Help me figure out what to do next

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LookingInward
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:51 am

Help me figure out what to do next

Post by LookingInward » Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:19 am

Hello everyone,

A few months ago I posted on this forum to gather some ideas on what I should be doing as an employee (link).

However, I quit that job because, due to various reasons, It was not going to work out in the long-run. So now I have to figure out what to do next and I would like to receive some feedback from people in this forum.

I am 25 years old, I have a bachelors degree in Economics and a Post-graduate (not a Masters) degree in Finance. I could do a Master thesis but to be honest I have no motivation to make a project of that scale (and in that area) on my own. The more I studied finance the more I understood I should have gone for Mathematical Finance and not "business" Finance.
So far I have had 3 different jobs, one in IT consultancy (3 years) , and 2 in Finance (less than 1 year total). I am currently unemployed and to be honest I feel like studying/learning something different. So currently I am looking at 2 different paths: either go back to university for 2+ years to study Computer Engineering (I think the correct english name is Computer Science), or go to a more "hands-on" and intensive (few months) programming course.

A few reasons why I want to change career course:
  • I have tried programming in the past (as a hobby and professionally) and liked it
  • There are a lot of jobs in IT and programming
  • I want to work in an area where I am not just making money but preparing for the future. I feel like IT is excellent for this because, in most cases, no matter where you work, you are learning skills that can be used in other jobs and situations (more on this in the next points)
  • In the future I have plans of working on my own or as a freelancer and also do some technical volunteering work when I am "retired". IT is a good area to do these things
  • I think the financial sector is of great importance to society but the things I find more interesting about the field are of dubious utility. So in the long-run I don't think I would a strong motivation to work in the industry
I am still unsure if I should go the programming route or if a more general IT route is better. I am still investigating different areas within IT so that I can start studying by myself before enrolling in one of these 2 options. If think I will look at a few online courses and try a few from different topics. Also, I am somewhat afraid of going the "bootcamp" route because of some potential job market discrimination.

Thanks

Stahlmann
Posts: 417
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:05 pm

Re: Help me figure out what to do next

Post by Stahlmann » Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:29 pm

work.where.they.pay.you.anything.above.local.average.and.save.as.like.there.is.no.tomorrow

Lucky C
Posts: 262
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:09 am

Re: Help me figure out what to do next

Post by Lucky C » Sun May 06, 2018 8:16 am

A couple of things I think about when it comes to switching jobs now in my 30s, that I never thought about when I was in my 20s:

1. Management / work environment / culture is potentially more important than what field you're in and what you're actually doing for work. I was happier at my old summer job where management trusted workers with more responsibility and freedom than you might expect as a teenager, vs. my current workplace where the high level of micromanagement and interruptions makes it impossible to just focus and get your work done on your own. Management is just trying to do what's best but they make us feel like we constantly need to be tracked and coached even when we're doing well, which causes daily annoyances. There isn't much correlation between the skills needed for the job and my enjoyment of the job, or in other words, I could see myself being happy in a wide variety of fields if I had management / environment that matched my personality style. There is correlation between the level of skill of tasks (say mindless paperwork vs. complex problem solving) and enjoyment, but you get an unpredictable amount of mindless work and skillful work wherever you work - typically there is not much opportunity for "flow" on a day-to-day basis no matter what field you're in.

2. Job markets could change dramatically over just a couple of years. In the U.S., unemployment is very low, skilled workers are desperately needed, and chances are it will not be a better job market in two years from now since it can't get much better than this. We have gone a long time since a recession and there's a risk of that coming in a couple years and then these opportunities will start to disappear. I don't know where you will be working but there is a decent correlation between the U.S. economy and the global economy so you may want to consider whether you should just take your best sounding option now and try to learn what you want to learn while working (night courses over a longer period of time?), rather than going back to school full-time.

LookingInward
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:51 am

Re: Help me figure out what to do next

Post by LookingInward » Thu May 10, 2018 5:59 am

Thank you for your answer. I really appreciate it.

1. With my limited experience in the job market, I agree with you. I had great bosses in my first job and it truly made the job more bearable. Also, I have come to accept that I don't think I will ever "like" a full time job. It is just too much time doing things that other people want me to do. However, I think it's easier to tolerate a job if you are getting something out of it besides the money.

2. I am currently leaning more towards the "bootcamp" route of entering the IT job market. I don't think I want to be out of the job market for 3 year, not earning any or a decent income (I've worked and studied in the past and it was horrible). I want to get back to saving as fast as possible and I use my first IT job and my free time to continue to develop my skills in this field. However, if the world economy takes a turn for the worst and I am left jobless, I can always go back to university and get a "full" degree in CS. Fortunately, I have the savings to back up this plan because I saved a lot of my previous income ERE style.

I like the idea of working and studying at night but I am recovering from some health issues and I really don't think it would be good for me to push myself that hard. I've done it in the past, with good results, but I am afraid of doing it again.

DutchGirl
Posts: 1156
Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:49 pm
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Help me figure out what to do next

Post by DutchGirl » Thu May 10, 2018 6:47 am

I would also prefer the bootcamp route for you. At age 25, you want to start a career, not "wait" two more years. Also, indeed, the economy is good right now. Who knows, maybe two years from now we're in the middle of the next crisis. They do happen every now and then. When that next crisis hits, it's much better to have a job, and to have had that job for a few years already, during which you've been able to prove your value and develop your skills.

phil
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:05 am

Re: Help me figure out what to do next

Post by phil » Fri May 11, 2018 3:08 am

@LookingInward, you say that you have 3 years experience as an IT consultant and have programmed professionally. So why would you need a bootcamp or CS degree to 'enter the market'? Am I missing something?

