The Student Room Group
Student at the Open University
Open University
Milton Keynes

Computing & IT (Maths) vs. CompSci

Hi everyone!

I just wanted to get a bit of advice on my current dilemma as I'm not really sure what path to take. I currently hold a deferred place at Southampton for Computer Science (with a foundation year), however I've been really torn whether I should take the place or go down the OpenUni route instead, taking on their Computing & IT degree (with Mathematics). Going to a brick uni I'd have to leave my current job as a web developer, and I'd be going into it as a mature student (at 27).

It's a really tough decision, as I took on an Access course and GCSE Maths retake to get to this point, however it's also become really daunting how much I'd be giving up in terms of job security and income (particularly in the current market). Studying with OU would give me the best of both worlds.

At the same time, I'm worried that I'm letting go of a really good opportunity by giving up the place at Southampton, and would miss out on the general uni experience & in-person support that'd come with that.

My other big question is how future employers would view the "Computing & IT" degree title vs. Computer Science. Would I be putting myself at a disadvantage by going the OU route? I'm keen to explore moving to a Software Engineer role, or perhaps something in the games industry (keeping in mind that it's a difficult industry to get into!).

I'm constantly going back and forth on it, but ultimately I'm really keen to get my degree for the first time as a way of personal/career development, so any thoughts/advice would be appreciated :smile: If you've done the Computing & IT degree before and/or have graduated, I'd love to hear your experiences and opinions on the course!

cheers
(edited 3 weeks ago)
Original post by haaarrison
Hi everyone!
I just wanted to get a bit of advice on my current dilemma as I'm not really sure what path to take. I currently hold a deferred place at Southampton for Computer Science (with a foundation year), however I've been really torn whether I should take the place or go down the OpenUni route instead, taking on their Computing & IT degree (with Mathematics). Going to a brick uni I'd have to leave my current job as a web developer, and I'd be going into it as a mature student (at 27).
It's a really tough decision, as I took on an Access course and GCSE Maths retake to get to this point, however it's also become really daunting how much I'd be giving up in terms of job security and income (particularly in the current market). Studying with OU would give me the best of both worlds.
At the same time, I'm worried that I'm letting go of a really good opportunity by giving up the place at Southampton, and would miss out on the general uni experience & in-person support that'd come with that.
My other big question is how future employers would view the "Computing & IT" degree title vs. Computer Science. Would I be putting myself at a disadvantage by going the OU route? I'm keen to explore moving to a Software Engineer role, or perhaps something in the games industry (keeping in mind that it's a difficult industry to get into!).
I'm constantly going back and forth on it, but ultimately I'm really keen to get my degree for the first time as a way of personal/career development, so any thoughts/advice would be appreciated :smile: If you've done the Computing & IT degree before and/or have graduated, I'd love to hear your experiences and opinions on the course!
cheers


University cs give you the foundation only, some universities will offer more hands on modules catered for different area eg app design, cloud etc. University give experience in social, networking and working in teams. Later when you work you need also professional certification or certificates in xyz technology to make your cv for attractive and show you able to work.

Isn't there a course with no foundation, it is expensive.
Student at the Open University
Open University
Milton Keynes
Original post by haaarrison
Hi everyone!
I just wanted to get a bit of advice on my current dilemma as I'm not really sure what path to take. I currently hold a deferred place at Southampton for Computer Science (with a foundation year), however I've been really torn whether I should take the place or go down the OpenUni route instead, taking on their Computing & IT degree (with Mathematics). Going to a brick uni I'd have to leave my current job as a web developer, and I'd be going into it as a mature student (at 27).
It's a really tough decision, as I took on an Access course and GCSE Maths retake to get to this point, however it's also become really daunting how much I'd be giving up in terms of job security and income (particularly in the current market). Studying with OU would give me the best of both worlds.
At the same time, I'm worried that I'm letting go of a really good opportunity by giving up the place at Southampton, and would miss out on the general uni experience & in-person support that'd come with that.
My other big question is how future employers would view the "Computing & IT" degree title vs. Computer Science. Would I be putting myself at a disadvantage by going the OU route? I'm keen to explore moving to a Software Engineer role, or perhaps something in the games industry (keeping in mind that it's a difficult industry to get into!).
I'm constantly going back and forth on it, but ultimately I'm really keen to get my degree for the first time as a way of personal/career development, so any thoughts/advice would be appreciated :smile: If you've done the Computing & IT degree before and/or have graduated, I'd love to hear your experiences and opinions on the course!
cheers

Hey, Coventry University Student Ambassador here! 👋

This question is right up my alley! I'll be graduating next year in Computing BSc, which has now been rebranded to Software Engineering BSc. The curriculum remains the same, just with a different title. I also contemplated computer science vs. computing, and while the title "computer science" does seem better, here's the difference:

Computer science students learn much more of the theoretical side of computing. They study modules like artificial intelligence, theory of computation, advanced algorithms, and machine learning. Our software engineering (previously computing) course has the exact same first year and shares modules in the final year. The second year is slightly different, including modules like web development, people and computing (UX/UI), systems analysis and design, web API development, and mobile app development.

As you can see, software engineering is more hands-on, focusing on the front and back end of development. To me, this sounded not only more exciting but also more useful for the role I wanted to pursue: software engineering. Although I initially didn’t like the title “computing,” it ultimately didn’t matter. I landed an amazing internship as a software engineer at a big games engine company and now have a graduate job offer with them. The nature of computer science, computing, etc., involves programming, and building a strong portfolio of the programming projects you've completed and the skills you've learned is more useful and interesting, in my opinion, than the theoretical side.

In your position, considering Open University and Southampton for computer science is tricky, especially since you have a great position as a web developer. If you can financially support yourself and deem it appropriate to be unemployed while in education, Southampton University would be a good option. I'm unsure about Open University's qualifications and ranking, which might be a point of interest for some employers, but it’s mainly about the curriculum, learning experience, and reputation. A foundation year after struggling with the access course and retaking GCSE maths might be a bit challenging, risking burnout. However, if you can afford not to work while studying, I'd take the opportunity! Your work experience is already valuable and will be handy once you graduate, but working and studying simultaneously can be very tiring.

It's awesome you have a place at Southampton at the moment. I believe our Software Engineering courses would have been great for you (we still have clearing!). Nonetheless, I hope I’ve provided some insight and wish you the best of luck!!

Dorna | Coventry University Student Ambassador

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