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Advice for my 17 year old daughter with over 100 credits done... Computer/IT Focused.
#1
Hello Degree Forums!

I first discovered this forum a few days ago and have been reading as much as possible and have found so many new things... Now I would like to jump in and ask for help and advice for my daughter. She will be doing common app and applying to schools soon but is only planning to apply to big names like Harvard, Yale, and Stanford to test the waters on how much financial support they may provide. We expect that she will not get into a top-name school, and we would like to have a plan in place that we will pay out of pocket for her to finish.

My daughter is 17 and has been taking college classes since she was 13. Her focus is on Computers (anything, she wants to be as well-rounded as possible), wants to get a Paralegal or Law degree, Mathematics Degree, and wants to explore a degree in Education.

Here are the classes she has finished, is currently taking, or signed up to take in the spring, along with the school and degree she is on track for. I've also listed some of the certifications she is working on.

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College
Program: Associate of Science (AS) with Honors
Program: Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Computer Software Development (CSD)
Program: Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Software Engineering Technology (SET)
Program: Associate of Applied Science (AAS) Computer Information Systems (CINS)
  • IT-100 Foundations of Software Development (2019 Summer)
  • IT-105 Information Technology Concepts (2021 Spring)
  • IT-101 Programming 1 (2019 Fall)
  • IT-102 Programming 2 (2020 Spring)
  • IT-111 Database Design and SQL 1 (2019 Fall)
  • IT-112 Database Design and SQL 2 (2022 Summer)
  • IT-212 Business Intelligence (2022 Fall)
  • IT-161 Java Programming 1 (2020 Summer)
  • IT-162 Java Programming 2 (2020 Fall)
  • IT-110 HTML with CSS and JavaScript (2021 Spring)
  • IT-117 Web Programming 1 (2020 Summer)
  • IT-218 Web Programming 2 (2020 Fall)
  • SET-151 C Programming 1 (2021 Fall)
  • SET-252 C Programming 2 (2022 Spring)
  • CPDM-198 Object-Oriented Programming with Python (2020 Spring)
  • CPDM-210 Systems Analysis and Design (2021 Spring)
  • CPDM-190 Co-op Preparation (2022 Spring)
  • CPDM-290 CPDM Capstone (2023 Spring)
  • ACC-110 Financial Accounting (2022 Summer)
  • ART-110 Introduction to Art (2021 Fall)
  • COMM-105 Interpersonal Communications (2020 Fall)
  • COMM-110 Public Speaking (2020 Summer)
  • ECO-105 Microeconomics (2022 Spring)
  • ENG-101 English Composition 101 (2019 Fall)
  • ENG-102 English Composition 2 Contemporary Issues (2021 Spring)
  • ENG-104 English Composition 2 Technical Communication (2020 Spring)
  • ENG-105 English Composition 2 Business Communication (2022 Spring)
  • HNR-100 Orientation to Honors (2021 Spring)
  • HNR-198 Honors Seminar - Origins of Punk Music (2021 Summer)
  • HST-102 World History Since 1500 (2020 Fall)
  • HST-111 American History through 1877 (2020 Summer)
  • LAW-101 Business Law (2021 Summer)
  • MAT-131 Statistics 1 (2021 Summer)
  • MAT-151 College Algebra (2021 Summer)
  • MAT-152 Trigonometry (2021 Fall)
  • MAT-251 Calculus 1 (2022 Spring)
  • MGT-101 Principles of Management (2022 Summer)
  • POL-101 American-Government (2019 Summer)
  • PHI-110 Ethics (2021 Summer)
  • PHY-151 Physics 1: Algebra and Trigonometry-Based (2021 Fall)
  • PHY-152 Physics 2: Algebra and Trigonometry-Based (2022 Fall)
  • PSY-110 Introduction to Psychology Honors (2021 Fall)
 * She plans to finish the Paralegal Certificate or Associate degree at Cincinnati State unless she finds a better Paralegal/Law option.

