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Another goal I now have. Not graphic designing anymore.


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#1
Matt L

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Yeah, I'm Freshman. I'm 14. My names Matt. blah blah blah. I told you all of that on my previous topic saying that I wanted to be a graphic designer. I noticed that I had more talent in computers and a sudden 'urge' to stay with computers for the longest time in my life.

So I'm just wondering how many people can tell me about computer science and if they took it and what colleges are good for me? I live in New England but any state in the east coast would be nice to go to college in.

I'm interested in computer science and probably going to emphasize Security and Computer Systems. (Geeks to Go is a perfect place to discuss both of those as well :whistling: )

Anyways, I'm interested in:
-Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)
-John Hopkins University
-Moravian College
-Cornell University
-University of Connecticut (UConn)

Computers = <3
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#2
SecretMaster

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Well to be perfectly honest, you are only 14 and a freshman in highschool. A lot, and I mean a lot can happen in your 4 years of school. It is all and well to say "this is what I am doing with my life", but chances are it will change by the time you are ready for the college process. Oftentimes you'll find hobbies are better off as hobbies and not a career path.

Take your time. Enjoy highschool and enjoy your classes. Don't start thinking about college, just do what makes you happy.
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#3
sari

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Matt L.

He has a point - this is the second post you've made like this. There's nothing wrong with thinking about what you'd like to do, but speaking from experience, that may change 10 times in the next couple of years. I would concentrate on doing as well as you can in school, having extra-curricular activities, and just being successful now. Concentrate on what will make you the best student you can be, and then you'll be able to get into multiple schools when the time comes, regardless of what you want to do. Also, your high school should have a guidance department, and guidance counselors are very knowledgeable about what it takes to get into colleges, what you should focus on, etc.

One other thing to think about - for certain majors or careers, the school you choose might be of the utmost importance. This is really not true for most careers or schools. People think if they don't go to Harvard or Yale or someplace like that, they're a failure. Education is what you make of it. Companies have enough sense to look at what you can do, and how well you can do it. I've read a lot of articles about this, since I have a high-schooler also, and what I've read indicates individual capabilities are just as important as the college you went to.

As an example, I have a friend whose son went to college last year. He is brilliant in science, and is only the second person in our state to achieve 7 perfect scores on the Advanced Placement exams (the maximum you could get). He also was close to perfect SAT scores. He opted for a smaller college in Ohio, because he didn't want to be just another smart kid at Brown or Yale or the other schools he was accepted at; at his college, he's basically the star science student after his first year, and has full run of the science labs. He'll get tremendous recommendations from his professors for grad school, and probably opportunities he wouldn't get elsewhere.
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#4
warriorscot

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Yeah chill a bit just get through the first couple years of high school, i wanted to go into computers as well at your age but look at me now im second year into what is now a chemical engineering degree(formerly chemistry so i still couldnt decide until this year). I still work with computers though as a hobby and at uni just now im trying to do a rather tricky fortran trick.

Ability is important a big uni can be good thing to have on the CV especially outside the US but whats more important is how good the teaching an facilities. I got accepted into the two most prestigous unis in my country and the best one for science but the best one presitge wise (st andrews) wasnt a good science uni and Strathclyde(the good science uni) had little prestige and a bad location for me (glasgow) so i picked a nice halfway house at Edinburgh one of the best in the world as a uni and for what i want to do in life and it has a great community and support system. So always balance the options but uni choice comes later at your age most know nothing about Unis and arent even old enough to appreciate some aspects of the choice so getting fixed on something now is a bad choice.

If you think you might want to do computer science choose your subjects at school accordingly but dont box yourself in pick a good range of subjects because its hard to redo something at school but when you get to uni you can swap and change to almost anything you like repeating a year is no hassle here in the first two years so if you dont like it or say you like your elective better as i did you can just change.
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#5
Matt L

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I know what you guys are saying, but the problem with me is, I need a goal in order for me to do really well in school. I need a specific goal. For example, knowing what I want to do in college or when I grow up. That's where my self-motivation usually comes from and no where else.
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#6
dsenette

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my personal advice (and this advice get's shot down alot...but it makes sense to me) is that majoring in "computer science" will not get you a job...if you're wanting a job in a technological field you need to speciallize....if you want to be a programmer...you have to take programming intensive classes...if you want to deal with networking you need to take the networking route....if you want to manage a wan you need to take the wan courses...it's plain and simple...

