Mathematics or Computer Science degree? Which one to choose???

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The-Hof123
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#1
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#1
Hi, I have a slight dilemma. I love maths and like computer science.
Not sure which one to do as a degree.

I might like being a programmer or something else CS related. But at the same time, at the moment, with me studying Computer Science A-Level, it's boring and dull. Whereas maths is my favourite subject, and I'm also taking Further Maths.

Maths on the other hand really really interests me, and I think I would prefer to do that, but would it close the door to CS careers? Also, what careers use pure maths (my favourite type of maths), other than being a mathematician or a lecturer?

If I choose a CS degree, will I be able to be employed into the same sorts of careers as doing a maths degree? Like which degree gives the most evenly spread career choices?

If anyone could help guide me, that'd be great.

Thanks
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mollythec
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(Original post by The-Hof123)
Hi, I have a slight dilemma. I love maths and like computer science.
Not sure which one to do as a degree.

I might like being a programmer or something else CS related. But at the same time, at the moment, with me studying Computer Science A-Level, it's boring and dull. Whereas maths is my favourite subject, and I'm also taking Further Maths.

Maths on the other hand really really interests me, and I think I would prefer to do that, but would it close the door to CS careers? Also, what careers use pure maths (my favourite type of maths), other than being a mathematician or a lecturer?

If I choose a CS degree, will I be able to be employed into the same sorts of careers as doing a maths degree? Like which degree gives the most evenly spread career choices?

If anyone could help guide me, that'd be great.

Thanks
Have you considered a joint honours degree? It would allow you to continue doing maths (which you obviously enjoy) as well as get some more direct experience in computer science for your future career.

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markovchain17
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If u find it boring at A-level I wouldn't recommend doing it at uni. I'd go for Maths. A maths degree is very reputable and you can self teach yourself programming in your spare time and build up a portfolio which you can show employers and the like

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The-Hof123
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(Original post by markovchain17)
If u find it boring at A-level I wouldn't recommend doing it at uni. I'd go for Maths. A maths degree is very reputable and you can self teach yourself programming in your spare time and build up a portfolio which you can show employers and the like

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Ah okay, but like will it stop me from getting good CS jobs? If I later decide I want to do CS?
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BTAnonymous
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#5
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Maths. It looks like you don't know what you want to do exactly but have a rough idea of the areas you want to work in. So Maths.

Computer Science is still a really good degree but 1. The content you will be taught might not be relevant after your 3 years because technology is accelerating so quickly 2. You start to specialise in Computing whereas Maths is a more rounded subject with will offer you the same doors if not more as a CS degree.

Without doubt, if you apply to a computing job with a Maths degree, they will think of it as an equivalent to a Computing degree. Same with lots of engineering disciplines as well.

Take a look at GCHQ careers and see what their software engineers requirements are: I bet they are a degree in Maths, engineering or CS.

Maths is used everywhere: finance, computing, teaching, business, all hard sciences, statistics, engineering, government, logistics, air traffic control, stock broking every where
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Someboady
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#6
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(Original post by The-Hof123)
Hi, I have a slight dilemma. I love maths and like computer science.
Not sure which one to do as a degree.

I might like being a programmer or something else CS related. But at the same time, at the moment, with me studying Computer Science A-Level, it's boring and dull. Whereas maths is my favourite subject, and I'm also taking Further Maths.

Maths on the other hand really really interests me, and I think I would prefer to do that, but would it close the door to CS careers? Also, what careers use pure maths (my favourite type of maths), other than being a mathematician or a lecturer?

If I choose a CS degree, will I be able to be employed into the same sorts of careers as doing a maths degree? Like which degree gives the most evenly spread career choices?

If anyone could help guide me, that'd be great.

Thanks
I was in the same position as you last year.
I love Maths a lot but I enjoy programming too, I also found Computer Science A-level boring... I still find this A-level incredibly boring, though some parts are interesting. But Maths is easily my favourite.

