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Adult switching career to Computer Science and Facing Age Discrimination

Last response: in Work & Education
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March 8, 2014 11:54:09 AM

I would like to know if anyone has switched careers to Computer Science. If you switched, do you have any advice? Did you work while taking classes? Did you face age discrimination?

Here is my background: I am 30 years old, and I have an Associates Degree in a science field, which I graduated from last year. I work at a hospital, but I have always wanted to do Computer Science. I have always been too intimidated to go to school for it because when I was in high school in the 1990s, it was not a "girl" job. My guidance counselor told me I should pick something more realistic like nursing. Thus, thats why I now work in a hospital and hate every day of my working life. I build my own computers at home, enjoy gaming, and I am the one people call when they have computer issues.

So I recently decided to take the plunge, and go to my local state university for computer science. I already have all of the liberal arts done, and about half of the math. So I email the CS coordinator to ask what its like and if there are many adult students, and he replies that its not really for adults, especially ones with "family obligations", and the "program is geared more toward the younger student right out of high school who has a completely open schedule". He suggested I take Computer Information Systems and gave me the name of a different college that is known for putting out low quality degrees for working adults. You know the ones: they advertise about online courses in things like business administration and health IT, and their degrees only take a year to complete, and you might get a free TV for applying... basically a joke college. He basically said "Computer science? For you? Ha! I won't even waste my time with you, go somewhere else!".
I am very offended by being cast aside so easily! I don't have children (I suppose he assumed I did because I am female and 30), and I was in school just last year. I am not some soccer mom who hasn't been in school for 30 years and would have to start from basic arithmetic (not that there is anything wrong with that, but thats just not me).

June 18, 2014 6:07:36 AM

Your guidance counselar is a sexist moron. You should persue the career you desire. There is no such thing as a male only career and many woman have a huge amount of respect for pursuing that field. It's just some dumb sexist stereotype. My instructor is a female and has been in this field for decades.

Trust your heart because another persons belief are more like their opnions and you know what they say about opinions! My girlfriend is pursuing a career in 3D animation because she's a very good artist. That's still in the field you would pland to consider. Another thing 30 is YOUNG not old. Old is when you find you car keys in the freezer. Or when you can't get out of bed on your own anymore. Like 80 is old hahah! I have seen old I was a Certified Nursing Assistant out of high school. Many would thinkg that a woman's career not a man's they would say well a man should be a doctor not a nurse of any type. Guess what many man have to be nurses for a while to afford to cover school to become doctors so in their faces. 13 of school doesn't pay for itself.

If you persue a career and you actually study hard master a programming language and know what you're talking about it'll be the best move you ever made. Right now I have a classmate who's in his 60's learning stuff just because. I say do it and the heck with the stereotypes. If you have the ambition and the you are good at what you learn you wil find work (very easily because it'sin high demand right now) and you will be much happier you did in the first place. They are just being jealous because you want to move on to something bigger and better thing they might not ever be smart enough or brave enough to persue.

Sorry to rant off like that but if women can join the military then why not computer science. My girlfriend is doing it and I feel you should too! BTW my girlfriend and I are both prior service military as well!
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