Mid-College Crisis.. Advice? (newbie)

Hello world,
First off, sorry for my terrible English. I’m American but I just suck at writing and grammar.

Originally I was pre-med, majoring in Biology. I had a thought of going to medical school and becoming a physician of some sort. Along the way I had the idea of also double majoring in IT, concentrating in database and programming. Despite my IT major, I’m kind of illiterate when it comes to tech terms / trends/ anything useful. Like most people studying in college is more like : remember, regurgitate, and release the information from the brain for the next exam content. In conclusion, I’ve taken basic IT courses and some math but it hasn’t taught me anything substantial or given me experience in any programming language.

Now I’m in a predicament where I cannot afford to continue school, so my school dreams are out the door. I’m further along on my Biology degree than my IT degree so I might have to drop my IT degree in the sake of just graduating with anything at all. I’ve also begun to invest myself in technology more, listening to podcast, researching career paths, and enrolling in FreeCodeCamp (I’m on the RWD path rn!). I really want to switch career paths and go forward with the tech industry because it resonates with me better and seems like it fits my life more (rather than medical school which I cannot even afford now). I have looked on job boards, school career fairs, and buffered up my LinkedIn. I’m kind of at a loss at what I should do next. I’m hoping to finish both the RWD and Javascript courses from FCC this semester but I’m not sure that would land me a real job anywhere. How should I go about fixing my resume, starting a portfolio, and just getting ANYWHERE in tech without my IT degree?

As I stated before, I’m in a bit of a financial bind (TLDR; no financial aid, no job, no family support, have to support parents etc.) so I cannot afford a bootcamp, at least the bootcamps that I’ve seen are like 5k+. Going to a community college to get my CS associates seems ok but again I don’t have much money to spare and I don’t even know if it is worth it. I think if I get a job within 9 months, I can pay for my school and graduate as soon as possible but how can I get a job without having graduated college yet, limited finances, and no past tech experiences?

TLDR;

I need to get a tech job within 9 months to pay for school (haven’t graduated). Degree will be non-tech related. Can’t pay for bootcamp. How to buffer resume, what projects should I take on, are free courses good to put on resume, how to break into tech field w/o tech degree and no experience.

A few things:

  • At most institutions Information Technology is going to be different than Computer Science. CS will be more about programming and IT will be more about infrastructure. That might be why your IT classes didn’t seem to be teaching you how to code.
  • If you are interested in working as a developer, you often can get an interview if you have a STEM degree and some experience coding. Your best bet for these roles is going to be larger companies. For example, many government contract companies like Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, etc will be willing to teach you the programming language(s) you need. You can also focus on technology companies specifically related to biology - maybe a medical tech company.
  • The best bet for finding people who are interested in hiring a new college graduate with a biology degree and some programming knowledge is to talk to your school’s career center and to get highly proactive in networking at career fairs and career events on your campus.
  • Saying that you need to get a job as a developer in 9 months, when you currently know very little about programming is an extremely ambitious goal. You might need to accept the possibility that you will need to accept a non-developer job first while you build your skills.
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I concur with what @ArielLeslie said about getting a job as a developer or analyst in a medical/bio tech company. In my second job as a Data analyst in a Data Visualisation startup, my colleague was a non-coder who’d graduated with a degree in Biotechnology. He was then trained on the job to analyse medical/pharmaceutical data to build data dashboards. The key is to position yourself and your skills/background as an advantage to a potential employer.

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Hey Ariel I really appreciate your response to this!
My school’s program has an IT concentration that is focused on programming and database (which I was enrolled in) with courses on java python SQL etc. but I wasn’t far enough in my studies to reach those courses (I was in the prereqs, core python fundamentals, statistics, mathy stuff). I really enjoyed it so far and that’s why I am interested in that area now rather than pursuing medicine.
Your reply has helped me think about possible routes to take, I will be thinking of applying to larger tech companies related to biological sciences. I am thinking about going to a bootcamp after I graduate as well! I’m not sure if going forth and getting a second degree (probably CS) would be more beneficial to me later on.

Thank you Sumax! That is a very good point, I hadn’t thought of utilizing my background in bio at all. I have experience in clinical data and other research related things. I think this would be helpful in catering my resume to biotech companies.

I think I may have a program that might be a good fit for your situation, but I’d want to know more specifics about where you are and what your study habits are. DM me and I’d be happy to consult!

Hideaki,

oh awesome! I’ll DM you!

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