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Your thoughts on a hydrid CS-design degree

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 1:52 pm
by kacang
DS will be a freshman at UFlorida and a major he is looking at is the BS in Digital Arts and Sciences offered by the Engineering college. Per UF website, it's a hybrid degree of computer science and arts. If anyone has insights into this or similar program, I would greatly appreciate hearing your thoughts on;
- What major/minor would be complementary, other than computer engineering?
- What career paths are possible with this training?

DS is very strong in STEM and writing, not so good at art (eg. can't freehand draw perspectives, will this be problematic for this major?) though he has a good eye for design. I don't think he really knows what he wants and we want to be supportive, but I'm wary of hybrid degrees that do not help kids position themselves well for anything.

The hybrid program: https://catalog.ufl.edu/UGRD/colleges-s ... erplantext

Re: Your thoughts on a hydrid CS-design degree

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 1:59 pm
by Jack FFR1846
Any engineering major will start with the hard sciences, math and intro courses in multiple engineering disciplines (EE, ME, CS). As he progresses, he'll figure out if he does or doesn't click with the discipline he thought he wanted to go into. He may also find that the eng/arts major is or isn't what he thought it would be. Changing from one type of engineering to another in the first couple years isn't much of a setback time wise.

Re: Your thoughts on a hydrid CS-design degree

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 2:17 pm
by PrettyCoolWorkshop
If he is at all enamored with video game design, it may be worth informing him that drones of lowly-paid programmers slave away at video games, and accept low pay because of the idea that it is their passion; and if he wants to be an indie developer, it is a high stakes game where 99% of them fail to earn more than a few dollars on their game, and 1% succeed marvelously.

Re: Your thoughts on a hydrid CS-design degree

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 2:23 pm
by SC Anteater
I think I'd have him look into Business or Marketing.

Re: Your thoughts on a hydrid CS-design degree

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 2:57 pm
by ohai
OP, I have such a degree and I have to explain to every single person what it is. All else equal, it's more marketable to have a standard degree. Also, there is a risk that son won't get hired in whatever weird art field he is targeting. In that case, he will be better off with a CS degree where he can get a backup job.

Overall, I think this sort of hybrid major is a good idea only if you have a strong career plan, or if you go to Harvard or big name schools where careers will be handed to you despite of what you do.

Also, I would compare the courseload between this program and regular CS in terms of technical depth. What happens a lot is that students want to skip the in depth part of an engineering degree. So they replace them with some kind of sociology or arts electives. In the end, they just get a neutered degree.

Of course, with regards to this specific program, ask the university career office for placement statistics, since they are all different.

Re: Your thoughts on a hydrid CS-design degree

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:13 am
by kacang
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 1:59 pm
Any engineering major will start with the hard sciences, math and intro courses in multiple engineering disciplines (EE, ME, CS). As he progresses, he'll figure out if he does or doesn't click with the discipline he thought he wanted to go into. He may also find that the eng/arts major is or isn't what he thought it would be. Changing from one type of engineering to another in the first couple years isn't much of a setback time wise.
I expect that too, ie. he'll change his mind as he progresses, so it's comforting to know that changing majors within engineering isn't a big setback.
ohai wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 2:57 pm
OP, I have such a degree and I have to explain to every single person what it is. All else equal, it's more marketable to have a standard degree. Also, there is a risk that son won't get hired in whatever weird art field he is targeting. In that case, he will be better off with a CS degree where he can get a backup job.
Spot on comment about having to explain what DAS is, this degree has a marketing problem. It doesn't help that UF has 2 DAS degrees and 2 CS degrees from College of Liberal Arts vs Engineering, with different technical difficulty. DS will be in College of Engineering.
ohai wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 2:57 pm
Overall, I think this sort of hybrid major is a good idea only if you have a strong career plan, or if you go to Harvard or big name schools where careers will be handed to you despite of what you do.

Also, I would compare the courseload between this program and regular CS in terms of technical depth. What happens a lot is that students want to skip the in depth part of an engineering degree. So they replace them with some kind of sociology or arts electives. In the end, they just get a neutered degree.
In comparing College of Engineering's DAS vs CS courseloads, I would say DAS is similar to CS for technical depth. For example, critical tracking Math & Physics classes are the same, except for differential equations which is required for DAS but not CS. Model semester plans are also similar except for a few classes. Is this enough to lessen the stigma associated with being a hybrid degree?

In terms of future career options, what other majors/minor would you recommend to complement DAS (CS is not allowed but computer engineering is)?
SC Anteater wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 2:23 pm
I think I'd have him look into Business or Marketing.
May I ask why?