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    I am currently doing an OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Subsidiary Diploma in I.T. It carries the same UCAS Points as BTEC.

    I am stuck between Computer Science or Software Engineering. Also, I cannot decide whether to study for the Undergraduate Msc/Meng or Bsc Degree.

    I messed up in the first semester of my course; I am most likely going to get DMM or MMM. I wanted D*D*D* but I did not work hard enough. I may not end up going to a Russell Group University. My first choice was Lancaster, and my second was Brunel. However, with my grades I am unlikely to get into any of those.

    If I had attained top grades, I would have gone straight for the Msc/Meng.

    As of now, I have to decide between the Msc/ Meng.

    For me, the benefits of studying the Meng include increased employability, a more advanced qualification, and more knowledge and skills.

    However, it costs more money, and since I will be going to an "okay" university, spending more money on an extra course may be a useless venture.

    If I were to do the Bsc with a Year Abroad or a Year in Industry, I would spend less money. I could then do a 1 year postgrad course.

    What should I do?
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    Firstly, If you want to study for an Masters degree (MSc/MEng) then you'll need to have already completed a Bachelors (BSc/BEng) first. A Masters degree is a postgraduate course, so if you don't have a Bachelors degree yet, then you have several years before you need to think about applying for the Masters degree.

    Secondly, a 1 year industrial placement is highly recommended as part of your BSc/BEng because it will provide you with a lot of valuable experience to help you get a job when you graduate. Graduates who have the 12-month placement under their belt in a job which is relevant to their degree, and related to the career they're pursuing will have a significant advantage when applying to those jobs.

    Are you considering Software Engineering as a route to a career working as a Software Engineer? Software Engineering is broadly based on Computer Science, but with a heavy bias towards to core Software development skills (particularly Programming, but also OO Design, databases, development lifecycle, systems analysis, GUIs, etc.). .

    Computer Science tends to be more theoretical - there's still a strong emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving skills, but it's less targeted towards any specific career path. There's typically more discrete mathematics in CompSci.

    As far as career choices are concerned, a 12-month placement puts you in a strong position. A CompSci degree tends to be a good starting point for a whole range of IT/Computing related careers. A Software Engineering degree might help you lean towards a career in Software Development, but overall your type of degree isn't necessarily going to restrict you if you later decide that you want to do something else in IT instead

    Being a graduate in any IT discipline tends to give you a reasonable amount of flexibility to choose something else, so the important thing is to choose the degree which you believe you'll enjoy most, since that will naturally be the one you're most likely to be successful at.

    Lastly, as far as going to a "top" Russell Group university is concerned, I wouldn't worry too much about it from an employability point of view. Having a 3-year BSc/BEng as well as a 12-month placement, assuming you succeed at both of those (and possibly an MSc/MEng on top of that) should put you in a good position to apply for graduate Computing jobs.

    When it comes to recruitment for technical jobs in the field of IT/Computing after you graduate, employers are only somewhat interested in your degree as evidence of your ability to solve problems and your critical analysis/computational thinking skills. Employers are often thorough in their interview process, and they'll really be looking at your ability more than your qualifications - that often involves taking various technical skills or logical thinking tests, answering difficult technical questions, sometimes presenting examples of projects you've completed or talking your way through an analysis of a problem set by the interviewer. (They'll also want to know about your interpersonal and communication skills too). This is one of the reasons why the 12-month placement is important, because you'll be able to draw upon a lot of experience from this.
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    (Original post by winterscoming)
    Firstly, If you want to study for an Masters degree (MSc/MEng) then you'll need to have already completed a Bachelors (BSc/BEng) first. A Masters degree is a postgraduate course, so if you don't have a Bachelors degree yet, then you have several years before you need to think about applying for the Masters degree.

    Secondly, a 1 year industrial placement is highly recommended as part of your BSc/BEng because it will provide you with a lot of valuable experience to help you get a job when you graduate. Graduates who have the 12-month placement under their belt in a job which is relevant to their degree, and related to the career they're pursuing will have a significant advantage when applying to those jobs.

