October 24th, 2012, 12:49 PM
Need Career Advice
I have a question for employers or anyone else who might have anything useful to contribute...
I have a Bachelors in Computer Science from another country. I worked as a software engineer (primarily in Java) for a couple of years and then I stopped working and started a family. I am in USA now and I haven't worked in 10 years. I still have a couple of years before I can start working again. My question is, is there any chance for me to get a job at an entry level as a software engineer or should I use this time to study and choose some other profession? Or are there any certifications that I can do now so I can possibly work as a software engineer again in a couple of years? Most entry level jobs require fresh graduates. So I'm wondering if my degree counts at all when it comes to getting a job or will I be better off studying something else all over again?
October 24th, 2012, 02:28 PM
I'd start by suggesting that 'entry-level' is a cost concern for the employer, rather than an ageist policy, as most countries would not permit such policies by law
Sharpen your skills (open source projects if you enjoy politics), and try a few interviews, nothing set in stone that you have to take the gig, if successful, and you could use the experience to determine exactly what real world employers are after
Just my €0.02
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October 24th, 2012, 05:41 PM
Yes, both your degree and your experience still count, particularly if you have several years of experience. The fact that your degree is from out of the country shouldn't matter that much. You will almost certainly be asked about your work history (particularly why you haven't worked in 10 years), but telling them you were raising a family is a completely valid reason that virtually everyone will accept. If I were you, I would then immediately launch into an explanation of what you have done recently to sharpen your programming skills, since that will obviously be the concern on their mind.
Unless you don't like software engineering or would prefer to do something else, I don't see any reason to give up what you already have.
Programming is one of those skills that is "like riding a bike"; once you know it, you can't unlearn it. The syntax may evolve over time, but the concepts are all variations on the same thing. However, it's also worth noting that programming languages evolve at a pace that is glacially slow compared to almost everything else IT related. Software is really expensive to write, and since the programming language is the core of every piece of software, it can only be changed so much at a time without breaking existing software. Thus, the more software exists for a given programming the slower it seems to change (and Java is pretty big).
October 29th, 2012, 10:24 AM
Thanks for your response. It is very encouraging to know that I can still have a career as a software engineer. Working on open source projects right away is not an option as I have been out of touch for so long. Unless someone would hire me as a paid intern working from home (hint, hint) I don't know how I can work on a project - even though I know one learns more that way as compared to just reading a book. But since I don't have many options right now, can someone recommend a good, comprehensive Java book for someone like me?
October 29th, 2012, 07:14 PM
Get some certifications in some current technology and you should be fine.
November 1st, 2012, 08:39 PM
Yes its great to get certifications. You can also study about different types of technologies that is pretty much being used by every person now.
November 3rd, 2012, 07:23 PM
I dont know that how is this issue about...there is an example from country that I live my own,which is turkey...the person working for software in the turkey never work with degree or any company certificate. because employers that in turkey are not informed about this matter...but,in the country growing software is not so this.
I think,this concept has human problem.so,it is not important caring to your profession...in fact, being important which is being precious nation-wide.
November 5th, 2012, 06:48 PM
That's why they charge so little. Then greedy managers only see dollar signs. They outsource to Turkey and then are disappointed by the results and ultimately spend more money getting programmers sourced from the US.
Originally Posted by maximas
November 6th, 2012, 08:33 AM
Speaking as a Systems Architect, DBA, and Project Manager all in one....yes you still can get some good skills. My advice is to start going to your local library and getting some books to add to your knowledge in Java, SQL, and any other language you can master. Also realize that Linux and Virtualization are the key to todays IT world. Also try to get a grasp on MySQL and PostgreSQL for databases. The more you can read and play with the better off you will be. Also try to start working on Projects as a Consultant to get back into the work world and get some work experience. Most of these jobs might be like 3-6 months of time, but if you try to do your best and work real hard you can use them as references and current work experience to get a full time job. Also be confident of your own ability and keep stiving for a goal and you will succeed.