|If you knew a recent graduate, who knew a little Perl and a little Java, which career path would you suggest they take?
I'd suggest they treat Perl and Java only as skills. A career path generally involves a field or specialization where one learns about the field and the skills needed to work well.
With all the outsourcing in the US as well as changing industry, try to choose a field that isn't going away quickly. This isn't easy. Two years ago, I chose to get out of writing generic java applications and develop skills in bioinformatics. Perl is still a favorite tool in bioinformatics, and life sciences in general seem to be growing in the United States. The pharma and health industry seem to be doing well, so as a career path they might be good.
This doesn't mean being a java developer in any field is a bad choice. I'm only saying that given my location, the work I enjoy, and the options I had, bioinformatics looked best. Careers tend to make sharp turns now and then, but if one can find work that lets one make a living and enjoy their job, life is good.
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