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Author Topic: Bachelor of Computer Science  (Read 1607 times)
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« on: 14/11/2014, 08:37 AM »

Hi Guys.

Long Time listener first time poster Smiley

I wanted to find out if anyone from DI has completed or is in the middle of completing a Bachelor of Computer Science.

I'm currently doing a CSU Short Course in App Development and i'm really enjoying it.

So i'm thinking of biting the bullet and enrolling in the Degree.

Anyone have any feedback?

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« Reply #1 on: 14/11/2014, 08:49 AM »

Hi BiigMack, I started an IT degree about 20 years ago but never finished, I have however been working in IT for that entire time as multiple things including a developer, and currently an Manager.

As a manager when hiring someone the main thing i will look for is knowledge and experience and a degree can give you the start of that knowledge and experience.

A degree is great but not the be all and end all, can I ask how old you are and what the purpose would be of getting your degree? In saying that I am currently studying a business course at Uni so do appreciate the value of formal education.

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« Reply #2 on: 14/11/2014, 09:39 AM »

Hi Mone

Thanks for the reply.

I'm 31, I'm currently working within a small national help desk for a government department. I assist clients with technical issues on a range of different products we have released. I have no formal training in IT i have just grown up with computers.

I started out in Defense as an Electronics Tech for the Navy. When i left i worked for Federal Government Departments in several different rolls including management i have a Cert IV in front line Management.

Management is not where my passion lies. I like to create / build. Like i said earlier i'm really enjoying the App Development short course i'm doing and i was sort of hoping this degree would help lead me into a career in the App Dev / Software Dev side of IT.

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« Reply #3 on: 15/11/2014, 05:01 AM »

I agree with Mone,

I work for a software development company, and have hired a number of developers (some great, some terrible…), and the only thing I have learnt is that the best developers will have a strong history of interest in programming. So they will typically have a lot of work they can point to and say they worked on, whether that be from other jobs, or if they are just out of uni or self taught, a number of open source projects they have contributed to.

Open source projects, or a history of finding and submitting bugs/ fixes in them, are a really good sign from an employer point of view…. And from the employee point of view, they demonstrate that you know how to program, and that you enjoy doing it. Some of the worst developers I employed were ones who came straight from Uni, but had nothing to point to except good grades… whilst two of the best were non uni graduates … not to say there isn’t any value in the Uni degree, as by far the best developer I have seen was/ is a phd student who blitzed his uni degree (and had a strong history of committing to open source projects…)

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« Reply #4 on: 15/11/2014, 05:38 AM »

I am the same, started a degree in Bach IT at USQ many, many, many fucking moons ago and never completed it. I am now pushing closer to 40 in a few years and have seen better IS&T people without a degree than those with them. That doesnt mean it is useless, as I said, I have had more wankers with a piece of paper than without, but still there are the awesome rare ones with it.

I am IS&T Field with a heavy focus on OS Desktops and anything under the sun that they (my employer at the time) thinks I can resolve and am paid well for it. Probably cause the conditions suck that I work in but overall I focused on OS/Field work cause I loved it, did the MS exams, now have three certs on my wall to make the CIO happy that I can at least pass something and prove to HR I am 'qualified'. But, to the team here, they care more about if you can do the job without bullshitting than those who declare you are more important due to having a Bach, Doc, higher ed of some kind.

So far in the last 30 days I have had to; build a Sharepoint page for QA team, while I am not a pro, I know a bit about it, knocked up a page for them that was basic, had a nice doc library, pics and links all over the place tying into the 4 projects in Australia, then wrote up a hand over doc to pass it to Sharepoint Dev team in Houston to continue as I dont have time to do it 24/7.
Yesterday was in the middle of butt fuck no where talking out a plan to relocate offices, some issues were LoS for the dishes, power / generators, fucktards on youtube etc. Again, I am not qualified, but am able to give input and experience into the move to ensure it goes off well (finishing that job on Monday - pending sparkies dont screw it Kiss )

So what I am explaining is, if you're willing to get the piece of paper, go for it, but from what I have experienced on site, it looks good, but as long as you can do it without being a dick, is what counts more. Whats even better, is if you can admit you don't know whats going on than trying to bluff it because you have the quals.

If you need it to get a job, try working on contacts and friends, I still find it's who you know, not what you know.

Thats my two cents.

This space for rent.
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« Reply #5 on: 15/11/2014, 05:24 PM »

Great advice guys thanks. I'm not stressed that a piece of paper will go to my head. I have worked in plenty of tech support \ fault finding rolls (not IT more engineering) to know when if don't know whats going on then that's okay. Whats important is to look for the answer or man up and ask someone who may know.

Another reason i'm looking at uni is that i would like a formal education in the field. I did consider tafe but if i'm going to study for years i would rather go for the highest qualification. While studying im going to apply within my department to work on some of the projects they are undertaking so i can get some real world experience to bolster my studies.