University of Cincinnati
Program: Bachelor of Science in Information Technology - Software Development
  • IT-1051 Fundamentals of Digital Media (2022 Fall)
  • IT-1080 Computer Networking (2022 Summer)
  • IT-1081 System Administration (2022 Summer)
  • IT-2020 Implications of IT (2022 Summer)
  • IT-2021 Human Computer Interaction (2023 Spring)
  • IT-2030 Information Security and Assurance (2023 Spring)
  • IT-3048 Mobile Device Programming (2023 Spring)
  • IT-3049 Web Game Development (2022 Fall)
  • IT-4020 Management in IT (2022 Fall)
  • IT-4045 Enterprise Application Development (2022 Fall)
  • MATH-1071 Discrete Math (2023 Spring)
University of the People
Program: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (B.Sc. CS)
  • CS-1101 Programming Fundamentals (2021 Term 4)
  • CS-1104 Computer Systems (2022 Term 1)
  • CS-2204 Communications and Networking (2022 Term 2)
  • CS-2301 Operating Systems 1 (2022 Term 2)
  • CS-2401 Software Engineering 1 (2022 Term 2)
  • CS-3303 Data Structures (2022 Term 3)
  • CS-3307 Operating Systems 2 (2023 Term 1)
  • CS-4402 Comparative Programming Languages (2022 Term 5)
  • CS-4407 Data Mining and Machine Learning (2022 Term 4)
  • HIST-1421 Greek and Roman Civilization (2022 Term 1)
  • MATH-1302 Discrete Mathematics (2023 Term 1)
  • SOC-1502 Introduction to Sociology (2021 Term 5)
  • UNIV-1001 Online Education Strategies (2021 Term 4)

EC-Council
Certifications
  • ECES Certified Encryption Specialist (done)
  • CND Certified Network Defender (studying Winter 2022/23)
  • CEH Certified Ethical Hacker (planned Spring 2023)
  • CHFI Certified Hacking Forensic Investigator (planned Summer 2023)

What options are out there for her to transfer credits to and pick up some additional degrees that would fit into her plans? I feel a bit lost because I dropped out of college in my 1st year, 24 years ago. My wife has an Associate from an Art school... We are not experts, thus why I turned to you all!

Thank you all so much for any feedback!

PS: All of her grades were "A" except she had 2x "B" and 1x "C".

I edited my post to add in some points I noticed were asked in other threads.
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#2
UoPeople is not a "real" university in the eyes of many universities like Georgia Tech. At least, not yet. She will need a degree from what's (formerlly) known as Regionally Accredited universities. Right now, UoPeople is Nationally Accredited, though it is in candidacy status for Regional Accreditation. An NA school might be perfectly acceptable for employment purposes, but it kind of sucks for continuing education.

I could be mistaken about Georgia Tech not accepting NA degrees, like those from UoPeople. If I am correct, she might or might not be able to use a Bachelor's from the University of Cincinnati, but GT would completely ignore any credits she earned from UoPeople. They just currently don't exist. She could wait and hope that UoPeople gets RA status. If it does, I think her degree would count as RA because it was completed during the candidacy period; I'm not sure about that, however.

Question: why is she getting so many degrees? What does she want to do with her life? Having so many degrees in such a short period of time, in such diverse fields, may actually hurt her future employment prospects.
In progress:
TESU - BA Computer Science; BSBA CIS; ASNSM Math & CS; ASBA

Completed:
Pierpont - AAS BOG
Sophia (so many), The Institutes (old), Study.com (5 courses)
ASU: Human Origins, Astronomy, Intro Health & Wellness, Western Civilization, Computer Appls & Info Technology, Intro Programming
Strayer: CIS175, CIS111, WRK100, MAT210
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#3
(09-24-2022, 04:55 AM)rachel83az Wrote: UoPeople is not a "real" university in the eyes of many universities like Georgia Tech. At least, not yet. She will need a degree from what's (formerlly) known as Regionally Accredited universities. Right now, UoPeople is Nationally Accredited, though it is in candidacy status for Regional Accreditation. An NA school might be  perfectly acceptable for employment purposes, but it kind of sucks for continuing education.

I could be mistaken about Georgia Tech not accepting NA degrees, like those from UoPeople. If I am correct, she might or might not be able to use a Bachelor's from the University of Cincinnati, but GT would completely ignore any credits she earned from UoPeople. They just currently don't exist. She could wait and hope that UoPeople gets RA status. If it does, I think her degree would count as RA because it was completed during the candidacy period; I'm not sure about that, however.

