permaculture playing cards*
The moose likes Meaningless Drivel and the fly likes the importance of going to a Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Other » Meaningless Drivel
Bookmark "the importance of going to a "good" school" Watch "the importance of going to a "good" school" New topic
Author

the importance of going to a "good" school

Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30530
    
150

Paul Anilprem wrote:Overall, a BA is degree (unless it is in Performing or Fine arts) is a dead end.

I have a BA in computer science. (I also have a Masters in computer science, but that was after I started working.)

In my school the difference between a BA and BS was pretty small. And the difference was physics classes not computer science classes. I preferred to use those credits toward a minor in business. I don't think we can say that a BA is a dead end across the board.


[Blog] [JavaRanch FAQ] [How To Ask Questions The Smart Way] [Book Promos]
Blogging on Certs: SCEA Part 1, Part 2 & 3, Core Spring 3, OCAJP, OCPJP beta, TOGAF part 1 and part 2
Paul Anilprem
Enthuware Software Support
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 23, 2000
Posts: 3293
    
    7
Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:
Paul Anilprem wrote:Overall, a BA is degree (unless it is in Performing or Fine arts) is a dead end.

I have a BA in computer science. (I also have a Masters in computer science, but that was after I started working.)

In my school the difference between a BA and BS was pretty small. And the difference was physics classes not computer science classes. I preferred to use those credits toward a minor in business. I don't think we can say that a BA is a dead end across the board.

The difference between BA and BS courses here is like day and night. They have almost nothing in common.


Enthuware - Best Mock Exams and Questions for Oracle/Sun Java Certifications
Quality Guaranteed - Pass or Full Refund!
Paul Anilprem
Enthuware Software Support
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 23, 2000
Posts: 3293
    
    7
Here is a list of courses available in a BA degree: http://www.ignou.ac.in/ignou/aboutignou/school/soss/programmes/detail/144/2
and here it is for a B Sc.: http://www.ignou.ac.in/ignou/aboutignou/school/sos/programmes/detail/166/2
Chris R Barrett
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 05, 2013
Posts: 165
    
  10

Hi all,

This is a very fascinating thread! If I might add a bit about my experience and background.

I spent 15+ years in front-line finance (primarily risk management stuff dealing with high-tension credit/margin call issues). At 39, I decided two financial crisis in eight years was enough. I always loved problem solving and had spent a lot of time involved in IT development projects. After much discussion with the firm's IT department and project managers, I decided to go back to school to learn programming. The last "coding" I had done was in LogoWriter 25 years before.

However, before I quit my job:
  • I completed a detailed Cost/Benefit Analysis. I understood I would be taking a pay cut (a really big one until I finished school). I made sure that my TCO and SWOT reviews included the long-term benefits of my happiness.
  • I made sure my family agreed with my decision. I'm married with two kids. My wife and I have had to make many major life alterations, such as selling our house to buy a larger, older home with a rental in the basement for increased cash-flow.
  • I networked. I called local IT recruiters, HR managers, and joined several programming related 'Meet Up' groups to meet programmers and learn what skills were in demand. Through that process, I learned that where I live (Vancouver, BC, Canada), there are a lot of front-end developers but few Java/C (I use "C" generically to include C#, C++, etc...) back-end developers. As such, the Java/C back-end developers are paid more.

Returning to school full-time for four years to take a CompSci degree was not feasible. Luckily, Vancouver has an amazing technical school (BCIT) that I've been able to attend part-time learning both Java and C++ (plus some PHP). I also self-taught myself (for the most part) HTML and CSS.

As Matthew Brown mentioned farther up this thread, don't forget the softskills. There is no question people like Jeanne Boyarsky are fantastic programmers, but what makes her (and the other senior folks here) exceptional is her communication skills. You cannot learn those skills in a Java textbook. I made sure that the courses included stuff outside of core programming - including OOA, ERD and Agile design/methodology related courses. These courses, and my previous experience, have been invaluable in networking with non-programmers. I feel, and my discussions with BAs, SAs, PMs, and SCRUM Masters would seem to support this, that many IT people live in an "IT box". They prefer communication via email. With the new Agile techniques, being able to clearly communicate and deal with face-to-face conflict is very important (we should all know about the "storming stage" in team building).

I am now one year into the program, with another three months to go (approximately). I've also committed to the OCA exam in September. I'm not yet actively looking for work, but have already had two formal interviews via referrals I networked with and several preliminary discussions. While I'm not at all saying that coding skills isn't important (I have a 94% GPA and will finish my program "With Distinction"), please don't discount the softskills. If you have an undergraduate degree in History, or a BA, or whatever, figure out how you can leverage those skills.

Cheers!
Chris
Chris R Barrett
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 05, 2013
Posts: 165
    
  10

Paul Anilprem wrote: I am sure you will recall threads on JavaRanch talking about a "bond" signed by an employee looking to switch job. I never had to sign any such bond. But I know now that a vast majority of the companies make students graduating out from unranked schools sign a "bond" that forces the new hires to work with them for up to 3 yrs! It is exploitation, plain and simple. But they have no option.


