File APIs for Java Developers
Manipulate DOC, XLS, PPT, PDF and many others from your application.
http://aspose.com/file-tools
The moose likes Jobs Discussion and the fly likes Question About My Unsual Circumstances Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login


Win a copy of Android Security Essentials Live Lessons this week in the Android forum!
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Careers » Jobs Discussion
Bookmark "Question About My Unsual Circumstances" Watch "Question About My Unsual Circumstances" New topic
Author

Question About My Unsual Circumstances

Donald Easton
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 19, 2012
Posts: 2
Hello, I was hoping someone here could give me some advice on my rather unique circumstances. When I was nineteen, I joined the Navy and was accepted into the Nuclear Power program. I was most of the way through my training when I was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder (which, in my specific circumstance, is basically schizophrenia with depression thrown into the mix), and was given a medical discharge. That was thirteen years ago, and I am 33 years old now. I haven't really worked since, but I haven't been idle, either; I have two kids (both boys) that raising has been a job in and of itself. I'm medically and psychologically stable now, and in August of last year I went back to college (Computer Science Major). I have a 4.0 GPA so far, and I don't anticipate that it will drop by very much.

I guess my question is about my future. With very little recent job history, none of it being relevant to the Computer Science field, how do I market myself in order to secure employment after graduation? I realize that most recent college graduates don't have much work history, but it will be obvious to potential employers that I am in my thirties. I will say that I'm not a neophyte when it comes to programming; like most of you, I've been doing it since I was a teen, and my goal after graduation is to secure a job coding Java.

I'm guess I'm just worried that my age and lack of work history will be working against me after graduation, so any advice from someone who has either been in my shoes or is otherwise in a position to give counsel would be much appreciated.
Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30130
    
150

Donald,
Welcome to CodeRanch!

Lack of job history isn't a big problem as most people graduating from college don't have one. Don't put any dates from before college graduation on your resume though as it shows you are older than the typical college grad before they meet you.

You will likely be asked at the interview what you have been doing all this time. I think raising kids is a legitimate answer. Presumably they are old enough now that they don't need you constantly.

Most college grads have some sort of work experience though. Can you get an internship? Part time job? Make a website for a friend's business, etc?

Not easy, but not horrible either. Good luck!


[Blog] [JavaRanch FAQ] [How To Ask Questions The Smart Way] [Book Promos]
Blogging on Certs: SCEA Part 1, Part 2 & 3, Core Spring 3, OCAJP, OCPJP beta, TOGAF part 1 and part 2
Donald Easton
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 19, 2012
Posts: 2
Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:Donald,
Welcome to CodeRanch!

Lack of job history isn't a big problem as most people graduating from college don't have one. Don't put any dates from before college graduation on your resume though as it shows you are older than the typical college grad before they meet you.

You will likely be asked at the interview what you have been doing all this time. I think raising kids is a legitimate answer. Presumably they are old enough now that they don't need you constantly.

Most college grads have some sort of work experience though. Can you get an internship? Part time job? Make a website for a friend's business, etc?

Not easy, but not horrible either. Good luck!


Thanks for the reply, Jeanne; you've eased my mind a bit. I plan on polishing up some of my favorite projects and including them in my resume submissions (via linkedin or otherwise). I'm hoping to secure an internship next summer (the first summer I'll be eligible), but, to be honest, I have some of the same reservations about getting an internship. To be fair, I know next to nothing about the process... Are the hiring standards as high for an internship as they are for a real job?
Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 30130
    
150

No. For internships, they look at potential (and grades) rather than experience. Age could be a problem there, but keep trying and I think you can get one. You don't have less potential to learn and succeed over the next 10 years than a 20 year old does.
 
jQuery in Action, 2nd edition
 
subject: Question About My Unsual Circumstances
 
Similar Threads
Brainbench interview test
Software Engineer
Real skilled immigration move coming ?
Tax cut and jobs
I'm an unemployed programmer and nobody seems to want to hire me