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Need opinions regarding Eduction and Career paths

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
As everyone knows, I'm 20 years old, but haven't yet attended College or University. I, instead, opted to start a company and take a couple of years off to do so. Now, I need to fulfill a promise I made to my mother and return to school.

However, I am conflicted on a career path, which is in turn affecting my choice of post-secondary education.

Essentially, I have 2 choices at this present time.

I've been guaranteed admission to a college for Computer Science Technology. Normally it is a 3 year, College Diploma course, but due to my high marks and experience, they removed the first year entirely. So now its a 2-year diploma course with option for Co-op (aka Internship). This program would start January 7th of 2002, I can also postpone the acceptance until September if I wish too.

On the flip-side, I also submitted an application to 3 Universities for degree programs in Computing and Computer Science. All 3 would begin in September and last 4 years. However, due to myself being out of school for a long extended period of time, all 3 have requested I repeat Calculus at night school. So I'd take part in classes 2 nights a week until June, and hope I get it in September.

Here is the controversial part: The promise I made my mom was that I would complete and obtain a degree.

So if I decide on choice A, I'd still have to attend a degree program. Some Universities cut the program length due to the possession of a college diploma but it wouldn't make sense to take Computer Science in College and pretty much repeat the same stuff in University. So I've been pondering and racking my brain on this issue and if I do indeed take option 1, I'm considering taking the degree program in Astronomy. I've been very good at mathematics, and I was good in the limited time I took science. However, due to surgeries I required in High School, I never continued with science beyond Grade 10 must to my dismay. In that limited time however, I truly excelled in chemistry and physic related material, and did pretty poorly in biology. Due to my major lack of interest in the latter part, I finished with around an 80, but did very well in areas that I liked. The study of space and planets has always been a major interest of mine since I was 5 years old. That even spawned a huge childhood obsession that peaked in Grade 5 when I traveled to Florida and visited the Kennedy Space Center and took part in demonstrations and witnessed a shuttle takeoff. So basically, its been a interest of mine and IMO suits my personality, however due to the lack of previous education in that area, it is difficult to assess on how I'd perform.

If I were to take computer science in University, I'd be likely to remain in the computer industry and likely work at some major company being a lackey but earning a much better pay cheque.

As for the company, who knows what the future holds, but its always better to have options available in case things turn for the worse. Likely, I wouldn't continue working for it on a fulltime basis and just oversee some issues in my free time, giving the responsibilities to other people... it would become a hobby in a sense.

So after reading this, what are your thought and if you were in my position, what would you do ? <img src="confused.gif" border="0">
post #2 of 2
Don't listen to the people who tell you "it's just a piece of paper". A degree from a good university is not "just a piece of paper".

IMO a real CS degree is worth a lot. "Real" means that you get a education in the science of computing. I always use U of I as the perfect example of a real CS degree. If they want you to take Calculus that's a good sign.

<a href="http://www.cs.uiuc.edu/" target="_blank">http://www.cs.uiuc.edu/</a>
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