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financial certificate

lanling wong
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 23, 2002
Posts: 15
Hi, recently someone advised to take a certificate in finance because he thinks that it is better to combine the knowledge of computer with something else since computer is really a tool and finance is a good choice. well, I applied for the master actually and this advice made me think twice about my decision and I would like to ask for the smart people here, any advices? thanks a lot.


lanling<p>SCJP2<br />SCWCD<br />SCJD
Roseanne Zhang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 14, 2000
Posts: 1953
Combining your CS skill with other deciplines is always a good idea, which makes you have a specialty.
There are many potential areas to combined:
Applied Math/Operation research/...
Complexity theory and their business applictions
Physics/EE/Telecom/Semiconductors/...
Biology/BioInformatics
Neuro Network
Finance
...
The list goes on and on and ...
Good luck!
lanling wong
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 23, 2002
Posts: 15
Thanks a lot Roseanne, I love Java, which field do you think is better to be combined with CS, or more specifically, Java tech?
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
I strongly recommend going into bio-tech, forecasts indicated it should be a very strong industry for the next decade. Finance is also a good field because it's got enough money in it to be stable, even in bad markets.
--Mark
Roseanne Zhang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 14, 2000
Posts: 1953
There is nothing specific about Java. Java is just a programming language, like c/c++/c#, Pascal / FORTRAN /vb / lisp, or even COBOL...
Do not take it as a religion. It is just a tool. It is Sun brand tool. You can also use a Microsoft brand tool. The skills are transferable. The more you know, the easier to transfer. I used code in Pascal/lisp/c/c++/VC++ etc. I transferred to a VB programmer in a night literally (5pm - 2am). Now I'm coding in Java/perl/etc. Tomorrow, if job requires, I can code in C#, or .NET without big leap.

For other disciplines, I agree with Mark, but add the applied math, which is so hot now, even on Wall Street.
[ May 05, 2002: Message edited by: Roseanne Zhang ]
John Lee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 05, 2001
Posts: 2545
Hi:
What kind of certificate are there in finance, can you provide a name?
Thanks,
[ May 05, 2002: Message edited by: Don Liu ]
Roseanne Zhang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 14, 2000
Posts: 1953
Don
Obviously, you are very very smart and really enjoying brain excercises. However, I visited your home page, which has only one line there. Are you just starting? :roll:
Just curious.
Roseanne
[ May 06, 2002: Message edited by: Roseanne Zhang ]
Shura Balaganov
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 22, 2002
Posts: 664
Originally posted by Roseanne Zhang:

For other disciplines, I agree with Mark, but add the applied math, which is so hot now, even on Wall Street.

Roseanne, Mark, how do I find these applied math positions and what education/experience do they expect from you? I am very interested to get into this field.
Thanks
Shura


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Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
I've never really heard of any certificates in this area. The people I know who have gone into these areas, or are currently moving into them are doing so by reading books and taking classes: bio, economics/math.
--Mark
Roseanne Zhang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 14, 2000
Posts: 1953
Originally posted by Shura Balaganov:
Roseanne, Mark, how do I find these applied math positions and what education/experience do they expect from you? I am very interested to get into this field.

The job description or company will usually not mention applied math. However, looking for keywords such as operation research, optimization forecasting, pricing, revenue management, complexity theory, chaos, modeling, inventory control, non-linear, graph theory, etc. etc.
Feel free to add some more here!
Good luck!
[ May 06, 2002: Message edited by: Roseanne Zhang ]
lanling wong
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 23, 2002
Posts: 15
Thanks again Roseanne and Mark for all the information. I start to think about finance option, but it is more related to accounting or finance? I was told that it is accounting, but from what I am aware of I thought it was finance. not too sure, any idea?
apart for the language, yeah, I agree we should be able to transfer to other languages as a programmer or even higher level, but isn't that too energy consuming? is it not possible that we could focus on one aspect and keep on working on that to be expert? there is really no way?
Shura Balaganov
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 22, 2002
Posts: 664
Originally posted by lanling wong:
I agree we should be able to transfer to other languages as a programmer or even higher level, but isn't that too energy consuming? is it not possible that we could focus on one aspect and keep on working on that to be expert? there is really no way?

