I'm a not a C.S graduate. I have knowledge of java and j2ee(self taught), I havent yet hit the job market, someone suggested that before I do I may want to undergo a diploma course/certificate in software engineering at a nearby college to learn some of the methodologies and processes etc. But I always thought that these were things ideally learned a bit later in your programming life and though useful for developers Im sure it didnt warrant actually spending 6 months at a local college to learn it? what do you guys say? Should I first look for a job and wait to get some experience in actaully developing some software and then learn these things on my own or should I actually go for learning what appears to be mostly the academic/theory part of software. IS having knowledge of things like requirements engineering,SOA,aspect based-programming, the unified process, scrum, XP, testing etc. almost like a pre-req to get my foot in the door.?
I wouldn't go far to saying that those courses are a pre-requisite , however, all these courses are highly beneficial if you have the knowledge.
You say that you have knowledge in the java/j2ee field. If I were in your position, I would go for a professional job and learn all these things in my work place(provided that you get an opportunity to learn in your job).
While you are waiting for a break in the software field, go ahead and try to learn as much as possible about the courses (on your own or through diploma).
I wouldnt call it a pre requisite. The learning curve at work is far better than at a college. I would suggest that you invest time trying to find out what a company does, what questions they might ask you in an interview, etc if you are planning to join that company. If you can get a job that will be better. Most companies judge you by your communication skills, problem solving ability, ability to write good code etc etc. Good luck