And I feel that the post-grad ICT schools are missing the point, when the real issue is the high barriers to entering the ICT sector for those who are working in other industries or didn’t graduate from university, such as myself.
I think there are multiple real issues, and postgrad ICT schools could potentially address one of them - the movement of top undergraduates to overseas graduate schools, quite often never to return. Though we'd still lose all the people interested in these restricted areas, it seems.
Do you think you would like testing, as they do at Aspiritech?
It has always seemed to me that if you can’t really teach it to yourself, you probably aren’t going to make a good programmer, because it means you don’t really love doing it, and don’t do it just for fun.
I don't entirely agree. Teaching yourself programming de novo requires some kind of mental infrastructure to hang the ideas on, and there is nothing intrinsically unworthy about not already having that infrastructure.
Working on an open source project, making mobile apps, or developing websites for friends, family or community groups are one way to get valid experience.
Another important one for web work is subcontracting for friends/acquaintances who have already gotten a foot in the door. Plus: paid.
DevAcademy is seemingly my last chance to debunk the notion of “if you haven’t made it by 40, then you’ll never make it.” If I can somehow find a spare $11k without having to sell cocaine or pull a bank job.
11k is a startling sum of money for a "nine week part-time remote + nine week on-campus immersive + one week optional career prep" program to become a "junior web developer".
I wonder whether we could have a separate thread for people to give advice about alternatives? Russell?
Important lesson (take note, Unitec): if you are a communications department setting an assignment to "go online and damage a brand", do be careful to specify "not our brand, though!".
The most important drivers of their excellence in that area are (1) population size, leading to specialisation; and (2) country-level affluence, leading to purchasing the best talent.
I think there is a third important driver, and it also applies to other areas (eg education): massive, massive inequality allows elite institutions to exist at one end of the spectrum, balanced by some truly terrible (or even nonexistent) provision at the other and weighted by a whole lot of quite-often-adequate-but... in the middle. The opportunities we get by going to the US for school or medical care or whatever all else are available because we are accessing the top end of this inequality spectrum. It's a profoundly uncomfortable realization, and so it should be.
I'm not sure that it's precisely the case that the situation wouldn't be different in a single payer system. It's more that its entrenchment acts against any transition to single payer being possible.
One thing I can see going on is that the 'apprenticeship' phase for life sciences seems to drag out WAY the hell longer than it does for some others. My friends in areas like pharmacology did multiple long postdocs apiece as a necessary prerequisite to proceeding in academia. My CS friends only did postdocs if they actually wanted to (or were in a two-body holding pattern waiting for the second body to finish, which I guess is a form of wanting to).
If we frame this in the context of the current discussion: [some of] the sciences where women are participating at or even over a 50-50 ratio have more barriers to participating at the professional academic level; [some of] the sciences where women have relatively low participation rates have fewer barriers.
Maybe the best we can hope for is that the prolonged agony is purely numerically motivated.
(more tables than you could possibly want at http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/2013menu_tables.asp)
I think internships and treatment of interns depend heavily on the industry as well as the country.
I’ve never met anyone who has done an unpaid science/tech internship in the US, and don’t really ever expect to. It’s much more typical to work for a summer at a reasonable pay rate, have a bit of money left over from your expenses – for some people I know, this was enough for a new car! – and then after you graduate have an extra bit of foot in the door if you hope to be hired full time. This is not the same as a hiring guarantee, but nor should it be. Not all interns turn out to be any good.
On the other hand, industries like publishing seem to have unpaid intern labor built into their business model, which is clearly despicable.
I really like the way the Tech Girls Are Superheroes bios show people whose lives and interests combine arts and sciences. This seems like a big improvement over the old-school posters and book sections that seemed to suggest that if you Did Science then that was all you did (except for general life maintenance things like eating and sleeping and mowing the lawn, presumably).
Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's just not how everyone is.