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Your Career Concerns Advised
Friday, November 21, 2008

I have an MBA and over two years of finance related experience, currently I'm doing a Visual Basic 5 and Oracle 8i course. What are the skills required to work in VB field? I am concerned about the level of C and C++ skills that I will need. What will be the salary range for a junior/beginner in this field? - Vatkeh
With an MBA and Finance background I think VB5 and Oracle 8I are a great combination for e-commerce programming. I would also suggest learning SQL. Since Visual Basic is a language like C or C++, you should be able to find jobs that require just VB and don't require C or C++. Salary ranges vary widely depending on whether you are full-time or contract and which area of the country you are in. There are many salary surveys available on-line, such as http://jobsmart.org/tools/salary that can be used to find this information.

I'm working in the Silicon Valley in a non-technical field. I have decided to get an a+ certification and then move on to network+ certification and later i-net+ certification. I want to reassure myself that I'm on the right track and if these courses would eventually payoff. - Neeraj

If you want to get a networking certification, the hottest thing currently is the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) program. Salaries are excellent for those coming out of the program.

The ASP (Applications Service Provider) space is also very hot. These are companies like Exodus Communications that host web sites and other software applications for companies. This is an emerging field so there are no certifications but you should take courses to get basic knowledge of networking, databases, network security and firewalls. Knowledge of Visual Basic, Java/Javascript and HTML are also useful.

I wish to enter the field of high-tech marketing. I would like to know if there are specific, career-oriented courses that I can do to prepare for a career in high-tech marketing. Currently, I am teaching Marketing Management and Promotions Management as adjunct faculty at the Philadelphia University. - Ashu K. Gandhi

Telecommunications Research Associates offers some excellent technology courses. Check their web site at www.tra.com for more information.

Since you work at a University you might consider taking courses in the high tech areas that interest you. Many MBA programs now offer courses in E-Commerce, Telecom Management and other high-tech related topics. You might also consider an introductory course to Computer Networking, Fiber Optics, or Wireless technologies.

Two excellent books I would recommend for anyone interested in high tech marketing are 'Crossing the Chasm' and 'Inside the Tornado', both written by Geoffrey Moore.

I have been in the US since Aug. '99. I worked as a Human Resources Executive in the Middle East. I intend working in the US but feel a bit lost since I do not know the California employee/employer laws. I would be helpful if you could let me know where I could get the following books.

a) Workers' Compensation Laws

b) Federal Occupational Safety & Health Act

c) Americans' With Disabilities Act - Annie Jacob

The reference library of any University that offers HR courses or programs should have copies of the books you are asking for. You can also order them from the Society of Human Resources Professionals (SHRM). You can get more information at their website www.shrm.org . If you are considering pursuing a career in HR, you may want to become a member of SHRM. As a member you have many benefits such as access to job postings on their website, discounts on HR books such as the ones you are looking for.

I have been in USA since 1998 on H1B and am an engineer by qualification working as a full time employee for a telecom giant. I intend to implement my own entrepreneurial plans without working for anybody else. What are the workable and viable alternatives for me other than the green card option? - Wikaas Kumar

This question is more of an immigration law question so I would suggest that you contact an immigration law specialist (several advertise in siliconindia). However to the best of my knowledge, if you have a visa that allows you to work in the USA, that visa is tied to your company. If you change companies, the hiring company must petition the government for a new visa. So until you get your green card, your visa options are fairly limited. However you may have other options.

Are your entrepreneurial plans are in an area that does not compete with what your company does? If you want to start a company that is not telecom-related, you may be able to start the business on the side, part-time and perhaps even negotiate to work part-time at your current job so you can devote more energy to your company. I suggest you contact your company's HR department to ensure there is no conflict of interest.

If your plans are telecom-related, you may still be able to do something. Telecom giant Nortel Networks has setup an in-house Venture Capital fund that invests in employee ideas. One company, Entrust Technologies, has already gone public, and several others such as Net Active and Elastic Networks are getting ready to be spun-off. Check to see if your company has such a program.

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