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What would you do?

Svitlana Dukhovna
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 37
Hello, guys!

I'm from MI, USA. I graduated with Bachelors' in CS in December 2003. Since then I had a couple of temporary jobs( some quality assurance project and a client/server project involving Access, SQL Server, VBA). I got my java programmer certificate and now I'm preparing for SCBCD and SCWCD. I have a really hard time looking for a job ( and I've been looking prior to my graduation). I believe my little experience is the key. How can I increase my marketability? What would you do if you were in my shoes? I would be willing to take a volunteer type job for a while to get more experience, but I have no clue where to apply.
I am considering going back to school to get Masters' in a related field( IS, CS etc.), but I heard from a few people that this is not the solution to the problem.

Please, talk to me....
Marc Peabody
pie sneak
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2003
Posts: 4727

Hi, Svitlana.

I graduated in 02 and I had some trouble getting a job in MI a little over a year ago. I was SCJP and in the process of getting SCWCD.

I would say that a Masters is probably not the best idea. It puts you further in debt and doesn't make you that much more marketable. I considered it myself when I was looking for a job and I think my biggest attraction to it was that I missed college and wanted to challenge my mind with something more than my SCWCD book. A volunteer position is not much better.

I would say try and get a job in a technical field while you are looking for a programming position. Getting "experience" doesn't necessarily mean programming experience. I worked a tech support job in Troy for a while until I got the job I am currently at in OH.

If you send a Private Message I would be more than happy to share a bit more detail about my story (company names and such) about what I discovered during my job search.


A good workman is known by his tools.
Svitlana Dukhovna
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 37
Thank you,Marc. Check your private message box.
Svitlana Dukhovna
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 37
Can anyone else help me?
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11479
    
  16

I've never done it, so i can't give you much guidance, but have you considered working on any of the open-source projects out there?
[ September 01, 2004: Message edited by: fred rosenberger ]

There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Tim Baker
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 541
Put together a portfolio of project work you have done, even ifit is just school works, it shows you can actually do stuff and not just blag your way through exams. Make sure you have a paragraph or too in your CV/resume about your career aspirations (youve always wanted to be x, your commited to x in the long term) remember to specifically taylor each application to each job, dont just sent out generic applications. send out lots of speculatives and just keep looking for entry level jobs. apply for anything that you think might help you get your foot in the door.


Kim Jong II (North Korea's Dear Leader) said:Nuclear weapons don't kill people, people kill people.
Svitlana Dukhovna
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 37
Thank you, guys.
How can I volunteer to work for an open source project? Where can I find info about projects of the kind?
Mikalai Zaikin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 04, 2002
Posts: 3231
    
    6
Hi Svitlana,

check out this URL :

http://sourceforge.net/people/

regards,
MZ

P.S. Your name sounds like a Russian, or like from some Slavic country


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Svitlana Dukhovna
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 37
Thanks Mikalai!
I'm from Ukraine.
Mikalai Zaikin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 04, 2002
Posts: 3231
    
    6
Cool !
I'm from Belarus
Homer Phillips
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 26, 2004
Posts: 311
FWIW, this would be a good time in your life to think about some other career field. Maybe you could get a masters in something that a BSCS would complement. Maybe environmental engineering or biotechnology.

Long term the life of a BSCS in the US is a dead end career. Twenty years after graduation only 20% of graduates are still in the field. With offshoring the future will most likely be worse. :roll:
Helen Thomas
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 1759
The Government in the UK has started supporting Java training schemes �5,000-a-whack. They are kind of apprenticeships and you train in your own with some classroom exposure to new tools and pay for your own books and certifications- CIW et al. No first hand experience so I cannot vouch for them.

Some are :
UK IT Training
SouthEast IT Training

Not everything is going to be offshored.

If you are looking for a career and not just a chop-and-change job, Homer's suggestion may be a better bet.
[ September 03, 2004: Message edited by: Helen Thomas ]

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"God who creates and is nature is very difficult to understand, but he is not arbitrary or malicious." OR "God does not play dice." - Einstein
Svitlana Dukhovna
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 37
Thanks, Homer and Helen!
to Homer:
I thought that eventually developers go into management. What can you do with Master's in environmental engineering and biotechnology??? I thought it would be better to get some "real world" experience in IT and then move on to Masters.
Any comments?
Mike Gershman
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2004
Posts: 1272
What can you do with Master's in environmental engineering and biotechnology???


A lot of people think that biotech is the "Next New Thing".

Genetic engineering, advanced vaccines and antibiotics, and basic research all look better than entry-level IT as US careers. And you'll still be using your BS CS, even the algorithms course.

Check it out.


Mike Gershman
SCJP 1.4, SCWCD in process
Tina Desai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 13, 2003
Posts: 365
Helen, need your help in the following.
I posted a question, but no one seems to know this.

What documents will be required to be given to a company in UK? Generally in my country one needs the relieving letter of the immediate last company, latest sal slip, few photos and if needed identity documents like passport etc. Is there any difference in UK?
Thanks in Advance.

Tina


Alongwith being a good coder, try to be a good professional as well!
Sania Marsh
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 12, 2004
Posts: 469
I was in similar situation after getting masters.. for 1 year I had a job I wasn't happy with so I kept looking, but nothing was coming up.
I couldn't understand why, I had 4.0 GPA, and I was even teaching Java part-time in university. Some companies would give me an offer, but as soon as they would find out I had less than a year experience they would cut $10 per hour, I didn't like such beginning, and wasn't taking those jobs. I wasn't getting any interviews at all.
One day I thought I shouldn't be shy anymore and I highlited all my honors and certifications in my resume - that was the only proof that I knew something, I stopped copying my same old cover letter and wrote each one separately and I sent out applications to about 4-5 junior level jobs that I was really matching. within a week I got 3 interviews with very good companies and they all gave me offers, so I even had a choice.
You should be more aggressive, be very confident on interviews. I think my teaching helped me a lot, I had a great experience explaining different topics, which impressed employers. In the mean time, before you got any interviews, keep reading some books or working on projects. Try to explain some topics to other people, the better you explain things the better employers will like you, they don't like those smart guys who talk high level, the simpler and clearer you can explain the better.
I don't think you should go for masters, it is another 2-3 years of waisting money. Certifications give better impression.
Svitlana Dukhovna
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 13, 2004
Posts: 37
Thank you very much, Rita!
It is so encouraging to hear stories like yours! I am pursuing SCWCD and SCBCD certifications right now. What kind of projects would you advise me to work on at home?
 
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