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I'm a junior in college in California and considering moving to New Zealand for a while to spend time with my family there.

Dear What Am I Worth,

I’m a junior in college in California and considering moving to New Zealand for a while to spend time with my family there.

I’m working toward a bachelor’s degree in computer science, and am considering finishing school in New Zealand. I have worked for several internet consulting companies including the Los Angeles office of marchFIRST [now in liquidation] and the Santa Barbara office of e-wave. While working for these companies I’ve worked with several teams of 15-plus people on websites ranging from $US30,000 to $US1 million. I have also designed and integrated some sites myself: www.thelink-search.com and www.janusetcie.com.

I have full knowledge of HTML, JavaScript, Flash and web integration techniques. I have some experience with Java application development and have completed data structures in Java, Pascal and Assembly. I will not be looking for a full-time job until I’m done with college, but will need at least part-time consulting work while I’m in school.

I’m not very familiar with the New Zealand job market (I haven’t lived there since I was 12 years old ... I am now 22). Is there much of a market for computer programmers and web developers?

Here I’m worth about $US45,000 (this is what I was paid at my last job for QA and development), but programmers are making $US60,000 to $US90,000 with computer science degrees.

West coaster

Spherion Recruitment replies: The demand for web developers has dropped dramatically over the past six months and there is a better market for programmers.

Your Java experience should be of assistance here. New graduates with good results initially earn $30,000 to $35,000 a year. If you are studying here, your best option would be to get a contract job which you can work around your course commitments and earn $25 to $40 an hour.

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