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Re: Re: [ljc] To old to learn new tricks!!!

From: Ian W.
Sent on: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 10:08 AM
Hi Naveed,

I've been in a similar situation. I decided to change career from medicine to software development in my early thirties. I knew next to nothing about computers at the time, but had taught myself a bit of PHP and made a website. I had exactly the same dilemma - go back to university, or do certifications. I spent a year doing the latter, teaching myself Java and C#. I got the SCPJ certification, and did the first half of a .net certification. Then I thought, hey I'm ready to start looking for jobs.

Recruitment agencies were completely disinterested in the certifications. I didn't get a single interview. After 6 months of this I decided to take the plunge and went back to university to do an MSc in computer science. It was one of the best decisions I've made. The course was great, I learnt far more than I could have hoped for studying on my own, it was brilliant to go back to university as a mature student. I started a great job in software development the week after finishing my degree.

In my opinion, you'll learn a lot more by doing a degree, and probably be a better developer in less time for it, than doing certifications. It will also make it a lot easier to get a job. Also, having experience of work in a different field can be valuable to employers, so don't be afraid of changing career. Do remember that you'll have to start at the bottom of the ladder again, but if you think you'll love the job then just go for it. I haven't regretted it for a minute!

PS. If you're thinking of starting university in September, then I'd recommend taking a certification in the meantime. It's good preparation for the course, plus you'll always have it on your CV.

Ian

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