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#1 blindTiger  Icon User is offline

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How to stay marketable

Post icon  Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:02 AM

Hi all,

I am programmer with a BS in CS. I have been programming for 7+ years in C, UNIX and SQL. I feel I am falling behind, getting stuck in my career. I need to further my knowledge.

I was thinking about going back to school for a masters or some certifications.

Do I really need a masters to stay marketable? Would certifications be enough?

What do you guys think?

Thanks.
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Replies To: How to stay marketable

#2 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to stay marketable

Posted 30 October 2012 - 11:11 AM

Schools are 10 years behind as well. And most of us don't give a crap about the diploma: It doesn't mean one has actual skills.

Look at the job postings in the big-city newspapers, Monster.com, contracts for hire on vWorker and so on. See what people are actually hiring for and what they're paying for those skills. Then learn accordingly.
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#3 wordswords  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to stay marketable

Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:08 PM

It might be worth applying for work for companies that use the technologies you have on your resume, who use also some other technologies that you want to work on. I.e: C with C++ or C with Objective C.

Or just apply directly for jobs in languages that you are interested in. With 7 years of experience in C you may be able to pick up new programming concepts quickly enough to get by.

For example, I have just switched roles into an environment that uses a big Java stack; Tomcat, Maven, Spring, Memcache etc. Previously I had only a bit of Java experience, now I am learning an awful lot on the job. It is possible.

This post has been edited by wordswords: 30 October 2012 - 12:08 PM

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#4 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: How to stay marketable

Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:11 PM

View PostblindTiger, on 30 October 2012 - 01:02 PM, said:

Do I really need a masters to stay marketable? Would certifications be enough?

I don't think either of these items would be keep you marketable. One just needs to stay up on current market trends & technologies. It's about being able to make the company money.
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#5 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to stay marketable

Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:44 PM

I completely agree with the others here but wanted to throw in that anything development wise around mobile is pretty much a sure thing at this point. Leverage your existing knowledge to learn something new in the way of mobile and you will have a future for sure.

Might be worth getting into the whole Java/Android development arena and start working on building some mobile apps.
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#6 Jstall  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to stay marketable

Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:33 PM

Degrees can be great to get your foot in the door. Once you start working it's more your experience and abilities that matter. Try to find employment in a place you can learn and grow. Someone once told me that if I found myself working somewhere, and hadn't learned anything new in the past year, it was time to look for a new job. I think that was good advice.
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#7 Switters  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to stay marketable

Posted 31 October 2012 - 08:27 AM

I am in a master's program now and I think it is a helpful leg-up in many respects. A few years ago I found myself looking for work, and was trying to market myself as capable of doing a handful of technical / coding tasks. In reality I had been doing this work successfully for 2-3 years, but lacking any "formal" signal that I could code, I didn't get much traction. Even now, just having "anticipated completion" next to an MS on my resume goes a long way.
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#8 blindTiger  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to stay marketable

Posted 01 November 2012 - 10:55 AM

Thank you all for all your opinions and thoughts.
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#9 Oak  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to stay marketable

Posted 01 November 2012 - 06:47 PM

View PostblindTiger, on 30 October 2012 - 10:02 AM, said:

Hi all,

I am programmer with a BS in CS. I have been programming for 7+ years in C, UNIX and SQL. I feel I am falling behind, getting stuck in my career. I need to further my knowledge.

I was thinking about going back to school for a masters or some certifications.

Do I really need a masters to stay marketable? Would certifications be enough?

What do you guys think?

Thanks.


To remain relevant after 7 years of programming experience, you should also have architecture and design experience if you want to be on a technical track, otherwise you should have project leading/management experience. Recruiters (at least that's what I do) look for expertise in analysis and architecture design or team leadership for someone with that many years of experience. If you are not getting such role, you should work towards such role because you do not want to compete against fresh graduates or junior engineers. Getting a masters or certification may not help.
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#10 raghav.naganathan  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to stay marketable

Posted 01 November 2012 - 08:50 PM

The best way to be marketable is to get a grasp of the technology that is currently on the boom.That will give you that upper hand over other candidates and will make the recruiter choose you over the others due to that extra effort you have taken to learn something new.

Also, that will give you brownie points on initiative and the chances of you being recruited will be more.
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#11 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: How to stay marketable

Posted 03 November 2012 - 05:27 PM

There will always be a need for skilled developers in the "lower" areas (C, asm, etc...), so unless you just want to do other stuff, not really "falling behind" in any meaningful sense. All of the fancy modern day stuff is written in C under the hood anyway.
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