Will WGU's BS in Information Technology — Software prepare me as a web programmer?

daneeeeedaneeeee Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi All,

I have some experience working as a front-end designer a few years, but am now working as a project manager / support analyst for a software company. Having worked with programmers on a daily basis, I'm gravitating towards going back to school as it's always piqued my interest as something I wanted to do as an extension of the basic web programming skills I already had a designer.

I came across the BS in Information Technology — Software by WGU and became very interested, but there isn't many details regarding the course load and more specifically, what kinds of programming languages would be covered. My local college covers C#, PHP, Javascript and also goes into a bit of ASP, Windows/Linux, etc.

My question is, if my ultimate goal was to be a web programmer capable of building CMS, plugins, connect with APIs, etc. will the WGU program be a good place to start? Ideally, I'd also have enough base knowledge to get my affluent with front-end design, user experience, etc. (Know this isn't covered in the program, but I hope it gives me enough foundation to learn these things afterward).. My main concern is that it seems very Microsoft centric, so I'm losing a big piece of the IT pie by not having knowledge of the other piece of the pie. With the discipline being in software too, I don't know how much of a focus there is on web.

I by no means think it'll be the last time I consider school and would be open to further education if time and life permits. I appreciate any advice, it's been real hard to get these answers out of an enrollment counselor.


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    kgbkgb Member Posts: 380
    I just finished the Software program in Dec 2012. Like you, I've done front end (3d/2d/video/etc) for 12years prior. I made the switch to Software Engineer with my present employer while enrolled in the program. Just to give you a little back history to understand my experience.

    Will it prepare you? In the sense that once you are done, you will be able to go crazy and develop everything and anything? I don't think so. You only really scratch the surface of the technologies and besides the capstone there's not a lot of 'projects' in the curriculum and that's where the learning really happens imho.

    If you don't already have a 4yr degree I think it's worth the time and effort to get one. Especially when you start applying to different places and while it's not a requirement 100% of the time (clearly, not every developer has a degree) every job I've seen since I've started looking these last few months ALL ask for a Bachelor's. Without a lot of experience to back you up, the degree will no doubt help.

    If you already have a 4yr degree, personally, I would just learn the technologies I was interested in and create stuff.

    Just my 2cents.
    Bachelor of Science, Information Technology (Software) - WGU
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    milieumilieu Member Posts: 41 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I work as a programmer, and I'm also doing the WGU IT Software program. In my opinion, I think the WGU program gives a good overview of a wide range of technologies. There is some programming (to me, not very much, but then I've done a lot). It is still an IT degree, so you take mostly the same courses as the other IT programs at WGU, i.e. Network admin, Windows admin, Databases, etc. I don't think the WGU program is overly Microsoft oriented. It has Microsoft courses, but it also has open technologies as well.

    The programming languages covered are C#, Java, JavaScript, Perl. There are three specific web programming courses. The first is using web forms, .ASP and C# to do server side programming. The second course covers web development (HTML, XML, Adobe Dreamweaver, Microsoft Expressions) as well as using a little web programming in Javascript, Adobe Flash, Adobe Fireworks, etc.). The third is a JavaScript web programming course.

    I would agree with kgb that if you don't have a degree, this degree could be very valuable both as a BS degree and for the experience. I would also add that if you have a BS degree in an unrelated field, the WGU IT degree might still help you refocus your resume as a web developer. The degree would give you some exposure to a lot of web programming technologies, and might help you determine if you want to pursue it as a career.

    I don't know your background, so the other IT courses might be helpful, or they might be a waste of your time. But if you did ultimately decide not to become a web programmer, the IT degree would probably still be valuable to you as a project manager.
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