Need to apply my previous skills to a new occupation - resources? ideas?
October 18, 2009 12:23 AM   Subscribe

I just complete a two year technical degree, now I find that I am un-happy with my future job and that the economic outlook for work is terrible. I want to find something that will use my skills and education as leverage for an assortment of different careers. Are there website(s) that can compute this for me? could you suggest for me some occupations given a brief description (inside)...

(Continueing from original question)..

I'm good at the following:

- Programming (almost all web languages and some server side)

- Building things (I like to be unorthadox and create solutions from random ideas... try new things to make something work)

- Designing (I have a good eye to make things aesthetically pleaseing)

- Diagnoseing (I can solve complex problems most times and not get stressed out)

- Consulting (I have a long backround in internet marketing, web developement and server deployment)

My Degree: Network Administrator (

So many careers in computers are being outsourced to india. I can't compete. I have thought about doing something in diagnostic medicine but I just got out of school and need a year or two break before I would ever consider something like that.

Are there any careers you would recommend for a person like me? (besides the obvious - web design / programming out of the question b/c of outsourceing competition)
posted by audio to Work & Money (7 answers total)
What do you enjoy doing?

There will always be jobs for badasses at technical discipline X in their home country, regardless of how much outsourcing there is. The only question is, are you passionate enough to become a badass?

Network administration, in particular, is a role that will always require locals. When the power system blows up and half the routers need to be brought back up manually, an outsourced technician isn't going to be much good. You need a person who can physically show up at the data center and bring the system back to life. Once life support is in place, the rest of the offshore team can start pitching in.
posted by b1tr0t at 12:37 AM on October 18, 2009

It would work out fine to be a Network Admin but unforchantly the local job market here is flooded with over qualified applicants so I have to get creative.
posted by audio at 12:42 AM on October 18, 2009

What about going for a regular 4 year degree? You could get something like Biology, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Quantitative Finance. If you're not good at math, then get good at math.
posted by delmoi at 12:57 AM on October 18, 2009

According to your other question, you're only 21. The world is really wide open for you if you're willing to put in the work. Don't get locked down now.

People often say that students who work for a while and then go back to school really understand how important education is, and (probably) how much better their lives would be if they studied harder or whatever. You haven't been working, but you are older then your average university matriculator, and you understand how important a degree could be for your job prospects. If you maintain a high GPA when you graduate, you can really do whatever you want as far as grad school or job offers.
posted by delmoi at 1:09 AM on October 18, 2009

I feel your pain about the job market. I also live in Calgary, and I worked as a web developer until this past spring when my employer went belly up and laid me off. The market is pretty rough right now.

I'll also mention that I know some people in the sysadmin/networking field here that have told me they don't like hiring two-year diploma grads. Pretty sucky, I know. I also have a two year diploma (from SAIT), and it took me months to find work after I graduated (this is before the economy tanked).

A real problem with two year diplomas is that they're very targeted to a specific job. They lack the breadth of a real four year degree, and that breadth can often allow you a lot more flexibility in career choice.

You mentioned that you're not ready to consider school for another year or two, but if that's something you think you're going to eventually do anyway, I'd recommend you start looking at it now. You don't need to start taking classes right away or anything, but go grab some academic calendars from UofC and MRU and flip through them. Start looking into if and how you can transfer some of your classes from your diploma. That way, if you do decide down the road that you want to go back, you'll be much more prepared.

Consider the fact that post-secondary enrolment is way up this year, because people (including myself, for that matter) figured that the chance of landing a decent job right now are slim to none, so why not crank out that degree now and have that competitive advantage when the market is back on the upswing? That was exactly my thought process earlier this year when I decided to enroll at UofC instead of continuing to strike out looking for work.
posted by threetoed at 2:26 AM on October 18, 2009

I have a long backround in internet marketing, web developement and server deployment

Your profile says you are 19, earlier question said 21. Either way, I would tread carefully around phrases such as "long background".

Programming (almost all web languages and some server side)

I also have some difficulty believing you know "almost all web languages" when you didn't even create an inline link to your own degree. Additionally, your post is littered with misspellings. If your cover letters look anything like this, it might explain your lack of success in the job market so far. Your school job placement office should have services to help you create polished documents if that is the case. Not saying that an English degree is a requirement for network administrators by any means, but you do need to be able to carry out professional communications. This is one reason employers do tend to prefer graduates of a four year program.

If you actually know what you are doing in network admin, you shouldn't have any trouble finding work in a decent sized city. Are you running a server at home? Preferably some Linux distro with a LAMP stack and a webserver at the very least? Do you have a webpage you created that involved actual coding? If you have expertise (an actual working product you built yourself) in RoR, Python, C# or even Perl you can easily be making US$50k+ out the door of even a lower tier university where I live. People who really use this technology every day, all day, are not going to be impressed by a two year degree of any kind unless you have the knowledge and portfolio to back it up however.

I don't really know what the situation is like in Calgary, but there are always opportunities for coders and web designers online if you can deliver the goods. Local contacts are also a great source of reference, even if the income and job itself is small. Or, if you are committed to the field and the area economy is as bad as you describe, think about moving to a bigger city. In the meantime, put your resume on Dice and Monster and start doing contract web work through any one of the many web portals, or start building some apps for your portfolio. It's not particularly glamorous, but you could always look at QA or tech support in the meantime.
posted by sophist at 2:33 AM on October 18, 2009 [1 favorite]

I want to find something that will use my skills and education as leverage for an assortment of different careers. Are there website(s) that can compute this for me?


Perhaps you should build one.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:42 AM on October 18, 2009

« Older Still trying to figure out what color her...   |   Which ebook reader? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.