[Ask IT Career Coach] is a Career Advice Column for Information Technology (IT) professionals looking for answers to their most challenging career, job or business situations.
Here is a question that illustrates the challenges facing us as we try to find a worthwhile career.
I am a recent college grad who has come to the realization that I wasted time and money in a psychology degree with nothing to show for it.
I have always had an interest in computers, and recently developed a strong desire to possibly move into the computer industry (mainly b/c of google android and my passion for cell phones).
The problem is, i have no formal background, I don’t know where to start, and most articles I’ve read say don’t ruin your hobby by making it your job.
I respectfully seek more information about how to transition into this industry (really into cell phones) regardless of time, money or energy (seeing all I do at work and home is play with roms on my cell phones and dismantle them to discover their contents).
What I have though of so far is going and getting another bachelors (i love to learn; actually what I do best), going to a trade school (ITT, DeVry, etc.) or getting some type of certification, but I don’t know whats best. Any help would be appreciated.
Do You REALLY Need a College Degree to Get a Programming Job?
Congratulations, you have just made an important discovery; which is that it is more important for you to discover and develop your passion than to postpone it for a college degree.
However, don’t lose heart because your time has not been completely wasted.
While you do not absolutely need a college degree to get a computer programming job, some managers will view your college degree as proof of your ability to set a goal and achieve it.
According to Esther Schindler, having a major in a non-computer science discipline can actually work in your favor.
Read more about this in this article titled “Do You REALLY Need a College Degree to Get a Programming Job?“: http://bit.ly/2XKgEM.
The real issue here is not that you have a college degree but that you postponed doing what you love.
You should never put off following your passion for something else … at the very least, you should have worked hard at getting a college degree and also getting handson learning in cell phone application development at the same time.
Is A Computer Science Degree Worth It?
Is a formal background in computer science required for a career in mobile phone application development? The answer is absolutely not!
Again, you are making the mistake of looking for a solution in a college degree.
Don’t you see the trap that you are again falling into? You’ve already spent a number of years in college and all you got is a degree that you consider worthless … though I disagree with you on that.
And again, you are hoping that investing time, money and effort towards another degree will fix your career situation!
You are caught in a maze and it is time for you to wake up or get yourself out of it!
The problem is that most computer science colleges, trade schools or diploma providers will not teach you how to program on mobile phones.
They will most likely teach you just pure computer science and all the theoretical stuff, which is why you won’t be helped.
Even if you hit a homerun and you find a college where you can learn mobile phone programming, by the time you graduate, whatever you will have learned will have become ridiculously obsolete and you will be back at the starting point again!
Should You Turn Your Passion Into A Career?
Absolutely yes! The best career you can have is the one that you love, the career that interests you, the one that you do as a hobby or for fun.
Yes, I am asking you to do what you love and turn your passion or hobby into a full-time job.
The best reward you will get out of work is not the income that you make but the pleasure you get from doing your job.
Tell me, if you are not going to have much fun at work, why on this green planet will you do it?
How Do You Become A Mobile Phone Programmer?
You will become a mobile phone application developer by continuing along the path of getting your hands dirty with real-world mobile phone application development … and this is how you do that:
Look into the cost of developing for each of the mobile phone platforms (Android, iPhones, Windows Phones) and then choose one of them to begin with
Get a good number of books on the platforms that you’ve chosen and start learning everything that there is to know
After you learn how mobile phone programming works on any of these major platforms, start building at least one mobile phone application project.
If you find yourself being overwhelmed by all the information on mobile phone development technology, find a training provider or a course that you can subscribe to and learn mobile phone development in under a year.
And regardless of whether you are learning mobile phone development through self-study or through a training or coaching provider, keep building real-world mobile phone applications.
The biggest challenge that you will face with any Information Technology Career regardless of whether it is mobile phone programming or business analysis or project management is that of finding practical, real-world knowledge.
For overcoming that challenge, I would recommend that you read the book listed here: http://www.it-career-coach.net/book/
Are you facing a challenging career or job situation?Submit your Question to [Ask IT Career Coach] and we will answer it for you.