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An Associates in Java or IT

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I'm not sure where to ask this question, so I decided to make the inquiry in the technology section. If I get an associates degree in either Java programming or IT, is that a marketable degree? Can I get a well paying job (more than $12 per hour) with an associates in either?

Here's some background. I recently lost my job due to the recession when the art gallery I worked for closed down. I've been looking for a job in the past two months but finding it very difficult with having done mostly picture framing for the past 20 years. I have wider skills, but no one seems to see that. I've had some offers, but I don't want to do outside sales selling door to door (residential or business), and I tried telemarketing and found I couldn't do it (calling out to 20-30 phones an hour and reading a script to a potential customers was driving me batty). I may wind up moving back in with my parents and may only have to work part-time, which might give me time to work on an associates part-time; and I'm just wondering what to go into. Businesses these days seem to want specialists who have already been in their field of business, and none of the picture framing / galleries are hiring right now, which is why I may have to move from Dallas to Pittsburgh. So, if I am going to re-specialize and get a degree saying I can do it, is there a demand for an associates in Java or IT? Or do you have another suggestion having to do with computers that I can go to school learning in about two years? I've done a little programming in the past, but maybe computer repair would be a good vocation (though I would think most people would get a new computer rather than having one repaired).

Thanks!

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Most I.T vacancies are for development roles, whether that be for desktop applications, web applications or web development in general.

If you look at these vacancies you find that it's rare to find a requirement for one specific language, especially in web development as sites often interact with databases, so you'd need skills in html, xml, css, asp, javascript and sql for example, or alternatives to these.

It's not necessary to get a degree as most people have degrees now, so you'd need to distinguish yourself by providing evidence of your achievements and capabilities, and the great thing about web development or development in general, is that you can have your own portfolio to show potential employers.

You can teach yourself through books or get certification, rather than get a degree.

In terms of computer repair, you could work in a shop and receive computers from customers, with the task of identifying the problem which could be software or hardware based, and then solving that or replacing the hardware as components are so cheap, it's not necessary to repair for example a CD Drive.

An alternative is I.T Support which could be internal for a company and you'd solve the problems that staff have with their software and hardware, or you could work for a dedicated I.T Services company on the service desk which would, at entry level, involve answering calls throughout the day from customers and then logging the fault and escalating it to second line support who would actually solve the problem. You don't need a lot of I.T skills to do this as it's mainly about organisation skills as opposed to troubleshooting.

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IT support with a company may be a good choice if you're uncertain about what to do. You don't necessarily need other related experience, although it always helps. If you worked for a software company, they would train you on how to use their software, how to troubleshoot it, etc, and if it's a small company, there's always room for moving up as you become familiar with other roles, such as quality assurance, bug tracking, and even sales.

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Ever thought of a trade? Plumber, electrician, carpenter, general contractor or home inspector even?

I'm finishing up my last course (of 5) to become a home inspector. In total once I'm done I would say with books, courses and membership in a professional association the entire cirtificate will have cost me $2000.00.

I've been working at it slowly while working full time but I'm quite sure that I could have done the entire certificate program in a year (cramming) and 1.5 taking a reasonable course load had I had the time to dedicate to it.

A home inspection takes 3-4 hours to do properly depending on the state of the house of course. The average fee is $400.00. The required tools (screwdriver, flashlight, circut testers, safety boots etc) cost less than $200, though you could spend much more on fancy things like thermal cameras etc...

With the coming end of the recession and the number of homes that have been sitting empty/foreclosed I would think that in the next 2-3 years the construction/trades end of the economy is going to do very well.

Oh, and as a home inspector you can work for yourself.

Just an idea.

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Zip is right. If any of the bad scenarios predicted by the likes of Peter Schiff come to pass, it would seem that IT and tech would crumble and housing trades would boom. Don't a lot of people destroy their houses when they find out they're going into foreclosure? These houses get gutted, and then remain empty for years, deteriorating. Whenever we actually go through a recession/depression, housing is going to boom again and all those decaying buildings will have to be rebuilt, rewired, etc.

Edited by brian0918
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Zip is right. If any of the bad scenarios predicted by the likes of Peter Schiff come to pass, it would seem that IT and tech would crumble and housing trades would boom. Don't a lot of people destroy their houses when they find out they're going into foreclosure? These houses get gutted, and then remain empty for years, deteriorating. Whenever we actually go through a recession/depression, housing is going to boom again and all those decaying buildings will have to be rebuilt, rewired, etc.

