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Please help me choose a major!

James Smith
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 19, 2002
Posts: 12
Hello everyone. I took information systems in undergrad school(where they didnt teach much about computers) and got a BBA. Im now starting Pace University Graduate school in the Spring and I have 2 master of science choices to take. The Computer Science degree and the Internet Technology for Ecommerce degree. I'd like to get into wireless programming or something like that, and I dont know which one to go to. Ive also heard some great things about J2EE and EJB, but I dont know which choice is better for down the road. Please help!
Choice 1:
master of science: Computer Science Degree
Fundamentals of Programming
Advanced Programming
Mathematical Methods in Computer Science
Data Structures & Algorithms
Computer Architecture
Programming Language Implementation
Operating Systems
Software Engineering Seminar I
Software Engineering Seminar II
-------------------------------------
choice 2:
master of science: Internet Technology for Ecommerce
Introduction to Internet, Web Authoring and Multimedia
Fundamentals of Programming
Managerial Marketing
Overview of Computer Networks & Internet Technology
Web Development I: Java Script & CGI Scripts
Web Development II: Java Applets & Java Servlets Web Server Setup, Configuration & Security Issues
Managing Innovation & Technology
Supply Chain Management
Advertising & Sales Promotion
e-Marketing
IT for e-Commerce Project I
IT for e-Commerce Project II
Rufus BugleWeed
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
Seriously, we're not recommending careers in IT at all. How about an MBA, a law degree, or education. Wouldn't you like the summers off by the beach.
I'm assuming by your name and your universities name you are somewhere in the western world. For the price of your salary they can hire five hungry Russians. You can't compete.
Besides that this career field is always changing and you can't keep up. If you should get behind, it's time to find a new career. Everything that happens in this business is an incremental improvement. We all agree that a most people can take the next step. But the employers really don't want to hire you after your 30. So they claim you can't.
Some mindless, annonymous, cowards around here will say - Oh the young guys are cheaper.
Many will say people with experience are more productive.
It does not matter. Companies won't hire an old guy at new guy prices.
Save yourself years of pain and grief. Do something where experience is rewarded.
Just my 2 cents. What's your opinion Abadula?
James Smith
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 19, 2002
Posts: 12
The point Im trying to make is, which degree is more appropriate for programming?
the computer science or ecommerce degree? Both deal with java. Im just wondering that if I take the ecommerce degree, I wont know data structures and algorithms that they teach in the computer science degree. Like, I thought you would need that for wireless programming or whatever. Whereas maybe ecommerce programming is more dead than the other thing? I dont know.
James Smith
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 19, 2002
Posts: 12
the master of science at Pace is VERY VERY VERY practical, just like the ecommerce degree thjey offer. the CS focuses on Java programming and not just on theory. Its for beginners. Not for advanced folks who are comming from BS in CS, but it covers everything you need to know. It has 2 projects at the end to create a large software modular program utilizing everything you learned in algorithms, etc. So its great I guess for someone comming in to specialize in that. But then theres the ecommerce degree and that focuses on client/server programming for ecommerce, more than just software engineering. So Im kind of stuck.
Maybe there are more opportunities in SWE (CS) rather than javascript/CGI/Java Server development like shopping carts, etc.?
Michael Bronshteyn
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 26, 2002
Posts: 85
Your degree will always be with you. I would go for the first one, if you feel you need to spend time and money for M.S. It is more fundumental than the E-Commerce degree. No matter which way software industry will develop, you will always benefit on strong fundumentals given by CS degree. The second one sounds like hype of the dot com era.
Also, most or the people have heard of Computer Science degree and not E-Commerce one. Thus you can always learn some technology specifics later and apply as MSCS for any job you like.


