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  1. #1
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    Question Your advice on how to set a career working with databases & software.

    I am in my 40's & want to settle my career working with databases or softwares. I have MS in bio sciences but I didn't enjoy much. I then went to community college to get an associate degree in computer programming in 2000. Before I completed the degree, I found a summer job at a local company to fix their MS access database. I truly enjoyed it & it earned me decent reference, internship & money. After graduating I worked as a report designer ( R&R, Crystal reports) at the local university for 5 years. I enjoyed my job very much working with great people, worked very very hard, designed some of the most difficult accounting reports but things didn't go well with the boss. I resigned after working 5 years. Since then I am struggling finding a job specially not having a good reference from the previous employer. I have been managing a stitchery business that employs 5 employees for last few years to keep up with the finances.
    I very much want to set my career working with Databases and softwares. Having a strong will (not finding a good word) or passion for computers but not having a good reference from the previous employer & fading skills, I am thinking for another Associate degree from same community college now in web design & development, one of their latest programs that is built around courses to learn Java, Visual Studio(asp.net. vb.net, c#), c+ etc., that were not there earlier.

    I want yr advise on if a 2 year degree with a sincere effort can work out for the kind of jobs I am interested in and how to go building references if dont find internship.

  • #2
    Senior Coder rnd me's Avatar
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    i would go back and finish your associates.
    it gives you a positive recent activity for your resume.
    also, school is a great place to network with others, you might find another job before you graduate yet again.

    If you can't put down that 5 year stint, it will certainly help to have some kind of degree or certificate to vouch for your skills.

    for web development, a portfolio of your work is also usually important to the potential employer; strong examples can ease any concerns about your experience.
    Last edited by rnd me; 03-15-2009 at 09:13 PM.
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  • #3
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    My another thought is to go for MS in computer Science. This will require me to take 4 prereq in math & will take atleast 4 total years to complete. I will do it if makes any sense doing another MS v/s an associate degree that can be finished in 1.5 years(I get credit for gen ed & basic programming courses).

    My another question: I have been reading about .net that this is the area going stronger job wise. Is it true ? if yes then can it be self tought using tutorials available online ? any recommendation?

    thanks for your response & to all who would be willing to advise.

  • #4
    Senior Coder gnomeontherun's Avatar
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    Hi, I'm going to say this but take it with a grain of salt. I use very little I learned in school. College credit just doesn't have a huge impact on your skills on the net, because they leverage a lot of theory over practicality. I just graduated, so I remember pretty well. However an unfinished degree should be finished, so I agree on finishing that (almost only to show you finished it).

    Now I didn't take a course in computers, but broadcasting. However, the point is there are plenty of books (buy books, online stuff is good for reference, books are good for in depth learning) which I used to learn many things. I have been working with the web for 10 years, and I must say that I have no desire to go back to school, since they aren't on the cutting edge. It takes a few years for tech trends to hit college, because by the time they are fully understood the internet has already moved on.

    I don't think this is the time to go back to college in IT fields. It is time to pick up new skills, but do it by reading books, volunteering for organizations to get hands on experience, and trying to do a little work here and there. A reference is good, great even, and if you can get that from people (even if they are just a local charity you helped) you are on the right track.

    Just my thoughts, take them as you wish!
    jeremy - gnomeontherun
    Educated questions often get educated answers, and simple questions often get simple answers.


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