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View Full Version : Deciding on what to do when I leave school!!!!



xyz823
06-09-2010, 06:57 PM
Hey guys, I'm currently working on what I would like to be doing when I leave school. Still got next year before I leave but I have to make subject choices etc soon!

Anyway, I have decided I would like to do something in IT, specifically programming or some description. (Did visual basic last year and loved it, currently doing object orientated programming in alice, which sucks btw)

I have been looking round all the different universities and polytechnics and am curious about computer science. Would I be better off doing a course such as a Bachelor of Software and Information Technology (Bachelor of Software and Information Technology)at Lincoln or a similar course at Otago Polytechnic, CPIT etc OR should I look at doing computer science?

Have only heard bad things about computer science from my computing teacher but was hoping for more opinions as I know a lot of people on here are in the IT industry. So was hoping I got get more information from someone on here who has an idea of what is actually involved in a CS degree.

Cheers

Renmoo
06-09-2010, 07:30 PM
Hunt Osama

ryanjames.powell
06-09-2010, 09:38 PM
Computer Science is a very low level subject, very in depth (right down to how things actually work, involves lots of maths etc), but not really a practical thing to do on its own. It's great as a background or a supplement, but you will need something else as well if you wish to get into programming. For example, I am in the first year of a Bachelor of Computing and Information Sciences at AUT, and am going to be majoring in Software Development. There is a separate Computer Science major, and I have been told it goes great as a double major with something like Software Development, but has little practical use on its own.

Strommer
06-09-2010, 09:52 PM
Hunt Osama

:D Good one Jamuz.

:thumbs: A pharmacist with a sense of humour. :lol:

Alex B
06-09-2010, 09:54 PM
Depends, if you want to do programming then CompSci might be right for you. If you want a good over view of IT, then BIT at Poly might be right for you. Both are valued here and over seas.

Don't matter what you do, you will learn a hell of a lot more in the first year of employment than those 3 years of study.

xyz823
06-09-2010, 10:01 PM
Computer Science is a very low level subject, very in depth (right down to how things actually work, involves lots of maths etc), but not really a practical thing to do on its own. It's great as a background or a supplement, but you will need something else as well if you wish to get into programming. For example, I am in the first year of a Bachelor of Computing and Information Sciences at AUT, and am going to be majoring in Software Development. There is a separate Computer Science major, and I have been told it goes great as a double major with something like Software Development, but has little practical use on its own.

Hmm the Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences at AUT looks good.

Few questions, how much is theory based and how much is practical? What are the resources etc like at AUT?

Renmoo
06-09-2010, 10:06 PM
:D Good one Jamuz.

:thumbs: A pharmacist with a sense of humour. :lol:
:D

Was quoting from his Twitter status: http://twitter.com/The_Bear_Jew08 :p

xyz823
06-09-2010, 10:11 PM
:D

Was quoting from his Twitter status: http://twitter.com/The_Bear_Jew08 :p

Forgot about that xD

Havn't been back since I registered!


Depends, if you want to do programming then CompSci might be right for you. If you want a good over view of IT, then BIT at Poly might be right for you. Both are valued here and over seas.

Don't matter what you do, you will learn a hell of a lot more in the first year of employment than those 3 years of study.

The problem is getting that first year of employment, would rather start and get some qualifications under my belt THEN look towards a job.

Also, how hard is it to do the A+ exams by yourself? Like are there places that can do it by correspondence? Asking mainly because I did Lvl 3 computing this year as my computing teacher believed that level 2 would have been meaningless and a waste of my time... so I am looking for something I could do by correspondence next year. Not really sure whats out there though.

qazwsxokmijn
06-09-2010, 10:45 PM
I have a few mates that are IT and technical-minded but don't really enjoy computer science that they're taking at Auckland uni.

When you want to devote 3+ years of uni education that will leave you in over $15k in debt you really have to decide on what subjects you feel are your callings, then you make a decision. Take a gap year if you need to and work a full time job and save up, many of my friends did that.

Doing something you don't like just in the pursuit of cash won't guarantee you happiness.....I know a few mates who absolutely hate their business and accounting courses etc but are just sticking with it because they are hopeful of a prosperous future (despite being in a field with many competitors).

xyz823
06-09-2010, 10:49 PM
I have a few mates that are IT and technical-minded but don't really enjoy computer science that they're taking at Auckland uni.


Any chance you could ask them WHY they don't enjoy it?

qazwsxokmijn
06-09-2010, 11:02 PM
Any chance you could ask them WHY they don't enjoy it?
One is a demotivated stoner, the other hates coding and programming and mathematics but enjoy hardware, and another feels he's losing his interest in computers altogether.

