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Freshers - how to choose a technology to work for?

Updated on July 11, 2014

It is one of the toughest phases of life when one passes from a college and goes into the professional world. There are so many myths & misconceptions, queries and confusion. Its a situation of total chaos for the young brilliant minds.

Especially if the student is a computer major there are myriad options in terms of technologies that one can choose from. At such a young age, not everyone knows all the options that are available to them and the pros and cons of each of them. So here's an effort at listing down all the major technological avenues that are available for the young eager minds to pursue and make a career in.

Check your awareness.

How many technologies, from the list on left, had you heard of previously?

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List of major technologies:

  • Java
  • .Net
  • Php
  • Database Administrator
  • Network Engineer/administrator
  • Cloud-tools
  • Analytics-BI Reporting
  • Analytics-Big Data
  • QA Engineer (Testing)

Technologies at a glance

In the following few paragraphs, I will try to summarize the technologies in terms of their

  • Ease of learning (easy,medium,difficult)
  • Market trends (average,high,very high) and
  • Payouts (good, excellent, extravagant)

Java

Java and its associated technology stack has been one of the oldest, most stable and evergreen technology stacks of all. Though it is slightly (not very much) difficult to learn and use at the entry level, but once you develop an expertise in Java based technologies you have a hot market looking for you.

And mind you when I say java has market, it doesn't mean core java or the basic java taught in schools or colleges. There are specific frameworks to be learnt like Struts, Springs, Hibernate etc and these require a lot of logical sense and clarity of thought to understand the basics of how things works in these frameworks. Not that it will all be your responsibility to learn on your own. Most of the organizations have buddy seniors who help a lot in this transition and learning phase.

Once you learn and develop expertise in java, the life ahead becomes very easy. The job market has a huge demand for good java developers and you will fetch a handsome salary package any day. There are great on-site (foreign travel) opportunities coming in the way of such tech-tanks. So go for Java if you have that ability to crunch requirements in English and convert them into free flowing java code.

  • Ease of Learning: Medium to Difficult
  • Job Market: Very high demand for java professionals
  • Payouts: Excellent

.Net

ASP.Net is one of the technologies being developed and promoted by the tech-giant Microsoft. It is relatively easier to learn when compared with its counterpart java. But do not think that this will save you from having to write a lot of code. You still need to have that ability to think and write good logic. The technology stack consists of several things major among which are MVC (model-view-controller), Entity Framework and WCF services etc.

Learning ASP.Net and making a career in it is a tough ask, especially in the current market scenario. There are large number of programmer/developers in job market and the payouts are lesser. The number of clients willing to do a project in .Net is also less-mainly due to so many license requirements from Microsoft (which come at a hefty price).

So you toil as hard as your other counterparts, but the rewards are not always very encouraging. I say not always, because sometimes they are, but that needs some luck to go your way as well.

  • Ease of Learning: Easy to Medium
  • Job Market: Average to High (but large number of candidates make the competition a lot tough to secure a job)
  • Payouts: Good (not even excellent :( )

PHP
PHP is one of the technologies which is slowly but gradually increasing its market share. It is very easy to learn and excel in and does give you good payouts in the long run. Especially with the advent of so many CMS systems and Drupal, Joomla, Wordpress etc, PHP is surely becoming a technology to look forward to for in.

If you get in the market and get a good hold of the technology basics you can take your career sky-high. The only downside is that in the entry level jobs the initial payouts given to candidates is slightly on the lesser side.

  • Ease of Learning: Easy
  • Job Market: High to Very High
  • Payouts: Excellent

Database Administrator
So you know a thing or two about databases, and data does ring the bells in your mind. So you are on the right track to be a database administrator or a DBA in your career. That said the path is not so easy for the candidates starting at entry level.You have to learn a lot of things-writing queries, triggers, functions, stored procedures, views, creating normalized databases and the list goes on. As databases are most critical systems, so only once you are experienced enough will you be given the responsibility to handle databases on your own.


