to put in the time outside class, CE is probably your best bet because you'll have a broader base. However, if programming is what you really want to do, take CS and use the time outside class to learn the saxophone or something. (chicks dig guys who play the sax, and you'll need something to make up for the pasty white complexion [wink])

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I'm a first time poster but I've lurked around alot and just HAD to chime in on this subject. I'm currently a sophomore in the CS department at State and wanted to help give you an idea of what to expect from either program. CE concentrates heavily on general Electrical Engineering at our school and involves more embedded systems programming.

Here the CS program is really set up so that majors in our department can explore any given subject(s) they want to. The classes you take in your first two years are dictated very heavily by the college. Beacause the CS department is technically in the School of Engineering your entire freshmen year will be general requirements for matriculating into your "final" degree program. Sophomore year is where you will build the basic foundations for programming that all of your higher level courses in your junior and senior year will build off of. In your junior and senior year you will be taking almost all elective courses. There is a huge selection here and rather than listing examples I will point you to the course catalog:

http://www2.acs.ncsu.edu/reg_records/crs_cat/dir_CSC.html

If you browse that list you will soon discover that you can basically take classes on any subject that you would want to almost. Besides just strong academics we also have a program called CoOp. The university has relationships with many companies here in the US as well as internationally. If you decide to take advantage of CoOp you will spend one year here at the school on a rotation. You will spend a semester studying here at the university and the following semester will work as a paid "intern" at a company. In reality you are treated very differently from your typical summer intern. You will be on this rotation three times turning your 4 year program into a 5 year program and will gain a year of practical work experience for when you graduate. In all honesty a years worth of work experience at an actual company is probably worth more than your final degree when you graduate and begin applying for a job or graduate school. These aren't small companies either. Every year people go to work at places like Sony, IBM, and major US contractors such as Lockheed-Martin, etc.

I don't think you'll be dissapointed with State and from what you have said CS is probably the best fit for you. If you have any further questions I would be happy to answer them for you.

Jacob True

EDIT: Formatting was icky.

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