Michael
SCJP2
Jessica Sant
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 17, 2001
Posts: 4313

Originally posted by Michael Bronshteyn:
Your degree will always be with you. I would go for the first one, if you feel you need to spend time and money for M.S. It is more fundumental than the E-Commerce degree. No matter which way software industry will develop, you will always benefit on strong fundumentals given by CS degree. The second one sounds like hype of the dot com era.
Also, most or the people have heard of Computer Science degree and not E-Commerce one. Thus you can always learn some technology specifics later and apply as MSCS for any job you like.

I totally agree. Rufus on the other hand, I think is just a tad pessimistic.
The Computer Science degree will be more recognized by employers. The courses offered in the e-commerce degree seem way too light --- and totally dependent on today's technology. The new spec's are gonna come out soon-- that stuff's gonna get outdated. The fundamentals taught in a good MS CS degree won't go away anytime soon.


- Jess
Blog:KnitClimbJava | Twitter: jsant | Ravelry: wingedsheep
James Smith
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 19, 2002
Posts: 12

Originally posted by Michael Bronshteyn:
Your degree will always be with you. I would go for the first one, if you feel you need to spend time and money for M.S. It is more fundumental than the E-Commerce degree. No matter which way software industry will develop, you will always benefit on strong fundumentals given by CS degree. The second one sounds like hype of the dot com era.
Also, most or the people have heard of Computer Science degree and not E-Commerce one. Thus you can always learn some technology specifics later and apply as MSCS for any job you like.
I totally agree. Rufus on the other hand, I think is just a tad pessimistic.
The Computer Science degree will be more recognized by employers. The courses offered in the e-commerce degree seem way too light --- and totally dependent on today's technology. The new spec's are gonna come out soon-- that stuff's gonna get outdated. The fundamentals taught in a good MS CS degree won't go away anytime soon.


You two make a good argument for the CS degree. Indeed it is more recognized by employers. The ecommerce internet degree is a new thing Pace just put out last year. But you gotta admit its good for teaching client/server scripting and serverside programming with servlets, etc. Pace is comming out with an XML course in the near future as well.
If I take the COmputer Science track, I wont learn the javascript/servlet/CGI script/web server courses, and I think every java programmer needs to know that stuff. No?
But Michael made a good point. Maybe I should major in CS, then take the Internet courses as electives.
James Smith
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 19, 2002
Posts: 12
computer science:
http://csis.pace.edu/csis/cgi-front/acadProgMSCS.pl
ecommerce:
http://csis.pace.edu/csis/cgi-front/acadProgMSIT.pl
Rufus BugleWeed
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
Don't take my word for it surf the Java Ranch Contacts Page.
Ask yourself how old does the average person look there. How about airline pilot or stock picker.
There's not a single wrinkle about Jessica's eyes.
Tell me this is not a representative selection of leaders in the industry.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
E-commerce degree?!?! I'll tell you this, it ain't accredited! And there's a reason for that. Computer Science, while young by academic standards, is a good 50-80 years old. E-commerce is a flavor of the month.
most e-commerce degress are BS. They were* good applications degress at one point, but more appropriate of a trade school. Colleges are better focused at the fundamentals, even when looking at practice.
I strongly recommend the CS degree.
*I saw were because e-commerce is so 90's. That is not to say that e-commerce is wrong, or bad, or dead. It's right, useful, and still around. But it got overhyped and will have a stigma. Also, what exactly will it give you? You can say to an employer, "I have an e-commerce degree;" meanwhile the guy interviewing after you can say "I built 3 e-commerce sites which did $40M is commerce." Who would you hire? It's a little late in the game to jump into e-commerce in a down market. CS is timeless.
That being said, I don't think CS degrees are very practical. (I've got plenty of posts here and an upcoming book as to why.) They are a good foundation, but you don't learn software development skills. If you can, while getting a CS degree, try to also take the following classes (ranked, in my opinion, in order of usefulness, just based on the titles):
Managing Innovation & Technology
Supply Chain Management
Managerial Marketing
Advertising & Sales Promotion

Good luck with classes.
--Mark
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
How about the MS in Information Systems?


