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Old 01-05-2015, 01:57 AM
 
Location: Lincoln, NE
84 posts, read 113,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DelcoreXD View Post
I just don't want to land myself in loads of college debt that could potentially take me years to pay off with no real payout.
You could always try going for a computer science related associates degree from a local community college. Those are still pretty cheap, by today's overpriced higher education standards. And then live at home with your parents while you're doing the coursework. That will save you a ton of money.
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:04 AM
 
24,503 posts, read 35,979,772 times
Reputation: 12852
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincoln Nebraska Native View Post
You could always try going for a computer science related associates degree from a local community college. Those are still pretty cheap, by today's overpriced higher education standards. And then live at home with your parents while you're doing the coursework. That will save you a ton of money.
Higher education is hardly overpriced when compared to the historical norms of tuition. OP, whether a community college is a good idea depends on your long term goals. For most looking to obtain a traditional college degree, it's best to go straight to a traditional 4-year college.
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:06 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
4,244 posts, read 12,770,606 times
Reputation: 3801
Quote:
Originally Posted by DelcoreXD View Post
So, let's just say that I myself am very strange with my passions. From a very young age, I've loved computers and have mashed away (like many) at gaming, mods, and have basic knowledge about computer repairs. In addition, I've also taken quite an interest to history, psychology, and space science. Now that I'm older and in highschool, I'd like to perhaps take a major in computer science and perhaps someday move to somewhere where lots of jobs are available for the line of work. Some places I've heard are areas (In America) like LA, NY, CH, and other major urban cities. The only problem is, I can barely get away with an A in math in standard Algebra classes. Unfortunately, me and math never have really seen eye to eye with one another and my SAT/ACT scores don't shine too brightly in that area either.

As far as my interests are concerned, I'd probably want to get into programming, web design, or game design. On one hand, I'm rather upset because computers have always been my hobby and the fact how I've been told that if I can't manage to overcome my math obstacles I could likely fail. If anyone out here has been in the same boat or has advice in this subject, I would highly appreciate any information that could help. I just don't want to land myself in loads of college debt that could potentially take me years to pay off with no real payout. Yes, the simple answer could be to get better at math or try something else but, I'd like the best way for me to succeed and follow my goals at the same time.
Although you're getting some good advice here, try posting your question/dilemma on the Colleges and Universities forum, too. http://www.city-data.com/forum/colleges-universities/ Someone there may be having the same issue dealing with math and loving computers, and may have some additional advice.
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:45 AM
 
Location: Wandering.
3,545 posts, read 5,682,491 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPolo View Post
One needs a college degree.
To be a programer?

For the vast majority of development jobs out there, absolutely not.

There's an overwhelming amount of free and paid information available to help you master every aspect of software development on the web.

If you are the type of person that has a desire to learn (you'd better be if you want to be a developer), then there's no need to go to college to learn to write software.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:42 AM
 
24,503 posts, read 35,979,772 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunk Workz View Post
To be a programer?

For the vast majority of development jobs out there, absolutely not.

There's an overwhelming amount of free and paid information available to help you master every aspect of software development on the web.

If you are the type of person that has a desire to learn (you'd better be if you want to be a developer), then there's no need to go to college to learn to write software.
I wonder if she is confusing being a programmer with being a computer scientist. To be a computer scientist, you almost always need an advanced degree.
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Old 01-07-2015, 07:10 PM
 
Location: NNJ
10,262 posts, read 5,714,961 times
Reputation: 11233
Quote:
Originally Posted by DelcoreXD View Post
So, let's just say that I myself am very strange with my passions. From a very young age, I've loved computers and have mashed away (like many) at gaming, mods, and have basic knowledge about computer repairs.
Related to IT. Much of the people I know in IT rely heavily on certifications and many don't have a college degree. I find that IT has a fairly quick to get into (low level desktop support) and provides lots of opportunity to move laterally (certifications in network, system administration, storage) as well as upwards (management experience and study). My previous company had a Director of IT who was responsible for anything infrastructure related... network, application, desktop, storage, development infrastructure and data protection/recovery. Not all companies do in-house development but almost all of them today have IT infrastructure. So the job market may be more favorable in your immediate area without the necessity to move into a more technology center job market.