There was a time probably back when I was in yr11 when I thought computers would be my future.....now I'm doing something completely different from computers.....you'd be surprised how quick your mind can change, so take the time to figure out what you really want.

forrest44
07-09-2010, 12:08 AM
I'd say don't do computer science on its own. Maybe IT, or something like electrical engineering, where you'd actually be using computer science to do stuff. But computer science on its own, IMHO, probably isn't optimal

ryanjames.powell
07-09-2010, 10:05 AM
Hmm the Bachelor of Computer and Information Sciences at AUT looks good.

Few questions, how much is theory based and how much is practical? What are the resources etc like at AUT?

For programming/software development, a very large amount is practical, you can't really learn programming without actually doing a lot of coding. They teach Java in the first year, I'm not too sure about after that.

AUT is known for being a bit more practical than other Universities. You have to do things like Applied Communication and a maths paper in the first year, but I'd say that applies anywhere.

What do you mean by resources? They have heaps of open lab computers to use, plus a lab that's only for computing students. Big library, all the things you'd expect at a uni really. In Programming 1 and 2 (first year), they run extra classes for people who need to get help with stuff.

pctek
07-09-2010, 04:34 PM
Anyway, I have decided I would like to do something in IT, specifically programming or some description.

Friend of mine went to Polytech from school. Did various programming orientated papers, got head-hunted by datacom and ended up happily making loads and loads of money.

However, she was good. Very, very, very good. She put a lot of effort into tech too.

Chilling_Silence
07-09-2010, 05:18 PM
I went to Uni for 6 months, started a Bachelor in ComSci. Got bored and quit.

It's a double-edged sword, with pros and cons, to it being so broad.
On the one hand, you will potentially be doing things that you don't enjoy.
On the other hand, it'll give you a good idea of how you're going to need to interact with other IT Depts / people, and in the long term will make you a much better employee, unless you've already got that kind of experience from working in the field.

I know people who started at Unitec at the same time as I did, they didn't know what they wanted to do until the last year of their ComSci course, but are now happily doing X, Y and Z :)

utopian201
07-09-2010, 05:26 PM
Have only heard bad things about computer science from my computing teacher but was hoping for more opinions as I know a lot of people on here are in the IT industry. So was hoping I got get more information from someone on here who has an idea of what is actually involved in a CS degree.

Cheers

You should only get your opinions about Computer science from people who have actually done it, not from people who have an opinion about it but really have no idea what it is about.

The other developers around me right now as I type this all have computer science/electrical engineering degrees, so it can't all be 'bad things'. With all due respect, but your teacher works in the education industry, not the IT/technology industry so he can't really have any idea about what it is like in the real world. Maybe he failed so became a teacher? haha jk.

Computer science, contrary to what another poster said, is not all low level. At canterbury university, computer science is the actual degree; whether you choose to do low level subjects (assembler, operating systems, electrical engineering) or higher level subjects (software development, algorithms, networking etc) is up to you. I don't know if other universities have computer science as a low level degree and something else for the rest.

At UC, (when I did it) it starts with Java to teach you how to program, then C. After the first 6 months, programming is no longer the subject, but a tool used to learn other topics.

If all you want to do is program, maybe polytech is a better option. The point of university (for me) was to learn how to learn and to train me how to do research in post grad degrees (which isn't done at polytechs)

QW.
07-09-2010, 08:52 PM
You may decide on something now but you may change your mind a year from now.

gary67
07-09-2010, 08:57 PM
You should only get your opinions about Computer science from people who have actually done it, not from people who have an opinion about it but really have no idea what it is about.

The other developers around me right now as I type this all have computer science/electrical engineering degrees, so it can't all be 'bad things'. With all due respect, but your teacher works in the education industry, not the IT/technology industry so he can't really have any idea about what it is like in the real world. Maybe he failed so became a teacher? haha jk.

Computer science, contrary to what another poster said, is not all low level. At canterbury university, computer science is the actual degree; whether you choose to do low level subjects (assembler, operating systems, electrical engineering) or higher level subjects (software development, algorithms, networking etc) is up to you. I don't know if other universities have computer science as a low level degree and something else for the rest.

At UC, (when I did it) it starts with Java to teach you how to program, then C. After the first 6 months, programming is no longer the subject, but a tool used to learn other topics.

If all you want to do is program, maybe polytech is a better option. The point of university (for me) was to learn how to learn and to train me how to do research in post grad degrees (which isn't done at polytechs)

Very well put. I did a carpentry/Joinery trade 25 years ago, which I still work as and I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up :help:

Renmoo
07-09-2010, 09:22 PM
You may decide on something now but you may change your mind a year from now.
Nevertheless, it is good that the OP has already given some thoughts to his future. At least in a year's time he will be aware of the possible pathways that he can take.

xyz823
07-09-2010, 09:25 PM
Nevertheless, it is good that the OP has already given some thoughts to his future. At least in a year's time he will be aware of the possible pathways that he can take.