So she started at Cincinnati State, where she has most of her credits, then transferred them to UoPeople since it was a quick path to a BS in CS, but knowing they were only NA and not RA, she also transferred her credits to the University of Cincinnati.

Looking over the Georgia Tech information using the link on edX they don't say anything about RA vs NA... Her current plans are to apply to Georgia Tech with her UoPeople Degree for Masters in Cyber Security. She also plans to do the new Masters of Information Tech on UoPeople.

Her BS at UoPeople will be done next month. Her BS at UC will be about a year or so out because she will do her last classes in the spring and then finish her year-long senior project next year.


Just tonight, after posting, we found the Ph.D. in Computer Science program at Capitol Technology University. We are planning to reach out on Monday to see if a Masters from UoPeople would be an acceptable degree for her to move into their program. She has been for the last 4 years as a web developer for a local 501c3; before that, she had a paid internship with a Fortune 500.



(09-24-2022, 04:55 AM)rachel83az Wrote: Question: why is she getting so many degrees?

In the State of Ohio, starting in the Summer between 6th and 7th grade, if you can place into college classes via exam, the state will pay for your classes. She placed in the Spring, end of 8th grade, and started her first classes in the summer between 8th and 9th. Her goal was to earn the AAS in Computer Software Development, but she also needed to meet high school graduation requirements. She discovered that she enjoyed college classes more than high school so then just loaded super heavy on them during COVID.

This put her in a position to get an Associate of Science (general) done.

Knowing she would also transfer to UC (University of Cincinnati) for the Software Engineer Degree, she picked up some extra classes that were part of the more basic Software Development degree. This happened to line her up for the Software Engineer Degree at Cincinnati State.

During a meeting session with her advising team, they looked at some degree Audits and realized that she was 3 classes short of the Information Systems (computer/business) degree. She knew she wanted to do Paralegal or law eventually, so she picked up Business Law, Accounting, and Management.

That is how she ended up with 4 Associate Degrees in 4 years. It wasn't planned at first just saw opportunities. 



(09-24-2022, 04:55 AM)rachel83az Wrote: Question: What does she want to do with her life?

Web App Dev and Pen Testing. We also have a couple of close family friends that make their income (well into 6 digits per year) as bug bounty hunters.

Her focus has been on Software Engineering, Web Development, and Cyber Security. Anything else Computer related could support her knowledge base.

Law would benefit in that line of work, and she has already spoken to several law firms that said they look to contract people with those skill sets and have a hard time finding them.

Education because her high school has given so much to her and opened so many doors above and beyond what they were required to do, she has a secret seeded passion for wanting to part-time teach and give back. I don't see it happening, but she has been nonstop so far, and at this point, I'm just trying to research and help her the best I can.



(09-24-2022, 04:55 AM)rachel83az Wrote: Having so many degrees in such a short period of time, in such diverse fields, may actually hurt her future employment prospects.

I think what she wants to do is nicely for the degrees and certifications, but IDK... What are your thoughts? How could it hurt?

Thank you a ton for your feedback, questions, and thoughts!
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#4
(09-24-2022, 05:30 AM)EDUxplorer Wrote: Web App Dev and Pen Testing. We also have a couple of close family friends that make their income (well into 6 digits per year) as bug bounty hunters.
Don't need a degree in this, especially as a bug bounty hunter. It may or may not help.

(09-24-2022, 05:30 AM)EDUxplorer Wrote: Her focus has been on Software Engineering, Web Development
A strong portfolio will help her here more than a ton of degrees would. So many degrees takes away from the time she could be using to build her portfolio.

(09-24-2022, 05:30 AM)EDUxplorer Wrote: Law would benefit in that line of work, and she has already spoken to several law firms that said they look to contract people with those skill sets and have a hard time finding them.
Law is a different beast entirely and I'm not qualified to speak here.

(09-24-2022, 05:30 AM)EDUxplorer Wrote: Education because her high school has given so much to her and opened so many doors above and beyond what they were required to do, she has a secret seeded passion for wanting to part-time teach and give back. I don't see it happening, but she has been nonstop so far, and at this point, I'm just trying to research and help her the best I can.
Unless Ohio is very different, I don't think you need an education degree to teach part-time. If she agrees to teach STEM in a low-income school, though, she might get most/all of her education paid for.


