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Hello! This is the first time I've posted here, so I'll try to keep this brief and to the point. Also, Sorry if posts like this aren't meant for this forum, I just figured I'd get best advice from people who may have been in my situation a few years back....

In September i begin the final year of my "BSc Computer Systems Engineering" degree at Sunderland University, UK. I am looking to enter the industry as a Java developer, which leads me to my first question.

1) As a java developer. would I gain a strong advantage if I stay on for a further year in education to achieve a Masters degree?

After qualifying I hope to move away as soon as possible. It is my life ambition to live and work in New York city, which is why I'm considering staying on for a Masters. I imagine that competition for jobs in such an area will be tough, so with a Masters Degree I will hopefully have a bit of a head start.

Looking at job listings in NY for java devs, it seems like an average wage of about $80k - $100k, but a number of the job listings I looked at only accept Masters degrees, not Bachelors, which leads me to my second question:

2) If i wanted to move from the UK to live and work in the USA, I'm aware that I need some kind of visa or something to that effect. How likely is it that I will find an employer in NY who would also assist in such a move? I've read bits about sponsorships and so on, but am currently clueless!

I'll wrap it up there for now, Any help is hugely appreciated!
Thanks for reading!
Gav

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Last Post by gav.clark88
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Dear Gav,
I see that in the three days since you posted your first note on DaniWeb, over 80 people have read it but nobody has answered.
That makes me feel bad for you--your questions are very important ones and the people at DaniWeb are generally very friendly. Maybe the seriousness of your questions is what put them off.
SO...
First of all, WELCOME to Daniweb. People like you are always welcome here and I hope that you find the time you spend on this URL to be of benefit to you.
Now to "business".
I'm really not qualified to answer your questions with instructive advice, but as an "old fogey" (I retired five years ago from teaching), maybe I can give some general words for consideration.
1. Education is a VERY iimportant thing in life. The more you have, the bettter for you---in any field or endeavor. Therefore, if you have the opportunity to extend your education and go for a master's degree, go for it. While you are studying, keep your ears attuned for job options and opportunities that turn up. They can come at the most unexpected moment from the most unexpected directions.
2. Keep an open mind. Don't box yourself in to one specific field and think that that is the only way you can go. Be flexible.
3. If you can afford it, take a trip to NY as a tourist, get the bug out of your system. Don't think that the US is any better than GB. Remember that if you leave England you leave family, friends and the way of life that you are (hopefully) comfortable with. Be happy with what you can find in your own back yard.
Twenty years ago I left home (with my family and four of my seven children) and spent a year in working in England. I found it to be a wonderful place with all sorts of opportunities, but coming home was the best of all.
4. While you are working on your master's degree, you'll also have the time to mature a bit and view life in general from a better perspective.
I hope this response has not been too presumptive on my part, but I hope that what I have written may be of some value to you.
All the Best!

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if you have the means to do so, I'd recommend the masters degree. it sure as hell wont hurt, and will most likely pay for itself within a few years.

theres nothing wrong with wanting to travel and work abroad. do it now while you can, before you get tied down and aren't able to.

there are definitely opportunities visas/sponsorships for skilled technical people that allow you to work in the US for a fixed period of time, before you will have to return.

they can be sometimes hard to get. having a masters degree will make you more competitive to get one.

i do not know the details of how and where to look, but I believe a common one for tech people is the "H1-B visa", so do a search on that.


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efmesch:
Thanks for your advice. I wasn't sure about posting my questions here but your response has made me feel a hell of a lot better about doing so!

I decided long ago that I wanted to move away when that time came. I want to get out and experience the world.

jephthah:

Thanks for your advice too, Your words confirm my initial thoughts.


I agree that education is very important, and I have decided that I will go on to do a masters degree (as long as my next year goes according to plan!)

Thanks for the input, it's very much appreciated!
Gav

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1) Master's? : Yes.
2) Java Dev? : Hmm. Knowing what is "going on" around the Java is important too. With a BS, you'll know how to push the bits around. With a Master's you want to learn WHY the bits are being pushed. During your Master's make sure you take full advantage of everything your departments offer. We were required (1978-1980 RPI in Troy, NY) to attend 'Symposiums' and often had off-campus visitors come in and give 'presentations'. I never understood why, so i blew most of them off. The 'Why' is to learn the other things that are going on around you and things in the industry. Be sure to step back from the grindstone often and make sure you are sharpening the right tool.
3) NYC? Is 80-100K enough to live there? :-)

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Thanks m22. I understand what you are saying about the different levels of thought between BS and Masters. I agree with what you are saying. I don't plan on learning java and keeping it at that. After I achieve my degree I plan on looking into other languages. .NET especially, then some scripting languages.
The only reason I'm going to be starting out with Java is because that's what language we are using in the Advanced OOP module and Advanced Software Engineering module.

Hopefully 80 - 100k will be enough to live in NYC! Maybe not a life of luxury, but it'll sure be able to pay the rent! :D

Thanks again for your reply, it is very much appreciated!
Gav :)

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