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What is the best choice of college if i'm looking to go into computer science?

I am a Junior at Grundy Center and I am interested in going to college for computer science. I'm questioning what college I should go to because I'm not sure which one would be the best choice for computer science. #college #job

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John’s Answer

Great question! One thing I learned after studying computer science is that there are many different types of programs depending on what college you attend. Here are some differences I've noticed:

Theoretical vs applied - Many associate computer science with writing code, but some of the top ranked computer science programs (Carnegie Mellon, University of Illinois - Urbana) might not have you write much code at all. Instead, you might be focused on algorithm and system design which are closer to mathematics and principles you would use to design / build systems in code.

Co-op / internship programs as part of coursework - some colleges help place students into jobs during the school year. This might extend the amount of time it takes to get your degree, but it gives you valuable experience that might help you get a job more easily once you have your degree. Canada has The University of Waterloo which is famous for this. There are probably many schools in the USA today, but Drexel University was an earlier one.

If you really enjoy math, computational problems, etc you might prefer a more theoretical program (which also tends to be the top programs). I attended the University of Southern California. It's not known as a top computer science program, but I thought it did a decent job of balancing theory with hands-on projects and coding. That was more than 10 years ago and I'm sure a lot has changed.

I wouldn't worry too much about rankings, but if that's interesting to you, they exist. Note that computer engineering and computer science are different, but most computer science programs are within engineering schools. https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/engineering-doctorate-computer

although this article is a little outdated I suggest you look here: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-science-schools/computer-science-rankings Good luck Joseph Palmaffy

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Arun’s Answer

Great question Camerin! Adding to John's on-point response, my advice would be to consider broadening your scope by getting a minor in the liberal arts or similar, particularly if your interest is in software programming/building applications. Some of the best programmers I have come across have a varied background which enables them to take a holistic view of the problem they are trying to solve.