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#1 jc0481

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 05:06

Hello all! I'm 32 years old and will soon be attending my local community college. You know it was hard to pick the community college.There was other schools that attracted me. I am half an hour away from more expensive schools that tempt you with tv advertisements. I have Everest College, University of Phoenix, ITT Tech and Stevens Henager College half an hour away. I always get leery of those "accelerated" schools. I actually went to a few of them for a tour but did not get sucked in.

I don't have any experience. Well besides helping out family and friends with their computer problems. I just want to know is this still a good degree to get? When I do graduate will I be able to get a better paying job within six months? I do like computers a lot and have taken about 5 different personality tests and they all point me to a computer programmer type personality or a Mathematician. Also a Network Administrator. Funny thing is it also pointed me to being an Accountant or an Actuary. I think I'm too late to become an Actuary. I heard about the tests. Also I am not sure what to think about being an Accountant.

I do like anything tech related.
I keep up to date almost daily on tech news and family and friends have asked me for advice on what to buy and other things.

My goals are simple: Get a good stable job which would bring financial stability for my wife and my son. Pay off debtFinally get a house and a mortgage. Raise my son to the best of my ability and soon another child next year we hope.

Long story short most of my jobs on my resume are general labor jobs. Like warehouse and production work. I don't currently have any certifications. To tell you the truth. I'm still trying to figure out how to get out doing these crappy general labor jobs that don't pay that well and into a computer related field. Every time I look for a computer related job. All want degrees, experience or both. *sigh*


#2 Ravensky

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 05:20

My advice to you is to get your degree then pursue your Cisco certifications. There is a HUGE demand right now for Cisco trained engineers.

#3 Auditor

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 05:22

If you want honest advise and your goal is to make money rather than simply pursuing interest which you can still do as a hobby or part time then I advise you to not follow this route. The reason I tell you this is because I made the same mistake. Don't go for conventional degree program such as Computer Science or Accounting or any other related field at this age. North American economy is over saturated with these kind of jobs and it will be very hard for you to compete with fresh batch of young kids coming out of college and willing to work for less in the beginning since they don't have much overhead as compared to a person in your age group who might have family to feed. If you have to do anything then go and do trades such as welding, auto mechanic, or any trade related position. There is huge demand for these profession and the beauty will be you will have less time to get your certification and with apprenticeship program you will have the option to work and cover your expenses while you are completing your program.

If you go to traditional route such as an academic degree then it will be much harder to first find a job and then starting at lower level median salary and then many years of working your *** off to progress in your career. I strongly advice against going computer science since that is the first thing which is easily getting outsourced to cheaper countries. This is my personal experience and it may or may not apply to you but tread your water carefully as with progressing age the option to keep changing career becomes narrower and narrower. I am 35 yrs and have wife and son and got three different degrees just to give your some context of my post.

#4 haveblue128

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 05:32

Short V--No--period--end of story. If you want to write code or be relegated to a crummy job. CC is a step up from laborer but if you're on this site you've got a brain that is functioning--do more.

The US Govt supports U Phoenix and its student are eligible for loans. A good spot for online U.


The more training and certs you have --the more $ you make-faster advancement-better jobs that are something you can count on. Write code--get laid off when the project is done.

Look at it from a managers V- better job --more $ ---if you have 25 people-equal quals-same certs- but one has an BS--that person gets the gig.

Harsh but simple truth. You are a big kid like me. Gotta get serious about this--make it happen. Students youre age generally are far more focused -graduate faster than kids. FYI

More education--get an BS-plus certs=job stability - opportunities

CC--no--get a BS. That is a must. You may be able to get a job but you are the first guy tossed in a dim economy, Be higher up the food chain. At 32-you may be able pass by some classes--get credit for "life experience' --shorter path to a BS. CC is not whats going to help you.

Guaranteed crummy job--sure. Not something Id want for a life. Nor should you.

#5 Shiranui

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 05:35

Possibly. Do you speak Urdu?

#6 OP jc0481

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 05:57

If you want honest advise and your goal is to make money rather than simply pursuing interest which you can still do as a hobby or part time then I advise you to not follow this route. The reason I tell you this is because I made the same mistake. Don't go for conventional degree program such as Computer Science or Accounting or any other related field at this age. North American economy is over saturated with these kind of jobs and it will be very hard for you to compete with fresh batch of young kids coming out of college and willing to work for less in the beginning since they don't have much overhead as compared to a person in your age group who might have family to feed. If you have to do anything then go and do trades such as welding, auto mechanic, or any trade related position. There is huge demand for these profession and the beauty will be you will have less time to get your certification and with apprenticeship program you will have the option to work and cover your expenses while you are completing your program.

If you go to traditional route such as an academic degree then it will be much harder to first find a job and then starting at lower level median salary and then many years of working your *** off to progress in your career. I strongly advice against going computer science since that is the first thing which is easily getting outsourced to cheaper countries. This is my personal experience and it may or may not apply to you but tread your water carefully as with progressing age the option to keep changing career becomes narrower and narrower. I am 35 yrs and have wife and son and got three different degrees just to give your some context of my post.


