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192 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 101942 12-May-2012 11:54 Send private message

Hey guys,

Currently I'm in the middle of my last year at high school and after spending the past two days visiting uni's around Auckland and the Waikato I'm beginning to think a bit harder about what exactly I want to do at uni and which uni I should go to next year. I've pretty much always wanted to work with computers in some way and so have mainly been looking at IT based courses.
Currently the main place I've been looking at studying is Victoria as I like the idea of living in Wellington and I already have a mate at Vic who is enjoying it (He's doing law though).
Otherwise I have been thinking about Waikato uni as well especially after seeing the campus yesterday or even somewhere like AUT but I haven't really spent too much time looking into the courses that they offer.

The main problem I've been having though is figuring out exactly what courses I want to take at uni. I've been steering more towards software based courses as there's always going to be plenty of jobs out there for that sort of thing and what I'd really love to do one day (like every other nerdy kid) is get into the game development industry or even develop apps for mobile platforms etc, working for companies such as Microsoft, Google etc would be amazing too. I started doing a programming course this year at school which we've been learning Python in which has been quite interesting, albeit frustrating at times.

One thing I have enjoyed in the past is 3D animation as last year I did a week long course through Lifeway college which was based around using Maya. I've always enjoyed doing design based work and have always done well in subjects at school such as graphics and art design (drawing and Photoshop work), that's why I like the idea of doing animation etc but there doesn't seem to be the same amount of jobs or money in it (from what I've been told anyway). I've also just begun learning a bit of web page development at school using HTML and CSS which I have really enjoyed (Easily my favourite subject at school atm) and I've got a neighbor who wants me to soon starting creating a website for a book that hes spent the past 10 or so years working on, so it will be interesting to see how that turns out.

Anyway I'm sure there's a bunch of you guys out there that have jobs in the IT industry so I'd really appreciate it if you have anything to share about where and what you studied and what you thought of it or if you have recommendations for courses to look at or even what you currently do as a job.

Thanks :)

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gzt

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  Reply # 624132 12-May-2012 20:55 Send private message

Bump. Weta and Weta Digital employ lots of NZ design and animation talent. They just keep getting bigger. Victoria will put you close to that as well.

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  Reply # 624965 14-May-2012 16:29 Send private message

Just remember there are probably people worldwide who'd give their right arm to work for weta. There's always work in big business and government, so make sure you understand Java, .Net, and database well. That's just to get you started, a degree gives you the basics you need to know, but you won't really be hugely useful until you have a few years practical experience - graduates think they know a lot, but pretty quickly realize how little they really know. Programming's easy, integration's difficult.




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  Reply # 625270 15-May-2012 09:23 Send private message

timmmay:  graduates think they know a lot, but pretty quickly realize how little they really know. Programming's easy, integration's difficult.


Know that feeling so well.
While I went for systems over software, 6 months working at the Polytechnic and the information already known did not really help me for the helpdesk/systems administrator  job I managed to land after finishing my course.

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  Reply # 625280 15-May-2012 09:29 Send private message

i would take computer science, i did a BSc majoring in CompSci (finished it in 2005 at auckland uni... whoa that was a while a go...), lots and lots of jobs out there, took me about 6 months to land one after uni however (always hard to get into a job straight out of uni), after a few years you start to earn a decent pay :)

good thing about programming is, once you have the skills/knowledge to program, a different platform isnt all that hard, i work on windows applications, windows services, web service, web front ends, automation, and in my spare time i work with mobile applications, media center apps.

programming is something you either love or hate, personally i love the design aspect of it, and love rewriting something from scratch (my boss doesnt always like me doing this :P), bug fixing bores me to tears.

programming in itself is very creative, and when you're doing rich UI stuff with it, well then its just fun :)

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  Reply # 625287 15-May-2012 09:35 Send private message

I did the BCS (Bachelor of Computing Systems) at unitec and graduated in 2010 and was lucky to get a job the week after i had finished my final paper. i did mainly network implimentation, general systems engineering. i have to say that the one thing that i really liked about Unitec was the amount of hands on practical experience you get actually building servers configuring and working out issues, as well as programming etc.

compared to a few other people i know who went to Auckland / Massey etc it seems like we did maybe 2 - 3 times the actual hands on stuff

