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Many questions in one (reguarding jobs/education mostly)

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So like the poster a couple of pages back I am in the midst of getting a computer science degree. This is my second degree (my first being in English Literature), and I really figure that if I haven't yet grown out of wanting to make games for a living I probably never will, though just for the record I'm not saying the only job I'll every take is one in game development, anything with computers will certainly make me happy. Anyway, moving on, I'm facing having to make a pretty big decision between just getting a second Bachelors degree or going for a Masters (since I do already have a Bachelors degree, even though it has nothing to do with CS). In terms of time to get the degree both paths are about equal, I'd have to take the same number of classes either way, though obviously the grad level classes are most assuredly MUCH harder, particularly considering my somewhat limited knowledge of some particular topics in the CS field. My advisor is urging me towards going the Masters route, though I fear I may not be able to keep up without a whole suite of undergrad courses. My other area of concern is that I have found a large portion of the department at this university to be somewhat stubborn and stonewalling in the way many academics are. For example, the department teaches Java almost exclusively even in the highest level classes. Which, really I am fine with, as its a department decision and they obviously have their reasons for teaching this way. But I've mentioned that I have learned a good deal of C++ because I want to go into game design and that is more or less the industry standard, and more than once I was basically met with "well Java is better, so why learn c++?" or something like that. I mean we are all entitled to our opinions but christ aren't college professors supposed to be the open-minded ones? (Just for the record, this isn't purely a java v c++ thing, the whole dept seems to have a "our way is the best way and no other way is worth considering" syndrome). So I guess my questions boil down to 1) Does anyone have any advice on the Bachelors/Masters thing? and 2) Should I be concerned enough to look into transferring based purely on the "closed-minded faculty" issue?

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1) a masters degree is better in general obviously, but would the masters course teach you anything extra that you are interested in?

2) Yes. If they truly can't see why anyone would use anything other than Java for anything they're showing their inexperience (in the CS fields where Java doesn't cut it or just isn't a particularly good tool for the job). Find smarter people to learn from, ideally people with real world experience of what they're teaching. Don't assume that because someone is a university lecturer that they actually know anything about the stuff they're teaching.

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Quote:
Original post by Plethora
So I guess my questions boil down to 1) Does anyone have any advice on the Bachelors/Masters thing? and 2) Should I be concerned enough to look into transferring based purely on the "closed-minded faculty" issue?


1) Masters

2) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It's hard to say if they are actually closed minded or if that's your perception. Did you ask the questions like an asshole or like someone with an inquiring mind: "Why do you teach Java when everyone on the world uses C++" vs. "Excuse me, I was just wondering why Java is your standard teaching language instead of C++ or other commonly used languages".

There are about a million arguments for why Java and Python are a better teaching languages. It's very uncommon for anyone to teach C++ in an academic environment anywhere. There are many low-level pitfalls that get in the way of learning what many CS courses are trying to teach: high level design, data structures, threading principles. If you're debugging memory leaks and bad pointers, you aren't learning what you're paying for.

The job of a "normal" academic institution isn't to teach you job-skills (that's what trade-schools are for). It's job is to teach you how to think and reason and to teach you harder to grasp concepts than "how to use a pointer"

Incidentally, it doesn't make a lick of difference what language you learn your CS stuff in. Once you know one language, learning another is trivial. It wouldn't be hard at all to go pick up enough C++ to land a job.

As an aside, before the flames come in, I program almost exclusively in C++ both personally and professionally. I love the language. I just think it's shit for teaching.

-me

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Hello,

You can go to get your Master's degree in CS, and you should not have to worry about not having the lower level classes because of all the master's programs I know they would just make you take the requirements needed for it. Therefore, you most likely not start with the upper grad classes, but the undergrad classes that you need.

As for your second question you should just stay. Even though they teach you how to do everything in Java, you should remember most of it is just the logic and background information with examples provided in Java. That is why you should completely learn the logic of it, because once you do you should be able to apply it to any language you learn. Also, another thing to note is that most of the college professor's probably have Ph.D.'s and they are probably set on their own opinions, because they study it for a long time. They could probably go into a big debate about why Java is better than C++, which you probably would not want to hear. We all know they probably will sit there for hours explaining it.

Another thing to note is that C++ is used intensively in the professional gaming industry, but outside the gaming industry there is a big mixture of programming languages people use.

~Carl J. Loucius

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