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Postby SnowQuake » Sat Aug 04, 2001 1:09 pm

I'm going to finish school in a few years and am looking at my options for college/University, and am somewhat confused. I have not found one good program description, therefore, I don't have a clue really what certificates, diplomas, and bachelor degrees are good for what jobs. I would eventually figure it out I think, but its usually easier to ask. What certificates, diplomas, and bachaler degrees and whatnot do I need for getting a job as a computer programmer or computer software engineer? It is very confusing to me, and the acedemic calenders, and university/college homepages aren't much help to me. :(

Could some of you guys maybe help me out please.

(Edited by SnowQuake at 3:11 pm on Aug. 4, 2001)
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Postby Jdemacek » Sat Aug 04, 2001 1:50 pm

If money is no matter.. go to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, that is the top Computer Science School.. it will cost you a cool 32,000 dollars a year.
If your on a budget and want a good program, Indiana University of Pennsylvannia has a good program. That is where I went.

James Demacek
www.spacestrategy.org
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Postby SnowQuake » Sat Aug 04, 2001 5:05 pm

well, I am on a budjet, and I live in AB, Canada. So I don't think that helped much right now. What I meant to ask was along the lines of what programs should I take, and what certificates, diplomas, bachelors, masters and whatever do I want to go for to get to PC Programming or PC software engineering. I have lots of resources as too what colleges and universitys to go too, I just need to know what programs I want. Thanks though!
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Postby Jdemacek » Sat Aug 04, 2001 7:34 pm

Well, in my personal opinion.. screw associates and certificate programs. Get your bachelors. I am also unsure of the education program in Canada, I don't know how much the government helps.
Hmm, this _is_ difficult to answer. Try to find a good well rounded program, avoid MIS or business programs, and don't let your classes interfer with your education, always spend time learning! Instead of playing games or running with your friends all of the time, read books and screw with languages on the computer. Doing this you will find yourself well prepared or even advanced beyound your frist year of college. Of course you may already follow this advice, but it doesn't hurt for me to say it. : )

James Demacek
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Postby Sith4dmin » Sat Aug 04, 2001 11:22 pm

Pffft getting an education in Canada is cheap! I saw a bunch of Canadian colleges at a college fair and their prices were less than half of any of the American schools. Some of them were only four figures a year. I would have gone to one if it wasn't for the fact that studying pre-law in Canada wouldn't make an ounce of sense for then going to an American law school and eventually an American practice...
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Postby Jdemacek » Sun Aug 05, 2001 8:36 am

Hey Sith, I went to a 4 digit a year college! What are you saying? : ( You also just insalted a whole sleu of Penn State Alumnis! : )
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Postby Wyzak » Sun Aug 05, 2001 2:00 pm

I don't think he meant it as an insult. Jealousy perhaps. (I almost wish I could go to a college in Canada... they just raised the price at my university again... unfortunately above my price range :( )
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Postby Jdemacek » Sun Aug 05, 2001 2:23 pm

Of course he didn't ! I understand that.
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Postby Site Manager » Sun Aug 05, 2001 11:05 pm

Dang! You guys get to got to college!? I'm so friken stupid I cant even get a job at mc donalds and even if i could i couldnt even afford a cheap school! where the #### did you get four digits?!? Dang life sucks. no wonder you guys can make game and do cool stuff you got so much cash you could own your own state! I have less than 5 grand to my name each year and I go negative about 1 g every two years. I think Im the one who needs help.
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Postby PoonPalace » Sun Aug 12, 2001 8:18 pm

i live in Canada and i was thinking about college and university and that stuff and i knew it was 4 digits, but i never new it was that expensive in America i'm sort of surprized.
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Postby EBTG » Sun Aug 12, 2001 11:24 pm

Ya, going to school in America is very expensive. You should see what it's like having a baby in America, also very expensive if you don't have insurance. But enough about that.

For Snowquake, get your Bachelor's in Computer Science. You will get paid more eventually than just a certificate or a diploma.

Furthermore, go to a school that has a co-op or intern program. That way, you will get experience of some sort as well.