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  Reply # 625293 15-May-2012 09:38 Send private message

almaznz: I did the BCS (Bachelor of Computing Systems) at unitec and graduated in 2010 and was lucky to get a job the week after i had finished my final paper. i did mainly network implimentation, general systems engineering. i have to say that the one thing that i really liked about Unitec was the amount of hands on practical experience you get actually building servers configuring and working out issues, as well as programming etc.

compared to a few other people i know who went to Auckland / Massey etc it seems like we did maybe 2 - 3 times the actual hands on stuff


when you says hands on experience? are you talking about the hardware side?  

at uni of akl all we did was program  (lots and lots of programming, and i learnt at least 7 different languages :))

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  Reply # 625298 15-May-2012 09:43 Send private message

it depended on what you were wanting to focus on, so for me it was a lot of the hardware side, setting up servers / domains / fail over servers plus configuring cisco IP routers etc. i did do a few semesters of programming / web dev but it wasn't really my cup of tea, i get the grasp easily just not really that motivated around it.

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  Reply # 625321 15-May-2012 10:18 Send private message

Programming's easy. Hardware's easy. Design, integration, project planning, and soft skills are the hard part.




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  Reply # 625631 15-May-2012 18:30 Send private message

Agreed with Timmay.
I've just graduated with a BSC in Computer Science 2 weeks ago and still have no job. Been looking since december.
All we did at uni was PROGRAMM , or learn USELESS THINGS like.... ASSEMBLY LANGUAGE *FACEPALM* ..i mean really.

And the courses that i took that was seemingly useful , like an ASP.NET course.....the professor did not even teach us anything , she just went straight to explaining the assignments and stuff.

I'm currently looking at Sjs and stuff. and might meet the Uni's career office soon. But really , they ALL want experience AND/OR spectacular grades.
Well i have neither of those 2. My grades were average at best. Enough to graduate. And i havent' worked in any tech job whatsoever at all.
Sigh. frustrated.

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  Reply # 625684 15-May-2012 19:34 Send private message

timmmay: Programming's easy. Hardware's easy. Design, integration, project planning, and soft skills are the hard part.


Agree with this.. Anyone can program (some well, some not so well), but writing code is half or less than half of what you generally have to do. Particularly if you work on long-life business systems, as opposed to small write, publish, move onto something else applications.



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Master Geek


  Reply # 625726 15-May-2012 20:34 Send private message

Thanks for all the replies guys, has been very interesting to read.

miamiheatfan, just out of interest, where did you study?

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  Reply # 625750 15-May-2012 21:12 Send private message

If you are into any sort of digital design like you mentioned in your first post, I'd be looking at Massey Wellington rather than Victoria for that.

Just my 2cents.

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  Reply # 625754 15-May-2012 21:22 Send private message

miamiheatfan: I've just graduated with a BSC in Computer Science 2 weeks ago and still have no job. Been looking since december.

All we did at uni was PROGRAMM , or learn USELESS THINGS like.... ASSEMBLY LANGUAGE *FACEPALM* ..i mean really.


Well, Assembly has its place. Someone needs to know it. And Computer Science is the course to get people to know it...

Jobs here (and will be changing into something else sooner than later)...






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  Reply # 625768 15-May-2012 21:38 Send private message

timmmay: Just remember there are probably people worldwide who'd give their right arm to work for weta. There's always work in big business and government, so make sure you understand Java, .Net, and database well. That's just to get you started, a degree gives you the basics you need to know, but you won't really be hugely useful until you have a few years practical experience - graduates think they know a lot, but pretty quickly realize how little they really know. Programming's easy, integration's difficult.


+1 , so well put!

Degree's are often about history of the subject and theoretical concepts etc as well.  Polytech / industry specific qualifications often produce the practical skills to be employable/useful.  It's worth considering that, as well as getting some ground level experience, even working for free at times if necessary, to get you in the door.  You need something useful (ie work experience) to distinguish you from the other 300 people who graduated with the same qualification each year....

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  Reply # 625770 15-May-2012 21:39 Send private message

If you're a programmer with no work find an open source project and start to contribute. It's experience, even if it's unpaid.




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