Second Bachelor's in CS for Career Changer?

<p>Hi Everyone,</p>

<p>I graduated from college in 2004 with a BA in History, and then went to law school. I was recently laid off from a law firm, and the job market is horrid for attorneys (and has been for a while). Plus I absolutely hated being an attorney, it's a career I regret.</p>

<p>I live in the Bay Area, so I have gotten really interested in the tech field and there seems to be a lot of opportunities available in the tech field. So I have begun thinking of going back to school and picking up a second bachelor's in Comp Sci. Couple of Qs for anyone who could help:</p>

<p>(1) Are there schools that would allow me to enroll in a second bachelor's? Would there be any schools that would allow me to just enroll in a graduate program under the condition that I take the prereqs first?</p>

<p>(2) I haven't taken a math course in almost 8 years, and I only got up to Calculus 1 and 2 in college. Would doing a degree in Comp Sci be feasible for someone like me?</p>

<p>(3) Even if I am able to do all of this within 2-3 years, I'm looking at being over 30 years old before I can start a tech job. Would this be too old in this industry to start off at entry-level? I get the impression tech is a young man's game.</p>

<p>(4) Another option is to go into network administration/ IT help type work. Seems like I can go to community college and take a lot of coursework for that, but was wondering if that would be enough to actually get a job in the field.</p>

<p>Thank you for reading!</p>

<p>1) I believe you can enroll in to graduate school but you will need to take the prereqs first, as you said. It would probably be a better option to get a bachelor's so you understand the basis of what computer science is.</p>

<p>2) It is definitely feasible as long as you brush up on your math. Computer Science isn't as math intensive as other tech fields. I think you should focus on programming languages as those are necessary for a career in Computer Science.</p>

<p>3) I don't think age is a factor. It's more about education and ability.</p>

<p>If you want to be more involved in tech type work but you also want to put your (probably expensive) law degree to work, you should also consider patent law. They are in demand and it is a lot different from being a straight up attorney. An engineering degree is required so that the patent attorney understands what they are looking at/patenting. A computer science degree will also do if it is accredited by the CSAC. </p>

<p>Just my input...</p>

<p>Also look into fulfilling the pre-reqs for a MS in CS and see if you can do that. This way you'll probably finish the pre-reqs in 1 yr and an MS in 1.5-2 yrs. </p>

<p>Still I would research this move carefully.</p>

<p>I would give you this advice, don't take anyone else's advice including mine, as the end all be all for your career. If you choose to get a second bachelors degree make sure it is a good program that specializes in a number of different areas of CS that you would like to work in. Also, program outside of work, create your own applications even if they are small. Your never too old, or too young for anything but you can be too experienced or inexperienced for a job. </p>

<p>I am getting a 2nd bachelors degree in CS while I am already a web developer and I already have a degree in Information Systems. A lot of people on here thought/think I am crazy and should go for a masters. </p>

<p>I looked at Masters programs and didn't like or was unsure about what I saw. Turns out my employer and many others look fondly on the combination of bachelors degree, and all employers care more about skill than education (within reason). </p>

<p>So don't be afraid about screwing up your career, its true there are wrong career moves, but there are also multiple right career moves and getting more education generally doesn't hurt you as long as you leverage and sell it correctly, and have the skills to back it up.</p>

<p>The IT/Tech approach may be viable. CS degrees provide a combination of practice, theory, and hardware but most CS programs don't focus on specific tools to manage systems. Going the IT/Tech route means that you specialize more in specific products which means that the skills that you learn in college are good for a certain amount of time and that you have to keep up your skills on your own going forward.</p>

<p>I second what BHolc86 said (of course if he's being honest about his story, which I really believe, CCers don't just make up stories lmao)</p>

<p>It matters which program you go to. But what comes down in the end is your motivation. Really. You have to work out the CS in your life. In other words, do stuff outside the school. Maybe start learning how to do iPhone, Android application? Maybe become a freelancer in web development / web designer.
Practice and read codes whenever you can.</p>

