1. PF Contest - Win "Conquering the Physics GRE" book! Click Here to Enter
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Recent Grad w/Computer Engineer Degree need help

  1. Sep 10, 2010 #1
    Hi, I really need some help. I have a B.S. in Computer Engineering but my GPA is not very high. I am looking for an engineering job, but I don't have any experience to get hired. The only interviews I get is usually IT base, but I don't really know much about networking. So I am trying to get some certifications in IT and get a job in a help-desk or tech support. Then maybe study to be a software developer, by doing some self learning from books.

    Okay, all I have is a bachelor degree with no experience. I know I should have tried harder in school, but now it is too late and I don't have the money. Is there a way for me to start from the bottom and move up? I still haven't decided on which career path to start. Should I start improving my programming skills, IT skills, or review subjects from school? Any help is good.

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 11, 2010 #2
    Programming, and in particular the design of algorithms, is the computer scientists version of differential equations. If you're not good at them, you can't consider yourself one.

    In light of this, I'd say, just start writing programs. What kind? Doesn't matter. It should be something you enjoy, although it is probably more preferable that you pick something a potential employer would consider a marketable product.

    Where you go from there is all dependent on who you know and how you decide to approach your next boss.

    I started community college about 4 years ago. My very first programming course, I went up to the professor and asked him how much an entry level programmer should make. He looked at me like I was crazy. He told me I would never make it. The fact was, I had already spent a year or so posting to online job marketplaces, finally landed one, and was curious how much I should charge.

    After that class, I took about a year off of school to get a steady enough gig to last throughout the school year. It took about a dozen or so tries before I landed the one that would do it.

    Just keep trying, keep networking and have a portfolio ready when you do meet someone. That's probably the best advice I can give.
  4. Sep 11, 2010 #3
    I do work in network support, so I can tell you it's not terribly interesting. At the same time, if you're looking for a decent job networking is a good choice with lots of opportunities.

    If you decide to get a certification to land an IT job, I would recommend getting a Microsoft certification in the windows 7 client. The test is about 125 US, but it's not terribly difficult and gives you a good intro of what you need to know about the desktop and network support environment. I managed my way through the cert in about two weeks of full time study. It's really trivial stuff, but ultimately got me the interview which got me my first job.

    Really, you're looking for whatever gets your foot in the door somewhere.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2010
  5. Sep 11, 2010 #4
    Thanks for the replies. Actually I already have the A+ certificate and I am going for Network+ next, just to get a job as a help desk/tech support/PC technician.

    After that I am going to try to write better programs, learn more algorithms, etc. I don't want to waste my degree, I did some programming in school such as C, C++, and assembly languages. So, I think I am going to start by writing code in C/C++ just to start with.

    My career goal is to be a Software Developer/Software Engineer. I don't know how long it is going to take me, but if I keep pushing forward I think it is going to payoff someday.

    Here are some questions:
    Should I start programming in C, and where can that lead me, do I need learn many other programming languages to get a job?

    For the IT position, is learning Network+ fine or do I need to go more vendor specific, like the Microsoft certification-windows 7 configuring?

    Any comments will be appreciated. Thank you.
  6. Sep 11, 2010 #5
    My experience has been, and to re-iterate what AsianSensationK said, to learn whatever gets you in the door.

    As far as programming, C/C++ is decent for systems work. You should know both, although C++ has way more going on, so there is more work out there for it. But, if memory serves me correctly, it has been something of a scapegoat in the programming world for being too flexible as a statically compiled language.

    Java is the current heavy weight, and has been for a few decades. Because of this, it's more likely you'll find work with it than with C/C++. If you know C++ then Java should come easily. Although, with Java, employers will want to know what libraries you're familiar with more than the language. There is a Java certification if you're interested.

    Lately there has been a trend to include more dynamic languages, such as Perl, Python, Ruby, Php (if you're doing web stuff). I would suggest picking up one or two of these as well, for doing "quick and dirty tasks". Also, it may serve you well to do prototyping using a dynamic language, and then translating it to a statically typed one for performance.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook