This is going to be 10 things you need to know before you go do an Information technology degree, before I start, let me make sure, this is for the bachelors in Computer science Student who want to work in Information Technology.
1. Programming Language
The first thing is, there is going to be a lot of programming in this degree, That’s just how it is, There is a lot of programming. So don’t think you’re getting into tech here without having to do programming, because you’re certainly not. That’s the thing.
There’s a lot of programming I had, it worked out really well for me because I love programming, I loved it when I learned it, And basically, it made my career, I’m really glad I had a lot of programming.
If you don’t think that you like programming, this is probably not the degree for you.
2. Internships Immediately
This is a tech degree, and this is very competitive getting into college, And getting the degree is important. But you really also need to Get internships, it will help you a lot.
Now I’m not saying that you can’t get a job without them, But it will make a huge difference in not only how easy it is to find a job, but in how good of a job that you eventually find.
Go for internships right away the first year, don’t wait to apply, Just go ahead and start applying, Start looking into technologies that you like, and apply in those companies that support those technologies.
The people that didn’t do internships had a lot more trouble when it came to actually time to find a job than the people who had internships.
Look for internships, as early as you can just keep applying, apply everywhere you can practically work, try to get an internship there, and it will be best for getting a job in a big company like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft.
3. Diversity of Skills
Number three is that you are going to learn a lot of skills and they’re probably going to be some that you don’t like no matter what you do.
You’re going to learn to program, You’re going to learn networking, You’re going to learn database administration, You’re going to learn some level of project management, There’s a lot of stuff in there.
So make sure that you’re ready for that it is very diverse in the skill set. There’s a lot that is there and doesn’t think that you’re going to need to know all of it for your future job.
But I will say at least for me, having a basic knowledge of it has been important, So be ready to try to absorb those skills, try to do well at everything you do.
But don’t expect to like all of it, there’s going to be some stuff that you just outright hate, I will say hopefully that thing isn’t programming, because you’re going to be doing a lot of that either way.
I know a lot of people that didn’t really like programming, but they were okay with it, they could get through it. And a lot of them didn’t like that it had so much programming in it the degree.
But they got through it, and they focused on the skill they liked, and they got a good job with it. So, again, a lot of programming, but a lot of other skills, be ready to at least meet one that you don’t like.
4. Everyone Ends Up in The Same Place
Number four is hopefully one that you’ll actually end up finding comforting, and that is that everyone ends up in the same place.
That’s usually the answer I give to people asking the question, should I do computer science? Should I do Computer Engineering? Should I do it? Should I do software development, there are so many choices.
And it makes it really difficult to actually choose something? Well, let me tell you something, during my first internship, I sat down next to basically three people that were at the same level as me throughout the course of it, there was another teenager, there was a computer engineer.
And later on, there was a computer science major, So we all kind of ended up doing the same job. And the ones that I still keep up with are actually working in the same field now, sometimes in slightly different roles.
But really, we’re doing the same thing, And that’s something that’s important to remember is that there is not a huge gap in where you actually end up in tech in most situations.
Now there are some jobs that some degrees are more cut out for If you want to do some kind of high level, machine learning, High-level math type programming, computer science might be the better choice for you.
If you want to work with hardware at a lower level, Computer Engineering could be a better choice for you not to say that you can’t get into those things with an IT degree because you certainly can There are people that don’t have degrees that can get into it.
So again, just remember, don’t really compare your degree to the other degrees, And don’t think too much about which one you choose, you may be better off choosing for more practical reasons as far as, what do you think you can get through?
versus, you know, what job will I be able to get, because the truth is, a lot of you guys are going to end up in the same place.
5. Stressful Jobs
Okay, this is one that is actually more about the job, just realized, no matter where you end up, it’s likely to be a kind of stressful job.
Now, I wouldn’t say it’s going to be as stressful as say, being a doctor. But the truth is that it can be stressful if you’re working in an IT department, say you’re working on systems that people use,
and they may need those systems to be able to actually do their job. So if something goes wrong with that system, whether it be some kind of programming fault, if you’re a developer, or maybe it’s a network issue or database issue,
God forbid, they’re going to kind of need you to fix it Now, whenever now is right, it’s kind of a high priority thing. If it’s in the middle of the night, you might get a call in the middle of the night, That is how it works.
But there definitely are times where you’re going to have to work outside the average, you know, eight to five, where maybe if you’re doing some kind of push to production, you can’t do that during you know, peak or off-hours.
And there’s a lot of things that can cause you to end up working maybe a little harder than just eight to five standard.
Now, one of those things is if you’re working for a company that deploys software to the public, or Your software is your product as a company, and you’re working on that main product, there’s a thing called crunch time.
You know in IT development there is a deadline, it needs to be out by a certain date, And if you aren’t getting it there fast enough, you’re gonna have to work a lot of overtime, this happens to a lot of people that do commercial software development.
