A year ago I graduated with a bachelor's in Applied Math, and since I chose the Physics concentration, I only took one course in programming (C++). Since I graduated, I've worked as both a high school math teacher and an actuarial student. I hated both; so much for the traditional math-guy jobs.

But at the insurance company, I did some VBA programming--and I really, really liked it. So I pulled out my old C++ book, downloaded visual studio express, and have been writing programs in my spare time for the last couple of months.

I'm certain I want to be a programmer, I love the logic and the creating, but I'm wondering what path to take. Obviously, I don't have any real usable skills yet. I signed up for a C# class, but quickly found that I was in way over my head-the class was for people who already knew how to program and wanted to switch over.

I'm seriously considering pursuing an MS in CS, but it will take sooo long, considering I'll have to do about 9 prerec courses before I even get going with the master's classes.

What is the best course of action? I believe that, down the line, I could be a pretty good programmer. I have the fire, and was good at math and physics.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance.


For something this significant, I suggest you start with the basics and work your way up. Maybe you could find some evening class that offers the prerec courses. It will definitely take you time to get to the masters level.

There's a good online resource with free tutorials/lessons:

Beginner Developer Learning Center (http://msdn.com/beginner)


Thanks for the responses, guys. Would you recommend the academic or self-study route? Also, do companies ever hire people and train them? What I'm asking is, should I even bother looking at job postings before I have some classwork under my belt?

I'd say academic because you can at least get help from an experienced teacher. I myself and still undergoing classes for Computer Science with the ultimate goal of becoming an accomplished programmer. According to one of my teachers and various other "people" sources around me at my college, companies do hire people and if some new technology or whatever is implemented they do send employee's to learn how to operate it and naturally it's the company that pays for it. I also heard of one such company that offers to pay for their employee's to go back to college for a higher level degree and even gives them a raise once it's acquired (or something like that, this was from a classmate who is the younger brother of an employee there). Talk to a college councellor of the major your seeking they should have some good contact and class information for you as well.

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