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2rd yr. Comp. Sci. College Drop-Out

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Hey people, it's my first post here at Javaranch! I've read various posts, looking for guidance, but no luck. By the way, this is a great community! Love the people here.

I'm in need some advice. I'm 22 years old; I've dropped-out of college from a University here in the Philippines, and have only had two jobs. One being a Gateway Operator for 6 mos. with this satellite company, and the other as a call-center agent(which didn't last as long).

Anyway, I've been vacant for over a year now, and I decided to go and study Java on my own. I really like it, but I doubt if I can get any job as a Java programmer(but I would really, really love to) -- as most companies are looking for degree holders. I don't really have the financial freedom to go back to school, so I have to get a job. So my question is:

Would simply having a SCJP certificate get you through the door without a degree?

If so, I plan to do the following:

1.)Get SCJP certified.
2.)Apply for a Java Programming job.
3.)Finish my degree while working.

(I know you probably think I'm day-dreaming -- looking for a programming job without experience or a degree-- but that's why I need you guys/gals to knock some sense into me)

Also, if experience is what they're looking for, how can I get that? Would creating my own "great" software be a good start?

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IMO, a big reason for a college degree is to prove your willingness, desire, etc. If you spent four years on something, surely, you must have enough of a passion on it to stay on the job. Another way to prove it is to actually have many years of experience.

No college degree and no experience? .... Well, 20 years ago, sure. Back then, programmers were rare. And most of them learned on their own with a commadore 64 at home. And learning because they wanted to, no certification, and no idea that they can actually get paid to do it.

Today. It is possible to get a certification with enough reading (some have done it without ever touching a computer). There are tons and tons of candidates -- and most with college degrees and experience. Such a resume will likely get automatically rejected by HR.

But to answer your question... If a group of candidate resumes (all with zero experience) come across my desk, I would likely reject the candidates with no degrees, as part of the first culling process.

Manny Hernandez
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Thanks for the reply, Henry.

I guess there's really no way out of this "no degree" thing, huh? I'd just have to find work that's non-programming related, while getting my degree.
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