How will I know if I will be able to handle the rigors of the Computer Science program I am starting soon?
I already have a BS degree in English Literature, and I worked in the field as a technical editor and writer for about 15 years. During that time, I taught myself some HTML4 and a little CSS and LOVED IT. I now have the opportunity to go back to school to get a second BS degree and Computer Science is my goal. However, it's been 13 years since I've taken a college course. All I know for sure I that I want to become a developer; that is my end game.
What is it about Computer Science that intrigues you? I ask because given your background (thanks for providing it!) you might be more interested in a boot camp program rather than another college degree. Check out Hack Reactor for an example of a boot amp program - faster and more focused than a BS CS.
It is great that you are willing to take the plunge and change career to follow what you love. I have done it a few times in my 50 year career: engineer, teacher, computer game developer, corporate financier and CEO of a marketing group. The world changes and opportunities arise and you only live once so grab what comes your way!
As far as knowing if you can handle it is concerned, you need to try it. There are plenty of great online courses out there and I suggest you try some. I have suggested a link below...
Rod recommends the following next steps:
I am a computer science graduate (from many years ago!) and my son is currently a sophomore in college studying computer science. The kinds of things to be prepared for:
- lots of small/medium sized hands-on programming projects
- a few core curriculum classes (math, science, English, etc.) for your first several semesters, be sure to keep up with those assignments so you will have enough time for your CS projects
Because there will be many projects (some individual and some with a team), you will need to manage your time wisely. Best advice I can offer is to get your ideas coded and tested ASAP so you have something started. Some people will wait till the end of the alotted time to start and run out of time — expect lots of trial and error.
Chris recommends the following next steps:
I just recently graduated with a degree in CS (a little over 5 years ago) and it was definitely more difficult that I expected it to be. Although you do have experience in coding, jumping into the academic field can get really technical and really confusing. That being said, yes, it will be difficult at times, but if you put in the work and the time to practice and study, you should come out of it just fine. You got this!
I agree with Rod —things are changing so fast. If you’re not already locked into that traditional college path I would recommend Udacity’s online program. I earned. Nanodegree there and the best part is the hands on learning Python with the same group of students from all over the world. So you experience the diversity and levels of experience in networking.
Bonnie recommends the following next steps:
It's so exciting that you about to embark on a second BS degree in computer science! I have two answers to this question 1) If you want to "try before you buy" you can do an online introduction to computer science class. MIT has a great intro class that you can work through. If you find yourself enjoying yourself you'll know you have what it takes 2) Most computer science degrees have a lot of difficult classes in the first semester so you'll know in the first few weeks if it is right for you.
Alex recommends the following next steps: