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    I've recently been considering doing an MSc conversion course in computing at somewhere like Bristol or Glasgow (or maybe a part-time one at Birkbeck, depending on my finances); the courses I've looked at seem quite good to me, but it would help to have some more informed opinion -- which is where you come in! EDIT: I see that Imperial do a conversion MSc course too (though I'd imagine that it's very competitive).

    Does anyone have direct experience of such courses? Or, as a person generally in the know, do you have any opinions? Is such a course, assuming I were to do quite well, likely to lead to a fairly decent career (though I don't want anything high flying) or not? Might prospective employers look down on me, since I have a humanities undergrad degree (and no maths since GCSE)? Or is wanting to get into programming/computing a completely unrealistic ambition, given my background? I think I'd enjoy it because I like learning systematic, esoteric things (I study Latin & Greek for flips sake :rolleyes:) and I learnt some form of BASIC quite well when I was younger (and used to play around with HTML and the like too), and enjoyed that. I'm also worrying about not being able to get a job with my current degree, since I'd be hopeless at management roles and suchlike that most people go into -- or at least would hate them.

    Thanks for your help.
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    Anyone?

    Also, from what I've been reading on the web, I've heard from some that computer programming is a very poorly paid and undervalued job (that's being outsourced to the East by the day) -- and some saying quite the opposite, that it's a very well remunerated career. Who's right? Or are they both right, depending upon where you are in the ladder?

    EDIT: The [American] salary levels given on www.salary.com don't seem at all bad. :dontknow:
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    (Original post by jismith1989)
    Anyone?

    Also, from what I've been reading on the web, I've heard from some that computer programming is a very poorly paid and undervalued job (that's being outsourced to the East by the day) -- and some saying quite the opposite, that it's a very well remunerated career. Who's right? Or are they both right, depending upon where you are in the ladder?

    EDIT: The [American] salary levels given on www.salary.com don't seem at all bad. :dontknow:
    Guess it depends on what computing were talking about, I read that in the future there will be 11% demand for computer scientists in the UK.
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    (Original post by Oh my Ms. Coffey)
    Guess it depends on what computing were talking about, I read that in the future there will be 11% demand for computer scientists in the UK.
    Do you mean it is likely to go down to merely 11% of the current demand or that 11% of the market place will be comprised of people working in comp. sci.? Both seem quite unlikely to me (though the latter less so).

    Anyway, not to be judgemental or anything, but you have too much red rep for me to take you seriously.
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    (Original post by jismith1989)
    Do you mean it is likely to go down to merely 11% of the current demand or that 11% of the market place will be comprised of people working in comp. sci.? Both seem quite unlikely to me (though the latter less so).

    Anyway, not to be judgemental or anything, but you have too much red rep for me to take you seriously.
    111% demand.
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    (Original post by Oh my Ms. Coffey)
    111% demand.
    Wheres your sources?
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    (Original post by MylesXD)
    Wheres your sources?
    Copyright his imagination, I think. :ninja:
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    (Original post by jismith1989)
    Copyright his imagination, I think. :ninja:
    hahah, think she/he got out of thin air
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    (Original post by jismith1989)
    Do you mean it is likely to go down to merely 11% of the current demand or that 11% of the market place will be comprised of people working in comp. sci.? Both seem quite unlikely to me (though the latter less so).

    Anyway, not to be judgemental or anything, but you have too much red rep for me to take you seriously.
    he computer industry faces a skills crisis, the president of the British Computer Society has told BBC News.

    Unless steps are taken now, there will not be enough qualified graduates to meet the demands of UK industry, warned Professor Nigel Shadbolt.

    Prof Shadbolt said there was increasing demand but decreasing supply of graduates in computer science.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/6155998.stm

    (2006)

    Another Source for high demand

    WHAT ARE THE CAREER PROSPECTS FOR A COMPUTER SCIENCE GRADUATE?
    According to recent figures there will be over 185,000 new jobs created in the UK alone over the next 5 years so career prospects are very good for computer science experts worldwide. A career in computing can also be fulfilling both personally and financially - figures from the 2007 QS World MBA Tour show that 18% of the world's MBA graduates have an IT background so the options to break into business, start up one's own company or other options are almost limitless. Salaries can be high. There are excellent career prospects within computer systems hardware, computer networking, software development or Internet technology and many computer science graduates branch out into different vocations such as bioscience, medicine or journalism.

    The range of companies a computer expert works for is almost limitless software developers, banks, car manufacturers, newspapers, universities. There are also a large number of courses available, not all of which will be suitable for your interests. Think hard about what those interests are and computer science could provide you with a long and rewarding career.
    http://www.topuniversities.com/artic...mputer-science



    http://blogs.payscale.com/ask_dr_sal...or-comput.html
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    (Original post by MylesXD)
    Wheres your sources?
    Cant remember the exact one, its a big British tabloid. I came across it when searching for computer science salaries.
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    (Original post by Oh my Ms. Coffey)
    x
    i stand corrected
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    (Original post by Oh my Ms. Coffey)
    QWERTYUIOP
    Thanks, we evidently underestimated you. I'll pos rep you when I can (tomorrow).

    That sounds like positive news for all involved anyway.
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    (Original post by jismith1989)
    Thanks, we evidently underestimated you. I'll pos rep you when I can (tomorrow).

    That sounds like positive news for all involved anyway.

    Its not really just the programming side thats important. I mean you can self teach programming, less academic university's focus modules less around maths but more around applied computing, programing. Whereas universities higher up the league tables focus more on the mathematics and problem solving side.

