IT Employment



Am I going to be viable as an entry level programmer out of school?

By mcmahone ·
I'm a student and I need education advice badly. I'm at a turning point in my education. I'm *currently* going for a BS in Computer and Info Tech. It's a broad based degree and recently I've narrowed down that I want to code or work with databases. However my school's plan of study focuses heavily on system analysis and design, storage, and networking stuff - my school just doesn't offer many programming classes. What they did offer, they offered in the first 2 years and now I'm in my 3rd year I'm already forgetting the code..

To sum it up, when I get out of school, all I will know is:
Basic CSS
Basic C# and .NET
Basic Java

I will NOT know anything about C programming, scripting languages, etc.

By basic I mean we've made very simple regular applications and web apps. Plain, simple loan calculators were the toughest thing we were required to make, I believe.

Many of my fellow students who're more into programming are also worried. They're saying if we got jobs as programmers we'd be laughed at.

On the other hand, some people have said it's learning the "programmer mindset" and basic programming concepts that are more important than specific languages. Yet on all the "entry level" job descriptions, they mention specific languages.

Basically, I'm really intimidated and am thinking about switching schools. I'm looking for some advice on what you'd look for when hiring a recent college graduate, and whether the languages I'll come out knowing is good enough. (And yes, I know there are other factors, such as GPA, etc - My GPA is 3.45, but I'm worried about specific knowledge)

My Options:
1. Stay where I'm at (easiest obviously, and preferred if it'd be viable)
2. Stay where I'm at, afterward get a certificate of applied computer science from a nearby school which would only add 1 semester or so and give me a few more programming courses.
3. Switch schools, and in doing so have to start nearly from the beginning. I'm in my 3rd year currently so that would be a large setback.

Which would you pick? Any comments would be appreciated!

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Well as I used to say years ago

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Am I going to be viable a ...

That bit of paper you get from your school only gives you the right to start learning your trade it doesn't make you an instant expert.

I've yet to find any person who was useful to a business when they first left school myself included. Also I have yet to see a business who expects a newly qualified student to be overly useful to them without first undergoing their In House Training to work the way that that company requires.

However if you are studying Programing and not doing Programing I would be very sceptial of that Schools approach. I can remember one student who when they finished their course was only qualified to teach that course, there was no positions outside that School for what they where doing in that course.


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Leverage time

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Am I going to be viable a ...

Keep your hand in the programing box by writing code that helps with other parts of your course.
The thing to learn is language is a constraint on programming, learning how to spell and punctuate doesn't make you an author.
The other thing to do is to start looking for 'work' that uses programming, voluntary, open source, helping out at uni. For all the theory you could learn at any universtity the only real way of learning practical programming is to do it.
Onec you get it, another language, is juts a nother mode of expression not another discipline.

What to program, in business land is way more important than how. Wrong from a technical point of view, or even a long term business one, but horribly true.
Two years to go, so ther will be a least one new framework, anotherv language, and two Gartner style hype scenarios.
You put a couple of real things a prospective new employer can see, that will have a lot more value than the bit of paper and the picture of you in a funny hat.

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