Can someone help me choose a major?

<p>I am a high school senior and I am really unsure about my major. I was thinking about majoring in Computer Science, but I have had no imput about the career from ordinary people. I have only learned what I read about the career. So I have a boat load of questions that I need someone to answer. Thanks in advance for your replies.</p>

<li><p>Will a person with a computer science degree have trouble getting into the workforce?</p></li>
<li><p>Do you know of anyone who has majored or will major in computer science?</p></li>
<li><p>Are computer science jobs on a shortage or are all of them being shipped to foreign countries?</p></li>
<li><p>Should I embank all of my time in this career bath or choose another?</p></li>

<p>*<strong><em>If someone is majoring or majored in this can you please tell me how your job experience is going? Is it fairing well? Is the pay good? etc…</em></strong>**</p>

<p>But do you love working with computers? Have you taken a computer science course and found it fascinating?</p>

<p>My answers would be no, yes, depends on how good you are, and only if you love working with computers.</p>

<p>There are a lot of areas to computer science, but the key fact is that the average computer programmer (one of the areas) is about 1/100th as good as the best computer programmer... so you need to be one of the best. You have to LOVE your work, not just be vaguely interested in it.</p>

<p>I love computers. I know how to install hard drives, windows, and various other things. I also know how to take apart computers and make them work again. I am really interested in computers. If I obtain a computer science degree, I will probably get an associates degree in A+ certification.</p>

<p>Bossgirl - Just a forewarning. You are going to hear lots of people - either here on this forum or IRL or both - tell you that computer science is a dying field in the US and that all the work will be outsourced to Asia, etc. My personal belief is that there will always be jobs here in the US for the right people - those outsourced people need to be hired, managed, worked with etc. for one thing.</p>

<p>My key point, though: you are wise to ask and learn as much as you can re computer science to help you think about whether it is a possibility for you. However, you should NOT worry about any definite major or career path at this point. Plenty of time for that. No problem at all applying to colleges as Undeclared - just make sure that Computer Science and other fields you may be interested in are all options and that you apply to the appropriate school or schools (if necessary) within the University or College (eg, School of Engineering).</p>

<p>You don't need to decide your major now or even soon.</p>

<p>I assume you are planning to go to a college with strong computer courses. IMO that is all you need to decide in the very near future. I trust that, once at college, you will be able to obtain better answers to your questions.</p>

<p>The main thing--that you love computers--is in place. Therefore, IMO you are in good shape for a computer career, should you so choose!</p>

<p>I agree with with dmd77 and ADad stated. If you are going to be simply mediocre, you might want to consider another field. However, if you love working with computers and are willing to try to be one of the best in the field, you will probably be employed forever. Top people in almost any field are in demand. Moreover, even those outsourced will need some form of management and oversight. The key, however, is that you must strive to be very competant in your field. This also means that you should keep taking courses and stay up with the latest developments in the field.</p>

<p>I have met a number of laid off hardware professionals. Most, however, were laid off because they didn't stay current with the developments in the field. I can't emphasize this enough. If you are going into any form of technology, such as IT or computer engineering, you will be needing to make a lifetime comittment towards taking continuing education courses. Lawyers and accountant need to do this, and so do you.</p>

<p>I find it interesting that, when you describe your love for computers, you describe the hardware rather than the software.</p>

<p>Computer science is focused on developing software. If you like hardware, you should consider some form of engineering (mechanical or electrical).</p>

<p>Engineering programs like people who like to make and fix stuff (my husband has a degree in electrical engineering -- and he likes to make and fix stuff --which is how I know).</p>

<p>I am concerned about your second post where you talk about loving to take apart computers, installing Windows, etc.. This is not what a computer science major is about, and neither is it about computer programming though most course projects require a lot of programming code. CompSci is very theoretical and abstract. Here is an exerpt of class notes for a course my sophomore son is taking.</p>

