• We need YOUR help for the next generation of students! Upload your notes and exams on our Notes & Resources page!
  • You must be a registered member to download resources

Commerce degree with computer science or math/statistics? (1 Viewer)

TeheeCat

Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2017
Messages
48
Gender
Female
HSC
2019
Hi! So I'm a year 12 student facing a dilemma in choosing a double degree with commerce. I know it's possible to change courses even during university but as much as possible, I would like to avoid that... which is why I wanted to make an informed decision before applying for UAC.

As far as I know, I should be able to meet most of prerequisites of the courses due to my subjects (though, I'm concerned if 3U math alone will suffice as it seems some uni courses recommend 4U maths to be taken.)

I'm not certain on what careers I see myself doing in the future, but I would like to steer away from management roles and possibly accounting too as I have little interest in it. I prefer jobs that involve a commerce/STEM combination/

1) What are the employment prospects for graduates with commerce/computer science and commerce/math degrees?

2) What is the difference between software engineering and computer science? Would commerce/software engineering be a viable combination as well?

3) For those who are studying computer science in university, what is it like exactly? I do have an interest in programming and tried it multiple times in the past (I did find it enjoying actually!), but I'm unsure whether programming is best suited as a hobby rather than something I fully study as a course, if that makes sense.

4) Supposedly I do choose computer science, which universities offer the best computer sciences courses after UNSW and USYD? I don't think I will make the ATAR cutoffs for both especially coming from a mid 300s ranked school, so I want to consider other universities as well, like maybe UTS or Macquarie.

Thank you! :)
 

Drdusk

π
Joined
Feb 24, 2017
Messages
383
Gender
Male
HSC
2018
Uni Grad
2023
Most people I know who are studying Advanced Mathematics have gotten marks along the range of 97/98/99 in 3u Maths, they all did 4u too. Studying Math's is a very specific field so you need to ask yourself this. Would you enjoy doing Maths 24/7? Do you often extend yourself beyond the syllabus just for your understanding?

1) Both those combinations are very highly employable. Commerce combined with Computer Science more so, as Business and Computing go hand in hand. I mean so many of the largest companies are computing ones!

2)Software Engineering is a more practical course that requires you to do extra units, hence also why its one year more. Software Engineering's main focus is the main focus of a traditional software engineer: building a robust well rounded solution that takes into account the users needs etc. This means SE will require you to do courses such as Software Construction, Engineering Design etc. These courses are ignored by Computer science students. You learn less about the whole engineering process but go more in depth on the actual algorithms, learning some sick theory that SE students wont learn.
I would always advise CS over SE, its one year less and Employers view the both as the same.

3) Most CS students enjoy programming as a hobby. If you don't then the course is not for you. In UNI your expected to spend a lot of time by yourself learning the ropes of it. Sure the uni will teach you all the necessary content, but the only way to improve is by doing things yourself.
Also studying CS is fun, but also quite difficult, especially at UNSW. Some of the 'challenge' questions they give are almost impossible to do. Like 0 people get them sometimes.

Also can I just say the CS/SE Lecturers at UNSW are AMAZING. They are really approachable and can explain code reallly well.

4) I came from a 300ish ranked school. Don't rule it out over just a school rank....
However if you don't make UNSW, try UTS.
 
Last edited:

seremify007

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2004
Messages
9,775
Gender
Male
HSC
2005
Uni Grad
2009
How strong are you at math/quant?

Plenty of roles nowadays love the combination of commerce with quants or some form of science/logic-based subject given the direction the world is heading, but the question is what are you better at doing?
 

TeheeCat

Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2017
Messages
48
Gender
Female
HSC
2019
Hey thank you both for your replies!

In terms of my current math abilities, it's definitely not at the standard of those doing 4U or very high E4 marks...However in relative to my other HSC subjects, it's my strongest along with Economics and I definitely have the motivation to work hard in it. I will still consider the difficulty in uni math courses though, this isn't the first time I heard about it (a teacher in my school who did 4U in her HSC years found math difficult in UNSW).

