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Starting an IT Career: Focus on Programming Skills or Certifications?

By MJW6 ·
I have a psychology and education background and I

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There is no Or

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Starting an IT Career: Fo ...

and, and probably another degree, as well.
Then in the current market you can get paid bugger all.

If you are doing this for the money, you've gone well wrong mate.

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Why the vote down?

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to There is no Or

The buzzword bingo boys will look for certs and degrees

IT is not paying as well as it has, so if you are entering it for money, you aren't going to get any, and seeing as you don't have a passion for it, you aren't going to be very good, so you won't last ten minutes in the current environment.

You are talking about a 3rd of your life until retirement here, pick something you like, because you like it, you'll be good at it, because you are good at it, you'll get paid for it.

Oh and for the person who voted me down with no comment as to why, you aren't going to get far in life without growing some...

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I did the vote down it was an accident. It seems to be irreversible.

by avtark In reply to Why the vote down?

Sorry did not not wish to offend you in anyway. everyone has their own opinions and you are right with yours.

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That happens a lot, actually

by AnsuGisalas In reply to I did the vote down it wa ...

Those buttons are small and close together, and yes, it's irreversible. It's usually good to put up an "Oops" reply when that happens, then someone will come along and correct it for you

Tony is a sharp one, so he often says ... shall we say ... uncomfortable things? Things that some people very much would like not to hear, so he tends to pick up those anonymous tokens of disagreement (-).

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I think

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to That happens a lot, actua ...

you've confused me with some one else...

okay may be not.

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Don't worry about that

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to I did the vote down it wa ...

Even if you'd wanted to offend me, it wouldn't have shut me up. :)

Have a plus for being one of the few people with enough sphericals to actually reply to one of my meek and plaintive "what did i do wrong now posts"

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Can't Totally Agree With That...

by info In reply to Why the vote down?

I've met tons of people that HATE their job, IT or otherwise, yet are still very good at it. You won't be an 'IT God', probably, but I've met lots of enthusiastic 'computer nerds' that still couldn't figure out which cables to plug into which connectors, how to code a basic loop, etc., etc...

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by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Can't Totally Agree With ...

How many senior ones doing senior work do you know, and how much do they get paid?

Beside anyone who spends a third of their prime doing something they hate, for naff all pay, is an idiot, and the person who employs them isn't even that clever.

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follow your passion and do not fear failure

by avtark In reply to Starting an IT Career: Fo ...

Don't listen to what people say! no one knows what the next week in ICT land is going to be. It's going to be better for smart people and great for budding ICT geniuses. I have had similar concerns and learnt that employers don't really care about certification/higher qualifications. If you can prove that you have hands on experience and have the right attitude - world is your oyster. Certifications and University degrees have a very short redemption period if they relate to cutting edge specialist skills. You would find that every 6 months Java has a new release, .NET has a new release and same goes for other frameworks. Hence the chase is not a one-off but an on-going exercise.

If I was in your situation, I would draw a Venn diagram
1. What Skills are you passionate about?
2. What Skills are in demand today and are likely to be in demand in 5-7 years time? (Programming is a skill, Java/.Net is not a skill --- very important understand the difference...)
3. What Skills are employers willing to provide intern-ships or traineeships on? (very important to understand the market)

Focus on intersection of two or more areas. Start small and keep asking (yourself/peers) until you are satisfied... then take the leap of faith.

Above questions can be hard to answer correctly, but once you can answer them you would find that no one can be a better guide than yourself.

I would say do not chase the money but your passions.... you would realise that your passions take care of you if you exercise discipline in ICT industry!

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Now some of that I agree with

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to follow your passion and d ...

Programming being the skill, following your passion etc. The rest of it, for that to succeed you must have the skill, and the passion and self confidence bordering on arrogance to have a prayer of it working.

If you have to go the usual route for your start in the job, and get past the recruiter numpties, the certs / IT related degree are effectively mandatory. The degree, versus certs versus obvious natuaral talent and passion debate is irrelevant, the buzzword bingo boys wordsearch for their first cut.

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