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My mid-teenage crisis

By AtK SpAdE
Aug 13, 2005
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  1. This is my last year of high school, and with that brings the question...hmmm what the heck do i want to do with the next 7/8ths of my life? Well with me it is simple, Working with the good old PC!

    But this is my dilemma that is now facing me. I dont know where to go in the field. Just saying you want to work with PCs, aint cutting it. Now, i have investigated the repair field, and i have even gone as fas as, getting my a+, but this is really only step one. The problem with repair, is the lack of (or at least this is what i have found) actually companies that hire. Yes you have your local shop, but i have never seen a stable large repair company) Programming is a big no-no, as math is not my strong suit.

    I guess my real question what other types of PC related jobs out there are there. I know the basics (IT, Repair, Networking)...but i dont need the basics anymore, i need actual jobs that i could shoot for.

    Also, would you recomend i go to a traditional 4 year college, or instead take the route of a technical institute.


    Thank you

    Sean
     
  2. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    you can always start your own shop.
    If you're good, word of mouth gets around.
     
  3. flashmonkey

    flashmonkey TS Rookie Posts: 136

    Go to local schools, they are usually looking for someone who is good with computers. It wont pay much unless it's a private school, which it still wont pay too much, but it's a start.
     
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,521   +336

    Having spent 37 yrs in the industry, there are three areas that are always in demand SOMEWHERE:
    database (DBMS)
    networking
    internet web services

    These skills are not about programming per se, but how to properly setup,
    configure, monitor, and use the admin tools. Yea, there will be SOME
    programming, but it's rare that I got to use Trig or any calculus - - mostly
    just algebra and some simple geometry.

    Typical 'programming' is thinks like
    learning SQL language so as to create tables and the like.
    The 'using of facilities' runs toward leaning normal forms of a schema,
    writing an efficient JOIN of multiple tables.

    Networking is centered on capacity planning, reconfigurations and security.

    Internet Web Services can get quite involved in programming CGI programs
    to process browser requests other than just GET pagex/y/z.html. All those
    forms get processed by programs and someone writes or maintains that stuff.
    Closely associated is the GUI front-end design, look and feel, and the site
    navigation (page-1, linkX takes you pageX, ...). There's some neat
    technologies here and a LOT of human factors in creating page designs.

    Having said that, you're going to need a commitment to the career that implies
    a willingness to move and to have your choices of locales restricited to 4-5
    meto areas in the country. If you demand to live in Souix Falls, Spokane, or Topeka,
    then you're headed for a major disapointment. And there's always the
    question of the cost of living which varies significantly from area to area.

    The some of the major areas are:
    San Jose, CA -- the silicon valley -- home of the Internet and HIGH PRICED HOUSES
    Austin, TX
    Irvine, TX
    the DC beltway and immediate ajoining Virigina
    Denver, CO
    Tucson, AZ

    Also you WILL need a degree - - a 4 year degree and not a tech school certificate.
    Major companies demand skills that can be used immediate.

    This is not to say you will not get a job without a degree. I know a friend
    that never studies, can't program, but has a job on a Help Desk and is raising
    a family of four. But his options are limited, VERY limited.

    Going the other direction, every location which has mutiple computers needs
    a techie to help fix, install, configure systems for users.

    Frankly for me, I've been hit by outsourcing and relocation is not an option,
    so my advise is:
    pick a lifestyle you want to live,
    determine what you're willing to do to keep it,
    and what you will do if you lose it
    and then go for it with committment and gusto!

    Best wishes
     
  5. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,851

    Thank you all fo your replies, and keep them coming.

    As far as place of living, i have no prefernence, and actually i live about 40 minutes from downtown DC.

    I really think that Networking is something that i might look into some more. I took a simester last year at the Votec learning the ins and outs, and basics. But i never really thought that i could do that.

