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  1. #1
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    Not sure my college is good for Programming

    I need some advice maybe from people who have gotten their degrees and know stuff about computer programming degrees and what employers look for. I want to talk to some different companies about getting a computer programming degree at this college and if its good or not. If you know some large companies that I could search for I'd appreciate it.

    The reason I'm having trouble is I read this article on my college and it being sued for misleading its students. Apparently people would get their associates there and try to transfer to another college and none of their credits would transfer over. Apparently they were told they would have no problem transfering. I was planning on getting my bachelor's in Computer Information Science. Very computer programming heavy, I'm told. I just started there so I haven't spent a lot of money. I'm concerned because if their associates degrees are worthless when transfering to other colleges, then how good are their bachelors and stuff for getting good jobs? The college is Florida Metropolitan University or FMU.

    Article is here http://www.orlandoweekly.com/features/story.asp?id=526

    Not sure if companies would take the time to tell me if a degree at this college would be worth hiring or not. I believe its ACICS accredited. The level of school there is very low. The hardest math on their placement test was dividing fractions no algebra. I think any middle schooler could probably have passed their test. Also the classes, even though I'm only in the first 2, are suspiciously easy.

    Anyways any help on this would be greatly appreciated. I'm young and a little unknowledgable about this stuff and don't really know anyone to ask. I feel like if I ask the school they won't tell me the truth.
    Last edited by Shirosaki; 06-28-2007 at 03:44 AM.

  • #2
    Regular Coder kewlceo's Avatar
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    I would spend more time finding a school that has the goods. Your degrees will only be one component to get you hired, you'll also need to back it up with knowledge. The tests for FMU may be easy, but your prospective employers will have tougher tests up their sleeves. And getting a job is one thing, but keeping it is another, so, the bottom line is to make sure you get yourself as well educated as possible before hitting the streets. In other words, your future employer may not know the cons about FMU, but you better have what it takes when you do get hired.
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  • #3
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    Is there anyway to make sure their programming classes are any good? Like I know they teach Java, C++, Visual Basic, C#. You get to choose like 3 out of 4 of those or something. Is there some form of programming or something I should ask the head of the department about their classes that they should have? The classes I'm taking are required but they are meant to ease adults who work and have jobs back into school. I know this but I don't want to pay for more classes if I can figure out how good their degrees are or whether their classes will educate me properly.
    Last edited by Shirosaki; 06-28-2007 at 04:42 AM.

  • #4
    Super Moderator sage45's Avatar
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    I really don't think that you should base this decision solely on whether they have good VB or Java classes.

    Programming is so much more than just knowing the language, it is about understanding the concepts behind the language. Why do you use this structure here? Is there a more efficient way of writing this block of code?

    If all you want to do is just learn the language, then you could do just as much by just buying a book. But if you want to learn to program, then make sure that the school you are attending does more than just the language. Make sure that they delve into the math and science behind the language.

    -saige-
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  • #5
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    I agree with sage.

    Well what programming classes do they offer? Like do you have a link to their course guide for your major?
    OracleGuy

  • #6
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    This list is kind of long but
    Can't find a link. Their website kind of sucks.

    College algebra

    Major Course Requirements:

    Principles of Accounting 1 and 2
    Applied Business Law
    Computer Networking Fundamentals
    Computer Applications
    Computer Operating Systems
    Computer Hardware Concepts
    Programming Concepts
    Fundamental Programming Techniques
    Introduction to the Systems Development Life Cycle
    All the Language course are 2 classes for each. You pick 3 languages I believe

    Upper Division Courses:

    Database Concepts
    Structured Query Language
    Database Application Development
    Designing SEcure Software
    Object -oriented Analysis and Design
    Survey of Operating Systems
    Senior Project - Systems analysis and design
    Senior Project - Systems Implementation and Integration


    These look like all the required math and computer classes for the Bachelor's degree
    I know the program has changed a little bit from this and has a couple more classes than this cause I saw the head of the departments outline for the degree and it had a couple different things. He said they try to update the degree requirements every 18 months to 2 years or something like that.
    Last edited by Shirosaki; 06-28-2007 at 04:41 PM.

