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   Second Bachelor's? Help!
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confused_3l
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Second Bachelor's? Help!
« on: Oct 16th, 2006, 4:38pm »
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Here's my dilemma: I have a BSCS from a top 10 university, worked for a number of years before law school in the field and am in the top 15% of my law school class (2nd tier).  My problem is that I graduate early in December of this year and I can't seem to get a job in patent law around here. The interviews go well, but I've been told by several firms that they just don't need anyone with a strictly CS background.
 
So here are my two questions:
 
1. What, if any, are the best markets for patent lawyers with CS backgrounds? Apparently, they're not in demand at all here in the midwest, at least outside of Chicago. I'm willing to move just about anywhere at this point.
 
2. It's been suggested that if I go back for a BSEE, I'll have my pick of things. Does anyone have any experience doing a second bachelor's or have any opinions on this option? My concerns (besides being in school any longer) are: school ranking, how long it will take, how employers view a second bachelor's and my job prospects afterwards.  
 
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Isaac
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Re: Second Bachelor's? Help!
« Reply #1 on: Oct 16th, 2006, 6:01pm »
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on Oct 16th, 2006, 4:38pm, confused_3l wrote:
Here's my dilemma: I have a BSCS from a top 10 university, worked for a number of years before law school in the field and am in the top 15% of my law school class (2nd tier).  My problem is that I graduate early in December of this year and I can't seem to get a job in patent law around here. The interviews go well, but I've been told by several firms that they just don't need anyone with a strictly CS background.

 
Have you done any looking at the market on the west coast and in particular in the area around Silicon Valley?
 
I don't think anyone would frown on your BSEE being a second bachelor's degree, but I don't know if there as a financial justification for pursuing such a thing.   Of course that might depend on what courses you took as a CS major.  If you're really seriously considering re-education, I'd look into the feasibility obtaining  an MSEE degree instead of a BSEE.  
 
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Isaac
tonyp
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Re: Second Bachelor's? Help!
« Reply #2 on: Oct 16th, 2006, 6:08pm »
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on Oct 16th, 2006, 4:38pm, confused_3l wrote:

So here are my two questions:
 
1. What, if any, are the best markets for patent lawyers with CS backgrounds? Apparently, they're not in demand at all here in the midwest, at least outside of Chicago. I'm willing to move just about anywhere at this point.

 
I'd think that firms close to tech hubs like Austin, Boston, and Silicon Valley would be more likely to have software-related patent business, and thus be more friendly to CS majors.
 
For an alternative approach, consider looking at recently issued patents assigned to Microsoft, Google, and other companies doing software-oriented activities.  Identify which firms prosecuted those patents, and factor that into your job search.
 
Quote:

2. It's been suggested that if I go back for a BSEE, I'll have my pick of things. Does anyone have any experience doing a second bachelor's or have any opinions on this option? My concerns (besides being in school any longer) are: school ranking, how long it will take, how employers view a second bachelor's and my job prospects afterwards.  

 
Don't have any specific feedback on this, other than it seems to me to be a pretty undesirable option.  Provided that your CS degree meets the PTO's requirements to sit for the patent bar, if you were going to do a second degree, I'd say an MSEE would be more worthwhile than a BSEE - at least for computer-related stuff.
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LF
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Re: Second Bachelor's? Help!
« Reply #3 on: Oct 17th, 2006, 8:07am »
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Wow, for a second there I thought you meant Chemical Engineering (I take it you mean Computer Science?). Since you are getting past the front screening into interviews, I suspect that you are encountering people looking for "chipheads".  
 
Focus on communicating to your interviewers that you have (if you do or can acquire it) some rudimentary knowledge of hardware (since this is something a CS person could be "accused" of).
 
Spending another two years to get a second BS sounds like a long time, I tend to agree that perhaps it is time better spent widening the job search and/or getting an MS (this time include a H/W class on something).
 
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confused_3l
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Re: Second Bachelor's? Help!
« Reply #4 on: Oct 17th, 2006, 1:10pm »
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Thanks for the replies so far.  
 
To clarify things, I have primarily a software background. I took a semester of computer architecture, but I'm definitely not a 'chiphead'.  
 
I'm just afraid that software patent market is still viewed as a "niche" and that my long-term career prospects are pretty limited. Even if I were to land a job doing software patents, won't I be in the same boat as I am now? Not to mention the slim possibility of software patents going away.  
 
I'd consider doing a MSEE, but I doubt I have the prerequisites to get into such a program.
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