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rhine227

BS in Computer Science

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I'm currently looking for an online school to get my BS in computer science. I'm 33 with 2 kids and a full time job so online is really my only option. I was on the phone for quite a while today with someone from Colorado Technical Institute and he made everything sound good and all but after I looked at the courses there is actually only one math and it's college algebra for technical programs. It's been my understanding that math was going to be a large part of this endeavor so how is it that only one math is required? No trig, calc, linear algebra, discreet math or anything like that. Math doesn't scare me at all but i'm wondering could this hurt me in the long run? I guess what i'm looking for is someone who has graduated and working and what you think of a program that only requires basic college algebra as the only math requirement. I'll also provide a link to the courses. Also, anyone who may have taken the online route or has some knowledge that can make a recommendation is more than welcome also.

http://presentation.coloradotech.edu/degrees-individual.php?campus=Virtual%20Campus&type=bachelors&iqguid={DE9321E3-9739-41D9-82D8-65D3EE8287D2}

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21 minutes ago, rhine227 said:

I'm currently looking for an online school to get my BS in computer science. I'm 33 with 2 kids and a full time job so online is really my only option.

Are they free of charge, or you have to pay for them?

If I were you I would not pay any tiny bit. Everything you can learn alone from the Internet. The thing is teacher in the school will tell you what you don't know, what you have to read, and then check if you really acquired material. Alone you have to do it by yourself. Self inspire for learning, self inspire for making projects. i.e. one project per day.

21 minutes ago, rhine227 said:

Also, anyone who may have taken the online route or has some knowledge that can make a recommendation is more than welcome also. 

C/C++ programming reference website:

https://en.cppreference.com/w/

If you're Windows/PC user, download free Visual Studio Express from MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) website:

https://visualstudio.microsoft.com/pl/vs/express/

(the best one is Visual Studio Express 2008 and VS 2010, newer one are very slow, which might be discouraging if you don't have top-notch powerful machine with SSD drives, 8 GB+ memory and at least Core i7+)

After reading and following entire C/C++ reference, you will have to make challenges/exercises. The all programmers are receiving such at job interview to check their level of knowledge.

Google for "C/C++ exercises"

"programming job interview exercises/challenges"

etc. etc.

f.e.

https://coderbyte.com/

 

 

If you want to work in IT, knowledge about HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and PHP will be required:

https://www.w3schools.com/

 

21 minutes ago, rhine227 said:

Math doesn't scare me at all but i'm wondering could this hurt me in the long run?

I don't think so. It depends on what kind of software you will be writing.

For sure, you need to know numerical systems. Calculate in binary, hexadecimal, and decimal. Logic and bit-wise operators.

Edited by Sensei

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Thanks for the response Sensei. The problem is i'm not just looking to program on my own and make an app or program. I'm looking for that piece of paper that qualifies me for jobs and that seems to be a requirement for most positions.

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I have a B.Sc. in Computing. Did some math (linear algebra and discrete math) in that, but not a lot. It's a bit of a myth that computing is all about math.

For me the question here is what are the other papers? If they are computing papers, for a computer science degree, what's the issue? If they are on Frisbee use or rhythmic gymnastics, then there's an issue.

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2 minutes ago, pzkpfw said:

For me the question here is what are the other papers? If they are computing papers, for a computer science degree, what's the issue? If they are on Frisbee use or rhythmic gymnastics, then there's an issue.

To be specific it's: BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN COMPUTER SCIENCE- SOFTWARE ENGINEERING CONCENTRATION. So yes, I'd have a degree in CS and I see what you are saying pzkpfw I guess the reason I was asking is because I like to be prepared and was worried if not taking these courses would affect my ability in real world situations. I've been reading and researching all day though and really if I wanted that knowledge it's available online at places like khan academy. Every other university that i've looked at requires much more math for a CS degree so it just threw me that it's not required at this particular one. 

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12 hours ago, Sensei said:

If I were you I would not pay any tiny bit. Everything you can learn alone from the Internet. The thing is teacher in the school will tell you what you don't know, what you have to read, and then check if you really acquired material. Alone you have to do it by yourself. Self inspire for learning, self inspire for making projects. i.e. one project per day.

That might be OK (kind of) for programming, where you find out pretty quickly what you need to know when you start writing code. 

But you might still miss out on learning important things like standard algorithms, data structures, structured and object-oriented programming, patterns, etc. I have worked with a few excellent self-taught programmers, but have also seen the absolute worst code from others.