  • #7
    Super Moderator sage45's Avatar
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    Here is the curriculum for my degree program:
    Code:
    Computer Science                          BA  BS
     CS 101   Prob. Solv. & Prog. I            3   3
     CS 191   Discrete Structures I            3   3
     CS 201   Prob. Solv. & Prog. II           3   3
     CS 281   Intro. to Computer Arch.         3   3
     CS 282   Assembler Language Prog.         3   3
     CS 291   Discrete Structures II           3   3
     CS 304WI Ethics and Professionalism       3   3
     CS 352   Data Structures & Algorithms     3   3
     CS 393   Numerical Analysis &
                Symbolic Computation           -   3
     CS 394R  Applied Probability              -   3
     CS 421   Found. of Data Networks          -   3
       -or-
     CS 420   Introductory Network Models
                and Interconnections           -   3
     CS 431   Intro. to Operating Systems      -   3
     CS 441   Prog. Lang. Design & Impl.       3   3
     CS 470   Intro. Database Mgmt. Systems    -   3
       -or-
     CS 471   Database Design, Implementation 
                and Validation                 -   3
     CS 481   Advanced Computer Arch.          3   3
     CS Advanced Electives *                   6   6
    Minimum Requirement                       36  51
    
    * CS regular courses numbered 400-499
    
    
    General Education Synthesis
     CS 451   Software Engineering             3   3
    
    
    Mathematics
     MATH 210 Calculus I                       4   4
     MATH 220 Calculus II                      4   4
     MATH 250 Calculus III                     -   4
     MATH 235 Elementary Statistics            -   3
     MATH 235 or CS 394R or MATH 436           3   -
    Minimum Requirement                       11  15
    
    
    Communicating
     ENGL 110 Freshman English I               3   3
     ENGL 225 Freshman English II              3   3
     COMS 110 Fundamentals of Speech           3   3
     WEPT                                      0   0
    Minimum Requirement                        9   9
    
    
    Humanities and Fine Arts 
     Elective: Engl, CommSt, Phil        
                 or Foreign Language           3   3
     Elective: Art/Art History, Conservatory     
                 or Theater                    3   3
    Minimum Requirement                        6   6
    
    
    Life and Physical Sciences
     PHYS 240 and 250                          -  10
     One course in one of the following: 
       Physics, Chemistry or Biology         4-5   -
       Life Science Course                     3   3 
    Minimum Requirement                      7-8  13
    
    
    Social and Behavioral Sciences
     HIST 101, 102, 360R or POLSC 210          3   3
      (Meets MO constitution requirement)
     Two courses from at least two fields:
       Criminal Justice, Geography, Economics, 
       History, Political Science, Psychology,
       Social Science or Sociology             6   6
    Minimum Requirement                        9   9
    
    
    Foreign Language
     FRNLG 110 or 1 year H.S. study          0-4   -
     FRNLG 120 or 2 years H.S. study         0-4   -
     Culture Course(Independent Global Env.)   3   -
    Minimum Requirement                     3-11   -
    
    
    General Electives
     Additional coursework to complete the
      credit hours needed for graduation
    Minimum Requirement                    28-36  12-16
    
    Total Minimum Requirement:               120  120
    HTH,

    -saige-
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  • #8
    Regular Coder brad211987's Avatar
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    My advice would be to find another program at another school if you doubt the one your in. Having confidence in your school and program, can make a huge difference in your attitude towards learning, and you will get more out of a program that you like.

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    This kind of gives me an idea. Maybe I can call the regular universities and talk with their Head of the Computer Department.

    Can I ask what school you're going to?

    Also I asked them if Calculus was important for Programming and they said it wasn't. So is that true or are they lying and it helps a lot?

    Thanks for the help so far, its just I'm like a freshman right now and I don't know much about programming at all, except this school has a degree for it and its really math and logic heavy to create programs that do certain functions and stuff.

    Didn't see above post. I think you're right so I'm going to have to talk to their head about their courses and see what the hiring rate for programmers there is and maybe how much they make after they get their degrees.

  • #10
    Senior Coder TheShaner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sage45 View Post
    Here is the curriculum for my degree program:
    Code:
    ...
    HTH,

    -saige-
    Discrete Structures II = Our Discrete Structures II class was called Formal Languages. Talk about mind-blowing computer theory and proofs! Creating Turing machines and using inductive proofs on formal languages... ick! haha It was still fun tho.

