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career advice

cindy sung
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 02, 2002
Posts: 34
Hi all,
I am currently a final year student of Computer Engineering degree. I am planning for my graduate career. Now I have several plans:
1. go for a full-time master degree by research
2. go to find a job
3. find a job and do a master degree by part-time course work
I've got the SCJP, and the SCJD is being graded. And I think I will get a good honours degree. Now I can not make a decision whether I should pursue further java certifications, since I am not sure whether a certifcate could add value on my resume as a fresh graduate. And if I continue to do a mater degree by research, by the time I finish it, will all my certificates become of no value at all? And is a master by course work valuable?
Any comments please share with me.
Thanks.
cindy


SCJP2; SCJD2;
Roseanne Zhang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 14, 2000
Posts: 1953
If the three choices are free to choose, I'll choose #3 without any hesitation.

3. find a job and do a master degree by part-time course work

However, the time is different than 2 years ago. Do your best to find a job and good luck on that!
Otherwise, continue your degree, at the same time, try to get as much experience as possible. volunteer work, professor research work, opensource project, intern work, ...
cindy sung
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 02, 2002
Posts: 34
Hi,
Then should I continue taking the java certifications? Or, can I just do some opensource projects, since the exam cost is really high.
Thanks.
cindy
Roseanne Zhang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 14, 2000
Posts: 1953
I think that the value of certification is mostly the process, not the paper. You are preparing a certification, then you're very focused on a field of learning, then you really learn something well, plus a paper of certification.
However, I know many people prepare the certification just for the paper, even don't write code, only memorize the answers. It is possible to get the paper without really understanding the subject, since there are so many mocks, even braindumps out there. That actually decreases the value of the paper.
In real industry, many many excellent talented developers/architects do not have certification. They usually tend to ignore someone's certs on resume. Someone has certification usually value your certs more. It totally depends.
However, no one, absolutely no one will argue on the value of your experiences, especially for new graduates like you. Focusing on experiences will not hurt you in any sense. Let alone you already have some certs under your belt to show the employers who value certifications.
That's just my opinion.
[ August 03, 2002: Message edited by: Roseanne Zhang ]
 
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subject: career advice