Choosing a CS degree doesn't close doors for Maths careers and a Maths degree does not close the door for CS degrees (a lot of maths people learn programming and pursue computing careers).

Personally, I chose pure CS over Pure Maths because you get a fair amount of Maths in a CS degree whereas you won't get an incredible amount of programming to do and the knowledge of computers and all the stuff that comes with CS is exclusive to CS/engineering courses.

Maths careers will most probably land you in the finance sector (don't quote me on this). I really didn't want to be an actuary/finance person so I chose CS instead.

I suggest looking at courses like Computer Science w/ Maths, this was something I considered too however it tends to be a harder degree including about 60% from each course (you end up doing 120% of a course).

Also I chose Computer Science because a. its an engineering degree. b. it has a fair bit of maths in it, c. its a science (per name), d. fat loads of cash at the end of it, e. employability rates are high af

If you do choose pure CS, most Unis have optional modules where you can choose to do additional maths modules.
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stoyfan
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#7
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#7
(Original post by The-Hof123)
Hi, I have a slight dilemma. I love maths and like computer science.
Not sure which one to do as a degree.

I might like being a programmer or something else CS related. But at the same time, at the moment, with me studying Computer Science A-Level, it's boring and dull. Whereas maths is my favourite subject, and I'm also taking Further Maths.

Maths on the other hand really really interests me, and I think I would prefer to do that, but would it close the door to CS careers? Also, what careers use pure maths (my favourite type of maths), other than being a mathematician or a lecturer?

If I choose a CS degree, will I be able to be employed into the same sorts of careers as doing a maths degree? Like which degree gives the most evenly spread career choices?

If anyone could help guide me, that'd be great.

Thanks
What aspects of A level computing don't you like?
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BTAnonymous
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(Original post by The-Hof123)
Ah okay, but like will it stop me from getting good CS jobs? If I later decide I want to do CS?
I'm not much a computer scientist, more of a Maths guy but take Alan Turing for example. He used Maths to build the first computer, he used cryptography which is very Maths reliant. It will not i say not stop you from getting a computing job.
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The-Hof123
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(Original post by stoyfan)
What aspects of A level computing don't you like?
Theory, all the theory, plus my teacher can't teach very well, so we're pretty much teaching ourselves the entire syllabus. Also, our school blocks websites, even some that are good for research projects. like our NEA, in which I am programming a sudoku solver / generator, but as its a kind of 'game', the school blocks it
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stoyfan
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(Original post by The-Hof123)
Theory, all the theory, plus my teacher can't teach very well, so we're pretty much teaching ourselves the entire syllabus. Also, our school blocks websites, even some that are good for research projects. like our NEA, in which I am programming a sudoku solver / generator, but as its a kind of 'game', the school blocks it
Damn, it seems that the course for you isn't very enjoyable because the teacher can't even teach.

What I can say that (at least in GCSE CS) there are quite a few bits of theory that are rather relevant for programming.

E.g, learning the different kind of software development cycles a programmer can use and the tools available in a IDLE for debugging.
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The-Hof123
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(Original post by stoyfan)
Damn, it seems that the course for you isn't very enjoyable because the teacher can't even teach.

What I can say that (at least in GCSE CS) there are quite a few bits of theory that are rather relevant for programming.

E.g, learning the different kind of software development cycles a programmer can use and the tools available in a IDLE for debugging.
Oh yeah, but in A-Level, there's a lot more that isn't. And there's practically no programming in the syllabus
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stoyfan
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(Original post by The-Hof123)
Oh yeah, but in A-Level, there's a lot more that isn't. And there's practically no programming in the syllabus
For GCSE I had to do two projects where I would need to make a program for every single one. Then you would write a 10000 word report (this is just the average) on what and why you used these programming techniques. It would also include a plan of your program. It was an absolute chore and we were given limited time for it but the fact that you are doing little programming is quite depressing.