Why would people destroy their houses? To con their insurance companies? I'm just wondering because the only time I've heard that reference was in the context of a discussion involving the new mortgage and housing policies that Congress is trying to pass.

The housing market will only boom after the recession/depression has taken its natural course. IT and tech would not be as badly affected as other industries in the US. Even if consumer purchasing decreased rapidly, many businesses could not survive without IT and networking skill-sets on hand.

To answer the OP, the IT industry is certainly more saturated than the software development industry. Being very skilled in Java will pretty much guarantee you a job, as Java developers are in high demand for multiple fields of software development. You could get into Java-based web development, programming for alternative devices (like mobile phones, Bluray players, and video game consoles), and even just regular old application development. Better yet, when you get a degree with Java, it pretty much guarantees that you can get certification for any other programming language that may be more prevalent in years to come. Most programmers have to be ready to face any language and be able to master it in a short period of time. Having certification in programming will provide you with the skills necessary to face those challenges sufficiently. In short, I'd say that being a programmer would be, overall, much more prosperous of a field than IT, in both the long run and the short run.

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Why would people destroy their houses? To con their insurance companies? I'm just wondering because the only time I've heard that reference was in the context of a discussion involving the new mortgage and housing policies that Congress is trying to pass.

"If I can't have it, the goddamned bank that is screwing me can't have it either."

That's the reason.

I didn't say it was rational, there are at least four problems with it. Which for a mere 16 words is a pretty impressive ratio.

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I'm not sure where to ask this question, so I decided to make the inquiry in the technology section. If I get an associates degree in either Java programming or IT, is that a marketable degree? Can I get a well paying job (more than $12 per hour) with an associates in either?
Check Monster.com for job-openings. It should provide some indication. I suspect that the first job (i.e. when you have certification but no experience) will be tough to get, because there are a good number of people who have experience and are unemployed.

The general idea of getting some type of job-specific training/qualification/certification is a good one, though I don't know if programming is the best area. One possibility is to visit a local community college and see if they have any career-counselling help. They might be able to give you ideas that you would not think of on your own. There are probably all sorts of niche and specializations that one can choose from.

Edited by softwareNerd
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Why would people destroy their houses? To con their insurance companies? I'm just wondering because the only time I've heard that reference was in the context of a discussion involving the new mortgage and housing policies that Congress is trying to pass.

Many or most of the foreclosure houses get destroyed or gutted by the owners before the bank takes it over, for the "reason" Steve mentions.

Edited by brian0918
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Do NOT get an associates in Java. I am a programmer and I can tell you that if you want to get a decent job as a developer, the ONLY degree that will qualify is a bachelors in Computer Science or similar engineering field. Also, as Bourcet mentioned, employers generally do not look for just one technology. If you would be happy doing things like PC repair or tech support then the associates in IT would provide better job prospects.

I have hired two programmers since I started at my company and we passed over a lot of resumes that had an associates listed. At least a bachelors to get your foot in the door and a masters later on if you want to advance beyond a mid-level position. Also make sure you get into a program that isn't going to teach JUST Java. One of the most important technologies you will be REQUIRED to know as a developer is SQL.

Based on your post, it sounds like you aren't able to be out of work long enough to get a bachelors. One thing you could do is get the associates in IT. Then later on get your bachelors in Computer Science. Just make sure you go to a community college that will transfer easily to your local 4-year university.

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"If I can't have it, the goddamned bank that is screwing me can't have it either."

That's the reason.

I didn't say it was rational, there are at least four problems with it. Which for a mere 16 words is a pretty impressive ratio.

Not to sidetrack the thread, but if you're losing your home, it makes sense to sell what you can out of it. There is a question of what belongs to the bank and what you can morally take with you. Some people trash the place out of spite, but there are other reasons to remove things like appliances.

Regarding the original subject, I feel obliged to mention that DeVry offers Associates in 1.5 years and 90% of graduates are employed in their field of study within six months of graduation. We offer several computer technology-related degrees. DeVry is my current employer, but the previous statistics are common in public company communication. Please PM me if you'd like more information!

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