Major Confusion. Advice, parents?

<p>So, at this point I'm just super lost, and I need your advice. </p>

<p>I was originally a CS/English double major, but I've recently decided to drop English because the program at my college doesn't offer much of a concentration in what I want (creative writing).</p>

<p>That leaves with me with Computer Science. And this is where the real problem comes in. I'm taking Calculus 1 this semester, and I hate it. Really, really hate it. It sucks up all my time, and I'm still struggling to maintain a grade that won't severely damage my GPA. And the problem wouldn't be so bad if it was only Calculus 1, but I also have to take Calculus 2 in order to major in computer science, and I've heard that's even worse. </p>

<p>And that leads me to question whether or not I can really succeed in computer science. I mean, on the one hand, I like computer science. I find the concepts and applications fascinating, and it's something I think I've picked up pretty well for not having any pre-college experience with it. The math part, of course, is another story. </p>

<p>I'm not sure I can handle doing a Calculus level of math in my computer science work. I can barely get the hang of it in my actual math class. But the reason that I need it in the first place is because it's used in some of the upper level courses, meaning I'll need to become and remain proficient at it. And if I get a job that requires it, then...</p>

<p>Ah, you see my problem, right? I HATE most maths, but I like computer science, which probably seems like an odd conundrum. And it is. </p>

<p>Which leads me to my actual question.</p>

<p>I have one opportunity to change my major at this point (I'm a sophomore), and the only thing I could possibly consider changing it to is Business. Within Business, there are four majors: Accounting, Finance, Process Management & Consulting, and Marketing. I'm open to either of them. I generally find most topics to be interesting on some level. </p>

<p>But, the point is, I can keep going the way I'm going, and hope that the math in my future computer science path doesn't continue to make it miserable for me (which is unlikely), OR, I can switch over to business and MINOR in computer science instead. </p>

<p>A computer science minor only requires 6 classes. Basically, it's a three-class foundation with three additional electives from any upper level courses that will give you experience in several different CS topics. It also lacks the math requirements. </p>

<p>So, I can do that. Sure, sounds good?</p>

<p>One more problem: which business do I pick if I do this? Like I said, I'm open to any of them. Accounting is a bit narrow for my tastes, but it has the best job prospects currently. I'm not sure what I could and would do with Finance. Marketing sounds fun, but I'm not sure about the job prospects for that one. And Process Management & Consulting? Well, I vaguely know what that is and what you can do with it, but I've never heard anything about what happens to the grads from that major...</p>

<p>So, basically, it all boils down to this: I can make myself miserable by forcing myself to do a type of math I hate doing in order to major in CS, which would practically guarantee me a job after college (at least, according to my college's job placement rate for CS), or, I could try something different--business--and take a massive load of work and misery off my shoulders. Unfortunately, this would also leave me susceptible to not having a job after college, which would be very bad...</p>

<p>Um, some advice, parents?</p>

<p>As an electrical engineering major I took 6 semesters of college Calculus and hated every minute of it. I found I never really learned the math in math class, but when I needed to use it in my engineering classes it suddenly made sense and was easy. Just an applied type of mind versus a theoretical type of mind. You need to decide if you like CS enough to put up with the math. For me it was worth it. YMMV.</p>

<p>In terms of the business options the latter two are more problem solving types of business areas, and likely would be more interesting to the type of person interested in CS. My guess is that Process Management might be an easier route to a first job than Marketing.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>

<p>I'm not a computer scientist but I think that unfortuneately, mom1012 is correct, you will have to tolerate a lot of math to major in CS - generally beyond just a couple semesters of calculus. So if you really love programming, or whatever part of CS you like, the math will have to be tolerated and you will need to understand it, at least enough to pass and apply some of it. In EE we did some programming and we had to understand numerical methods for calculating things, I assume the same holds true for CS.</p>

<p>Like 1012mom I do have an aversion for those script letters and sideways pitchforks math people all seem to eat up. </p>

<p>Sort of like this:
Convolution</a> - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia</p>

<p>I love that little animation in the upper right, I see no point for section 4 of the article (yeah, I know it matters, I just don't like that stuff).</p>