(09-24-2022, 05:30 AM)EDUxplorer Wrote:
(09-24-2022, 04:55 AM)rachel83az Wrote: Having so many degrees in such a short period of time, in such diverse fields, may actually hurt her future employment prospects.

I think what she wants to do is nicely for the degrees and certifications, but IDK... What are your thoughts? How could it hurt?

Thank you a ton for your feedback, questions, and thoughts!

It can hurt because it looks to many not like "oh, wow, she's an overachiever who works hard!" but, instead, "oh, wow, those colleges/universites must suck" OR "she must have cheated in her classes" OR "how much could she possibly know if she hasn't focused her studies on one field?". Potentially, even "well, we can't hire her because she won't stay long anyway; she gets bored too easily and will just go into another field". 

It'd be different if she were, say, 37 instead of 17 and had accumulated many degrees over a few decades. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of prejudices in our society and she's "too smart" for a lot of people.
In progress:
TESU - BA Computer Science; BSBA CIS; ASNSM Math & CS; ASBA

Completed:
Pierpont - AAS BOG
Sophia (so many), The Institutes (old), Study.com (5 courses)
ASU: Human Origins, Astronomy, Intro Health & Wellness, Western Civilization, Computer Appls & Info Technology, Intro Programming
Strayer: CIS175, CIS111, WRK100, MAT210
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#5
She has been building up her github then, recently, a local fintech company posted a bounty program, and she entered it. As she told me, because she learned things like Hungarian notation and how she was taught to design API endpoints and variables in a class, she had a better idea of how the developer thought when they made the platform. She was able to earn a bounty on it.

I noticed you posted about SNHU and TESU. Do you think her classes would transfer well to either of them for a degree that would provide a quick path to put her into a position for one of the following? Cincinnati State and the University of Cincinnati are both regionally accredited.  She told me that her schedule is super light for the Spring as she doesn't know what else to take. If she plans now, she could add in a class or two at Cincinnati State. She only has a capstone project to do there, and that is on par with projects she builds all the time for work anyways.

After Masters she has said the would love to get a PhD to feel like she has went the full path. This is the first Ph.D. program we have seen that she is excited about, Ph.D. in Computer Science program at Capitol Technology University. So something that lines to this would be great.

Thanks!
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#6
@EDUxplorer, Wow, you're an amazing parent, that's a bit of an intro and update.  Just curious if you're planning something for yourself and your wife...  How many kids are you pre-planning education for?  Anyways, about the daughter, you'll get advice pulling you in all directions, follow what she wants... Below is all I have for now, I'll update the post after I get more details from you.

I really recommend filling us in on some missing details from the template and last post addendum here: https://www.degreeforum.net/mybb/Thread-...Area-works  |  It seems you may have updated your posts to include U of T - Austin as a master's option, I actually recommended that institution here, you should also add NYU because of scholarships: https://www.degreeforum.net/mybb/Thread-...#pid378084

Georgia Tech, U of T-Austin, NYU, all have similar programs in Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Data Analytics/Data Science.  I would check them all out as some offerings would be a mix of CS/IT/Math/Stats, and from a really reputable institution, plus they'll be inexpensive, also they're MOOC using Coursera/EdX or another platform.  Keep your mind open to others too...

I really like the way you're helping your daughter and the both of you brain storming options to gain extra knowledge and shooting for the stars when it comes to education.  I suggest your daughter continuing on her path until she completes her Bachelors.  She can continue exactly the way she wants... I would wait on the PhD until she actually starts the Masters.

In regards to the three main things I talk about, Certs, Degree, Experience, she's hitting them up with her amazing energy, using her time wisely, and learning/earning towards her degrees.  I see no issues having that much education under her belt, just keep the Associates out of the resume and whatever is relevant on.  Being NA/RA, the U of People degree wouldn't matter either, leave it off the applications but finish them.
In Progress: Walden MBA | TESU BA Biology & Computer Science
The Basic Approach | Plans | DegreeForum Community Supported Wiki
~Note~ Read/Review forum posts & Wiki Links to Sample Degree Plans

Completed: TESU ASNSM Biology, BSBA (ACBSP Accredited 2017)
Universidad Isabel I: ENEB MBA, Big Data & BI, Digital Marketing & E-Commerce
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#7
Hey just a few questions:

- why does she have discrete math planned for early 2023 at both schools? Can't she get UoPeople to accept the course from U Cincinnati? I also saw that she did networking courses at both universities. With all that your daughter is trying to accomplish, having a lot of redundant classes will slow her down. 

