Online Certificates/Degrees from Prestigious Universities? on my learning plan?

Hi everyone,

I have two questions:

  1. People’s experience with online certificates from universities
  2. Any feedback on my current plan for learning and job search.

I’d love to hear from people who got a Bachelor’s in an unrelated field and later got a certificate or a Master’s from a prestigious university through an online program. Like UC Berkeley’s “Certificate Program in Software Development and Programming” or the online Master’s in Computer Science degrees at Stanford, Columbia, etc.

Did it get you the knowledge you wanted? Did it get you the improved career status for interviews you wanted? Was it worth the $4000 to $64,000?

I’ve studied an average of 2.5 hours a day since March, getting the 4 front end FCC certifications and the FCC APIs certification. I’ve made a portfolio and gotten AWS Cloud Practitioner certified.

Last week, I optimized my Linkedin for web developer jobs: And I applied to 1 or 2 jobs for the first time.

Right away, I got lots of recruiter calls because of my updated LinkedIn. A few recruiters didn’t give me an interview because they knew they’d need someone with more experience. I did get 2 phone interviews…but both wanted someone with more experience.

That’s what I was expecting since those jobs wanted someone with lots of experience. I guess I did get a good ratio of interviews to applications and recruiter calls. And I could just keep applying. However, a week later, I guess I’m feeling unexpectedly discouraged by it.

My current plan is to do four more things before continuing to apply, based on the feedback on I got from recruiters and interviews:

  • create a full stack cross-platform compatible React Native app for one of the nonprofits I’m involved with
  • get a SQL certification from Microsoft, Oracle, or IBM.
  • redo my portfolio main page using more front-end frameworks.
  • add a testing suite in Chai or Jest to that React Native app, or to something else in my portfolio

I’m excited to hear anything you have to say about these two topics :slight_smile: I’ve gotten a lot of encouragement reading everyone’s post on the “Getting a Developer Job” forum over the past year. Thanks to everyone!

I’d say your learning plan is pretty solid. Testing and SQL are certainly in demand. Don’t know if you actually be certified, but the certification does not hurt.

You probably don’t need to force yourself to use Frameworks on your portfolio because for the most part, a portfolio is a static site and frameworks tend to be overkill for the use case.

I’d also say you can be more persistent and proactive with recruiters, explain to them how your experiences are as good as the experience they seek, or offer to demonstrate your qualifications with a small short term project, ask for contact information of the project lead that’s hiring and plead you case to that person. Recruiters will always say they’d like more experience, but sometimes they are not the one with the most decision powers.

Your getting interest and leads, that’s sometimes the hardest part, keep on working, not just on learning but also the networking, and you get where you want to go.

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@guiKailu - If you’re looking for an accredited “Certificate” you should look into Code Institute. It is an accredited Online Python Fullstack program that upon completion you receive a Diploma of Software Development which is accredited in Europe. The program is very affordable with great payment options.

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  • create a full stack cross-platform compatible React Native app for one of the nonprofits I’m involved with

Out of everything you said this will grab recruiters eyes the most. As you said with the two phone interviews, they were looking with someone with more experience. So the best thing todo is get more experience.
Most people will go “but how do I get experience if I don’t have a job?” and that’s the beauty of development. There is literally no reason you shouldn’t be able to go out and build something substantial for something.

Certifications, might get you found, but only a few are recognized as carrying any weight. You will learn something, and you will be able to say “I’m certified in X”, and be able to advertise it anywhere for anything, but it’s just an indicator of skills.

Going to some prestigious university might teach you a few things, and might get your foot into the door. But if you can’t code you won’t get much further.

But if you go out and build a full stack React native app for a non-profit you can tell any interviewer the ins and out of a production level application currently available. That is what gets people interested, since that’s exactly the kind of experience they might need. Having something that shows your experience is easily the best thing to have when looking for jobs.

Good luck :smiley:

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Thanks @bradtaniguchi! That totally makes sense. Today I launched a native-react app iPhone simulator for the first time on my laptop today – and it already felt like a notch up in my experience :slight_smile: Your encouragement is just what I needed to help me keep going with this project!