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Worshipping Java Ranch Gurus for Opinion! 8D

 
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I'm finishing up an Associate's in IT and will be starting my Bachelor's soon. I need to choose a concentration, though. Here's where I need your expert opinions!

I have the following concentrations to choose from:

Software Engineering
Multimedia & Visual Communication
Information Systems Security
Business Systems Analysis
Networking and Telecommunications

I really love the programming classes I've taken and that's what I went back to college for, anyway. I've played around with computers for about 25 years and have learned a great deal about them--except for programming.

I have some pretty solid business experience having co-owned a business and worked for a (at one time) wonderfully organized and highly professional company in Atlanta for several years. Atlanta gave me some exposure to wider markets being the International hub for airline flights into and out of the Southeastern U.S.

Any and all advice, suggestions, and pearls of wisdom will earn the provider a entry into drawing for To Whom Does Robin Build Her Shrine!
 
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First consider what you want to do with your life. What type of work do you wan to do, what type of industry, what goegraphical location, etc? A good book with some guides to this is "What Color is Your Parachute?"

* Software Engineering
General software development. Pretty flexible as software is used in many industries. You'll likely wind up in a software engineering dept, but could go into tech support, pre-sales tech consult, tech consulting, QA, or product management.

* Multimedia & Visual Communication
Sounds similar to graphic design but in the digital realm. Will most likely work in graphic design, advertising, multimedia design, website design.

* Information Systems Security
Sounds like system administration with an emphasis on security. Common careers are in IT and security.

* Business Systems Analysis
This is a very overused generic term and after over a decade in the industry I still don't quite understand what it means. Most often this type of job is someone who write system requirements, but personally, I think if someone hasn't done either marketing/sales or engineering, they're not going to be as good at this as someone who has.

* Networking and Telecommunications
Sounds like system administration with a different specialty. Likely to lead to jobs in IT, hosted solutions, and the telecom industry.


Any of those sound exciting?

--Mark
 
Robin Lane
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Well, what I want to do is contract or consultant work. Telecommute as much as possible, but I don't mind travel. Just want to be able to live where I choose and work from where I choose. It's important to me that some autonomy is maintained.

Business Analysis is, from what I have read, is an angle I could work. Best to understand the corporate structure, first; then, what the stakeholders want/need. Then, it's a matter of determining what system (hardware and applications) will meet those requirements. So, I think I could handle that, even without a strong Sales/Marketing background. I've always had a weird innate understanding of the corporate entity. Don't know how or why.

Some of the concentration core classes sound hugely boring, I must admit.
 
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I answer one of your posts with trepidation, particularly when it says "worshipping" at the top because I know you will only want to embarrass me!

But really, try for what you want to do. What you think you most enjoy. Even if you end up doing something else, at least you tried.
 
Mark Herschberg
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If you'd like to telecommute as much as possible business analyst is out. The business analyst role is a communication one generally, being a go-between between engineering/IT and sales/marketing/product management. It's rare for a company to hire someone to do this remotely.

Likewise IT is less likely. While remote IT is done, there will always be need for someone physically there. Also, sys admins have keys to the castle, and it's a little hard to give them to someone you've never met and don't see on a regular basis.

Web design is what is most commonly outsourced, so that may be an area to focus on, suggesting the Multimedia & Visual Communication option.

--Mark
 
Robin Lane
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Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
Web design is what is most commonly outsourced, so that may be an area to focus on, suggesting the Multimedia & Visual Communication option.
--Mark



That helps narrow things down, Mark. The core classes for Multimedia & Visual Communication are as follows:

Image Editing & Implementation
Electronic Publishing
Instructional Design
Multimedia Development
XML

The core classes for Software Engineering are as follows:

Intro to Operating Systems (Sounds yawn making unless this class will go into Unix and Linux.)
Intro to Software Engineering
Software Architecture
.NET I
.NET II

After I complete my Bachelor's, I want to go for my Master's, too; but one step at a time, eh?

I've been noticing a massive interest in enterprise systems, especially Web-based ones. So, it's looking like more and more opportunities are opening up that involve the Internet.