- Why specifically is she interested in pursuing the certifications through EC Council? It sounds like your daughter is mainly interested in pentesting/bug bounty hunting and there may be other certs more catered for those goals(while also being cheaper). Also, check out this thread for a free opportunity for a cybersecurity certification from (isc)2: https://www.degreeforum.net/mybb/Thread-...through-is

- With all your daughter is accomplishing both academically and professionally, she shouldn't have any trouble getting into really well paid positions within a few years so delaying that further by getting a 3rd bachelor's degree may not be the best ROI(unless she does get into a high caliber university). I'd avoid an education degree though, since I don't believe she'd need one to teach STEM in most cases. Schools are absolutely desperate for STEM teachers, especially ones for CS/tech subjects.

- If law is an interest of hers, she may want to consider a JD down the road, not another undergrad degree on the subject. In general, you want to progress up and not laterally. 

- She probably has a good chance at the GT OMSCyber degree and a doctorate program down the road.

- From everything I've read, UoPeople's MSIT would be redundant for your daughter since she already has an extensive IT/CS undergrad while the MSIT is more designed for someone with a minimal preexisting knowledge on those topics(I could be wrong though!). Doing the OMSCyber or an MSCS at UT Austin would be a much better use of her time. 
Quote:What options are out there for her to transfer credits to and pick up some additional degrees that would fit into her plans?
She may actually have trouble getting into more undergrad programs at this point since she has so many undergrad degrees, and grad programs aren't known for being transfer credit friendly. At this point, I'd focus less on quantity and more on "quality" of degrees, so unless she gets into a high ranked/ivy(which she very well might!), I probably wouldn't bother with any more undergrad once she confers her currently enrolled programs. 

Best of luck!
WGU BSIT Complete January 2022
(77CU transferred in)(44/44CU ) 

RA(non WGU)(57cr)
JST/TESU Eval of NAVY Training(85/99cr)
The Institutes, TEEX, NFA(9cr): Ethics, Cyber 101/201/301, Safety
Sophia(60cr): 23 classes
Study.com(31cr): Eng 105, Fin 102, His 108, Lib Sci 101, Math 104, Stat 101, CS107, CS 303, BUS 107
CLEP(9cr): Intro Sociology 63 Intro Psych 61 US GOV 71
OD(12cr): Robotics, Cyber, Programming, Microecon
CSM(3cr)
Various IT/Cybersecurity Certifications from: CompTIA, Google, Microsoft, AWS, GIAC, LPI, IBM
Computer Science Fundamentals MicroBachelor(3cr)
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#8
We spoke quite a bit over lunch today about feedback; thank you all a ton!

She is interested in getting:
  • Masters - Computer Science
  • Ph.D. - Computer Science
Then 2nd level priority is:
  • Master - Law
  • Master - Cyber Security
Her current track is:
  • 2022-November. Bachelor in Computer Science from UoPeople. In Hand.
  • 2023-May. 4 Associate degrees from Cincinnati State. In Hand.
  • 2023-May. Finished all courses needed for University of Cincinnati EXCEPT Senior Project (year-long capstone) and 2x Co-Op.
  • 2023-April. Start Master of Information Tech at UoPeople.
  • 2024-May. Bachelor in Information Tech in Software Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. In Hand.
Do you all know of any quicker paths for her to have a Bachelor's in hand that would qualify her for the above-listed master's programs she wants?

As for a couple of overlaps, she didn't want to wait on her Bachelor's from UoPeople to do the Discrete Math in the Spring at UC. She chose to do Discrete Math at UoPeople now and then again at UC, knowing it wouldn't transfer from UoPeople to UC.

Currently, all of her EC-Council certs and classes from Cincinnati State and the University of Cincinnati have been paid for by her high school. The only cost we have had is the UoPeople.