LookingInward
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:51 am

Re: Help me figure out what to do next

Post by LookingInward » Fri May 11, 2018 5:08 am

phil wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 3:08 am
@LookingInward, you say that you have 3 years experience as an IT consultant and have programmed professionally. So why would you need a bootcamp or CS degree to 'enter the market'? Am I missing something?
I learned R during one of my finance jobs but not enough that I could declare proficiency. And I don't think I will work with R in the future if I decide to take the IT/programming route.

IlliniDave
Posts: 2198
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: Help me figure out what to do next

Post by IlliniDave » Fri May 11, 2018 7:13 am

Stahlmann wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:29 pm
work.where.they.pay.you.anything.above.local.average.and.save.as.like.there.is.no.tomorrow
This is sort of how I look at it. I work first and foremost for money. I am starting to reluctantly admit I'm perhaps a little unusual in that I've managed to find ways to make what I have enjoyable rather than ditching what I have to find enjoyment in something new. But that's not an inherent trait--it's an adaptation prompted by my priorities.

My only real advice is that if you are going to hit the reset button on career fields, really do your homework and some soul-searching with regard to what it is you want. Prioritize a list of things you want out of a job/occupation/career while being completely, shamelessly, and brutally, honest with yourself. My unordered list would be something like: easy, fun, high-paying, noble, and flexible/loosely structured. Then focus your effort on achieving the top one or maybe two. Ordered, high-paying would be my clear number 1 so I compromise on all the other items on my list to varying degrees. Your list and ranking will probably be different. Don't fight city hall (metaphor for preconceived notions and perceived expectations), shoot for what aligns best with what you value.

Peanut
Posts: 322
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:18 pm

Re: Help me figure out what to do next

Post by Peanut » Fri May 11, 2018 12:39 pm

I don't think many employers do actually discriminate against boot camps vs traditional schooling as long as you can also give them some kind of portfolio that shows you possess some coding skills. There's a strain of IT that is strongly against credentialism/prestige.

It sounds like you have some passion for it so I say go for it. You'd be ahead of 1/3 of the IT population right there. Plus you're still really young, and presumably unencumbered by family or other commitments. Now is the best time to try something new.

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Lemur
Posts: 109
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 1:40 am

Re: Help me figure out what to do next

Post by Lemur » Tue May 15, 2018 8:17 am

IlliniDave wrote:
Fri May 11, 2018 7:13 am
Stahlmann wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:29 pm
work.where.they.pay.you.anything.above.local.average.and.save.as.like.there.is.no.tomorrow
This is sort of how I look at it. I work first and foremost for money. I am starting to reluctantly admit I'm perhaps a little unusual in that I've managed to find ways to make what I have enjoyable rather than ditching what I have to find enjoyment in something new. But that's not an inherent trait--it's an adaptation prompted by my priorities.

My only real advice is that if you are going to hit the reset button on career fields, really do your homework and some soul-searching with regard to what it is you want. Prioritize a list of things you want out of a job/occupation/career while being completely, shamelessly, and brutally, honest with yourself. My unordered list would be something like: easy, fun, high-paying, noble, and flexible/loosely structured. Then focus your effort on achieving the top one or maybe two. Ordered, high-paying would be my clear number 1 so I compromise on all the other items on my list to varying degrees. Your list and ranking will probably be different. Don't fight city hall (metaphor for preconceived notions and perceived expectations), shoot for what aligns best with what you value.
This is the perspective I have approached my 8 hours day in and day out. It is much better than the drudgery mindset of dragging yourself into work and looking at your investment balance everyday. I used to be pretty bored with accounting. I got into the field when I wanted to work with numbers. Now my mindset is: how can I develop this work faster and more efficient? What programming could I use to automate this? This is how I got into Python. Now I'm never bored. At work, I knock out the busywork as quick as I can and buy myself time to practice skills. I stay interested and more than likely increase possibility of future promotions/raises based on a niche skillset.

Nomad
Posts: 57
Joined: Wed May 16, 2018 5:23 pm
Location: UK

Re: Help me figure out what to do next

Post by Nomad » Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:43 pm

As a person who works in IT and has done so far many years, I would say that there are many ways of receiving training online at minimal cost.

YouTube
There are YouTube channels on certain languages.

MOOCS
Massive open online courses such as hosted by Coursera or Udacity. They also have video courses.

Online Book Libraries
You can get books online account https://www.safaribooksonline.com. Search books or watch video courses.

StackOverflow
Post your programming problems and search for solutions.

GitHub
You can search and access public code bases for ideas.

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BRUTE
Posts: 3547
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: Help me figure out what to do next

Post by BRUTE » Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:43 pm

at 25, and with a degree already, the bootcamp route seems much better to brute.

1.CS degrees have almost nothing to do with programming, they're very theoretical
2.what bootcamps provide is massive experience crammed into a short time frame
3.LookingInward already has the "credential" box ticked with the finance degree
4.economy is on fire right now
5.bootcamp is probably cheaper

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