I was a Programmer Analyst using COBOL for 12 years.I then went back to get Microsoft certification in VB.NET, SP.NEt, and SQL Server. However, I can’t get any of the programming jobs out there because they all require at least 3-4 years experience in .NET and nobody is hiring for COBOL. Is there any way to get the kind of experience I need or is there a different path I should take?
Certifications look good on your resume but they are not the best way to get hired.You are right, nobody is hiring for COBOL these days. On the other hand, there are more Microsoft .NET Jobs than there are competent computer programmers in the United States to fill the jobs. That is one of the reasons why we continue to hire Foreign Nationals to work on our Software Development Projects. I am not talking about outsourcing but about the H1 Immigrant Visa program. The H1 Immigrant Visa program is in place because there are not enough skilled Amreicans to fill e.g. Microsoft .NET Programming jobs. I am not saying that the entire H1 Visa allotment is for Microsoft .NET programmers, but that a large number of computer programmers are brought to the USA on a yearly basis to work on Software Development jobs. So, choosing Microsoft .NET as the next programming language is the right decision. However, certification is not the path to getting hired. The oath to getting hired lies soldly with getting hands-on experience with or without a job. Since it is a catch-22, the best way to get out of that is to work on your own Software Development projects that you can showcase on your resume or join an open source project that is looking for Microsoft .NET programmers. Work extensively on the UI … creating web pages, styling web pages, connecting the website to the database so that is it is fully interactive. You can even go as far as building a software for sale … and if you want specific software advice on what you can build, I will be glad to give them to you. Budget 3 to 6 months for building these fully working software systems and then, add them to your resume. Describe all the technologies that you used and the business results you hoped to or achieved with your project … That is it in a nutshell … how to get a microsoft .net programming job!