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Q: Starter's Dilemmas for Career path, Can i get some advice? ( Answered,   3 Comments )
Subject: Starter's Dilemmas for Career path, Can i get some advice?
Category: Business and Money > Employment
Asked by: manishsm-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 12 Oct 2005 11:38 PDT
Expires: 11 Nov 2005 10:38 PST
Question ID: 579401
   I am a fresh Master?s graduate from not one of the best of schools
in the US. As a result, my area of focus has been diverged into
Networking (Wireless, telecom), IT (fair bit of software and
algorithms) and some skew passes on computational genetics. I am not
sure if most fresh Master?s have such diversifications. Although, I
feel very confident on being able to use them for my career, the
dilemmas I am facing are

1-	I am not sure if my set of qualifications would land me a good job
with possibility of vertical rise. I have 2 years of internship
experience in the above fields. I am very ambitious and if unable to
get into such a job, I would rather consider setting up my own
business to give it a shot.
2-	Still I feel getting good exposure for 3-4 years would raise my
chances of reaching the final aim, additionally it could give me some
capital support. But I am not sure if I am feeling right, as I
currently have minimal real world experience and little real info on
current economic situations and markets.

I have a few questions I need to clear, below
1-	What strategy should I use for Job Search to land into a job
enhancing my exposure and experience of technologies I already know?
Along with that, it should serve to boost confidence for my future
business ventures AND/OR have vertical rising options.
2-	Being an international person, I don?t have any reservations on
continuing in USA, back at home or any other location offering what I
want. Do you think this would add any benefit to finding the right job
or how I could use this fact to my benefit right now?
3-	I am considering pursuing MBA by the end of next year or so, but I
am still contemplating on its actual benefits. Is it really going to
4-	In the long run what are the pros and cons of a purely technical
position, technical managerial positions and pure managerial

Please provide advice with some references and solid opinions
(preferably based on real facts and logic).


Request for Question Clarification by czh-ga on 12 Oct 2005 17:58 PDT
Hello manishsm-ga,

You've asked a complex, multi-part question that will require some
clarification before even attempting an answer. Since this is the
first question you've posted, I suggest that you review the following
links so that you have the best possible Google Answers experience.
After reviewing the pricing structure you might want to raise the
price of your question. On the other hand, you can leave it as is and
get a minimal answers, probably someone's personal opinion.

Best wishes for your career.

~ czh ~

Clarification of Question by manishsm-ga on 12 Oct 2005 20:27 PDT
Hi czh,
     I understand that the question is complex, and i am willing to
raise the amount to $25. I hope i can get some specific advice and
very good internet links to go through.


Request for Question Clarification by czh-ga on 12 Oct 2005 23:09 PDT
Hello manishsm-ga,

Thank you for getting back to me. As I said in my earlier message, I
would like to have additional information about you before hazarding
to answer your questions. Please tell me more about you.

You say you?re ?an international person? and that you wouldn?t mind
international assignments and possibly might consider opportunities
?back home.? Where is ?back home?? What are your geographic
constraints? What are your language skills?

What are your exact degrees (BA/BS and MA/MS) as you would list them
on your resume? Why did you pursue each of the particular focus areas
(Networking, IT, computational genetics) and what did you plan to do
with the learning / experience in each? Your interests are pointers to
companies, specialties, industries that might be the focal points for
your future education and career and current job search. You?ve
expressed an eagerness for future advancement, but the goal right now
is to start on the right path.

You indicate that you?re considering possibly starting your own
business in the future. What are your current thoughts on this and
what research have you conducted so far on the competitive market
place you?re considering?

You say you have minimal real world experience. What kinds of
internships did you serve? Have you had summer or part time jobs that
taught you something about your preferences on what you like or don?t
like to do? One of the best indicators for choosing a career direction
is to pay attention to what inspires you and interests you. Which of
the fields you named are you interested in pursuing? Which would you
like to keep learning about in the future?

Tell me more about your interest in a possible MBA? Why are you
thinking of pursuing this degree? How would it relate to the education
you?ve already completed? Where do you want to be 5 ? 10 ? 20 years
from now? Are you someone who can take the long view and plan a career
toward specific goals or are you more likely to pursue your current
fields of interest and trust that opportunities for the future will

I?ll be happy to help you with your question after I learn some more about you. 

I look forward to your clarification.

~ czh ~

Clarification of Question by manishsm-ga on 13 Oct 2005 07:54 PDT
Hi czh,
     You have put forth many questions and some nice pointers; Thanks.
I shall try to answer all the questions as comprehensively as i can.

I am from Indian origin, and there are multiple reasons I mentioned
"back home". One its coming up economy as most people know now.
Second, I feel I understand the phsyche of Indians fairly well, which
could help me set up a business or do well in a job. In the end, its
just that i feel a little more comfortable there; not that it is any
constraint for assignments elsewhere. I am not sure if i understand
"geographic constraints" completely, but i have no reservations for
South asia, Europe, North america and Mid-East. Language skills:
English, Hindi (2 other indian languages) and French.

