Want a job in computers.. with an associates?

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by Sonolin, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Sonolin

    Sonolin New Member

    Hello.. first of all, I want you to get a feel for my current living situation. I am 18, living with my fiance and her parents and am going to be moving out in the near future when I get a stable job. I am starting college at a junior college in the fall, and my degree is currently Administration of Justice. I was going to be a cop because it is decent pay for an associates degree, and I am probably going to get my security guard card in the fall and get a job as a full time security guard.

    Now, I'd love a job in computers as that is what I love to do. I know how to program fairly well - I'm currently programming a roguelike game in C++ using fully object orientated code, using the curses library but am going to convert to using SDL in the future when I get some graphics. I also know how to program web apps and work as a PHP freelancer when I get work (which is not too often).

    However, a bachelor's degree is quite a ways down the road not to mention I have no way to pay for it other than financial aid.

    So my question for you is it at all possible to work in the computer field with an associates in any of the following degrees:

    - Computer Applications
    - Computer Networking
    - Computer Software Development
    - Business Computer Information Sciences

    I was hoping to get some sort of job while I'm working for my bachelors in computer software development, so I can start a programming job (which I'm 100% confident I could do right this minute if they all didn't require bachelors degrees.. silly that most with a bachelors in CS can't even program, but I won't even have my app looked at).

    Any help at all would be appreciated. I'm fine with being a police officer and going into administration of justice, sounds like a nice job, its just that I'd rather go into computers.

    Thanks for your help.. It is very important to me that I'm able to get a job in my field ASAP as supporting 2 people off of a security guard salary is not going to be very easy.
  2. Chip

    Chip Administrator

    You may also want to post a similar message in the general distance learning discussions forum, because it gets more traffic. I'll let some of the IT professionals comment on your educational goals, but I'll make one suggestion: You may want to look at setting up a freelancer profile on odesk.com I have hired a number of programmers off of those sites, several of whom had no paper credentials, but had done a bunch of work on various projects. I recommend them in particular because they have a series of tests you can take which will rate your knowledge and skill in specific areas (PHP, C, MySQL, Javascript, etc) and if you do well on the tests, that will help to substitute for experience at the outset.

    If you set yourself at a low rate ($10-15/hour) to start, given your lack of experience, you should be able to attract some clients for some small projects. Bust ass and do an amazing job, get some positive feedback, and you can slowly raise your rates. At the same time, work on your community college degree (I'd personally advocate continuing on to a bachelors in CS) and between those two, you should have both paper credentials and some actual work experience by the time you finish your degree, which will help you to get a better job.
  3. BlueMason

    BlueMason Audaces fortuna juvat

    I believe it's quite possible to enter the field without formal education, just be prepared for low pay and tough times... Getting some Certs will likely help you out much faster than an Associate's degree ( A+, Network+, Security+, etc ) and will aid you while you're earning the Associate's.

    To address what you said earlier - you want to be a cop because it's decent pay.. do not join law enforcement for money. Those that are in LE do it because they want to make a difference, not because they want to make decent $ - it's not about the $. Sometimes, a lower pay job with higher job satisfaction will go a lot further than a higher paying job that you hate. Policing is not for everyone, and if you go simply with $ in your eyes, you'll live to regret it.

    So, go get some certs while you get the Associate's and whittle away at it... Chip made a great point about doing freelance work - it will serve to give you experience.. solid, hands on experience that will give you some $ to boot. IF you do well there, you can use that to bolster your resume with the projects you've completed alongside your (furthering) education.

    Good luck with your endeavors
  4. Sonolin

    Sonolin New Member

    Thanks for the advice, I'll definitely take a look at odesk.com sounds like I have a good chance
  5. rickyjo

    rickyjo New Member

    You'll be fine given your staggering list of skills I just read in another thread. Start looking for a job immediately, if the price is right no employer will be able to resist calling you back, just in case he/she can get a deal. Then you move up from there.
  6. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Many employers like the soft skills a degree will provide. The HR and Employers hiring managers see degreed person is more rounded.

    For people who need to enter the job market fast, 4 years could be to long. So Associates degree can serve well and cut the time.

    Many jobs in IT don't require bachelors degree.

    So the wining combination is a degree with vendor certifications.
    SOme Associate degree programs also as a part of the program prepare for certifications.

    If you already have associate degree then pick up some vendor IT certifications and you will have a better chance to get a job.

    Vendor certifications can help land you a job faster as you can earn them faster. Some degree programs provide academic credit for certifications so its a good step forward.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 1, 2010

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