Anyone else currently doing low-wage jobs?

I’m just wondering. It seems I’m among the minority, and I would like to know if some others here are also in the same boat. I have a minimum wage job myself. I might get promoted soon, but even then I will still be making a very low income, which to be honest I’m ashamed of being 25 years old (I should be making much more). I mean most people I’ve been coming across here are learning coding for a career change, they already have a decent career. I’m doing it because first and foremost it’s something that I love, and second because I’m thirsty for a better and more rewarding career (if my current job can be called a career, which it can’t), doing something that I enjoy and that I’m good at.

I also don’t have a degree, only a certificate, which I believe will make my life much harder trying to get a job, so I’ve decided to get a degree in CS, and hopefully I’ll start soon. It’ll take me probably about 5 years though so in all honesty when I think about it I feel disheartened. My certificate is actually a diploma in Software Engineering, so it’s related and making the learning process that much easier, but unfortunately it’s just not enough to land me a job.

I’ve been trying to hide it from everyone around me, but in all honesty I’m struggling, and I kinda can’t take it anymore, and to think that it might take up to 5 more years (until I finish the degree), while doing crappy jobs… Oh boy. And that’s assuming I do manage to start college this year.

Anyone else in the same boat? I would like to hear from people who are feeling the same way, so that I at least don’t feel alone in this.

P.S.: Since it’s happened before and I’ve had to explain it multiple times, before someone checks out my progress here and says that I haven’t progressed through the curriculum in quite some time, I know. FCC to me is another resource among many others I’m using. I’m trying to learn as much as I can from as many different resources as I can, and currently I’m doing a course on Git and GitHub and reading YDKJS. So I hope this explains why I haven’t progressed through the curriculum in some time.

P.P.S.: I’m sorry if some of my posts might not be relevant to the forum, but I’ve found the community here to be very supportive, and I think it’s a great place to meet others having a similar life situation to yours while also sharing with you their passion for and desire to learn coding. In fact, I think there should be a “Other” or “Off-topic” section or something for topics that aren’t related to coding. Just a suggestion.


I was in a low paying and unrewarding job when I went back for a CS degree. I finished my BS when I was 28. No shame in any of it.


I’m also 25 and have a degree, although not in computer science, and I work at target. It sucks to no end, but it really helps to just keep your focus on your goals and where you want to be, instead of where you currently are. Working my way through FCC and reading more than a handful of success stories, I’m convinced that while some employers are looking for a comp sci degree, there are many who are more interested in what you’ve done in terms of your portfolio. To me, a great portfolio speaks louder.


Thanks for your reply. I highly doubt I’ll finish my degree before 30, as I’m not sure I’ll start this year. My boss actually advised me against it and said he doesn’t believe I’m ready (it’s weird that a boss in fast food actually cares about his employees, but apparently mine does). I’m not sure whether to take his advice as I’d consider him someone with some solid life experience, even though he’s just 6 years older than me. He’s even jokingly told me that if I start this year I’m fired because he truly thinks I’m not ready and should give myself a year before starting.

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College isn’t easy, especially as a non-traditional student. In terms of whether you’re ready, why don’t you schedule an appointment with the college’s admissions office? They should be able to tell you more about where you need to be academically and discuss what the workload is like. Never hurts just to get more information.


It does suck to no end, yeah, I totally agree. That’s some good advice though. I am trying my best to keep my focus on my goals rather on my current situation.

I also believe a solid portfolio is more important than a degree, but I think employers really put a lot of emphasis on the degree, and there are bound to be others with a degree applying to the same jobs you are, so they naturally have better prospects. I regret not listening to my mom and doing the degree earlier, but back then I was young and stupid and wanted to be “rebellious” because I didn’t believe in college.

Glad to know someone else understands what I’m going through. I hope we can give each other some motivation. :slight_smile:

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Yeah I suppose that’s an option. I’ll call up the university I’m going to apply to and see if I can schedule an appointment.

How can they tell if I’m ready though?

By the way I don’t like how people older than 18 and starting college are considered non-traditional students, when they’re the ones who have made a conscious decision to go to college rather than go because it’s the next step. I mean I just wasn’t ready and was young and stupid. I hate that I have to suffer for it now. I’ve successfully wasted my youth.

It doesn’t really matter if you make six figures and you’re bored and want to get into coding because you think it will be more enjoyable than your current career or you flip burgers for minimum wage. If you want to get GOOD at being a programmer, regardless of the niche within programming (web, backend, data etc) your going to have to work. Your going to have to outwork everyone else who’s ahead of you already. If your passionate about programming and you want this more than you want to breathe, if your willing to give up your social life, willing to go without sleep to put in the required work than you get any programming job you want.