<p>Nickolette, I can't give much advice about which business concentration to select (except to say that if you really aren't liking math, finance may not be the way to go). What I would like to do, though, is congratulate you on being open to opportunities now. I see so many kids doggedly hanging on to something for which they don't have aptitude or love for simply because they can't imagine what else they'd do. They don't get out until GPA is threatened and then they find themselves scrambling to put together any major in order to graduate.</p>

<p>To help you select, have you thought about visiting the campus career or counseling center? The career center is an obvious choice, but many don't think of the counseling center because they believe it's only for mental health issues. Not true at all. Many may have academic counselors, who may or may not double as academic advisors. They may focus only on academic issues like which area of interest to pursue.</p>

<p>Computer scientist here. There are certainly computer science-related jobs that are not math intensive. Sales support comes to mind. The problem with being math-phobic (that's what "hate it" means, right?) is that most every technical person you'll work with will be comfortable with math. The danger is that you'll lose credibility with your technical co-workers. "I don't want to work on any project that has a significant math component" would be severely limiting ... unless you're the Boss of course. Just my two cents ....</p>

<p>Since you are concerned about what graduates in each major do, does your school have a career survey (put "career survey" in the search box)?</p>

<p>As in something like these:
Graduate</a> Status Report - Career Services - Cal Poly
Post-Graduation</a> Survey and Report | Career Services | Virginia Tech
<a href="https://career.berkeley.edu/Major/Major.stm%5B/url%5D"&gt;https://career.berkeley.edu/Major/Major.stm&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Note that CS courses often do use math, although not so much calculus specifically. Discrete math and algorithms / complexity will be much like math courses. Compilers and graphics will require some of the same type of thinking that goes into math courses.</p>

<p>@1012mom- So, if I was to combine Process Management and CS (major and minor), do you think that skill set would help me in my job search?</p>

<p>@ordinarylives- I've been to Academic Advising, but I haven't gone to the career center yet. I think I'll to slip in during their walk in hours at some point. </p>

<p>@ucbalumnus- I know my school does a senior survey each year, but I can't find any of the results anywhere.</p>

<p>How well do you like your CS classes? Have you done well in them? Do you enjoy programming? </p>

<p>There are a lot of programming topics and jobs that don't require Calculus level math. So, whether or not to continue with CS depends a lot on how much you like CS. </p>

<p>If you are scared of the Calc 2 class, could you take it over the summer at a community college? Having only one class to focus on might make it more manageable.</p>

<p>I would avoid finance if you don't like Calc.</p>

<p>@sacchi- I've only taken two CS classes thus far, and both have been okay. I understand the material and I do pretty well on my programming projects. I find CS as a whole very interesting. Except the math part...</p>

<p>Unfortunately, this summer I'm planning to study abroad because in my Junior year I need to find an internship. The way that on campus recruiting works at my school means that finding an internship Junior year is critical in order to find a good post-grad job. </p>

<p>Hm, so finance is Calculus-heavy, you'd say? Whether or not I can do it honestly depends on the complexity of the algebra involved.</p>

<p>Anyway, let's say I wanted a job in the IT sector when I graduate. What combination would guys suggest then? </p>

<p>I'm starting to lean toward Process Management & Consulting as a major with CS as a minor. </p>

<p>Note that I can also choose a concentration in addition to my business major that consists of 6 credits. A concentration can be in any other major field. </p>

<p>So, basically, there's A TON of options I can take if I do business school, which I why I'm looking to switch. </p>

<p>I guess what is all boils down is: if I don't want to be stuck in a math-heavy CS major/job, do you think it would be better for me to the go business route and combine it with a CS minor?</p>

<p>Anyone have anymore thoughts? I kinda need to finalize my decision soon. I only have one more chance to change around my Spring schedule.</p>

<p>Finance can be heavy on the math. Math and statistics majors are often recruited into finance jobs after graduation. Finance is also sometimes a destination for physics majors who are recruited for their math skills.</p>

<p>Here is something that you may see referred to in finance:
Black?Scholes</a> - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia</p>

<p>It sounds like you've thought about this quite a bit and you pretty much feel that you should make the switch to business, with a CS minor. I think that you can trust yourself on this decision.</p>

<p>You definitely need to discuss things with your career advising center, as suggested above. They will know the courses andany aptitude/interest tests you can take to help you decide. Sounds like a comp sci major is out if you dislike math so much, there are crosslisted courses for the two.</p>