Education recommendations and help
Thank you to all in advance for your time and help with this subject.
I entered college in 2004 as a chemical engineering student. During this time I took a single programming course, C++. After one year in engineering, I switched my major several times and eventually ended up in a Psych degree (primarily because I was out of scholarship money and assistance from my parents after 4 years). I currently have a solid full time job with the University I graduated from (working in admissions).
I have become very interested recently in making the move into the tech field. I have had a few interviews for jobs such as a Business Analyst with technology consulting firms, but am always turned down due to a lack of technical expertise. I loved my programming class and am currently making my way through these lessons to familiarize myself with the field once again.
My question is this. I have a bachelor's degree in Psychology from a Big 10 school. I don't want to go back to try and earn another bachelor's degree due to time and money constraints. I have been looking at our local community college, which offers some certificates in areas like Network Management and Java programming. Would these certificates be enough to get me into the field? Or will most companies only look at you with a 4 yeear degree specifically in CS?
I am glad to hear that you are interested in programming! As you
know, WE LIVE FOR IT!!!!! Off the top of my head I would say that you should
strive for exactly what you lack... experience. How do you get experience?
There are tons of ways. Before we became professionals we all did work on the
side, in many cases just for fun! Let's say you have a friend that has a
band... well make them a website. At work maybe you have some administrative
task that is redundant, try to think of a way to automate it and write code to
do it. When I was a poor college kid I worked in a health club. I used to write
software to speed up the closing process so that I could walk out minutes after
we closed instead of the average hour or so that others took.
Think of a cool Android app that you could use and write
it. These types of things will help you build your confidence and give you
valuable experience in problem solving. Small projects like this build up and
start projecting a small amount of practical experience. We also recommend
getting involved in open source projects. If you can show that you contributed
code to an OS project then you are instantly credible.
The thing is, no one will give you a chance if you have no
experience.. Period. Education is important, but software development is so
results driven that talent will most likely be chosen over a formally educated
candidate. We’re talking about a field where many of the more influential enterprisers
do not have higher education (Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, yada, yada).
Learn as much as you can from our website, because it is free.
Take advantage of what we are trying to do. We believe that software
development is the greatest field in the world. Nothing is better and only a
hand full of things are more important. Even the fields that are more important
still cannot function without software developers. WiBit.Net is intended to
honor the field of study that we love the most and we try to bring our joy to
others. After you go through our site then go out and get a few certifications.
Java would be great because it is a portable skill (like C and C++).
Keep the faith… Kick some ass!
Here is some information that you might find useful from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
I agree with Kevin that professional experience is a key to any position. Good luck!
Certifications are a great way to establish your competency in certain technologies, but I doubt if they will stand on their own in the job market unless you have some experience in the field. Can you consider an online degree? That way, you can earn your Bachelor’s in CS without impacting your job and other commitments. It may also turn out to be cheaper as you’ll save the cost of fuel, parking, books and supplies, etc. Think about it and if it makes sense, then check out the Computer Science degree at Stevens-Henager College. The degree is offered with a programming emphasis and delivered fully online.
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This blog is a reminder that cheating in software development can get you into big trouble. Sometimes developers get really really lazy, OR are pressured to write something using overly simplified data structures. Almost every time this happens you are bitten in the butt! Sometimes the problems show up immediately and other times it may take months or years (especially in integrated systems).
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