Scope of computer science in the future(10+ years from now)


#1

I have just completed my o levels and i have to choose subjects for my a level..but there are certain questions I need to ask

Is there any sort of harm in doing A level privately? Can I apply for undergraduate Bachelor in Computer Science..Even if i don't study chemistry..take computing instead of chemistry with maths and physics? Whats the scope of computer science about 10+ years from now? What other high paying degrees are there apart from computer science?


#2

Computer science is and is going to remain a priority carrier pursuit world over.


#3

It is generally better to NOT do A levels privately. If you attend an educational institute for A levels, your university application would probably hold more weight. I don't know about local universities in Pakistan, but if you are applying abroad, universities like to see your school transcripts as well as your O/A level results. And yes you don't have to take chemistry if you're going for CS.

The scope for computer science is huge. There is projected to be a major shortfall between demand and supply of programmers in 5-10 yrs. Having said that your approach to choosing a career is questionable. Are you actually interested in CS outside of it being a means to earn money? If you're not passionate about it, then its really not something you should be doing. CS is a difficult field and you need to put in a lot of effort to be good ( and being one of the best basically means you live and breathe code). Its not a decision you should be making lightly.

Answer these questions:

- How much do you know about computer science at the moment?

- Do you know what kind of courses you would have to take?

- Do you know that a CS program can involve a fair bit of math?

- How would you rate your programming skills at the moment?

- Have you ever worked on a significantly large software project of any kind?

- If I tell you that say Electrical Engineering has more scope and you would earn more money in that field, would that change your decision to want to do CS?


#4

- Absolutely Nothing

- Nope

- Yea, there's no prob. with that, I am not that bad at maths

- 0/10

- Never

- Well, Actually I am interested in programming and that sort of stuff..According to MSN and Forbes and some other websites the highest paying jobs are related to medical science..but I am not interested in medicine so I chose CS, because I am interested in it and it's also have a good pay scale..and about electrical engineering, I don't have interest in the field, so it would be difficult for me to study


#5

^ How can you be interested in CS if you don't know anything about it and when you yourself say that you don't have any kind of programming experience at all? And if you are interested (for whatever reason), then why haven't you done more to learn about it?


#6

^ Well, I think it would be interesting...I like to do stuff with computers...I took computer science in my o levels but my school removed the subject because they didn't had an experienced and capable teacher, so I had other subjects to study and because of lack of time I wasn't able to do much about it..but now I am free for three months and I am planning to study O Level Computer science and A level Computing on my own and give exams this November


#7

Would it be difficult for me to study CS at university level..If I have no basic knowledge of CS?


#8

^ Studying CS in O and A levels might not help you much (I don't know about A level Computing, but I know the O level stuff is thoroughly useless). The point I was trying to make is, that you're willing to choose a career based on complete ignorance other than some misguided surveys on career related earnings. University is not like O/A levels, where you take a subject and if it doesn't interest you, you can drop it, or just give the exam and not worry about it any more. University is considerably harder, more demanding, and if you choose a bachelors program on some whim, you will have a terrible time if you find out you hate it.

Do the following:

- Start learning one compiled language (C++) and one scripting language (Python).

- Start a personal programming project with a reasonably large scope (for example, a healthcare system which keeps track of patient records, or something like that). Try to implement it and you'll find out what REAL programming is like.

- Visit the websites of universities you would be interested in applying to, and check out the required course descriptions for their CS program to get an idea of what you would be getting in to.

To answer your last question: Usually CS programs start from the very basics. However, chances are that more or less all of your peers will have some to significant programming experience, and you will be at a SERIOUS disadvantage if you don't know anything. University moves fast (especially the semester system if you'll be going abroad), and you will suffer greatly in the beginning at least.

As far as your obsession with career earnings is concerned. I know of a guy who has been approached by Google multiple times asking if he would work for them, and they offered him a salary in the $150-200K a year range. He turned them down every time saying Google isn't worth his time and that he can earn more on his own. He offers private consulting services related to CS, and charges $200/HOUR. Right now he is doing his PhD at the University of Waterloo. Does that make you think twice before you take those MSN/Forbes surveys seriously?

It doesn't really matter what you do. What is more important is how passionate and good you are at what you are doing. Money is just a by-product of it all. You probably won't find many examples of people who earn a lot but hate what they do.


