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What are some good U.S. colleges or universities for computer science / programming?

Death Slaught
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Does anyone have a college or university in the U.S. that they would suggest going to for computer science/programming?
Oct 20 '10 #1
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21 Replies


tpgames
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MIT is THE place to go. Period. It is an Ivy League school, and is still considered the best.
I don't know what is the best non-Ivy League school.
Oct 20 '10 #2

Markus
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I hear good things about Stanford - they also have a lot of great CS-related lectures on youtube.
Oct 20 '10 #3

drhowarddrfine
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Washington University, here in St. Louis, is closer to you and a top 10 rated school. Equally expensive.

It doesn't matter much where you go to school, though. It's always what you know.
Oct 20 '10 #4

Death Slaught
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@tpgames
I would rather not go to MIT. There's just something about that school that I dislike.


@Markus
Stanford would be nice but I really doubt I would be able to get in.


@drhowarddrfine
That's definitely an option. The school seems nice from the website; but how's the campus? That's something to think about, but I'm considering double majoring in music education or performance as well.
Oct 20 '10 #5

tpgames
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I don't blame you for not wanting to go to MIT. A top school may be great, but if the school doesn't 'fit' your style, then it's not worth it.

Actually, where you go does matter. They have done studies on which schools succeed in having more students get jobs. Yale's Law School, had Companies lining up to hire students, trying to get them signed up for employment before they even graduated from school. Hamline University was ranked number 25, nation wide, but didn't rank as well for getting employed like the top Ivy League schools, like Harvard and Yale did. MIT is just the best known school for anything IT, and is considered on top of its game. However, most people don't get in, as the competition is extremely tough.

Grades also matter of course, as most companies want the top graduates in any school, regardless of their rankings. Some companies only want you if you graduated in the top 10% of your class.

Best Wishes!
Oct 21 '10 #6

drhowarddrfine
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I don't know how to answer your question about the campus. It's in the city, across the street from Forest Park, the largest city park in the country (larger than Central Park in NY). Also next door is the Art Museum, History Museum, Science Center and Zoo. It's a few block away from "The Loop" where all the college folk hang out (along with Chuck Berry at Blueberry Hill every week).

Apartments and dorms are all within walking distance. Downtown is just a few miles away.

Wash U. has an excellent reputation. After all, I went there. No one is ever wrong going to school there.

@tpgames - Grades sometimes help with your first job. After that, no one asks, no one cares. Most companies don't get a crack at the top graduates and most graduates aren't in that 10%. And the only time they care what school you went to is because it's an MIT or the interviewer went to the same school. Some of my co-workers used my ex-boss's MIT background as a reason to disparage him in the heat of anger (to put it politely).
Oct 21 '10 #7

Death Slaught
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@tpgames
I believe all of that is purely circumstantial. A lot people that I've seen coming out of college for this industry get hired, but their work is sloppy at best. They don't keep the job and they've ruined their portfolio.


@drhowarddrfine
That answers my question. What did you go for? I'm having a little trouble decided what I specifically want. I don't think I want to limit myself to just web programming, but I'm not entirely sure if I wouldn't enjoy software/application programming too.


Thanks, Death
Oct 21 '10 #8

drhowarddrfine
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I went for Electronic Engineering.
Oct 21 '10 #9

GaryTexmo
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A fellow Engineer :) Software Engineer here, though my school wasn't highly rated (most Western Canada Universities aren't, sadly).

Just to weigh in on the grades thing... I noticed it was a big deal when I was on internship, employers really wanted to see your transcripts. After graduation, nobody seemed to care. None of the jobs I applied for were asking for grades in any way. I've applied for a few jobs recently, 4 years after graduation, and it's the same. As mentioned above, it may factor in with other fields, but IT I don't think it's as big a deal.

I've also noticed that while some people can get very good grades, they're not so good at the critical thinking required to perform as well in the work place. I found it rather frustrating that my grades in University were based on regurgitating memorized material (something I'm not so good at) instead of problem solving and creativity (something I'm a lot better at).
Oct 21 '10 #10

drhowarddrfine
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@GaryTexmo
Which would have made it a lot more interesting, fun and educational.
Oct 21 '10 #11

Frinavale
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@GaryTexmo: Did you go to U of C?
I attended the U of A for a while for music but moved to Ontario and continued my education in computers.

Since I had no job experience I used my final projects as a portfolio when I went for a job interview. I gladly supplied my transcripts even though the employers didn't require them because I have nothing but good grades to show.

