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Frequently Asked Questions

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What are the average salaries for a Bachelor of Science in this program?

Because of the academic rigor of our degrees and the high demand for technical graduates, our majors have some of the highest starting salaries of all BS graduates. The average starting salaries at the BS level for graduates from our programs is between $40,000 and $60,000 depending on the major. For students acquiring advanced degrees salaries are even higher. Furthermore, there is a shortage of mathematically skilled workers including engineers, computer scientists, etc. in the U.S. Our geographical location near the DFW Metroplex with extensive telecommunication and aerospace industries as well as being the second largest semiconductor producing area in the U.S. provides excellent summer internship opportunities for good students with our industrial partners.

The links below provide statistics on potential earnings in some jobs that our majors are often employed in. It should be noted that job titles in industry do not necessarily imply a degree of the same name. For instance most Math and Physics graduates at the BS level are employed positions that require their backgrounds in math or physics but have a title other than Math or Physics including engineer, systems analyst, actuary, etc.

Salary Earnings

Major Website
Highest Paying Jobs in U.S. U.S. Department of Labor Statistics
Radiation (Medical) Physicist's Salary Wizard™
Electrical Engineer's Salary Wizard™
Computer Engineering U.S. DoL - Occupational Outlook Handbook
Computer Software Engineer U.S. DoL - Occupational Outlook Handbook
Actuaries U.S. DoL - Occupational Outlook Handbook
PhD Physicists and Related Scientists American Institute of Physics
BS Physicists and Related Scientists American Institute of Physics
What is the difference between CS and CIS?

CIS (Computer Information Systems) involves the use of computer software for business applications including spreadsheet, databases, webpages, maintaining computer networks, etc. These individuals are often involved in maintaining a companies computers and servers, setting up accounts and inventories, and other IT functions using software developed by CS graduates.

CS (Computer Science) involves the development of computer software, algorithms, and new computational techniques. These can include developing computer languages, operating systems, embedded systems (programming software that is installed inside a machine), developing artificial intelligence methods and robotics, data encryption techniques, etc. While CS students can work as database managers and IT people, they also can do many other jobs and often are the developers of the tools used by CIS students. Because of the greater range and complexity of tasks, CS programs have higher math and physics requirements than CIS majors and have higher potential earnings.

What is the difference between Engineering and Engineering Technology Degrees?
Engineering is the application of mathematics and science principles to the design and implementation of systems and devices. An engineering program is designed to prepare students who want to work at the BS level in industry designing systems that meet specific job requirements with only a few students going on to graduate work. Mathematics requirements is similar to physics with course work through at least Differential Equations. Engineers don't usually design the first device or system (This is usually done by a physicist), but engineers usually make them cost effective and add additional features. Engineers have developed cheaper versions of lasers with unique features for specific problems like DVD recorders. Many engineers eventually end up in some form of management position in companies in the later stages of their careers.

Engineering Technology is concerned with manufacturing an item. Individuals with this degree will take designs provided by the engineers and figure out how to mass produce these items using available manufacturing tools while reducing costs. The math requirements for Engineering Technology is usually less than engineering (Calculus) with only one or two courses of Calculus based Physics.

Will engineering technology courses count for engineering degrees?
While engineering courses will usually count toward an engineering technology degree, most engineering technology and related degree courses will not count for credit for an engineering degree. In addition, most math and science classes taken for engineering technology degrees also don't count for credit in an engineering degree.
Will CIS classes count for a CS degree?
Most CIS classes will not directly substitute toward a CS degree although in some cases two or more CIS classes may cover the same material as one CS class and be substituted. Generally CS classes will count toward a CIS degree. 
Should I just take core classes if I am not sure about my major?

Absolutely NO!!!

Unlike English, Business, and non-technical degrees, technical majors like engineering are sequential by nature. You will have at least four years of course work from the time you start taking engineering, computer science, physics, and math courses. If you take two years of general core classes before you start taking engineering then you will still have four more years of college!!! You need to see an advisor in our department before you sign up for your first semester of classes so we can help you graduate on time.

What if I start out in this department and change my major?

All technical majors have a common core of math and physics courses for at least the first year. Thus you can switch between them with no lost course work. For most engineering fields and physics, transfers between majors can be made up to the junior year with little or no lost work. Furthermore, technical majors require more advanced math and science core classes than no-technical majors so the courses taken can be used for majors like Business, Agriculture, etc. Specialty courses which are not part of the core can be used as electives in non-technical majors so again no course work is lost. 

If you start out doing a non-technical major then many courses like College Algebra, etc will not count if you change into a technical degree like engineering as these courses are considered high school preparatory work.

What should I take in High School?
The majors in this department all require a strong background in math and physics. Thus, a student should try to take as much math and physics as possible. A background of PreCalculus and an AP-B Physics course is assumed as the first math course for graduation credit is calculus I and the first physics course for graduation credit is Calculus based Physics.  If your high school doesn't offer these courses then you may need to do some leveling work prior to beginning coursework in your major. In order to minimize your time in school, it is highly recommended that you come to Tarleton in the summer prior to the fall of your freshman year so that you can start your leveling course work.