I'm curious about this Paul. Maybe I should start a new topic. I have several friends who have immigrated from India in the IT industry. They tell me IT jobs are much more mercenary there than in North America. I'm told that often, graduates will go to work for a firm with a major overseas contract. The employee will be sent to work with the outsourced firm's North American developers for three months. Then, immediately quit when they return to India, because their three months of overseas work experience makes them much more valuable. This leaves the contract and the employer frustrated, as the contract has just spent three months "investing" in someone they thought would be their India-based liaison.

In Canada, often employers will pay for middle management to take MBAs. In exchange, the employee will agree to a certain time/work commitment (usually one to two years) to offset the employer's investment. Should the employee leave early, the employee will be required to repay a pro-rated portion of the employer's expenses related to the MBA (tuition, travel to the MBA school, etc...). Of course, the employee's completion of the MBA usually comes with career advancement/pay increase stipulations that help incentivize the employee to stay.

Does the bond attempt to generate a similar assurance of workforce commitment on the part of the new employee, in lieu of monetary/career advancement incentives?

Cheers!
Chris

PS - I'm not arguing if the bond is right or wrong. I'm just fascinated with how other countries structure employment, especially in the era of outsourcing where the Indian employer may not have the ability to incentive the new employee based on the employer's agreement to a fixed outsourcing contract amount.
Paul Anilprem
Enthuware Software Support
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 23, 2000
Posts: 3293
    
    7
Chris R Barrett wrote:
Paul Anilprem wrote: I am sure you will recall threads on JavaRanch talking about a "bond" signed by an employee looking to switch job. I never had to sign any such bond. But I know now that a vast majority of the companies make students graduating out from unranked schools sign a "bond" that forces the new hires to work with them for up to 3 yrs! It is exploitation, plain and simple. But they have no option.


I'm curious about this Paul. Maybe I should start a new topic. I have several friends who have immigrated from India in the IT industry. They tell me IT jobs are much more mercenary there than in North America. I'm told that often, graduates will go to work for a firm with a major overseas contract. The employee will be sent to work with the outsourced firm's North American developers for three months. Then, immediately quit when they return to India, because their three months of overseas work experience makes them much more valuable. This leaves the contract and the employer frustrated, as the contract has just spent three months "investing" in someone they thought would be their India-based liaison.

Yes, this is true. Such cases are also quite common.

Chris R Barrett wrote:
Does the bond attempt to generate a similar assurance of workforce commitment on the part of the new employee, in lieu of monetary/career advancement incentives?

Outsourcing is essentially labor arbitrage. There are abnormal profits involved. Both the employer and the employee vie for a piece of that profit. Employees leave the moment they get better pay and employers create as big a barrier as they can to prevent that movement. I think it is as simple as that.
As I mentioned earlier, some employees (from top schools) are undeterred by a bond (either they don't sign it or they know better about their illegality), but students from not so well known school are taken advantage of.
Chris R Barrett
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 05, 2013
Posts: 165
    
  10

Paul Anilprem wrote: As I mentioned earlier, some employees (from top schools) are undeterred by a bond (either they don't sign it or they know better about their illegality), but students from not so well known school are taken advantage of.

I take this to mean than that this 'bond' provides no option (unlike in Canada) for the employee to buy themselves out of the work contract early at a pro-rated amount for time served? For example, if another firm is very interested in an employee, they may agree to pay the employee's early contract termination clause as part of the employee's hiring package negotiation. Sounds like that option is not available to Indians of unranked schools, which really makes that bad indeed!

Thank you so much for sharing your insights!

Cheers!
Chris
Paul Anilprem
Enthuware Software Support
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 23, 2000
Posts: 3293
    
    7
Chris R Barrett wrote:
Paul Anilprem wrote: As I mentioned earlier, some employees (from top schools) are undeterred by a bond (either they don't sign it or they know better about their illegality), but students from not so well known school are taken advantage of.

I take this to mean than that this 'bond' provides no option (unlike in Canada) for the employee to buy themselves out of the work contract early at a pro-rated amount for time served?

Some do have this option, some don't.
Janeice DelVecchio
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Sep 14, 2009
Posts: 1665
    
  11

When I went to college the first time for my associates degree, I was worried that it was "only" from a community college. Then I went back to school, and I was worried that it was "distance learning." In both cases, I found someone to take a chance on me, then worked my butt off.... and now it doesn't matter what schools I went to. I now have good references and proper experience I can put on my resume.

I think whether or not it matters that a candidate went to a "good" school is dependent on the hiring manager, the position to be filled, the candidate, the business.... et cetera. Honestly, I've been hired (or nearly so -- I didn't take it) at a place as a vet technician because the hiring manager also went to the same community college I did. Some hiring managers went to "good" schools and, in my mind, they filter people based on their own bias.

Getting a job after graduating is pretty tough in some fields, but easier in others. There are some occupations where it only matters that you "have a degree" -- even if it's in basketweaving and from a community college. As a vet tech, some hiring managers prefer you were "on the job" trained over "college trained" -- why? Lots of reasons, including money, life skills vs book knowledge.... on and on.

Do I, personally, think it's important to go to a "good" school? No. I think it's better to know what you're doing and stay fresh in the field (particularly in computer related fields). And work hard. I hope that if I'm ever in charge of making a decision to hire someone I can try to keep those priorities clear.

When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: the importance of going to a "good" school