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Changing My Major, Tips?

This is a discussion on Changing My Major, Tips? within the Certification & Career forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. OK, so I finished my first year of college at the local Community College. I started out my first semester


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Old 07-05-2014, 06:39 PM   #1
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OK, so I finished my first year of college at the local Community College. I started out my first semester in Microsoft Networking, I ended up changing over winter break to Computer Information Systems Specialization, Business Administration. I changed out of that half way through the semester because there was only 4 computer classes, I figured it was a waste of time considering there was only 4 computer classes, and the rest were math and business classes. It was a 2+2(meaning you have to transfer to a UNI to get your degree -- a uni I cannot afford! I ended up transferring over to Mechatronic Engineering; which the local mill, and the pipelines are hiring people before they even get the degree -- which is why I wanted to go into it. I came to the realization that I could never do the math or science involved in the curriculum.

Keep in mind, my first semester I had 3 computer classes, second semester I didn't take any because of how up in the air I was with everything, I decided to take the general required classes.

So, now tuesday I'm going back to change my major...again -_-. I realize (even though I never took the classes, looking at the pass:fail ratio, and the fact I am TERRIBLE at math and science. I struggled through my first semester of math which was arithmetic. THen the second semester I took Intro to Algebra, I couldn't tell you a single thing I did to get a B. Not a single thing; I just managed to get by and got the grade. THen this summer I took a Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 (its a dual class of 10 weeks to do 38 topics so you can take your majors math requirements) I just about finished surprisingly enough, but the class (it's self passed, online, and you have to have an 80% on the test to move on) ended and shut me out.

All that being said, I'm not sure of what I should change my major to :-/. Here's my options:

CIT Systems Development A.A.S (Computer programming, it focuses on Java, VB, HTML/CSS, Javascript, and Access/SQL -- essentially that's the courses with JAVA being the main There is a series of 3 JAVA classes) I'm worried about this one because everyone says you have to be good at math to understand and be a good programmer. Plus what is the job outlook on someone with an A.A.S. in computer programming?

Microsoft Applications and Support Desk A.A.S. (Looks like a bore-fest. You have 1 Java Class, Windows 7 class, UNIX and LINUX class, and a class for word, excel, powerpoint, publisher, etc. Looks very manageable, but incredibly boring, and looks absolutely useless, especially with an A.A.S....)

ANd there's also the Microsoft Networking...but again, not sure how useful it would be.

What I am asking, is which should I do? I'd like to have decent job opportunities; but I also don't want to look stupid, and not understand what is going on. I've always wanted to be a programmer, even back in Jr. High school and prior. But, hows the job oppertunities with an A.A.S.? What about being terrible with math?
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Old 07-07-2014, 01:41 AM   #2
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I think you're overthinking this. A degree doesn't get you a job... it simply makes you look more attractive to employers.

The main question is this: what do you want to DO? Do you want to be a programmer? Do you want to be an admin? Let your job target define your path.

I've been in IT for 16 years. Know what my degree is in? Chemistry. Hasn't hurt me one bit.
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:49 PM   #3
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I don't even plan on working in IT, but I'm still going to get at least a CCNE & MSCE, because it interests me and because it will help out in the long run. Does your college permit double-majors?
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:14 PM   #4
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So, as someone who is now officially majoring in System Development, what would I search online for jobs? This semester I have: Intro to Java and Logic, HTML/CSS, Access and Math for Business and Applications -- whatever that means lol and Interpersonal Communication SKills (I believe that is what it is called)

Next semester I have SQL, Web Application Development Tools, Object Oriented Programming/Data Structures and Excel.

Then Next fall I have: Client Side Scripting / Java Script, Advanced Database programming (Whatever that is? I have Access and SQL so ideas of what this could be?), IT Analysis and Design, ASP & E-Business Programming

Finally my last semester I have: Mobile Applications Development (I assume this would be a 3rd Java class with HTML5 and C# Maybe? ideas?), Linux UNIX Administration, I have an elective so I may take a networking class maybe Cisco 1 or something, then an internship.

So that's my assumed schedule they game me, obviously classes can change, and that sort of thing, but that is what it is set to be for my catalog year.

How did you end up going from Chemistry to IT lol. I had Chemistry in High School -- hardest thing I've ever been in; hats off to you!