Associate Instructor - Hofstra University
Amazon Top 750 reviewer - Blog - Unresolved References - Book Review Blog
James Smith
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 19, 2002
Posts: 12
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
E-commerce degree?!?! I'll tell you this, it ain't accredited! And there's a reason for that. Computer Science, while young by academic standards, is a good 50-80 years old. E-commerce is a flavor of the month.
--Mark


Pace University is accredited. Their MBA program is top 10 in the usa.
i can understand why everyone on this site and others speak so highly of CS degrees, namely because all you guys went to college and got CS degrees of your own. The Ecommerce degree at pace just came out and it teaches lots of stuff most guys in college taking cs and cis degrees dont know. Like client/server scripting and programming, jdbc, jsp, xml and web server configuration, etc.
I think I would learn a lot more about the field going this way, as I prepare to learn J2Me and J2ee on my own.
But I respect all of your opinions, and Im having a hard time deciding.
BTW, the info systems thing is something I dont wanna do.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by James Smith:

Pace University is accredited. Their MBA program is top 10 in the usa.

Pace is accredited.
Their MBA program is probably accredited.
I'm sure their CS degree is accredited.
I can guarantee that their E-commerce degree is not accredited. But don't take my word for it. Go ahead and ask their department.

--Mark
Jon McDonald
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2001
Posts: 167
Originally posted by James Smith:


Pace University is accredited. Their MBA program is top 10 in the usa.
i can understand why everyone on this site and others speak so highly of CS degrees, namely because all you guys went to college and got CS degrees of your own. The Ecommerce degree at pace just came out and it teaches lots of stuff most guys in college taking cs and cis degrees dont know. Like client/server scripting and programming, jdbc, jsp, xml and web server configuration, etc.
I think I would learn a lot more about the field going this way, as I prepare to learn J2Me and J2ee on my own.
But I respect all of your opinions, and Im having a hard time deciding.
BTW, the info systems thing is something I dont wanna do.

I've had to make decisions like that recently in my course selection. In making the decision I asked myself a few questions.
1) what is the shelf life of what this class will teach me? By this I mean how long before what you were taught in class becomes useless. If you are taking a class that is focusing on jsp's and EJB's, what happens if (more likely when) you graduate and those technologies are no longer the flavor of the month, or (more likely) there have been so many new versions of the technology, that the info you learned is going to be out of date. Keep in mind that the degree you are looking at probably takes at least one, maybe two, years. A data-structures and algorithms course will still be applicable. Can you say the same about a course on J2EE 1.3 (or is it 1.4, or 1.5, oh wait, its .net).
2)Chosing between two courses, which would be easiest to learn on your own. Why spend 15 weeks and hundreds or thousands of dollars per course learning something you could learn in a few weekend with some books, or better yet, some online tutorials.
When you take on a degree program you are supposed to get (at least) 2 things out of it. One is some sort of aknowledgement or external verification that you have gone through a particular course of study (the degree itself). The second is the knowledge you have attained while going through that course of study. Education is an investment of time and money. and like any investment, you should seek to maximize your returns. Get the best value for your time, effort and money.
For me, one of the things I look for in courses isn't if they will teach me the newest technologies, but if they will make it easier for me to understand the newest technologies as they come along.
For example, I just took a class on Design Patterns. As part of the class we had a project that utilized XML. I had no experience in XML at all, however the prof. was able to explain what we needed to know about it in a few hours. What is more important though, is that the way he related it to Design Patterns gave me a much deeper knowledge on how to employ XML effectively, than a 15 week course on XML alone.
Now, I know that there are tons of details on XML that I did not learn in that class. But they are just that, details. Something I can now learn just by reading the documentation. I can honestly say that learning a bunch of new technologies, without understanding the fundamental logic that ties this stuff together will not improve one's ability to code and design software. It's like teaching someone to use a hammer, a drill, a saw, etc... but not teaching them the prinicples behind good carpentry. They aren't carpenters, they are only hammerers drillers and sawers.
Thats all for now,
Jon


SCJP<br/>
"I study politics and war that my sons may have the liberty to study mathematics and philosophy in order to give their children a right to study painting poetry and music."<br />--John Adams
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by James Smith:
The Ecommerce degree at pace just came out and it teaches lots of stuff most guys in college taking cs and cis degrees dont know. Like client/server scripting and programming, jdbc, jsp, xml and web server configuration, etc.

