Keeping Current With Knowledge
I'm not sure if this is exactly the right place for this post, but figured it was a relatively close match... Anyway, I graduated from college about a year ago with a B.S. in Software Engineering and currently work in a mind-numbing cube farm. I'm not working on anything that is current (all oooold legacy systems and long-ago end-dated software, think FoxPro 6.0, HP3000 servers, etc).
The problem is that I don't see much opportunity for advancement (skill-wise, not necessarily position-wise) and I'm trying to figure out how to keep current on my skills because it feels like my brain is rotting. I don't want to end up having some merger or whatnot leave me jobless and without any current skills, beyond knowing the software lifecycle and development process.
So any suggestions on what I should do to keep current? Unfortunately, my GPA was less than stellar, and school didn't exactly provide the fairly specific requirements that most software development positions are looking for (meaning specific languages, systems, software packages and experience) and entry-level positions (most of which still require at least 1-2 years of specific experience) are few and far between.
I've looked into some of the certifications, but most are so ridiculously expensive I can't understand how they can actually fill classes. I'm looking at getting my M.S. in Software Engineering, but still need some more experience before the program will even look at me. Ugh.