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« Reply #6 on: 17/11/2014, 10:36 AM »

I think a lot of the poor reviews of graduates above is for fresh graduates who are trying to get into the industry, and that is more a comment on people in the early twenties. There is seriously no one more arrogant or deluded than a fresh graduate full of being a big fish with zero world experience. They are like 18 year olds fresh out of high school but magnified.

Degree’s are good for careers, so in 10-15 years time when you are moving into management, a degree will give you an edge over other applicants. The real value in a degree isn’t in what you learn in each class, but in learning how to organise yourself, learning how to write, and learning how to learn. Learning how to learn is the top one, as people get older their world view gets narrower, continued learning broadens your horizons and opens your mind.

You only get out what you put in, and a committed mature age student who is there because he wants to be there, will get so much more out of a degree than some punk fresh out of high school who is doing the degree because he could think of anything better and didn’t want to do a trade.

If I was you I’d look hard at the individual schools and at their sylabus’s, not all universities are created equal after all. You want to make sure that the subjects are in the field you are interested in, and make sure the lecturers have credible/relevant experience to be teaching you. Don’t believe the university website when they say “ranked #1 in blah blah blah” there are as many ranking systems as there are universities, so shop around and try to find multiple third party ranking systems. I would include TAFE in your searches, because there are some instances where TAFE is better.

Keep in mind that a degree is a big commitment, for a young guy working full time, and with kids, realistically you’re doing one subject a semester, maybe going the summer session to knock over an extra one per year, a degree will take you 6 – 8 years. It’s a marathon not a sprint, so start slow and do one subject in your first semester, you can always crank up the work load in following semesters. A lot of universities have a quitting date, 2-4 weeks into semester, where you can pull out of a course at no cost.

Bottom line, if you’re trying to improve yourself and make opportunities for yourself, then a degree is only going to help.
« Last Edit: 17/11/2014, 10:41 AM by bageled » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: 17/11/2014, 01:43 PM »

bageled mate i think you summed it up perfectly in your last sentence. Thanks Smiley


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« Reply #8 on: 18/11/2014, 06:05 AM »

Mate I completed my BA App Sci Computing in 1998 and instantly added +10 to my nerd.

...and now Im a manager of IT Operations. IE, never wrote code and went the sys admin path, but it still helped because I could write scripts and powershell easier than most.

While I laugh about how little of this course I use today - it still is a great foundation to future learning in the industry. I think you would be great at it because you WANT to do it. Oh, and dont turn your nose up when they go over older programming languages because in the finance, banking, and insurance industries they run on ancient systems but big $$$ can be made interfacing the old database tech with new code.
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« Reply #9 on: 18/11/2014, 04:29 PM »

Hi BiigMack,

I dunno if you've noticed the trend from the growing number of posts above... and I'm going to add to it...

I started working in IT right after high school, helpdesk jockey doing the midnight to 8am shift in the late 90s/early 2000s... no certs... did an MCP in NT4 while working helpdesk, got noticed and promoted to desktop support not because of any paper though... and that's when I started doing a degree by correspondence, Bachelor of Applied Science (Info Tech)... working full time and doing a full time course load... oh and a newborn son in the mix as well, was hard work...

But it didn't pay off right away.  Finished degree in 2006 and thought it would lead to wonderful things, but it wasn't the right degree... got turned away a couple of times because, although it was from "Australia's best technical university" - RMIT University, it wasn't a "Bachelor of IT"... so I used it to RPL, along with about 7 years experience full time Helldesk/Desktop Support to get a Diploma of IT (Sys Admin) as well... still didn't help much...

Got lucky and landed a job based mostly on experience and the paper helped a little with another large firm, moved up the ladder a bit to Exchange Specialist, then converged devices project lead, then Systems Administrator, then left Brisbane and took a job as a Field Services (desktop support) Team Lead with 2IC management/backfill duties for a large and distributed team based all across Qld of about 30 staff.

Used that experience to bootstrap into my current role as a Qld Gov ICT Manager.  

Interestingly enough, I don't think after I got the degree and diploma it actually secured a job... just helped, I'll admit I've been lucky, right place, right time, right mix of experience... but it's been the experience that's got me in the door, the paper just helped.  

I happen to know that I got my current job as an ICT manager by winning a handful of points on the selection scoring, I beat out another applicant simply because I did have the paper, we were neck and neck for everything else.  

So my simple advice is... experience is key, get the experience, but don't be lazy and rest on that alone.... take some extra time, spend some money, get a HECS debt if you need to (though, think carefully about that!) and get the piece of paper too.  I had it for 6+ years before it actually did anything other than look nice on the wall, but when it comes down to it, especially in government/large organizations that have standardized or number-based selection processes, the paper can win you extra points enough to come out on top when up against someone else with the same/comparable experience.
« Last Edit: 18/11/2014, 04:34 PM by Virgil83 » Logged

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