Careers: it's vital to learning the right Web language



Since graduating this year, I have been starting up a business constructing database systems and Web sites. I have limited, self-taught knowledge of a...



Since graduating this year, I have been starting up a business constructing database systems and Web sites. I have limited, self-taught knowledge of a variety of software, such as Javascript and Flash 4, but no commercial experience. I want to learn a computer language that will gain me a high-paying job. A training company has offered me a course in C++ (Pascal, C and then C++), but the £3,500 price tag is a lot of money. What companies offer courses in C and C++? Is this the right language to learn?

Research your options first

There are a number of options currently open to you. With your present skills set, you are set to join the growing band of Web designers. However, your lack of commercial experience will mean that you have to demonstrate your aptitude for Web design - and your progress will depend on having a strong portfolio.

A second course of action is to retrain with a recognised language. An understanding of the structures of C, C++ or Java will offer the basis of a solid career in technical computing. It is not advisable to spend £3,500 on a course. It may be preferable to apply to consultancies, software houses and end-user sites, requesting details of their graduate-training courses.

Consultancy organisations are particularly receptive to fast-tracking graduates and offer excellent training. Most universities also offer masters degrees in computing as conversion courses. These vary and, to pursue a programming career, it is imperative to research the modules and the opportunities to undertake placements as part of the course. Often, the latter is viewed favourably by potential employers, particularly if samples of source code can be provided.

Solution by Mike Scotney, principal consultant , Monarch Recruitment

The panel consists of Elan, Best International Group, Computer Futures, Computer People, Apex, Monarch Recruitment and ITNTO

Need advice on your career?

Write to Next Move, Computer Weekly, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5AS; or e-mail us.

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