--- EDIT ---

Her goal really is to keep working as hard a d fast as she can until she has a credible Masters in CS that can provide a path to Ph.D., the program at Capital Tech University, providing a European style PhD really got her excited. The other things are extra bonus.

She said "I don't need to finish University of Cincinnati if there is a quicker route that would provide me a comparable degree. One that opens the doors to a Masters Program."
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#9
Quote:Currently, all of her EC-Council certs and classes from Cincinnati State and the University of Cincinnati have been paid for by her high school. The only cost we have had is the UoPeople.

Awesome! Yeah you can't argue with that price so definitely keep going with those!

Quote:As for a couple of overlaps, she didn't want to wait on her Bachelor's from UoPeople to do the Discrete Math in the Spring at UC. She chose to do Discrete Math at UoPeople now and then again at UC, knowing it wouldn't transfer from UoPeople to UC.

Understandable!

Quote:Masters - Computer Science
Master - Cyber Security

Georgia tech's online MSCS(computing systems concentration) and online MS cybersecurity-information security track are actually very similar, and depending on class selection, can be only a handful of courses apart. They still limit the amount of transfer credits between programs but based on your priorities and the tuition at GT(OMSCS is actually a little cheaper) she could go for the OMSCS first, and then if she later wants the cybersecurity degree, it may be less classes.
Quote:Do you all know of any quicker paths for her to have a Bachelor's in hand that would qualify her for the above-listed master's programs she wants?

Depending on how well she does with self paced, she could potentially finish a BSCS at WGU in a matter of months. She sounds very bright and disciplined, so I'd say it's doable. Classes at WGU are all comprised of only a single, high stakes final exam, or a project(sometimes both) but you aren't limited by schedules, "busy work" or anything like that.WGU is generally free to apply to, so it may be worth just applying and having all her transcripts sent over to see how much she has left. They would accept her technical associates degrees as block transfers for all gen eds, some LL tech courses and of course any other course that they feel aligns with degree requirements. 


Another option would be the BACS from TESU(I'm not sure if being a BA vs BS would matter to her). She could potentially transfer in everything except for a cornerstone and capstone course, which she could do in one semester and graduate. There are many people on this forum doing just that. I'd say it's worth applying to see what transfers would count and she may be able to finish some missing courses from study.com in a matter of a few months.

Also wanted to add that several of the EC Council certs are ACE recommended for credit, so they could potentially help, depending on the school:

https://www.acenet.edu/National-Guide/Pa...0d3a3638df
WGU BSIT Complete January 2022
(77CU transferred in)(44/44CU ) 

RA(non WGU)(57cr)
JST/TESU Eval of NAVY Training(85/99cr)
The Institutes, TEEX, NFA(9cr): Ethics, Cyber 101/201/301, Safety
Sophia(60cr): 23 classes
Study.com(31cr): Eng 105, Fin 102, His 108, Lib Sci 101, Math 104, Stat 101, CS107, CS 303, BUS 107
CLEP(9cr): Intro Sociology 63 Intro Psych 61 US GOV 71
OD(12cr): Robotics, Cyber, Programming, Microecon
CSM(3cr)
Various IT/Cybersecurity Certifications from: CompTIA, Google, Microsoft, AWS, GIAC, LPI, IBM
Computer Science Fundamentals MicroBachelor(3cr)
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#10
My only advice is to continue on with what she's doing - I don't really see the point in doing an inexpensive degree here (the Big 3, WGU, etc.) when she's already doing all of this other stuff.

I'm not sure why she'd spend the money to get a law degree when she's already basically an expert in IT/CS/Dev - she could probably find a way to bring her skills to law in another way outside of a degree.

I'm also not seeing her teaching PT at a K-12 school - the pay is crap, which is why they have a hard time getting people with Computer-related degrees to come and teach - they are inflexible, generally speaking, and the pay for computers is so much better. I suppose she might want to teach in a college, but you don't need a degree in education to do that (you only get a degree in Education if you want to teach K-12, and even then, it would be a waste of time when she could just get an alternative teaching certification program - but again, that would mean that she would have to stop everything and teach in a school, usually for a minimum of 3 years FT, to get her cert).

I think she has too many options, and she kind of needs to focus on 1 or 2.
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