if you're going for an education...and you don't care about the job you get....by all means pick a broad sweeping major like...biology, or computer science....but if you are going to college to get the best job you can (and quickly after graduating) you need to specialize....find a part of computer science that you like the most and focus on that...

case in point: i've got a friend who spent his whole 4 years in regular college getting his bachellors degree in computer science...he's extremely smart..and he does know stuff...but he graduated 2 years ago and works at office max (as a salesman)...i went to ITT for 2 years (after taking some time out of school) and got an associates in CNS (computer networking systems) within a year of graduating...i got the job i have today...because my education SPECIFICALLY fit the needs of this job...they company didn't have to say "i wonder what he learned in comoputer science? i wonder what part of computer science his school concentrated on" they got to look at my degree and say "oh...well there you go...he should know at least a functional level of networking knowledge....and that's what we want"....

i don't want to say that specialization is always the best...because you can over do it ("i wonder if they have a course in managing computer networks who only use pentium4 processors and microsoft office 2003 with...etc..etc..etc..")...but going too broad in college generally is a hinderance
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#7
sari

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I know what you guys are saying, but the problem with me is, I need a goal in order for me to do really well in school. I need a specific goal. For example, knowing what I want to do in college or when I grow up. That's where my self-motivation usually comes from and no where else.


Matt,

While it's really good to have a goal, and it's admirable that you're determined to do well, there's a problem with this approach - you've already had 2 career goals in one month. This has in turn changed your focus on colleges. At this point, your goal has been a moving target, which means you won't reach it. You need to set your goal in a way that it doesn't change every time your college and/or career choice changes, because that will change again. That's why I said you need to make your goal a little broader; concentrate on getting the best grades in all your classes, get involved with extra-curricular activities (that will count towards college admission), consider looking into volunteer activities that might help you decide what you want to do, and seriously - go talk to your guidance counselor. That's their job. They can help you define an achievable flexible goal that will help you succeed in high school and beyond.
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#8
boomercj

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Take your goal and break it into smaller bite size goals. You will feel a sense of accomplishment sooner which will make you eager for more with a greater possibility of reaching the main goal. It's ok to want to climb a mountain, but climb it one rock at a time and regard each of those rocks as a victory. You'd have a greater appreciation for the mountain.
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#9
warriorscot

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Short term goals are better long term is to far in the future and if you set it to far ahead and to set in stone your goals seem to take there own life and drag you with them you shouldn't do that.

Start with small like i want to get XXX for XXX this year and if i do ill go somewhere nice or buy something for myself(parents are good for this goal because the conditional gifts are the parents favourite kind of gift).

A good example is when i joined the air cadets i wanted to be a pilot but i knew thats a big massive goal and i didn't want to be defined by my goals so goal one was joining and convincing the parents to let me, then it was getting my first class grade(got a credit in the exam) then it was getting leading class then corporal then senior class, staff, passing Sgt. interview lots of little goals and even though my primary goal changed(i cant be a military pilot(bad eyes and smidge to tall) i still achieved all my smaller goals and then some and its helped me get to my new goals as well and because i used small goals and kept my options open i wasn't locked into a path that while i probably would have enjoyed fine would have not been my choice and would have probably landed me in Iraq and i don't particularly want to ever go there.

So little goals that build to a big goal and that means that you get your foundations nice and wide and you arent stuck with something at the end that doesnt suit the person you are then.
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#10
Matt L

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the specific things i'm looking into are Computer Science on an emphasis of Security and Computer Systems.
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#11
boomercj

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Do you have a community college in your area that allows high school students to take classes on a limited basis? Perhaps during the summer you can take a related course and hopefully receive transferrable credit. This serves two purposes: 1. you get a head start on credit hours and 2. You will see what is involved in the field you're thinking about and can decide whether or not to move forward. This minimizes the possibility of wasting time and money at a four year college on something you will decide you don't want to pursue.
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#12
Matt L

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o you have a community college in your area that allows high school students to take classes on a limited basis? Perhaps during the summer you can take a related course and hopefully receive transferrable credit. This serves two purposes: 1. you get a head start on credit hours and 2. You will see what is involved in the field you're thinking about and can decide whether or not to move forward. This minimizes the possibility of wasting time and money at a four year college on something you will decide you don't want to pursue.

not sure.
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