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Hrmmmm... I really have no idea what to do. :/


MattW

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Last year, I started college, and I decided to go to a community college for two years to save money, and then transfer on to a university for two years to get my bachelor's degree. The only field I can see myself in is a computer-related one; I had picked a computer-related major at community college just to give myself some kind of direction, and in the back of my mind, I've always been figuring I'd try to aim for a computer engineering degree.

 

Today, though, I went to see an academic counselor to get an idea of what classes I should be taking this next year before transferring out, and I learned that if I'm going to pursue a computer engineering degree, I'm going to have to take several required physics, chemistry, and advanced math (i.e. trigonometry) classes. That... is really intimidating to me. I took "beginner" chemistry and physics classes (as well as some slightly advanced math classes) in high school, and while I passed, it was pretty rough.

 

But I also have the option of continuing with my current community college major, and getting an associate's degree. This would mean I'd be taking mostly computer classes this next year (rather than those chem, physics, etc. classes), which I'd be more comfortable with, but I hear so often people saying how associates degrees are nearly worthless, or that you pretty much have to at least have a bachelors degree to go anywhere, etc. etc. Is that really true? I mean, I'd imagine some college degree is better than none, but will I really be that bad off with just that?

 

Alternatively, are there maybe any computer-related bachelor degrees I could pursue that don't require those chem/ physics/ trig/ etc. classes? From what I've heard, most (if not all) computer-related fields require those kinds of classes. I just don't have enough faith in myself that I could do well in those types of classes, and I'd really rather not take such a gamble, and end up failing out. But at the same time, again, it seems like only having an associates degree is frowned upon quite a bit. So, I'm at a total loss for what to do.

 

To make matters worse, I want to decide NOW what I want to do, because I want to be able to register for fall classes now (because the longer I wait, the more likely the classes that are most convenient to me will end up getting filled up). This is just driving me crazy.

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Any of the computer classes I take at community college wouldn't transfer for a better degree later, unfortunately. The only ones that will transfer over are the basic classes I've already taken, and also if I take those chem, trig, and physics classes, those would transfer over, too. As for those subjects, I dunno, they were just hard for me to grasp. I always thought I understood what we were learning, especially since there was a lot of math and formulas, but whenever it came test time, I always did pretty poorly (yet decent enough to pass). I suppose I may surprise myself and be better at those type of classes now, but it's a pretty big gamble, I think. I don't want to risk it and end up bringing my GPA down and likely losing my financial aid (which is literally covering my entire tuition).

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I graduated with a Comp. Eng. degree and I can definitely tell you it was tough. It is not an easy program (school-dependent, but generally it is grueling). It's not for everyone. And you will definitely have to take calculus courses and physics-related courses, although I never had to take anything related to chemistry. You can try for a computer science degree instead, which is slightly tougher than Comp. Eng. However, in most computer disciplines, you need a strong background in math, programming, and logic courses. Possibly elec-related courses as well if you want to go more into the electrical engineering side.

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Well, I guess I really don't need to go into engineering specifically, but I'm curious if there's any computer-related bachelors degree I could pursue that wouldn't be so physics/ chemistry/ etc.-heavy? Right now, it's just freaking me out, because like I said, I really can't see myself doing anything other than something computer-related, but at the same time, I just don't know that I could do well in those physics/ chem/ etc. classes, so it's like, where the heck do I go from here, yanno? I could stick to the associates degree, but A) I don't know how good of a career I could end up with just that type of degree, and B) I definitely wouldn't be able to transfer any of the many credits from the computer classes I'd be taking in this program to another university to expand on my degree later. This is a really tough spot to be in, and it's really stressing me out. @_@

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Go for a computer engineering technology degree. It's more applied than theoretical (there is still calculus and physics, but you don't take as many courses as in the engineering degree). If you like to build things, program, design, etc rather than doing research to advance the state of computers, this would be a better fit for you. It's still a tough program (I have a B.S. in Cmp Engr Tech), but not as tough as the engineering degree. If you have graduate school aspirations however, it's tough to get into grad school with a Cmp Engr Tech degree, so if you want to leave your options open, stick with the engineering degree.

 

Many of my co-workers have comp science and engineering degrees and we do the same work. It doesn't really matter unless what degree you have out in the job market (if you have the computer related degree along with some experience, you can get the job). Academia seems to care more about your undergraduate degree than the job market.

 

My $.2

 

P.S. You can find a list of engineering technology in the U.S. (if thats were your from) here:

 

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