    Heres an example of a module breakdown at Nottingham Trent University

    Year One

    Computer Technology
    Mathematics for Computing
    Personal and Professional Development
    Software Design and Implementation One
    Systems Analysis and Design
    Year Two - Core modules

    Applied Mathematics and Graphics
    Information and Database Engineering
    Professional Development Two
    Software Design and Implementation Two
    Systems Software
    Year Two - Optional modules

    Information Systems Development
    Internet Development
    Marketing for Entrepreneurs
    Software Engineering
    Understanding Industry
    Year Three

    Optional placement year

    Final year - Core modules

    Advanced Analysis and Design
    Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing
    Distributed Object Computing
    Real Time Analysis and Design
    Project
    Final year - Optional modules

    Advanced Software Engineering
    Business Analysis
    Computational Intelligence
    Foreign Language
    Games Development Technology
    Graphics for Games and Dynamics Modelling
    Human-Computer Interaction
    Project Management
    However this is Imperial's computing degree

    First year
    Core courses:

    Computer Systems
    Databases
    Discrete Mathematics
    Hardware
    Integrated Laboratory
    Logic
    Object-Oriented Programming
    Mathematical Methods
    Professional Issues
    Programming
    Reasoning About Programs
    Optional course:

    Foreign Language I
    Topics in Artificial Intelligence

    Second year
    Core courses:

    Compilers
    Models of Computation
    Networks and Communications
    Operating Systems
    Software Engineering – Algorithms
    Software Engineering – Design
    Statistics
    Integrated Laboratory
    Optional courses:

    Computational Techniques
    Computer Architecture
    Concurrency
    Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
    Foreign Language II

    Third year
    Advanced Databases
    Advanced Computer Architecture
    Automated Reasoning
    Custom Computing
    Complex Systems
    Distributed Systems
    Graphics
    Introduction to Informatics
    Ludic Comput ing
    Machine Learning
    Operations Research
    Organisations and Management Processes
    Robotics
    Simulation and Modelling
    Software Engineering – Methods
    Softwa re Engineering – Systems Verification
    Technical Presentations Skills
    Humanities/Foreign Language/Business Courses
    Integrated Laboratory – Group Projects
    Industrial Placement (MEng students)

    Fourth year
    Advanced Graphics and Visualisation
    Advanced Issues in Object-Oriented Programming
    Advanced Topics in Software Engineering
    Automated Reasoning
    Cognitive Robotics
    Complexity
    Computational Finance
    Computer Vision
    Computing for Optimal Decisions
    Distributed Algorithms
    Intelligent Data and Probabilistic Inference
    Knowledge Representation
    Machine Learning and Neural Computation
    Modal and Temporal Logic
    Models of Concurrent Computation
    Multi-Agent Systems
    Network Security
    Parallel Algorithms
    Performance Analysis
    Programme Analysis
    Quantum Computing
    Type Systems for Programming Languages
    Humanities/Foreign Language/Business Courses
    You can see the difference in mathematics level from this example.
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    All this aside (interesting though it is), does anyone have anything to say about my OP?
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    I'd say go for it but understand that to progress a carrear as a software engineer you really have to live and breath code. Its very involved and imersive.

    Also I'm not sure if a 1 year conversion course will give you the experience employers are looking for. Make sure you build up a healthy portfolio of work during your year.

    I don't know how well you would compete with gruaduates with 3/4 years programming experience from a full undergrad degree. You might have to be prepared to start at the bottom once you graduate and be grateful your racking up experience and then apply for juicy positions once you've got a few more years experience under your belt.

    Get involved in programming competitions, do anything you can to show potential employers that you've done and learnt just as much as the guys with CS undergrad degrees.

    Does this help? If you're certain you want to get into software engineering then a Computing masters is probably the best starting point. Also what previous people have said is very true, make sure there is a lot of theory in the course as actual practical programming is fairly trivial and can be self taught / picked up. Having the understanding of why you should code a given algorithm a certain way over another way or why a system should be designed in a certain way is what makes good programmers good.
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    (Original post by SpamTheMan)
    I'd say go for it but understand that to progress a carrear as a software engineer you really have to live and breath code. Its very involved and imersive.

    Also I'm not sure if a 1 year conversion course will give you the experience employers are looking for. Make sure you build up a healthy portfolio of work during your year.

    I don't know how well you would compete with gruaduates with 3/4 years programming experience from a full undergrad degree. You might have to be prepared to start at the bottom once you graduate and be grateful your racking up experience and then apply for juicy positions once you've got a few more years experience under your belt.

    Get involved in programming competitions, do anything you can to show potential employers that you've done and learnt just as much as the guys with CS undergrad degrees.

    Does this help? If you're certain you want to get into software engineering then a Computing masters is probably the best starting point. Also what previous people have said is very true, make sure there is a lot of theory in the course as actual practical programming is fairly trivial and can be self taught / picked up. Having the understanding of why you should code a given algorithm a certain way over another way or why a system should be designed in a certain way is what makes good programmers good.
    Thanks, that was helpful. Is there anything specific that I should look for in terms of theory? Anything that's especially relevant? Would it be worth me learning any maths, or is that only really necessary if you wish to go into the purely theoretical side of things? I'll apply to the Imperial course, and hope I get accepted there, because I'm sure that'll be of a high standard; I'm on target to get a first in my degree, so I should be considered, if nothing else. I also took a book out from my university's library on C, and have been flicking through that; I've found it quite interesting so far.
 
 
 
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