There's a reaosn they don't. You're taking on a huge liability (cost and time) to go get a masters. Don't waste it on material most people get out of a book, or a $800 training class. College programs are not about teaching direct technologies, but fundamentals. JSP is today's technology, but 10-15 years from now, it'll be legacy code. Good CS guys can learn that stuff in a matter of weeks, the reverse is true less often.
As a hiring manager, I'll tell you I would see a CS masters degree and look over it. If I saw a resume with an e-commerce degree, I'd skip it.
Consider this, what if you apply to a company which does not do e-commerce (wirless programming is not e-commerce). E-commerce companies will hire CS people. Enterprise application companies don't want e-commerce people (or database, or ERP, and EAI, or software tool, or customer software solution...)
--Mark
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
James:
- If it's a toss-up between MS-ECommerce and MS-CompSci, then go for the MS-CompSci.
- E-Commerce is a specialty - and the amount of work is decreasing (even without the market slowdown).
-----
- Personally, if I were to do it all over again, I would get an associates in nursing ang get my RN license. Then go back and get BS-Nursing, MS-Nursing, and possibly PhD-Nursing.
- This is where the $$ is today.
-----
- On that note....
- I looked at becoming a nurse the past few weeks. The core classes aren't too bad, but I get killed with the clinicals.
- Clinicals are 4 hours in hospital followed by 2 or 3 hours of classroom discussion. You have 3 semesters of this (15 weeks = 1 semester).
- Problem, the clinicals run 8AM - 3PM (hour off for lunch). Mon-Fri.
- I looked at possibly getting regular coursework out of the way (such as anatomy, biology, and some sociology class), but would still have to quit CS job in 2 yrs to go for clinicals.
----------
- My main goal would eventually be to get RN (there is a test you take for this), and then work part-time nursing and full-time programming.
- Was just an idea.
- Anyone out there going for nursing?
John Coxey
(jpcoxey@aol.com)


John Coxey
Evansville, Indiana, USA
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
James, as has already been echoed by others, my own two cents is to focus on general principles which are more difficult to pick up and understand merely from reading a book. Things such as individual programming languages can be picked up as you go, and in fact you will likely pick up some of this stuff in the broader courses. For example, I was taking a database course and where part of our final project was implemented in Java. I had never had a Java class up to that point and we just picked up what we needed to know as we went along. In fact to this day I have not had a formal course that has tought Java, yet that is now what I use on a daily basis. You can pick this kind of stuff up on an as needed basis. Something like algorithms is a different story imho.
Originally posted by John Coxey:
Anyone out there going for nursing?

I know people who are doing it, and you are right, it's pretty much something you have to do full time. With the nursing shortage in this country though, RN's, Nurse Practitioners, and the like are highly sought after and well compensated.
If you don't have any prior experience in patient care, and you think this is something you're interested in, I would suggest looking around in your area for a local Volunteer Fire Company or Rescue Squad, ride along a couple times, and consider joining up and getting your EMT-B (Emergency Medical Technician - Basic) license. This training is free of charge to you in almost all cases and the experience is invaluable if you are thinking of going in this direction for a career. Additionally, having this kind of experience volunteering is very much to your benefit if you are trying to get into a competitive school. Of course there's always the added benefit of not waiting until after you've been in school for two years before figuring out that you just can't work around trauma, death, and all the many wonderful bodily substances that you will come into contact with.
Rufus BugleWeed
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 22, 2002
Posts: 1551
Mark, how often do you call on Maxwell or Schrodinger?
If it's not very often, why did a person of your tenacity digress to writing engineering management books?
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
My wife has a BS in nursing and is currently going for her MS. It is a lot of hard work but she loves it. By the way, don't waste your time in getting a nursing PhD. After a masters in nursing, get a PhD in Nursing Education. Much more useful.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Rufus BugleWeed:
Mark, how often do you call on Maxwell or Schrodinger?