That's my thoughts, get my sh*t sorted now, less stressful next year. Although I have mates in my current computing class who are heading off to different things next year, one is doing astronomy and CS, one is off to CPIT, another is doing something at Lincoln, another is doing media design (Not sure where though).

Will have a chat with them all through next year, see what their thoughts are on the courses partway through the first year.

nofam
07-09-2010, 10:42 PM
I don't see any reason why you should end up at a tertiary institution with no idea of what you want to do in IT - it's a massively wide-ranging field, but it's all just so accessible; if you think you might be into programming, have a dabble and see if it spins your wheels. It's the same with hardware-related stuff - build a PC for yourself, and see if that's your cup of tea (you'll know).

There is a lot to be said for being a generalist, but that's only really useful in a management position, or if you're a one-stop-shop IT person in a small business. And in my experience, hardware tech & coding proficiency is mutually exclusive (I think they use different parts of the brain!!)

Personally, I love databases, as they just 'make sense' to me, but it wasn't until I started playing around with them at home that I really got an understanding of them.

So have a play with a bunch of stuff!!

faith1806
07-09-2010, 11:03 PM
u are CS major,i only know little about it, if you love your CS, continuing,do whatever you want, just because u are young.

ryanjames.powell
07-09-2010, 11:09 PM
OK, so I guess Computer Science has different definitions at different institutions. At AUT, the Computer Science major in the BCIS is low level stuff. If you want to do programming or even project management, there is the Software Development major. I've found the first year quite good, as you do a whole range of subjects, and can decide what you would like to continue with. I started off dead set on majoring in Networks and Security, but discovered I am quite good at and quite like programming, so now I'm double majoring and doing Software Development as well.

xyz823
07-09-2010, 11:19 PM
OK, so I guess Computer Science has different definitions at different institutions. At AUT, the Computer Science major in the BCIS is low level stuff. If you want to do programming or even project management, there is the Software Development major. I've found the first year quite good, as you do a whole range of subjects, and can decide what you would like to continue with. I started off dead set on majoring in Networks and Security, but discovered I am quite good at and quite like programming, so now I'm double majoring and doing Software Development as well.

What does the Computer Science major at AUT cover? Also, what sort of stuff did you learn in the first year and what are you currently doing at the moment?

george12
08-09-2010, 01:32 AM
If you like programming, I highly recommend Computer Science at Vic.

It's not all low level; it starts off with Java, then in 2nd year you have quite a bit of choice - you can learn some C and even assembly, and how CPUs work etc (very low level), or do more SWEN (Software Engineering) papers if you're more into the software development side of things, which teaches you software design skills.

It's all very very practical which I find great. The first year papers have weekly assignments which put into practice what you learn.

More interesting subjects are available in 3rd year.

From what I can tell, even undergrad programming students are very employable. There are lots and lots of summer internship programs which pay around $18/hour over summer in addition to getting you a foot in the door, the main one being Summer of IT, the rest being various company's own programs.

If you like the IT project management side of things, you could do what I did and take INFO as a double major. That covers databasing, systems analysis, project management etc. You can do that too and still finish in three years. Note that to a technically minded person (anyone who already has played with programming) you may find INFO papers painfully easy. The same will apply to first year COMP papers if you have done any Java or C# especially. But you will get pretty good if you do well.

I also hear Canterbury is good for Computer Science. I have no idea which is better. I'm a 2nd year student at Vic.

8ftmetalhaed
08-09-2010, 01:56 AM
Like ryan, I'm doing a bachelor of computer science at AUT. He's actually in most of my classes. If you're keen to do programming and want to get a good foundation in the field, then you could come to AUT aswell.
So far, I'm enjoying it but I've found some of the courses are a bit disorganised, and I find that rather disheartening. As it stands, I'm 7 weeks behind in programming, despite wanting to major in software Dev. If you're not too much of a creative thinker and can nail their abstraction straight away, it'll be the course for you. It requires precise thinking within a certain set of boundaries.
Unfortunately in my case, I think far too far outside the boundaries so that's probably one contributing reason as to why I'm finding it so damn hard.
(That and I've been lazy, thanks to midday and evening classes as opposed to my usual morning classes.)

So yeah if you're keen to go through a few baby steps to get going in Java it might be an option.
Just buy a laptop before you come. They do have a computer science student lab, but the computers aren't fab, the air conditioning is terrible, there's always idiots playing counterstrike via the network trash folder and the printer is always out of paper.

8ftmetalhaed
08-09-2010, 02:15 AM
Ok was editing this in but took longer than 15 minutes to write, so I'll just double post. (sorry :()

Oh and edit - the topics that I've taken this year are as follows, since you asked. I'll detail what's involved in each paper.

