Friday, 23 January 2009

Fourth quarter and the bases are loaded

I look over to my right to see the course schedule blu-tacked to the wall, depicting the remaining four (and a bit) months until the completion of my HND, and the reality of what is just around the corner is upon me.

My focus shifts now firmly upon employment & securing the skills that I need to obtain a job in this increasingly difficult economical climate.

Self Managed Learning Project
For this project I have chosen to learn the server-side programming language of PHP; the reasons for which are discussed in a previous post.

From an employability point of view, learning this language will put me in a strong standing for the type of jobs that I have been looking at.

I feel that of all the units that we have done so far this is the one that I will enjoy most, though I am a little apprehensive about the discipline of keeping accurate records of my learning for assessment.

Content Management
I am pleased to see the inclusion of this unit in the schedule. I have ‘played’ around with CMS during the brief moments of downtime this year but certainly feel that there is much to learn about the area.

From an employability point of view, I feel that this unit will be invaluable as increasingly, from my own experience, clients are requiring control over their website beyond handover.

Skills Gaps
Naturally, I have already began looking at job advertisements to see where the gaps in my skills are. Learning PHP will prove to be an invaluable feather in my employability cap, but increasingly I see jobs advertised asking for knowledge of ASP.NET as well as Flash with ActionScript; skills that without significant self study away from college I would be lacking.

I do feel that my creative work could be the weak link in my employment skills chain. Whilst I do have a small selection of work beyond the college assignments, I worry that this will not be enough commercially viable work to sufficiently showcase my skills; much practice, I feel, is required.

Some clarity I feel is needed surrounding the words ‘Junior Position’. When we complete this course do we apply specifically and explicitly for junior rolls or do our skills extend beyond the entry level position?

We enter now into the final quarter of the HND. Realising that our time on the course has never been more valuable, there can be no excuses, no missed opportunities, just perspirations & aspirations.

I would like to secure a job before leaving the course, however I appreciate that finding an employer that would be understanding enough to allow two days off a week to finish the course is a little optimistic at best. This will be only exacerbated by the competition not only from my classmates but also every other educational establishment's students & employment seeking professionals.

Good luck everyone.

Word Count: 488.

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