What are some job titles I could look up that would fit my schedule? I'm assuming I'd start off at a help desk somewhere and hope to pick up some skills the company needs or something?

My school doesn't do double majors because of financial aide, but when I come up with extra time to fill my schedule I could probably take additional classes.
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by wwe9112 View Post
So, as someone who is now officially majoring in System Development, what would I search online for jobs? This semester I have: Intro to Java and Logic, HTML/CSS, Access and Math for Business and Applications -- whatever that means lol and Interpersonal Communication SKills (I believe that is what it is called)

Next semester I have SQL, Web Application Development Tools, Object Oriented Programming/Data Structures and Excel.

Then Next fall I have: Client Side Scripting / Java Script, Advanced Database programming (Whatever that is? I have Access and SQL so ideas of what this could be?), IT Analysis and Design, ASP & E-Business Programming

Finally my last semester I have: Mobile Applications Development (I assume this would be a 3rd Java class with HTML5 and C# Maybe? ideas?), Linux UNIX Administration, I have an elective so I may take a networking class maybe Cisco 1 or something, then an internship.

So that's my assumed schedule they game me, obviously classes can change, and that sort of thing, but that is what it is set to be for my catalog year.

How did you end up going from Chemistry to IT lol. I had Chemistry in High School -- hardest thing I've ever been in; hats off to you!

What are some job titles I could look up that would fit my schedule? I'm assuming I'd start off at a help desk somewhere and hope to pick up some skills the company needs or something?

My school doesn't do double majors because of financial aide, but when I come up with extra time to fill my schedule I could probably take additional classes.

You will want to look for some Systems Administration jobs (Not the same as Network Administration), general software programming, helpdesk support, IT Analyst, Database administration and similar things

Check out a site like freelancer.com and see what kinds of programming needs there are. Don't let this discourage you, just look at this as a way to see what skills are in demand. Also look at job postings to see what skills are most wanted. This way you don't spend all your time learning, for example, Microsoft Access database when the market needs people who know Oracle.

The broader your skills early on, the better, so as soon as you can try to get more education and certification, most careers - but especially technical ones, have a cone-shaped career path, where you start out on the broad side, and end up at the pinhead, where you're an expert in something incredible, but also have a huge foundation to work with.

I would consider looking into iOS/mobile development, there are some decent jobs for that which can be part time.

As for going from chemistry to IT, I can't speak for him, but likely it was a decision based off of employability - he probably wasn't landing jobs because the demand shrunk, or he simply ran out of luck. Switching to a career that's relatively simple to get into (as you don't need an education, like many other fields), and has astronomical demand is all he needed.
For example, I'm in digital media production, but I'm still getting as much IT training as I can to keep myself mentally robust, and prepared to make a career change if necessary. As you can see from my user title, I used to be staff here, I was actively involved in IT in my teenage years, but I decided I wanted to get into a new field as I matured and the spectacle of computers faded for me.
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Old 07-14-2014, 05:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
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How did you end up going from Chemistry to IT lol. I had Chemistry in High School -- hardest thing I've ever been in; hats off to you!
I had a Bachelors degree, and most employers were looking for chemists with Masters degrees. Out of 50+ applications, I got one interview and zero jobs. Unfortunately, I didn't have any more money to keep going to school. I had worked with computers since I was 10 (I was 28 at the time - I'm now 44), so I turned my hobby into my career.
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Old 07-17-2014, 05:40 AM   #7
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If you managed to pass your Mathematics class, then you couldn't have been as bad as you claim to be at Maths.

You also need to define what you exactly what to do, and what interests you. If your not interested in that subject, then your not going to do well. I wouldn't consider taking a subject because of the job prospects or the potential money; that should be secondary in my opinion. I personally want to become a Theoretical Computer Science Professor eventually, and research into the efficient algorithms for solving Maths problems. The pay isn't much and that doesn't bother me all because I'm really interested in the subject.

If you want to become a programmer, then what type of programmer? Industrial programs or web/mobile development? In the UK, I know you'll need a Computer Science degree to do programming and to have you application even considered, however, those jobs will also require experience.

Does your University provide a work experience option in the last year? I know my friend gets an option to either study more for a year or do work experience.

A Computer Science degree will require Mathematics (Discrete), even if you don't wish to do the Theoretical side of things. Discrete Mathematics is generally more accessible and I find the problems are much more interesting than just solving a Real Analysis problem.
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