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View Full Version : Need help on choosing a course



billgoldberg
August 19th, 2008, 08:59 PM
I'm 21 year old now (22 in october) and I decided I needed to go back to school.

I currently drive a forklift truck and I don't like it.

I don't care about it, the firm I work for, nor the colleagues.

I don't see myself doing that for the rest of my life.

But because of my high school diploma, I'm nothing with another one.

I have a passion for computers and I want to pursue a career in it.

The three courses I can begin this year are "programming, network manager, pc technician".

I would love to do them all, but I have to pick one.

Do some of you have any experience in one of those areas?

What would you advise? What are to positive and negative sides to each?

tamoneya
August 19th, 2008, 09:30 PM
First of all let me state that I dont have all the much more experience than you. I turned 20 last month and I am a college junior. I study computer science and electrical engineering. I have also had some nice summer jobs/internships one which was a lot of programming and one that was a little more IT/network admin.

personally I would stay away from pc technician. First of all it is going to be 99% windows (ugh) and people like geek squad give the entire industry a bad name.

As for network admin and programming it kind of depends on what you prefer. From my experience if you are going to be a network admin you are going to have to deal a lot more with people resolving all there issues and the job is pretty slow a lot of the time. But then when things get screwed up and systems crash the job sucks. As for programming it is a little more predictable and it has less to do with fixing problems for people but instead just coding and fixing bugs. You'll sit in a cubical most of the day.

david_lynch
August 19th, 2008, 10:20 PM
I agree with the previous poster that the pc tech career path is the bottom of the barrel.

As for programming, it depends on a lot of variables. Once you become a pure programmer and choose a path, you get increasingly specialized, and prone to layoff when your specialty is not hot at the moment.

The Network manager path seems like it would be broader than the others, and would likely lead to good gigs as a system admin. I have a computer science degree but I prefer to continue working as a sys admin rather than going for a programming job. Sys admins get to do a little bit of everything including programming -

and once you've been root, it's hard to go back to being a normal user.

:guitar:

Bodsda
August 19th, 2008, 10:26 PM
As for programming it is a little more predictable and it has less to do with fixing problems for people but instead just coding and fixing bugs. You'll sit in a cubical most of the day.

Aren't you contradicting yourself a bit there, if programming is about fixing bugs, aren't the problems people bring to you gonna be about coding and bugs. Programming is all about problem solving.

I would say your choice is between programming and networking. The choice is ultimately yours, the programming has more money in it 'eventually' if you stick at it and get good, whereas you'll always be able to find a job with networking qualifications.

billgoldberg
August 19th, 2008, 10:41 PM
So, pc technician is out.

Thanks for the input so far.

Atomic Dog
August 19th, 2008, 11:07 PM
Either programming or networking. Whatever you think you can do best.

NovaAesa
August 19th, 2008, 11:32 PM
Programming is fun and very rewarding if you are into that kind of thing and have the patience.

Sef
August 19th, 2008, 11:53 PM
Are you someone who prefers to deal with people or work more by yourself?

s.fox
August 19th, 2008, 11:59 PM
I do tons of programming work and enjoy every minute of it. Problem solving is a great way to earn a living. I never have a day the same as the previous. Then again its what you think you would prefer

P.S

I don't sit in a cubicle. I work from home :)

billgoldberg
August 20th, 2008, 12:19 AM
Are you someone who prefers to deal with people or work more by yourself?

I prefer working by my self.

billgoldberg
August 20th, 2008, 12:21 AM
I do tons of programming work and enjoy every minute of it. Problem solving is a great way to earn a living. I never have a day the same as the previous. Then again its what you think you would prefer

P.S

I don't sit in a cubicle. I work from home :)

Haha.

I would love to work from home.

tamoneya
August 20th, 2008, 01:33 AM
Aren't you contradicting yourself a bit there, if programming is about fixing bugs, aren't the problems people bring to you gonna be about coding and bugs. Programming is all about problem solving.

I would say your choice is between programming and networking. The choice is ultimately yours, the programming has more money in it 'eventually' if you stick at it and get good, whereas you'll always be able to find a job with networking qualifications.

Im not contradicting myself but maybe I wasnt clear enough. When you talk about bugs in programming they are bugs that are filed as bug reports and then you are finding patches for them. While they are a problem they rarely prevent other people from doing their jobs. Not fixing them quick enough may delay the next release of your software but thats it. These bugs are also predictable to the point where you expect to have bugs and you build in time for bug testing in the release cycle. As a network admin if something breaks it typically means other people cant work either because they cant get email, they cant log into some server or cant get online. These situations cannot be predicted and when they do occur they need to be fixed immediately. And from what I can tell it always ends up occurring at the worst possible time.

s.fox
August 20th, 2008, 11:22 AM
I agree with tamoneya. When something goes wrong with networks it stops everybody from working and it requires a fast fix.

Programming is less stressful than that, but you should be aware that their are still deadlines that have to be met for projects to be completed on time.

Sef
August 20th, 2008, 11:57 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sef View Post
Are you someone who prefers to deal with people or work more by yourself?

I prefer working by my self.

I would look at programming over system admin then.