<p>These will make you a good one. You are not too old.
You actually have advantage being a history major and also holding a law degree. You can develop something that is missing or is currently not efficient that attorney uses.</p>

<p>I was looking at my friend's project yesterday and he was helping out a local organization devleloping a management system, using HTML5 and MYSQL only. It only took him 3 hours to complete the project, and he gets $300 plus a reference. Of course, money isn't that important because all he wants is experience, and plus a reference.</p>

<p>So do stuff outside classroom is the most critical thing for any engineering / science. In fact, for all major. When you study history, or law, you are told to get an internship.</p>

<p>Do whatever makes you happy and can bring you potential benefit. How you write your life is up to you.</p>

<p>Life is a maze: there is an infinite number of paths to get to the same point, including our death. Hence, life is a series that converges absolutely to the point of death, eventually. </p>

<p>I would get a second B.S in CS if I were you, if and only if income isn't a big problem for you. You can still work as a part time, but it seems like master might give you more stress from what I heard. </p>

<p>I know where Bay Area is but I don't live there so I can't comment what school is good. Berkeley is probably the most well known one LOL</p>

<p>But I guess other public institutions are good. A good program meaning the students there are not nerds. They don't just sit in the lab all day doing hacking (not like nerdy hacker lmao)</p>

<p>Oh requirement. Well I had this classmate last semester (in physics and calc together). He's doing second degree in CS and he has to take physics and calc 2 and 3 with me. So I guess you do have to fulfill some of those math and science requirement.</p>

<p>First programming course is definitely a must take, which is part of the major curriculum.</p>

<p>:)</p>

<p>Hahahha old man? Nah.. I start feeling old since I turned 19 this May. I mean literally I was an all-night for the past 5 years. Man I am like 40 like, I can't stay up late anymore...
No. No. You are not old. 30 is still very young. I have classmates who are 40 and 50 lmao, and they just started their computer science / computer engineering course. If you have to talk about age, I don't think they have a chance over you. Just kidding. No disrespect!!!</p>

<p>Even I have to fight for a position. So I have to do what I mentioned: do stuff outside classroom. Be practical!</p>

<p>I have a BA in History. I was going to go to law school but I got nervous about job prospects so now I'm working on a BSE in Electrical Engineering...</p>

<p>How long is going your BSE in Electrial Engineering going to take considering you were a History major? </p>

<p>I was an Econ major and have thought about engineering and computer science, but still trying to figure out what I want to do. I e-mailed some programs and they said it would most likely take me around 3 years to complete. I've thought about just getting a masters in accounting since it will take a year and give me decent job prospects... only thing is I didn't really enjoy the two accounting classes I took lol.</p>

<p>My Engineering degree will take around three years. I'll be 24 when I graduate so I'm not too worried about it.</p>

<p>I say go for it and good luck! My second bachelors'. which I recieved at the age of 28, was in computer science. I've never regretted it. It took 3 years, but 2 semesters of that (a spring and a summer) were well-paying co-ops, which really helped financially.</p>

<p>My wife got her 2nd bachelors in Information Systems from University of Maryland-University College. I believe she had to take like 9 or 10 courses (3 credits each) to get that 2nd bachelors.</p>

<p>After ALL of that, she STILL did not use the degree in a technical way....claiming that "you have to be concerned about so many things in I.T."</p>

<p>She does I.T. purchasing for a defense contractor.</p>

<p>Dontpanic, may I ask which school you got the 2nd Bachelors from and what your first degree was in?</p>

<p>And what do you do now?</p>

<p>first degree: medical technology</p>

<p>CS school: university of louisville</p>

<p>I actually started out as a CS major in the first place, but felt intimidated by my honors calc class (not to mention those god-awful punch cards for fortran - OMG!!!). I changed majors my second semester; it was an impetuous decision (I'd never even taken high school chemistry), but parents weren't that involved in those days, and apparently neither were academic counselors. Yet I stuck with it all the way, and worked four years as an MT before going back to school.</p>

<p>what do I do now? I've been a software engineer for 25 years.</p>