For a subject like computer science, it would be much harder to just do it yourself because, as you say, you need a teacher to tell you what you need tolerant (and then help you learn it). I suppose if you could get hold of a detailed syllabus, you could teach yourself. But most people find a structured course far easier.

13 hours ago, Sensei said:

I don't think so. It depends on what kind of software you will be writing.

Not all computer science graduates go on to write software (as their main activity). It could be a good basis for getting into computer architecture or systems analysis among other things.

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I'd check to see if CTU 's computer science program is accredited.  I have a BSCS from an accredited university, and while my degree was earned a long time ago, checking their current curriculum, it hasn't changed a lot.  There is a lot of math, statistics and calculus.  In my time calculus was required although there were two flavors: an easier business series, or the more thorough and difficult type for engineering.  You could inquire at potential employers, placement agencies, and graduates for views on the CTU degree.

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On 1/27/2019 at 6:23 AM, Strange said:

That might be OK (kind of) for programming, where you find out pretty quickly what you need to know when you start writing code. 

Thank you Strange for the response. As I said I'm not looking just to learn to code I want to pursue a degree for the purpose of a career. I also want to be as fully prepared as I can. Even if I end up writing web site CSS I don't want to be limited to that. Knowing that I may be working alongside someone who took and understands higher level math when I didn't and don't causes more anxiety than the thought of taking those courses. The thought of those courses are actually exciting, I've always liked math.

10 hours ago, Huckleberry of Yore said:

I'd check to see if CTU 's computer science program is accredited. 

You could inquire at potential employers, placement agencies, and graduates for views on the CTU degree.

Thank you Huck. CTU is regionally accredited by the HLC. Although I don't fully understand the accreditation hierarchy.  One of the first things I checked. CTU also came up as first on a list of best online CS  degree programs although I can't find that list now and I'm seeing lots of different lists with different rankings and whatnot.  CTU is also almost double the cost of the University 40 minutes down the road that also has a 100% online program that requires the following:

  • MATH 110 College Algebra
  • MATH 122 Plane Trigonometry
  • MATH 234 Analytic Geometry & Calculus I
  • MATH 250 Elements of Statistics

The only reason I'm still considering CTU is because I've had the opportunity to talk with them and I know how long it will take and that it will fit my schedule very well. Hopefully I'll be able to talk with a couple of other schools this week as I started this on a Friday and wasn't able to over the weekend.

 

Edited by rhine227

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1 hour ago, rhine227 said:

Knowing that I may be working alongside someone who took and understands higher level math when I didn't and don't causes more anxiety than the thought of taking those courses. The thought of those courses are actually exciting, I've always liked math.

You could always look at other courses to "top up" your math knowledge as you need it. I didn't study CS (it didn't exist as a subject when I went to university!) and my math was always terrible, but I got by working alongside PhDs, etc. I learnt programming languages, architectures and math as I needed them.

The math you need will depend very much what area you go into. For example, some of my colleagues worked on automated theorem proving and formal proofs of software and hardware designs. This meant using higher order logic (that I never fully understood). There were also specialised languages for writing specifications and for manipulating them. (BTW, some of these guts were *really* smart and did amazing things, but you would never ask them to write production code!)

So, I think if you learn the basics and are always willing to study and learn more, you should be OK.

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9 hours ago, rhine227 said:

Thank you Huck. CTU is regionally accredited by the HLC.

There are probably various accreditations an institution can obtain.  I believe my university's CS program was specifically accredited by an outfit dealing with that discipline directly.  How much that matters, I couldn't say.

8 hours ago, Strange said:

The math you need will depend very much what area you go into.

This is very true.  @Rhine227, do you have one or more areas of CS you intend to pursue?  If you see yourself in, for instance, database design or web site development, higher calculus probably won't be terribly useful (but it might!).  Otherwise, for example 3D technologies like gaming and VR would probably benefit greatly from advanced calculus (e.g. vectors and differential equations, amongst others) and numerical methods.  When making recommendations to students I know, I usually advise them to take as much math as they can handle; the more the better, in general.

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You could always look at other courses to "top up" your math knowledge as you need it.  The math you need will depend very much what area you go into. For example, some of my colleagues worked on automated theorem proving and formal proofs of software and hardware designs.

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My Bsc computer science degree was a lot of electronics basics ,  programming related fundamentals and lots of math's with differential equations in it .

For me , Electronics and learning the programming basics was not a hard thing .

The hard thing was learning Differential equations are numerical methods associated with it .

I still do not remember all of those mathematics , but if was fun learning all of those new things

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