The key phrase there is YOU. No one will do it for you, no amount of encouragement is going to do it for you. You’ll never be ready, if you want to be a GOOD programmer, your going to have to learn how to function outside of your comfort zone.

A degree will help, however, if you’d like I can give you a long list of engineers currently making six figures all around the US that never got their CS degree. Would it help ? Yes. Is is mandatory ? no.

I was a junior at the University of Nebraska, and I walked away with a 3.8 GPA because I wasn’t getting fair value for my money.I work at a pizza parlor 25 hours a week and code for 60. For slightly above minimum wage. I don’t let it affect me. I trust that if I outwork everyone else, study efficiently and continue even when it’s not convenient for me that it will work out.

I’m not doing it because I googled salaries or see everyone else loving it. I’m doing it because at 26 years old, I finally found what I love to do. I can open my laptop and code for hours and not look at the clock, I have fun solving challenges and getting owned by new errors and learning. It’s not always easy, it is very frustrating. I’ve also never had more fun in my life.

Find something you love and find someone who’s willing to pay you for it, you’ll never work a day in your life.

Your age is a non-factor. Not everyone has the perfect parents and life situation to have life figured out at 18. Sometimes it takes time to mature, to learn how to learn and how to work, to find what you love to do.

If you really want this career, you can do it, but YOU are going to have to go out and take it, no one is going to give it to you.


I’ve already given up my social life, or what limited social life I’ve had, in favor of coding. I’ve been constantly declining one of my best friend’s invitations to hang out, and in all honesty it hurts. It hurts a lot, but otherwise I won’t have time for coding. I haven’t seen any of my other friends for a long time too. I haven’t even been leaving the house except to go to work. I’ve also given up on my other hobbies in favor for this one hobby (yes I also see coding as a hobby). I used to be an avid gamer, no more. Used to play guitar, haven’t played in months. I love reading novels, but I haven’t read any in quite a while. It’s been around two months since I’ve started, and I’m loving it and would never consider quitting, despite the stuff I’ve had to give up. If I start college it would even be worse, as I don’t intend to stop the learning path I’m on. Might give up sleeping entirely, lol.

Yeah but let’s be honest, those are the minority. (I’m also not in the US so I’m not sure how common this is in my country)

I also work in a pizza parlor. I wish I could work only 25 hours a week, but first of all I need the money, and second my boss wants me to work at least 5 shifts a week. I’ve been working 4-5 shifts a week, and since the beginning of this month I’ve been working around 40 hours a week. Every week I tell him the next week I want only 4 shifts, only to receive 5 (if I object I get asked, “And what are you doing in your free time? It’s better spent at work making money”). The rest of the time I’m doing courses, reading some books on coding, and actually coding. Yes, I know about my progress on FCC, but I only wish progress on other resources could be seen here. I’ve actually finished quite a handful of courses so far, and I’m making my way through one of @P1xt’s guides. I want to get a strong grasp on things, so I’m not rushing anything.

I agree, but I just wish people would stop seeing people who don’t have their life figured out by 25 as failures or low-skilled people. I’ve read it a lot online, and I can’t begin to describe how much it hurts.

I’m happy that you’re enjoying coding so much. :slight_smile: I’m also enjoying a whole lot, and I actually don’t mind that I’m spending almost all of my free time learning to code. It’s by choice anyways, and I could put less time into it, but I don’t want to. I have a strong passion for it and that has been my best source for motivation, along with the amazing community here!

EDIT: Do you wanna know what really gets on my nerves sometimes? My cousin totally hates coding. The only reason she started a Computer Science degree was because she was 18 at the time she went to college, and the subject she wanted to study back then had an age requirement of 21, so she decided to apply to CS after some people advised her to. She used to always tell me how much she hates it, and even swear and say she wants to quit. She eventually graduated and now works in the field (I think in automation), and still hates it and considering to go back to college. How fair is it that someone who completely hates coding but studied the subject because they “had to and didn’t want to waste time waiting” managed to get a coding job, while someone else who has a burning passion for coding is stuck making pizzas?


Yes. Many low wage jobs before, yes. Demeaning? Yes, yes.

Everyone has already told you in your other posts that you can do it. Perhaps it’s time to believe in yourself a little.

Also, it’s kind of painful to hear you say repeatedly that 25 is old, by the way, for anyone near, at, or past 25.


I’m turning 32 tomorrow. I’ve had a decent job for the last year, but I hate it. For most of my adult life I’ve worked at jobs generally just over minimum wage, often part time, barely paying rent, but was generally more content than I am now with this job. Out of high school I had no idea what I was doing, and ended up 6 years later with a completely worthless graduate degree, was working as a cashier in a chocolate store, and had more debt in student loans than I’d ever pay back. Actually, with interest, I end up owing more ever year. I think I’m actually at the point where I am no longer eligible for more student loans, so going back for a “practical” degree isn’t even an option.

