View Full Version : Computer Science = Computerology?

August 21st, 2009, 07:29 PM
Seeing as it's the start of my Senior year in two weeks, I was looking for collages, and thinking about the rest of my life. What I'm asking is, what the heck is a Computer Science degree good for, and how helpful is it to shoot for it, over more specific degrees?

Having known "Ctrl-Alt-Del" since I was six, and knowing I wanted to do something with computers and programs, just not what, I'm now faced with the grim reality that sooner or later, I'll have to make a choice or what I want to do for the rest of my life, and perhaps I may not get what I want the first time around. At the top of my list for careers is video game designer, mostly because of the computers involved, and a love of writing and fiction. I figure I can split the difference on the two, and a love of videogames fermenting since I had an SNES would help things along.

The problem that comes in is while I could just get a BS in CS and be done with it, I could have a hard time getting a job at say, Valve, EA, and the like, without a more specific degree. On the other hand, (god forbid), video games may not be the thing for me, and with a degree in " Interactive Media and Game Design," I'd be dammed to late nights on "Ultra Kill-Gore 'Death' Jones Siblings 2: Revenge of Evil," with crappy coffee AND the pressure to make the game sell 50 million NEW copies at $60 bucks a pop. Where with a CS degree, I could be working a generic IT job where I could still get the late nights, crap coffee and lack of respect, but have a pay raise, and feel where I'm actually getting somewhere if the game doesn't become "Player's Choice" overnight. You see my dilemma?

The question is, do I take a Computer Science degree and risk being cornered into a corner office for the price of being more flexible? Or do I follow my dream, throw caution to the wind, and risk falling on my face? Or am I just barking up the wrong tree altogether, and worrying too much?

August 21st, 2009, 07:38 PM
You don't risk anything when you have the skills to make it on your own. My goal is to start work at noon every day from my living room couch in my bathrobe while eating cold pizza. Seriously, if you start your own business offering something new or something better than the others, then you're limited only to your skills and imagination. That's if the gaming doesn't work out.

Or you could just go work for Blizzard for a few years, they hire anyone but treat their employees like garbage.

August 21st, 2009, 07:49 PM
CS degree is != MIS/IT or a Game Design degree. With a CS degree you can work most any programming or IT job, or do research, teach, etc. With MIS/IT you generally just learn to be a sysadmin and get tied to specific software solutions. Likewise, with a game design degree, you will probably learn a lot about specific software, 3-D modeling, etc.

So CS degree is the most broad and comprehensive. MIS/IT and Game Design are programs for training users. CS is a degree that allows you to eventually create the tools MIS and Game Design trainees use. And possibly to do a lot of the same things they do with their user degree, too.

August 21st, 2009, 07:52 PM
supposedly in your lifetime you will have over 5 different carrers. It the way of world these days.

study what interests you. look at the degrees many CEO of tech companies have, many are outside the realm of Computer science. many have art, history, even journalism degrees. Study what you like, and try jobs out, temping is a great way of learning about the structure you want to be around. You can always get that art degree and have certificates in IT related work to get you places, especally if you are looking to do game design.