Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Will. I'm a 25 year old air traffic controller in the US Navy, looking to transition into a new career. Ever since I was young, I've enjoyed anything and everything related to video games. I've always wanted to be the one creating them, and the thought of something I helped create giving people an outlet to relax and have fun has always been my motivation. For me, the programming aspect of video games has always intrigued and amazed me.
When I was 12, I learned basic programming simply by reading any and every tutorial I could find on the internet. And I just adored it. I would sit on my computer days on end and just write little programs that would be boring to anyone else using them. Like, text-based RPGs where a scenario would occur and you'd have to pick 1 out of 4 choices. Then when I found out about RPG Maker 2000, I was so excited to download it and try it out and make my very own "video game".
Flash forward more than a decade, and I'm no where near where I thought I was going to, or wanted to be. I have no secondary education. I took a semester at my state college for computer science after I graduated. But due to unforeseen circumstances, (and admittedly, some poor decisions) that was it. So, now, I'm an air traffic controller, and while it's a great job, and it's very fun (sort of like playing a video game), It's not what I want to spend my whole life doing.
Online school is preferably what I'm looking for, since I have a family, and I can't just be a full-time student that goes to class everyday.
I'm thinking about DeVry. The course sounds great and it seems like what I want, but when I look up reviews about it, I only get discouraged. "Employers wouldn't even blow their nose with that piece of paper." or similar statements. From what I've read on here, it seems as though the degree is just a pre-req for a job, and your motivation and willingness to set yourself apart from the competition is what really makes the difference. Well, I'd like to think that, but in all reality, is that true?
I don't want to waste any of my GI Bill money on a school that's not worth much. I know the road ahead is long and arduous, and I'm not afraid of that. I'm also not looking to do anything the easy way, and sacrifice enlightenment along the way.
Basically, I just want to know, is that online degree going to have a huge impact on my career options? (With the assumption that I'd give 100% no matter if I took online classes or physical classes.)
You're 25, you say, and an air traffic controller. I don't think you're too old to get a degree. But I beg you not to spend your GI Bill money on a for-profit school.
Consider the reason for getting the degree -- if it's just "so I can have the piece of paper I need so I can get hired," that's a bad reason. And not only that, but a for-profit degree also isn't that good at serving your purpose.
However, if your goal instead is "to learn the skills I need so I can make a portfolio so I can get hired," that's a great reason. But a for-profit school? Have you been keeping up with domestic news? Because for-profit schools have been in the news a lot lately. For-profit schools spend the majority of their money on advertising, and on salespeople who focus heavily on veterans (to get their GI Bill money). Better to get your learning at a school that spends most of its money on teaching its students and getting them jobs.
To recap, then:
Good reason to go to school: to learn.
Bad reason to go to school: to get a degree.
Good place to spend my money: not-for-profit school.
Bad place to spend my money: for-profit school.
Just curious. I often look up new usernames. Are any of the below you?
Thank you for your reply, Tsloper. I've read a few threads on here, and I see that you're always well spoken and quite informative, so I trust I can heed what you say.
And you're right, for-profit schools just don't seem to best education there is, but for someone in my position, there doesn't appear to be much available to me. For me, it is all about the learning and getting as much knowledge out of school that I can. Unfortunately, certain circumstances mean I can't have my cake and eat it too. It's one of those things that sometimes I feel having a degree is better than not having one at all, because I have a family, with two sons, a 6 year old and a 6 month old. I feel as though my time is running out, the longer I wait, the harder it gets. I've been so picky, I don't just want to settle for less, I could have already gotten my degree from one of those for-profit diploma mills while I've been in the Navy.
But, your reasoning is logical. I shouldn't settle for some run of the mill school just so I can say I have a piece of paper, when it really doesn't mean anything. I will keep doing research and try to find a school that suits my needs but also offers quality education.
If you have any suggestions, please feel free to list them. I've looked on this site, but a lot of the schools listed are for-profit, lack the accreditation I'd prefer, and/or I'm just not capable of going to.
Edit: Oh, and no, I'm none of those people in that link.
Hopefully we can be an alliance here...
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