April 18th, 2012, 06:52 PM
Bachelor's Degree Necessary for Career in Programming?
A little over a year ago I took a required course in MATLAB and have since developed a strong interest in programming for a living. Sadly, as a junior in aerospace engineering Iíve found it almost impossible to fit the essential CS classes into my schedule. So I figured I should just learn languages on my own time.
Iím sure employers probably prefer CS majors to a hobbyist like myself, but is there any way I can legitimize my skills in programming outside of a degree, such as certifications or community college? Could internships help?
(For a sense of where I stand, Iím currently teaching myself Python, and I also plan on eventually learning C++/C, Java, and Perl--maybe even some web development in HTML and CSS.)
Any input/advice is greatly appreciated!
April 19th, 2012, 02:53 PM
Employers differ a lot on this. I recently had a phone screening with a company that was a little wary of my degree because it's in Information Technologies, not Computer Science and while the first deals with the broad scope of IT and the latter focuses on analysis and programming and engineering, I don't think either has a bearing on what you know or are capable of. If you don't yet have a job or not one as a developer, definitely look into an internship, this will give you experience which is very valuable to employers. More and more companies are looking for what are called "junior" engineers and developers because these new hires aren't stuck in one mindset of how to do things and are malleable and able to stay dynamic in the field. You'll probably need a combination of things: certifications, courses, experience and most importantly you need to be able to interview well and prove you are capable of the job you are interviewing for.
If at all possible, create a portfolio for yourself, even a blog so that you can show potential employers what you can do, even if it's basic exercises and projects. I think the best thing you can do is practice, learn, and when you have a chance to interview, showcase what you can do.
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"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."
April 19th, 2012, 05:28 PM
Experience is usually more important than a degree yet most IT jobs do require a degree. That said, no one ever actually asked me to prove that my BS was not BS.
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ďToday you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.Ē - Dr. Seuss
April 20th, 2012, 12:10 PM
Glad to hear there are some clear plans of action I can take. And I hadn't thought of the blog/portfolio--I'd like to try that once I gain momentum in my programming journey. Thanks for all the helpful suggestions Jyncka!
April 20th, 2012, 12:27 PM
This made me smile Thanks for the input medialint!
Originally Posted by medialint