Allen Gets His CS Degree

The Computer Science Degree Journey

To degree, or not to degree…that is the question. I know it’s odd but this career teacher had zero desire to pursue any more college classes and/or degrees. I mean zilch, nada, no way! Just ask my wife. She has always been the one interested in going back to school. It’s funny how I ended up being the one to actually do it.

It all began when the computer science (CS) teacher at the school at which I teach announced her retirement. In discussion with the director of our school, it was determined that we might not be able to find a replacement since CS teachers are hard to find (since they can likely earn MUCH more with their skills in professions other than teaching). Knowing that I have done quite a bit of programming over the years and was kind of a self-taught coder, my boss approached me to see if I was interested in taking on the CS teaching load. I responded that I was, BUT I wasn’t sure I was interested in taking all the classes I would need to take to get certified to teach those classes. She encouraged me to take one CS class at Lord Fairfax Community College to test the waters.

It turned out that I really enjoyed taking the class and my only complaint was that we didn’t have enough coding assignments to keep me interested. The funny part is that I still did not feel I really had what it takes to successfully get a CS degree. My boss reminded me that I had taught myself how to code websites and then proceeded to build our school’s website from scratch ( and built several other web apps that our school relies upon (i.e. a bus mileage log app, a sign-up app for student activities, etc.). I reluctantly decided to give it a shot.

I ended up applying for a Masters of Applied Computer Science program through the University of West Georgia. I got accepted and began my classes in the fall of 2019. I was totally surprised how much I enjoyed the challenge of the classes. Each week I was given a barrage of coding challenges that stretched and refined my skills. While I definitely sacrificed many hours of sleep through the program, I loved it. I was actually kind of sad when it was over.

You can laugh if you want, but this middle-aged guy totally took his family down to Carrollton, GA to participate in the graduation ceremony. My wife convinced me that it was important for our kids to see the ceremony after putting up with me going through the program. I’m glad I did.

Now, with all that being said…If you ask me if I am interested in pursuing any other degrees or taking college classes, I will give you a resolute, “No way!” I guess teachers really do make the worst students 🙂

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