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I hope this question is not going to be off-topic; in case you think there'd be a better place to ask it, please let me know.

Anyway, I'm currently doing my PhD working in bioinformatics. I would, however, like to turn away from academia eventually and instead go into teaching programming or, preferably, programming languages (e.g. Perl, which feels like my "mother tongue"...) - not as a school teacher, but with a company (in Germany or Scandinavia).

It'll take me another one to one and a half years to complete my PhD, so I would like to know how I could/should use that time to raise my chances of getting into the profession I'd be interested in. Are there any Perl certificates I should aim to obtain, for example?

In case there's anything that comes to mind when reading this, please let me know. Thanks a lot in advance!

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@DonRoby Ok, thanks. I had considered programmers first, but their FAQ made it sound as if it would be way off-topic there. Well, I'll give it a go. Thanks again. –  canavanin Apr 7 '12 at 12:41
    
This is probably too localized, but not sure. –  DeadMG Apr 7 '12 at 13:08
    
@DeadMG Too localized in what way? –  canavanin Apr 7 '12 at 13:16

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Have you searched the employment companies. e.g like the ones advertised here (but there are many more), to discover what sort of skills, experience or qualifications employers of Perl programmers look for?

If there are a few employers who employ a lot of Perl programmers, you could write to them and ask directly what might be valuable skills and experience.

Obviously, there answers may be too specific, but you might discover common requirements.

Also try to see if the Perl job market place is static, shrinking or growing. There used to be statistics published every year on the web, but I haven't checked recently. Maybe monster.com or similar may have the numbers.

Finally try to see if Perl employers are migrating to other technologies. They may be very interested in someone with Perl skills, because you could do maintenance, and with some very relevant new technology skills.

Edit:

A friend who use a lot of Perl builds 'back office' network systems. They use Perl to manage systems, and glue existing systems together, for example to export subsets of data and import into other systems. So a knowledge of network infrastructure, protocols, 'cloud computing' and databases (like MySQL) would be important to his employer.

Other friends who used a lot of Perl years ago, have significantly reduced their use, or have even moved away from it. It is probably much less than 10% of their job, but was rarely more than 50%.

So I think investigating the job market, and monitoring the market over the next 18 months would be sensible.

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Thanks a lot for your quick reply. You have provided me with lots of useful suggestions! –  canavanin Apr 7 '12 at 12:49
    
You are welcome. I started to answer on stackexchange and followed your question :-) –  gbulmer Apr 7 '12 at 12:51
    
Wow, that's very kind! I appreciate it :) –  canavanin Apr 7 '12 at 12:59
    
@canavanin - the job you aim for after your PhD will effect many years of your life, so IMHO, it was more important to suggest an answer for your question than for a programming questions :-) I am not saying I am right, just making some suggestions. –  gbulmer Apr 7 '12 at 13:03
    
Thanks for the additional information. –  canavanin Apr 7 '12 at 13:08

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