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ISO advice on the experience/knowledge paradox.

 
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I'm looking for some suggestions to handle the work/experience paradox.

Let me give a brief overview:
I'm a SAS (statistical) programmer, with a Bachelor's in Comp Sci.
(Alma mater in question no longer provides Career Services to alumni)

I recently finished an extensive professional certificate program for "Enterprise Web Development using Java", which covered J2SE and various aspects of J2EE (applets, servlets, Struts, WSDL, XML, JAX, etc.)

I'm struggling a bit trying to find a way to shift from statistical programming to a career path in Java programming, and fully realize that
this may mean having to restart.

Especially since there are no simple ways of integrating Java into statistical programming (SAS just integrated Java this past year)

So my question is:
How does a 30 year old programming professional with 4 years experience in programming (statistical) find opportunities to gain practical, professional Java experience?

(My plan is to take the certification test after working in a professional environment for 3 months or so...)
 
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Where were you a year ago? A friend of mine at HBS was looking for a software developer to help with some research projects, including a lot of SAS work.

Look to organizations which work in economics, social science, and data modeling. These are places most likely to use SAS or related tools and will most value your experience. These could be commerical, research, or academic institutions.

--Mark
 
Christopher Amherst
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Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
Where were you a year ago? A friend of mine at HBS was looking for a software developer to help with some research projects, including a lot of SAS work.



A year ago, I hadn't quite been laid off due to state budget cuts.
C'est la vie.


Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
Look to organizations which work in economics, social science, and data modeling. These are places most likely to use SAS or related tools and will most value your experience. These could be commerical, research, or academic institutions.



Unfortunately, I'm looking to completely get out of the "SAS" career pigeonhole entirely, which would place me at odds to economics, social science, and data modeling.

From personal experience, when I have seen positions for SAS professionals, I rarely see the institutions looking for professionals that can also develop in Java.
 
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If you're willing to relocate to Ohio, I know of an opportunity that requires both SAS and JSP coding.
 
With a little knowledge, a cast iron skillet is non-stick and lasts a lifetime.
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