Yes, you can focus on one aspect as long as you are willing to bet your career on one particular technology. You'll do well if you guess right (good luck)
Look at mainframe, a lot of people still work with it, but it is no longer "cool" or highly payable job. C++ has been doing very well for a number of years, and you can safely bet it'll do well for another 5-10, but after then - who knows. Java might be easily eaten alive by .NET within a few years. Linux and Open Source might dominate in the future, but then again they might go away quietly.
It is a little bit more work to be able to switch technologies, and sometimes it's pain in the neck to learn a new one. But once you learn 2-3, the rest will go easy. And you'll be able to always compete no matter what job market brings.
[edit: added comments below]
Rozeanne, thanks for the info, I'll give it a shot.
Shura
[ May 06, 2002: Message edited by: Shura Balaganov ]
Sam Kebab
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 23, 2002
Posts: 104
Hello.
If you are really serious about Finance, and want to get "certified" -- I suggest consider the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) program.
The program is comprised of 3 exams and you take a whole year to prepare for 1 exam. (retakers used to have to wait for one whole year before attempting again, i think now you can retake in 6mos)
The certification is highly esteemed in the world of Finance. Oh, and unlike certifications in IT -- this one does not expire.
Requirements: i think you need over a year of experience in Finance before attempting the first exam, and you need to get a member to vouch for you.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Shawarma Kebab:

If you are really serious about Finance, and want to get "certified" -- I suggest consider the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) program.


What makes you suggest this program? I just read about it at http://www.aimr.org/cfaprogram/viewbk/homepage/viewbook.html
It looks like a program for people in financial management careers. It is unclear to me that this will help you get a software job, unless you know otherwise. Have you seen any jobs requiring this.
Usually software jobs find additional basic knowledge of a field helpful. Serious certifications are generally too specialized and off mark.
--Mark
Jamie Robertson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 09, 2001
Posts: 1879

I wouldn't recommend training yourself for 2 jobs! I think that the specialty ( such as math, finance, or chemistry ) should come from your electives in University. You major in Computer Science, what was your minor? if you minored in economics/math/chemistry the I would consider this an added "specialty". This may give you an advantage when applying for a job in a pharmaceutical/financial/engineering company.
lanling wong
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 23, 2002
Posts: 15
My minor is economics, which consists of around 10 courses. but it doesn't help me in finding a job. I like CS and I don't want to change my profession into financial analyst or the equivalences.
Look at mainframe, a lot of people still work with it, but it is no longer "cool" or highly payable job. C++ has been doing very well for a number of years, and you can safely bet it'll do well for another 5-10, but after then - who knows. Java might be easily eaten alive by .NET within a few years. Linux and Open Source might dominate in the future, but then again they might go away quietly.

I just got my 2 certificates in Java and am happy about them, then I know Java will be dead in a few years..., very encouraging
Shura Balaganov
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 22, 2002
Posts: 664
Originally posted by lanling wong:

I just got my 2 certificates in Java and am happy about them, then I know Java will be dead in a few years..., very encouraging


My plan was not to discourage you. There's a reason companies pay big bucks to IT folks. It is not an easy money (just ask thousands of frustrated and unemployed people out there).
Java is probably here to stay (otherwise why am I trying to get certified? ), but you never know for how long. These certificates will definitely help you. The worst case is that, knowing Java, it'll be easier for you to transition to C#. The best case, well, Java developer with a few years of experience (and especially architect) can make well in excess of $100,000. If money is what you are looking for.
.NET wave is coming, and hopefully Sun, IBM and Oracle are strong and unified enough to support Java. Some people forecast Java and .NET occupying each 40% of the market, with other 20% going to all the rest out there.
Stay strong
Shura
lanling wong
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 23, 2002
Posts: 15
Thanks for all the replies, they really help me a lot. I am a new graduate and don't quite know much how it is really like inside this work force and thanks again for all who offered me information and advices.
I will keep on looking for a job, little chance though, and at the same time, doing more certificates and getting ready to transfer to other languages :roll: ,phew.
as for certificates, which one is good for a new graduate like me?
John Fontana
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 28, 2002
Posts: 235
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:


What makes you suggest this program? I just read about it at http://www.aimr.org/cfaprogram/viewbk/homepage/viewbook.html
It looks like a program for people in financial management careers. It is unclear to me that this will help you get a software job, unless you know otherwise. Have you seen any jobs requiring this.
Usually software jobs find additional basic knowledge of a field helpful. Serious certifications are generally too specialized and off mark.
--Mark

This has been the subject of most of my posts in this category - in NYC, almost all Java jobs advertised are specifying experience in finance. This sounds like just one way for someone to get a foot in the door in the current job market here.
I am entertaining the idea of making a Swing interface that emulates a 401k management system. Employers are really starting to get a little desperate for people who can demonstrate knowledge of the terminology and semantics in finance/trading/stocks or what have you.
To get a related certification might be a little overkill just to get a foot in the door, but whatever Java programmers can add to their resume in this field is worth its weight in gold. (at least in NY). But I would lean toward working on a project similar to what might be assigned in a real-world situation.


