Careers

Studied the wrong degree, not sure what to do next

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 10th, 2019 2:29 pm
Deal Addict
Sep 4, 2007
1362 posts
909 upvotes
Edmonton
I don't think you're as screwed as you think you are. Tell us how long you've been looking for work and exactly how you've been looking. Do you have any experience? Skills?
Deal Fanatic
Oct 7, 2010
9016 posts
1280 upvotes
Go to Seneca or Humber to take something you can get a job with.
Member
Feb 24, 2018
283 posts
137 upvotes
First of all, you don't need to do a coding camp if you want to get into IT, that's more computer science & program though it obviously never hurts to know. Although maybe you do want to do programming in which case it could help. I would enroll in a college program nearby (not the private ones) and see how it goes while checking if that program has a co-op option. One semester of college is only a few months, not as expensive as university depending on the program, and you'll get a better sense of what you want to do. If you don't want to repeat a 4 year undergrad then college is shorter anyways (again depending on the program).

Asides from that, I'd probably go to an Employment Canada office if I were you (they're everywhere run by various groups) and get career counseling from them, they have access to some helpful resources.
Jr. Member
Feb 7, 2018
155 posts
54 upvotes
Toronto ON
I also got into IT without an IT degree. I actually have a BA degree. Since you already have a degree, this is what they ask for. Nobody in IT is interested what is the degree about. If it is an IT degree - great. Otherwise - okay. Show skills - all they care in IT are skills and of course some reference, so look for volunteering opportunities first.

And before that - decide where in IT you wanna go, plan what you need to study, sit at home, spend few months studying and most importantly - practicing - IT is all about practical skills, something you could show. Since you start from the beginning , build a portfolio of 2-3 projects (AT LEAST) and then go for interviews.

Directions you could go to START, sorted from fastest track to best salary (VERY relatively) and what they require to learn (relatively):

All of them require: SDLC (what is a software development, methodologies - waterfall or agile mostly)

- QA/Automation QA: Testing practices, SQL, RDBMS (What is a database and how to use it), simple programming usually with Python
- System administration: Linux (Ubuntu, Redhat) or Windows Server (this requires a lot of fees for exams, but pays way more imho), security, also some fun stuff - know what a cable is, how to build a network, how internet works
- Web development - HTML5, Javascript, Angular.js. Advanced: Java or .Net (but .Net will require fees for exam) - these two pay more. some Photoshop - for webdev some image editing is essential
- Database Administration/Development: SQL on advanced level, database security, not sure what else
- Backend development - lots of options, best go for Java or .Net. This however might take more time to learn, could involve anything

As I said, this is very rough sketch on what an IT career path could be.

Portfolio: For a webdev, build like 5-10 websites, could be small ones, but make them eye-candy, upload somewhere (could be on a free server, but better buy yourself a host), be ready to show. For a developer, put 3-5 projects on GitHub for people to see. For QA, no need of portfolio I think

Forgot - for learning in IT we have a saying "if you need to ask somebody, first ask Google" - nowadays everything could be found with Google/Wikipedia and lots of things have tutorials on Youtube too. That's why I said - sit at home and spend time learning
Deal Addict
Nov 14, 2010
1087 posts
195 upvotes
JcvD10 wrote: I have for the most part, which was what led to me having an anxiety attack and meltdown.

After searching various job databases for postings, the options were looking grim. Most of them required much higher levels of education and experience for a consultant or analyst position, which i'm not very passionate about to begin with. I picked this on the basis of thinking it was the general recommended route for becoming a lawyer but after switching gears i didn't realize how limited my options were. Wish i would have picked a better option to fall back on.

Now i get to hear "I told you so" by almost everyone.

But i'm taking responsibility for it. I just wanna move on to another chapter in my life, but want to make sure its something i'm passionate about and make ends meet.

I was just wondering if anyone else was having a hard time getting a job with their degree, or switched to an entirely different field.
Your post is all over the place. What do you want out of life? Do you want to follow your passions or do you want a tolerable office job that pays good money and affords you a relatively normal lifestyle?

I have some quick questions: Are you sociable? Can you shoot the s**t with other people so to speak? Do you groom yourself? Can you speak to a woman in a professional manner without freezing up and becoming tense? If the answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes then there is hope. You are suddenly much more employable than a lot of the STEM dweebs and BBAs wagging their finger at you and reveling in the schadenfreude.

