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Thread: Career advice please?!?!

  1. #1

    Default Career advice please?!?!

    Hi guys.

    I'm new to this site and it looks like the right place to be to address a dilema I'm faced with. So my story is that I've decided to make a career change from the automotive industry to I.T (software development). I won't get into the reason for the change, but from what I can tell my personality profile fits the bill and I feel like its a step in the right direction (no longer interested in the automotive industry).

    The problem I'm faced with is that I'm 30 years old and varsity is not an option at this point. So, the two options that I'm left with, after a fair amount of research, is either New Horizons Cape Town who offer microsoft certified online distance learning up to MCPD level (Enterprised applications developer) OR Damelin correspondence college who offer a Computer programming diploma with optional extra MCTS exams (Looking into doing prerequisites for MCPD - Enterprise applications developer).

    Now of course, if I go the New Horizons route, I will add on modules like JAVA, PHP, MYSQL, etc... after completing the MCPD core exam. Also, if I go the Damelin route, I will follow from the MCTS prerequisites with a MCPD certification from New Horizons and still add on modules.

    So the question I need answered is...either way I plan on becomming microsoft certified, but will a diploma benefit me in finding employment? I have done some research and everyone I have spoken to says something different, needless to say...I'm still waiting for others to get back to me. Junior positions on jobsites seem to request various levels of qualifications, but for the most part, it would seem a degree is most prominent. Unfortunately, that is not an option for me. So if you guys could please give me your input, I would appreciate it.

    Cheers.

  2. #2

    Default

    Any kind of education (piece of paper) would help you. Experience even more so. Since you don't have any experience I'd recommend doing the Microsoft Certified stuff. MCSD is a good start (although I've been out of the loop as to what they offer so MCPD is probably the new one?)

    In any case, with something like that behind your name it will still be difficult getting a position unless you have some knack of programming in the first place. Having said that, there's many different routes you can take. You need to decide if you want to be an application developer/web developer etc. This is where a varsity degree would be helpful.

    You didn't mention WHY it's not an option. My feeling is you think you're too old to go to varsity? My advice would be to sign up through UNISA and do your degree via correspondence. YES. It may take longer than a 3 month "Point and click here you go diploma" but it will set you off WAY better than the latter (and probably cost you less/the same). Keep your mundane job to pay for it and study after hours. Get the degree. DO IT.

  3. #3

    Default

    What salary are you expecting for starters?
    I assume with the course alone you'll struggle to get a salary over R10 000.

  4. #4

    Default

    Experience > Papers.

    Yes having a paper helps you get the initial jobs, but when you have 5+ years of dev experience compared to someone who just has papers with no "Real world" experience, you will take preference, unless they are looking for young and cheap labor.

    However, in your situation I rate doing the MCPD is a good idea, make sure it is the newest .net version, currently 4.0 or 4.5 not entirely sure. This will help a lot. Then again so would a degree.

    if you do decide to only do the MCPD stuff, then I suggest you first do some free lance work so that you can gain some experience. When that happens you can either stay a free lancer or look for a more stable workplace and get paid a constant salary.

    Just remember one thing,

    The possibilities are endless.

  5. #5

    Default

    I left IT and went to law, so maybe my advice means nothing, but I have an MCSD and MCDBA and they meant jack without a degree. Rather do a degree through unisa seriously it makes it much easier if you dont have experience.

    As phoenix911 said, but put differently, even junior positions want experience. The more you have the more you are worth. But to start out with just a Microsoft Certification is not easy. Its costly (well mine was at the time) I could have studies 3 years at UNISA for less.

  6. #6

    Default

    Thanks for your answers.The vibe i'm getting is that either i must go the New Horizons MCPD route, gain experience and then find employment OR do the Damelin diploma, then add MCPD status and find a junior position requiring those qualifications.

    @AcidRazor - There are various reasons a degree is not an option, namely because i dont have 4 years to commit to studies (plus some to add microsft certification). Also, i've studied through Unisa before (2001) and didnt like the service they gave me and to add the carte blanche saga on TV.

    @stoymigo - Looking on jobsites i would say your statement is true. I would be looking for more than 10K because i can earn approx. 12K in the automotive industry. By the looks of things on jobsites, with a degree or diploma plus added skills you can land a junior position earning between 15 - 25K.

    @Phoenix911 - I think thats a good idea and have had it recommended to me before, but i feel like having a diploma to back up microsoft certification is a little more concrete in securing a junior position with an adequate salary. Or am i wrong?

