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Old 06-17-2019, 06:44 PM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,373 posts, read 5,999,108 times
Reputation: 3557

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I'm trying to reinvent myself. I figured I'd get a degree in something that sort of has to do with computers but nothing where I'll just be programming all of the time. So I came across a technology management degree I'm pursuing after leaving cybersecurity because I couldn't handle the math. I have the usual issues, an aversion to math, an interest in programming but I only get so far because the concepts seem rather similar to those in mathematics, and the other ideas formed back from when I was a computer science major back in the nineties. Mainly that database was easier than what I was doing and I should have done the computer/business thing a long time ago. I will have to deal with accounting and I have no idea how easy or difficult that will be in comparison to calculus, which I was struggling to get my head around. People try to show you how to do it online but without being an expert at algebra there is no point of reference to really work with. YouTube videos and stuff like Khan Academy only go so far. I'm also old, so I could be completely wasting my time, because of ageism, or I should figure out how to make the best of television, behind the scenes, which is fun but doesn't pay anything.

Am I shooting aimlessly or am I in complete denial of what I am getting myself into? Descriptions of what this job is do not go far enough. Maybe I should stick with being a computer operator, or a data technician, or something that appeals to my short attention span.
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Old 06-19-2019, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Pittsford, NY
520 posts, read 625,075 times
Reputation: 578
I personally don't think math alone is indicative of things in technology. I did well, and also not well, in some of the pure math classes. Calculus III was tough for me. But when I took Fields and Waves II, I understood application of spherical and cylindrical coordinates better than in Calculus III. So sometimes you learn what you need inside an applied field, if at all interested I guess.

I have not been impressed with anything labeled technology management. I will be honest, anyone I meet who took anything like that was not the best to work with. Maybe it was where they went, so perhaps if you went to MIT you might be better than ones I worked with, but not sure....

Are you saying you want to get out of computers? I did lots of things with computers, some I wish were still in USA but mostly the real engineering hardware stuff is gone or they only hire people right out of engineering school before letting them go in a few years as they move the position overseas (watched that for 20 years). So what is left to me comes across a bit like stale bread, all the IT stuff, databases, and security. But some like those things. I don't think being a basic computer operator would be a solution for you as you mention, perhaps another field entirely? What other things would interest you?
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:36 AM
 
Location: NYC
12,913 posts, read 8,740,088 times
Reputation: 14169
Funny thing is, I don't know any CIO, Tech Director or SVP with a Computer Science or engineering degree. If you search up Linkedin you'll find that many of them have business, communications, economics, English degrees. That's the ironic part is that majority of businesses don't see technology degrees as a pre-reg for a manager of technology.

The current CEO of Intel has only business degree and he was the CFO. That's why Intel is not pushing hard on tech, they've been passed on by many tech companies. The only reason they are leading because of their business and marketing strategies have cornered the market.
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Old 06-19-2019, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,373 posts, read 5,999,108 times
Reputation: 3557
Quote:
Originally Posted by TestEngr View Post
I personally don't think math alone is indicative of things in technology. I did well, and also not well, in some of the pure math classes. Calculus III was tough for me. But when I took Fields and Waves II, I understood application of spherical and cylindrical coordinates better than in Calculus III. So sometimes you learn what you need inside an applied field, if at all interested I guess.

I have not been impressed with anything labeled technology management. I will be honest, anyone I meet who took anything like that was not the best to work with. Maybe it was where they went, so perhaps if you went to MIT you might be better than ones I worked with, but not sure....

Are you saying you want to get out of computers? I did lots of things with computers, some I wish were still in USA but mostly the real engineering hardware stuff is gone or they only hire people right out of engineering school before letting them go in a few years as they move the position overseas (watched that for 20 years). So what is left to me comes across a bit like stale bread, all the IT stuff, databases, and security. But some like those things. I don't think being a basic computer operator would be a solution for you as you mention, perhaps another field entirely? What other things would interest you?
I don't think I was ever in computers. I'm in television, behind the scenes. But getting ahead seems rather social here. And engineering, how it plays out here, is an odd mix of mechanical and IT. I don't want to be 50 on my back working with CAT 5.

I dropped out, did data entry, was a data technician, call center, etc. What I'm doing now you may as well say that I'm a computer operator as that is the best way to describe it. But as you say jobs on this level are deemed basic.