I have completed BS in Electronics Engineering, and MS in Electrical
and Cmoputer Engineering. During BS the core focus was learning basic
Electronics principles and the only focus by the end of BS, if any,
was Networking/Wireless Networking. I have an affinity towards
biology, and during MS my advisor presented an opportunity to work on
genetics. Since it was offered as a part of Masters i jumped in and
ended up doing 2 projects in computational/statistical genetics. As
for IT, it comes from the part time Research assistant job i did for a
professor for an year. Since IT is basically a marriage of Networking
and software(progrmming and management), its a logical extension. At
my stage of experience and knowledge i would compare my proficiency as
follows, Networking (very proficient), IT (fairly proficient) and
computational genetics (Scratched the surface). By the way, I already
have been accepted into computaiton genetics PhD program earlier this
year. I deffered that to next year, as i didn't wish to commit to
anything with this dilemma.
My current plan is to continue advancement in Networking/IT and on the
side develop the product i plan for my business. By the way, if the
company i work for in future, allows me to implement the product for
them i am more than willing.

I have a few seriously thought over business products/ideas. I have
developed them on paper in good details. The market research right now
is at beginning stages, and i am evaluating US and Indian markets. A
friend in Market Research back in India is helping me with research
there. Given that i gain some financial traction by working for a
company here, I would go ahead for real market research using
questionnaires etc. I plan to start priliminary US market research as
soon as i get a job. By the way the idea and the plans both are based
on Wireless/Networking and IT.

I worked on a full-time Internship for a Telecom bigname for about 8
months, handling telecom data analysis in good detail. I think i was
the only person involved in this in the company, but i was directed
completely by my boss. I was a research assistant, part-time for about
an year, as i mentioned above. And i did a short 2-3 month internship
stint with another telecom/networking company after BS in India, but
moved to US for MS. Out of these experiences my preferences are
Wireless/Networking (Testing, operations, deployment and design --
probably not development) involving travel and actual field jobs,
rather than completely desk jobs. I would love to be in a position
having Interaction with other people, like customers, vendors etc. I
love to write and within these experiences my writing habits have
amplified. I am not yet published but some technical papers are in
pipeline. One problem i am facing is becoming completely free thinker
after coming to US and that i am still learning how to gather
resources. I was pretty good at it in India. Thats the reason i adont
know where to start when looking for jobs pertaining to my interests.

The possible interest in MBA stems from the following reasons, I like
to talk to people and convince them on things i believe (and generally
i am pretty successful at it), I like decision making and mostly i am
confident enough to lead people (although at current stage in my life
i'm a little shaky). Apart from personal reasons, logically MBA should
give me exposure to paper work and legalities involved in Business (I
have extremely minimal info on this) and it should put me in a better
financial position for making my other thoughts pratical (remember
"financial traction" i mentioned). I have not been involved in chip
design, high-tech programming (but i can do it if required), and the
current skills i hold give me enough knowledge to make sane decisions,
and engineer products at higher level. According to me, possibly
wrong, all these point to MBA if i want to advance in corporate world.

In the long run (15-20 years), i want to be in control of either my
own company or an important peg in another company i am part of. I
don't mind learning and getting involved in new technologies as long
as they serve a purpose. My curiosity leads me to read about different
things happening around me (technical advance, new fields, political
situations, health etc etc.), but for me to get involved in a
particular domain would require solid reasoning.

I would have to think a little more to honestly answer the last
question you asked, "Are you someone who can take the long view and
plan a career toward specific goals or are you more likely to pursue
your current fields of interest and trust that opportunities for the
future will
emerge?". I shall write about it in another clarification in some time.

I hope i have conveyed enough information about me and my plans to
help you answer. Let me know if any other clarification is required.
Honestly, this is turning out great, i have never written down my
feelings and this feels good.


Request for Question Clarification by czh-ga on 13 Oct 2005 08:26 PDT
Hello manishsm-ga,

Thank you for your extensive clarification. I'm going to be tied up
with another project all day today but I should be able to get to your
question tomorrow. I'm leaving this question unlocked in case you need
an urgent answer. Otherwise, I'll be back with you soon.

~ czh ~

Clarification of Question by manishsm-ga on 13 Oct 2005 08:57 PDT
Sure, I'd be waiting for the response.

Subject: Re: Starter's Dilemmas for Career path, Can i get some advice?
Answered By: czh-ga on 14 Oct 2005 15:42 PDT
Hello again manishsm-ga,

I enjoyed your account of your qualifications and interests and your
summary of how you see your options as you prepare to launch your
career. You are in a very fortunate situation not only because you
have a good education but also because you?re quite self-aware.

As I see it, you are ready to do some basic career planning to help
you sort out what?s important to you and then to set your course for
how to achieve your goals.

There are innumerable books and websites available on the career
planning process. The Career Development eManual from the University
of Waterloo is excellent for helping someone just starting out.
Steps to Success

1 Self Assessment
2 Research
3 Decision Making
4 Networks & Contacts
5 Work
6 Life/Work Planning

Take a look at the 6-step model and the subcategories for each step.
You will notice that you?ve answered many of the items in your
response to me and the questions you asked here are some of the items
that will be necessary to fill out these steps. There are other
similar career development models. They all boil down to similar steps
or stages.

