Quote:> Any conversion/training courses in US to move into an IT-related career ??
Not really. You are thinking of courses that will allow you to gain the
mindset of the IT professional and that is best done through experience.
> There are search engines for finding out virtually anything these days and
> I heard even something like "How to make a nuclear bomb" is available
> somewhere, so you might wonder why I am putting up this message. Objective
> suggestions from experts are always worth paying attention to, especially
> when one is considering a career change, so here I am.
I like your approach. I feel as if you are looking for a well
structured answer that will lay out a step by step guide to becoming an
IT professional. You may be surprised to find that there are a great
many people in the IT industry and very, very few of them are what I
would call professional.
> I have a BA in physics (1994) and MSc in molecular orbital theory (1999). I
> am familiar with C/C++, Fortran and Perl in Windows, Solaris and AIX.
I have a similar background in material physics and signal processing.
I am willing to guess that you have spent many long hours in front of a
terminal writing Fortran and C in order to numerically model any of a
number of events in physics. You would be surprised to find that the IT
industry is filled with people who have absolutely no knowledge of basic
math or physics. They are, for the most part, a large conglomerate of
people that stumble forward from technology to technology with little in
terms of a deterministic approach.
> I would like to take a course which would place me in a better position to
> get a job in IT industry. IT industry of course include a vast number of
> disciplines so I should make specific preference(s) so that I can expect
> more focused suggestions.
> Choice 1 commercial IT consultancy, development or UNIX administration
> Choice 2 more science-based application of computing
I have been a consultant for ten years and am firmly in the top 5% of my
earning bracket. Does that make me a professional? No. I can tell you
from many long days and weeks of working in many companies that your
approach and outlook was similar to mine in the beginning. That
approach has eroded rather gradually and slowly to where it is today.
Get the job done. Document it. Have a lawyer around at all times for
intellectual property issues. And then move on.
With a solid foot in a technical background you will be very dismayed at
what you find in the IT industry. Internal politics and management
squabbling is what seems to direct the decision making process in most
companies. The idea that 'people will do what is clearly right' goes
out the window in any organization larger than fifty people. As a
technocrat, you will attempt to win arguments through logical deduction
and reasoning. This will get you an empty desk and a fresh resume in a
fresh envelope while you look for another job. A bleak outlook? Well,
you may be looking to become an IT professional but a profession is not
to be found in the IT industry.
> I hope my Japanese/English skill would serve some use. I have been subtly
> advised that I stand a very low chance of moving into IT-related field as I
> have no solid experience.
Believe none of that.
> Career changes are common phenomena in other places and Japan is following
> the trend, mainly because of the current economic turmoil destroying some
> of the cultural foundations. There must be, I am boldly assuming, some such
> conversion/training courses in the US I can spend a few months on.
I wish there were. I have spent many months of my life mentoring people
that have made the switch over to the IT industry. I actually worked
for six months teaching a man that was a carpenter. He had no formal
education. He had no ability to do any 'higher reasoning' based on
deductive logic or how to approach such esoteric concepts as a carnot
map. Boolean algebra was a foreign language that could not be
approached. In six months of very long days he managed to write his
first exams as a Lotus Notes Administrator and had a contract to do the
same at a good entry level. Three years later, today, he drives a
porsche and earns over $100,000 a year. He still can't write a letter
with reasonable grammar or spelling. No one cares. He can administer a
Lotus Notes environment with a dozen servers and a thousand users and
that is all anyone cares about. Is he a professional? No. But he made
the switch from carpenter to systems administrator.
> If you know any useful courses that would place me on a better path and
> have time to make suggestions, please drop me a note.
> Fukuoka, Japan