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Introduction to Computer Science in UCC

When I was accepted into University College Cork, I spent hours trawling through countless websites following links to countless other websites. The idea was to try and gather as much information as possible to enable me to get a head start in my first year in Computer Science.

The information I have gathered has been of great use to me these last few months and I feel that it will also be of interest to somebody wishing to do Computer Science or has been accepted next year either through the CAO or as a Mature Student.

To anybody who thinks that Computer Science will be a breeze then you need to rethink your choice. Although the points required for CK401 were only 315 in 2010, your first year will involve a lot of work. Anybody can get in but not everybody belongs, one of the lectures this year said something like this and it happens to be true. If you work hard, you will get the rewards you deserve.

I went into Computer Science or CK401 as a Mature Student and to be fair UCC have been fantastic in supporting me, I received information from the Mature Students Office and attended a two-day workshop in the summer which was of huge benefit to me adjusting to the college.

I currently work full-time while attending college but I am lucky that my employers are supportive of my academic studies, so it has very little impact on my study and in fact has enabled me to study more. While this is not for everyone, having a job enables the student to have money in their pocket to help pay for the expenses of college.

This website was developed using the skills I learned this year (and what I learned in St. Johns College last year). It was developed using Strict XHTML and CSS (there is small section of Javascript in the Forum section).

What is Computer Science ?

Today the world revolves around computers; everything from a calculator to a mobile phone is a computer. While using these devices requires knowledge of their operation, Computer Science works on a much higher level and can be accurately described as problem solving, designing solutions and making sure that they are the correct solutions. This is not easy as it takes a creative mind to be able to look at problem and figure out how to fix it.

Computer Science is the study of computer architecture, software systems, graphics, computational science, software engineering and artificial intelligence. The first year will consist of learning the very basics of Computer Science; it is designed to start you off knowing very little about computers and their operation.

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Why Choose Computer Science ?

No matter what area of employment you decide your future lies in, everything requires a computer these days; hospitals, libraries, military and factories all have computers that need to be programmed to fit their needs or databases specific to their operation. There are many products on the market catering for these needs but they are all developed by computer scientists, they all need updating and newer versions on a regular basis.

What this means is a massive demand world wide for people with computer skills. It was recently reported that the US needs around 1,000,000 of these type of people but their universities have stated that they are only able to produce above half that amount.

The computers games industry is responsible for making around $50 billion each year, not to mention companies that produce software applications such as Microsoft Office or online companies such as Google or Yahoo. If your looking for a career with a good financial return then Computer Science is for you, but you need to have an interest in the area because job satisfaction is more important.

At last years Oscar Awards, Irish born Richie Baneham won an Oscar for his work on Avatar, so it is possible for any student to reach the heights of success.

If you love sitting at a desk looking at a screen for hours on end, fascinated by what you are doing and find it hard to shut down, then Computer Science is for you.

Ireland is lucky that due to its low corporation tax and highly trained work force, many technology giants have companies here. These companies such as Apple, Intel, Google and Microsoft employ around 15,000 people in Ireland and this will increase as the years go on. Last year when many people were being put out of work, Google anounced that would be increasing their work force by over 1,000.

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Why choose to do it in UCC ?

The real question you should ask yourself is Why Not? University College Cork is a university on the rise and was recently named in the top two percent in the world with Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and University College Dublin (UCD) dropping down in world rankings(for more information clickhere).

UCC is on a constant persuit to be the best, expansion and redevelopment are forever on going. The Western Gateway Building, Brookfield Health Sciences Complex and the Mardyke Arena are great examples of this.

UCC also has a fantastic library (Boole Library) and a brand new Youth Center (Devere Hall). The UCC lecturers are second to none, every student has an assigned mentor and are there numerous class representatives (Academic and Entertainment) there the help if you need support both in the Computer Science Department and the university in general.

The computers in the WGB are as up to date as it gets including the software used. The WGB is open until 10.30 at night and students can gain access to their assigned computer lab (G20) using their identity cards.

The university campus is located in the heart of Cork City, Irelands second largest city. The city center is only five minutes walk from the university gates and is serviced by the number eight and number five buses.

Whatever course you want to do in UCC, you will be guaranteed a top quality education with plenty of support if you need it. Good luck with your future, and hopefully it will be in UCC.

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