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Old 04-16-2009, 04:00 AM
Location: Sandpoint, Idaho
3,006 posts, read 6,015,344 times
Reputation: 3309



You are quite right. I stand corrected.

I am dating myself. Comp Sci as a definitive major was just being established when I was in uni, so I know it more by its fields of speciality than CS: IS, AI, symbolic systems, biocomputing, robotics, etc. A number of seminal contributions in these areas have made by people in other disciplines, esp mathematics & EE. Furthermore, I agree with you, the art analogy was poor.

As for jobs, it really depends. High frequency stats is a nice lead into financial engineering. And despite the meltdown at the moment, financial engineering is a pathway to hedge funds. The combo of CS and Stats would be powerful.

That said, actuarial science does tend to pay well out of college, higher than CS and stats. A bit less competition, at least at the onset, still no free ride.

Question to OP: how ambitious are you? Given your mention of research, note that there is no easy path...


I mean, why would someone want to take all the extra courses required for something like NeuroBio when he/she can just take Stat to contribute to Neuro research/development?
>> It really depends on what you want. Most empirical researchers (working with data), will use statistics in their research. However, you should not confuse that use of stats with using stats to contribute to R&D. Those statisticians that are heavily involved in R&D tend to be exceptionally well trained, most often at the PhD level. Whereas, I have friends that have published in biology and chemistry as co-authoring members of research teams with only a BS.
>> In any even, it depends on what makes you tick.

Don't get me wrong, but the Stat major will have to study a LOT of NeuroSci in order to provide any useful research, but the thing is I highly doubt he will have to sit through 4 years of schooling and classes to understand the very specific (or even a slightly broader scope) topic he is working on.
I'm sure not even NeuroBio majors have memorize or remember every aspect of the brain, and highly doubt they need to know everything in order to provide useful work.

>> I disagree strongly with that sentiment. I will borrow from user_id's point on code monkeys. Any monkey can organize data and run simple regressions. The money is made in correctly interpreting estimators (and making the statistical adjustments to do that) and interpreting those estimators given the research question. The latter requires an excellent command of statistical theory and a strong command of biology/chem. No easy path.

So why not have a solid background in Stat if you're not sure whether you want to do NeuroBio, Electrical Engineering, Social Science, etc, and when you can always study aspects of that specific topic later in your career?
>> Most researchers flip that around. Once you have a good command of your field, you can also pick up a few stats courses to help you with your research. Go to a course on biostatistics, there you will find a number of biomed researchers.
>> But what matter more here are the questions asked by Alexus, starting with the $64K question, what do you want to do?

Spend less time on trying to find a shortcut and more time on what you wish to do with your life.
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Old 09-03-2009, 06:05 PM
297 posts, read 876,502 times
Reputation: 165
Thanks for all the input, everybody. I guess I'll go with stats, since it seems like the common ground for all of them.
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Old 09-05-2009, 12:54 AM
297 posts, read 876,502 times
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actually, I'll go with computer sci. lol
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Old 09-06-2009, 07:28 PM
Location: Conejo Valley, CA
12,470 posts, read 19,276,866 times
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I think computer science is the best option....Statistics in itself is only mildly useful in the job market and you can learn statistics while studying computer science.

When you're doing your studies I recommend that you get a sense of what is "hot" in the job market and try focus on at least one of these things even if you are only mildly interested. For example machine learning (which makes heavy use of statistics) and natural language processing are in demand right now and knowledge of one of these can get you a pretty good salary.
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Old 09-09-2009, 10:46 PM
52 posts, read 139,398 times
Reputation: 51
Go with CS.
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