Getting a degree

This is a discussion on Getting a degree within the Game Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; Hey everyone, I've been reading up the posts from silvercord and I was wondering what really is the benefit over ...

  1. #1
    Software Developer jverkoey's Avatar
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    Getting a degree

    Hey everyone, I've been reading up the posts from silvercord and I was wondering what really is the benefit over taking an engineering degree over a computer science degree? I am interested in doing game design later in life (after college) but I would like to know what you guys think would really be a better choice? I guess from what I've read, I'd like to do a computer science degree more than anything (I'm not to much of a hardware guy)...so what do you all think?

  2. #2
    'AlHamdulillah
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    Well , you may just want to say shove it to CS, and go with computational mathematics along with some sort of engineering degree, the reasons are obvious:

    CS Degree:

    Algorithm design
    alot of theory/very little actual programming
    overflooded market
    you already know alot of what is covered in undergrad, heck you made your own compiler.
    CM w/ Engineering:

    alot of math
    alot of programming
    alot of physics
    somewhat flooded, but not as much as CS as engineering is in many ways more difficult.
    a career that is somewhat hard to outsource.

    basically you can look at CM as CS without the specific CS stuff, you get all the math plus more since it is a math degree, and it is alot of programming compared to CS which is alot of theory at most places(excluding MIT, and stanford, which take the programming side quite seriously).

    the CM w/ engineering will give you ample preparation for getting into the game industry at some point.

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    Dang, that sounds like the perfect major for me. The three majors I was considering before were Comp. Sci, Physics, and Mathematics; now I think I want Computational Mathematics, Physics, Mathematics, Comp. Sci

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    Registered User whistlenm1's Avatar
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    From your thread, you've basically answered your question. I myself choose an engineering degree - of all the reasons why, I knew it would be a career I'd enjoy, even learned some programming along the way. Overall, choose what you can see yourself doing and having a great time with!!!
    Man's mind once streched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions
    - Oliver Wendell Holmes

    In other words, if you teach your cat to bark (output) and eat dog food (input) that doesn't make him a dog. It would have to chase cars, chew bones, and have puppies before I'd call it Rover ;-)
    - WaltP

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    more challenging

    higher pay when you graduate

    EDIT:
    this is also a poor topic for what you're interested in, because MITs computer science program is completely different than every other school's in the world...it even says on the website there's absolutely no amount of high school programming you can do in order to get prepared for comp sci there. If you get in that is
    Last edited by Silvercord; 03-16-2004 at 10:35 PM.

  6. #6
    C++ Developer XSquared's Avatar
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    I've applied into CS because I'm much more interested in the theory behind algorithms than the actual implementation. Also, in terms of the job market, I'll hopefully be going into a co-op program (one of the best in the country), so I shouldn't have to worry about that aspect. Also, I'll be able to specialize in 3rd/4th year, hopefully in AI programming.
    Naturally I didn't feel inspired enough to read all the links for you, since I already slaved away for long hours under a blistering sun pressing the search button after typing four whole words! - Quzah

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  7. #7
    'AlHamdulillah
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    actually, I have just recently read an article in Wired magazine about the outsourcing to India, and the current trend is that those who can design and come up with creative innovations will be the people in the US, and we can use India and other asian countries as the scutwork: implementation,maintenance of software, as they far outperform their US counterparts(for example, the major Indian Technical university has a 5.0 out of 5.0 rating in computer science by Carnegie Mellon). So not being interested in programming is probably the way to go if you are going to go into CS.

    silvercord:
    more challenging
    I would not go quite so far to say that, as im sure the development of AI and crytographical algorithms can compare with the most complex of engineering concerns(for example, the data compression algorithms used by NASA in their recent mars mission are incredible, very little loss over several million miles of transmission is quite impressive).

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    dude you are an idiot sometimes, engineering degrees are on the whole more difficult...just because you can spew fancy terms out your ass doesn't mean you know what you're talking about.

    EDIT:
    and computer science is NOT a bad degree. It's a really really good degree. I love theory and talking about algorithms and abstract mathematical ideas. The reason I'm personally going into engineering is because I've got enough theory and I want to actually make realworld things. A lot of theory doesn't necessarily get used in making realworld things! Theres a difference between what should work, and what actually does work, and understanding why.
    Last edited by Silvercord; 03-17-2004 at 10:46 AM.

  9. #9
    * S T U D E N T *
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    (read previous) YUK

    im currently a 2nd year CS student at manchester UK

    its quite hard you know, and i also want to do graphics / gaming etc

    im doing a graphics module right now, my post is a few below this one.

    OpenGL rocks, and im wishing i did a graphics degree (they exist) just know for next time! lol

    ps also donig algoritms and it sucks

    my mate is doing electrical engineering, hes only JUST being told the basics of C and Java :S

    ure choice in the end bro

    --Chris (hard at work ..... honest)

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    what the hell, electrical engineers aren't necessarily programmers...saying he's 'just in C' doesn't mean jack...that's like an electrical engineering major talking you down by saying you don't know anything about sensor equipment design. C and java aren't the focuses of the EE major, so it's a pretty stupid thing to say...

    EDIT:
    ure choice in the end bro
    Which is a pretty good one *for me*, because I already know a lot of the content in the cs programs that I've looked at. I'm not saying I know everything, but I'm going to get more out of an EE degree, plus I'm going to take a ton of cs electives. I actually might be taking a senior year graphics programming class my second or third semester (I sent my university a CD when I applied that had my graphics programming projects on it, and they said that I'm way ahead of most people my age, but otherwise they don't usually consider it).
    Last edited by Silvercord; 03-17-2004 at 11:03 AM.

  11. #11
    'AlHamdulillah
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    dude you are an idiot sometimes, engineering degrees are on the whole more difficult...just because you can spew fancy terms out your ass doesn't mean you know what you're talking about.
    Did I say Engineering was not more difficult than CS? All I said was:

    I would not go quite so far to say that
    Meaning that I would not be so quick just to say "engineering is more difficult,period", which is what I have been gathering from your posts.

    In general, you are right it is a ton more difficult; however, there are certain fields, like the ones I mentioned, that can compare to engineering's difficulty. I am sorry you percieved me as defaming your career choice. I personally am going into an engineering degree(probably aeronautical) with a double major in computational mathematics.

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    right

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    Software Developer jverkoey's Avatar
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    so back to the original question, which one would be better for someone like me? I know a ton about C++/OpenGL, and am learning more every now and then about DirectX. I haven't made any superb 3D engines (as of right now) but I still have a year and a half of high school to go, and I've only been programming on the computer (period) for a year and a half now....I just want to know if it would be better for someone like me to do CS? or should I do like charles did with taking the engineering degree because i might be bored with the CS one?

  14. #14
    'AlHamdulillah
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    what do you want to do with your life? what are your actual interests outside of programming, this might help us decide what is good for you?

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    Software Developer jverkoey's Avatar
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    well, i'd like to do game design, design games. But i'd also like to have some experience in other areas, just in case that doesn't work, so I could work at some software company and just do indy-gamedev stuff. Right now i'm a junior in high school, so i've got a long ways to go before i really get to do anything else, but I'd like to start planning, so I know what i need to aim for....

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