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College Dropout Considering Going Back (long post)

CompEngGirl123CompEngGirl123 42 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
About a year ago, due to a combination of mental health related issues and me having doubts about my major (I was a computer engineering major, which explains my screen name), I dropped out of college after completing my sophomore year.

However, lately I've been thinking a lot about going back to school, researching different careers and degree program curriculums and even planning out my future classes for different degrees.

Though I think I've given up on engineering, I think I might still be interested in computer science and particularly might be interested in doing something in database development (or software development in general might be okay too) or data science. I still have some doubts about pursuing a career in computer science/technology though and still need to think things through; if I decide that I am not passionate enough and/or competent enough to pursue a career in computer science/technology, I would probably want to pursue a career that at least involves math/problem solving.

Some of the options I've considered are the following:
-Reapply to the college I dropped out of and pursue a BS in either Computer Science, Statistics, Math, Computer Science with a double major or certificate in Math, or Statistics or Math with a double major or certificate in Computer Science. I'm kind of leaning towards Statistics over Math because it seems more applied, some of the stats courses actually do seem to require some coding or use of statistical software, and it might better prepare for a job in data science. I'm also leaning towards at least getting a certificate in CS regardless of career interests because with the classes I have already taken and the overlap between CS and Statistics, I only need one more CS class to get the certificate and 3 more CS classes to get a double major in CS if I major in Statistics (and I'm pretty sure the situation is similar if I majored in Math because there's an overlap between CS and Math as well). I also considered just finishing my computer engineering major because I know that that major will, like the CS major, also get me into software development job positions, and doing that instead of switching to CS would mean not having to take any more gen ed requirements, but at the same time, I would still have to take engineering classes which I don't think I will be as motivated to do well in anymore now knowing that I probably won't be needing that engineering knowledge in any of the jobs I will probably be applying to.
- Transfer to a specific college that I have in mind and pursue a BS in Data Science (my college doesn't offer that major). This is kind of a big maybe though because transferring is harder than reapplying to the college I dropped out of admissions wise (and I don't know if the school I want to transfer to will even accept me as an incoming junior), and I'm not sure how my credits will transfer.
- Go to a specific technical college that I have in mind and pursue a 2 year AAS degree in Databases or if not that some other 2 year IT-Related AAS degree. One flaw with this plan is that switching from a 4 year program to a 2 year program might hurt my eligibility for financial aid, but it might still be worth it anyways because I really like the AAS in Databases curriculum (seems more career oriented and more focused on database development and data analytics than the BS in CS curriculum), and more importantly, if I don't end up feeling ready to go back to school for another 5-15 years from now, it'll be a lot easier to start over in a 2 year program than to finish a 4 year program taking classes that expect me to remember pre-req classes I've taken many years ago (so it's a good backup plan if me going back to college to finish a BS seems too unrealistic).

I don't feel ready to apply for school now and go back to school for the 2020-2021 school year mental health wise (so it's not like an emergency situation where I have to decide what I want to do right now so that I can apply for the 2020-2021 school year), but I might, depending on how I feel and other circumstances, apply next year and return for the 2021-2022 school year. I'm not expecting anyone to tell me what to do (that's for me to decide), but I do have some questions that if answered might help me decide what I want to do if and when I do feel ready to go back to school.

Some questions I have are the following:
1.) Are Information Technology Related 2 year AAS degrees employable in the tech field?
2.) What careers can I pursue with just a BS in Mathematics (no double major and no grad school)? What careers can I pursue with just a BS in Statistics (no double major and no grad school)?
3.) Which double major is better for data science jobs, CS+Math or CS+Statistics (or am I likely not going to get any data science jobs regardless of double major unless I go to graduate school and get my masters)? Which double major is better for jobs in general?
4.) Do students with a BS in Data Science get jobs in data science after completing their BS degrees, or do they usually have to go to grad school in order to get jobs in their field? And can students with Data Science majors pursue other CS jobs as well?
5.) This question may be slightly unrelated, but what are some good CS, Math, and Stats classes to take for students interested in database development? For students interested in data science?

Thanks in advance to anyone who replies!
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Replies to: College Dropout Considering Going Back (long post)

  • DarkThor00DarkThor00 7 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    I just wanted to say that.. WOW you are in a similar position to me. I am a nineteen-year-old dropout of my college because I found that my career interests weren't gonna be supported by the college I went to. So I decided to take a gap semester since I'm feeling really anxious about my future and life in general. I too am very interested in data science, statistics, and software development. Right now I'm trying to transfer to my local in-state public university for this spring semester to do either a statistics, applied math, or computer science degree much like you.

    I'm also in a similar position to you since I looked into just doing community college for a bit since it seems less risky to me but I was informed financial aid won't cover me since I apparently have too many elective credits :( (Thanks AP classes in high school, didn't know you'd bite me in the ass).

    I'm just feeling rather anxious and stressed out since I know that I will likely be taking an extra year to graduate since I'm taking gap semester, transferring universities, and will have to redo my general education requirements so I'll be in college a bit longer than I had planned. So it's just feeling tough since I feel like life has thrown me a curveball and I started feeling like the only one in the world in a position such as mine. I mean now I will be 23 instead of 22 like I had planned. I just wanted to be the perfect kid who went to college debt free and for four years with fantastic grades and it just got too much for me on my mental health.

    I'm sorry that I don't have a lot of answers to your questions but I just wanted to reply in case you were feeling the same way that I was and to just let you know you aren't alone in uncertainty and confusion, and thank you for posting this since it makes me feel so much better to know someone with the same interests as me is having the same issues as I am :).