By comparison, I’ve spent $30 dollars so far on my web development career. The comparison kind of hurts.

I’m not sure why it took me so long to start pursuing coding as a career, but I have to think that all those years weren’t just wasted time. I know when I start applying for dev jobs that my competition will be 21/22 year olds fresh out of college, and its hard not to feel a little embarrassed… but, what else can I do? This is the life I have, and something will work out. People like us who are taking an alternative route will definitely have to try a little harder, especially for that first job. But I think once we land that first job and stick in there a year or two and put that experience on our resume, then more doors will open. It’s a long road, yes, but what else are you doing? You could be working crappy jobs and NOT coding? Anyway, I know that even at 32 I’m not too old, so you at 25 should be fine.

I just noticed another of your replies, and I would advise you not to lose touch with your friends, and NOT make yourself miserable for this. Go a bit slower if you need to. Anyway, sometimes taking a break and coming back refreshed means you work twice as fast with some more energy and a clear head.

Anyway, whether you’re making six figures, or cooking pizzas, it’s still life. Enjoy it; it’s all we have.


@icartusacrimea I’m sorry, I didn’t realize it might be painful for some people. I do believe in myself, and I know I can do it, as we all can. I was just hoping to get some feedback from others feeling the same way as I do. It’s just… I don’t know what to say… If you think the post was inappropriate in any way, I don’t have a problem to delete it. I didn’t mean anything negative by it though.

@gtrabbit Thanks for the reply. I wish you eventually manage to pay back your student loans. I should probably stop complaining, hearing stories of people going through even harder stuff than I am and still having motivation. I’ve also barely spent any money so far on web development, apart from a few Udemy courses. I don’t believe I’ll completely lose touch with my friends, it’s just that lately I’ve been working long hours and barely having any free time, so I prefer to spend this time learning something. Hopefully I’ll get to see them soon.


And :

Every time someone says something supportive it seems that you can’t take it for yourself because it doesn’t exactly replicate your situation.

@ArielLeslie says she graduated at 28, you reply “oh but I’ll probably be 30 or more”.
@kjwatke says he also works for minimum wages, you reply “yes but I do 40 hours a week”.

If I remember your second thread, lots of campers came in to say that

a) they were older than you (and still valid human beings if I can say that),
b) were, for some of them, not exactly having a “career” but working full-time
c) some of them have kids on top of it all.


Thats because hes very depressed at the moment. Ive been through this as well.Almost everyone here has some kind of degree (like he said), but he doesnt. So he thinks his ‘misery’ is incomparable to anyone. Lets cut him some slack.

I used to be exactly like him until 6 months ago. And sometimes I get these phases too (“Everyone is better than me”).

I hoped it would’t show… I’m not THAT depressed though, just a bit down, that’s all.

Thank you for sharing your story. I wish I could be unemployed. I want to quit my job so badly and focus only on coding, but it’s not an option. But it’s fine I suppose, a job is a job, even though it basically implies you’re a no-skill person (even though it couldn’t be farther from the truth).

Most job advertisements I come across don’t even list a degree as a requirement for web development jobs, but I’ve always assumed it’s a requirement nonetheless, and people would understand this so maybe that’s why employers don’t list it. Am I mistaken then?

I’m actually not in the US. I don’t think a bootcamp isn’t considered “real” education by employers (even though in many cases it’s not true, depending on the bootcamp).

And I’m leaving this thread, never to return.

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Not true at all. See his first two threads. But ok, I have nothing more supportive to say so, really, leaving this thread.

Oh no no no. You dont wish you were unemployed. Its the most depressing thing ever. Mind sharing where you at and what do you do for a living?

Its not a requirement.In fact I read an article on how employers actually preferred bootcampers these dayys because they know more than the degreed people. Bootcamps are intense!

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It came across as though I’m ungrateful didn’t it? I’m terribly sorry, I didn’t intend it to be this way.

I also said that a job is a job after I said I wish I could be unemployed. I didn’t really mean it… I’m not thinking clearly. I regret making this thread. A lot of the stuff I’m saying is being misunderstood here.

Yes, I AM depressed, and a lot too. There’s no point in hiding anything now. Perhaps this would explain some stuff. I just can’t take my current situation anymore. :cry: I apologize to everyone I might have unintentionally hurt. I just thought the community here was supportive that’s all, but if this kind of threads isn’t appropriate, I’ll just delete it.

I apologize if I sounded like a bully, it was not my intention.

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