I see your logic about the systems administration--definitely not a telecommute job. Luckily, I'm not terribly interested in it. There are a few guys around here who do basic IT stuff which, again, I'm not terribly interested in--although, I was A+ and Network+ certified about six years ago.

I do LOVE the programming. I can't explain why I love it, and I'm very verbal with a large vocabulary! [starts laughing]

I answer one of your posts with trepidation, particularly when it says "worshipping" at the top because I know you will only want to embarrass me! Campbell Ritchie



And, Campbell, I thought I had explained that! I'm a Southern extrovert who is also very appreciative and grateful! I truly didn't mean to embarrass you. [warm smile] You are simply excrutiatingly easy to embarrass. So, I'll mind my enthusiasm and thank you graciously for replying. [reaches into the drum and removes Campbell's entry from the shrine drawing] Feel better?
 
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My 2-cents: Web design is a tough field because I find that most companies don't want pure designers anymore, they want coders who can also design. Web design professionals without coding skills are having a tough time these days. I'd go with the software track and, if you are genuinely interested in design, take classes from the media track as electives.

P.S. I don't embarass easily, so if you want me to send you a signed photo for your shrine, please let me know.
[ August 30, 2008: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]
 
Mark Herschberg
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If you prefer enterprise systems (there is always massive interest in it :-), programming may be the way to go.

Why a masters degree? Given that you're not quite sure what you want to do what exactly will the masters do for you?


--Mark
 
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Become an ERP consultant http://www.sap.com/smallbusiness/solutions/overview/features.epx
 
Robin Lane
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Web design is a tough field because I find that most companies don't want pure designers anymore, they want coders who can also design. Web design professionals without coding skills are having a tough time these days. I'd go with the software track and, if you are genuinely interested in design, take classes from the media track as electives. Bear



Thank you so much for your 2 Cents! I so appreciate it and will absolutely keep the autographed photo idea in mind!

Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
Why a masters degree? Given that you're not quite sure what you want to do what exactly will the masters do for you?


--Mark



[sober face] Because I'm a woman in a man's world, Mark. I don't know if you'll understand that. Being a Southern woman who was born and raised in a small town, spent 17 years in Atlanta but needed a man's help to get a leg up in another male dominated industry--I've experienced what it is like. I've lived it. I've worked with men who didn't want to listen to me because I was a woman in a position of authority. How do I know that? Because I had other men tell me, for starters; observation was another key to that realization. After all, just look around. In this enlightened age, we still won't have a woman running for president. (Not trying to start any political or philosophical discussion here. [winks and grins])

Unless I move to some place where the Old Boys' Club has never even been heard of, I will always have to live it. That means I have to be about twice as good as any man to get a man's position and a man's salary. I actually remember when the salary revolution of paying women the same for the same job first started, Mark. Fortunately, it is found less and less. Most corporations can't get away with that anymore and don't see a reason for it, either. But there are plenty of companies that are not publicly owned and get away with whatever they please. That is a reality. That is my reality.

Oh, and another thing. I still meet guys in my classes who are in IT and just stumbled into it, when I couldn't get hired with work experience AND certifications. So, that's why the Master's. That's why I want to work as a consultant or do contract work. That's why I need to be the mistress of my own fate.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Originally posted by Robin Lane:
. . . I actually remember when the salary revolution of paying women the same for the same job first started. . . .



I remember it too. The law prohibiting one from asking for a man or woman to do a particular job came into force on 31st December 1975 in Britain.
[ August 30, 2008: Message edited by: Campbell Ritchie ]
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Originally posted by Robin Lane:
. . . We still won't have a woman running for president. . . .



We are allowed women heads of state, and we had a woman head of government for 11� years; but Israel beat us to it with Golda Meir.
 
Robin Lane
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Originally posted by Campbell Ritchie:


We are allowed women heads of state, and we had a woman head of government for 11� years; but Israel beat us to it with Golda Meir.




I remember Margaret Thatcher! In the movie "Love Actually", Hugh Grant called her a saucy minx! That cracked me up!
 
Robin Lane
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Originally posted by Arvind Birla:
Become an ERP consultant



Thank you so much for your input! I'll be sure to check that web site out.
 
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