MaliciousFlower
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im in year 12
doing computer science and am considering doing it at uni
im already struggling with the programming so i guess what im trying to ask is
1) is it extremely hard
2) do all lessons at uni consist of programming or is there theory
3) is it easy to find jobs after you graduate
4) is the pay good?
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HumbleBee_x
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My answer to 3 and 4 is definitely yes!
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TQRL
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I'm planning to get a degree in CS too, a few things I found out:
- easy to find jobs (easier if you went to a top tier uni)
- Sometimes stressful but (most) people say it's worth the money.
- It's not something for everyone. If you're good at problem solving you'll generally find most of the work easier.
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RichPiana
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A lot of people have this concept that Computer Science is just programming. Is a medicine degree all about studying paracetamol?
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traceonr
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(Original post by MaliciousFlower)
im in year 12
doing computer science and am considering doing it at uni
im already struggling with the programming so i guess what im trying to ask is
1) is it extremely hard
2) do all lessons at uni consist of programming or is there theory
3) is it easy to find jobs after you graduate
4) is the pay good?
1) Not extremley hard - will be extremley time consuming, if you want to get good especially compare to other courses, but I don't think the concepts are difficult to grasp.
2) Not 100% sure but I think this will depend on your course, you could have theory modules mixed in there. Best to look at the course at whatever Uni's your applying to (I imagine you'd spend most your time in workshops)
3) Yes, any degrees in tech/engineering are highly valued and demand is only going up.
4) Yes, starts of better than most and only gets better
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BurstingBubbles
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shadowdweller - one for you
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winterscoming
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(Original post by MaliciousFlower)
im in year 12
doing computer science and am considering doing it at uni
im already struggling with the programming so i guess what im trying to ask is
1) is it extremely hard
2) do all lessons at uni consist of programming or is there theory
3) is it easy to find jobs after you graduate
4) is the pay good?
If you're struggling with programming, then try to seek out some help wherever you get stuck understanding the concepts or problems, or are having a hard time 'joining the dots' when you're looking at some code or trying to think your way around a problem. You should take the time to talk to your tutor outside of lessons if possible, or ask questions on TSR or on StackOverflow. Google'ing is also one of the most important 'skills' you'll ever have as a programmer because nearly everything you're currently having trouble with will be something that many people before you have also faced, and been through the same frustrations - so you will find tonnes of beginner-level answers online.

(1) The difficulty in programming is similar to that of learning to speak foreign languages or learning to play a musical instrument because it requires a lot of effort to put your brain into new ways of thinking (Computational Thinking). The reason most people find it 'hard' is that it's an unfamiliar/alien way of looking at the world. It's definitely something that everyone is capable of doing, but there's a lot of effort needed before everything starts to click into place, by which point it will feel alot more natural. I'd urge you not to let yourself think that it's "too difficult" (even though obviously it's easy to give up when you're struggling) -- Keep on plugging away at it and look at trying to get help wherever you find yourself ready to give up. If you're finding it difficult, that means you've got more to learn, but a combination of practice and having the concepts explained to you 'the right way' should make a big difference.

(2) Computer Science is taught completely differently at different universities, but there will always be a mix of topics. The 'top-20' universities tend to focus on using programming to solve esoteric mathematical problems and taking computational thinking upto a much higher level so most people tend to find the Maths content a lot more difficult than the programming. Other universities tend to focus on using programming to hone software engineering skills (more 'real world' type problems and a lot less maths). Aside from programming you'd probably also study topics like Databases, Security, Operating Systems, Networks, Hardware, Cloud Computing, Systems Analysis, UI/UX design -- many of which are likely to have a practical/hands-on element to them, but won't necessarily involve a lot of programming. It's also worth pointing out that the less-mathematical degrees often have a lot more coursework-based assessments.

(3) Assuming you're successful at university and learn the skills up to a good standard, then those are a really useful and strong set of skills to have for a lot of good careers. Your employabiity ultimately depends on you as a person and the skills you can bring to a job, rather than your degree or university - it's important to remember this for any profession; employers are always looking to hire people who have the right skills, experience and attitude to be able to learn the job, solve problems and work well with the people around them. University is a really good opportunity to learn all that though. (But there are other routes including Degree-Apprenticeships)

(4) That also depends entirely on you as a person. -- You can get a rough idea of the kinds of salaries in IT jobs here: https://www.cwjobs.co.uk/jobs (The site lists almost 9000 jobs, of which more than half are paying over £50k per year - usually for people with 5-10+ years experience ) -- however, just as employability isn't guaranteed from your degree, career progression is also something you need to work hard at, But this is also true of any well-paid profession; everyone starts out at the bottom of the ladder on a moderate graduate/junior salary, with those who are good/competent at their job are likely to make a lot of progress in their first 5 years. It's also worth pointing out that many "IT" jobs involve little or no programming, but being able to think like a programmer helps a lot even if your job doesn't actually involve writing code.
Last edited by winterscoming; 1 year ago
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shadowdweller
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(Original post by MaliciousFlower)
im in year 12
doing computer science and am considering doing it at uni
im already struggling with the programming so i guess what im trying to ask is
1) is it extremely hard
2) do all lessons at uni consist of programming or is there theory
3) is it easy to find jobs after you graduate
4) is the pay good?
1. Not extremely hard, no - if you put in the time and effort, and genuinely enjoy it, I'd say it's definitely a manageable degree! It's ultimately up to you though; for instance, if you're proactive around anything you do find difficult, you're much more likely to do well than if you just ignore what you can't do.

