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Career Advice, cannot decide what to do

 
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Hello All!,
I am a newb to this site and in need of a little peer advice. First let me start off by giving some background information.

I will be graduating in May 2012 with a double major in Finance and MIS. So far, none of my professor's have really helped with narrowing down a career path. They pretty much show up, teach the course, and go home. None of them are very personable, so talking about what I should do after my degree is like pulling teeth. To be honest, I feel like I have learned nothing in the MIS program except how to use Visual Basic and C. Other than that we have touched many things but at an inch deep level. From what I have researched, Visual Basic and C, doesn't get me to far in the job interviewing process.

Here is a list of material that we have touched on:
SQL, ASAP.NET, SAP, Virtual Box, MathCad, MatLab, wireshark, Linux, PwDump, Zone Alarm, WebGoat, BackTrack, Burp Suite, EtterCap, NetworkMiner, Nmap, and ZenMap.

Like I said, I am not sure if any of this helps.

My biggest problem is I don't know which way to go in my career. This is partly my fault because I did not research what career I should take. I simply listened to the college advisers when they said "MIS and CS can do the same thing and if you go MIS you can easily pick up a double major!"

I am trying to teach myself Java at the moment.

What I would like to do (I think, because I have no real experience in any of this) is create mobile applications, or ethical hacking, or some sort of user interface design. With that said, I can't seem to find a way to start any of this. Every time I start researching, I get caught up in tech language and acronyms that I don't understand.

It is becoming increasingly stressful that: A) I am about to graduate and have no clue if I can find work. B) I may be to late in to the game to even play ball. (Wrong major/ Can't start over) C) Once I graduate, student loans will start calling to collect.

Sorry for being so long winded, and I really do appreciate all the advice. If I need to provide anymore information just let me know.

Cheers
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 83
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Brian Villanueva wrote:I am about to graduate and have no clue if I can find work.


With the state of the economy these days, every graduate is nervous about finding work. If you had to work hard to find work before, these days, you have to work twice as hard.

Brian Villanueva wrote:I simply listened to the college advisers when they said "MIS and CS can do the same thing and if you go MIS you can easily pick up a double major!".


A double major can come in quite handy. There are many organizations that like to kill two birds with one stone. Just keep searching and applying. You may be lucky to find an entry-level job where only basic skills are required and you get a mentor to show you the ropes.

Brian Villanueva wrote:My biggest problem is I don't know which way to go in my career.


A double major suggests that you're interested in finance and information systems. Are you saying that you're not interested in either of these? I accept that they are both very broad areas and you might need to narrow down your job search to specific areas.

Brian Villanueva wrote:So far, none of my professor's have really helped with narrowing down a career path. They pretty much show up, teach the course, and go home. None of them are very personable, so talking about what I should do after my degree is like pulling teeth.


You'd be very lucky to find a professor who teaches and gives career advice. I never got career advice from my professors. Maybe I just wasn't lucky enough. Many universities provide career advice counselors. I never found them useful myself. Forums like this can help, as well as speaking to experienced friends and family members.

Brian Villanueva wrote:To be honest, I feel like I have learned nothing in the MIS program except how to use Visual Basic and C.


Believe me, you've learnt something. The only problem is that you've only touched the surface. One way to begin to gain some mastery is by doing some certifications. After my computer science degree, I felt like I knew a lot but not enough to be very productive in the work place, and so I decided to focus on Java and immediately started working on some Java certifications. Certifications can help you build your confidence and impress in an interview.

Brian Villanueva wrote:Every time I start researching, I get caught up in tech language and acronyms that I don't understand


Always read with a technical dictionary. There are so many of them on the internet. Also, start with simpler books and then gradually move on to more advanced books. Some authors are so brilliant and knowledgeable but don't know how to teach a newbie.

Good Luck
 
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Hi Brian,

Based on your skills, as far as I know, below is the outline of the technologies which are active, I mean these skills are required for any IT job more or less.

SQL - If you are good at this, you can become DBA which is challenging and long term job.
ASP.NET - Web application development, however, only learning asp.net not good enough, you need to learn so many others.
Linux - Core skill every job requires.
WebGoat - Mostly, you can apply web app security techniques in the applications you build.

SAP - This is very huge, however, SAP career is promising in long term jobs, or short term high pay jobs as implementation consultants.
SAP has functional and technical, you can choose to be functional consultant like FICO, or technical like ABAP or BASIS etc. Since you
had major in Finance, take a look at SAP finance modules to get a feel of it. Or Oracle financials.

I am not sure of these though.

Virtual Box,
MathCad,
MatLab,
wireshark,
PwDump,
Zone Alarm,
BackTrack,
Burp Suite,
EtterCap,
NetworkMiner,
Nmap,
ZenMap.

You better decide what your path is, when I started my Java career 9 years back, I know only this option because all my friends learning Java like mad.
Now, I realize the potential for SAP in my country. Its too late for me to start SAP career. Since you're in exact moment to decide, take the technology
your heart says and put your soul on it. Ultimately, you should be able to enjoy your work everyday.

All the best.
 
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