Transition From College to the Real World

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#1 jjsaw5  Icon User is offline

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Transition From College to the Real World

Post icon  Posted 11 June 2008 - 10:02 AM

During lunch today my co-workers and I started talking about college and how prepared you were for the real world after graduation.

There were a lot of mixed answers but most of us feel into the "I used very little to nothing i learned in college"

I too feel into this category where my college experience did little to prepare me for "real world" tasks. Now grant it non of us were expecting to walk out of college into a job and know everything we needed to.

But if you fell into the same situation, what did you feel would have been beneficial for you to experience in college?

Did you do an internship? Was it worth it? Did your college assist you in finding one? Do you think they should?

Once you were in the "real world" how did you help yourself get up to speed with the rest of your co-workers?

I think this would be helpful for college kids to look at to get advice and an insight to what they can expect. Also to get an idea as to what they need to do to help prepare themselves for the dreaded "REAL WORLD" :o

Please share your experiences, advice, thoughts, and suggestions!

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Replies To: Transition From College to the Real World

#2 DillonSalsman  Icon User is offline

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Re: Transition From College to the Real World

Posted 11 June 2008 - 11:03 AM

I'd really like to see replies to this.. seeing as how I *start* college this next year.
I am planning on majoring in computer science and minor in mathematics.
Computers and math both just come natural to me.
I plan on making my income with programming, preferably Java, although C++ might be a possibility too..
Well, I'll check back later.
Nice topic : )
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#3 silverblaze  Icon User is offline

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Re: Transition From College to the Real World

Posted 11 June 2008 - 01:01 PM

ha... im also in the exact same situation.
im nw goin thru my last college days of my lfe. (exams goin on n l b finished in 3 days).
Telling the truth i haven't gained anythin frm my college lfe. More over in my university the sylubus is a bull shit. Im doin Btech in Information technology, bt seriouslly its havnt done nythin gud for me. But def it had given me some basic knoldge on what it might loook like. But nothin serious.

Fortunately i do learn n work n went thru php n other web related feilds as well as read a lot of blogs and other technical news from internet. im pretty confident abt facing the REAL WORLD n start my new lfe.

together with it im planning to start a new company for web development and web services. :)

nyway best of luck

n takecare
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#4 P4L  Icon User is offline

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Re: Transition From College to the Real World

Posted 11 June 2008 - 01:05 PM

Well, I have not finished college per se, but I have been taking my core classes which are for IT/CIS, and I can say this, I do not need to use most of the stuff from college to do what I do. The main thing I do is building workflows for controlling images through status and queue changes. I do a little programming, but it is in basic SQL within Access, and sometimes work with Crystal Reports. The most coding I have done is recently I have been working on creating batch files to automatically run my morning reports. I have not made a batch file since I was 14, and using QBasic. I would rather be in college with a Major in CS, and a minor in IT.
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#5 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Transition From College to the Real World

Posted 11 June 2008 - 01:23 PM

In my opinion & experience, there are two ways to look at a college education.

The first is, my college professor was a dork & I didn't learn anything that I use in the real world.

Sure, this is true. Little of the technical know-how you used to get your way through college is used in your day-to-day work environment. Maybe your subject matter was too old compared to todays cutting edge industry. Or perhaps you're working at a job using 10 year old technology & you learned the latest-&-greatest toolsets while in college.

The 2nd way to look at a college education is actual experience.

You were given a task (irrelivent of it's content) that was due by a time line. You studied hard, put in extra hours & got a less grade than someone whom maybe put in much, much less work & effort. Some students cheated, & walked away with a great grade. Or perhaps it was you that excelled & surpassed all expectations & aced not only the project, but the midterms as well! Maybe you didn't understand or agree with any of the project, but you did it anyhow just to get the grade & move on. Well congratulations, these are ALL experiences that you will deal with in the real world. Take all the BS out of it, & don't look at the fine detail of what you are doing. Just the fact that you are doing it. That's why most large companies want you to have a degree of some sort. They want to know that you put in 4+ years of dedication, & was able to handle learning, mixed with working to support your self financially, as well as mixing in the social activities that come with college.

A college degree shows more than just what you learned. It shows dedication, ability to adapt, & that you can suck it up & stick it out.
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#6 Pad0  Icon User is offline

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Re: Transition From College to the Real World

Posted 11 June 2008 - 04:37 PM

I too am a current college student and it's funny that this topic came up, because I've been pondering this exact question. How prepared am I going to be when I graduate? I give my all plus some when it comes to my school work, but is it really enough? I've been searching for internships, but I'm even hesitant about this, because I kind of fear being inadequate. Do employers expect this when hiring new programmers? I'm interested to hear some real world experiences.
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#7 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: Transition From College to the Real World

Posted 11 June 2008 - 05:19 PM

Interesting. I'm into my final year of college and I pretty much taught myself how program. I didn't find the teachers particularly helpful.
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#8 JBrace1990  Icon User is offline

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Re: Transition From College to the Real World

Posted 11 June 2008 - 06:40 PM

I'm in high school and we don't have coding there o_0

so yeah, self taught with the help of an admin from a gaming site (over 15K users too), so since he knows what he's doing (and for the most part now, so do I), i've learned a lot in less then a year...

(yes, you heard that right... i've only been coding for less then a year... probably around 8 months now)..
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#9 jjsaw5  Icon User is offline

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Re: Transition From College to the Real World

Posted 11 June 2008 - 06:46 PM

I found the most helpful thing to me was my internship. I learned more in that 11 months then i did in 4 1/2 years of school. The only thing that I really learned in college that transitioned well was the SQL and database classes.

I was very lucky to be hired after my internship was over, and a couple people on my "Team" have taken me under their wing and are teaching me constantly.


