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Cornstalks

Colleges and Computer Science...I'm puzzled!

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I apologize if this is asked a lot, but I couldn't find a thread that had the answers to my questions. So now for the introduction: I'm 17 and have been programming for about 4 years and I'm pretty sure I'd like it to be my career. I'll be applying to colleges in a few months and I think it's time I make a few decisions. First, I'm not entirely sure if Computer Science is right for me. If you could please elaborate on what is involved in this subject and how it is used in a career that would help a lot. I know it involves theory and isn't actually about programming, but that's still very vague. Second, which colleges should I look into? There are so many and I'm not sure which ones have the best Computer Science departments. Third, are there any recomendations you can make for me? Things like tips for looking into colleges, what different careers offer, and anything else I should do or know. P.S. While I recognize some colleges are really hard to get into, I think I'd have a good chance since I should graduate high school with a 3.993 GPA and I'm hoping to raise my ACT score from a 26 to around a 34 (which I consider very possible since I screwed around the first time and still got a 26), and I've been a school officer for 2 years in a row, and other reasons that I don't want to write since this isn't an application and I don't want to bore you.

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You can browse the web pages of college CS courses to get an idea of what CS encompasses. Specifically, take a look at lecture slides, assignments, and perhaps even browse the reading materials for the course (books, papers, etc.).

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You say that Computer Science isn't alot of actual programming, but you're wrong, at least at my school. One thing you may not be considering is that (at my university at least) you decide to major in Computer and Information Science, take the core classes, and then you decide what track or field you want to go into, and then you take courses specific to that track. The tracks offered at my school, for example, are:

Interdisciplinary Tracks
- Bioinformatics
- Computational Biology
- Computational Arts: Multimedia
- Business Information Systems

Traditional Tracks
- Foundations
- Software Development
- Computer Networks
- Database and Informatics

So the Interdisciplinary Tracks combine CIS and another field, respectively, whereas Traditional Tracks are purely CIS. Obviously you work doing different things and learning theories and whatnot in different tracks. So if you're worried that you won't be doing enough coding, choose Software Development, or whatever equivalent your school offers.

So there's a brief lowdown on a CIS major. When I was about to graduate high-school I would've loved to known this information haha, so hopefully it helps you understand more on what a CIS major is.

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