There is another thing I would like to ask about math in university courses. I heard some courses are centered around teaching pure math, will this be necessary since I'm seeking to pair it with commerce? Like will it be necessary in the workforce at all? Honestly, I'm leaning away from it but I'm not sure, will it be preferable to take that as opposed to courses that teach applied math

Learning independently will not be a problem for e. If I do choose computer science/software engineering, would it be wise to learn the HSC software design and development course?

After researching, I've noticed that UTS doesn't offer a double degree in computing science and business, but instead IT. What are the differences between IT and computer science? I heard IT is more general but I'm not exactly sure what people mean when they say that.

4) I came from a 300ish ranked school. Don't rule it out over just a school rank....
However if you don't make UNSW, try UTS.
That's really good to hear that's still hope. The reason I'm not very confident though is because I'm not ranked first in all my subjects, which I heard is necessary to get high ATAR as you are not dragged down by the rest of the cohort. English Advanced is also my weakness , another reason why I'm not so sure if I can make it the cutoff into double degree in Commerce and Computer Science...A bit off topic, but could I ask how you studied? Was your cohort strong? If not, how did you minimise the effects of being dragged down? With the exception of maybe social sciences and 2U maths, my year group isn't exactly strong (especially in physics... our average across the entire cohort is very, very low.)
 

blyatman

Active Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
197
Location
Austin, Texas, USA
Gender
Undisclosed
HSC
N/A
Unless you're going into a highly quantitative high-level-math-orientated career like physics, you're unlikely to be using any of the stuff in your math degree. Most of it is just not needed, whether it be pure or applied. If anything, stats will be more applicable.
 

Drdusk

π
Joined
Feb 24, 2017
Messages
383
Gender
Male
HSC
2018
Uni Grad
2023
Hey thank you both for your replies!

In terms of my current math abilities, it's definitely not at the standard of those doing 4U or very high E4 marks...However in relative to my other HSC subjects, it's my strongest along with Economics and I definitely have the motivation to work hard in it. I will still consider the difficulty in uni math courses though, this isn't the first time I heard about it (a teacher in my school who did 4U in her HSC years found math difficult in UNSW).

There is another thing I would like to ask about math in university courses. I heard some courses are centered around teaching pure math, will this be necessary since I'm seeking to pair it with commerce? Like will it be necessary in the workforce at all? Honestly, I'm leaning away from it but I'm not sure, will it be preferable to take that as opposed to courses that teach applied math

Learning independently will not be a problem for e. If I do choose computer science/software engineering, would it be wise to learn the HSC software design and development course?

After researching, I've noticed that UTS doesn't offer a double degree in computing science and business, but instead IT. What are the differences between IT and computer science? I heard IT is more general but I'm not exactly sure what people mean when they say that.



That's really good to hear that's still hope. The reason I'm not very confident though is because I'm not ranked first in all my subjects, which I heard is necessary to get high ATAR as you are not dragged down by the rest of the cohort. English Advanced is also my weakness , another reason why I'm not so sure if I can make it the cutoff into double degree in Commerce and Computer Science...A bit off topic, but could I ask how you studied? Was your cohort strong? If not, how did you minimise the effects of being dragged down? With the exception of maybe social sciences and 2U maths, my year group isn't exactly strong (especially in physics... our average across the entire cohort is very, very low.)
Pure Maths is maths for the sake of maths. Highly unlikely to be applicable to your commerce degree as said by Blyatman.

If you didn't take SDD as a HSC subject, don't bother learning it. Most students in our CS course probably haven't done Software Design and Development. Sure it prepares you and may provide a little bit of advantage, but nothing you can't catch up on in uni. Now with the Bachelor of IT, yes its a more general course. You'll learn stuff like Information systems, Project management, coding(not as deep as CS), databases etc. CS on the other hand is JUST programming for the most part.