    @lordrage - The way it looks to me is that between the two options to get up to MCPD status is gonna cost roughly the same. That said, the New Horizon route will take approx. 6 mths to a year to complete and the Damelin route between 1 and 2 years. So the differences would be that on one hand i would be a microsoft certified professional developer over a short period (and could probably get going on the freelance work) and on the other i would hold a diploma followed by MCPD status, but getting there would require a little more time.

  7. #7
    Super Grandmaster
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DAZ'O View Post
    Hi guys.

    I'm new to this site and it looks like the right place to be to address a dilema I'm faced with. So my story is that I've decided to make a career change from the automotive industry to I.T (software development). I won't get into the reason for the change, but from what I can tell my personality profile fits the bill and I feel like its a step in the right direction (no longer interested in the automotive industry).

    The problem I'm faced with is that I'm 30 years old and varsity is not an option at this point. So, the two options that I'm left with, after a fair amount of research, is either New Horizons Cape Town who offer microsoft certified online distance learning up to MCPD level (Enterprised applications developer) OR Damelin correspondence college who offer a Computer programming diploma with optional extra MCTS exams (Looking into doing prerequisites for MCPD - Enterprise applications developer).

    Now of course, if I go the New Horizons route, I will add on modules like JAVA, PHP, MYSQL, etc... after completing the MCPD core exam. Also, if I go the Damelin route, I will follow from the MCTS prerequisites with a MCPD certification from New Horizons and still add on modules.

    So the question I need answered is...either way I plan on becomming microsoft certified, but will a diploma benefit me in finding employment? I have done some research and everyone I have spoken to says something different, needless to say...I'm still waiting for others to get back to me. Junior positions on jobsites seem to request various levels of qualifications, but for the most part, it would seem a degree is most prominent. Unfortunately, that is not an option for me. So if you guys could please give me your input, I would appreciate it.

    Cheers.
    If you can, do the change with your current employer. This is how i moved into IT. Some employers like this because they already know the person and they carry their business knowledge over into IT. Speak to them. You never know unless you ask. They might be willing to help. When i did this people in IT where delighted to have me because of the business knowledge i had. Ofc, this is only possible if your current employer as a good size in-house IT development setup.

    However you do it, for at least the first 2 years your chances of getting a job are slim, because most require at least 2 years experience, and as you have already seen, they ask for all sorts of qualifications. Once you have the experience then the degree is not that important.
    Ubuntu is an African term for "I can't configure Debian"

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DAZ'O View Post
    Thanks for your answers.The vibe i'm getting is that either i must go the New Horizons MCPD route, gain experience and then find employment OR do the Damelin diploma, then add MCPD status and find a junior position requiring those qualifications.
    I have no idea how you got that vibe. Most people are advising you to get a degree.

    One poster said experience > papers, and that sounds like it might be coming from someone without papers, but ultimately he is right. Your problem though is that you don't have either, and so his comment isn't valid to your situation.

    You can go and do some Microsoft certifications if you want, but I believe you may find it exceptionally hard to find a job without any professional experience and just some Damelin or New Horizons diploma. 10 years ago, I started out as an MCSE, and it was a mission to get a job back then! Even though its unrelated I think the princple still applies however.

    Since then I studied a degree with honors part time and recently finished. I can assure you that UNISA are still an administrative nightmare, run by a collection of academics (nor business people) with a good sprinkling of morons for good match, but they are not impossible. Im the proof.

    I would advise you to get a degree, and if you cant do that (like really cant), then get a Microsoft certification and pray you find a job with just that alone and 0 experience. If you find that you actually have a passion for software development and a talent for it, yet cant find a job, then perhaps consider opening a small business doing part-time evening work for other small businesses, or just chuck in your job entirely if you're able to and focus on building your own company?

    By the way I am not a software developer. Being one depends on alot more than your personality. So before you waste your time and money, make sure that you really want this. You are 30 afterall (like me), and should use your time as wisely as possible.
    www.nuzzle.co.za - Get the best pet products from Nuzzle, and get them delivered to your door.

  9. #9

    Default

    I did a career change at the age of 30 from Sales to IT (got into development at 31).Can say from experience that if your passionate about development, you do not need any experience or papers to land a job.

    But, if you want to earn a salary that pays the bills, then education is very important. I've learn't that the hard way and decided to study via UNISA (2nd last year atm). Graduates earn more than non-graduates, its a reality that all the non-graduates play down but you need to keep it all relative as I'm saying that a graduate with 5yrs on the job experience will earn more than a non-graduate with 5yrs experience.

    Also keep in mind that your only 30 and still have at least another 35 years left before you retire, a lot can happen in that time and when the next IT recession hits, those who have more to offer (experience; skills; degrees) will be the best off.
    Character is how you treat those that can do nothing for you.

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