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is CS Really a Hard Major?

knowledgeiskeyyknowledgeiskeyy Registered User Posts: 119 Junior Member
edited December 2010 in Engineering Majors
I have heard from many that a lot of students drop out of CS. Is that true?
Post edited by knowledgeiskeyy on

Replies to: is CS Really a Hard Major?

  • jdong92jdong92 Registered User Posts: 75 Junior Member
    Don't listen to what people say. Major in something that you are interested and not for the money.
  • IntervenientIntervenient Registered User Posts: 91 Junior Member
    ^ That does not help this guy out in any way.

    I think the high number of drop outs stems from the people not expecting high levels of math.
  • arcadefire1027arcadefire1027 Registered User Posts: 1,827 Senior Member
    I think the high number of drop outs is probably from people not interested in the major once they test it out. I bet a lot of people that choose to major in computer science chose it because they just really like computers, without really understanding what the major entails.

    It is a "hard" major by pretty much any standard. Of course, if you enjoy what you're doing, you'll be ok.
  • TippuSultanTippuSultan - Posts: 3,174 Senior Member
    IMHO, CS is not a hard major. However, it can be very time consuming and it is very easy to fall behind if you don't start working on programming assignments right away. If you have good work/study habits then CS is not hard. (I guess you can say the same thing about any subject).
  • Chairman MeowChairman Meow Registered User Posts: 396 Member
    It's easier compared to other engineering majors IMO. A lot of students drop out probably because they were looking to major in CS because people told them to/they wanted only to make money. If you really enjoy solving puzzles/have a strong intuitive grasp of mathematics, then CS should not be too challenging (relatively speaking).
  • GLOBALTRAVELERGLOBALTRAVELER Registered User Posts: 2,892 Senior Member
    CS...just like Math, Physics and other Engineering majors is more dependent on having patience, attention to detail and time-management than being "difficult".
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Registered User Posts: 22,762 Senior Member
    There are several different major aspects to CS and some of them are often unexpected by CS majors as they haven't examined the major thoroughly (I find that few students look at all of the stuff that their majors cover over four years). One or more of these major aspects may be difficult for students and it may seem like a hard aspect to them.

    The tough part (not necessarily hard) is the labs. They tend to be quite time-consuming and you really have to love the major to grind through the work. It's not a major that you pick casually.
  • knowledgeiskeyyknowledgeiskeyy Registered User Posts: 119 Junior Member
    So is hardwork and dedication enough?
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Registered User Posts: 22,762 Senior Member
    Problem solving, creativity, and time management help.
  • vblickvblick Registered User Posts: 464 Member
    CS...just like Math, Physics and other Engineering majors is more dependent on having patience, attention to detail and time-management than being "difficult".

    No, that's a psychology major or a business major. You're not going to get by in CS, Math, Physics, or Engineering just because you are patient and manage your time. I'm guessing you don't have a degree in all of these majors so you probably shouldn't generalize.

    One of your quotes was "E&M was so hard....I switched from EE to a math major."

  • Johnson181Johnson181 Registered User Posts: 4,226 Senior Member
    So is hardwork and dedication enough?
    No. I'd be one of the worst CS majors. I'm inept when it comes to computers, and I didn't know that until I had to take the intro class (required for all engineering majors).

    For CS you certainly have to have a specific type of talent. But if you have it, then it's not a "hard" major (unless you're terrible at math and didn't realize you'd need things like matrix algebra).
  • jwxiejwxie Registered User Posts: 1,479 Senior Member
    I think the first post helps defining something: dude, nothing is easy.

    CS is pretty abstract IMO. Software is an abstract thing. So it's up to you how to write a software. You can learned how to program by practice and reading a book. Some people, like me, prefer class and practices.

    I think the high number of drop-outs comes from the fact that people don't enjoy solving puzzles. CS is not about solving Sudoku. But most of the work you do in CS is about turning an idea into an abstract, yet, powerful implementation, whether it's a software, solving an algorithm, or whatever the case might be. You are communicating with a non-human being. How hard is that?

    So expect sitting in front of a computer, with a piece of paper and a pen on your hand, for your whole day, trying to figure out how something works.

    What Global is suggesting is that having those two credential is essential for survival. Tracing your codes, learning how things are working in the back (how the compiler is doing, the hardware is doing... all those junk craps), is boring for many people. Last time I spent 4 days trying to figure out something very simple if i didn't begin with the wrong approach. Obviously, this is not a CS exclusive privilege.
  • VentureManVentureMan Registered User Posts: 255 Junior Member
    I earned my BS is CS, and I would classify it as a difficult major... certainly as difficult as Engineering.

    You should enjoy mathematics, statistics, and other logical thinking oriented courses to be successful in CS. Most CS degrees require the Calculus sequence and Statistics, for instance. If you do not enjoy or do well in Math, then CS will be difficult to impossible as the logical thinking behind CS is the same as used in math.

    However, you may fair well in Business MIS if you have limited math ability. Check the college syllabus for courses required.

    Here is my perspective for the college I attended. Bare in mind that each college is different.

    The programming I found fairly easy and fun as I enjoy that kind of problem solving and it came fairly natural to me... to the point that the Professors would give me grief for raising havoc on their Grade curve as I would always go way beyond the assignment, causing them to give me extra credit.

    However, in an effort to curb plagiarism, they only gave a 25% weight to the programming, even though it accounted for 90% of the work required to pass the class. The other 75% was for tests.

    However, I recall a Professor telling the CS students that there are a number of courses they people are having difficulty with. After she named off the courses, she realized that she pretty much named off the core curriculum, to her chagrin

    Also at my college, CS was heavy in courses in mathematics and statistics... to the point that you only needed to complete an additional 5 Math & Stat courses to receive a minor in Mathematics and a minor in Statistics... this is the path I took.

    CS requires you to conceptually understand ideas as there is really nothing physical to see, touch, or feel when it comes to the subject. Yeah, we've all seen web sites... but the majority of programming does not deal with displaying data on a screen, it deals with computers sharing data with each other from all over the world... no display terminals are used at all.

    I hope this provides some insight into CS.
  • knowledgeiskeyyknowledgeiskeyy Registered User Posts: 119 Junior Member
    Thanks for the inputs, Guys. I'm going to take intro to programming in Jan. Will that course give me an idea what I will be doing for the remainder of my CS courses?
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Registered User Posts: 22,762 Senior Member
    No. Probably won't give you a feel for the theory classes.
This discussion has been closed.