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#1 SFT  Icon User is offline

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Thinking about switching careers, advice?

Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:06 AM

I will soon be turning 25 years old and I am debating whether or not to change careers. I did my undergraduate studies in Exercise Science. Unfortunately just about anyone who becomes bored with another career decides to join the fitness industry. There are few opportunities aside from owning your own business, which also locks you down to a certain location.

I have always enjoyed working with computers as well. In fact, I almost decided to go to school for Computer Science originally, but decided against it. I started making websites and selling domains when I was 13 years old. When I hit high school I also took a two year long computer class that gave me even more of a background. In short, I know this isn't some amazing background in computers, but I want to lay out the fact that this isn't a shot in the dark. I also took courses like Calculus in high school and did quite well despite not really applying myself.

Long story shorts, I am potentially looking at go back to school for Computer Science. I am looking for a career that is challenging and that not just anyone can do one day because they become bored with their old job. In addition, I am interested in seeing if programming or other computer jobs might offer more flexibility as far as location. I would love to be able to move a bit further away from the cities around here, but in my current position I need to be close to everyone.

I already completed a Bachelor's degree, so I should be able to skip all of the general education, intensive writing, and any worries about total credits. If I decide to go back to school for CS, would my best bet be to go for the BS or straight to the MS while completing necessary prerequisites?

For the time being, I am learning PHP to see if programming is something that I enjoy. I also saw some open course materials offered online through MIT. Once was an intro to CS and Programming, which seems to use Python. I am thinking I might give this a try as well.

I am not taking this decision lightly because I know it is going to be a 2-4 year path to get that new degree.

Sorry for the long post, but I guess my questions are:

1. Straight to Master's in CS and do prereqs, do BS --> MS (potentially longer?), or stick with BS?

2. What flexibility do you have in this profession? Can you work from home? I'm assuming a week vacation isn't such a big deal? In the fitness field, you need to be there for your classes, so finding a week off can be tough.

3. Are there any 40 hour/week jobs out there? I would love to have a job that offers flexibility of starting early in the morning, working 4 day work weeks, etc. I can only imagine the higher paying jobs are salary and might require you to be there 50-60 hours per week, but I am not necessarily looking for that.


Thanks!

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Replies To: Thinking about switching careers, advice?

#2 AnalyticLunatic  Icon User is offline

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Re: Thinking about switching careers, advice?

Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:28 AM

View PostSFT, on 07 November 2012 - 07:06 AM, said:

1. Straight to Master's in CS and do prereqs, do BS --> MS (potentially longer?), or stick with BS?


This is up to you and will depend on what you wish to do long term. If Software Development if your game plan, a Bachelors Degree will be enough as far as education just about anywhere in the U.S.A (You have not filled out your profile, thus I have no idea where you are from.) A Masters can be beneficial, especially if you wish to go into Management someday, but for just starting out, a Masters can at times just mean you are needing payed more than the other guy with a Bachelors. The degrees might get you an interview, but it is your portfolio and experience that get you a job.

View PostSFT, on 07 November 2012 - 07:06 AM, said:

2. What flexibility do you have in this profession? Can you work from home? I'm assuming a week vacation isn't such a big deal? In the fitness field, you need to be there for your classes, so finding a week off can be tough.


Flexibility really depends on the position and the location. Telecommuting is possible, but hardly ever is it an option right out of the gate. Usually telecommuting is reserved for those who have been around for awhile or that can justify obvious benefits on both ends from the employee working from home. Again, this depends on the company and the location among other factors.

For myself, I live 5 miles from work, so me justifying working from home would be quite a stretch :lol: but in my position I earn 10/hr Annual & 10/hr Sick leave each month. Proud to say that in 9 days I will have completed my 6 month probationary period! ^^

View PostSFT, on 07 November 2012 - 07:06 AM, said:

3. Are there any 40 hour/week jobs out there? I would love to have a job that offers flexibility of starting early in the morning, working 4 day work weeks, etc. I can only imagine the higher paying jobs are salary and might require you to be there 50-60 hours per week, but I am not necessarily looking for that.


True I.T. jobs can go anywhere from 40+, again, depending on company, what they do, position, location, blah blah blah. There are indeed positions though that allow you to be flexible. I applied a few months back before getting my current position for one as a Web Developer, and with the position, management did not care if you worked 8/hrs a day 5 days/week, 10/hrs for 4 days/week, or even, 12/hrs for 3 days/week. The flexibility is out there though.
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#3 SFT  Icon User is offline

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Re: Thinking about switching careers, advice?

Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:41 AM

View PostAnalyticLunatic, on 07 November 2012 - 07:28 AM, said:

View PostSFT, on 07 November 2012 - 07:06 AM, said:

1. Straight to Master's in CS and do prereqs, do BS --> MS (potentially longer?), or stick with BS?


This is up to you and will depend on what you wish to do long term. If Software Development if your game plan, a Bachelors Degree will be enough as far as education just about anywhere in the U.S.A (You have not filled out your profile, thus I have no idea where you are from.) A Masters can be beneficial, especially if you wish to go into Management someday, but for just starting out, a Masters can at times just mean you are needing payed more than the other guy with a Bachelors. The degrees might get you an interview, but it is your portfolio and experience that get you a job.

View PostSFT, on 07 November 2012 - 07:06 AM, said:

2. What flexibility do you have in this profession? Can you work from home? I'm assuming a week vacation isn't such a big deal? In the fitness field, you need to be there for your classes, so finding a week off can be tough.


Flexibility really depends on the position and the location. Telecommuting is possible, but hardly ever is it an option right out of the gate. Usually telecommuting is reserved for those who have been around for awhile or that can justify obvious benefits on both ends from the employee working from home. Again, this depends on the company and the location among other factors.

For myself, I live 5 miles from work, so me justifying working from home would be quite a stretch :lol: but in my position I earn 10/hr Annual & 10/hr Sick leave each month. Proud to say that in 9 days I will have completed my 6 month probationary period! ^^

View PostSFT, on 07 November 2012 - 07:06 AM, said:

3. Are there any 40 hour/week jobs out there? I would love to have a job that offers flexibility of starting early in the morning, working 4 day work weeks, etc. I can only imagine the higher paying jobs are salary and might require you to be there 50-60 hours per week, but I am not necessarily looking for that.


True I.T. jobs can go anywhere from 40+, again, depending on company, what they do, position, location, blah blah blah. There are indeed positions though that allow you to be flexible. I applied a few months back before getting my current position for one as a Web Developer, and with the position, management did not care if you worked 8/hrs a day 5 days/week, 10/hrs for 4 days/week, or even, 12/hrs for 3 days/week. The flexibility is out there though.


Thank you for the response. I am from the United States (New Hampshire). I'm glad to hear that there is some flexibility offered out there. I understand that I might not be telecommuting from the get go, but I would love for this to be an option some day.

Thank you again.
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