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  • CompEngGirl123CompEngGirl123 42 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @DarkThor00

    You said "I was informed financial aid won't cover me since I apparently have too many elective credits :( (Thanks AP classes in high school, didn't know you'd bite me in the ass)". Can you elaborate on that? And will financial aid not cover you only if you go to community college, or will financial aid not cover you if you transfer to a different 4 year university too? I'm curious because I've NEVER heard of AP credits having any effect on financial aid. I know that if I switch to a 2 year program I will only be eligible for subsidized loans for a total of 3 years instead of 6 years (and since I already was enrolled for college for 2 years, that only leaves me with 1 more year of being eligible for subsidized loans), but I never thought that AP credits could affect financial aid. That worries me now because I have a lot of AP credits too ... I'm actually surprised that AP credits could have an impact on financial aid because if it does that could impact so many people, including a lot of people from my original university.

    I'm sorry that you have to redo your general ed requirements, especially since those classes don't really have anything to do with your major (I think I would rather have to redo a major requirement than a general ed requirement since it might give me a bit of a review of a pre-req class before taking some more advanced classes in my major). That's what I'm worried might happen to me too if I transfer. Both my original university and the university I'm considering transferring to are public colleges in the same state, so I think that might slightly improve my chances of having my credits transfer alright (I think I heard from somewhere that it's a lot harder to transfer from a public university to a private university) if I do choose to transfer (which right now I think is unlikely because like I said it seems easier to just re-enter my original university).

    Good luck on your college plans! And if it makes you feel any better on the age thing, I will probably be 25+ years old if and when I graduate!
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  • PublisherPublisher 7972 replies82 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Any degree, certificate, designation or work experience in data analytics should lead to immediate employment opportunities.
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  • jym626jym626 55524 replies2894 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    If you don't want to go back to finish a college degree, consider this, offered by google: https://grow.google/programs/it-support/
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  • DarkThor00DarkThor00 7 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Basically the way it works in Florida apparently for AA degrees is anything that is required to graduate is covered by financial aid. There are then 24 elective credits required to graduate that people will use to take the prereq courses that will transfer to a four-year college. Because combined with my AP classes exempting me out of some courses and my transfered coursework from my year at my previous university, my total amount of elective credits goes over the 24 elective amount required to graduate, so basically if I wanted to take physics with calculus 1 at community college I'd have to pay out of pocket.
    I should have probably elaborated a bit, technically I'm not redoing all of the gen eds, I still don't have to take english comp and stuff, it's just that I'll have to take a humanity class, social studies class, public speaking course, that kind of stuff since the gen eds at my previous university were a bit different.
    However, the financial aid will cover all of my stuff at a four-year college since the whole 24 elective credit thing doesn't exist, but again this is just the situation in Florida.
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  • CompEngGirl123CompEngGirl123 42 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @DarkThor00 I could be misunderstanding the issue, but basically what it sounds like to me is that with your AP credits and previously taken classes at your previous college you already met all the course requirements for the AA degree you were planning on pursuing, and financial aid will only cover courses that you need for your AA degree. If that is the case, I think I might be okay because if I go to technical college it will be for an AAS degree, which is a bit different because it is a bit more career orientated and actually the majority of the classes I would need to take for the AAS degree program that I'm considering are classes I have not taken before like an IT support class, a couple of SQL classes, a few data analytics classes, etc (plus I don't live in Florida if it's a state specific rule). But who knows though, there may be other rules like that that could also impact my financial aid elgibility if I switch to a 2 year program. Thanks for explaining that to me!
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  • DarkThor00DarkThor00 7 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Yeah. It's just been frustrating because in Florida it seems we're going through a period of a lot of legislative changes. Hopefully I can get some type of degree one day :|.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78226 replies690 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Some questions I have are the following:
    1.) Are Information Technology Related 2 year AAS degrees employable in the tech field?

    IT as a college major is much less technical (and typically more business-based), and mostly for those who want to manage computers, rather than design and develop computers and their software. It may not be a good fit for you if you are interested in more technical work (including statistics or data science as well as CS).
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  • DarkThor00DarkThor00 7 replies3 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Hey, just checking up, how you doing so far CompEngGirl123?
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  • CompEngGirl123CompEngGirl123 42 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    @DarkThor00 Alright, I guess, just thinking about my future and stuff. To be honest, I'm starting to re-evaluate my doubts about computer science and starting to wonder if maybe a career in technology isn't for me, you know. But the problem is if I give up on CS/Information technology, I don't know what other careers I would want to pursue because the only other math-related career fields that I can think of besides computer science and engineering is finance, and to be honest, one of the reasons why I decided back in high school that I wanted to try to pursue a career in STEM after college is that I didn't want to do finance and STEM was the only other field besides finance that I could think of that involved math. And I can't think of any STEM fields besides computer science and engineering that involve math and that I don't need to go to graduate school for. I could maybe become a math or computer science teacher (I'm pretty good at being organized and think I would like making powerpoints and stuff), but I'm not a really a social person. Maybe I'm being too picky ... maybe instead of trying to think of a career that I would be both interested in and am able to do I should just focus on career fields that I might be able to do but will have to settle for interest wise because it's better than the alternatives. Haha I guess I have a lot to think about.

    Thanks for checking up.
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  • ProfessorPlum168ProfessorPlum168 4064 replies87 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    For Data Science, some of the classes and topics you should be looking at are things like Probability, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, SQL, Big Data, Time Series, Python and R. Having domain/industry knowledge in a particular branch of study would be good as well.

    There are lots of Data Scientist and Data Analytics jobs out there in the market.
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