And the reason is, especially if the company is centered around this technology, there are other people trying to do the same thing.
And you have to beat him to market because whoever first is probably going to be most successful. So for people doing commercial development, that is a real thing. crunch time,
especially God forbid you to go into game development, that’s going to be a real thing for you, maybe most of the time that you work with the industry we have now.
6. Soft Skills
Number six is you need to learn to build your soft skills if you don’t already have them Now, there’s a lot of fancy stuff around soft skills and working with other business people.
But the truth is, it just means being able to deal with other people Here’s the reason why, Because these days, no one really does anything alone,
it just doesn’t work that way, things are too complicated for you to just do it all yourself, and there is no oversight, and they just trust you, you’re that much of a genius, that really doesn’t happen, If it ever did, it doesn’t happen anymore.
So today, you can be as smart as you want, If you can’t work with other people, you’re gonna have a hard time and they’re not going to want to work with you.
And a company’s not going to want to hire you, So you have to get your soft skills in a good place. And everyone can always work on these skills.
And you don’t have to go to some kind of, you know, the session where you pretend to be doing things. In order to build the skills you really don’t.
All you have to do is just be more outgoing and meet people make friends, experiment with interacting with them.
This is probably not a problem for some people, And you might think I’m crazy for even mentioning it. But you know, I think most people going into it or some level of nerd.
There are definitely some nerds out there that have issues with communicating and making friends and being outgoing.
And I’m not trying to doubt you if you’re an introvert, that’s okay, you can do this being an introvert, it just means that you kind of push yourself to get better at interacting with people.
And the easiest way to do that really is just to do it in life, And that might mean you know when you’re in college before you’re in college, go do that thing that your friend is inviting you to, you know, and although this might not be the best advice now this is probably better advice.
If you’re the kind of person that gets really nervous or has certain social situations as we all do, we all have social situations where we kind of run into trouble, try to work on those things.
And above all, try to get a little bit more outgoing. It’s okay to be an introvert, but at the same time, we’re doing an interview, they’re there to get to know you.
And if you have trouble expressing yourself, or being, you know, in that very moment, or just that interview being outgoing enough, so that they can see kind of what kind of person you are, that can kind of spell problems for you.
7. Get A Good Computer
You need to have a good computer, you’re not really going to be able to use the Public Library computers to get through these classes or this degree, because basically, you’re going to need to write programs, you’re going to need to have that with you, you’re gonna need to take it home with you.
I’m not saying you can’t pull it off with what we had there, you know, our classes, there were definitely at least a few classes where you really technically couldn’t pull it off.
If you were trying to use a public computer, you’re going to need special programs and a lot of cases that you won’t find on a public computer.
So not only do you need your own computer, I recommend having a good one because you’re going to be spending a lot of time on it.
Now it can be a laptop, For me, I did have a laptop as well as a desktop computer, And I mostly use the desktop computer, though I did use a laptop, sometimes benefit of a laptop is you can have it with you in class, and take your notes on it.
And if that’s your main computer, you know, that’s fine, But make sure it is a good one because you’re not going to want it to get bogged down by some of the larger things that you do.
8. Knowledge Of Math
Number eight is there are things that you need to know about math, So if you think you’re doing it to get out of some of the higher-level math that computer science makes you do, you will get out,
that’s true, you won’t get out of the programming, as we’ve discussed, but you will get out of some of the high-level calc maths, linear algebra, things like that.
But it’s not a catch-all for avoiding math not even close, you’re still going to have to do you know, all your college algebra is, you’re still going to have to do up to trig, you’re gonna have to do physics, I had to do physics one and two, not a math class, technically,
but it’s completely math-based, you’re going to have to do something called discrete mathematics, which, if you hate math, I can’t imagine a worse kind of hell, because it was pretty rough for me.
And I don’t hate math, I don’t I love it, But I don’t hate it, And it is like take the numbers out of math and turn it on the symbols and make insane.
That is discrete math, And I don’t want to say anything more about it because I got to be in that class. I’m lucky that I got through because it was a rough math class, just as so there are hard math classes in its degree.
Don’t think that there are not beyond that, There are other kinds of math that you’re going to learn in your different classes like computer science, you’re going to have to take that, at least in my degree I did.
And that’s a pretty math-based class, Even though the homework assignments and stuff are programming based, you’re going to have to do quite a bit of math On the exams.
You’re gonna have to do kind of new kinds of math like binary math and learn hexadecimal. So there’s a lot of math it is just not the crazy linear algebra, calculus three Tight mass that you might be afraid of.
Number nine is to be looking into specializations. Now, what I mean by that is you’re learning a lot of different skills. So in the end, you’re not going to end up just doing all those skills as some kind of it every man,
You’re most likely going to end up focusing on one of those skills in particular, and knowing the other ones will be useful to you in some way or another.
