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I'm really curious to hear if anyone has come out of undergrad and worked in finance before deciding it wasn't for them long term and went back to get their masters in computer science or something similar. I've worked in public accounting and F500 finance, and the thought of doing this the rest of my life kind of scares me. I used to program when I was in high school and liked it, and think it would be cool to get a skillset that would allow me to actually create things and not just push excel sheets around all day or even do the job of a higher level finance exec. I get the impression that many masters in computer science programs aren't too friendly to accy/finance undergrads as we haven't taken the prereqs in math/computer courses. Are there any programs worth exploring and does anyone have a story to share?

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Comments (10)

  • econ's picture

    Ever thought about just skipping the MS in CS, and just teaching yourself how to code? That might be a better road than trying to get into a masters program with limited CS/math prereqs. Another option is to go back to undergrad and get a BS in CS.

  • shep's picture

    I think it depends on what you're trying to do. Do you have a clear idea of what you want to do if you do leave finance? I'd say be careful of leaving to get your MS in CS (i actually have thought about doing this with an econ undergrad) because it seems like a lot of MS programs are a continuation of undergrad CS and go in depth. If you're trying to gain knowledge of a little bit of everything in CS and gain an entry level job then maybe another bachelors degree is good. If you'd like to gain a little knowledge of one or two programming languages, then i think what Econ said, teaching yourself (there are a lot of resources online; harvard actually puts some of their lectures online) might suffice. However, if you want to get in depth knowledge of CS and maybe lean toward a particular segment then perhaps an MS is where you should lean. If so, try taking one of the prerequisite courses at a local college to see if it's your cup of tea. The best thing to do, i think, is check out a couple programs online and call their admissions office.
    Just my opinion.

  • pacman22's picture

    I think my main interest is in internet entrepreneurship and creating web applications. Given the vast amount of resources available, I think you guys are probably right. I probably don't need all that in depth CS knowledge, when I can simply learn what I need to on my own.

  • shep's picture

    yeah man, i'm not trying to come off as a dream crusher. If you want to land a job at google or facebook or the like, then by all means go for another bachelors or a masters in CS. But if you're just trying to dabble in a language or two to develop some apps or creating a website i would surf the web and find some tutorials or even take a night class at a local college on a language.

    FWIW this ad keeps popping up on my facebook home page http://www.udemy.com/learn-python-the-hard-way/?co...

  • econ's picture

    "Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is."
    - Isaac Asimov

    Just remember, a bachelor's or master's in CS cannot teach you anything. It can only make it easier for you to teach yourself, since at the end of the day it still comes down to what you put into it. Plenty of people have taught themselves how to code without a degree, and plenty of people who studied CS don't code well. So the CS degree is neither necessary nor sufficient for your goals. That's not to say you shouldn't go back to school (only you can figure that one out) -- just keep all this stuff in mind while making a decision.

    Lastly, I work at a tech company. The founder took one computer programming class in his mid to late 20s, and had no computer programming experience before that. Several years later, he created a company and wrote a pretty bad ass piece of software. This company is still steadily growing, has received a few rounds of VC funding, and is probably worth $100M - $200M. To this day, the guy has still written the majority of the code in the software (despite having several employees in the R&D department). Meanwhile, we have several employees who received CS degrees, but can't and don't code.

  • Thurnis Haley's picture

    public class DontBeLazy{

    public static void main(Strings[] args){

    System.out.println("Don't be lazy. Pick up a book and start programming if you want to learn it.");

    }

    }

  • econ's picture
  • DanielBrown's picture

    It's all about how you manage and mould yourself, people do a career change like this, some succeed and some fail.

  • In reply to Thurnis Haley
    winteralreadycame's picture

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