BSC in Computer Science in 2 years? Sketch or legit?
September 17, 2014 2:19 PM   Subscribe

I am about to graduate in a liberal arts degree. I toyed with a lot of career options and I think one of my options is going to go back to school for computer science. I found a 2 year program but I don't know if it is legitimate or if it's a joke.

I found this 2 year program called integrated computer science ( It is essentially for graduates or mature students wanting to get computer science degrees.

I have a few related questions. UBC stresses that it is the same as a regular computer science degree and the only difference is that it is accelerated, but is it? I am getting this degree for job purposes so I don't want to get this degree and then find out it is somehow secondary or insufficient for actual computer science jobs.

Also, how is the computer science market in Vancouver? A lot of my friends seem to be doing well after graduating and I see a lot of jobs, but I would like to hear from some of you.
posted by cyml to Education (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Do you want a CS degree or do you want to learn to code something specific? Those goals are not mutually exclusive, but they are different.

An accelerated CS degree is going to teach you math, logic, theory and computing fundamentals and give you a great overview. But it's not going to, for example, teach you Python. That said, with your CS degree, you can likely learn Python faster and in greater overall depth.

You should determine your end goal first.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:26 PM on September 17, 2014

I want to set myself up to get a job in the technology field - probably as a programmer. I admittedly don't know much about computer science but I am taking an introductory course that uses Racket's BSL this year and I am enjoying it so far.

Essentially, my question is will this degree give me the credentials necessary to get a job in IT? Obviously, I will participate in co-op and gain other experience but is this degree sufficient or do I need a full computer science degree?
posted by cyml at 2:32 PM on September 17, 2014

Second degrees never take a full 4 years full-time, because part of a 4 year degree is the general liberal arts requirements. Your second degree, you only take the classes that actually are required for that degree, and it goes much faster.
posted by Sequence at 3:17 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]

It will give you the credentials, but it won't give you the experience. Experience is not taught in a classroom setting. The program sounds legit.
posted by oceanjesse at 3:20 PM on September 17, 2014

I grabbed a 4 year BSc from UBC after a liberal arts BA elsewhere before this program was an option. Dittoing that the distinction about CS vs coding is important, and that coop is way more useful than the degree in terms of getting a job, but yeah it's a decent/legit program. In terms of faculty David Lowe has done some seminal stuff on computer vision that is fascinating (I know a guy who used to be at Tippet who was doing stuff based on Lowe's work). And Kurt Eiselt is a fantastically engaging lecturer.

On preview, Sequence is right, it wouldn't have taken 4 years but the coop program added on 2 semesters of working (it was paid work, though).
posted by juv3nal at 3:23 PM on September 17, 2014

100% legit.

I graduated from UBC CS 3 years ago (4-year program) and I've worked with a really amazing graduate of the 2-year BCS program. He was one of the best developers I've met, and he had no trouble landing co-op positions and a great job after graduation.

You take the same courses as people in the regular 4-year program, and employers don't really know the difference between the two programs. Overall, CS professors at UBC were fantastic and I'd recommend the program highly.

And yeah, the job market for CS graduates in Vancouver is great. Make sure to join the co-op program (seriously, it's not optional if you want a good job) and participate in a few extracurricular but CS-related activities, and you'll have zero trouble finding a well-paying job.

Memail me if you have any questions!
posted by ripley_ at 3:43 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]

Another vote for 100% legit -- I graduated with a full 4 year CS degree (actually 5 years with co-op) from UBC, well, quite a few years ago. At least 2+ years of that degree were fluffy art credits and unrelated science credits. If they just pull that stuff out, and concentrate on the real CS requirements, well, that sounds amazing. Now, it might be super intense... i'm thinking back to my uni days and if i had to do a full load of all CS & math without some filler courses I might have gone crazy, but this might be different.

Re-iterating that if there is co-op, it's not even a question on whether or not you should do it. My co-op students now are amazing, and it gives you such a leg up and contacts in the field it'd be stupid to not do it if offered.

Also, the demand in Vancouver for qualified developers is really high. Of course, in 2 years things could change, but with bigger Facebook, Amazon & Microsoft studios setting up shop recently, it's getting hard to find available talent these days.
posted by cgg at 4:59 PM on September 17, 2014

It sounds like you have your answer here, but nth-ing the co-op program. I've worked with (and hired) a number of developers fresh out of UBC, Waterloo, and other Canadian schools and found them to be excellent across the board, largely because they come into their jobs with legitimate industry experience that their American peers can't quite match.

You can't be a *great* developer without both programming experience and theoretical CS foundations, and I've found that these schools generally give a good mix of both. Go for it!
posted by bbuda at 6:33 PM on September 17, 2014

Another vote that this is legit.

As another UBC computer science graduate and a former tutor for a bunch of 3rd/4th year courses (both in UBC and UofA), I recommend that if at all possible, take a few of these CS courses before enrolling in the full program. In my experience, in terms of time commitment, computer science courses can be more demanding than courses in other faculties.
posted by lenny70 at 7:44 PM on September 17, 2014

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