certification+experience, no degree

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by acidburn, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. acidburn macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    #1
    i have been working as a quantitative analyst for about 8 years - with a few years as a software developer mixed in (developing a model specifically for my industry in vb.net). my degrees are in math (BS) and economics (MS), so i have picked up some programming along the way. i would like to pursue some jobs involving more programming, but am hesitant to get another degree. should i consider certifications? if so, which ones are more valuable - sun, microsoft. are there others i am missing that would be perceived as valuable?
    thanks for the advice!
     
  2. mwpeters8182 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2003
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #2
    I wouldn't think it's necessary to get another degree. You've got a degree in math, which is often a plus when looking for programming jobs. Since you've got programming experience, you might just look into branching into different languages by taking a class here and there or learning as you go.
     
  3. macridah macrumors 6502a

    macridah

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Nor-Cal
    #3
    I think your set with a Math degree. When I took c++ and data structures in college, it was a math class. A lot of job postings require cs, ee, or related degree:math is a related degree.

    Regarding certs. For programming, IMHO, it helps you get an interview. I got the sun java cert because java was not taught at UCLA when I graduated, but I don't think it gave me a raise in my salary.

    One cert that seems to be mandatory for some positions in some companies is the PMP for project managers. I am working on this to become a product manager for the software I develop.
     
  4. jakeDude macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    #4
    Since you have your math degree, I can respect you. However, it is getting very sucky to be a programmer and have to work with IS students or other people that think they want to be programmers now.. Comp Sci came from math, so welcome aboard.. but these other types of developers that I work with really arent that smart because they dont have the critical thinking component that develops from a good CS program.. We just hired a developer with no degree and little experience on the same level as me with my MSCS etc.. so alittle ticked about it.. My problem is I work at a mass of asses insurance company where they do not value the importance of actually knowing what you are doing.. Kinda like it programmers switch over to bioinfomatics without caring to learn the Biology aspect.

    Got to run.

    -J
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    Short answer. Your degrees are good. certificates are for IT support jobs. Don't bother unless you really want to learn the subject or work in IT.. Experience counts a lot more then certificates as do your BS and MS.

    The company I work for and many others want a "software person" for have a technical degree. Your BS in math will do fine. Many managers prefer Math BS to a CS BS. The MS is atractive too. But what really counts (after the degree which is a "hard requirement" is experiance in a specific field. The CS degree is really a math degree anyways. discrete math and logic switching circuit. Programming is to a CS major like basic algebra is to a math major, something you are expected to know. So don't worry.

    Take a look here to see what we do www.aero.org (send me a resume if you see a fit, seriously economics is a big part of building space systems. These things cost billions and estimating the cost to build something that has never been built before really IS rocket science it's "vigin ground" for new science too, no one is good at this. Lots of research going on in this area) The people who are in demand right now are people who know computer programming AND something else. Just one is not really that much. You should do well. Just do more programming and broaden your experiance into more technologies
     
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #6
    Private trade schools churn out 6-month MCSEs by the truckload, so the designation is devalued, because it has no bearing on experience.

    The PMP designation (I took it, but did not write the exam) requires that you demonstrate (and document) 1000's of hours of project management experience, so it;s not something that non-Project Managers can contemplate. Maintaining the designation is also moderately expensive in $ and time. I found it impractical as a multi-disciplinary business owner or someone who manages many, small simultaneous projects - (I mean, I could have taken a couple of days and redefined every thing I have done over the past 5 years as a 'major' project, but I didn't feel like writing a 'major' work of semi-fiction) - It would be more suited for an employee who is at a desk all day every day doing large project management.
     
  7. mbabauer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    #7
    Yes!

    Depends on what you want to do. Are you leaning Java, C/C++, Mac-Only? Do you want to do GUI, primarily server-side, or web-based.

    If Java is your track, then as someone who works in that field, here are the biggies:
    • Sun Certified Programmer
    • Sun Certified Developer
    In addition, Sun offers certs in J2EE, Java Architecture, and many more. On top of this, IBM has some decent certs, like Web Sphere developer and such.

    If you are going more Linux-side, then I believe RedHat has some decent admin and developer certs that are well respected.

    For Mac, not sure what they have...check the site.

    For windows, you can get a Microsoft Certified Developer cert. Not sure how far that will get you today, though, as millage may vary.

    My only advice, be a "Jack of all trades, master of none". If your company will pay for certs, get them. Even if they have nothing to do with your current job, get them anyway. And dont be afraid to mix in a little admin stuff here and there. Employers now a days are putting much higher expectations of developers, expecting them to wear many hats. Expect to do a little sys-admin on the side.

    Oh, and one more thing...call yourself a "Developer" from now on. It has a much better meaning in the industry that "programmer", which is typically seen a low-end.
     
  8. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #8
    Computer Science is defined as the application of Math. You will be fine.
     
  9. mbabauer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    #9
    Ahmen to that, brother! Lets see, I had to do Calc 1, 2, and 3, Linear Algebra, Ordinary Differential Equations <shivers>, and a 4000 level Stats class. I was told I was 2 classes away from a Math minor when I graduated.

    Edit: Forgot Fundamental Physics 1 & 2, which was basically math applied to physics.
     

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