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Can i work in some companies as a website developer with a physics degree?

  • Physics
  • Thread starter kntsy
  • Start date
  • #1
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0

Main Question or Discussion Point

i always want to develop some website but due to the lack of knowledge of programming, i can only use software such as frontpage.
I always want to learn java and C++ but the tight schedule of physics makes it impossible. Im yr3 now so i cant switch major and with 1 yr left.
so theres only 2 option now:
1)be a weak/unemployed web developer with a physics degree without much programming knowledge.
2)apply master of IT/compsci without bachelor of IT/compsci, impossible?
3)get a 4yr CS undergrad degree


which's reasonable i need yr help.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
chiro
Science Advisor
4,790
131
i always want to develop some website but due to the lack of knowledge of programming, i can only use software such as frontpage.
I always want to learn java and C++ but the tight schedule of physics makes it impossible. Im yr3 now so i cant switch major and with 1 yr left.
so theres only 2 option now:
1)be a weak/unemployed web developer with a physics degree without much programming knowledge.
2)apply master of IT/compsci without bachelor of IT/compsci, impossible?
3)get a 4yr CS undergrad degree


which's reasonable i need yr help.
If you want to become a web developer, the simplest advice I can give you is to start making websites. Make websites that make use of lots of things including databases, dynamic server generated webpages (PHP, ASP and so on), maybe even some flash based content and so on.

Work on your portfolio and add your best works to the portfolio that you send to prospective employers.

Just realize that you will have to do a lot of work to get the experience creating solid websites: you'll need to put in a lot of hours to get something good, but if you end up creating a good portfolio with sharp technical know-how you are on the right track.
 
  • #3
491
2
You don't even need a degree to work in web development. I know because I worked as a freelancer all through high school, and the only thing that mattered was your portfolio, your affiliations, and your reputation. When you're looking to get hired by web firms, of course it will help to have a college degree, but it most definitely does not have to be computer science.

The big things you need to learn: XHTML/HTML 5/CSS, PHP (object-oriented), Javascript/AJAX, lots of people need Flash work nowadays but I wouldn't worry about this too much because HTML 5, AJAX, Javascript, and the like are beginning to push Flash out of the scene and a lot of people think it will be gone in some years (it's slow, buggy, annoying, and stupid, plus it's not even opensource). You should also learn some SQL, and learn how to use MySQL/PostgreSQL. If you're into learning some real languages, you might want to get into .NET, C#, ASP.NET and other Microsoft stuff.

Also, it will be very beneficial to you to learn some systems management with Linux. This isn't hard, just install Linux on your machine and try to create a local webserver and 'maintain' it. You don't have to put it online, just fiddle with it. Most webservers are Linux servers, so knowing thing or two about how they work is a big plus.

It takes time to learn how to program, and even more time to get good and efficient at it. The important thing is that you put in time and you don't waste it by not building your portfolio as you go along. Take on small projects, keep them, and do a good job so you can include them in your portfolio.

A word of warning though; web design and development tends to get hit hard when the economy goes down. You might be better off learning some real languages and getting familiar with some hardcore languages like C, C++, Java, FORTRAN, etc. You can start with Python since it's pretty easy and has lots of libraries to help you do everything, plus there's lots of help for it online.
 
  • #4
1,199
25
Your aim seems a bit vague. You can develop 'some website' using just Frontpage, or even just HTML, but what *exactly* do you want to develop?

I'm not sure of the situation where you are, but you can do a "conversion course" from BSc Physics to MSc CS/IT in the UK - so, if you can do that, it's definitely a good idea!

In any case, I wouldn't work too hard on webby stuff for the next year, a physics degree with the highest grades you can get is what you should be aiming at right now.

Going back to square 1 and doing a 4 years CS degree seems overkill for someone who wants to 'develop webs'. If you can't do an MSc CS/IT then I'd look into doing training courses of any kind in what is most popular at the moment - hadsed has a good list.
 
  • #5
2)apply master of IT/compsci without bachelor of IT/compsci, impossible?
No. I have an undergrad degree in mathematics and went back to school to get my masters in CS.

I had to take undergraduate prerequisites as a grad student. You definitely should be able to take them as well (at the weaker schools). The better schools will want them before you apply. The typical courses vary from school to school, but computer architecture and data structures are likely required everywhere you might be interested in applying to. If you still have a year left and want to study computer science, you should look into taking the first two intro to programming classes as well as those two courses (and do well in all of them)

That said, those courses are very involved and not really necessary to be a web developer. To be a web developer, you really need to know HTML/CSS and one of PHP, Java, or C#. After that, build a couple of portfolio sites and maybe look for an internship with someone locally.

I myself wound up getting a job in desktop support after going back to school just by getting an internship and some certifications (from microsoft and cisco). I imagine certifications for web developers are available, but not nearly as popular/necessary as they are in network support/administration.
 
  • #6
If you want to work as a developer then you should work more on programming not physics...then you can create your own website
 

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