As I enter into my second year of college as a Computer and Information Technology major I realize that I will never be a programmer. There is a dynamic here at Purdue that goes like this:
If you want to be a respected programmer who has done the "classic" way of learning and goes into extreme detail and knows the computer through and through you go Computer Science (college of science).
If you want to work on computers and help manage a business that uses IT in their day-to-day work, or if you want an entry level position working on a high level programming language you go Computer and Information Technology (college of technology).
The CIT major is a mile wide and an inch deep, sometimes it feels like stacking legos for a grade. Sometimes the courses are actually useful and interesting, but those courses few and far between.
When you spread your course work across programming, networks, databases, and something called "Organizational Leadership and Supervision" you become the poster child for "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing". All too often I feel unchallenged, bored, and many times outright surpassed by Computer Science majors.
No one is going to hire someone who is somewhat good at a lot of things. People pay people for specialized skills, then where the hell are these "specialized" skills that a CIT student has? Are they in the two semesters of C#? Or maybe the two semesters of database design. Is it in the one semester of Computer Architecture?
I'm the most mediocre in the room
I'm one of the better CIT students in terms of knowledge of computing. I never had a programming course of any kind until I took CIT 155 (C#). I actually had to slow down the speed at which I normally SELF TAUGHT myself a language so I could keep pace with the slower course. But put me in a room full of 2nd year CS students, and I'll be the proverbial fat kid picked last for baseball.
This is not what I had in mind when I wanted to work with computers. Being asked "Professor XYZ bought her ______ a FitBit for Christmas" or "Professor XYZ's oldest daughter goes to what college" on quizzes is not what I had in mind. Spending a whole semester on "helper methods" was not what I had in mind.
I'm not learning computing, I'm learning to answer quiz questions and to jump through Professor XYZ's hoops to earn a grade. No, this isn't programming, this isn't computing. None of this ever will be useful. I'm not becoming a programmer, I'm become a ScanTron test taker.
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