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career advice for student

 
Greenhorn
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I am a senior at UT Dallas (USA) in the software engineering program. I plan to graduate next summer, and I am trying to plan ahead for my future career. My question is, which technologies should I focus my attention on? I have a good core understanding of Java, with some experience with C and C++ and am now teaching myself JavaEE and ColdFusion. I browse job postings in the USA and abroad each week and find that most employers want prospective employees to have knowledge in several technologies (like JavaEE, PHP, .net, Ruby on Rails, C#, ColdFusion, Python, Perl, etc.). My question is, should I attempt to learn the basics of as many of these technologies as possible, or focus on just a few? And which ones? I really have no preference because I enjoy learning about anything that has to do with computers, including hardware. University studies have really been a disappointment because nothing practical is taught; I have learned absolutely nothing at school about web programming; everything I have learned was done on my own time. Thank you.
 
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Aaron,
Welcome to JavaRanch!

It's tricky because one can't predict what the company you end up working for will want. I think it is good to know the basics of a couple languages for a graduating senior though. Some of the languages you listed like PHP and Ruby are fast to get started with. I also think it is good to "deeper dive" on something. For example, using Java to write a web app that accesses a database and does something cool.

I realize the previous paragraph is conflicting advice. It's high level. I think it is more useful to pick just a few of the languages and know more about them than a tiny bit of everything (and therefore nothing well.)

University is designed to "teach you how to learn" rather than things that are directly applicable.

Another thing to think about - why should an employer hire you rather than your classmates. Do you have any work experience (internship or part time work), a project you can show, a certification, anything really? If not, I recommend you consider one or more of these.
 
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