Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by VVVVV, Feb 6, 2014.
31 is way old.
I was in the exact same boat as you were. I am 30yrs old and just went to back to college last semester. Thought it would be difficult as I have had no schooling for about 10 yeats. The amazing thing is that focusing your mind n srudying in school was easier. Having a diffetent mind set as you are older is a big advantage. All though it was a lot of studying and time I dedicated towards school, I was able to pull off a 4.0 gpa last semester and another 4.0 gpa this semester. I am attending a community college and trying to get my associates in computer science. I just need a java course and 2 core courses. I will get my AS by the end of summer. If you go back to school I am 100% sure you can make it.
I've spent a lot of time as a single parent, too. I have a suggestion to help you start making some money while you're learning to program - take a side trip into web design, even if it's just learning wordpress or something similar, and start your own business serving the local community. A lot of businesses in small towns still do not have websites, so it can be a good niche market, even if it isn't that glamorous. In addition to putting food on the table, it will also help you start building experience for your resume, so if you graduate with an associates degree in two years, you'll be applying for jobs with the degree and two years experience. But, you might find that in two years that your business is doing so well that you don't need to apply for a job. I have had a few home-based businesses while raising my kids and have really enjoyed the freedom and flexibility.
There is a shortage of "talent" but not of programmers. The IT industry always needs new blood with talent in new areas (e.g. social media, mobile apps, etc).
The myth is that there is a need of CS graduates, there are tons of IT graduates in the US working at Walmart or non IT related jobs. The problem is that the IT industry is so demanding in terms of skills that getting a degree in CS, EE or IT is not enough.
India has more probabilities just by population of having computer geniuses, the Industry is so competitive that you rather go and hire a talent from India than training local people that might not have what it takes to make it.
It is just the nature of the Industry, most people in this Industry don't even have a CS degree. Skills are normally earned through long hours of writing programs and reading or watching programming videos.
To the OP, there is no need to get an IT or CS degree for this industry, just train yourself and get a certification (Microsoft, Sun, etc). A four year degree is still required but it can be in any field. I would recommend Math as this is perhaps more useful than a CS degree that puts emphasis in useless topics (e.g. computer architecture) that are not going to help to develop a programmer career. A math degree can be useful if you want to go into better paid programming careers such as statistics programmer or financial quantitative programmer.
31 is still young, you can become a programmer if you want at this age. However, I would say that a 40 something is not going to have an easy time to become a programmer unless he or she comes from a quantitative background. The older you get, the more difficult to learn new things. At 30 you can still llearn new things but after 40 things do not come as easy.
There is no age restriction in the field of Information Technology. You can complete your degree and join any IT field. Being a professional Web Developer can boost up your career opportunities.
Your academic credentials will never speak as powerfully as your experience. If you want to learn how to code, learn how to code. If you want a good foundation in theory, go to college and get a CS degree. Computer Science is not the same as development.
That being said, your age doesn't mean anything. Start reading, start writing a blog about what you learn (it's the best way to learn, btw), and start working with projects on GitHub (or making your own!).
There is no academic barrier to programming unless you want to teach it.
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