Deciding which major to pursue

Hello there. I am a sophomore in high school. I am planning to be a software engineer working with system who is planning to go to USC after high school. I see that USC has both computer science and industrial and system engineering. I was wondering how did you decide which one to major in. I read that coding is or is not a big part of one and the other. Is this true? And did you do the computer info. system at school?
posted by Beatrice, Los Angeles, California on August 2, 2014

Answer by Paige Selby

Hi Beatrice, thanks for your questions.  You are making a great choice to be a software engineer.  I learned many skills from my USC education and I am really happy that I studied engineering.  

I have listed the three majors that you mentioned with a link to their undergraduate website.  

The CS major has over half its classes as coding classes.  ISE has approximately 3 coding classes and ISIS computer track has approximately 5 coding classes.  If you are unsure what major to pick, remember that you can always transfer into a different major once you have started school at USC.  This link (http://viterbi.usc.edu/students/undergrad/handbook.htm) has links to all the majors and course requirements - click on CS, ISE, and ISIS to get a better idea of which courses and schedules look interesting.  

I decided to major in ISE as an undergraduate at USC because it incorporated both engineering and management perspectives.  In ISE, I learned about systems, processes, and people and how they all work together to drive innovation and technology in an organization.  If I had studied CS, I would have focused more on knowledge and skills for system, hardware, and software development as well as related theories and algorithms.  I am now in graduate school at Brown University, and I am studying Computer Science which builds perfectly on my ISE background.

Also, it is never too early to start coding - check out the following websites for courses or tutorials:www.codecademy.comwww.edx.orghttp://girlswhocode.comhttp://code.org, and www.lynda.com.  Keep up the hard work and follow your engineering dream!!