|I have an unrelated degree, BSc Econ, and I love the programming (R, SQL) side of my job as a data analyst. For personal reasons, I'd like to remain working in the public sector, so I can't really transition to a dev role internally without the credential. Data engineer roles don't seem to exist here either. Have to make a decision of whether to resume a second bachelor's in CS in September, or give it up entirely. Can't do part time studies, got an A- in Gregor Kiczales' CPSC 110 course at UBC based on HtDP, which was GREAT, but too stressful while working full time. I'm in my late 20s.|
I was spending some time learning Unix on OpenBSD, as well as Vim and Python, and enjoying it. But I can't help feeling I'm wasting my time without the piece of paper, if my goal is to be able to spend my days building software - even if it were maintaining some old crusty old system in Java, I think I'd enjoy it more. And the time I'm spending on that means I'm not spending it on keeping up my skills for my data analyst role, like brushing up on ML (though I'm not really interested in this..) etc.
The problem is, the opportunity cost of going back is hard to stomach. Giving up a decent salary, paying tuition, moving away (3 hrs away or so) from family members after being away from them for so long, it all seems so costly that I'll regret it. However, if I don't go through with it, I think I'd regret that too - that I didn't take the chance to be doing something else for the next 30+ yrs that I'd enjoy more.
So, I could use some advice on a way forward. Is being an excellent dev even feasible if it isn't your day job? And if anyone has gone through something similar, I'd love to hear how it went for you - did you regret going back to school, or not, and why?
For anyone who reads this, thank you for your time.