I heard from sixform students that they do some programming in their Comp Sci course but idk why you are not doing any.

All I can say is do some programming in your freetime. I would recommend to start with a high level programming language such as Python and then (after when you grasped the basics) try to learn a bit of Java/c# or c++. Those programs are designed for OOP.
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The-Hof123
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(Original post by stoyfan)
For GCSE I had to do two projects where I would need to make a program for every single one. Then you would write a 10000 word report (this is just the average) on what and why you used these programming techniques. It would also include a plan of your program. It was an absolute chore and we were given limited time for it but the fact that you are doing little programming is quite depressing.

I heard from sixform students that they do some programming in their Comp Sci course.
Did you do OCR? That's what I did, and that was alright. With A-Level, there's almost too much freedom for the controlled assessment. You can program anything, but I've picked something too hard, but my teacher didn't tell me it was
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stoyfan
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(Original post by The-Hof123)
Did you do OCR? That's what I did, and that was alright. With A-Level, there's almost too much freedom for the controlled assessment. You can program anything, but I've picked something too hard, but my teacher didn't tell me it was
I just completed my AQA comp sci course. What program do you want to make?
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The-Hof123
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#15
(Original post by stoyfan)
I just completed my AQA comp sci course. What program do you want to make?
I've started to make a sudoku solver / generator, with a complex algorithm, so that it generates and solves sudokus in well under a second
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stoyfan
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(Original post by The-Hof123)
I've started to make a sudoku solver / generator, with a complex algorithm, so that it generates and solves sudokus in well under a second
Oh wow, that is pretty interesting... all I can recommend is to break down the program into little chunks. Each chunk would be a module that would carry out a specific taks in your program.

All I can say I probably to make smaller prototype first. It looks like that normal sudoku grids are 9x9. Make a program that works with 6x6 grids and when that works, upscale it to 9x9.
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The-Hof123
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(Original post by stoyfan)
Oh wow, that is pretty interesting... all I can recommend is to break down the program into little chunks. Each chunk would be a module that would carry out a specific taks in your program.

All I can say I probably to make smaller prototype first. It looks like that normal sudoku grids are 9x9. Make a program that works with 6x6 grids and when that works, upscale it to 9x9.
Yeah, but I'm doing it in HTML and JS, which I've never used before really. So like I'm using divs as the text boxes, with CSS grids to form the grid, and I've got a js input box, but I now need to get it to do the actual algorithm and to check correctness etc.
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squeakysquirrel
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#18
(Original post by The-Hof123)
Hi, I have a slight dilemma. I love maths and like computer science.
Not sure which one to do as a degree.

I might like being a programmer or something else CS related. But at the same time, at the moment, with me studying Computer Science A-Level, it's boring and dull. Whereas maths is my favourite subject, and I'm also taking Further Maths.

Maths on the other hand really really interests me, and I think I would prefer to do that, but would it close the door to CS careers? Also, what careers use pure maths (my favourite type of maths), other than being a mathematician or a lecturer?

If I choose a CS degree, will I be able to be employed into the same sorts of careers as doing a maths degree? Like which degree gives the most evenly spread career choices?

If anyone could help guide me, that'd be great.

Thanks
Maths all the way - you will be doing coding and employers will love you.
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stoyfan
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(Original post by The-Hof123)
Yeah, but I'm doing it in HTML and JS, which I've never used before really. So like I'm using divs as the text boxes, with CSS grids to form the grid, and I've got a js input box, but I now need to get it to do the actual algorithm and to check correctness etc.
Oh, ok.

Unfortunately JS and HTML aren't languages that I am familiar.

In python I made a battleship game where all of the characters were stored in an array.

I then used that array to print it all out like a grid.

All I can say is that you can search the internet for solutions.
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Shubby123
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Computer science, maths is fun but its absolute crap at Uni. You'll have more fun doing Computer Science
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