1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    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!

The Effects of Your First Job?

  1. Oct 16, 2013 #1
    Let's say that I graduate in computer engineering and my first job is non-technical & unrelated.

    How hard would it be to get back into your field if you spend 6 years with your first non-technical job?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 16, 2013 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Your education becomes stale if you don't use it; also you lose track of new developments in your field.

    So you should try for some re-training before starting your job search - this is something you can do on your own by developing some computer programs which show your ability: a portfolio of projects.

    These should highlight different areas of your expertise - for example this might be graphics, database, algorithm design; the language might be Java or C++, or both. The environment might be smart phone apps, web pages with active backgrounds, or stand-alone programs.

    If you find that you cannot do these on your own, take a refresher at the local community college.
  4. Oct 16, 2013 #3
    I'm not sure how difficult it would be, but look at it from the perspective of an employer. Why should they hire you when they can get a fresh graduate with a more predictable skill set? You need to be able to show an employer why you are more valuable than the fresh graduates, which means you would need to develop unique skills or accomplishments while at your non-technical job (and have proof).
  5. Oct 16, 2013 #4
    So what if my only job offers after I graduate are unrelated? Should I decline the job offer and continue to look for a related position?
  6. Oct 16, 2013 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Sorry, but I don't understand the logic here. Sure, you might take a non-technical job because you need money to live. But staying there for 6 years without applying for a technical job doesn't make any sense to me.

    If you had been applying for tech jobs throughout the 6 years without getting any offers, that's a different situation, but you should have been thinking about why your applications were being rejected long before 6 years had passed.
  7. Oct 16, 2013 #6
    I should mention I'm in second year university and this is all hypothetical.
  8. Oct 16, 2013 #7
    I think it would be very hard. I have been trying to get a technical career for over two years now and I think its at the point where its been so long since I have graduated that the age of my degree is now going to hold me back even more. The only solution I have come up with is to go back to school, get a different degree and try again. Or, just learn to love your non-technical job (I tried that too, easier said than done).
  9. Oct 16, 2013 #8
    Would doing a masters help regain the knowledge?

    Or should you already know everything before attempting a masters?
  10. Oct 16, 2013 #9


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Since this is all hypothetical it is a little difficult to take seriously - in general you should cross that bridge if you come to it. The only exception is if you are choosing a path now that will lead to a number of years doing something like military service. Is that the case?

  11. Oct 16, 2013 #10


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    And what are the answers to that? Did somethings go wrong or not enough things gone right during education for the degree? Maybe. Could another one or two courses well-chosen turn this around?
  12. Oct 16, 2013 #11


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Education Advisor
    Gold Member

    Not much use now. I did not read the following posts when I saw and responded to that one.
  13. Oct 17, 2013 #12
    This is a fairly interesting hypothetical situation. I would assume that you would be at a worse position than your competing recent graduates for reasons such as lacking up to date knowledge and letting your own skill set atrophy over that proposed period of time.

    I think if you have an important enough reason to avoid joining the desired non-technical workforce after graduation, you should perhaps look to mitigate the downfalls of such a choice. I would suggest if possible attempt to gain still relevant skills to the technical field that are of value like soft skills: Sales, persuasion, leadership, general proficiency in communication, and whatever you can predict would be valuable to potential employers. Also perhaps you could look to do entrepreneurship in that time period, learn business, management. Maybe if you had the time you could self teach yourself and keep up to date on the tech field only part time and work on interesting projects that could potentially "wow" your potential employers.

    This is just my opinion, I have no real experience in this and would generally suggest to just go to work and get a few years in the work force first. Of course what I have mentioned above could be seen as a extended education that could benefit you and could possibly help you get where you want to go.

    Your a future computer engineer, you should be able to sufficiently reason what is the best move for your own independent situation.

    Again, I am not a person of credibility on this matter.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: The Effects of Your First Job?
  1. Your first REAL job (Replies: 6)

  2. Your Job (Replies: 0)

  3. What is your job like? (Replies: 4)