How would a noob w a generic college degree get started in your line of work?

Anything to do with the traditional world of get a degree, get a job as well as its alternatives
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:26 pm

Re: How would a noob w a generic college degree get started in your line of work?

Post by dranudin »

I currently work as a software engineer for a megacorp (in Germany). I have a phd degree in mechanical engineering, so even though this is a degree, it is not really relevant to the work I do. But also real world software engineering looks a lot different than what computer science people learn at university. The situation is pretty similar to what Sclass describes above.
At my first jobs, when I would encounter things or concepts that I hadn't heard of before I would look it up in the internet or get a book about it (you can lend the books for free at university libraries in my country). I commuted by train to work and would read books about topics where I lacked knowledge (each commute was about 20mins). After some time you know pretty much everything that the standard worker needs to know and even more.

I got into software engineering by applying at a smaller company and doing work there. I realized that after some time (maybe 1-2years) I was pretty much as good as the other guys, even those with more experience. Also people coming straight out of university are very inexperienced about the reality at the job, even if they studied computer science. Because of all the technical churn there is always a lot of new tech to learn and tech getting obsolete etc. So even if you had learned marketeable skills at university, they would turn irrevelant in a short time.
So most of what I do at work I learned myself, either at work or at home after hours.
If you do not have any degree at all, it is probably a little harder to get the first job, but it is doable (see delay's post above). You would have to write a lot of applications but probably you could find something. After you have real work experience it gets a lot easier.
The hard part about software is not hating your job. For some reason it is not really satisfying work for most people and thus the supply of people willing to do it kind of low, at the moment

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Re: How would a noob w a generic college degree get started in your line of work?

Post by zbigi »

Mech Eng is not really a "generic college degree" in the context of software eng. For software positions, a non-CS STEM degree is still a leg up over a non-STEM degree.

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