Rarely, of course. Although the learning in physics is much better then in CS. Physicist undergo much more rigorus modeling and analysis training. I use that everyday.
Remember that I was also a CS major. I rarely employ my CS knowledge, maybe 10-15% of the time.

Originally posted by Rufus BugleWeed:
If it's not very often, why did a person of your tenacity digress to writing engineering management books?

I don't quite follow. Can you rephrase the question?
Here's my answer to what I think you're asking. Lookin in the [url=http://www.coderanch.com/t/27609/Jobs/careers/Answer-Most-Dificult-Interview-Questions]thread on interview questions[url]. John Coxey pointed out how most engineers can do the math, but can't handle the other aspects. The major causes of failure that I have seen or learned about in engineering projects is not technical. We have engineers who can do the math and solve the problems they are given. The problems come from communication and project management issues (the fault comes from both engineers and managers). The engineers often don't have a good unstanding of the problem, and thus don't always provide the desired solution.
If you give me a choice between
1) Having someone learn the JVM model cold, so they can better undertsnad where subtle optimizations lie
and
2) Having an engineer learn to communicate better with business development or sales

I'll take the latter every time. You get much better returns for even marginal learning in the latter category.
The analogy given to me by Prof. Charles Leiserson of MIT is as follows. Think of a hypercube. The dimensions are engineering, presentation, financial constraints, business forces, etc--all the area a company has to deal with. The cubercude extends along a dimension where lenght corresponds to your ability. We are strong in engineering and weak in the other fields. We have a very thin hyper-rectangle. Increasing your abilities further in that dimension adds some volume (overall skillset). Increasing you abilities the same amount in a different dimension increases your overall volume much more. This is, almost literally how we think of well-rounded (or well hyper-cubed) people.

--Mark
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
Mark, how does an MS in CIS or MIS compare to CS?
shay Aluko
Ranch Hand

Joined: Nov 01, 2002
Posts: 167
i completely agree with john coxey-- actually want to do something very practical like plumbing which i can do as a backup --anyone out there for plumbing (atleast that can't be outsourced to india or china!!)
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
All:
Thanks for the info.
I may look at the EMT license thing. Hope that I could do it on the weekends.
Even the on-line nursing schools (Excelsior & Univ of Phoenix) want you to have the clinicals out of the way. No, they do not offer the clinicals - else I would travel to site on the weekends.
----
What appeals to me (besides job security) - is the traveling nurse positions. Where you go out for 13 weeks at a time. Looks like just about every state has a need for hospital nurses - and will contract you for 13 weeks at a time.
Was looking at benefits. They pay 100% cost of hospitalization. I am currently paying $850/yr for coverage though my employer.
-----
John Coxey
(jpcoxey@aol.com)
Jon McDonald
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 02, 2001
Posts: 167
Originally posted by John Coxey:
All:
----
What appeals to me (besides job security) - is the traveling nurse positions. Where you go out for 13 weeks at a time. Looks like just about every state has a need for hospital nurses - and will contract you for 13 weeks at a time.
Was looking at benefits. They pay 100% cost of hospitalization. I am currently paying $850/yr for coverage though my employer.
-----
John Coxey
(jpcoxey@aol.com)

Nursing is definately one of those jobs that people really should investigate what they are getting into, before jumping full steam into it. Almost all the women in my family are (or were) nurses. My mother is the chairperson of a university's nursing department. These people deal with a completely different type of stress. I personally couldn't voluntarily surround myself with all of that sickness and death just for money (hearing my mother's stories of washing the bodies of dead children still gives me chills).
If you really like helping people, and don't mind being surronding by people going through some really bad experiences in their lives, then nursing may be a good career choice. I have to admit, I know a higher percentage of jaded lawyers and elementry school teachers than I do jaded nurses.