#9

^

I just checked out CIE's website and found out that they don't allow Private Candidates to appear for Computer Studies because it involves submitting coursework.and since there is no CS subject in school..I can't study CS in O/A Level....So, where should I start learning these languages you mentioned from Books/Internet?


#10

Programming is really learnt on your own. No one can 'teach' it to you. So yes, books and internet are the way to go. Personally, I think the internet alone is good enough.

Check out my post here: http://www.wiredpakistan.com/forums/viewtopic.php?pid=161042#p161042

Keep in mind that you don't learn programming just by reading. Its all about practice. So code till your fingers fall off!


#11

^ Isn't there any website that teaches these languages from the very beginning? I don't understand many of the terms like CLR etc.?


#12

^ Search around. There are millions of websites. Use whatever you like best. But at the end of it, you should be capable enough to read those reference manuals, understand them and be able to use what you learn.

Try this:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/beginner/cc305129.aspx

http://www.cprogramming.com/tutorial.html#c++tutorial

http://www.cplusplus.com/doc/tutorial/


#13

^^ You can start with a Hello World example form scratch :P


#14

They're abandoning C and PHP from A-levels:

Exam board deletes C and PHP from CompSci A-levels[theregister.co.uk]

[quote=", post:, topic:"]
A-level computer science students will no longer be taught C, C# or PHP from next year following a decision to withdraw the languages by the largest exam board.

Schools teaching the Assessment and Qualifications Alliance's (AQA) COMP1 syllabus have been asked to use one of its other approved languages - Java, Pascal/Delphi, Python 2.6, Python 3.1, Visual Basic 6 and VB.Net 2008. The final resits allowing work in C, C# and PHP will be held in June 2011.

In a document detailing the withdrawal (pdf), the AQA said the move was a response to low take-up of some of the eight languages originally allowed under its syllabus.

The board "highly recommended" switching to Pascal/Delphi because it is stable and was designed to teach programming and problem solving. Teachers planning to use Java are warned that many universities are considering dropping it from their first year computer science programmes, "as has happened in the US".

"You have to consider carefully whether you should be teaching a language that could very well be taught in [higher education]," the AQA wrote.

The allowed variants of Python and Visual Basic are presented by the AQA without comment.

Simon Humphreys, the British Computing Society's coordinator of computing at school, backed the decision.

"I understand that the reason for AQA dropping C#, PHP and C from the AS Computing examination is one of demand," he told The Register.

"Most centres offer Pascal/Delphi and Visual Basic as the language of choice for their students. This selection is based on the experience of the teacher in that centre and their own comfort with that language.

"The Computing A Level is not intended as a programming course but a course that covers the fundamentals of computing of which programming (and problem solving) form a key component."

The AQA's exclusion of C, C# and PHP - languages that are arguably more useful in practice than the now-preferred teaching languages - is nevertheless sure to spark debate. Over to you.

[/quote]

Doesn't that make A-levels somewhat useless?


#15

^ Thats unfortunate. I suppose they think that teaching programming languages at the A levels is too 'advanced', and they would be misguided in that thinking. In my experience if you don't have the proper base when it comes to learning programming concepts then people have a very difficult wrapping their heads around more difficult compiled languages like C++. This is also especially true for when people start learning programming using scripting languages. The whole dynamic typing concept leaves people with next to know idea of how static types work.

Java is still very widely used so its a good language to know. However, like the article mentions, even Java is too high level and isn't an ideal language for beginners and that is why a lot of schools are moving away from teaching it at the intro level. And I have no idea why anyone would want to learn Visual Basic...I really don't consider it a programming language.


#16

I wonder if they still teach students Fortran in FCS like they did ten years ago...


#17

You never start by learning programming. Learning the basics of a computer system are much more important. Like what is memory and what is a CPU. Or even more basic things like what is a bit and the meaning of "digital".

There is more to computing than programming. You don't need to be a hardcore programmer. There are other fields like database administration, website design, graphics design, network administration etc.


#18

Is there any institution which offers graphic designing and other computer courses? I am from Lahore, and I want to do some graphic designing course as i am also free from my O level exams.

Can anyone tell me about the time period of this above mentioned "graphic designing" course?