@Auditor: I was curious with three different degrees what is your full time job? What are your degrees in?
I have thought about going to a trade. But I find no appeal in it. The car mechanic does interest me but working on my own car. Not other people's cars. I am not passionate about it. I don't want to be miserable and dread going to work. Life is too short for that. I want a profession I can do for a long time in life. Out of all the trades. I would prefer being a electrician. Not really sure how I would like it though.

I'm more of a desk person than working hard labor.

Short V--No--period--end of story. If you want to write code or be relegated to a crummy job. CC is a step up from laborer but if you're on this site you've got a brain that is functioning--do more.

The US Govt supports U Phoenix and its student are eligible for loans. A good spot for online U.


The more training and certs you have --the more $ you make-faster advancement-better jobs that are something you can count on. Write code--get laid off when the project is done.

Look at it from a managers V- better job --more $ ---if you have 25 people-equal quals-same certs- but one has an BS--that person gets the gig.

Harsh but simple truth. You are a big kid like me. Gotta get serious about this--make it happen. Students youre age generally are far more focused -graduate faster than kids. FYI

More education--get an BS-plus certs=job stability - opportunities

CC--no--get a BS. That is a must. You may be able to get a job but you are the first guy tossed in a dim economy, Be higher up the food chain. At 32-you may be able pass by some classes--get credit for "life experience' --shorter path to a BS. CC is not whats going to help you.

Guaranteed crummy job--sure. Not something Id want for a life. Nor should you.


I plan on continuing on my education after CC. I'm not stopping there.

#7 Auditor

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 19:38

To OP.. I have a degree in Engineering and then MS from South Korean university. I immigrated to Canada and the only option I had left was to either join university as a researcher since there is not much opportunity in science. I decided to do Accounting then and graduated from university by the time I was 31 years old. It was hard to get co-op position in accounting since there were so many young kids competing for the same position. Even the starting entry level wage was low which makes it hard to support a family. Now I am working in Accouting firm and planning to get accounting designation which is must if I want to move up in career. That is going to be issue with any professional career that simply having a degree is not good enough. You have to sepnd couple of more years to get some kind of professional designation which cost time and money and with a family to support, it becomes hard to manage. If I had to go back and choose a carreer then I would have definitely done a trade as I see more opportunity there and you make more than once you graduate.

#8 adrynalyne

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 19:46

Short V--No--period--end of story. If you want to write code or be relegated to a crummy job. CC is a step up from laborer but if you're on this site you've got a brain that is functioning--do more.

The US Govt supports U Phoenix and its student are eligible for loans. A good spot for online U.


The more training and certs you have --the more $ you make-faster advancement-better jobs that are something you can count on. Write code--get laid off when the project is done.

Look at it from a managers V- better job --more $ ---if you have 25 people-equal quals-same certs- but one has an BS--that person gets the gig.

Harsh but simple truth. You are a big kid like me. Gotta get serious about this--make it happen. Students youre age generally are far more focused -graduate faster than kids. FYI

More education--get an BS-plus certs=job stability - opportunities

CC--no--get a BS. That is a must. You may be able to get a job but you are the first guy tossed in a dim economy, Be higher up the food chain. At 32-you may be able pass by some classes--get credit for "life experience' --shorter path to a BS. CC is not whats going to help you.

Guaranteed crummy job--sure. Not something Id want for a life. Nor should you.


University of Phoenix is a diploma mill.

Better off with something like WGU.

http://www.wgu.edu/

#9 Draconian Guppy

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 19:47

you can if you have one word.


LUCK

#10 threetonesun

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 19:56

Can you program? Have you programmed anything up to this point? If the answer is no to both of these, then no, don't get a degree in Computer Science, or Computer Programming, or whatever they call it. If you're not already interested in it, getting a degree in it won't help. It's very much like writing, all you have to do is do it, and you can take classes to get better at it, but if you can't even get pen on a page (or characters on a screen), no one can help.

My advice: what kind of high-tech industries are in your area? Figure out what they need to get an entry level job there, be it computer systems (IT, not programming), a biology / chemistry background, a math degree, etc. Get a degree in that field, and take writing / communication classes on the side. If you can write, and effectively communicate ideas, you'll always have a job. If you can do it in a field that requires a STEM education, you'll have a well paying job.

#11 mduren2445

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 20:08

another thing to consider is where you are living or going to live after you graduate. Are the jobs you want there? Don't come to Maine because they are not here. you have to be connected to get an it job even entry level. Take a hard look at the future of the area your planning to live in because I would hate to see you invest in all this education and find out there is no place to use it. another thought is the certification(s) you get. If the area you choose to live in is over saturated with cisco certification then your chances of a job are going to be harder. Look at the local newspaper help wanted ads or Dice.com or your favorite it job website and get a sense of what they are hiring for in your area....good luck

#12 Andre S.