The best advice I can give those of you who are going into or already are in college is to get internships.
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#10 didgy58  Icon User is offline

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Re: Transition From College to the Real World

Posted 12 June 2008 - 03:59 AM

well ive just finished university, doing a bsc honors degree, i know work as web developer full time for a small company, and i must admit that what i learnt in university was good, but the way that it was taught was bad, in certain instances they where telling people to create website with php and linking to a mysql database, simple stuff really and then just pulling records things like that,

the amount of people who encountered trouble with a simple task like this was quite high, for one simple factor they never explained to them the use of the or die(mysql_error()) after queries , connections etc. a simple thing like this helps with error as they think they have everything correct in there sql statement etc, and they could have a simple field name wrong and it would never pull results. the way they taught things just sometimes baffled me, i understand that university is all about self learning, and teaching you for the real world, but ive learnt more in the short time ive been at my company than i did in university. and another point when it comes to the university i was in, some of the teachers used to mark the assignment grades down if we did things complicated, difficult to explain, but for instance we created a user login system where students could register attendance on machines, i had created this in php mysql and using ajax(just made the whole experience so much nicer) i thought this was my best bit of work all year tbh. but i got marked down for the use of ajax, as this was according to him overly complicating things!! some of my friends where marked down for some of there sql statements as they had too many inner joins or where too long, even though with what we were doing they needed to be to get the specific result!!! crazy sometimes when you think about it.

so it really does depend on the university you are at i suppose towards the way that they hone you in for the REAL WORLD!!!!
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#11 mensahero  Icon User is offline

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Re: Transition From College to the Real World

Posted 12 June 2008 - 04:40 AM

In my country.. college here is actually just HIGHSCHOOL in some countries specially USA.. that's because education system sucks here..

well my Teacher did confirm me one thing.. and it stuck in my brain like a glue..

"We your instructors.. will only teach you the basic of things... it's up to you to combine this basic's to do something more advance.. if you want to be good
at something.. Self study is the key.. " .... :blink:

if you really want to be prepared.. don't just rely on what you learn in school.. go out to the real world.. lmao.. :blink: And try to do what the pros would do.. :blink:
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#12 Akelo  Icon User is offline

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Re: Transition From College to the Real World

Posted 12 June 2008 - 08:37 AM

Honestly, I'm a bit mixed up about how I feel. I went to school for 6 years (almost pulled a van wilder), at took my time at it because I honestly didn't know what I wanted to do. In the end, I ended up majoring in russian studies (language emphasis) just because I enjoyed it.
Right now I am a computer tech, and I do web development on the side and am trying to build up a portfolio so I can confidently submit a resume in with a web dev company, or simply open my own business. Nothing to do with my major. In a fashion, I wish that I had studied harder, and taken advantage of interships and even studied computer science, but not completely.
If you've had any experience in the business world, they don't give a flying crap about who you are, or what your aspirations are. If they do...you're damn lucky. It's all based on what you've done (other jobs, internships, portfolio's, projects, etc..), and if you can do the job that they are hiring for. A college education is merely work experience, with perhaps on the job training that the company you are applying for wants.
This is a pessimistic approach to the business world. I've found the professional world to be much more unprofessional than I ever would have expected, and all of the uptight rules and regulations only brought around to protect the company or make a manager/boss feel more in control. I've seen big business deals done just over lunch and a handshake.
Would I change what I've studied if given a chance to go back? Hell no!! I learned about a whole other culture that would have been much more difficult for me to learn on my own. I took a wide selection of courses that interested me and honestly came out better because of it. I took introduction to programming (easy, but fun), and data structures (fun but more difficult) and walked away from both classes knowing about as much programming as I went in with, but realizing that to truly learn what you need for a job, you have to take the path yourself and not follow a general guide for everyone else. Solutions to problems are a task only we can complete, and the knowledge to complete them only what we attempt to learn.

Sorry for this ramble, but it has worried me for the past year about my future, and only now do I truly understand that college is a means to an end, not the all deciding factor to my future. Take from it what you want, and make wise decisions about knowing what you want. It's easy to say you want a one night stand, but unwise not to think it might come without consequences you don't want. Take a few classes you never would have taken before. Read a book you never would have read.

Some business require a cs degree, that's their choice, not the model. Some business require 4+ years of experience...how long did you work on that website for your friend for? High quality work? Mark it down and keep track. Find a job that you enjoy. You only live until you die, and that's an unknown factor. If you love coding, keep doing it, and I'm sure sooner or later others will see your talent for it (as long as you're wise enough to track it and perhaps structure what you're trying to make). The business world is there to do business, not compare degrees.

My two cents, sorry for the ramble.
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#13 Trogdor  Icon User is offline

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Re: Transition From College to the Real World

Posted 13 June 2008 - 08:26 AM

What i learned in my studies, apart from the usual (basic concepts of programming and databases), is logical thinking and figuring out things myself.
That has been invaluable in the rest of my career.
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#14 PrettyHateMachine  Icon User is offline

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Re: Transition From College to the Real World

Posted 13 June 2008 - 08:40 AM

Excellent topic! i was JUST thinking about this the other day. I'm thinking winter semester internship sounds like a pretty sound idea now =D
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#15 orcasquall  Icon User is offline

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Re: Transition From College to the Real World

Posted 14 June 2008 - 09:18 AM

I've been working as a Systems Analyst for 5+ years now. I did a double major in Computational Science and Applied Mathematics in university. I believe I got hired more for my math than my programming powers... possibly to round out the team.

Get an internship. That's probably the closest to your ideal working environment. Preferably a programming environment. If not, you'd still benefit from handling co-worker relations.

I believe the difference is the people around you when you're studying, and the people around you when you're working. People who program while studying do things differently when they program for a livelihood. I also wrote something about this on my blog, ... now where is it? Ah here.
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