Computer Science/Information Systems/Applied Math/Physics

<p>I now have a book about majors. It lists software engineer as a possible career under all these majors. Plus, my dad is a software engineer and has people working with him who have degrees in Information Systems instead. </p>

<p>I do not have a ton of money to put toward college, but I do have a bunch of AP credits. Would these other majors be equally employable? I actually really like math and am good at it. I like Physics too. I just am wondering if it is ok to consider these other majors, when actually being employed is my goal? I mean, will they be as employable as actual computer science?</p>

<p>I don’t have an accurate answer about the employability of math & physics majors, but if you really like them you could certainly minor in one of those subjects. A CS major with a math or physics minor should get the attention of many employers.</p>

<p>Information systems is typically a more business-oriented major that emphasizes managing computers and their software, rather than designing computers and their software.</p>

<p>Math majors typical job paths are in finance and actuarial jobs, but some make their way into computers.</p>

<p>Physics majors often try to transition into engineering or computer jobs, though they would be second choice behind engineering and computer science majors.</p>


<p>Information systems is typically a more business-oriented major that emphasizes managing computers and their software, rather than designing computers and their software.</p>



<p>It’s true what you say about information systems. However, information science is almost exactly the same thing, but it doesn’t have the business minor. If he wanted to become a programmer, then he should probably go for information science instead.</p>

<p>In terms of payment/employment opportunities with a bachelor’s,</p>

<p>CS > Math > Physics</p>

<p>CS is so applicable in so many fields you can get a job almost anywhere you go. Math majors are also versatile, but lack of specialization in anything in particular mathematically, but they still have applicable careers in finance and other business related positions.</p>

<p>Physics is also a fairly strong degree, it opens you up to a lot of different positions, but almost more of a “jack of all trade” thing and “master at none” except physics itself.</p>

<p>Any three of the degrees will probably get you a decent job. The three are also fairly similar in terms of course material, so several classes could intermix, making it easier to get a double major/minor, if you wish to do so.</p>

<p>I don’t really hear about Information Systems as much as I do CS or Math etc.</p>

<p>I always tell math majors who want to go into software engineering to AT LEAST take the same software CS courses as the CS majors. The advantage to doing this is in the software engineering world:</p>

<p>Math/CS major = CS major</p>

<p>As long as the math major has just about the same CS-software course background. Applied math majors like Computational Mathematics may require you to take the programming and data structures/algorithm courses, but not important courses like Theory of Programming Languages, Operating Systems, Database Systems and Computer Networks. Therefore to “compete”, the applied math major needs to basically take the CS curriculum…minus the digital circuits and computer architecture (hardware) courses.</p>

<p>Now for Math majors, it is easier to add those CS courses and graduate within 4 years than Physics majors (most of the time) since Physics usually does not have cross-listed courses shared by the CS department like the Math dept (except for the niche area of Quantum Computing). Math and CS have courses like Numerical Analysis, Numerical Linear Algebra, Cryptology, Combinatorics and Graph Theory that can apply to both programs…in many schools. Also, many schools have a B.A.-version of the Math degree that requires 2-3 less math courses (usually the 2nd semesters of Real Analysis and Abstract Algebra) to allow the math major to squeeze in another applied major.</p>

<p>Information Systems is OK in some cases, but it depends on the required courses and that also depends on the school.</p>

<p>The following sentence is MY personal opinion as an experienced software engineer. For ANY NON-CS MAJOR…I would strongly suggest taking the following for a software engineering career:</p>

<p>Data Structures & Algorithms
Organization of Programming Languages
Operating Systems (from the CS department…not I.S./I.T.)
Database Systems (from the CS department…not I.S./I.T.)
Computer Networks (from the CS department…not I.S./I.T.)
One general Introductory Software Engineering course
…and the prereqs that come with them.</p>



<p>Ummm…not exactly. Information Science…if not part of the CS department will not offer the courses needed to compete for many software engineering jobs. You would want the major called “Computer Information Science” which is its own department and acts as the university’s CS department.</p>

<p>Computer Information Science (and not to confuse it with Computer Information Systems) is basically the traditional CS major without (or much less) CS-hardware course offerings (or research). Basically, take the CS major…without computer architecture and digital logic circuit courses…and you have Computer Information Science.</p>

<p>It’s true what is being said here: CS is the best computer major that you can do.</p>


<p>Where does Discrete Structures figure into the picture? Is that also a course you would suggest for a physics major desiring a good CS foundation but not necessarily wanting to dual major or even minor in CS?</p>



<p>Yes. Discrete Structures (also called Discrete Math or Discrete Mathematical Structures) is usually a sophomore-level course covering introductory combinatorics, graph theory, and logic that can be used in the Data Structures, Algorithm and other advanced CS courses. That is why I also posted “…and the prereqs that come with them”.</p>

<p>Thank you! I am a parent learning a new set of terminology here. </p>

<p>My son (high school) hopes to eventually pursue a grad degree in theoretical physics but he also wants to continue with CS/programming skills. He can take a CS class at the local U this spring (took AP CS last year) and the decision is between Discrete S and Data S. Discrete doesn’t fit into his scheudle and the university adviser told him to just take Data Structures. Once he takes Data S he isn’t supposed to go back and take Discrete…but Discrete is not a prereq for Data. Not sure if he will have gaps or if in the long run it will be inconsequential for him. </p>

<p>Thanks for posting; I found the info quite helpful. My other son is interested in engineering or CS so we are all trying to learn about different degree programs in these fields.</p>