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A case for certification

A programming certification will help an IT hopeful with a degree–but little experience–to get in the door.

Dear Molly: I am 32, with a computer science degree (1993) and no experience. I have decided to come back to the IT field as a programmer/developer. In the past couple years I have done some programming in VB, C, HTML and JavaScript, but nothing worth putting on a resumé other than the HTML Certification (2000). Do I have enough background to look for an entry-level position? If so, where are the best places to find such opportunities? Should I get certified in the language(s) of my choice first?

Molly says: I think you’re a prime candidate for a specialized IT certification, and that you will need one to get a job that suits your interests. There aren’t many companies that hire people and put them on a subsidized work-to-learn program.

You don’t need an entry-level certification such as A+. I wouldn’t advise MCSE either, as you have indicated an interest in programming and development. Check out the Oracle or JAVA training programs to see which best fits your long-term interests. The part of the Oracle Web site that talks about training lists courses and seminars about Oracle. The Java site’s education link is http://suned.sun.com/ and you can get details on Java training options there.

With your experience level (medium), it’s also a good idea to participate in a seminar to get a ground-level feel for the company’s products before signing up for courses. You’ll understand what the buzzwords mean!

Molly Joss also writes the monthly Career Advisor column for ComputerUser magazine. Ask a career-related question at [email protected]

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