9 Replies - 724 Views - Last Post: 13 May 2013 - 05:46 PM

#1 USC2587  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 1
  • View blog
  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: 04-June 12

MCSD certification or Associate's Degree

Posted 13 May 2013 - 01:01 PM

Hi. I want to get a job as an applications programmer and need some advice.

Here is my background. I have a Bachelor's in Math and am self-taught in programming concepts. I have learned a decent amount of ASP.NET/C#. But, I have been told in interviews that I need to get some credentials.

My parents are letting me work part-time, while either going to school or working on certifications. Since I am familiar with ASP.NET/C#, I was thinking about getting an MCSD certification. I have seen websites that say 80 - 90K is an average salary for someone with an MCSD cert. I am aware that these statistics are including work experience.


Do you think I should obtain the cert or go for an Associate's Degree? By the way, the Associate's degree teaches Cobol and Java.

Do you think the cert is broad enough to get me an entry level position? Perhaps, even for an entry level position having nothing to do with .NET? I say this because it seems like smaller companies don't require a specific set of credentials for entry level, just as long as you have some credentials.


Thank you very much to anyone who can give me some advice. Here is a link to the required exams for an MCSD:
My link

Is This A Good Question/Topic? 0
  • +

Replies To: MCSD certification or Associate's Degree

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is online

  • Suitor #2
  • member icon



Reputation: 9571
  • View blog
  • Posts: 36,243
  • Joined: 12-June 08

Re: MCSD certification or Associate's Degree

Posted 13 May 2013 - 01:07 PM

That sort of depends on how much of the base programming concepts you have picked up.

Do feel you have the courses and skills listed under the "MTA development track" covered?

Quote

MTA development track—for those intending to build a career as a software developer, this track helps prepare you for hands-on product training and MCSD certification. Start with MTA Software Development Fundamentals and then select the additional topics in this track to help you meet your career development goals:

https://www.microsof...bid=Kfk_EJ_-b2M
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#3 Atli  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 3730
  • View blog
  • Posts: 6,017
  • Joined: 08-June 10

Re: MCSD certification or Associate's Degree

Posted 13 May 2013 - 01:17 PM

Quote

I want to get a job as an applications programmer

Are we talking web applications or the desktop kind? I ask because you posted this in Web Development.

In my experience, in Web Development you can get pretty far without any credential, or even without any official education. You can usually get some work as a freelancer at first, and then use that work experience to land a job somewhere else, if that is your goal. - This may of course be different based on areas, but if you were in my area, I'd suggest going freelance instead of chasing down degrees and certifications. Those tend to be meaningless pieces of paper when compared to actual experience.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#4 USC2587  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 1
  • View blog
  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: 04-June 12

Re: MCSD certification or Associate's Degree

Posted 13 May 2013 - 01:38 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 13 May 2013 - 01:07 PM, said:

That sort of depends on how much of the base programming concepts you have picked up.

Do feel you have the courses and skills listed under the "MTA development track" covered?

Quote

MTA development track—for those intending to build a career as a software developer, this track helps prepare you for hands-on product training and MCSD certification. Start with MTA Software Development Fundamentals and then select the additional topics in this track to help you meet your career development goals:

https://www.microsof...bid=Kfk_EJ_-b2M


I wasn't aware of this track. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I am familiar with many of the concepts listed. I think I am more in the ballpark of passing this exam. Do you think this would be a decent credential to landing an entry level position? Thanks a lot for your help!
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#5 modi123_1  Icon User is online

  • Suitor #2
  • member icon



Reputation: 9571
  • View blog
  • Posts: 36,243
  • Joined: 12-June 08

Re: MCSD certification or Associate's Degree

Posted 13 May 2013 - 01:42 PM

As atli said - it depends. Depends on what exactly you want to do, where you are, interviewing factor, etc. I would spot check your local job boards and see if certs are heavily represented.

So sure.. certs are good, but you need to be able to back that up with a little bit of gumption.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#6 USC2587  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 1
  • View blog
  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: 04-June 12

Re: MCSD certification or Associate's Degree

Posted 13 May 2013 - 02:58 PM

View PostAtli, on 13 May 2013 - 01:17 PM, said:

Quote

I want to get a job as an applications programmer

Are we talking web applications or the desktop kind? I ask because you posted this in Web Development.