What are your classmates doing? I'm sure some are working in many different industries. Banks, government, non-profits, etc. Forget the online job boards. Work your network. It's all about networking.
Newbie
Nov 13, 2015
50 posts
13 upvotes
Pitt Meadows, BC
Isn't a civil service career the natural place for someone with a poli sci major? Look at feds, province/territory/municpal jobs.
Member
Feb 24, 2018
283 posts
137 upvotes
ginoisselling wrote: - QA/Automation QA: Testing practices, SQL, RDBMS (What is a database and how to use it), simple programming usually with Python
- System administration: Linux (Ubuntu, Redhat) or Windows Server (this requires a lot of fees for exams, but pays way more imho), security, also some fun stuff - know what a cable is, how to build a network, how internet works
- Web development - HTML5, Javascript, Angular.js. Advanced: Java or .Net (but .Net will require fees for exam) - these two pay more. some Photoshop - for webdev some image editing is essential
- Database Administration/Development: SQL on advanced level, database security, not sure what else
- Backend development - lots of options, best go for Java or .Net. This however might take more time to learn, could involve anything
Web Development/Backend development counts as part of IT? I thought it was completely separate and closer to programming (hence needing the portfolio for those two).
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jul 12, 2003
10817 posts
3108 upvotes
Toronto
The University Degree and the jobs people doing is not necessary the same.
Look at LinkedIn, a lot pf people studied in one field and end up working in a different field and grow from there.

Even you spend another few years to earn the degree of your choice, it is not guarantee that you will get a job that you want in the future.
You are just wasting more time and school money on education, finish your degree and get out to work.
Retired Forum Moderator February 2009 - June 2015
Banned
Jul 1, 2017
239 posts
137 upvotes
A degree is always a basic requirement.

The best course of action is to look into technical training. Technical expertise is grossly undervalued today; when truthfully, it's the only way to add-value for any organization you work for.

Just try to understand what you want to be doing and get the necessary technical knowledge to do that work. You don't need a masters for anything; regardless of what some hot-headed RFD posters may think; 99% of Master degrees are useless.
Sr. Member
Feb 19, 2017
548 posts
282 upvotes
unowned wrote: How do you know you won't dislike IT or accounting after doing those courses? Odd 180 you're doing with initial motivations in polisci going over to a technical discipline. If its only for the sake of money, then IT pay really isn't that good. All things considered, you may as well stay or get back on the law track if possible.

Does anyone else get the feeling that this generation's graduates are being hit with an extreme sense of indifference. With housing out of the reach of of millennials, workforce automation, and social media pushing the idea to "follow your dreams", I feel fortunate to have graduated a decade ago, I honestly don't know how I could succeed today.
It's easier to make a million/yr as a lawyer but easier to make 200K/yr as a developer. I consider 200K+ to be pretty damn good money.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 27, 2009
6928 posts
4093 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
Walch1102 wrote: It's easier to make a million/yr as a lawyer but easier to make 200K/yr as a developer. I consider 200K+ to be pretty damn good money.
I think making anything even close to a million a year as a lawyer would be beyond rare.
Banned
Jul 12, 2016
329 posts
180 upvotes
Maybe you've heard from other people, "You have to be a communications major to become a writer." Not so. In practically every field, there are exceptions to the rule.

In all but the most strictly regulated fields, there's no such thing as the wrong major. So if you find yourself thinking you've taken the wrong educational path, think again. Start exploring the many ways you can turn your wrong background into the career that's right for you
Newbie
Mar 7, 2018
1 posts
I went from dentist to full time developer. All hope is not lost. Check out Lighthouse Labs. PM me if you want to know more about the program (or similar programs across the country).
Jr. Member
Feb 7, 2018
155 posts
54 upvotes
Toronto ON
PHuth2 wrote: Web Development/Backend development counts as part of IT? I thought it was completely separate and closer to programming (hence needing the portfolio for those two).
Everything is IT, unless you do some scientific work in a scientific facility or university.
Deal Addict
Dec 31, 2007
4350 posts
889 upvotes
Richmond Hill
I don't get this expectation these days.

Just because you tried something that you don't end up liking, doesn't make it "wrong".

If there can only be right and no wrong when trying to find what works for you, then we may as well all not try and just get told what to do.

It's a fact of life that in order to find what works, you will NEED to find things that don't work.

There is no "Google Maps" for life.

I am 100% certain that there are things you acquired in political science that you can draw upon in your life moving forward. If you can look at it in that perspective, then you would've achieved progress and not feel as if it was a complete waste. And that's all that matters, to keep progressing and growing and learning.

Just like you started and completed political science, I am sure you can do the same for the next step, if that ends up to be IT or coding or whatever the next step is.

We (internet/family/friends) can't give you a compass that points to the thing you want most. You'll have to figure that out on your own and create your world out of it.

GL.

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