    I'm surprised your curriculum doesn't have a programming language class as a requisite. I didn't either when I started our Computer Science curriculum, but two years later, CS majors had to take at least a C, C++, or Java class. I graduated 3 years ago, but I don't believe it's changed much since I graduated.

    @Shirosaki:
    I went to the University of Central Florida and they're rated as one of the best computer science, computer engineering, and electrical engineering in the southeast, if not higher now. Great program, tho I still don't believe they prepared me enough for the outside world (get yourself an internship!) You can always do a community college for two years for your AA and then you'll be accepted into any public university for your last two years. I don't know much about FMU, so I can't help you there.

    As for Calculus, we were required to go up to Calc II, although no, you don't use it in programming. They just want you to have a strong mathematical background because mathematics and programming go hand-in-hand. But since I was taking so many math classes anyway for my major, I just finished it off with a Minor in Math. It was like two extra classes, hehe.

    -Shane
    Last edited by TheShaner; 06-28-2007 at 09:56 PM.

  • #11
    Regular Coder brad211987's Avatar
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    (get yourself an internship!)
    Best advice so far, and I totally agree. Nothing beats experience.

    As for Calculus, we were required to go up to Calc II, although no, you don't use it in programming.
    We go up to Calc II also. I would say Calc is important, and you'll use it some, especially depending on the time of programming you do. There are some fundamental concepts that can be applied to programming ideas as well. Its not the most important, but I wouldn't go without it.

  • #12
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    I'm very strong at math and logic, and I'm interested in computers. I built the computer I have now. Thats how I chose computer programming or some kind of computer science job.

    I may have to do that and according to that article their associates degrees don't transfer over to other colleges, so I'd have to find another community college.

    If you get an AA from a community college, do you go into any programming classes in that first 2 years or do they come all after at the regular college? So I guess what I'm saying is can you get all those math requirements and programming requirements done in 2 regular years?

  • #13
    UE Antagonizer Fumigator's Avatar
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    In my experience, it's what you actually know that makes the difference in getting (and keeping) a job-- not what education you list on your CV. Quite honestly, of the people I went to school with, the ones who went on to be successful computer programmers were the same ones who were already tinkering with computers and programming before they enrolled. If you're expecting college to make you an "expert", you'll probably be disappointed.

    The sad truth is, knowing how to nail an interview is almost as important as knowing how to program! The main questions an interviewer wants answers to is "Can you do the job?", "Can I afford you?", and "Do you fit in with this company?" Only one of those questions has anything to do with your programming abilities.

    If you feel you do indeed have an aptitude for (and a love of) programming, then I would suggest you enroll in your local community college and take a systems design course and a programming course and constantly evaluate the coursework-- be honest with yourself and determine if it is the right choice for you.

  • #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shirosaki View Post
    Also I asked them if Calculus was important for Programming and they said it wasn't. So is that true or are they lying and it helps a lot?
    A lot of computer science and computer engineering programs make you take up to at least integral calculus. I definitely would say it isn't something you will probably use everyday. However it does provide a strong math background. All in all, I'd say that part of it is rather valuable since it does help build other skills as well.
    OracleGuy

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    Thanks for the information. I appreciate it. Is there any kind of resource on computer programming that can help you get a feel for it and what it involves without it being a class? Like I know that Computer Programming is basically writing lines of code for a program to provide certain functions, etc. But I haven't really seen the mechanics of it first hand.

    When you apply for jobs do they give you certain problems to solve along with your application?

    Is there anything that you would recommend learning before graduating? Like anything advanced? Not just the regular stuff everyone learns? I plan on confronting the head of the computer science department and if I know some things that a person needs to learn I can ask him if its taught in his course outline.

    @Shaner
    You said that you didn't feel you were prepared. Can you maybe tell me what they could have taught you in general to help you prepare better? I'm also not familiar with internships. Can you get those even if you just started at college or would you have to atleast know a language and have taken that at school?



    Sorry if all these questions are annoying and noobish. Its just I don't know anyone in this field atm and I'm trying to get a feel for what I should expect to learn and need to know for real world. I'm a little stressed out cause I've already spent like 2k on them and a bachelors would probably cost 50-60k there.


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