Jon
Tim Holloway
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Jun 25, 2001
Posts: 16250
    
  21

When you get right down to it, you'll be just as unemployed with a traditional CS degree as with an E-commerce one. From a distance, I'd be inclined to think a CIS degree person could handle e-commerce, but would want to know what an e-commerce degree person could do that a CIS person couldn't.
As for "working in wireless networking", that's fine if you actually have an offer, but like a lot of other people here at the JavaRanch (at least in the U.S./Western Europe), with me it's not a matter of getting a job in wireless networking, it's a matter of getting another job at all. Ever. A masters degree, by many accounts only makes the search even harder - I.T. is one field where you can often be penalized for too much education or experience.
[ January 17, 2003: Message edited by: Tim Holloway ]

Customer surveys are for companies who didn't pay proper attention to begin with.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Tim Holloway:
A masters degree, by many accounts only makes the search even harder - I.T. is one field where you can often be penalized for too much education or experience.

What bozo's penalize you for having too much education? At my last job I hired a guy with a PhD. His PhD was worthless (he did antena work) for what my company did (wireless enterprise systems), but I didn't say, "gee, you wasted time getting a degree with no value to me so I won't hire you." I looked at it as a plus, this is a guy who is clearly, smart, dedicated, and hard working. Now wehn it came to salary, he wasn't getting anything extra because of his PhD (since it didn't provide extra value to the company), but that is his choice. I've never heard of any company not hiring someone because of an advanced degree (not ones that stay in business, anyway).
Originally posted by Tim Holloway:
As for "working in wireless networking", that's fine if you actually have an offer, but like a lot of other people here at the JavaRanch (at least in the U.S./Western Europe), with me it's not a matter of getting a job in wireless networking, it's a matter of getting another job at all.

I must strongly disagree. Picking your next job in a down market is a tactical decision: money, location, type of work. You look at your short term needs. Going to school, which costs a lot of time and money is a strategic descision. If you look at it for the benefits you'll get in the next 3-5 years, you're missing the point. Pick the school/major/career for what it will do for you over the next 10-30 years.

--Mark
[ January 18, 2003: Message edited by: Mark Herschberg ]
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Mark, how does an MS in CIS or MIS compare to CS?

I must admit I'm not as familiar with many MIS programs, and don't know CIS programs at all (I've never seen a curriculum or met anyone with that degree). From what I've seen MIS is really more of a logistical/operatonal degree.
An MIS degree isn't about writing software, it's about running an IT systems: anticipating needs, reliability, upgrades, security, installation, support, etc. Some software development is taught in these programs. Some teach a little (knowing perl and basic C is useful), some teach more (understanding what programmers wite in C/C++ is more useful), some teach a lot (borderline CS degree).
Basically an MIS degree moves you to a sys admin role. Of course, in some companies, there's a very blurry line between sys admin and developer.