I'm working towards my honors bachelor of science (in computer science) right now. I'm considering doing a masters...I have a couple of topics in mind that I would love to dive into.
Oct 22 '10 #12

GaryTexmo
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Yea I did. It was originally University of Calgary Engineering, but in my 4th year it got a huge donation from some guy so they renamed it the Schulich School of Engineering. I'm still not sure how I feel about that :P

Do you still live in Ontario? And yea, I reference experience from my final project still. A lot of those final projects were tough and valuable experience was gained from them. I recently switched to a functional style so the connection is a little lost, but topics are still there :)

Best of luck if you do go for a masters! I considered it... if I do it would be in game design, I have a friend who did it and it seemed like a good experience... but I'm still in the "educationed out" mode, recovering from my studies. The idea of being a full-time student again is still pretty unappealing.
Oct 22 '10 #13

Frinavale
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Yup I'm still in Ontario :)

I was interested in game design for a while but changed my mind pretty early in school. I like creating business applications that help people with their daily lives.

-Frinny
Oct 25 '10 #14

Death Slaught
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@drhowarddrfine
How did you end up in web design?

@tpgames, @Markus, @GaryTexmo, @Frinavale
Thanks for all of the input! Picking a college is a bit stressful and I live in an extremely rural area, so I don't hear about a things outside my area very often.
Oct 28 '10 #15

drhowarddrfine
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Let's see how long this story becomes.

I was working for Silicon Graphics as a system engineer. SGI re-organized and my job was eliminated. I already owned four restaurants but they were run by my general manager. However, I started looking at the books and realized what a lousy job she was doing. So I "temporarily" took over and doubled sales in three months.

That temporary assignment lasted five years or so but I'm an engineer and not a restaurateur and dealing with those people burned me out pretty bad. So my wife wanted to take over.

I thought I'd get into graphics programming and start a business in special effects for film and tv since both were my background but part of that deal was I had to take care of my kids. So much for starting a business.

After the kids got old enough to take care of themselves, I was homeschooling them, my wife brought up the idea of having online ordering for the restaurants. I was never interested in programming for the web but, for some reason, that lit me up and the rest is more history.

OT:
For those who know what Maya software is, I was dealing with those people before the product was introduced. The software alone was $10K and the hardware would have been $20K. Nowadays you can get a free version of the software and the hardware is any PC.

I spent my first year trying to get the web site working using Windows and Microsoft software. Even had help from my wife's brother-in-law who works for a MS house and got me lots of free software. We spent far too much time trying to get all that to work and I switched to FreeBSD. Got it up and running in three months.

The Silicon Graphics building in California I worked in is now Google headquarters. I was hired by SGI as a video expert. My boss was out of Detroit. When the company re-org'd, my new boss was a JR Ewing type out of Dallas. He wanted a Fortran programmer. End of job.
Oct 28 '10 #16

Death Slaught
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@drhowarddrfine
Wow, that's interesting. Thank you for all of the help and information. If/when I decide on a college I'll post it. So far I've only applied to some what local places.
Nov 3 '10 #17

tharden3
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There might be a lot of people who disagree with me, but unless you go to an Ivy League school, they don't care where your degree is from.

Something else I learned from my own experience: Taking your first two years of general education courses at an expensive University is a complete waste of money. My suggestion would be to get the gen ed classes completed at a community college (MUCH cheaper, I didn't pay for anything at my community college because of all the scholarships available) and then take your 3rd and 4th year classes at that big fancy University you have your eye on. I promise you, when you look for a job after college, the only thing they are going to look at is that you have a degree. They don't care if you transferred to a University in your third year.

The argument against that is that you might wish to be a part of University extracurricular activities on that big University campus (crew, frats, etc.). In that case, you might justify spending more money to "get the college experience." It's up to you.

Kind regards,
Tim
Nov 4 '10 #18

tharden3
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P.S.

Employers will look for work experience if you are trying to go for a more prestigious job. Make sure that you are getting your foot in the door through internships, etc. Nobody cares if you folded clothes at the clothing boutique in the mall.
Nov 4 '10 #19

drhowarddrfine
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Absolutely agree with tharden. My oldest went to community college down the street from us saving thousands. Fortunately, the best school in his field was also a state school just 10 miles away which also saved thousands.

No one ever, ever asked what my grades were in school and where I went to school was only a matter of curiosity and nothing more.
Nov 4 '10 #20

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I would recommend Stevens–Henager College for their computer programming and computer science degree. The curriculum is at par with industry standards. The college is accredited by ACCSC. Moreover, with their FastFlex program, the advantage is that you can complete your degree in a shorter duration. Their computer degree programs also prepare you for additional certifications.
Dec 9 '10 #21

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try using this site: http://www.academyrank.com/country.p...nited%20states I found it very helpful.
Feb 9 '12 #22

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