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Need some advice from professionals & HR people ;)

 
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I'm 22. Next year I will graduate from university (computer science) and I'm thinking about enrolling a 4 year study in economics. But I'm confused
I'm constanly working on my computer on various projects for myself, for clients & for charity... There is nothing I like better then learning new stuff...
This is what I've studied so far:
Assembly (intel x86), C/C++, Perl, Pascal, Java, Visual Basic, Progress, Cobol, MFC, Win32 API, DirectX, OpenGL, Computer Graphics (2D - 3D), Servlets, J2EE, Struts, HTML, XML, CFML, ASP, PHP, JSP, Javascript, VBScript, Microsoft Access, Oracle 8i, Oracle Developer, mySQL, PostgreSQL, DOS, Windows 9x/NT, Linux (RH/Suse/MD)

I don't know if that is much because the only people I can compate with are college friends. I realize I know much more then them, but I can't compare with professionals, so I don't know... what is your opinion BTW ? for a 22year old?
But I like economics, management, law, etc... I want to study all this because I think it will bring me the better job ??? Is this true ?? Will knowledge of business processes, etc.. get me a job with more responsability and a higher salary ?? (compared with someone who is trained as developer)
What if I start out as a developer to become a manager or something (in the FAR future ), will the study of economics help me be a great manager with rock solid knowledge ??
I'm not primarely interested in the money, but I don't want the rest of my life having bosses tell me what to build for them..
What's should I do ? I love computers though and I definately want to work in that field.
Dave Van Even
PS; any comments are more than welcome...
 
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Lots of questions.
You have lots of computer knowledge so far, at least lots more languages than I ever learned in school. (And more than I currently know.)
There are lots of ways of getting into management. I have seen people from every job description make the jump. I don't know much about management but I don't know if it will fulfill your main requirement which seems to be "I don't want the rest of my life having bosses tell me what to build for them". There are managers who spend their whole day running around trying to fulfill their bosses wishes. And there are developers who have so much technical/business knowledge that they are allowed to do almost anything they want.
My best managers have always been the ones with the best people skills, not neccessarly the best business knowledge.
"But I like economics, management, law, ..." seems like college has increased your chioces instead of narrowed them. Which is most likely a good thing.
I would suggest that you get a job of a year. You will see some real world jobs in action and that may answer some of your questions.
(But what the hell do I know!)
[This message has been edited by christopher foran (edited August 21, 2001).]
 
Dave Van Even
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you got a point there!!! thanks.... but I'm thinking that once I start working, I will stay working because of the money, etc..
but you neven know...
thanks!
 
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Finance and a little of economics will help you become a more astute manager and decision maker. However, I think as a new graduate it would be better to get some experience working. After three years of solid work you can always get an MBA. In your first formal job, you may discover what you really want.
Oh, and as a side note: if you know java and oracle that would be great. But, it would be even better if you can say that you are a Sun certified ... and an Oracle certified ... Good luck.
 
Dave Van Even
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thanks...
I was thinking about getting a SCJP certification...
 
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Dave,
Here is an example of two career paths. One is mine and the other is my twin brother.
We both have B.Sc. in engineering. I have 8 years of professional experience programming and make a very good living. He got 3 years of experience and went back for his M.B.A. He now manages a product road map for a major software company. When you take into account cost of living differences we have similar compensation packages.
The best thing a college degree can do is give you options. That is why I think a C.S. or Engineering degree is so valuable. You learn how to identify and solve problems, which is exactly what most people can not do in the real world. If you keep up with technology or pursue a Masters you will quickly distinguish yourself from your peers in the long run.
If you make a choice that allows you to do something you enjoy and compensates you well you will not regret it.
Best of Luck,
Michael
 
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Dave:
You would defeinitely be better off pursuing an MBA over a BS-Economics degree. It will take a lot less time and will impress employers alot more than another BS degree.
John Coxey
 
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Intresting, tony started a topic and people started talking about different things all together. Tony you have a valid point, but you know it is just that because of the down turns in the market, the companys wants to pay less and thats the reason they are looking for foriegn workers, and the Government is doing what the industry wants.
 