First you take a look at yourself and what you bring to the job and
career search. Before you decide what you want from the world of work
you take a look at who you are and what you have to offer. (You?ve
described your education and training and explored some of your
interests and preferences in your clarification to me.)

Next, you examine what are the realities of the types of jobs that are
available in the world of work. This stage requires doing the research
to explore fields and industries that interest you as possible job and
career targets. You begin to validate your preliminary impressions and
explore current conditions and future outlook for possible target
jobs, companies and industries. (You?ve described the fields you?re
interested in. Now it?s time to do the research to get a better
understanding of each option you?re considering.)

Finally, you develop an action plan for pursuing your career and
finding a job in your chosen field. This is the stage where you decide
about further education, develop your resume and cover letter,
broadcast your job search goals to everyone in your network and
vigorously pursue every opportunity. (You are not ready for this step
because you have to complete the research about the world of work.)

In addition to the Steps to Success website above, here are some
resources that will be helpful to further your self-exploration and
world of work research.
JobWeb®, a web site of career development and job-search information
for college students and new college graduates.

***** This is an excellent website for recent graduates and offers an
enormous collection of resources for every stage of the career
development process for those just launching their career and job

TechRepublic ? Career Development

***** This website offers a tremendous collection of resources for IT

The Computing Research Association (CRA) is an association of more
than 200 North American academic departments of computer science,
computer engineering, and related fields; laboratories and centers in
industry, government, and academia engaging in basic computing
research; and affiliated professional societies.

***** This website will give you information about advanced education
in computer science.

You also expressed a strong entrepreneurial bent. Here are some
resources to help you explore further.
Young Money
advice -- business planning -- entrepreneur profiles -- student entrepreneurs

Engineering Entrepreneurs Program

The Global Indus Technovator Awards have been instituted to recognize
and felicitate distinguished innovators of Indus origin working at the
cutting-edge of technology that may be harnessed for far-reaching

You indicated that you?re planning to pursue a Ph.D. in computational
genomics. I suggest that you research the industry and identify
companies in the field that interest you and see if any of them would
be likely to provide you with the opportunity to use your current
skills in the field you want to pursue in the future.
Research Trends in Computational Biology

Bioinformatics Market Research, Trends, and Forecasts

Top 10 Trends for 2005

Biotechnology Information Directory
The WWW Virtual Library
Genomics, Proteomics, HTS, Drug Discovery and Drug Screening Companies

You?ve asked about the possibility of getting an MBA. There have been
many prior Google Answers questions on this topic so I suggest that
you review them and then post a new question if you still need
additional information.
Q: Graduate Degree - what really matters?

***** The answer to this question lists several other prior GA answers
regarding getting an MBA.

I hope that the links I?ve provided will help you explore all of the
topics you raised in your question. Please don?t hesitate to ask for
clarification if any of this is confusing.

Wishing you great career success.

~ czh ~


career development IT OR "computer science" OR "computational genetics"
entrepreneurs in computer science
computational biology OR genomics industry trends OR outlook
Subject: Re: Starter's Dilemmas for Career path, Can i get some advice?
From: myoarin-ga on 12 Oct 2005 20:28 PDT
You might also want to click on Czh's blue name.  You will get access
to all the questions she (?, I think so) has answered.  You will see
that a lot of them address career planning.
Subject: Re: Starter's Dilemmas for Career path, Can i get some advice?
From: philnj-ga on 13 Oct 2005 07:05 PDT
I can give you my two cents.   You must do a lot of research to find,
evaluate and persue companies that will provide you the type of
experience and opportunites you seek.  I also think that making the
first step is more important than worrying if it is the right first

I would use three tools in my search:
1.  Job Placement or Career Planning services at your school.  There
probably are companies that are very interested in hiring qualified
people from your school or your department.

2.  Personal and academic contacts.  Talk to fellow students,
teachers, advisors, etc about companies that are out there.  Join
professional societies.  Network with other students looking for jobs.

3.  On line listings.  post your resume to and 
Set up autmatic filters that will e-mail you matches to postings.  You
will be contacted directly by companies, but most likely you will get
a lot of "headhunters."  How to deal with them is a whole other story.
 Just remember that they don't work for you.  But they can be used

Try to find companines that do the type of work you LIKE to do.  It is
vitally important that you enjoy what you do, or rising within the
organization will be much more difficult.  Don't be afraid to get a 
job, while still looking.  Jumping jobs too often can be damaging to
your career, but you should never stop evaluating you options. 
Company loyalty is a thing of the past.

Also, when you get your first job, always be eager and willing to
accept additional responsibility.  Understand what you manager does
and find ways to help your manager do his or her job.  (But also don't
let them take advantage of you).

One more thing:  If you plan on staying in the US, participate in the
company's 401k and max out your contribution from day one.
Subject: Re: Starter's Dilemmas for Career path, Can i get some advice?
From: manishsm-ga on 13 Oct 2005 08:03 PDT
Hi philnj-ga,
         Thanks for the valuable advice. It is very practical and
looks like coming from experience. Thanks again. Just wondering, if
you could elaborate more on "handling headhunters".


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