Semester 1
Programming 1 (introduction to Java using BlueJ) - Introduces people to coding practices, working with objects and classes, doesn't normally require you to write a class yourself, more like learn to understand existing code, then write something as you're told to with correct formatting and commenting. The hardest thing we did in programming 1 was import randoms, generate ints and doubles and create array lists.

Foundations of IT Infrastructure - Used to be called IT hardware software till last year, changed now. Covers things like writing basic dos and unix scripts, installing OSes (the lecturer LOVES linux and telling stories and not communicating with the student tutors), aswell as basic skimming of hardware stuff. (IE we had a lab saying "this is a harddrive, how it works, etc. Now you're expected to know how to use it already" sorta thing). Also covered numeracy in different bases, including binary, octal and hex, aswell as other things like FAT tables and systems and general hardware knowledge.

Applied Communications - Pretty much english but more annoying. Teaches you how to write a basic essay and presentation and work in a group. The first assignment was pie for many, the second was absolute hell for everyone.

Computing technology in society - Media studies in terms of computer science. Studies the interaction between society and technology and IT, such as the impact computers and other technologies are having on children, childhood and development, the implementation of RFID devices, etc etc. Really quite an interesting subject if you enjoy that sort of thing.


Semester 2 -

Programming 2-
Carries on from where programming one should have left off about two weeks after the actual end of the course. Immediately jumps into abstraction of ideas. Caught alot of people off guard as they didn't touch programming over the semester break and thus found they couldn't create an array list, let alone figure out how to write a method and class to achieve an end result within the instruction set. Covers Regular expression, sorting, stacks, and a whole bunch of other stuff I should know but don't because I still forget how to create an array list. Also covers stuff like debugging and unit testing.

Computer networking -
I hear this is a really basic networking paper. The people who did communications semester 1 were put into this but shifted out after a week because it clashed with another networking paper. From what I saw of it it looked pretty boring and overly simplified. The people who did the other networking paper semester 1 seem to find this one much less interesting.

CCNA1 Cisco Networking -
The "real" networking paper, this one covers things like setting up networks, subnetting, IP addressing, IM and IRC chat, etc. It's a basic Cisco course which is interesting, if only slightly long winded thanks to 4 hour lab sessions once a week.

Algebra and Discrete mathematics -
One of two maths papers, people doing Programming or higher in the paper chain must pick algebra as their maths paper to advance. Covers logic, proofs, truth tables, circuits, hasse diagrams, matrices and a fair few other things that I'm again not fab at.

Enterprise systems -
An introduction into database systems and the ways in which systems can be integrated into and used by businesses and the like. Think the onecard system at foodtown and the like. Quite interesting, but timetabled late at night so can be a bit of a drag to attend classes. Much like communications in terms of subject format. Go to class, pay attention, read the textbook a bit, turn up to the exam, and you get about 70% minimum.

But yes, I must get on to my programming work... ALOT of catchup to do. It's both annoying and depressing. But it needs doing. My kingdom for some motivation haha.

SurferJoe46
08-09-2010, 04:20 PM
No computers in MY future, especially ones that run on L-based OSs!

There's a story going around here in SoCal that gives one pause.

Seems this IT expert was standing in line at McDonald's and after he ordered his Happy Meal, he was thinking: "Gawd - I wish I had a job flippin' burgers. I wish I had a JOB!"

All I can say is that I am very glad I am retired and don't work any more - I didn't like dealing with the public when I had to, and fer sure I wouldn't want to as a preference any more either.

ryanjames.powell
09-09-2010, 10:03 AM
There's a fair bit of info on what is covered in the BCIS here:

http://www.aut.ac.nz/study-at-aut/study-areas/computing--mathematical-sciences/qualifications/undergraduate-degrees/bachelor-of-computer-and-information-sciences---overview

forums12345
09-09-2010, 07:22 PM
work experience is important, I found out by going to a lot of interviews and actually working in i.t that experience kills quals any day. Go dabble in I.T and find out what u really want to do for the rest of your life and then go for it. Go do some kind of internship or some unpaid I.T work and see what you are intersted in, now a days it is really hard to get anything in I.T, so much competition, if you apply for a job the employer will get around 85 cv's on average (well in the Auckland area)

Tony
10-09-2010, 03:11 PM
As an official wrinkly and old fart, I can only speak from the experience of about 20 years ago when I was in a senior programming position with a big NZ company.

We hired trainees who were all doing some sort of tertiary couse as well, and my personal view was that the ones doing an AIT (as it was then) course were more use as programmers than those doing a CS degree at Uni. The AIT people seemed to have a better grounding in real-world requirements. Of course the industry and the courses available have changed enormously since then, so you may well choose to ignore everything i've said. :)

I also think if you can get a job at the same time as doing the course, it would help tremendously in being able to apply your training to real-world problems, and also to use real-world experience in working out theoretical problems.

HTH and good luck.