<p>1 (50) Axiom of Non-Falsifiability
Suppose that we have a learning model L, and you can guarantee zero training error on any data set of size
N. Consider the hypothesis: “ There is a function in L that has π = i/N where 0  i  N is an integer.”.
We conduct the following experiment to gather evidence for this hypothesis: pick N data points and find a
function in L for which ν = i/N, if such a function exists, thus providing evidence for our hypothesis. Prove
that there is no need to do this experiment. You may assume that the Axiom of Non-Falsifiability is True.
2 (200pts (150pts)) Coin Model / Bin Model
A data set is drawn by tossing coins (independently) as described in class – each coin representing a function.
The coins are independent (a coin popping heads (for a given data point) is independent of the other coins).
i.e., assume independence wherever needed. For a given coin, let the probability of heads (probability of
error) be π. The probability of obtaining k heads in N tosses is given by the binomial distribution:
P[k|N, π] = N
k πk(1 − π)N−k
Remember that the training error ν is k
N .
(a) Assume the sample size (N) is 10. If all the coins have π = 0.05 compute the probability that at least
one coin will have ν = 0 for the case of 1 coin, 1,000 coins, 1,000,000 coins. Repeat for π = 0.8.
(b) For the case N = 6 and 2 coins with π = 0.5 for both coins, plot the probability
i |νi − πi|  ǫ]
for ǫ in the range <a href="the%20max%20is%20over%20coins">0, 1</a>. On the same plot show the bound that would be obtained
using the Chernoff bound as a function of ǫ. Remember that for a single coin, the Chernoff bound is
P[|ν − π|  ǫ]  2e−2Nǫ2
(Hint: use P[A or B] = P[A] + P** − P[A and B] = P[A] + P** − P[A]P**, where the last equality
follows by independence to evaluate P[max . . .])</p>

<p>Please do not be scared off by the example above because I have a PhD in engineering and it is Greek to me. But keep in mind that this is the sort of thing that CompSci majors need to master. </p>

<p>Many HS students take AP ComProgramming and assume this his what a CompSci major will be like. It is not and as a result a significant number decide to switch majors after that first "real" CompSci course such as Data Structures and Algorithms. </p>

<p>If that second post is what attracts you to CompSci I suggest that you be a bit wary before you take the plunge. Go to almost any college web site and you will find course notes to examine. My son's college web site is <a href=""&gt;;/a>. There are course materials for many classes here. Read a number of them and decide if CompSci mighe be something you will enjoy. Again it is very abstract and theoretical.</p>

<p>Good Luck!!!!</p>

<p>A good friend of mine works in computers. She was a math major with specialty in logic. If symbolic logic interests you that might be a clue. Make sure your college courses also give you some other area or areas of competence. In the modern world one track career preparation could be risky.</p>

<p>Well I actually enjoy both parts of computers. I like to fix them, but that is a job I would like to have along side a computer science degree. Also I have read that a computer science degree can go both ways. LIke it is not just programming computers. But I know fixing computers cannot be such a career because computers don't break everyday, plus it would depend on the population of the city so that I can know if I would be successful fixing computers. Someone told me that a computer science degree can also be used for business related tasks such as working in computer specialist in companies. I don't know if this is true but that is what I was told. I would really appreciate some more imput. </p>

<p>Also, I believe that I can become one of those people that can excell in this business. I am really determined and I have already learned many of the skills myself. I have self-taught myself and I know a vast majority about some programming and fixing computers. So I believe that I know what computer science will all be about. It is not like I just will depend on that degree. I plan on getting at least another degree probably in mathematic education to fall back on if my job is outsourced to another country.</p>

<p><strong><em>Sorry for the misspellings and gramatical errors</em></strong>*</p>

<p>Bossgirl517 -- I worked for computer software companies for a number of years, although currently I am at home full-time.</p>

<p>Here are some computer-related jobs that you might consider (how easy it will be to find such jobs is another issue):</p>

<p>-- Technical support at help desks -- many large corporations hire people to work in technical support. These people help employees with all of their computer issues, such as computer glitches, problems with the network, e-mail, firewall, etc.</p>

<p>-- Technical support for products -- many software and hardware companies hire people to answer phones and address problems for customers. Similar jobs are available in sales, to answer questions about products people wish to purchase. In my experience, good people to provide technical sales support were very hard to find, and often had technical degrees. (For big, complex software products, technical sales support often goes on sales calls, they don't just answer phones.)</p>

<p>-- Database support -- for large corporations, also some software companies -- work to build and maintain databases. Reporting off databases also requires expertise, and people are hired for this function (for example, doing data mining to present reports to people in other functional areas)</p>

<p>-- Software QA -- working for a software company, test software, develop procedures to run test suites on products. Maintain lists of known bugs. (Hardware companies will have a similar function for hardware QA).</p>

<p>-- Software development -- both for standard products and customization for large systems (for example, SAP, accounting packages, and the like)</p>

<p>Obviously, many of these areas provide a career track, so that you might start out answering phones, then work your way into a management position or find that the product information you gained in technical support is considered important for other functional areas (developing business requirements, product management, and the like).</p>

<p>Why don't you tenatively choose computer science, try it out, and keep an open mind while you take other courses at college. Most schools don't expect you to declare a major until the end of the second year. Since majors and engineers do have to declare early, go ahead if you think you have an interest. You can always change from computer science or engineeting into general science, or even humanites, later on if it's not right for you.</p>

<p>Thanks for all of your opinions. You gave me something to think about.</p>