Social Science

Social Science

What to get out of the course

The purpose of Social Science courses is to develop an understanding of human society. This subject is obviously broad in scope but there are generally five approaches: Economic, History, Geography, Politics, and Psychology. Each have their own merits and are worth considering.

How it is applied

Social Science is meant to help you in the workforce and in Academia by giving you specific types of insight to better complete jobs. Economics and Politics will help you to be able to not only budget a project but how to make your pitch to potential investors. History and Geography can help you to learn how to work internationally by giving you information about different cultures traits, strengths and capabilities. Psychology can help you learn how to work better with others.

What are the requirements

Most STEM degrees require you to take two Social Science courses. These do not have to be the same subject and do not have to be in sequence (a 101 followed by a 102 of the same title). You may mix and match between any of the five approaches: Economic, History, Geography, Politics, and Psychology. If you are taking them from a Community College ensure that the course meets the transfer agreement of whichever University you may transfer to.

What are the course options

For STEM the courses you choose for your Social Sciences do not really matter. As long as they meet the requirements for your degree they are all equally fine and provide only minimal benefit to your STEM courses. However, for personal benefit, practical knowledge and to satisfy your curiosity you should take some time in considering which to choose. 

Economics: Probably the most beneficial Social Science course are the Economics courses. For STEM they teach things that are often far removed from our minds until too late: How what we are doing, building, or experimenting on fits into the world at large? Is it a good, a service or something else?

Politics: Politics for those in STEM comes down to the matter of funding. You should strive to ensure that you can pitch your project to whomever you are trying to receive funding. If you are trying to gain funding for Green or Renewable Energy you may be more likely to be awarded funding by promoting your project as “Beneficial in combating Climate Change.” or “Beneficial for becoming Energy Independent.” depending on the group you are trying to gain funding from.

Psychology: Psychology 

Intro to Programming

Intro to Programming

What to get out of the course

You should gain an understanding of how programming languages work. This means an introduction to “syntax”, “for loops”, 
“while loops”, as well as the ability to “troubleshoot” problems. The main thing to remember when taking this course is to pick a language and stick with it. The theory behind all programming languages is essentially the same. Once you know one programming language using another is just getting used to the syntax.

How it is applied

This course is quickly becoming the cornerstone of education for STEM workforce development. In essentially all instances people employed in a STEM field will be required to have some level of programming experience and knowledge. This is true whether they are in employed as an Academic or in the Public and Private sectors. 

What are the requirements

At this point all STEM degrees require the student to take an Intro to Programming course or courses. Depending on the school the student will need to take either one or two courses in sequence involving one Programming Language. At the Community College Level the student will likely need to take Two courses in sequence so that the course will be able to transfer to a Four Year Institution. At the Four Year Institution the student will likely only need to take one course. 

What are the course options

Which course you take is not a major life decision. Later Courses and especially employers will require you to use different languages than the one you choose for this course. Remember: Once you know one programming language using another is just getting used to the syntax. However, some degrees are more likely to use one over another.

Most common Intro to Programming courses:

Phython:

C++:

Java:

Common Languages for later courses: MatLab, R, Mathematica, Fortran, and C.