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#1 TinSoldier  Icon User is offline

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Career change into (computer?) science at 27..?

Posted 15 July 2014 - 02:35 AM

Hey everyone.

So this might be an odd place for me to post considering I know nothing about coding but bare with me..
I'm currently 27 and work in the entertainment/media industry, which I've very much lost my passion for. I've found over the last few years I've developed a surface interest in the sciences (I was always very good at these in school, just chose to follow a creative path instead). I particularly find myself gravitating towards the subjects of technology, AI, robotics, neuroscience, human-machine relations etc.. I am particularly interested in the developments in the relationships between humans and technology, and we seem to be in an exciting time to be working in these fields. So my questions are:
What particular avenues of study (if any) and future career paths should I look into?
Is 27 too late to be starting, given my complete lack of practical experience in these fields?
Whilst I was once good at maths, I am very very out of practise, and also have no experience computer programming. ALSO, I'm not actually really interested in having to work all day with hardcore mathematics or computer coding. Is this realistically going to be a problem? Or are there areas in this field which are less back-end and don't require so much maths and coding?

Thanks so much for any help at all. If you reply would you mind please stating your level of experience so I know where you're coming from. Thankyou :)

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Replies To: Career change into (computer?) science at 27..?

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Career change into (computer?) science at 27..?

Posted 15 July 2014 - 06:48 AM

Quote

What particular avenues of study (if any) and future career paths should I look into?

Any of those you listed and more!

Quote

Is 27 too late to be starting, given my complete lack of practical experience in these fields?

More than likely, no.. but it does mean you need to work smarter than your average 23 year old coming out of college. Be more directed, less ambivalent, and utilize what ever skills you have accumulated so far.

Quote

Whilst I was once good at maths, I am very very out of practise, and also have no experience computer programming. ALSO, I'm not actually really interested in having to work all day with hardcore mathematics or computer coding.

Depending on the area and job math may not be overly required, but some of those areas you listed are heavy theory and math orientated.

So you don't want to do coding, but you want to do "computer something"? You really need to sit down and figure that part out. What do you want to do?

Quote

Or are there areas in this field which are less back-end and don't require so much maths and coding?

Like what, exactly?
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#3 TinSoldier  Icon User is offline

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Re: Career change into (computer?) science at 27..?

Posted 15 July 2014 - 07:03 AM

View Postmodi123_1, on 15 July 2014 - 06:48 AM, said:

Quote

What particular avenues of study (if any) and future career paths should I look into?

Any of those you listed and more!

Quote

Is 27 too late to be starting, given my complete lack of practical experience in these fields?

More than likely, no.. but it does mean you need to work smarter than your average 23 year old coming out of college. Be more directed, less ambivalent, and utilize what ever skills you have accumulated so far.

Quote

Whilst I was once good at maths, I am very very out of practise, and also have no experience computer programming. ALSO, I'm not actually really interested in having to work all day with hardcore mathematics or computer coding.

Depending on the area and job math may not be overly required, but some of those areas you listed are heavy theory and math orientated.

So you don't want to do coding, but you want to do "computer something"? You really need to sit down and figure that part out. What do you want to do?

Quote

Or are there areas in this field which are less back-end and don't require so much maths and coding?

Like what, exactly?



Thanks for the advice! I'm not necessarily sure that what I want to do is COMPUTER science, thats part of the reason Im looking for help... are all the avenues of robotics, AI, etc only in computer science? Or perhaps other areas like engineering too?
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#4 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: Career change into (computer?) science at 27..?

Posted 15 July 2014 - 07:16 AM

Engineering.. sure.

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are all the avenues of robotics, AI, etc only in computer science?

Well, no. Not every job is a one to one match for a degree or provincial field, right? It's not like you get a degree and are offered an array of six jobs that are yours to pick from that are hard edged defined. Folks with various backgrounds can do a various amount of work. Managers, PMs, BAs, testers, UI/UX, design, manufacturing, etc.

Example with robotics. You need someone with electrical knowledge, right? Gotta have those circuits. Someone with programming knowledge to make those circuits hum in complex ways.. someone with fabrication knowledge else you are missing out on the body. Sometimes one person does all three.. sometimes there are separate folk with depth in one area and a bit of breadth for the other two.
http://www.careerbui...eyword/robotics

AI is another thing. That's a whole mess of math and coding. Typically video games, but it depending on your perception you can do expert systems, neural networks, business intelligence, etc.

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I'm not necessarily sure that what I want to do is COMPUTER science,

There in lies the problem. No one knows who you are, where your interests lay (outside of your first post), abilities, skills, motivation, dreams, or future plans. You're 27 and a well reasoning adult, right? Investigate what you want to do.. There are plenty of job boards you can cruise to see what skills and titles sound closer to the mark.. explanation of jobs, careers, fields, etc.


Side note - you do not need to quote my entire post in the reply.
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#5 macosxnerd101  Icon User is online

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Re: Career change into (computer?) science at 27..?

Posted 15 July 2014 - 02:50 PM

Moved to Student Campus.

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ALSO, I'm not actually really interested in having to work all day with hardcore mathematics or computer coding. Is this realistically going to be a problem? Or are there areas in this field which are less back-end and don't require so much maths and coding?

If you're into AI/Neuroscience, it sounds like a nice overlay with economics. I took a Neruoeconomics course this past semester. It was actually quite interesting. It deals with things like incentives, rational choice, etc., and how various areas of the brain respond to or drive economic models. Though be forewarned that to get to the point where you can apply this, you will need graduate work in economics. And to get there, you need a whole mess of math (somewhere between a math minor and major at least). Economics is very Calculus heavy in the undergraduate areas, and it typically doesn't provide much depth in the areas you described. Graduate economics is a different animal. If you don't have math, you will pay for it many times over. If you do have math, you will find yourself in a much better position. The math you need is a lot of calculus, linear algebra, and real analysis. The first two are manageable. Real Analysis is more intense than any math course you will take as a CS person, even if it is the junior "intro to analysis" or "advanced calc" course instead of the senior level 4000 Reals sequence. Economics at the graduate level really can provide a lot of depth into relevant topics like experimental economics (which would have a nice overlay with neuroeconomics and neuroscience, and also isn't super math intensive), microeconomics (game theory, market equilibrium theory, decision theory), and (micro)econometrics. Network theory is popping up in Econ as a popular area of research, and that goes well with AI. You'll also get your macro theory and (macro)econometrics, which are more geared at things like tax policy and the political economy.

Also- I figured I'd throw this out there. CS emerged as a mixture of linguistics, math, and electrical engineering. The linguistics leans more math-y anyways. So really, on a CS track of some sort, you'll be doing coding and/or math. If you don't want to do either, I'd re-evaluate your interests.
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#6 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Career change into (computer?) science at 27..?

Posted 29 July 2014 - 08:50 PM

If you want to work in high tech and you don't want to get deep into the math or writing code, I think you'd probably do best to either get into some sort of design aspect of things - which requires that you be able to come up with really interesting designs that other people can't come up with, which actually enhance usability and engagement with a product - or else you should become the founder of some idiot startup that for some inexplicable reason takes off and makes you a bazillionty dollars.
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#7 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Career change into (computer?) science at 27..?

Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:01 PM

Be the creator of the company that stops the terminators from taking over! We'll need that.
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#8 accedeholdings  Icon User is offline

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Re: Career change into (computer?) science at 27..?

Posted 04 August 2014 - 10:03 PM

I believe that there's no age necessary in doing what your heart's desire. For our field I guess Engineering is a much better field if ever you want to do a career shift.
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