--Mark
John Coxey
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 24, 2000
Posts: 503
Tim:
- Hate to disagree with you. A master's degree Computer Science makes ALL the difference - especially with corporate America.
- It's what gets you in the door.
- You gotta remember. It's not the IT folks who get you in the door. It's some manager who sits one or two levels up that decided if he wants to talk to you or not.
- An MS-Computer Science degree from an Ivy League school (MIT, Lehigh, etc.) gives this manager a comfort zone. It's like buying IBM. I've said this before (not my line - but I like it), "No one ever got fired for buying IBM".
----
- Regarding you not getting a job:
- Do you have an education? And I don't mean a BS-Musical Appreciation or BS-English. Is it from a USA college that people of heard about. I may not of heard of Grove City College - but I sure as hell head of Penn State University. Again, applying the comfort level theory.
- How is/are your skillset?
- Are you willing to relocate? I've been bounced from Philly to Denver to Philly (commute from Denver) to Evansville, Indiana (middle of nowhere). I have MS-CS, with 3 yrs Java (1 yr solid J2EE experience).
- And yes, I've been laid off 4 times in 2 yrs.
------
- What does this mean to you?
1. If you have the education.
2. If you are willing to relocate (anywhere in USA).
3. If you have skillset.
- Then you need to look at resume and your interview skills.
- I know that having a family makes it hard to relocate. This is the reason I am thinking of going into nursing.
- You gotta be flexible, and adjust with your environment. This is the job market in the USA. If all you do is sit in cube and not think about transferrable job skills - you will eventually get killed in next round of layoffs.
- Regarding your excuse of not being able to get a job by "cold calling" I reply, "Horse Manure" - because ALL of my jobs (except the one here in Evansville) were landed by "Cold Calling" - by knocking on peoples doors.
- AND!!!
- HOW DID I GET THIS JOB!!!
- Someone on JavaRanch works there - and submitted my resume - and got me the interview.
- What did I do while I was laid off??
- Prepare for SCJD and SCWCD and spent 6 months fly fishing (and getting paid to do it) in Yellowstone Park, the Big Horn River, and the Green River below Flamming Gorge Dam in Utah.
-----
- When work is slow - you study and have fun.
- When work is busy - you still study and play on the weekends.
-----
- Well, gotta run.
Johnny
(jpcoxey@aol.com)
James Smith
Greenhorn

Joined: Dec 19, 2002
Posts: 12
To Mark, John, Jon, Tim, Jason, Jessica, Michael:
Your points were all well taken. Computer Science it is. I was especially moved by what Mark had to say in pointing out that wireless development focuses on the algorithms, etc. they teach you in cs that you dont get in the ecommerce degree, and how CS is more well known and respected and quite demanded in the hiring process.
Jon McDonald, learning internet tools like client server scripting on my own in a few weekends may be easy for you, but not for me.
I was also moved by what John Coxey mentioned regarding how MS's are valuable in the 'getting in the door' process when management decides who to bring in (ibm analogy). Thank you all.
Im going with Computer science.

-James
[ January 19, 2003: Message edited by: James Smith ]
[ January 19, 2003: Message edited by: James Smith ]
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
I'm glad we could help. Good luck.
--Mark
Sam Tilley
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 05, 2001
Posts: 160
Originally posted by Rufus BugleWeed:
Seriously, we're not recommending careers in IT at all. How about an MBA, a law degree, or education. Wouldn't you like the summers off by the beach.
I'm assuming by your name and your universities name you are somewhere in the western world. For the price of your salary they can hire five hungry Russians. You can't compete.
Besides that this career field is always changing and you can't keep up. If you should get behind, it's time to find a new career. Everything that happens in this business is an incremental improvement. We all agree that a most people can take the next step. But the employers really don't want to hire you after your 30. So they claim you can't.
Some mindless, annonymous, cowards around here will say - Oh the young guys are cheaper.
Many will say people with experience are more productive.
It does not matter. Companies won't hire an old guy at new guy prices.

Not being rude and all but I would say that over 80% of people on the Javaranch contacts page are well over 30. With computing having really taken off in the last 10-15 years with the advent of the affordable PC and internet its bound to be a youngish industry but the people in it are still mostly older from my experience. In our computer department i am the only one out of 8 under 30, in another department i know there are 2 out of about 35 under 30. I think there is a certain amount of longlivity here as people look for experience, and in a few years time you then take an MBA and go executive!!
This has been a very good discussion topic for me as i have just started a part-time Masters in Computer Science and can now breathe a heavy sigh of relief that i chose well.
Good choice James, its always a fraught decision but i did the same checks and found its the right one to do. Good luck..


Sam Tilley SCJP, SCWCD
Angela D'souza
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 16, 2002
Posts: 469
How about Medical field or Astrology?
Angela
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
subject: Please help me choose a major!