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So. Thoughts are playing in my head. First off, Parade in… - The tissue of the Tears of Zorro [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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[Aug. 5th, 2006|02:33 am]
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So. Thoughts are playing in my head.

First off, Parade in Greystones with Deajar was much fun. It's a pity I couldn't drag people to it, but it was great fun. I ended up sweating all over greystones in a Sea Monster costume, dancing to various bits of music pumped out the back of a flatbed truck, with a whole shoal of littler sea monsters surrounding me. Yes, they were my sea monster brood, and they looked at me funny whenever I shrilled. I think I just seemed odd to them. Very fucking odd.

Anyway, my main thought. I actually vocalised a plan to Clare (friend I met at another parade) on the journey home. It's a plan I've been toying with in my head for the last while. So without further ado, here's the cut.

Basically, here's the history. Up until this academic year I had a lot of my academic life planned out. I'd get through compsci, and get a good mark - hopefully a first. During that time, I'd take some time out for Sun. I'd get some sort of research masters that could possibly mutate into a doctorate. Then I'd find some way into becoming a lecturer.

This year, it hit me. You have to work very hard to get a first, and most of the time my attitude is "Well, do I want to worry that much over it?" and as a result, let things slip. And, I realised what that cost me in terms of internship possibilities this year (ODCSSS and a couple of other internals). So, I have to face that a first requires a lot of work. I'm not saying it's beyond me, I just have to question if I can get my work ethic into gear.

Then a natural follow-on from that is, if I'm doing work that would have me looked over in terms of internships, which are glorified lab assistant jobs, how likely is it that I could get a research masters that has any kind of funding? Thing is, I don't want to hit my folks for the cost of a masters, so it generally struck me that it's research or nothing.

Also, this year, I was cracking up near the end. I just wanted out. I just did not want to be in college any longer. I know I'll feel a lot better about it when I come back, after a year's work. Hell, I'm even feeling better about it now, but if I just had the thought that I was going straight into final year, I possibly would seriously have considered taking a general degree, except for the fact that it's not really worth much.

Regardless, the fact is that when I graduate in 2008, it'll have taken me 8 years to get a 4 year degree. While I'm proud that I've gone from an unqualified clerical officer who dropped out from 2 seperate college courses who couldn't get an interesting job, to someone who actually knows what they can do, and can get an interesting and well-paid (well that last attribute is debatable) job, I'm not proud of the fact that it's taken me twice as long as others to get just a basic degree.

As a result, I've questioned if it's not time to enter the workforce when I finish. The idea of Eternal Student has lost its sparkle, and has done for a while now. That said, I want to have those qualifications. But I don't want to spend about a decade essentially in or between education. I'm not proud of being furniture in UCD. Beside's UCD's changing so much I doubt I'll recognise it after the summer.

But I realised, I really want to do the course that Greg is doing. Ok, I'm not Greg, so it won't come as naturally, nor do I think I could ever say that my lowest mark will still be a first, but Forensic Computing sounds interesting, and DCU have good computer science facilities. They're not likely to tell you to fuck off and get yourself a laptop. You're likely to get your money's worth from the course.

Of course, that's a taught masters, but I'd like to do it. But if I did find myself with a choice to do a research masters, I don't think I'd look it in the mouth. Chances are, I'd be interested in what I'd be doing, because I seriously doubt it would be offered otherwise.

So all that tangled thought process that was my history leads to the plan that I've been toying with. I'm not afraid of being an eternal student if it gets me somewhere, but I'm not going to set myself to HAVE the postgrad, because it doesn't make sense to just want it for its own sake, but if it furthers my career prospects I'll take it.

So without further ado, THE PLAN:

  1. Do year in Sun, saving some money if possible

  2. Put some of saved money into credit union

  3. Do fourth year.

  4. If I get a research postgrad in UCD, I'll take it.

  5. If I don't, take out a loan (probably credit union) and go for DCU's forensic computing.

  6. Call it a day and get a fucking job. (this doesn't exclude lecturer, but it's not very likely at all)

Strange thing is, on the way back, Deajar's dad (who was giving us the lift) told me that jobs are opening up more for programmers, that they're needing more java programmers (why is beyond me) and physical network type people (strangely, I'm going to know a lot more about that after Sun). Moreover, he told me about how various banks, and big law firms and Goodbodies (one he mentioned specifically) pay good money for computer scientists to essentially investigate computer fraud. If you're doing anything that's applicable to the High Court, the going rate is 700 euro a day. Kinda funky. But he said that for that sort of thing you pretty much need qualifications beyond the basic degree. So that's pretty much set me on getting a postgrad. Just whether I do the Forensics or the research is the question, and I can't answer that until I know what my options really are.