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Questions from a noob

Thread title: Questions from a noob
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09-06-2012, 06:39 PM
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Kvlt Kitty is offline Kvlt Kitty
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  Old  Questions from a noob

Hello all,

So I had some questions regarding the consistency of freelance programming and web design. Let me fill you in about myself a bit:

I am 22 years old currently and have spent three years studying music (two at a community college, and one at a UC) before returning home because the college was not for me. I have since declared a doubled major in music composition and computer science. I technically could transfer to another university the next coming fall, but I got a job doing desktop support, basic HTML, etc for a medical transcription company so I am going to stick around a few more years, save some money, get some certs (currently working on 70-680, 70-640, ICND 1-4, and CCNA), and knock out more of the lower division classes for my major. I figure that in two years I am going to move up north to Washington and will be applying for scholarships and grants so hopefully my tution will be paid (GPA has always been above 3.5). I will have enough money saved to take the hit for rent for a few years and make it up in the summer. My main concern however is living expenses (food, gas, etc). After three years of saving, I would like to try and keep my savings where it is at when I get up there.

This brings me to my first question. I was wondering how viable an option using sites like oDesk and doing freelance work by posting ads around campus and the area would be. I would only be looking to make around $500 a month. I figured I would ask on here being it seems like there's probably a lot of people who have had extensive experience with this.

My second question would be what classes in particular should I focus on for the next couple years? Like I said, I am taking courses that set me up to take multiple certification courses. In addition to these I will be taking all of the C++ and Java courses offered at the community college in my area. Any and all suggestions would be most appreciated.

Sorry for the length of this post. I tend to go into too much detail.

09-06-2012, 07:10 PM
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Village Genius is offline Village Genius
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The first thing you'll need to assess is how many hours per month you'll be able to work. That will determine a lot. You'll barely make minimum wage on sites like oDesk. The internet based freelance market is in terrible shape right now because offshore workers are getting jobs for being the lowest bidder. Quite simply the online market is nearly impossible for people from developed nations to get by on. Posting ads around campus probably wont do much as most students are broke.

What do you want to do once out of college? That will dictate the classes you want to focus on. Most universities let CS students take concentrations within the CS degree. I don't really see any value in the certifications you are taking, those are all technician and network admin stuff.

Make sure the Java and C++ classes you take at the community college are going to transfer, http://www.transfer.org is the best tool to figure that out.

09-06-2012, 07:44 PM
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Even the bigger jobs I see that the estimate is around $300-500? I still don't totally get how these sites work.

Well I will have enough saved so I don't plan on working up there, and will be taking about 12 units a quarter. My study habits are fine as I do the work as it's given so there won't be any cramming.

After college I want to do anything I can make a living at for a couple years so I can save and try out touring with my own material.

Really I'd like to make a living doing freelance music production/composition and computer programming, repairs, etc for the time being so I can continue learning and bettering myself. My ideal job full time job in the future would be audio production and composition for video games. I hope to own a business in the future, but we'll see how that pans out.

I'm just getting the certifications so if need be I could get a decent job and save a decent amount before in a relatively short period. Plus it looks good on a resume.

I love computers, but my real passion is really in music. Unfortunately, you can't really make much of a living doing it, particularly the music I have interest in. I'd like to alternate between computers and music throughout my life. I plan on working for a couple years full time after college and then trying out touring as by then my knowledge of theory and my technical abilities should be at an impressive level so long as I can keep up the practice schedule.

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09-06-2012, 08:11 PM
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Oh and I was meaning to ask. How common are part time IT positions? Most of what I'm seeing seems to be FT, and I'm going to be looking for something around 15-20 hours a week. I could just get a restaurant gig or something, but I REALLY hate food service. Did that from age 16-21 and would like to avoid ever having to do it again. Hungry people are the worst haha.

Are work from home tech support jobs a pipedream as well? I imagine the pay isn't very good.

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09-06-2012, 08:52 PM
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That is all going to depend on what is around you. I doubt you'll find a worthwhile job you can do part time from home. Most colleges have job departments that can help students find work. Those are helpful because they know you're not going to be able to work fulltime.


Are work from home tech support jobs a pipedream as well? I imagine the pay isn't very good.
Yeah, that's not happening, not at a 1st world salary. Unless you're a consultant and have a home office, nearly all work from home stuff is false hope.

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12-02-2012, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Village Genius View Post
That is all going to depend on what is around you. I doubt you'll find a worthwhile job you can do part time from home. Most colleges have job departments that can help students find work. Those are helpful because they know you're not going to be able to work fulltime.

Yeah, that's not happening, not at a 1st world salary. Unless you're a consultant and have a home office, nearly all work from home stuff is false hope.
It is rare to be able to work from home unless you are say a highly wanted professional and companies agree to it because they trust you etc...

Consultants that 'work from home' often have to go on-site to client locations and travel a lot as well.

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