So from the comments I'm getting this is obviously nothing to do with computers but more of a business thing. That might not be a bad thing.
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:41 PM
 
Location: NYC
2,803 posts, read 3,040,546 times
Reputation: 4789
To be honest, if you have the right connections, you don't need ANY skills. I'm on a team of 5 engineers but only 4 of us have technical backgrounds. The fifth guy has been with the company for over fifteen years and came by referral. His old team was being eliminated and some higher up felt bad and asked my manager to hire him. He is well versed in corporate speak and it usually takes a good 20 minutes before you realize he doesn't know what he is talking about on a meeting unless you know him already. My company is big enough that a person like this can disappear and retire without too much trouble.
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Old 06-19-2019, 02:19 PM
 
1,547 posts, read 401,033 times
Reputation: 2896
Quote:
Originally Posted by goofy328 View Post
I'm trying to reinvent myself. I figured I'd get a degree in something that sort of has to do with computers but nothing where I'll just be programming all of the time. So I came across a technology management degree I'm pursuing after leaving cybersecurity because I couldn't handle the math. I have the usual issues, an aversion to math, an interest in programming but I only get so far because the concepts seem rather similar to those in mathematics, and the other ideas formed back from when I was a computer science major back in the nineties. Mainly that database was easier than what I was doing and I should have done the computer/business thing a long time ago. I will have to deal with accounting and I have no idea how easy or difficult that will be in comparison to calculus, which I was struggling to get my head around. People try to show you how to do it online but without being an expert at algebra there is no point of reference to really work with. YouTube videos and stuff like Khan Academy only go so far. I'm also old, so I could be completely wasting my time, because of ageism, or I should figure out how to make the best of television, behind the scenes, which is fun but doesn't pay anything.

Am I shooting aimlessly or am I in complete denial of what I am getting myself into? Descriptions of what this job is do not go far enough. Maybe I should stick with being a computer operator, or a data technician, or something that appeals to my short attention span.
I have a long work history in software and IT and I don't recall having to use higher level math more than simple Algebra. In 2019, the vast majority of anything complex in math is a part of a software library or vendor provided. Colleges still hang on to making a math requirement because computer science was born in the math departments. So this has more to do with that in academia than it does with it actually being useful. I've met people who argue the higher level math requirement is useful for computer science people, but that's because they make assumptions about the actual jobs out there and they never worked in the field. So I don't believe you are going to be faced with having to deal with higher level math if you pursue software as a career.

You need to find what you are going to enjoy doing 40 hours a week to be happy. If you aren't sure, see if you can get invited into the office or have lunch with people doing what you are interested in exploring and ask them questions about their work.
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Old 06-20-2019, 05:11 AM
 
Location: Pittsford, NY
520 posts, read 625,075 times
Reputation: 578
Maybe find ways to look into other industries. Local industrial and manufacturing groups often have talks that are very informative. Meetup groups of course. If you have one in your area One Million Cups is a great way to talk to people in all kinds of industry/business and drink a cup of coffee:

https://www.1millioncups.com/
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:45 AM
 
Location: HoCo, MD
4,343 posts, read 7,987,569 times
Reputation: 4756
Quote:
Originally Posted by goofy328 View Post
I'm trying to reinvent myself. I figured I'd get a degree in something that sort of has to do with computers but nothing where I'll just be programming all of the time. So I came across a technology management degree I'm pursuing after leaving cybersecurity because I couldn't handle the math. I have the usual issues, an aversion to math, an interest in programming but I only get so far because the concepts seem rather similar to those in mathematics, and the other ideas formed back from when I was a computer science major back in the nineties. Mainly that database was easier than what I was doing and I should have done the computer/business thing a long time ago. I will have to deal with accounting and I have no idea how easy or difficult that will be in comparison to calculus, which I was struggling to get my head around. People try to show you how to do it online but without being an expert at algebra there is no point of reference to really work with. YouTube videos and stuff like Khan Academy only go so far. I'm also old, so I could be completely wasting my time, because of ageism, or I should figure out how to make the best of television, behind the scenes, which is fun but doesn't pay anything.

Am I shooting aimlessly or am I in complete denial of what I am getting myself into? Descriptions of what this job is do not go far enough. Maybe I should stick with being a computer operator, or a data technician, or something that appeals to my short attention span.
The bolded is sort of a red flag to me. That's a lot of effort (time and money) for something that may or may not help in the long run. I think more planning needs to go into this as this is your career. I'm a huge advocate for continued education - but there should be a specific goal for it.

Been in InfoSec for almost 20 years and in various roles (cyber, architect, compliance, risk, management, etc.). No math outside of basic arithmetic is really needed. Of course, getting a degree is a different story - lots of theory, etc. Things that can help, but aren't exactly practical on a daily basis.

I think it really comes down to - what do you want to do? Stay in operations? Become an architect/engineer? Management? I will say this - as you move up the "rank", it's more about your soft skills (people management, leadership, politics, etc.). You no longer can do the task yourself (you either don't have the time or don't have the skills) - so you have lead and rely on your staff to produce the results that work for the organization. But of course, you are still accountable/responsible for the results (or lack thereof).
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:53 AM
 
Location: Norfolk, VA
6,373 posts, read 5,999,108 times
Reputation: 3557
This is all good information. To give some background, I'm only looking at a year of college. I had already completed everything but the higher level mathematics when I went to school back in the nineties. There were actually fewer courses needed for completion of this degree than there was cybersecurity, which was my other option. The math for the cybersecurity degree was killing me, plus I was looking at two years or more to finish that degree.
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:28 PM
 
2,419 posts, read 689,094 times
Reputation: 3398
Do you have management experience?

If not, game over. You're not getting a tech manager job. You have to get around the catch-22 and a management degree won't count to get past that.
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