    As for the college, yea i kinda new that a 4-year would be needed, but if you would have any recomendations on good schools, let me know. (and please make them cheap :p j/k)

    Thanks agian

    The now more informed

    Sean
     
  6. alise

    alise TS Rookie

    It's a start. personally though, I'd say dabble a little bit with everything and see what you like the most and are the best at. Personally, I started out two years ago thinking I'd go into programming, and now i'm halfway to my networking degree. There's a lot of good colleges out there and people who are willing to help out those of us going into these fields, and math isn't always required. Being as close to DC as you are you have a good shot of finding work steadily, they're always looking for people in the area. Either way, whatever you decide to go into, good luck, and look me up if you ever need help with classes.


    also, one of the major areas that jobeard forgot to mention was Boston. They're always hiring within the computer sciences industry.
     
  7. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,483

    i reccomend you get a job as an a+ tech and go back for other certs, namely the n+
     
  8. Blakhart

    Blakhart TS Rookie Posts: 510

    You could be a carnie.
     
  9. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,851

    Thanks man!

    Seriously though, the respones have been great. As for being an A+ tech, i could do it right after High School, (considering that i am certified) but i really think i should get in some schooling and expircance before trying yo get a job.

    And really (i swear!) my last question, DOes anyone have a school or schools that excel in Computer degrees? As far as my grades, there not bad, but we aint talking MIT, 3.25 GPA, and scored 1200 on the SATs (old version). I dont care where the school is.

    Thanks

    The even more informed

    Sean
     
  10. alise

    alise TS Rookie

    when it comes to school it doesn't matter where you go. any community college, state, or private college would have some sort of computer program, just check and see what classes they offer. or if all else fails check those central areas we mentioned and they'll turn up a lot of schoos, like here in silicon valley we have cal state san jose, santa cruz, san francisco, hayward, fresno and a few others.
     
  11. Mikael

    Mikael TS Rookie Posts: 282

    I would recommend going to get an AA from a local community college, and then transfer to a four-year university. This allows you to adjust to college a little bit better (most high schools don't even come close when it comes to preparing students for the transition). This should also end up being much lighter on your wallet. :)

    The problem with trying to open up a computer shop with your A+ certification is that many people have A+ and you will probably find that many people in your area also have a computer repair service on the side. :dead:

    Do you have any experience with Unix and/or Linux? I have a friend who is a headhunter and he says that a lot of companies are looking for Unix and/or Linux gurus. This would also probably help you out with your networking career as well.
     
     
  12. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,521   +336

    remember: Genius is 10% inspiration and 90% persperation!

    If someone else can do it, then YOU can do it too, IF you commit yourself
    to the task and pour a lot of work into it. Don't ever settle for the nay sayer
    that says "YOU CAN'T DO THAT" H U M B U G! I can if I say I can.
     
  13. smtkr

    smtkr TS Rookie Posts: 138

    Kind of an aside, but don't piss 7/8ths of your life away working. Find a way to retire early--it's easier to enjoy life when you're young.
     
  14. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,851

    Wow i have gotten a response from a great group of expirenced people. I would like to say thank you.

    Secondly, I have a local community college that is actually very large, and i am seriuosly considering starting there. I have talked to a friend that has his N+ and he said that he would give me all his books. So maybe i will start studing for that. I have no real expirence with linux, i mean i have a rig that uses red hat, but im no real pro. However, i havbe worked at my school for two years on the 450 PCs. They all use Novell/BOE tree networks. I was wondering, is there a special novell cert?



    A much more motivated and all out informed

    Sean
     
  15. SOcRatEs

    SOcRatEs TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,382

    Congrats On High sch. deploma!

    I got my name out locally by doing my own internship
    anywhere there were machines and PPL that knew
    less than me. I'd look for anything that could improve thier
    situation. Until I found a real cushy spot Network engineering that paid.
    Might be the hard way but for one who has an 8th grade edu,
    not too bad!
    It's all matter how bad you want something and not letting
    ANYTHING get in the way. Lamb skins smooth things out a bit..
    G'Luck on what or where!
     