You don't necessarily need to be first in all your subjects.
English advanced is your weak point eh? I was in English standard ranked not even in top 5 with no band 6's for Standard :p. Yes I know.....

Also just because your average across a subject is low, doesn't mean you guys aren't good. Our SDD cohort had an average of in the 60s for every exam. Yet people who got 60s ended up with band 5's and my 83 in the trial went to a 96 in the HSC...

I'll admit I procrastinated A LOT through HSC, because I found every subject except 4U Maths and SDD to be boring. Studying for Math's is just hammering out question 14's for 3u and 16's for 4u and memorizing the crap outta the notes for other subjects

With a smaller cohort in classes like 4u and SDD, the students looking for a 90+ atar knew we had to drag each other up. Share your notes, answers etc with others aiming high. This is something we did a lot and it worked really well, especially for SDD, where even our teacher was startled by how much everyone's marks got dragged up.
 
Last edited:

seremify007

Junior Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2004
Messages
9,775
Gender
Male
HSC
2005
Uni Grad
2009
Unless you're going into a highly quantitative high-level-math-orientated career like physics, you're unlikely to be using any of the stuff in your math degree. Most of it is just not needed, whether it be pure or applied. If anything, stats will be more applicable.
It's not so much about what you learn but what it says about your ability to learn and apply challenging quantitative concepts with ease.

Similarly SDD (and CS) is about the logic and thought process vs. the typical fluff (or soft skills) many Commerce grads would typically focus on.
 

TeheeCat

Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2017
Messages
48
Gender
Female
HSC
2019
Thank you all again for your insights! :)

So I narrowed it down to commerce with either computer science (decided to not consider pursuing software engineering in university, not quite sure about IT) or math: either applied or statistics, took a brief look at what pure mathematics involves and I genuinely don't feel interested in it. Out of the two, I'm leaning more towards statistics.

I have also searched potential careers in these fields and so far, I'm interested in (no particular order): data analytics, data science (though, I heard postgraduate qualifications are often required to get into this, would a double undergraduate degree suffice:?), analyst and other business intelligence related roles. Of course, this is subjected to change in the future as I haven't even graduated from high school yet, but so far these are the kind of jobs I see myself doing in the future as of right now.

From this point, it depends on the which university I choose to study at. I already understand that UNSW is regarded as the best university for computer science courses, but what about in terms of mathematics if I was to choose math degree? Which universities offer good undergraduate courses for statistics or applied mathematics? Reputation of the universities doesn't concern me too much (currently concerns to me to the point that I'm only considering studying at UNSW/USYD/UTS/MACQ)

I would also like to factor in social life, extracurricular etc but I figured I can learn about those on open days.

Again I appreciate all the advice in advance :)
 

Drdusk

π
Joined
Feb 24, 2017
Messages
383
Gender
Male
HSC
2018
Uni Grad
2023
In the latest QS rankings, iirc I think UNSW ranked better than USYD in Maths by quite a bit.
However the general consensus I've heard is that USYD is better for Pure Mathematics and UNSW is better for applied.

UNSW has a non-existent social life rn lol. Were loaded with work with the new trimester system..
 

Bball1

New Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2019
Messages
9
Gender
Male
HSC
N/A
I agree with Drdusk in that I've heard UNSW has little social life compared to USYD but the academics especially in computer science and mathematics are just a little bit better at UNSW. I think both degrees would suffice for the careers that you might want to pursue and it depends what are your priorities at university.
 

TeheeCat

Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2017
Messages
48
Gender
Female
HSC
2019
That's fine, the social life is really more of a bonus thing and the lack of it won't be problem as I tend to conscientious about study anyway. At the end of the day, I prioritise on getting the most out of my degrees, particularly gaining commercial + quantitative and some technical skills Work experience or industry placements would also be a nice bonus.

