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Comment: my advice: (Score 1) 279

by buddyglass (#48616323) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Should a Liberal Arts Major Get Into STEM?
To maximize employability you'd want a degree from a reputable 4-year brick-and-mortar university. On the other hand that's probably also the most costly and time-consuming option. Some ideas in no particular order:

1. Go back to the university where you earned your English degree. It hasn't been that long since you graduated, so you may be able to apply your existing credits to a C.S. or Math degree. That might allow you to get the second degree in as little as two years instead of four. If there are any required classes for the 2nd degree that can be taken elsewhere (e.g. a junior college) and transferred in then doing so can lower your total cost.

2. Go through one of those "Code Academy" places. This still costs money but takes way less time. It also offers less in terms of employability, but it's better than nothing.

3. Teach yourself some of the basics of C.S. Data structures, algorithmic complexity, discrete math, etc. Possibly through some online courses. Then self-teach yourself Objective-C+iOS or Java+Android and create some sort of app. Put it in the store. Interview for junior level app developer positions. If you have an app in the store and can talk intelligently about how it's designed (and why you chose to design it in that particular way instead of various other alternatives) then many employers will overlook your lack of formal C.S. education. Even if your first software dev. job is shitty, the point is to get your foot in the door. Once you have a dev. job on your resume it becomes that much easier to get other (better) dev jobs, because employers will no longer see you as someone with no experience in the field.

4. If you can stomach it, the military actually isn't a bad deal. Last I checked they were offering an abbreviated 2-year full-time commitment (with a longer period of national guard duty). At the end you get a sort of "half" version of the G.I. bill. More importantly (at least, it would be if you were younger), being honorably discharged from the service severs the link between you and your parents when it comes to applying for financial aid. Their income and savings is no longer taken into account when calculating your "need".

Comment: Re:More than one reason the coverage is biased (Score 1) 398

by buddyglass (#48552779) Attached to: Displaced IT Workers Being Silenced
More like 350 million / mile. Defense budget is about $700B and the border is ~2000 miles. Still; we're not going to tell the military to take a year off. The question is what is a reasonable amount to spend each and every year to "secure" the southern border. $50B? $100B? At what point does the cost outweigh the benefits? For $100B/year the U.S. could provide a $5000 yearly grant to every single student enrolled at university. Would that provide more bang-for-the-buck than spending $100B/year to secure the border? Or, for that matter, the federal govt. could refund $100B worth of taxes to low-income households. Or it could take the $100B and use it to incentivize work by juicing a program like the EITC. Etc. All of which would probably be better uses of that money.

Comment: Re:Contracts Not Really Enforceable (Score 1) 398

by buddyglass (#48550713) Attached to: Displaced IT Workers Being Silenced

What reason besides greed does an American company have to fire a US worker and hire a foreign worker at lower wages and benefits

Because they want to be more successful as a company and provide benefit to their shareholders, which is the goal of any corporation. Why does the domestic worker deserve to be more highly paid if he can't provide any additional value?

who is more important to our society? a working taxpaying American or a working non taxpaying foreigner

Foreign nationals pay U.S. income tax, but don't qualify for SS or Medicare. They also pay local property tax, local sales tax, etc. Whatever tax they pay is essentially "cake" to the IRS.

I don't know 1 product besides pencils and crayons that are 100% are in the USA. That's ok by you?

You're exaggerating. But, yes, I'm generally okay with most goods being imported if they can be produced less expensively abroad. I am generally not okay with huge swaths of the U.S. workforce being more or less unemployable. If we need to artificially subsidize low-wage labor in order to create demand at the bottom then so be it. Better that than have people not working and on the dole.

Our people are fat because the only places to work anymore are Wal-Mart's and burger kings and call centers of the USA.

Our people are fat because we eat a lot of junk food and don't exercise. Learn a marketable skill and you don't have to work at Wal-Mart, Burger King or a call center.

Comment: Re:Contracts Not Really Enforceable (Score 1, Insightful) 398

by buddyglass (#48547811) Attached to: Displaced IT Workers Being Silenced

American companies should be required by law to hire Americans first and foremost

Let's take this to its logical conclusion. Should "American" companies be required to purchase only American goods? Can't buy Lenovo; gotta buy Dell. Can't buy Toyota delivery vehicles; gotta buy GM. Etc. Should we allow foreign investors to buy stock in "American" companies? A corporation is "owned" by its shareholders, after all, and we want these to be truly "American" companies.

What other market restrictions would you impose?

Comment: Re:More than one reason the coverage is biased (Score 1) 398

by buddyglass (#48547735) Attached to: Displaced IT Workers Being Silenced

Build a border that can be enforced

Not economically feasible given the size of the U.S. border. Not to mention, many undocumented folks crossed the border legally. More guards, fences and guns wouldn't have stopped them. If you want to stop undocumented immigrants from working you need to work on the "demand" side. For instance:

1. Raise fines on employers.
2. Devote more resources to policing employers.
3. Makes it as easy as humanly possible for employers to verify work eligibility.
4. Require schools to verify citizenship or legal residence before registering new students.
5. Create frameworks similar to the EITC that benefit low-wage domestic workers but that ineligible workers aren't able to access. For instance, wage subsidies available only to citizens.

Preventing illegal immigration by "securing the border" is a red herring.

Comment: Re:What about men going to college? (Score 1) 584

by buddyglass (#48524807) Attached to: Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?
Possibly. But primarily because there's an established history of discrimination against women that would lend credibility to the notion that it's happening now. There's no history of overt discrimination against men, and certainly not starting as far base as the late 1970s.

Comment: Re:What about men going to college? (Score 1) 584

by buddyglass (#48522087) Attached to: Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?
Possibly because you're exaggerating. In 2012 the gap was 56/44. So 1.27 women for every man. It probably doesn't get reported on very often since women have outnumbered men in terms of total enrollment since 1979. One explanation might be that there are many more professions that are male-dominated but that don't require a college degree. Skilled tradesman, for example. Construction. Anything where physical strength is a prerequisite. So if you're a man who doesn't seem cut out for college then you have options. If you're a woman then, perhaps, you have fewer options. So there's greater motivation to get a degree.

It might also be worth noting that the gender gap decreases substantially among "traditionally aged" students (24 and under) as family income rises. So the gender imbalance is coming from poorer students and older students.

Comment: Re:The social pressure here is on the father (Score 1) 584

by buddyglass (#48521933) Attached to: Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?
I don't know Auerbach, but I suspect he'd be "okay" if she wanted to be an attorney, doctor, CEO, astronaut, concert pianist, architect, prime minister, etc. I doubt he's laser focused on tech and primarily motivated by the lack of women in STEM. It seems more likely the problem is his daughter's choice of "princess" as a goal. It's nonsensical, for one, but it would also tend to irk someone whose hope for his daughter is that she "aim high" and not have as a goal merely "marry a prince".

Mr. Cole's Axiom: The sum of the intelligence on the planet is a constant; the population is growing.