Now, the thing about trying to specialize in that you normally just can’t say, Alright, this is exactly what I want to do and go in and do it before you start taking classes unless you have some kind of outside experience.
Because you’re just not going to know what you like, you might think you know what you’re going to like. And I do recommend, in your flowchart, try to hit something that you like early because then you’ll know if you really like it.
And if it turns out that you don’t actually like it, then you have other options, and you can take the next best one, try that see how it goes.
Now, as far as specializing, there’s a lot of ways to stand out with specializations, One is to do certifications. Now, this doesn’t sound easy, because basically, you’re already doing a full-time college workload, how are you going to study for a certification exam, it can be done.
And it can be done in breaks is what I can tell you. And it’s not always necessary for all specializations there are like if you want to get into programming certifications, really, I would say not necessarily the best way to go.
If you’re going into networking, You should definitely get certification because it will help you out a lot. Now, there are also minors, so look at the available minors to you, because you’re likely going to need to take a lot of tech electives.
So not your, you know, Gender Studies type stuff, something more like it has to be a tech-related class. But you’re not required to do it for the degree, but it does count as an elective for the degree.
Now, what you’re going to find in these classes is usually they’re offered to a lot of different tech degrees, like computer science and computer engineering, because they all have a certain kind of inventory of electives that you need to fill, you need to check some boxes.
And I would recommend, you know, kind of early on looking at those different minors and maybe, you know, putting a pin in one that you think is good, you can try to back out, possibly at least I could, if you really didn’t like it on the first class.
I personally did a security computing minor, the only thing I learned from it is that I really did not want to do security. It just wasn’t my thing, I like programming.
That’s what I learned from my minor. But that being said, For anyone having a security minor looks good for me, as a programmer, I can’t say I didn’t learn anything, but that there are, you know, things I use in my programs.
There are practices that I use that I learned from those classes. And, you know, I’m glad I did it, even though I also learned a lot of stuff that I definitely didn’t want to do, like reviewing, you know, loads of paperwork, that just wasn’t really my thing.
So you’ll get something out of actually focusing versus just being all over the place, when it comes to actually have something to show because you can show a minor, right, even if it’s not the minor you wanted, it’s better than nothing.
So yeah, choose a minor try to specialize, There’s more stuff than that. You can join clubs, you can do outside events, you can do personal projects, it’s hard because when you start you kind of just pick up something you like for a while,
and then this new thing comes along, you pick that up. And you do that for a while, it’s really easy to fall into that.
But as you get near to the end, it’s important to kind of stick with something, take one of those things that you did say, you know what, all those things, this was my favorite thing.
I’m going to push with that, you know, if you haven’t already messed up your ability to get a minor by then I’m going to push for a minor in that I would not recommend actually delaying your graduation for a minor because these days, I don’t really know how much the minor really matters.
10. Find Your edge
Now this sort of goes along with specializing, but it’s a little bit broader. And this goes to a lot of college degrees, not just IT, but because it is very competitive and very diverse in the skill set.
I think it applies even more, And what I mean by that is you’re in college, not only to learn technical things and pass tests, and write programs, you’re also there to kind of discover yourself and what you’re good at.
Now, this is really hard for a lot of us to do. Because basically, it’s just a hard thing in life to know where you excel and where you don’t.
This is where having a good friend group can help that you’re not always that great at judging what you’re doing well,
So the final thing is to find your edge. What are you good at? Right? What do you have, that other person coming out of college with the same degree?
What do they not have that you do? And that’s kind of a difficult thing to put your finger on, you’re really just discovering yourself and playing towards your strengths.
And you’re going to need to do that when you get out to get a good job, Or at least you’re going to want to it’s going to help you, right, figure out what works well for you.
And be proud of it, Be confident in it, Because when you go to do interviews, that confidence will show. So that can also apply technically, there might be something that you’re particularly good at, and a specialization that you’ve decided to specialize and you notice that you really have a passion for or find yourself to be very good at this one particular thing.
I had an interview question, which is basically what do you think you’re good at? So having a good answer to a question like that, it will really help you. And a lot of interviews are very open-ended,
you know, going back to the soft skills, you need to be able to answer those questions well, and that doesn’t only mean having good soft skills, it means having an actual answer.
So knowing yourself, knowing what you’re good at, and being able to focus on those things, both in what you do and how you respond to interview questions will really help you along.
Okay, guys, those are my 10 things. I could probably throw some more things in there. And I’ll probably you know after this was something else I should have said I’ll go I’ll make another article about that if that happens.
If you didn’t like it or you disagree, please tell me why you did because I could be wrong. I am not infallible. A lot of this is based on my experiences and things have gone well for me.
Maybe I avoided some pitfalls without knowing it. Maybe I got lucky somewhere. And maybe there are things you know some things I did that were actually not good and I just got by anyway. So put your comments below on what you think. Okay, guys…