I decided to go with commerce and mathematics, with again either applied or statistics! I don't think my interest in computer science is strong enough to pursue an entire degree on it to be honest, my interests lie more with the quantitative/data side. This is of course subjected to change, will depend on how I feel after receiving my HSC results in math. However, I would still love to learn a bit of programming during university, which I'm thinking of learning through maybe subjects involving programming or even minors? I considered learning programming in my own time as well but I'm not sure if I would even have enough time for that. How would one go about learning programming without taking an entire degree on computer science/IT/software? Still need to do quite a bit of research, but my first preference will be UNSW since I figured there's really no harm in trying out.

In case I still don't make the cut-offs to UNSW or USYD, how are UTS and Macquarie in terms of their math facilities?
 

Bball1

New Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2019
Messages
9
Gender
Male
HSC
N/A
1. Sydney has a better industry placement program than UNSW unless you get into the co-op program.
2. I would go for statistical mathematics at UNSW especially if you want to get into areas of commerce such as investment banking where the base job is a financial analyst for M&A etc. Statistical mathematics would help more than applied in that regard as you are using quantitate data etc. Statistics would also just be more useful than applied in other fields
3. If you don't get into UNSW I would definitely go to Macquarie over UTS in mathematics as they have got one of the best or probably the best actuarial program in Australia and that trend would probably extend out to mathematics as well
 

Bball1

New Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2019
Messages
9
Gender
Male
HSC
N/A
The degree at Macquarie is the Bachelor of Arts/Commerce with an ability to major in statistics, applied mathematics, data science or pure mathematics as well as your commerce majors.
 

Drdusk

π
Joined
Feb 24, 2017
Messages
383
Gender
Male
HSC
2018
Uni Grad
2023
While I will agree UNSW is a G08 uni which has good academics in Math/STEM, it still has its share of reallly bad lecturers. For math I've had 2 really shit lecturers and 2 reaally amazing ones, and the shit ones aren't shit because they don't know their stuff, rather because they can't teach it properly. What I'm saying is no matter if you choose USYD/UNSW or Macquarie/UTS each will have their share of crap lecturers, even though USYD/UNSW probably on average has better ones.
 

sida1049

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
840
Gender
Male
HSC
2015
I'm very late to the party, but I'll contribute a little. I study B. Science (Adv Maths) at USYD, majoring in mathematics and statistics, minoring in IT/comp sci. (I also used to study economics, but nevermind that.)

As far as I know, I should be able to meet most of prerequisites of the courses due to my subjects (though, I'm concerned if 3U math alone will suffice as it seems some uni courses recommend 4U maths to be taken.)
This is not much of an issue as first year maths courses runs through whatever you need in 4U. But if you have the time after HSC, I recommend reading up on 4U complex numbers and integration on your own.

1) What are the employment prospects for graduates with commerce/computer science and commerce/math degrees?
With commerce and maths, the obvious route is going into quantative finance or data analysis for financial institutions, both of which are very popular along my friends who only study (pure/applied) maths (without commerce). People who only major in statistics often go for the latter. Consulting is also a path for mathematicians and statisticians.

For computer science, the above route is also possible, as trading companies have technical teams dedicated to software (in constrast to maths majors who usually join as traders). Software engineering, technical support and data management for big companies is also very viable.

2) What is the difference between software engineering and computer science? Would commerce/software engineering be a viable combination as well?
There is significant overlap between software engineering and computer science, e.g. in both disciplines you're expected to learn how to code in various languages, abstract data structures, algorithm design and analysis, et cetera. However, half of software engineering is dedicated to studying project management and design paradigms, while computer science courses will focus more on the abstract and mathematical theories (e.g. turing machines, programming language theory, et cetera).

For this reason, if you enjoy maths and engaging in abstract ideas, you should go for computer science and not software engineering. I have many friends who transferred from software engineering to computer science (under B. Sci), but I don't personally know anyone who go the other way around.

