Need tech career advice

By latitude77
Oct 5, 2009
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  1. Okay I apologize for just creating an account to post one post and maybe a few replies to this thread but my friend referred me to this site, it looks like quite a few professionals hang here.

    I am currently in Grade 10 and I have a dream of getting a job in the IT industry. Problem is my parents don't want me to. I was thinking of going to Uni and persuing my dream but things just look so doubtful right now and I am not sure my skills are up for the challenge that Uni might throw at me. I mean my maths isn't too flash so Coding might not be an option. Networking interests me but I don't have enough time to explore Linux inside out myself so I actually learn something and not forget it.

    A techie would be fine by me but it might not be a good job to have in 5-10 years time. What if it's not enough?

    I want to go to Uni but my family can't afford it, and a Hex bill does not sound like a fun thing to deal with either : \

    I am really worried that it is too late to chase my dream working in IT somewhere. I certainly don't want to end up working on a construction site like my father is hoping : |

    What is every ones opinion, is it too late? Should I take my chances or search for a new dream somewhere else?
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    It is early. You are young. Enjoy life now. You will be old soon enough. The future is not ours to see... only the present. There will always be jobs for technicians... you just have to keep up your skills as the technology changes.
    But also consider...
    If you are not good at math by the time you are 25, you perhaps will not be a good technician. At age 17, your math skills will improve, and may change dramatically in the next few years. If you have a dream of working in the IT field, you need to develop those skills, or real technical people will have no interest in working with you. Practice. Study. Practice. Study.
    Get yourself the most broad education you can. You have at least five to ten years before you will be in the real job market. That is a fur piece in the future.
    Learn as much as you can about as many concepts as possible. Because you have no idea what the world will be like in five or ten years.
    Your future employer is going to want you to show up with the broadest possible range of education and experiences. Limit yourself now, and you will always be limited.
    I am now 70. We know these things, because we were 17 just a few years ago repairing AM radios, alarm clocks, and heating pads as our technology of the time.
    Prepare for the future because it is coming. Soon.

    The most important thing you can do is continue to broaden your skills in dealing with people. Make a lot of friends. Remain interested in others. Social skills are generally more important than math or science or language or history... The most valuable tool you can have is the ability to work with others. The best way to do that is to learn everything you can about every possible concept.
    You have no idea what the world will be like. Look how much it has changed since you were born. It will get worse.
  3. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,433   +143

    "Live up high school, because the years will fly by!" - A very accomplished friend who has known me forever, graduated last year.

    "You are a smart kid. Just spend more time on what you should do. Your have few years." - Graduated last year, I used to play loads games with him in school.

    All VERY sound advice, and i'm living to see the truth in them.

    Anyways, there are programs designed to give the opportunity to go to college when they seemingly cannot, like AVID and MESA. Look for any scholarships you can, apply for federal grants.
    I know people who maintained a job to help support their family, AND make time for college studies. Their lives looked miserable at times, but they worked hard and made it through.
    Good luck and have fun!

    EDIT: About your parents, I have no idea, i'm sorry. Math...well, you need understanding of arithmetic to code, nothing exceedingly complex in calculations, after all, computers use 0 and 1's. The trickiest part is thinking through the logic.
  4. latitude77

    latitude77 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for your advice guys. I still have a lot of decisions to make but this advice will help me a lot!

    I am going to try work on my maths a lot in the near future because I will certainly find it useful by the sounds of things.
  5. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    I believe you are misappropriating things; maths has nothing to do with programming. Programming requires logical thinking far more than mathematically-sound thinking. Also, networking is far more related to concepts such as line coding, multiplexing and subnetting, rather than a purely software-oriented basis of study such as computer science, which is what you are thinking of when you mention Linux.

    Do some research; find out what exactly interests you and pursue that qualification. Roughly speaking, if you are hardware-inclined, look towards a degree in electrical (circuit design and electronics) or mechanical engineering (turbines and other various industrial machinery). These need strong maths backgrounds however, so be prepared for some tough times ahead if you are not upto the task. A more software-oriented approach would warrant looking into computer science.

    An "easier" alternative to the latter two would be computer engineering. It combines just enough of the hardware-based basics of electrical\mechanical engineering with the software-based concepts of computer science to create an effective hybrid that may be easier to deal with for you.

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes. :)
  6. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    I don't know about other schools, but if you wanted to do Comp Engineering at my school you'd have to take:
    Physics I - Mechanical Physics
    Physics II - Electrical and Magnetic Physics
    Calc I
    Calc II
    Calc III
    Differential Equations
    and I think 2 chemistry classes
    Mechanics of Materials

    Definately not a program for someone weak in math skills.
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Apply yourself. Study. Learn. Study some more. Go to tutoring sessions. Math does not come all at once, and at 16 or 17 it is unreasonable of people to expect that it should. You start out knowing nothing. Then apply what life teaches you, then apply what school tries to teach you.
    If you are not getting it in school, that is the school's fault. Go see the counselor. With the counselsor, work out a plan for how to get a little better in your math schools each month or year.

    Did you ever read about Albert Einstein. One of the greatest scientists of all time. He failed all his early math. He got help. He became the best in the world.
    You can too.
    Stop being negative.
    Nobody wants an employee or a tech or anybody else who is negative about themselve... Become better. Practice. Study. You are as smart as you want to be by how you apply yourself.

    Nothing worth doing IS EVER EASY.

    Stop whining on this site. Do your job. Practice. Study. Become better at what you want to do... Pay attention to what other people are like who whine and complain. They never get any where in my experience.

    Look at how much time you have already wasted on this site that you could have used to study and become better in what you need to know to do what you want to do.
  8. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,431   +28

    SNGX, I've done all those courses, and they are not that difficult, provided they are taught by a competent instructor.

    @latitude77, I didn't mean to scare you; just know that you will be expected to be fairly adept at math. It will come easily with some practice though; I was never much good at math in high school, and I'm now in my final year in EE, which is about as math-oriented as it gets. So don't take me wrong; take raybay's advice about studying, learning and applying. I'm sure it will take you far.
  9. ravisunny2

    ravisunny2 TS Ambassador Posts: 1,971   +10

    That is the bottom line.

    There is no reason why you can't improve your math (if you so desire).
  10. pjamme

    pjamme TS Enthusiast Posts: 208

    Part Time this Summer

    While it is a long way off, start looking for a part time job next Summer. Even if it is non paying or for course credit it might be worthwhile finding out what your capabilities and more importantly interests are.

    There are two full time IT people at this location, two college students in programming and we also have a part time draftsman student.

    My boss does the programming. Not me, I glaze over after a few minutes in VB and me, I take care of the networking and workstations. Program person finds this tedious.

    My point is there is a lot of different aspects to working in Computer Science. Try to find out what holds your interest before you start studing it.

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