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Which degree should I choose


bytedeez
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Trying to get into college but am wondering which degree would take me farther in my career, software engineer or computer science.

I know a lot of this is based on my personal goals.

Which right now my goals are:

Have a plethora of job opportunities, as in my skills be highly needed in the job market.

Within a few years be able to make mid to high 5 or 6 digits a year.

Stability.

And also be able to be well rounded and create my own projects like the pinapple, ducky, pwn pro, etc.

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The things you're rewarded with all add up to nothing if what you're doing doesn't make you happy.

You'll just end up being miserable and when you're miserable you only do what's strictly required of you.

When you only do what's strictly required of you, you won't be highly desirable to anybody in the job market, and you can forget about the impressive salary aswell.

So:

1. Discover for yourself what it is that you really *LOVE* doing.

2. Find out which jobs exist that let you do those things for money.

3. Make a point of becoming the very best you can be at that.

Now, it may very well mean that "the best you can be" will not make you stand out within the field. Don't worry about that. It only means that your initial pay won't be amazing, but when an employer notices that you're working hard (which you'll only manage to do consistently when you honestly love doing your job) you should be rewarded accordingly and you're more likely to get chosen for advancement opportunities when you discover that those opportunities will make you happier.

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I kinda wanna become a "know it all".

I want to be able to build my own hardware, write my own code, build my own tools and OS.

I literally want to know it all, be the "go to guy".

But i know how it goes "Jack of all trades, Master of None"

So my biggest question then is what exactly is the difference in the Software engineer (i understand its writing code) and computer science?

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Here's the typical difference in level I see between the coworkers here:

1. Tool - knows the language by relying on auto-complete of the single IDE they're comfortable with. Does things in a certain way because it worked like that in a previous project. Changes in language or IDE will require retraining.

2. Getting There - knows most of the language by heart and understands the underlying concepts so is able to decide/discover the best concept to apply. Changes in the language are a source of interest, the IDE is just a tool and with a bit of fiddling any IDE will work with this person.

3. Programmer - knows multiple programming languages and one or two really, really well. Much better versed in the underlying concepts. The language is just a tool and the IDE a required complement of the language. Because of this, prefers IDEs that work with multiple languages. Has looked beyond the borders of his/her area of responsibility to the point where he/she is able to assess the impact of their work on peripheral systems (like knowing how to phrase the SQL their program emits to make use of that spiffy index, improving performance ten-fold). Is able to explain to others why something is preferred over something else.

4. Guru - has the capabilities of 2 Programmers in 1. Is able to design and/or implement the peripheral systems in such a way that the program is able to make the most of the peripheral system. Can explain to the Tool operating the peripheral system in their own language why a change is needed to make their program work better. Prefers to work around the Tool for efficiency reasons.

Difference between Software Engineer and Computer Scientist is best explained by simply naming a few people.

Linus Torvalds is a damned fine Software Engineer.

Donald Knuth is an excellent Computer Scientist.

If you want to have a piece of code that implements a well-designed concept in a very efficient and cross-platform way, talk to Linus. If you need a new concept to solve a difficult problem, talk to Donald.

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