3) For those who are studying computer science in university, what is it like exactly? I do have an interest in programming and tried it multiple times in the past (I did find it enjoying actually!), but I'm unsure whether programming is best suited as a hobby rather than something I fully study as a course, if that makes sense.
It's hard to describe all of computer science units as a whole, since they can be very different (e.g. studying algorithm design/analysis vs programming languages). However, generally, you go to your lectures where the lecturer goes over theoretical and practical concepts, and each week you have a problem set you have to work through during your tutorial classes. Various take-home assignments take place during the semester, in which you are given a practical problem, design and describe your solution, program it and pass given test cases, and analysis your solution.

I took a senior algorithm design course last semester. Typically in a lecture, the lecturer would describe a practical scenario which motivates a (often mathematical) problem, which leads into design paradigms which produce algorithms which solve the problem.

4) Supposedly I do choose computer science, which universities offer the best computer sciences courses after UNSW and USYD? I don't think I will make the ATAR cutoffs for both especially coming from a mid 300s ranked school, so I want to consider other universities as well, like maybe UTS or Macquarie.
Off the top of my head, I think UTS is a decent university to go to for computer science. I know someone personally who started off in UNSW comp sci, then transferred to Macquarie comp sci, but this is unusual.

However, I would still love to learn a bit of programming during university, which I'm thinking of learning through maybe subjects involving programming or even minors? I considered learning programming in my own time as well but I'm not sure if I would even have enough time for that. How would one go about learning programming without taking an entire degree on computer science/IT/software? Still need to do quite a bit of research, but my first preference will be UNSW since I figured there's really no harm in trying out.
If you have electives, spending them on comp sci is a very good idea, especially since you're studying maths/stats. This should lead you into studying programming/comp sci on your own. Moreover, if you can do a minor in comp sci alongside your other majors, then I would definitely recommend it.

Studying programming on your own from scratch is also very doable. I think you have some programming experience, so that's a good start. There are plenty of websites to learn coding, and youtube videos which can go into more abstract topics in comp sci (e.g. algorithm design paradigms). Moreover, it's very easy to google computer science course notes of various univerities online, or even entire textbooks. But this is subject to your time constraints.

In case I still don't make the cut-offs to UNSW or USYD, how are UTS and Macquarie in terms of their math facilities?
Macquarie is a leading university for actuarial studies, which should mean that it has a decent applied mathematics/statistics faculty. The type of mathematics taught to actuarial students are similar and often coincide with financial mathematics, so I'm sure they teach it decently.

I hope this helps, and good luck!
 

sida1049

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2013
Messages
840
Gender
Male
HSC
2015
While I will agree UNSW is a G08 uni which has good academics in Math/STEM, it still has its share of reallly bad lecturers. For math I've had 2 really shit lecturers and 2 reaally amazing ones, and the shit ones aren't shit because they don't know their stuff, rather because they can't teach it properly. What I'm saying is no matter if you choose USYD/UNSW or Macquarie/UTS each will have their share of crap lecturers, even though USYD/UNSW probably on average has better ones.
27025
extremely convenient that BoS places the report button right next to the scene of crime
 

Drongoski

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
3,790
Gender
Male
HSC
N/A
I have not read the various posts above.

But a newly emerging field for those who are strong in maths/statistics/IT? is Data Science (or whatever other names they may use) - people in such fields are very well paid. In my days what can you do if you majored in Maths? You can teach maths in schools or teach maths in universities, if your maths is good enough.
 

TeheeCat

Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2017
Messages
48
Gender
Female
HSC
2019
The degree at Macquarie is the Bachelor of Arts/Commerce with an ability to major in statistics, applied mathematics, data science or pure mathematics as well as your commerce majors.
Hmm, I always assumed it was under Bachelor of Commerce/Bachelor of Science like the other universities, and even selected that as one of my preferences. Would it make a difference in which faculty I study under?

I'm very late to the party, but I'll contribute a little. I study B. Science (Adv Maths) at USYD, majoring in mathematics and statistics, minoring in IT/comp sci. (I also used to study economics, but nevermind that.)