2. There's theory too - I'd estimate my uni had around a 50/50 split, but I've not sat down to work it out specifically. I think it's important that you have a good grasp of programming, as it will likely be involved in a number of modules, but it's certainly not the only thing you'll cover. I'd also add that I struggled with programming when I did it at A-level, but when I had more time and focus for it at uni, it ended up being one of my strongest modules. So struggling now doesn't necessarily mean you will long-term.

3. Personally I found it pretty easy - I'd recommend doing a year in industry if one is on offer to you, as the amount I was able to draw from that in terms of applications and interviews was hugely valuable. I'd also say that you want to start applying really early in your final year; I started applying for roles pretty much as soon as I started my final year, and I had a job secured by the time I started the second semester. Basically, if you are proactive in gaining experience and applying for roles, then finding a job shouldn't be a huge ordeal

4. It really depends what job and sector you go into post uni, but generally speaking CompSci roles have a good starting salary, and good opportunities for advancement.
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artful_lounger
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Blue_Cow might also be able to offer some insight into the degree

However, to quickly answer some of these from what I've come to understand about the course and sector:

1) I don't know directly, as I didn't do CS, although we did have some programming and CS-adjacent content in the course I was doing (EE). I found these areas a bit of a mixed bag, a lot of it wasn't so much "difficult" as just a bit tedious and requiring a bit more care and attention to detail than I was used to.

2) As stated, programming is only part of CS, and not even that large a part as far as the academic training side goes in a lot of universities. It varies between universities though; Oxbridge, Imperial, Edinburgh and their ilk tend to skew towards the more theoretical side, and thus may have less emphasis on programming.

3) Variable. The government has commissioned two inquiries into the relatively poor gradate prospects of CS grads. While those going to "brand name" universities do fairly well, there are increasing number of students going into the degree, and while the sector is expanding I'm not certain the expansion matches the rate of influx of people doing those degrees. Certainly, at the very least, it is absolutely not the case (any more) that you can just get the degree and have a job waiting for you at the end (this is true of any degree except medicine now, really). You really do need to get some relevant work experience/placements/internships while you're doing the degree, and start to develop a portfolio of projects to show off (I think it's common to use github for this).

4) Again, variable, related to the above. Something to note is the shift to encourage students to go into this area means that at the end of the day, there will be more qualified people applying for these jobs, which means they will not be able to command salaries as high as are often touted for the area. The more cynical among us may wonder if the widespread encouragement of young people to go into this area was not an overall push from industry to depress wages in these skilled positions...
Last edited by artful_lounger; 1 year ago
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Blue_Cow
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(Original post by MaliciousFlower)
im in year 12
doing computer science and am considering doing it at uni
im already struggling with the programming so i guess what im trying to ask is
1) is it extremely hard
2) do all lessons at uni consist of programming or is there theory
3) is it easy to find jobs after you graduate
4) is the pay good?
1) Depends on the university you go to. Some CS students have an awful grasp of mathematics and choose to go to more vocational universities which offer... let's say a degree that should be called ICT rather than Computer Science. These courses tend to be less rigorous.

2) I go to Edinburgh. There is more of a focus on mathematics rather than programming. I've only done 2 pure programming courses and the rest have been discrete maths/probability theory etc. Again, the more vocational universities with lower entry tarrifs will offer more programming (sacrificing hard theory/actual CS fundamentals)

3) Depends if you bother doing internships or not. Also depends on what your ambitions are.

4) Depends.
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Oxford Mum
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(Original post by MaliciousFlower)
im in year 12
doing computer science and am considering doing it at uni
im already struggling with the programming so i guess what im trying to ask is
1) is it extremely hard
2) do all lessons at uni consist of programming or is there theory
3) is it easy to find jobs after you graduate
4) is the pay good?
RogerOxon
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RogerOxon
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(Original post by Oxford Mum)
RogerOxon
Thanks for the tag.
(Original post by MaliciousFlower)
im in year 12
doing computer science and am considering doing it at uni
im already struggling with the programming so i guess what im trying to ask is
1) is it extremely hard
2) do all lessons at uni consist of programming or is there theory
3) is it easy to find jobs after you graduate
4) is the pay good?
Are you enjoying programming, despite struggling? If you don't enjoy it (after a reasonable try), don't do it.

1. It can be, but enjoying it makes it more of a challenge than a chore. IMO, there's no point in going to university unless you're going to be stretched - that's how you really understand;
2. Both practical and theory, with the balance changing across universities - genally more theory at higher-ranking ones;
3. There is demand for good people. However, there's a vast range of areas within CS jobs, with different ones having different requirements, demand and pay. Many see CS as a meal ticket - that type rarely does well at interview, in my experience. Your first job out of university is always difficult to get, especially if you are looking for the right environment to learn;
4. It can be. There are plenty of companies that don't pay well though. Like most careers, the best will get much better compensation, if they know what they're worth - we all get had at least once in our career. Most of the people in CS that I know in the UK have 10-30 years of experience, and six figure salaries (outside of London). In Silicon Valley, the sky's the limit, if you're very good.
Last edited by RogerOxon; 1 year ago
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kpearlz
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HiAs a muslim female did you struggle at any point ? While taking the degree or afterwards in finding a job?
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