Computer Science and Applied Mathematics

<p>Hello everyone this is my first ever post but i need some advice. I will be a senior in the fall and I am wondering if double majoring in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics would be beneficial in my quest to becoming a cryptanalyst or a software architect? Also, which schools would be the best to do that at i.e Georgia Tech?</p>

<p>Comp Sci and Applied Math would go well in your quest. GT is a good choice. So is Cornell. Any of the top "geek" schools.</p>

<p>Mathematics to become a cryptologist (I have to admit I don't know what exactly a cryptanalyst is). Computer Science or Software Engineering to become a sw architect.</p>

<p>Or Applied Math/CS to get the best of all those worlds. Or you could do just Math/CS. The types of people in Applied Math/CS/Math classes tend to overlap a lot, and so you'll have four years to take courses, and get a feel in which direction you want to go. I know in my CS department, upper division Applied Math or Math classes can apply towards your CS degree as electives (and vice versa), so you probably wouldn't have to cut off any of those options (i.e. the option of doing Applied Math instead of CS) until your junior or senior year.</p>

<p>You might not have to double major, some schools offer specialization within the computer science department for applied math/cs. My daughter got a BS in math/cs at Brown. She is now at UW-Madison for grad school. </p>

<p>Take a look at the top 20 schools on this list. All of them are going to have strong CS undergrad departments. If you want to look at those two specialties as an undergrad, you will have to investigate school case by case. Some schools will be stronger in one area than another. Engineering strength will vary by school. And with the crypto work, I think more pure mathematic is involved and you want to look at schools strong in CS Theory.
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<p>Some others are Carnegie Mellon, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, NYU, Rice, Maryland, RPI, Purdue, UCB and UCLA. Best of luck!</p>

<p>U Washington has excellent offerings in this area, but it will be rather expensive if you are out-of-state.</p>

<p>My wife used her computer science and math double major (finished in 3 years) to become an actuary. I would think there are more actuarial job opportunities than cryptanalyst.</p>

<p>@Chardo, does your wife like being an actuary? I find the career to be interesting, but I've never met someone in the profession. Would love to hear what someone working in the field has to say about it!</p>

<p>While she's not particularly thrilled with her current job, she does enjoy being an actuary. Most of her experience is in annuities, but she has been working in life insurance for a few years. She wants to go back to annuities, ideally at the same company. She likes the company, just not her current position. </p>

<p>There are many different areas of actuarial work. Within insurance companies, there is product development and pricing, company financial analysis, cash flow testing, etc. Each job is different, and is also different across product lines (life, health, annuities, property/casualty, etc.). Then there is also pension consulting and other non-insurance areas. The actuary career has a large variety of different jobs. Most actuaries start out in student programs at insurance companies. These programs rotate you every year to a different area to give you exposure to the various disciplines. The student programs also offer study days for actuary exams, plus bonuses and raises for passed exams.</p>

<p>Starting salaries are typically in the mid to high five figures, and escalate with each passed exam. Once exams are completed, "certified" actuaries (ASA, FSA, FCAS, etc.) are earning six figure salaries, with basically normal work weeks (as opposed to doctors, lawyers, etc.). And, since they work for insurance companies and the like, there are generous employee benefits. It's a great career for those who are capable.</p>

<p>Thanks for all the replies. I was wondering about the career of being an actuary but i've always heard that takes a lot of experience and years of school.</p>

<p>@chardo what school did your wife graduate from</p>

<p>Wife graduated from SUNY Albany, double major math & computer science, magna cum laude, finished in 3 years. Her entire education cost about $13K (back in the 80's).</p>

<p>Actuary career doesn't take much schooling, per se, but does require years of studying to pass the actuarial exams. Think about the most difficult exam imaginable--one taken by only the smartest people in the world, yet more than half fail. Now pass 8-10 of them. They're only given once or twice a year, so if you fail, you have to wait to try again. You can see why the typical actuary takes about 6-8 years to finish, and even the most brilliant take 3-5 years. Some never even get to the end. My wife passed her first exam in 1986. She's still not done (stuck on the last exam--failed it 7 times). If she passes next year (not trying this year), she will have taken 25 years to finish. With no extended breaks, that's gotta be a record.</p>

<p>@Chardo thats pretty intense. The pay for an actuary is pretty great though so the work in order to achieve the title is proportional to the salary.</p>