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If i take AP computer science as a senior would it be a good first step into becoming a software engineer?

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John’s Answer

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Nana, If you’re certain that you want to pursue a career in engineering, you don’t have to wait until college to start preparing.

THREE STEPS TO PREPARE FOR AN COMPUTER ENGINEERING DEGREE WHILE STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL

STEP 1: AP MATH & SCIENCE CLASSES – In college, engineering majors take a rigorous course load that’s packed with math and science. Prepare yourself by taking the most challenging math and science classes available at your high school. These may include AP Calculus, AP Physics, AP Chemistry, AP Computer Science, and/or AP Statistics. If your school doesn’t offer AP courses, don’t panic. Colleges will take this into account when reviewing your application. Simply tackle the most challenging opportunities available to you. College admissions teams are impressed by candidates who demonstrate initiative and genuine enthusiasm for their area of study.

This presents a chance to gauge whether a career in engineering is truly a good fit. Do you enjoy these classes? Do you find them mentally stimulating? Do you excel in math and science courses? If the answer to any of these questions is “No,” you may want to consider other career options.

STEP 2: EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES – Colleges like to see initiative and enthusiasm in your area of study. Again one way to demonstrate your disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is to participate in relevant extracurricular activities. Colleges don’t only want you to participate in extracurricular activities, they also want you to show commitment, leadership, and the ability to make meaningful contributions. And the more deeply you involve yourself in these endeavors, the more useful skills you’ll gain for your career as an engineer.

If your high school suffers from a lack of STEM clubs, start your own. Talk to a teacher or administrator about creating a new Engineering, Physics club or Robotics Team at your school. Now that’s initiative. Whether you start your own club or join an existing organization, try to work your way into a leadership role. Alternatively, contribute in significant ways by organizing events, coming up with creative new ideas, or recruiting new members.

STEP 3: REAL WORD EXPERIENCE – You’ll gain skills and knowledge through your coursework and extracurricular involvement, but it also helps to have experience. You can build real-world engineering experience through job shadowing, internships, or volunteering. Ask your parents or guidance counselors if they know of any engineering-related opportunities or connections. You can also email local companies and see if they’re looking for interns or volunteers. If not, would they allow you to shadow someone and learn about the job?

Another way to gain hands-on experience is by attending an engineering summer camp. These camps are typically held at universities and involve design challenges, renowned guest speakers, behind-the-scenes tours, and more. Real-world experience builds skills and knowledge and gives you another opportunity to evaluate whether engineering is the career for you. Of course, all of these experiences will also look great on a college application.

Hope this was Helpful Nana

John recommends the following next steps:

  • INDEPENDENT PROJECTS – Depending on your interests, you can build a website or app
  • ERNTER COMPETITIONS – STEM Awards & Achievements will help you stand out from other engineering applicants
  • LANGUGUAGE SKILLS – Check-out some books on programming in languages like Python, Java, Perl or C++
  • DO YOUR HOMEWORK – Begin researching computer software engineering colleges now
Thank You for you continued Support Aun. If we want to touch the past, touch a rock. If we want to touch the present, touch a flower. If we want to touch the future, touch a life. John Frick Translate
Thank You Ariel. “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” — William Shakespeare John Frick Translate
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Jess’s Answer

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Yes it is a good start! Taking AP Calculus or AP Stats would also help you prepare. In your free time, you can do online courses on Codecademy and get a head start on programming/see what field in CS you're interested in.

If you know which college you are going attend, you can look up the requirements for your major and take AP classes to satisfy those courses (so you can skip them when you actually attend college).

Best of luck!
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Sean’s Answer

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Yes. Taking AP Computer Science will provide the following advantages in your effort to become a software engineer.

1) You will be better prepared for challenging college coursework in Computer Science, which will make it easier to succeed once you get there.
2) When you apply to college, you will have demonstrated that you are already investing in learning this subject, which will make your application more competitive.
3) If you take AP Computer Science and high school and don't like it, then you will know before you pursue this as your major in college.
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Bailey’s Answer

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I was doing freelance software development in high school, this could help, but actually building apps and small games helped me more than my current CS Degree Studies, I would start building A app, could be a web or mobile app, Python is easy to understand and learn, Django is a good web framework, Dart and Flutter is a good mobile language and framework.

Bailey recommends the following next steps:

  • Build and Deploy web app
  • Build and deploy mobile app
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Kuei-Ti’s Answer

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(This answer is to supplement others' answers.)

In addition to AP, after you've had solid programming and math foundation, consider taking MOOCs in computer science. They're usually free and self-paced. A lot of them are also college-level courses. Coursera, edX, and Udacity have many good courses in computer science.

