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Thread: CS or CE/EE Major?

  1. #1 CS or CE/EE Major? 
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    To start off, Im a senior in high school applying to college as we speak. I love math and science (physics to be specific) and have taken a java class (which I also enjoyed very much). Besides choosing WHICH college I want to attend Im also having trouble deciding which MAJOR to choose. I've narrowed it down to CS or CE/EE. I know the differences between comp sci and actual engineering, but Im trying to figure out which would be more worthwhile: better classes, better work, better in the long run, more fun projects, etc. Also for CS, there are so many different areas to focus on I dont really know where to start. I probably want to do database or networking or security, but im not too sure. If yall have any advice on how to decided between CS and EE/CE i would greatly appreciate it.

    Thank!


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  3. #2  
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    CE and EE are very different.

    In CE you will get a watered down EE degree with a survey of programming. It is likely that they will remove electromagnetics, silicon device physics, and digital electronics for embedded platforms, and replace them with intro to java, intermediate C++, intro to internet scripting, and another computing class.

    If you are really into computer security you should be doing software engineering. Computer engineering should be about how to build and program computers (at a basic level), electrical engineering should be about board level design, digital logic, embedded systems, and electromagnetics. Software engineering, however, is purely programming for whatever purpose you have in mind, and should study secure code, malcode, and other things in your interest area.

    Just remember, C++ is the language of the land currently. Java is not an industry preferred standard. You WILL have to learn C++, so if you chose Java because you didn't like the "difficulty" of C, in all 3 of these majors you're going to have to learn it.


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    -M

    "Those that would give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
    safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    -Benjamin Franklin, An Historical Review of Pennsilvanya, 1759
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  4. #3  
    Forum Freshman jammer's Avatar
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    Companies pay you for what you know about a specific topic. Unless you are going to be a systems engineer which usually happens after about 10 years of industry experience then you need to choose a focus that you enjoy.

    Any of the majors you listed will be fine, but you have to unfortunately choose one of them without knowing what they are really about. If you can shadow an engineer in each of the fields, then you may be able to figure out ahead of time what you actually want to do.

    I'm an EE graduate and I focused on power and RF areas. I currently have a job designing antennas and RF circuits for a DoD contractor.
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  5. #4  
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    Conversely, I'm an EE graduate, and I've done the following:


    RnD Lab- Biometrics:
    Specifically: Modifying drivers to work with FPGA based hardware. Programming tools to interpret data. Scripting quick fixes to matching algorithms. Hardware quality testing. New matching algorithm creation based on empirical methods. Advanced sensor research (mostly in the creation of new fingerprint sensors). Redesign drive circuits. etc..

    Teaching:
    Lecturing on introductory C++ for engineers, along with the lab. I'm currently creating a VHDL course/lab for next semester.

    I've also done some contracted board design for a research lab that a former professor (of mine) runs, as well as the embedded programming for that lab's electronics (on three different microprocessors and an FPGA).

    As you can see, my experience is all over the place. I'm working on graduate degrees in electromagnetics, and currently teaching the C classes and VHDL for my department. (Unfortunately, not at the rate professors get.)

    Like jammer said, companies pay engineers with an MS/PhD for their specific expertise in an area. However, I disagree that that applies to BS students. Once you get your BS in engineering a company will expect you to do whatever job you applied for, and you'll essentially specialize by staying there for a long time. Until you become specialized, however, it is good to keep/hone a broad set of abilities.
    --
    -M

    "Those that would give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
    safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    -Benjamin Franklin, An Historical Review of Pennsilvanya, 1759
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