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Computer JOBs???

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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
December 16, 2000 7:36:50 PM

I was considering doing something for my career in computers. I wanted to be a programer at first, but then i looked into computer engineering ( thats making and phyiscaly designing the parts right?) and i liked that better. What would be the better job to get into that wont die out and have a lot of room for advancement? I'm a softmore in high school right now. I do very well in Geometry and i dont mind doing it. What classes should i take to get to some of the good jobs like engineering and programing, networking and stuff like that. Also what are my chances to get these jobs. For instance, would i be better off trying to be a Pro football player, or better chances at being the next bill gates than getting some of these jobs.


Thanks, Mechwarrior

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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
December 16, 2000 10:07:36 PM

Good questions! Regardless of what field you go into, the best thing you can do now is to continue taking math and science classes throughout high school. You don't have to be an Einstein at these these things, but if you decide to persue a technical/science career later in college, you'll have this necessary background. This is especially important if you do end up in an engineering field. And the math is necessary for many non-technical disciplines.

Good written and oral communication skills are also very important. Don't just stick with the techie classes. Broaden your knowledge base. And don't be afraid to take some things you enjoy that may have nothing to do with your career.

My high school junior isn't even interested in a tech/science career, but she's currently taking physics and pre-calc and will take similar classes next year. She's not overly crazy about either, but she does pretty well in them and sees that they will help provide her with a broader background for the future. (Heh! Besides, Mom and Dad didn't give her much choice!)

Don't forget the sports/exercise.

Finally, enjoy yourself! You're only a kid once!

Mike
December 17, 2000 2:34:48 PM

I though about Comp.E, but I ended up in Mech.E with a CS minor. All of the computer engineers I know work as programmers. That's what's in demand right now. I even have a co-op at IBM as a programmer, and I'm just minoring in CS. Comp.E is basically a cross between EE and CS, so you'll probably be able to do either. The most important class you will take as an engineer will be calculus. It is the basis for just about everything you will ever learn in school. Take it in high school if you can. You should also take any science and/or math related course you can.

Go for Comp.E, it's a good field.
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December 18, 2000 7:38:01 AM

First, regardless of which you do, take a lot of math in high school. The more the better. If you can get advanced math courses, take them. And see what your high school offers in advanced calculus. Take all of that you can.

When you get into university, you have 2 routs. Computer Science, or Electrical Engineering. I won't lie to you. Electrical Engineering is difficult. It is one of the hardest programs you can get into. And it requires an amazing amount of work.

Computer Science is really not too difficult at all. A walk in the park compared to electrical engineering.

As far as future propects go. Right now, you will make some major cash in either area. And I can't see the need to programmers dropping any time soon. On the other hand, with electrical engineering, there are a lot more oportunities for you. If you get sick of computers, you can go into several other fields, all of which pay very well.

I don't want to crush your dreams or tell you you can't do something that you want to. But if you graduate from high school with anything less than top honors, I would seriously consider the comp sci route. I read a post earlier that said you don't have to be an einstine. Well, in electrical, you need to be pretty close.....

BTW.. A friend of mine just finished his masters in EE with honors. All As. Now, he's heading to Med School. Go fiure that! :) 
December 19, 2000 9:32:23 AM

Well I see what others wrote to you, Learn more...
University... Well i can only tell my story...

I didn't graduated from highschool flunked at almoast everything (except electronics where i got 100)
Math I learned for the loweset end (didn't had the power and time to study.. basic math ..)

But i`m learning programming since i was 15 ..

now i'm 20 years old , worknig in IBM as a programmer earning pretty well...

So you see It's all about luck..
And Deep knowladge of what you want to know!

<b>-----------------------</b>
-<font color=red><b>R.K.</b></font color=red>
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
December 19, 2000 10:38:08 PM

You guys did help me out a lot. I just i hope im one of those luckey people and get a nice job.

Thanks everyone, mech warrior
December 20, 2000 2:12:35 AM

Are you in the U.S.? If so this field is so sweet. You will have no trouble getting a job what so ever. There is so much work that the U.S. lets tons of foreign tech workers in on work visas and tech companies are begging for more. You are way ahead of the game by asking your question so early in your career. When I was your age I had no idea what the difference was between the different types of engineering nor did I have any concept of the difference between a technician and an engineer. While you are in school engineering is almost pure MATH. Do you love math or are you a more hands on type of person? I went to school to be an EE and hated it. EE is a great major but it is not for everyone. As has already been mentioned Comp E is a nice cross between EE and Computer Science. Anything with an E at the end is hard work. If you would like to stay away from years of math and get your hands on some actual hardware right away then become a technician. This is much easier and quicker but will not pay as much in the long run. It will pay enough however. Iff (if and only if) you can handle years of calculus, diff eq, transforms, linear alg, and very little hands on lab work, then any of the engineering disciplines will land you an even better job. If you want to monkey with computers and settle for a lousy $40k/year you don’t even need to go to a real school, just study on your own and get a certification. I work with a guy who only has a high school diploma (but is super smart) and he makes $45k/year. What do you consider a “good” job? Adding networking to your credentials is a good and easy way to bump up your earnings. I realize some of this is a little far from your original question but it is good to look at all your alternatives before deciding. If you do decide to go Comp E then the advice that has already been given is very good. Follow it and you will be almost guaranteed a great job.

Also very important:

Are you willing to move? To anywhere? In order to design and make chips you will need to relocate to somewhere that they make chips. Do they make chips where you want to live? Do you want to live in Silicon Valley, or Fort Collins, or Boise, or Texas, or Redmond, or New Mexico? If you move somewhere where everybody is an Engineer then the cost of living will be high because everybody will be making good money. If you do not want to move then figure out what kind of jobs are available where you live or where you want to live. I am (only) a tech but I live in a low cost area and have two tech jobs so I am doing very well. If I lived in California I would be poor. My mom lives in Fort Collins and you can’t buy a decent house for under $200k. My neighbor is in his early 40’s and retired from Intel. I’m not doing THAT well. My neighbor made his money in a high cost area and then retired to a low cost area (smart).

Will I ever shut up?

One more thing. You can go down a lot easier than up. If you finish a Comp E and later decide to be (only) a tech, you will have no trouble. If you go to a two-year tech school you will not (likely) be able to get a job as an engineer. Even though I like being a tech and even though I hated EE, it still worked out in the long run.

Still blabbing…

What are you chip politics? Do you love AMD and hate Intel? Do you care or do you just want a good job? Does it matter if a company kills a lot of fish or if your processors are used in missile guidance systems? Do you want a job with a large stable company that you can retire from or would you prefer a smaller, faster moving hungry long shot that can make you rich? If you love AMD (for example) would you move to Dresden? Would you learn to speak another language? Would you feel bad if you developed a new kick @rse chip but the chemicals involved were a hundred times more toxic than the previous chip? Would you rather be the next Jobs (cool semi rich) or Gates (nerdy giga rich)? Would you rather make money or stick around where you grew up and help take care of your family? I work for a large stable company that has a nationwide presence. I can transfer to anywhere in the U.S. with a population of about 100k or more. I will retire at a normal age and never be rich or hungry. I am treated with great respect on the job and the work is clean and physically easy. Other then vehicle exhaust my company does not pollute or harm anyone. These things are important to me, what is important to you?
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