This is not much of an issue as first year maths courses runs through whatever you need in 4U. But if you have the time after HSC, I recommend reading up on 4U complex numbers and integration on your own.



With commerce and maths, the obvious route is going into quantative finance or data analysis for financial institutions, both of which are very popular along my friends who only study (pure/applied) maths (without commerce). People who only major in statistics often go for the latter. Consulting is also a path for mathematicians and statisticians.

For computer science, the above route is also possible, as trading companies have technical teams dedicated to software (in constrast to maths majors who usually join as traders). Software engineering, technical support and data management for big companies is also very viable.


There is significant overlap between software engineering and computer science, e.g. in both disciplines you're expected to learn how to code in various languages, abstract data structures, algorithm design and analysis, et cetera. However, half of software engineering is dedicated to studying project management and design paradigms, while computer science courses will focus more on the abstract and mathematical theories (e.g. turing machines, programming language theory, et cetera).

For this reason, if you enjoy maths and engaging in abstract ideas, you should go for computer science and not software engineering. I have many friends who transferred from software engineering to computer science (under B. Sci), but I don't personally know anyone who go the other way around.


It's hard to describe all of computer science units as a whole, since they can be very different (e.g. studying algorithm design/analysis vs programming languages). However, generally, you go to your lectures where the lecturer goes over theoretical and practical concepts, and each week you have a problem set you have to work through during your tutorial classes. Various take-home assignments take place during the semester, in which you are given a practical problem, design and describe your solution, program it and pass given test cases, and analysis your solution.

I took a senior algorithm design course last semester. Typically in a lecture, the lecturer would describe a practical scenario which motivates a (often mathematical) problem, which leads into design paradigms which produce algorithms which solve the problem.



Off the top of my head, I think UTS is a decent university to go to for computer science. I know someone personally who started off in UNSW comp sci, then transferred to Macquarie comp sci, but this is unusual.



If you have electives, spending them on comp sci is a very good idea, especially since you're studying maths/stats. This should lead you into studying programming/comp sci on your own. Moreover, if you can do a minor in comp sci alongside your other majors, then I would definitely recommend it.

Studying programming on your own from scratch is also very doable. I think you have some programming experience, so that's a good start. There are plenty of websites to learn coding, and youtube videos which can go into more abstract topics in comp sci (e.g. algorithm design paradigms). Moreover, it's very easy to google computer science course notes of various univerities online, or even entire textbooks. But this is subject to your time constraints.



Macquarie is a leading university for actuarial studies, which should mean that it has a decent applied mathematics/statistics faculty. The type of mathematics taught to actuarial students are similar and often coincide with financial mathematics, so I'm sure they teach it decently.

I hope this helps, and good luck!
Hey thank you so much for the detailed advice, it's been very helpful! As long as I can change my UAC preferences, I'm always open to hear more insights.

You studied economics but dropped it, correct? May I ask why and what was it like before you dropped? How similar/different is it to HSC economies if you took it? I was considering majoring in economics or finance within my Commerce degree (of course, too early to tell but I already don't see myself studying marketing/administration/HR, leaving me with the more quantitative majors).

I have not read the various posts above.

But a newly emerging field for those who are strong in maths/statistics/IT? is Data Science (or whatever other names they may use) - people in such fields are very well paid. In my days what can you do if you majored in Maths? You can teach maths in schools or teach maths in universities, if your maths is good enough.
Data science is indeed the field that appeals to me so far, though I'm concerned if undergraduate degrees is enough as I heard Data Scientists usually hold Master's Degrees.... bit too early for me to think about though but just a drawback I've considered so far.

I would like to avoid teaching though as much as I can, it doesn't really appeal to me.
 

Drongoski

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
3,790
Gender
Male
HSC
N/A
If Data Science appeals to you, and requires a Masters, then make sure you first do your Bachelor's in an appropriate field. I myself have no idea what is required to become a Data Scientist. But compared to 40 or more years ago, today's Masters are not so difficult, as most are Course-based, if I guess correctly.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top