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I read through this with interest. It seems like Zach had various non-academic skills, i.e. programming, that he could take to the private sector. What if you don't have these skills? Is there a way to learn programming skills without doing a BA that employers will respect? I could teach myself, but then it strikes me as if it's going to be hard to compete with BAs in computer stuff. I'd like to avoid going back to school for another degree if possible.


To be clear, I don't currently have a university position. So, I don't think I can just audit classes very easily.


Programming is very welcoming to people without cs degrees. As long as you can prove that you can code by making a few sample projects, people will take you seriously enough to consider you for an entry level position. It may take some time and a lot of job applications, but it is much easier than academia.


I know in the US there are a number of "coding bootcamps". They teach you code in like 3 months for a few thousand dollars from what I have heard. Some places it is even free because it is with companies that plan to hire you. You have to spend some time researching them because the quality and value for the money varies.

Anyway not sure if Zach is reading this but if so I have a question. Given the timeline of his story, I would sort of assume he was not young when he took this job. I have a close family friend who spent 25 years working for a small business but recently found himself jobless because the business owner retired. He majored in computer science a very long time ago, and briefly worked in coding for the department of defense before quitting to work for the business. He wants to get back into coding but his skills are obviously dated and he is almost 50, so I'm wondering how possible that would be for him, or if there is age bias?

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