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I used to be a full-time college recruiter for a
software consulting firm.
I think the best knowledge is knowledge based on experience.
As others have said, work on things that will lead to
getting your foot in the door, like certifications and
self-study practical experience. I wouldn't over-educate
at this point. You can go back to school later. The best
think I did was work before going to college. Now I know
you're already past that stage, but get the job you want
then consider an MBA down the road. (I agree that 2
BS degrees means diddley)
Scott
 
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I hate to sound like some old guy (I'm 33; when I was 22, 33 seemed kinda old) but get the experience first. Then, your employer might pay for an M.B.A. or other education. I also agree with the others - if your goal is to be an IT manager, go for the M.B.A., not another Bachelors. Some MBA programs offer a "general" MBA and some allow you to concentrate in a field such as accounting, marketing, etc. If you decide to do a concentration and your goal is to be a manager, I recommend the accounting concentration even if you have no desire to be an accountant! Reason is that accounting is considered a rigorous field and the fundamental discipline underlying business practices. A close second is finance - definitely more fun than accounting. Economics, sadly, is considered impractical, unless you want to get a Ph.D and serve on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve. Don't get me wrong - I like economics, but it is just not considered practical. Also, consider why you love finance. If you love investing your money, there are plenty of good "teach yourself" books that are far less expensive than a traditional degree and you will gain lots more practical knowledge. As for going into law, here is my story: I just spent about $10,000 and the last 6 months of my life going to night classes at a tech school to learn computer programming. Know what I did before that? I practiced law - and was miserable. The law itself, I grant you, can be interesting. The actual practice is another thing. And if you think the job market is tight for programmers, you should see how tight the law market is! Wait a few months, and the job market for programmers will turn around. Law, I believe, will continue to stagnate. And don't get me started on salaries! After practicing for five years, I am making about what a second year programmer makes.
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Dave Van Even
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thanks all for the replies!!
I'm interested in the process of descision making lol.. seriously... what strategic descisions need to be made ? What's the future.. who are out customers and what do they need? How much people do we need ? and where ?? What branches should we drop? What should we concentrate on? How much should be produce ? those questions intregue me somewhat! I guess they are all (micro/meso)-economic related ? Am I right that business descisions need to be made FAST and GOOD ? My instinct tells me that having a general knowledge on all (/alot of) areas in business/economics will one increase the chance of making the right descision and decrese the time it takes to do it...
I like programming though.. (very much) In fact I don't think my first job will be anything other then programming Yes, even if I have another qualification or diploma... Just like it too much.. and I think it's better to gain experience in more spaces before gettin' into managing ...
Dave Van Even
[This message has been edited by Dave Van Even (edited August 31, 2001).]
 
Mike Sasin
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Now you are on the right track Dave! Having a broad base of knowledge does in fact increase decision-making ability. I know that having come right out of college, it is tempting to believe that education is a good thing. It is, but... Look, I'm not knocking formal education; it is important and I have gone through much formal education myself. However, getting a particular degree will not automatically enable you to make sound business decisions that are fast and good. That takes common sense, which is gained partly through experience, partly through a broad base of knowledge. I've met lots of different people, and I like "techies" the most - they tend to be logical thinkers and have a quirky sense of humor. I.e. - they got common sense. So don't sell yourself short. Those questions you asked you can probably answer with some common sense and a bit of thinking. And if you can program, you can certainly think logically! Unfortunately, many people can't, so they're sent back for more education hoping some of it will stick. My advice - relax, enjoy your twenties, find a job, enjoy the feeling of earning some money. If you have the desire, read stuff on your own, browse Web sites that offer info on economics and finance, or enroll in an economics course at a community college - the tuition tends to be real cheap and the workload not so bad. Doing this will give you that broad base of knowledge that leads to common sense. Then, as your career moves forward, you will better know what educational path to take.
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