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A little bit of context: I am a B.E. student in my final year. My last semester examinations have just ended and I have a whole month to myself. I already have a job (courtesy campus placements) and now I don't know what should I do with this month.

Now, I was wondering, should I use this time to learn things that will be used in my job? For instance, I don't know Java (that will most certainly be used in my job), so should I start learning Java. One thing, I would like to add is that my HR contact, told me to chill out as they will be training us anyways.

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I already have a job (courtesy campus placements) and now I don't know what should I do with this month.

First of all you should enjoy yourself.

Travel, visit friends and family, relax - whatever you like to do. You'll be starting a job and may not have much time off for a while.

Then, you can learn what you feel you'll be using on the job. This isn't necessary, since that's what a new employee will do on the job - learn the job. But if it would help you feel more confident getting a running start now, that makes complete sense.

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    Yeah, make the most of possibly the final time in your life you might get a whole month to yourself with no commitments. There's no harm spending an hour or so each evening picking up the basics of Java or whatever else, but don't be in a rush. – BittermanAndy Jun 1 at 15:44
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    It depends how ambitious you are. It is important to you to have an edge, so you get the better assignments, be the first promoted in your peer group, etc? – Mattman944 Jun 1 at 17:40
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As an educator in engineering myself. I have to say...I'm a bit offended at the question really. But not by you, to make things clear.

I'm not really sure where it's coming from...

To answer your broad question,

You should learn what you want to learn...It was the entire point of your degree...you studied engineering, because it's what you wanted to do for yourself, because it's what interested you, because machine design, and the practical use of mathematics and sciences are fun and interesting and challenging all at once.

Well, I guess that's how it is supposed to be in my idealised world. Of course, a lot of people are just at university because it's the thing to do after high school and engineering has prestige and a high wage.

To answer your question specifically, yes.

There are no pure mechanical machines being used in industry anymore (well I'm sure there are some exceptions) and it's rare that one can or would bother to calculate anything by hand anymore for anything serious. Programming, mathematics, CAD and other computer related engineering software in general are all modern requirements today.

You should start spending a couple hours learning some basic things that are programming related, design related, or well, related to your job if you don't know anything that they expect of you...Assuming you want to do well in your position.

Simply waiting for them to tell you what to do, sets yourself up as a not particularly interesting employee. A manager will be far more impressed in someone who strives for personal (and indirectly company) improvement, than someone who didn't bother to do a little of their homework before coming in on their first day.

As a suggestion, I would recommend learning your personal favourite math software (matlab, mathematica, maple as examples), python, java or c++, and some form of CAD software (inventor, solidworks).

I (and any good manager as far as I'm concerned) would take an average worker who is personally invested than a lazy genius who can't be bothered.

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    I feel like I have not made the question clear enough. First, I would like to add that I am from Information Technology background, so I do know other programming languages like C, C++, Pyhon, Golang etc. Furthermore, it's not like I am going to waste my time. I am going to acquire skills but my question was actually whether I should work on things required for the job (because I am going to learn them anyways) such as Java or should I use this time to learn things that may not be useful to the job itself but in the long run is useful for my future career plans. – scipsycho Jun 1 at 10:40
  • "You should learn what you want to learn" is very idealistic. Many engineering curricula are dominated by what the politically strongest professor can push into the requirements, and not what students would like to learn or what's useful in the workplace. So if you want an actual degree, your freedom of choice is fairly limited. – Hilmar Jun 1 at 13:07
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    @Hilmar i think you’re taking my statement slightly too literally. I dont mean, be a free bird and take whatever rando shit you want. I mean, learn the things you want to learn to attain your goals, and do what it takes to achieve them. i feel a person should educate themselves in a certain direction because its something they want for themselves because its their personal interest, its something more than just a career...The same as a hobby, you learn it because its your passion. I will admit that these are for most lofty goals that don’t necessarily reflect how most people go through life. – morbo Jun 1 at 13:16
  • @JoeStrazzere As an educator at the university level, im offended that a student after 3+ years was never taught by a single person that personal development is something you just do. I feel the OPs educators forget something crucial for the OP, and am offended for them, by them. – morbo Jun 1 at 13:20
  • @JoeStrazzere exactly so. Maybe not articulated the best on my part :) – morbo Jun 3 at 16:50

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