  16. timurtaljanovic

    timurtaljanovic TS Rookie Posts: 40

    i recommend starting your own business involving computers. just give it a thought...
     
  17. Ptath-59

    Ptath-59 TS Rookie

    Another option....get enrolled in that local college and then find a job that will pay for your tuition while you work. alot of schools have online classes that make it alot easier.
    Also I concur about the UNIX/Linux thing. I got into the bizness by knowing a few UNIX commands and within 2 years and a few more UNIX based classes my salary went up $40k.
    I also live in the DC area, if you can't find computer work here then your doing something wrong.
    You may want to look into the DoD contracting side too. If you can get your foot in the door and acquire a DoD clearance that'll take you passed the first few hurdles in securing a job.

    But above all else, make sure you're doing what you love. That'll make the rest of your 7/8's much better.
     
  18. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,212

    If you decide on the college, check with the counselor's office on possibly acquiring a co-op position at a larger company that might really have a need for your current expertise. A couple years doing what you did at high school means a lot....you've got plenty of hands-on. Doing that will give you more resume` material and possibly even an offer of employment from the company itself if you're good. I see it fairly frequently around here.

    Just my $.02
     
  19. toffeapple

    toffeapple TS Rookie Posts: 216

    Your only young mate forget all that ...Go travelling, come to europe..Ireland especially..loads a jobs here..you'd have a ball aswell..Dublin has cool nightlife..barcelona as well..london..the possibilities are endless...when your abroad you can just blagg your way into a job....just make up some school in the states where you learnt whatever you like..no one will check...it IS that easy..Austrailia is a easy place to get a job aswell
    then your laughing mate just pick it up as you go along .....make some cash have a buzz then go back to college when you know what you wanna do
     
  20. Blakhart

    Blakhart TS Rookie Posts: 510

    You could also be a privateer!
    Arrrrrh!
     
  21. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 830

  22. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,483

    i think socrates said it well...
    this is the thing to do. start making a reputation for yourself now, and by the time you graduate HS and go out into the real world you'll have plenty of experience under your belt. it'll make a difference when you go into a job interview, i'll tell you that.
     
  23. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,851

    Well getting expirence sounds like the right hting to do, but with just my A+....there is alot of other people out there. I have ben an aide to my Computer teacher for quite some time (3 years now) Me and my nerd buddies have worked around the school fixing the very comptilcated (novell network S***) to the very simple (replacing ink :D ) And to PanicX i actually seen those commercials, but those damn cars...id have to shoot myself. I thank you all for your replies, i am feeling alot better about my situation, as daunting as it is. Please if you feel like you have anything to add, even just a simple suggestion, let me know, the little stuff counts too.

    Now i do have a local PC repair shop (its called CMC computers) Very small place, and i have noticed a help wanted sign. Well i have delt with them in the past (but not too much...as they are expensive lol) and i actually have a buddy that used to work there. Now with just my A+, and my 3 years of school PC expirence, do you think they would laugh me out? Or should i check it out?

    Thanks

    Sean
     
  24. zephead

    zephead TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,483

    check it out. if you know what you're doing then why not? if you're under 18 ther might be a trick or two to getting a job in your state...
     
  25. PanicX

    PanicX TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 830

    Put together a resume that explains your computer related experiences. Wording it right and you can include many things you haven't before. Ever fix a computer or two for your family? Ever get paid for fixing someone else computer? (barter counts) then you've been freelancing and that counts as experience. Ever taken a programing or electronics class in high school? That counts towards education. Anything you can add that makes it look like you're active in the field and putting more into it than some dumb kid that plays mine sweeper all day, will give you a leg up.

    Don't forget a "hobbies" section which can detail PC repair, overclocking, Home Theater setup's, server OS installations (buzz words count!!).

    FYI, when you make it to an interview process, don't "slam" any specific technologies, I almost lost a client once because he mentioned that Mac's are the only PCs worth dealing with and I laughed at him.
     


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