Thirdly, program. Program for fun. I'm a geek, and I program for fun :).

When you go to university, they teach you the "Theory" of computer programming. You'll sit there and learn things like, oh, which sort is faster, bubble. hash, or quicksort, and then they'll give you equations explaining why. :)

You'll later learn to program databases, compilers, graphics, OO stuff, and a whole slew of other fun stuff (If you find stuff like that fun).

Now, if you go to a college to get a certificate, you would probably get more "practical" experience. Real-world cases, and probably real-world examples. BUT, as they are shorter in time, you wouldn't focus on programming theory and techniques as much.

I would THINK that corporations would tend to take someone with a university degree, as opposed to a college certificate.

This being said, I only went to university, I've never been to a college. (There is a difference up here in Canada, where in the US, I think they're all called colleges). So I could be completely wrong about the college thing, but that's what our understanding was.

Anyways, experience is always key. Try getting into some co-op term, it's always helpful.

Once you learn how to program in one language, any other language is a matter of syntax (well, OO is a bit different, and languages like Lisp and Prolog are pretty whacked but fun in their own way).

You shouldn't HAVE to specialize really early, so just start off getting a degree in computer science. By your 3rd year (?) you will start to focus on different streams, and then you will probably know enough to figure out what you want.

For me, it didn't matter, I just took courses I found fun.
Heck, now I don't even do development. I work in networking. For fun I do Perl and Flash development. Once a programming geek, always a programming geek.

This of course was like 5 years ago though. So the specialization could be different now. But I would whole heartedly suggest you get your Bachelor's in Computer Science. That way, you could continue and do research in the field and whatnot.

Hope I made sense, I'm just spewing things off the top of my head.
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Postby Site Manager » Mon Aug 13, 2001 5:32 pm

My problem is I dont have a job or car or money or an education... That is a very very bad combo in America. I cant get anywhere or do anything. I just barely survive and I still live in my parents house (eewwwww). You guys all seem rich and happy... each of you send me 10 grand and I will be happy, very very happy (even 1 g would be nice!) How did you guys manage to get a job and money and go to school and support yourselves all at the same time?
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Postby Vaaish » Mon Aug 13, 2001 10:03 pm

At the moment I have a high school diploma and one year of college under my belt. I do graphics on the side, all of which is self taught, and work at Winn Dixie over the summer bagging. Las year I worked at a company doing welding and sheet metal work, I didn't have experiance but they trained me on the job. During the school year I work as an office clerk at the dining common on campus. Now I didn't get all those jobs right away. I had to turn in many applications before I got an interview and even then I didn;t get quite a few jobs. You just have to be persistant and keep trying.

First off, you are never going to get anywhere with the "I'm stupid" attitude. No one is stupid. Your problem isn't how much money you have, the fact you don't have a car, or an education. It's your attitude. Get a better image of yourself, instead of being down and out because you didn;t get ONE job keep going. It's not like it's the only job in Seattle.

Look around, there are lots of scholarships, grants, and loans available if you want to get an education. I mean, if you really want to get an education you could even join up with the military. You don;t need transportation, they will pay you while you are in, train you, give you mone for college, and having a military background on your resume looks good.

America is a great place to be because there is always a way to get to where you want to be. You might have to work three jobs and study all night, but you CAN do it. There is no excuse except laziness or illness for not being able to get an education or a job in this country.
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Postby PoonPalace » Tue Aug 14, 2001 9:01 am

hey if your short on cash you could always go up here to Canada. hey plus theres the free health care. that way if you get hit by a car you don't have to pay 200 and so dollars to ride in the ambulance.
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Postby Grandturk » Tue Aug 14, 2001 9:47 am

It's my experience, in Wall Street firms, the majority of the actual coding work is done by people who hold certificates from CHUBB and similar schools. Management in the systems group is mostly comprised of people with bachelors or masters in Computer Science.

For the most part, this means that the higher your education level in the programming field, the less you actually code and the more you manage.

Management = steady $$$. Programmers are dime a dozen these days and are often consultants who are hired for a few weeks and then let go.
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