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 20:46

My experience is that companies are desperate to find talented new graduates who can program decently. If you're passionnate about computers and programming, then don't worry, you'll get a job long even before you finish your degree.

You just have to figure out if you have the mindset and the drive to program computers 8 hours a day; personally I find it exhilarating, others find it an intolerable chore. Have you ever written any scripts or programs by yourself, for fun or productivity? You don't need formal education to start dabbling in Python, C# or such and see if this is something you find fascinating or no.

Computer Science is not something you learn in 3 years at school, it evolves quickly and constantly and it's about learning new things and improving your craft day after day. The diploma is just a paper and a broad, superficial introduction to the topic. During my 4 years in Software Engineering I consider to have learned much more through reading books, blogs, writing personal projects and doing internships than what we saw in class, although the courses did help in providing some of the basics.

#13 Original Poster

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:36

Can you program? Have you programmed anything up to this point? If the answer is no to both of these, then no, don't get a degree in Computer Science, or Computer Programming, or whatever they call it. If you're not already interested in it, getting a degree in it won't help. It's very much like writing, all you have to do is do it, and you can take classes to get better at it, but if you can't even get pen on a page (or characters on a screen), no one can help. My advice: what kind of high-tech industries are in your area? Figure out what they need to get an entry level job there, be it computer systems (IT, not programming), a biology / chemistry background, a math degree, etc. Get a degree in that field, and take writing / communication classes on the side. If you can write, and effectively communicate ideas, you'll always have a job. If you can do it in a field that requires a STEM education, you'll have a well paying job.


agreed.... no one should do a computer science course unless they have previous experience.... I am on said course and have programmed PHP + MySQL for years and self teach java... you will not do well or even finish with an understanding, I dont show up to half my classes cause I do not need to, the only reason I go to some classes is to get a different perspective rather then learn something new and IF by chance i learn something new or have to do something I spend hours learning it by my self because I love computing... if you do not share this passion I beg you to find a different path.

I know so many people with no real experience with computer science and they are failing, half already dropped out last year this course has one of the highest drop out rates at my university. anyone who is still here and does not have experience normally just steals or begs for other peoples work.

BUT if you do share this passion then i BEG YOU go for it :) age is an issue I wont lie but its not a wall its just a bump.... (if you respond I can program websites I know html I will find you....[this is what people say to me when i tell them im a web dev])

#14 Praetor

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:46

If you want honest advise and your goal is to make money rather than simply pursuing interest which you can still do as a hobby or part time then I advise you to not follow this route. The reason I tell you this is because I made the same mistake. Don't go for conventional degree program such as Computer Science or Accounting or any other related field at this age. North American economy is over saturated with these kind of jobs and it will be very hard for you to compete with fresh batch of young kids coming out of college and willing to work for less in the beginning since they don't have much overhead as compared to a person in your age group who might have family to feed. If you have to do anything then go and do trades such as welding, auto mechanic, or any trade related position. There is huge demand for these profession and the beauty will be you will have less time to get your certification and with apprenticeship program you will have the option to work and cover your expenses while you are completing your program.

If you go to traditional route such as an academic degree then it will be much harder to first find a job and then starting at lower level median salary and then many years of working your *** off to progress in your career. I strongly advice against going computer science since that is the first thing which is easily getting outsourced to cheaper countries. This is my personal experience and it may or may not apply to you but tread your water carefully as with progressing age the option to keep changing career becomes narrower and narrower. I am 35 yrs and have wife and son and got three different degrees just to give your some context of my post.


couldn't said it better; my brother-in-law started a small chop shop enterprise, fixing cars and such and he's making more money than me (and i have allot more studies and formation than him); he didn't know jack about fixing cars before, just downloaded from the interwebs the service manuals from the clients cars he was fixing, hired a couple of good, cheap mechanics and he was off.

There's a demand for this labor intensive type of professions (plumber, electrician and such) that because they are very specific professions they get high paid than computer science ones. And with the added benefit of being more faster to receive bigger incomes in the first years.

#15 +Medfordite

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Posted 08 May 2013 - 02:52

I am pursuing my BS in information Assurance and Security right now and expect to grad in 2017. I know this area at least is going to be pretty competitive when I get out of there and have the paper in my hand. I work with someone who has a BS in Computer Science and he is pursuing his Health IT degree right now because this was not enough to make it worth while. I will be taking an Intro to Programming course in my University training so perhaps this will be the case when you get to your college as well. :)

I personally think something more than a general degree in Computers is going to be where you anyone who is pursuing this field will be needing to get anywhere anymore. Let's face it, today's high school students grew up with computers in their world from day one and are already probably more skilled than us 30 something's when it comes to them so we need an extra leg up so to speak to get far. The difference between us and them will be that we are wiser with age and therefore able to discern more based on life experience. This and sad to say but most of us are already more mature and less likely to cause immature issues with the company. Not saying that some kids aren't wise beyond their years though and more mature than some adults though.