Help with College (High School Senior)

Hello, I am the senior (and only at the current point) programmer for our team (1274) and am also forced in part to be the team’s electronics board creator.

I currently hope to be a Software Engineer, but I am being told that this major isn’t the optimal choice for what I want; I wish to be a software developer and programmer - what is the best choice of major for this?

A lot of that depends on the school you go to - the program/major is sometimes called different things at different schools. I went to Case Western Reserve University, and there were two very similar programs there - Computer Science, and Computer Engineering - that ended up having quite a different focus. For one thing, the Computer Science program focused only on programming, to the point where it didn’t even have the full core Engineering curriculum. The Computer Engineering program, on the other hand, had the full core Engineering curriculum, and in addition to higher level programming got more in depth with the hardware side of things, firmware design, etc. Two overlapping programs with different focuses.

Your best bet is to visit the schools your interested in, and if at all possible talk to one or more of the professors in the program(s) your considering. Ask about their program, what the typical major-specific classes are. Tell them what your interested in and what you would ideally want to pursue after college. With any luck, they can help you see how their program, regardless of what it’s actually called, can help you be successful in your chosen career path.

It may be helpful to us if you tell us exactly what kind of software you would like to write.

Buisiness Apps, Web Apps, Games, Embedded Software, OS … etc

There are some differences between Comp-Sci, Comp-Eng, and Software Eng. What schools are you looking at, the programs vary between schools. Also it is worth looking into concentrations within the majors.

im a senior too haha. i think if you want to be a software developer you should probably go into computer science. My dad is a software developer and he was a computer science major in college

Now I honestly plan on making my own major which combines Computer Engineering, Computer Science, physics and math all in one. I want to be in the research field and work on quantum computers, parallel processing, a whole bunch of cool stuff like that. While getting a doctorate of comp sci and become a professor when I get old.

You know you can always change it, and or make your own major if your school allows. Your options are not limited.

We are a company of software engineers. The title is given to a variety of engineering, computer science, math and physics majors.

Go visit colleges. Talk to college students. You are in Ohio. Find a SolidWorks users group in your area and attend a local meeting to see what professionals do with software.

Also remember you can chance your mind. Today one of my colleague told me he started outing comp science and switched to chemical engineering. Not easy but possible.


I think that’s kind of silly - you don’t need to be a physics major to take physics courses, and CS is going to be doing a lot of higher math anyway. “Custom majors” really, really don’t work the way you think they do.

Thank you very much!

This has been very helpful, and I think I’m going to look at some colleges to apply for summer semesters now lol.

Either Software Engineering or Computer Science will allow you to get a software development engineer position which sounds like what you want.

Look into Electrical Engineering programs with a software/programming concentration. Look for colleges with automatic full-tuition scholarships like Olin and Cooper Union.