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Catalyst for change

education Updated: Jul 21, 2010 09:22 IST
Dr Sandeep Sen
Dr Sandeep Sen
Hindustan Times
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Computer science involves handling complicated equipment to managing staggering amounts of information. The IT revolution is likely to have more of an impact on the future of our civilisation than the Industrial Revolution did. In a short span of approximately 40 years, it has transformed our lifestyles and thought processes in ways that can be comparable to any science fiction saga.



The area of computer science that is the driving force behind IT has rapidly matured into an independent research area that has influenced many traditional engineering and science subjects, including mathematics.



Degree programmes in computer science focus on the problem-solving paradigms rather than use of specific software like excel sheets or powerpoint. In fact, the emphasis is on understanding the principles behind designing of such complicated software.



The original basic degree in computer science is the BTech/BE degree in computer science but over the last decade this has diversified into different flavours called computer science and engineering, computer engineering, information technology, computer applications, software engineering and a myriad of other labels that are often confusing even for a specialist. The bottom line is that there are no hard boundaries separating them and there is a lot of overlapping content. However, they do have differences in terms of background preparation and provide different entry points for students from diverse backgrounds.



The BTech/BE degree in computer science (CS or CSE) spans the range from theory through programming to cutting-edge development of computing solutions. Computer science offers a foundation that permits graduates to adapt to new technologies and new ideas. Most computer science programmes require some mathematical background.



The other degrees often cater to students who have earned a Bachelor’s degree in some other areas and allow them to focus on some aspects of computer science that is useful to the industry and ensure that the computer/IT industry continues to expand at a prodigious rate. Students possessing good mathematical and analytical skills are able to make this transition quite easily even though they may not become experts in many of the foundational aspects of design of a computer. For further details and understanding of the finer shades of these differences, you are encouraged to visit the link

http://computingcareers.acm.org/

.



The preferred places for pursuing degree courses in computer science and engineering are the computer science departments of the IITs, the specialised IT institutes like IIIT Hyderabad, Bangalore and Delhi, and the National Institute of Technologies.



Within Delhi, other than IIT Delhi and IIIT Delhi, the MCA programme of the University of Delhi is considered at par with BTech for industrial recruitment as well as admission to MTech programmes in computer science. Since MCA programmes are very common in many universities, it may be worthwhile to mention that the primary difference in BE/BTech is the absence of hardware-related courses. Some of the more recent programmes like BSc and BCA are yet to be recognised as significant degrees for achieving proficiency in computer science. For a career in computer science, it would be better if one does BSc in a conventional discipline instead of BCA, and follows it up with an MCA.



The field offers you diverse job opportunities and the following table gives you an idea of the more conventional ones.

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