Beatrice, Los Angeles, California asked Paige Selby, Raytheon Company

AddedSaturday, August 2, 2014 at 10:34 PM

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?
Related to Choosing a Degree, Computer, Industrial, Preparation for College
  • Paige Selby , Raytheon Company
    Answered Saturday, August 2, 2014 at 10:34 PM

    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!!