Hi Zed! Sorry for the delay - I had to work.
You are correct, I graduated from a CC with a general education (Liberal Arts: Philosophy, Lit, Math, Sci, etc.). Reading this is great news! I am going to look into going back in the Spring, based off your recommendation. I appreciate the heads up for CS departments, but as long as I can take courses online I should have no issue.
To answer your second question, I don’t think Data Science is the shortest path. My story’s condensed version is below.
February: I work a job fair for a tech company and learn from a recruiter that a Bachelor’s in CS and 1-2 internships should make placing into a $60,000 a year job rather easy.
March: I lose my job and gain a better one. I train, merchandise, and sell Lenovo computers through third party, a job I began while knowing nil about computer specs.
May: After applying for a scholarship to UMass (and not getting it), I graduate, focus on work (after receiving full-time), and look into free workshops at General Assembly (search ga.co if curious).
January: Ok, I lied, I had been looking into General Assembly for some time. I took a free CSS/HTML/Java course there once and loved it. Learned easily (my biggest obstacle is money when it comes to learning, else I’d quit my job and go to school tomorrow). Looked into/was contacted by them about my interest in their Data Science programs. I took the Info-session on DS and it was up my ally. Random thoughts occurred in my head, such as using DS to prove gerrymandering occurred in specific locations, or revealing that cannabis regulation coincides with utilitarianism. Of course, these “social changes” were hobbies I’d concede. Nonetheless I decided finding a job in this field. So, I emailed them and learned that their basic recommendations for the full-time, $16,000, 9-5, Monday-Friday “Data Science Immersive” course was essentially a basic understanding of Python and statistics (i.e. histograms, and they’ll quiz you to see if you’ll pass into the course). One of their resources led me to Codecademy. Another led me to LPTHWay.
Fast forward to now, where I’ve been learning Python since then. My former Statistics teacher met up with me last month and showed me his work in R and gave me a bunch of great sources, such as Udemy, Coursera, etc. Resources aside, he also said that Data Analytics would probably be a little easier to get into, without some major degree.
My main issue is that I’d like to get a better paying job, not huge, I mean $45,000 is a lot but enough to pay for school and an apartment, but in general data interests me because that is where we are heading, the tech way. If everything is matter, then isn’t everything data by default? If we can understand data better, then can’t we understand everything better? Its potential interests me, and also that I hate retail, cooking feels wasteful when it’s full-time and I feel like I could be applying myself to greater goods, and smart isn’t the whole of it. I think some of your online videos show that, even though many smart people work in tech industries such as code and data sci, they are not always good at communicating that knowledge to other people (beginners or non-users). You excel at this, and I have a knack of transforming the complicated and complex to the simple-enough-to-understand levels for people as well, when I understand it well enough myself.
I am confident that I am more than smart enough to succeed in the data science field, and that the world needs more data science communicators (among other things), just as we need doctors and firefighters. I have weaknesses, but fortunately, taking responsibility is not one of them. If I failed it would be my fault, because it would mean that I quit. Failing happens all the time, every day, especially while learning Python for me. Oddly enough, frustration is a good sign I’ve learned, though it’s still weird having that silver-lining notion in the back of my head as I want to punch my monitor in its face.
I did not read anything glamorizing DS. In fact, I was frustrated at its explanations, similar to how you vent yours regarding what OOP is (by the way, I love your videos! Didn’t know what you were talking about, but I tried to match your enthusiasm and was able to follow along. “The Web Will Die When OOP Dies.” I don’t know much about it, but I’d say your prediction would be possible if two forms of the web were available at once. One that people were used to, and the other one you were talking about, until the old web was something people had to actively think about to remember.)
I have definitely been asking around, while remaining flexible with my ambitions. The software engineer who instructed last week’s Python 101 and Intro to DS workshops told me “While there are definitely Data Science positions that require advanced degrees in Mathematics/Computer Science, they’re in the minority. Most DS jobs (and software jobs in general) simply care if you can do the work or not — there are lots of folks coding for a living with degrees in other fields or no degrees at all). One of the ways in which GA can help is by pointing you to companies that do skill-based hiring, the ones that want to see motivation and velocity more than CS degrees or years of experience. Just start asking around!”
In short, while CC seems to be the best option, by the sound of it, and most likely the next step, it’s the skill-based hiring that interests me the most. That’s going to be one of the next things I look into, but as to where yet I’m not completely sure. For me, I’m trying to get to $45,000 a year and am fighting off impatience. The only thing that matters to me is having realistic expectations, so even if it will take a couple years and CC is the next step, I will still be looking for opportunities throughout, adding onto and sharpening my skills all the while.
In closing, once again, thank you! Thank you via infinite loop.
I know you’re quite advanced in this all, but here is a website you may enjoy https://www.codenewbie.org/blogs. I love her podcast, and she is open to recommendations for guest requests. Would you be opposed to talking code on a podcast! If not, I’d try to give you a shout out on twitter. It’d be a great listen for me and thousands of others for sure.
Have a wonderful week Zed!