Online Agri Business Degree, Computer Degree?
Q: I am confused about what I would like to pursue in college. I love
computers, and am thinking about majoring in computers. My problem
is, I'm not sure what I could do with a computer degree. Already I
know that I like to deal with software and not hardware. But I have
already taken two Visual Basic programming courses and they were ok.
Actually, they were quit frustrating. Beside programming, I'm not
sure in what direction I could go with a computer degree. Besides
liking software, I would like a career where I can work at home if
needed. What can I do in computers, besides programming?
A:It would probably be helpful for you to think through what it is you like about computers. Is it the precision? The control? The intellectual challenge? The book _What Color is your Parachute_ includes a set of exercises that would help you get at your underlying motivations. Depending on what those are there may be lots of different majors and careers that could satisfy them. At the moment you stand a good chance of being unemployeed or underemployeed; there have been many IT layoffs. But, in a few years when you graduate the economy will hopefully have turned around. The first two languages I ever learned were Fortran and Lisp. I found Lisp frustrating at first. With practice and experience, I got better at programming in general. There are still times when it can be frustrating, especially when trying to fix a nasty bug. You might look over some research done by Jane Margolis of UCLA, as a possible source of inspiration: http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/pages/margolis.html As far as other things you can do with computers, there are several things, such as QA, system administration, network administration, and software configuration management. All of these jobs will require a certain amount of programming. If possible, get a copy of Frederick Brooks' THE MYTHICAL MAN-MONTH. Although it is outdated in terms of the projects discussed, in my opinion, it gives a very good sense of the kinds of issues a programmer will face during their career. "The rise of Internet education has given consumers unparalleled choice in where they earn higher education credentials," confides Vicky Phillips, guidebook author and CEO of GetEducated.com, LLC, "but at the same time the Internet remains a dimly-lit educational supermarket. A new generation of wired learners needs to learn how to shop intelligently for education online. We are designing our free guide series to help consumers select their personal best buy," explains Phillips. Technology 2003 is the second in a series of free guides to accredited elearning universities designed to help American consumers understand and access graduate distance learning degrees online.
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