Sorry I missed this, I have now read the thread in its entirety thanks to the move to DD.
pikaporeon wrote:Sorry to bump this but i have another question - some turns in life have made it so that graduating in my current program is going to take another three years [on top of the three ive already been in it], meanwhile i can transfer to another school, and wrap up a degree in two [via transfer credits] but it would be a normal B.Sci (three yeaer degree) as opposed to a four year honours B.A
Ouch. It certainly sucks that you are forced (or willing? don't answer I don't want that out in the open) to basically repeat your undergrad degree. In terms of the general direction of BA vs B.Sci, if your philosophy program at least includes a course in critical thinking then I think it may even help with the CS training that you may have. There is some credit in finishing what you have started before moving on to something else. Some of the best "developers" I work with don't start straight out with CS training. They may come from biology or even arts. Sometimes a person coming out with hardcore CS training may know nothing else and that can actually hinder the guy. In the real world developing software does not end with just writing code. Communication, stress/time/crisis management, attention to details, being customer-oriented and just applying common sense (there are a lot more) are also very important aspects in a modern software project. The so-called soft-skills can sometimes be even more important than just pure coding. Don't think for a second this is bs business school talk. Just being good at code just makes you a geek, are you aware of the business side of things, or throughout the project you keep in mind what the customer really wants? How do you convey ideas to others because they are going off track, etc. Believe me I am spending a lot less time just coding these days, but a more junior position will certainly contain more coding than the other stuff for a while.
pikaporeon wrote:Would I be crippling myself if i transfered? [mostly for finding first jobs and such, as then experience should take over]
Your greatest challenge may be to explain how you take double the amount of normal time to finish one degree. It may be easier to do the transfer and just claim "it turns out I don't really like the field and I am struggling towards completing my degree, so I switch", but some people may not like it (really subjective, no right or wrong answer there). However for me, there is something to be said about completing one phase of your life and I do appreciate acquiring knowledge/training in a "non-technical" field. What you do need to do regardless, is to not over-emphasize your "non-technical" background and focus on your IT/dev skills/training/background/projects in any case if you are looking for such jobs. That is called targetting your resume and it needs to be done anyway. Don't be afraid that going such route will reduce your resume to one measly page. A one-page resume that effectively communicates your skill set and is easy to read can be as powerful if not more so than a 2- or 3-pager. Being just out of university it is expected your resume to be short.
Now on to the rant part.
Are you really sure computer science and development is what you want to do with your life? For the past 3-5 years I have been giving advice to family friends about what their children should get into. The mini tech boom after the dot-com bust means that some still think the computer tech industry as a "good" field. I beg to differ. Jobs are being shipped massively offshore, competition is getting fierce, quality is demanded with little provided resources, etc. Things are not that rosy anymore compared to before. The recent economic problems just induce yet another round of industry shakeup that only the really dedicated and/or the very best survives this. My advice for the past few years have been unless you are really interested in this field, think something else if you just want to be employed and get good money. It is becoming a tougher field and a road less travelled (to be good in this field) that's for sure.
On a lighter note, the CS program at the Mississauga campus is not as highly regarded as the one at the Toronto Campus. It doesn't matter on the resume since you are not going to put which campus, but just a little sidenote.