    Are you considering Software Engineering as a route to a career working as a Software Engineer? Software Engineering is broadly based on Computer Science, but with a heavy bias towards to core Software development skills (particularly Programming, but also OO Design, databases, development lifecycle, systems analysis, GUIs, etc.). .

    Computer Science tends to be more theoretical - there's still a strong emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving skills, but it's less targeted towards any specific career path. There's typically more discrete mathematics in CompSci.

    As far as career choices are concerned, a 12-month placement puts you in a strong position. A CompSci degree tends to be a good starting point for a whole range of IT/Computing related careers. A Software Engineering degree might help you lean towards a career in Software Development, but overall your type of degree isn't necessarily going to restrict you if you later decide that you want to do something else in IT instead

    Being a graduate in any IT discipline tends to give you a reasonable amount of flexibility to choose something else, so the important thing is to choose the degree which you believe you'll enjoy most, since that will naturally be the one you're most likely to be successful at.

    Lastly, as far as going to a "top" Russell Group university is concerned, I wouldn't worry too much about it from an employability point of view. Having a 3-year BSc/BEng as well as a 12-month placement, assuming you succeed at both of those (and possibly an MSc/MEng on top of that) should put you in a good position to apply for graduate Computing jobs.

    When it comes to recruitment for technical jobs in the field of IT/Computing after you graduate, employers are only somewhat interested in your degree as evidence of your ability to solve problems and your critical analysis/computational thinking skills. Employers are often thorough in their interview process, and they'll really be looking at your ability more than your qualifications - that often involves taking various technical skills or logical thinking tests, answering difficult technical questions, sometimes presenting examples of projects you've completed or talking your way through an analysis of a problem set by the interviewer. (They'll also want to know about your interpersonal and communication skills too). This is one of the reasons why the 12-month placement is important, because you'll be able to draw upon a lot of experience from this.
    In fairness some uni's offer an undergrad masters that runs for an extra year, I think that is what the OP was referring to??

    You are totally correct about the placement year though. Someone who did a a 3 year BSc in CS + 1 year of a placement (4 years total) is going to be much more employable than someone who did a 4 year undergrad masters degree.
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    (Original post by iamadoctorsson)
    I am currently doing an OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Subsidiary Diploma in I.T. It carries the same UCAS Points as BTEC.

    I am stuck between Computer Science or Software Engineering. Also, I cannot decide whether to study for the Undergraduate Msc/Meng or Bsc Degree.

    I messed up in the first semester of my course; I am most likely going to get DMM or MMM. I wanted D*D*D* but I did not work hard enough. I may not end up going to a Russell Group University. My first choice was Lancaster, and my second was Brunel. However, with my grades I am unlikely to get into any of those.

    If I had attained top grades, I would have gone straight for the Msc/Meng.

    As of now, I have to decide between the Msc/ Meng.

    For me, the benefits of studying the Meng include increased employability, a more advanced qualification, and more knowledge and skills.

    However, it costs more money, and since I will be going to an "okay" university, spending more money on an extra course may be a useless venture.

    If I were to do the Bsc with a Year Abroad or a Year in Industry, I would spend less money. I could then do a 1 year postgrad course.

    What should I do?
    To second what winters coming said, doing an undergrad masters degree isn't going to make you any more employable. I interview grads all the time and the students who we hire generally have done a 3 year BSc + 1 year placement (4 years total).

    The grads who have done a 4 year masters but haven't done a placement year really struggle in interviews for jobs after uni. That's been my experience. I'm mentoring someone who's in that very position now.

    What I will say in favour of doing an undergrad masters in CS is that if you want to do a PhD and stay in academia, an undergrad masters is an advantage in that case. In terms of it being useful for getting a job outside academia, it's much less useful than doing a BSc + Placement year. You could do an undergrad masters with a placement year, but 5 years is a long time and an extra year of debt. You will almost certainly get the same jobs post uni if you did a BSc + Placement vs doing an undergrad masters + placement. Why waste a year? What will help your career is post uni experience from working in the tech sector, not hanging round uni for another year.

    If it was me and I just wanted a job in tech after uni, I'd do a 3 year BSc + 1 year placement and forget about an undergrad masters.
 
 
 
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