[ubuntu-uk] Advice for the future

Lucy lucybridges at gmail.com
Wed Oct 17 14:50:31 BST 2007

On 17/10/2007, Matthew Larsen <mat.larsen at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Out of your experience is there a big
> > difference between a BSc from a top University (like York) and that of
> > a lower ranking Computer Science course at somewhere like Essex or
> > East Anglia? I'm prepared to take a year or two out as required to get
> > a few A levels on top of my BTEC is required to achieve my goal.

> I am currently on a placement year and have met other CS students at
> other universities. The level some of these students are at really
> appalls me. Some have never touched UNIX or C. IMO how the heck can
> you study CS without touching either?

I think it's the same for any computer science degree anywhere, there
are always people who somehow get by with no/little work and certainly
no programming. That's why it's important to look at other skills and
not just the grade on a piece of paper.

> I would go for a minimum a Red Brick university. Somewhere like
> Manchester, UCL, Southampton are the 3 you should aim for. Anywhere
> else and you might not learn the skills you need. Remember: Where you
> get your degree is equally as important as what you studied. There
> really is a difference between good degrees and bad degrees and
> employers/people do know this. Example: Would you rather take someone
> with a degree in mathematics from Cambridge University or from Essex
> Polytechnic? (no offense to anyone from Essex Polytechnic)

Sorry but I think this is rubbish. I got a good computer science
degree from an ex-poly, where I learned C, Unix, Perl, Java and Prolog
to name a few. I then went on to study an MSc at the University of
Manchester. I don't think the differences between the courses taught
at red brick Unis compared to ex-polys are as big as some people would
like to think.

There certainly are bad degrees out there but they don't have to do be
from ex-polys.

Jai, I would recommend going to lots of open days and looking at what
is taught on courses compared to what you're interested in learning.
As some examples, are you interested in the theoretical side of
things, programming or using computers in business?

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