<a href="http://www.websiteandsound.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">www.websiteandsound.com</a><br />"If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten."
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
John, I think you missed my point. Yes, firms foolishly think an extra class or two taken in college make you a better engineer. I think it's icing on the cake and no more. But even if you accept that, it's really nothing more then an extra class or two. Heck, even going to nightschool or community college to take a basic class helps. My point was that this type of certification looks like overkill, not that you shouldn't try to broaden your horizons, which does help.
To me, this testing looked nearly as extensive as that of some of the firts few actuarial exams, or CPA certifications. I was wondering if you had direct evidence to show that this was useful, e.g. companies which are looking for programms with this certification, or information on the sight about how his help programmers. To me it looked way off base for us.
--Mark
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by lanling wong:

I just got my 2 certificates in Java and am happy about them, then I know Java will be dead in a few years..., very encouraging

No, no, Java is already dead. We know it's true because people kept whining about it over and over! You might as well go out to pasture with all those COBOL programmers. Oh wait, they're still doing maintanence work 40 years later! Well, in any case, clearly those certificates were a waste, because Java is dead and so the knowledge you gained will have zero value after the funeral.
(Sorry, I'm feeling bitter today. :-p)
--Mark
Shura Balaganov
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 22, 2002
Posts: 664
The King is Dead. Long Live the King!!!
Mark, you've been (not) working too hard. Have a little laugh (this was published in January 2000): http://www.zdnet.com/anchordesk/story/story_4337.html
Apparently AOL is taking over the Net, so forget, Java or C++, learn JavaScript, and with a small help of AOL-everywhere version 99.0 and Instant Messenger you'll be out doing REAL programming in no time!
Oh, eah, did I mention this (20th time?), I actually had my finger on the trigger of this baby
Shura
lanling wong
Greenhorn

Joined: Mar 23, 2002
Posts: 15
No, no, Java is already dead. We know it's true because people kept whining about it over and over! You might as well go out to pasture with all those COBOL programmers. Oh wait, they're still doing maintanence work 40 years later! Well, in any case, clearly those certificates were a waste, because Java is dead and so the knowledge you gained will have zero value after the funeral.

well, Java or other languages might be or will be dead eventually since that is their destinations, but from my humble point of view(as of a new graduate ), I found that when I was preparing for the exams, I actually clarified many points that I had taken for granted before. So, it didn't wasted me much(except money and around 2 months of preparation), even if I might not have chance to use them any more in the futrue as they are dead now. I do not have much real-world experience except a 6 months internship so those certificates do help me to beef up my skill. comparing to all those experts out there, these are nothing, but for me, I have to start from somewhere, isnt it?
Shura Balaganov
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 22, 2002
Posts: 664
Here's a financial advice, from someone who doesn't qualify - me
Now until the end of the year might be a good time to buy technology stocks, as well as telecom (they are as low as they could possibly get - this is a questionable premise)
So instead of studying for Finance certificates that are useless in IT (unless one is going to create trading models; but then one also should have MS in Finance or PhD in math of CS), you guys might as well open a trading account and buy some tech stocks. Who knows, maybe 5-10 years down the road you might not even need to worry about certificates
Shura
Sam Tilley
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 05, 2001
Posts: 160
I just got my 2 certificates in Java and am happy about them, then I know Java will be dead in a few years..., very encouraging

I keep on hearing that Java is dead from different sources, on different boards and from other techies (one very smugly told me in the pub one day after i had just spent months studying for my SCJP) and so i am always keen to know why they think that and what justification they have (i haven't read any articles to say it is dead but if anyone know of any i would be keen to look at them.)
So what is the case
- They study another language so they would say that..
- It really is dead, its just a matter of time
- It will live forever and takeover the world!!
My two cents worth is that almost every industry is suffering at the moment, the big banks are laying off thousands but noone says finance is dead, and as far as i can see most of programming is in the doldrums at present. With the current downturn a lot of companies are suffering and one of the first areas to cut is IT, they get on with the job with old systems as they need to cut costs. In a couple years when the economies rebound back the way i see it is that these companies are going to be in a rush to replace their old programs and upgrade all their systems. This is when we will really see what languages emerges as the winners and where java stands. The best thing anyone can do is hunkerdown, get their experience in different areas, get certified, get commercial experience and wait for the uplift which is certain to come.
I got certified off my own back and subsequently was asked to join our java project development team which was excellent, i didn't get a payrise or any perks but what i did get was the chance to get experience. Others aren't as lucky as i am but there are always other ways to get experience (the Javaranch cattledrive even works and has proved useful to me anyway), its just a case of looking hard enough.
I would be interested to know however what people think about C#, is it going to go head to head with Java, is it worth looking into. Also has anyone got any good links to finding out more about .NET.
Cheers and good luck one and all


Sam Tilley SCJP, SCWCD
Alexander John
Greenhorn

Joined: May 07, 2002
Posts: 1
My opinion is learning Business/Finance/Marketing things are good combination to Computer Science. Especially if you learn IT Business.
But it depends on your goal, especially if
you want to make your own business.
I have the same problem, learning Business
will be my priority..
I don't want to be a slave for my whole life,
Someday I'll have my own business ..
Herry,
SCJP2
SCWCD
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
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