The learning process requires a lot of hard-work, and the workloads are generally high as the responsibilities may pan across multiple projects in the organization. But the upside are the payouts, barring the initial years of struggles the DBA's manage to draw a pretty sum for their salaries and the second thing they are always in fashion (in demand in the market).

  • Ease of Learning: Difficult
  • Job Market: Average (The number of DBA's is considerably lesser as compared to developers and hence the average demand in markets)
  • Payouts: Excellent

Network Engineer/Administrator

If networks and their functioning is what interests you, you can try your hands at being a network engineer. Its not one of the most lucrative jobs in the job market and not always does it pay to your satisfaction but still those who are interested may go the network way. Never easy to learn, experience gives you all the learning in this field.

The more you work the more you learn. Even after several years of experience network administrators are found chasing ghosts (problems that are not easily identified or resolved) for so many days (and nights) at once.

  • Ease of Learning: Difficult
  • Job Market: Average (The same rule as DBA's-less requirement)
  • Payouts: Good (sometimes not so good)

Cloud-tools

Cloud has been and currently is one of the hot and happening things in the IT industry. Everyone talks about cloud. And those who know about it know its worth as well. Its a flexible pay-per-use kind of a model for computers and other IT resources.

There are various models of cloud offerings- IAAS, PAAS, SAAS, details of which you can get from any public domain knowledge base. There are several vendors offering cloud services in the market and as a result the requirement for such professional has increased in the recent times.

The learning process is easy and the payouts are extravagant-did you hear it correctly? Yes you did they are extravagant. Just ask for or check yourself about the salaries of a certain ServiceNow consultant and you will get to know what I am talking about.

  • Ease of Learning: Easy
  • Job Market: High-Very High
  • Payouts: Extravagant


Analytics-BI Reporting

This field is meant for those who want to make a future in reporting and analytics, for organizational data. There are various tools and technologies like the cognos reporting, SSRS, SSIS, SSAS, QlikView reporting and many more of such type. Can't say they are easy to learn and the demand these days is on the rise, with excellent payouts.

  • Ease of Learning: Difficult
  • Job Market: High
  • Payouts: Good to Excellent

Analytics-Big Data

Big data is the big brother of analytics. It aims at applying analytics at such huge sets of data that you would never even have imagined. The objectives are at identifying some trends and results which might help in planning and decision making for products and service based organisations. Very difficult to learn as very few professional know how things work in this set up. But once you learn you will never regret, such great is the charm of BigData in the modern day tech-world.

  • Ease of Learning: Difficult
  • Job Market: Average
  • Payouts: Extravagant

Big Data makes the world look smaller !

QA Engineer (Testing)

Well if you do not like writing code and devising logic, then you might like to try you hands at testing or QA engineering. Especially if you have an expertise in finding out mistakes in others works (kidding :) ). Easy to learn and go about it and a cool life awaits you at work. Payouts are good too. Being a QA analyst you can easily manage your work and life, as the pressure of work is relatively on the lower side (except for the days when releases go out)


  • Ease of Learning: Easy
  • Job Market: High
  • Payouts: Good to Excellent

This list does not stop here and there are many more other technologies, in which one can think of making a career. But all of them are not relevant for entry level jobs. For queries related to more options please feel free to comment below and I will try my best to give you a satisfactory answer.

Secured a job? Congratulations ! Read the below article to know how to manage your work and personal life.

Comments

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    • waystoexcel profile imageAUTHOR

      Upendra 

      3 years ago from New Delhi

      Totally agree with you, that's why the ease of learning for both of them is "Difficult". But the Gen Next is pretty advanced, may be some enthusiasts do like to go for such rare n rewarding fields.

    • profile image

      jasonjon 

      3 years ago

      Effective piece of information you gave through your post. But most of the courses you mention here like qlikview and bigdata are not for freshers, these courses are for those whose basics are all clear and they are able to bear such.

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