In my experience, in Web Development you can get pretty far without any credential, or even without any official education. You can usually get some work as a freelancer at first, and then use that work experience to land a job somewhere else, if that is your goal. - This may of course be different based on areas, but if you were in my area, I'd suggest going freelance instead of chasing down degrees and certifications. Those tend to be meaningless pieces of paper when compared to actual experience.

I think it might include both desktop and web applications. I'm guessing that the Windows Application exam would be the desktop one. I think there are other versions where they only require Web Applications or only Windows applications. But this particular one includes everything.

One exam on Web applications development
One exam on Windows applications development
One exam on Web services and server components
One exam on solution architecture
One elective exam
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#7 USC2587  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 1
  • View blog
  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: 04-June 12

Re: MCSD certification or Associate's Degree

Posted 13 May 2013 - 03:10 PM

View PostAtli, on 13 May 2013 - 01:17 PM, said:

Quote

I want to get a job as an applications programmer

You can usually get some work as a freelancer at first, and then use that work experience to land a job somewhere else, if that is your goal.


Someone recommended this certification that covers the fundamentals of development:
My link

Can you specify what you mean by freelancer? Does this mean working for a company without a long-term commitment?
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#8 USC2587  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 1
  • View blog
  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: 04-June 12

Re: MCSD certification or Associate's Degree

Posted 13 May 2013 - 03:17 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 13 May 2013 - 01:42 PM, said:

As atli said - it depends. Depends on what exactly you want to do, where you are, interviewing factor, etc. I would spot check your local job boards and see if certs are heavily represented.

So sure.. certs are good, but you need to be able to back that up with a little bit of gumption.


The CEO from a small company, that was interviewing me last week, told me he needs some sort of evidence that I know what I'm doing. I have a bunch of languages listed on my resume, but he said it would help if I had something with a structure to it.

I like ASP.NET/C# and have been learning from Murach's book and the asp.net website.

I don't know how to get experience. I guess I can try to build my own websites. Someone suggested that I do freelancing, but I'm not sure what that means.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#9 Atli  Icon User is offline

  • D.I.C Lover
  • member icon

Reputation: 3730
  • View blog
  • Posts: 6,017
  • Joined: 08-June 10

Re: MCSD certification or Associate's Degree

Posted 13 May 2013 - 04:49 PM

View PostUSC2587, on 13 May 2013 - 10:10 PM, said:

Can you specify what you mean by freelancer? Does this mean working for a company without a long-term commitment?

It means working for anybody, without actually being a regular employee. Usually that means short contracts to do some specific thing, like fix some problems in a website for some random guy down the street, or join a team of developers from a large company for a short time to help finish a rush job they don't have the manpower to do. Really, anything anybody needs, that you can provide.

At least with some good freelance projects on your resume, companies will have proof you can do what you claim you can.


And not all interviews will be like the on you mentioned. Some of them will have actual developers interviewing you, who will test you and see what you can do. Companies who frequently hire developers have come to realize that getting a seal of approval from some school is no guarantee that a person can actually code worth a damn.
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

#10 USC2587  Icon User is offline

  • New D.I.C Head

Reputation: 1
  • View blog
  • Posts: 29
  • Joined: 04-June 12

Re: MCSD certification or Associate's Degree

Posted 13 May 2013 - 05:46 PM

View PostAtli, on 13 May 2013 - 04:49 PM, said:

And not all interviews will be like the on you mentioned. Some of them will have actual developers interviewing you, who will test you and see what you can do. Companies who frequently hire developers have come to realize that getting a seal of approval from some school is no guarantee that a person can actually code worth a damn.

During this interview, they had me write out several lines of code. They said I did fairly decent on the assessments. He asked if I did any projects and I said no. He said he was on the fence with hiring me. That's when he told me to get some kind of credentials and work on projects like you mentioned.

I guess the only way to do freelance is by networking? Do companies advertise for that sort of thing? Thanks for the advice!
Was This Post Helpful? 0
  • +
  • -

Page 1 of 1