2 Replies - 692 Views - Last Post: 21 February 2010 - 08:52 AM

#1 aadam21  Icon User is offline

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Which path to take

Posted 20 February 2010 - 09:15 AM

OK, so I'll be finishing my AAS this fall. My major is computer programming with a focus on Java. As part of the major requirements, I'm currently taking a SQL programming class, and I've got to take a database management class. To be honest, I've enjoyed the SQL, but not as much as the C++ class I'm in right now.

My dilemma comes from thinking about what type of career I'll pursue when I graduate. I really enjoy programming, but I have a couple of reservations. There are currently plenty of job openings listed in my area for programmers, but according to the bureau of labor and statistics, the employment of computer programmers is expected to decline slowly (3%) over the through 2018. I quit school 5 years ago to build houses. I made great money ... for a while. Having already been through one industry kill off, I don't really want to go through another.

I've also considered pursuing a path to database administration. The BLS expects this field to increase in employment 20% through 2018. This seems like a more stable choice, but I don't enjoy it as much as programming.

So, I'm trying to figure out whether I should pursue something I really enjoy, but may be less stable, or should I do something I'm just O.K. with for the sake of stability. My SQL teacher keeps dropping reference to 6 figure salaries, and that just muddies the water further. I'm 31 and have a family (wife and 3 kids) to think about too. From those in the field, what kind of programming future do you see? I'm the type that will do everything in my power to master what I do. Whatever path I choose, I don't ever plan to stop learning. I like to think that would be enough to keep me employed as a programmer, but I just don't know.

Sorry for the long winded post, I just wanted to be sure and cover my whole thought process.

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Replies To: Which path to take

#2 xclite  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which path to take

Posted 20 February 2010 - 09:24 AM

You can make good money as a dba. As far as CS employment dropping, as long as you're competent I wouldn't worry. I see a lot of guys at my university get hired right out of school who couldn't program their way out of a paper bag, let alone design an effective solution to a problem. If employment drops, the competent should worry less than the incompetent.

As far as choosing a track, I don't see why you have to. As long as you're qualified, a lot of companies (mine included) allow a lot of horizontal movement and freedom. If your passion for dba runs out, look at your options. Having a history as a dba doesn't prevent you from programming.
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#3 SpeedisaVirus  Icon User is offline

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Re: Which path to take

Posted 21 February 2010 - 08:52 AM

Follow your passion. If you are really into it you will excel and if you excel employment won't be a concern.
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