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Career advice...

Career advice...

Career advice...

(OP)
I am an African who just came to the US a year ago. I have an AA degree in Compr Science from my country. I am presently in Santa Ana Community college trying to pursue further educational goals (with respect to studying Computer Science and transfering to a 4yr college - CAL Fullerton to be precise). I have worked at two places where I was able to write programs in VB and Access (as back end); one of the areas include AT & T (these were desktop applications).

Stated above is my long term goal.

Problem.
I am not 90% good in VB (in terms of creating web applications with VB and ActiveX controls creation. I do know, and have used, OOP). I want to do the MCSD training to improve myself. The problem is:

1.Is the MCSD certification really beneficial to my career goals?
2.If I receive this certification is there a need to go for a 4yr degree?
3.I think I'm underpaid at this present time with the skills I have. I am presently paid 14/hr. What should be my real salary per hr. [Skills: Know VB6.0 and Access] Cause most of the time I don't know how much I'm worth and don't charge correctly.

RE: Career advice...

MCSD is the right thing for you to go for. If you are fairly good with VB and Access, you could go for self study. It is hard work, but it saves time and money. A friend of mine is taking 3 months off at the moment and paying $7,000 to do it!

No point going for a 4 year degree if you have experience in business and VB/Access.

You are possibly underpaid. Look around, ask colleagues, check web surveys of salaries. You can either go for the large money or you can go for the small money and be happy. I am hideously underpaid for what I do, but it pays my bills. I don't ask for more because it rocks the boat and I smile in the mornings. There is more to life than money once the immediate bills are paid.

RE: Career advice...

Zel hit on a couple of key ideas. One is that money isn't everything. I also feel very underpaid but, at least currently, its enough to get by while I try to decide on the future.

The other is business experience. These days, applications programmers are being asked not just to solve problems, but to solve them in a holistic way that enhances the "business". You already have an AA in CSci. Definitely get the MCSD, but think about maybe doing a fast track MBA. A combination of programming and business skills should be a killer.

Jeff
masterracker@hotmail.com

RE: Career advice...

(OP)
Thanks guys, I think I will take consideration into what you're are saying. I am still weighing decisions (like if I make the MCSD certification, is it still valid if a new version comes out like VB7? Or what? I don't know the procedures and I don't want to invest in something and then regret.) I hope you understand my point. I made a mistake I am actually transferring to Fullerton to study Systems Engineering as my long term goal and MCSD as short term goal.

Thanks again.

RE: Career advice...

MS, Cisco, Novell, etc. certifications must be constantly upgraded. For example a MCSE for NT4.0 is not actually 'certified' for Windows 2000.

It's something to keep in mind that, as new products keep coming out, you need to upgrade your certifications, for those new products.

Jeff
masterracker@hotmail.com

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