By the way, once you know which college/university you'll attend, consider taking some courses at a community college before you formally go to college. Some colleges/universities accept transferred credits from a community college, so taking courses at a community college might be helpful. Check what institutions' credits can be transferred to the college/university you might attend, what are their equivalent courses at the college/university you might attend, and whether they can be transferred to courses that can count toward the computer science or computer engineering program of the college/university you identified.

I got all my college math credits from AP and community college transferred credits (I took the community college courses while I was in high school) and was able to focus on non-math courses when I was in college.

Remember to follow the college/university's process of transferring the credits.

Kuei-Ti recommends the following next steps:

  • Take AP Computer Science and take the AP exam.
  • Take AP Calculus and take the AP exam.
  • Take AP Biology, Chemistry, and/or Physics (C, instead of 1/2, recommended) and take the AP exam(s).
  • If possible, take community college courses that will help you later.
  • Take MOOCs.
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Megha’s Answer

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Yes, it will be helpful and will also help you figure out if that's really where your passion is for the future. It is an excellent introductory course in High school
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Estelle’s Answer

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yes, but I would add take as much math and science as you can your last year. You never really know what degree you will end up loving or type of job. Most of the people I know have switched majors at least once and then jobs at least 4 times. Consider a degree in electrical engineering and physics also, Your future may be in quantum computing, artificial intelligence and things we haven't even thought of yet.
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Jimmy’s Answer

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taking course of computer science will surely help as you want to be a software engineer, as software requires a wide range of knowledge.
From computer, network, machine learning, or even medical ,mechanics etc. based on the application of the software technology.

But as a beginner, I think learning computer science, math are very essential, as it will help to prepare your knowledge needed.
Many software engineer's work is actually building apps and games, which helped more than just CS Degree Studies,

So , again, math, programming language, and application area are three essentials.
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Zimrri’s Answer

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If you want to dive into computer science and your school doesn't offer it. A perfect place to go would be edx.org and take CS50 for AP Computer Science.

https://www.edx.org/course/cs50s-ap-computer-science-principles?source=aw&awc=6798_1590693321_db0a4f2009a238d7b611ed5d402b1aee&utm_source=aw&utm_medium=affiliate_partner&utm_content=text-link&utm_term=264419_FlexOffers.com%2C+LLC

While I was in high school I took the regular CS50 course and it helped me a ton.
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Zach’s Answer

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It's a great step. In fact, AP computer science in high school was what got me interested in programming and computer science. Dive head first into the content and try to have fun with it. It's a great career and you're at an exciting part of life.
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Jonathan’s Answer

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I personally took AP Computer Science in high school and found it very helpful and is the reason I chose to be a Computer Science major in college. If you're considering majoring in CS I'd highly recommend taking AP CS in high school.
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Megha’s Answer

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Yes, it will be helpful and will also help you figure out if that's really where your passion is for the future. It is an excellent introductory course in High school
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Mike’s Answer

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Yes! Take it in high school, it's cheaper. Programming is something you may not even need to go to college for. The industry changes so much that by the time you finish a 4 year college degree, demand for languages you learn may disappear. It's a tough and competitive industry, anything you can do in school to learn more about computers in general, do it.
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Muhammad’s Answer

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Any step is a good step
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Joseph’s Answer

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I think this is a good first step

I would also start writing programs in your spare time (the don't have to be super complex they can be little utilities). Doing this will help you to be comfortable with code and solving problems.

Also I would look at open source projects on Github for projects that your are interested in. Reading other folk's code is a good way to learn since you can see how they solve problems.

Another thing I would suggest is picking up a book (or finding videos on YouTube) on algorithms and data structures, these come into play a lot.
A good accessible book on the subject is 'Grokking Algorithms: An Illustrated Guide for Programmers and Other Curious People'

The above suggestions are stuff you can start doing regardless of where you are and should help you with any classes that come up. Other folks who have answered this question as well have great advice

One parting piece of advice, keep trying and don't be afraid to ask for help.
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Dexter’s Answer

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Hey Nana,

I think it's a great first step and I highly encourage to take it. When I got to UC Berkeley, there was a test that all Computer Science interested students had to take before the first computer science class. This was a 10 minute test where students had to write code (in any computer science language) where they had to demonstrate that they understood recursion. If you failed this test, you had to start your CS career with CS 10 an introduction computer science course and if you passed the test, you got to start your career with CS 61A, saving yourself 6 months (and time/credits you could apply to other courses or to graduate early).

So in summation, take the AP course! :)

Good luck!

--
Dexter
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Riley’s Answer

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This sounds like a perfect course for you! If you are wondering whether it would be able to be used as transfer credit to cover a course you would need to take in college, then that is a question you will need to discuss with your academic advisor when you get to college. However, overall I think this would be a great course for you to be introduced to a lot of the new technologies and skills you will need to use once you get started on your college major. Also, it will probably help you make the final decision on whether you really want to major in software engineering or not.
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