Furthermore, many of those people I know in IT are using it as a jump start for other opportunities. Some were working towards a degree in Computer Sciences. Others in management and business. A few even continued on to masters studies.

One thing is for sure... these people have real work experience and a paycheck to support their aspirations. The work experience will help refine your career plans and future direction quite a bit more than your original post. Your original post is fairly broad and unspecific. Yes... college debt is WAY overrated! Don't waste time and money floundering around in college... have a clear plan to execute.

Now after you've worked a while in IT, you may decide the math requirement in a CS study just doesn't sound interesting enough to invest time and money. That's absolutely ok because you still spent your time working and building experience. I know IT specialists earning more than some developers. Heck... nothing is stopping you from building programming skills on the side or applicable in work.... while IT infrastructure may be the focus... I'm sure there will be more programming related tasks that can deliver value to your organization AND prove an interesting personal challenge.

I learned about this the other way around. I studied and graduated with CS degree but shortly lost my job after graduation. I ended up using my experience manning the computer help desk and HPUX administration to land a job in an IT related role.... lower level... disaster recovery related.. night shift. It was far better than unemployment. I think I was the only one with a CS degree and development experience which I used to create tools to help streamline our process (earned a lot respect and raises with my manager). I was also the only one without a certification... so I had to work on some of those too. That's ok... I built up my knowledge of the business domain and worked my way back into development through a series of position changes from phone support, QA, sales engineering, and finally into development. Without first "falling into" a more IT related role, I wouldn't have built up domain specific knowledge which was instrumental for my return to a development position.

Yes... everyone in my immediate development team has a Phd or Masters in C.S. Ironically, I am now the only one with a Bachelors.

Incidentally, my alma-matter offered C.S as a "minor/major" of sorts. You needed to complete another study in conjunction. So some had a CS major with a minor in Business. This made it easier for students to "tailor" their program according to their interests while maintaining the technical background of a study in CS. To be accurate, I have a Computer Engineering degree which is essentially a Major in CS with a minor in EE. I mention this because you mentioned an interest in other things including history and psychology. Perhaps there is something applicable to both CS and one of those interests. Maybe a study that can direct you towards educational software, human computer interaction... etc.

As for gaming development/design.. fairly hard to get started (not a wide market), very competitive, and requires an understanding of lots of disciplines. One of my previous startups had a small gaming and imaging devision they used for pure revenue (contracted to Vicarious Visions). Those are some of the most talented people I have ever met in the software industry. Highly technical... with a great grasp of all things visual. I wouldn't want to dissuade that pursuit but have a backup plan.

Last edited by usayit; 01-07-2015 at 07:43 PM..
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Poway
1,323 posts, read 2,256,051 times
Reputation: 766
I'm not great at math. It took me twice to get through each Calc I and Calc II. I have a MS in CS and do computer science for work. Most of my day-to-day tasks involve very little or no math.

Except for the esoteric CS-specific math that is part of the regular CS curriculum, you won't be required to do more math.

However, if you are planning to code signal processors or do other math-specific tasks, then yes you will need to be proficient at math. Those are niche areas of CS.
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:51 PM
 
24,503 posts, read 35,979,772 times
Reputation: 12852
Quote:
Originally Posted by futbol View Post
I'm not great at math. It took me twice to get through each Calc I and Calc II. I have a MS in CS and do computer science for work. Most of my day-to-day tasks involve very little or no math.

Except for the esoteric CS-specific math that is part of the regular CS curriculum, you won't be required to do more math.

However, if you are planning to code signal processors or do other math-specific tasks, then yes you will need to be proficient at math. Those are niche areas of CS.
What do you do?
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Old 01-09-2015, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Poway
1,323 posts, read 2,256,051 times
Reputation: 766
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
What do you do?
Mostly embedded Linux, device drivers, etc. Although I've also done GUIs, Java projects, scripting, but like the embedded stuff the most. Close to the hardware.

I've worked with people who do DSPs, and had to debug things with them. They are the ones great with math.

At one company I worked with people who did D3D drivers (Windows 3D graphics). They had a list of interview questions that they would ask of people wanting to join their team. I swear I couldn't get a single one of those questions right (all linear algebra and physics). Didn't matter, though, because I was not on that team.
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