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Littleodie914
Jul 31, 2004, 01:48 PM
Hey guys, this is an odd question, but I figure you can answer it best. I'm 16 (amost 17) years old, going into 11th grade, and it's about time to figure out what I "want to be when I grow up." I have a little bit of web design and programming experience, am VERY good with computers (making them do things, fixing them), and have done a bunch of stuff in linux (compiled a kernel, yadda yadda). I just like being around computers, and discussing them. What kind of job do I want?! Have any of you guys seen The Screensavers on TechTV, where they just research new programs, help people fix their computers, and talk about computing news and new hardware? I think that would be the perfect job for me, but that's shooting a big high... Help! What should I look for?

broken_keyboard
Jul 31, 2004, 02:23 PM
I don't know what kind of job, but don't underestimate yourself. A lot of young people get jobs flipping burgers because they just assume that that is their only option - but it isn't. If you are interested in working in the IT media maybe you could try working part time at a computer magazine in the school vacation.

There are books about this kind of thing, such as the "Great Jobs for Computer Science Majors"
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0071390391/ref=pd_sxp_elt_l1/103-9194877-3319036

or "Opportunities in Television and Video Careers"
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0071406034/ref=pd_sxp_elt_l1/103-9194877-3319036

MongoTheGeek
Jul 31, 2004, 02:24 PM
Hey guys, this is an odd question, but I figure you can answer it best. I'm 16 (amost 17) years old, going into 11th grade, and it's about time to figure out what I "want to be when I grow up." I have a little bit of web design and programming experience, am VERY good with computers (making them do things, fixing them), and have done a bunch of stuff in linux (compiled a kernel, yadda yadda). I just like being around computers, and discussing them. What kind of job do I want?! Have any of you guys seen The Screensavers on TechTV, where they just research new programs, help people fix their computers, and talk about computing news and new hardware? I think that would be the perfect job for me, but that's shooting a big high... Help! What should I look for?

A job playing piano in a whorehouse :)

My experience came from landing where I landed. If you go to college you can go in with CS and then specialize when sophomore year. The important thing is find something you love.

jared_kipe
Jul 31, 2004, 03:23 PM
It is extremely hard to get good jobs in the tight computer market right now. You could try sales at a computer store, but I really don't see somebody your age getting a job at TechTV or practically anywhere else. You could try to ask about or put up flyers saying you can fix their computers. But it is hard to get steady business that way.

themadchemist
Jul 31, 2004, 03:55 PM
Maybe you could take zim's old job (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=82019). :D

Littleodie914
Jul 31, 2004, 04:06 PM
Thanks so far for all the help! Do any of you guys have experience working at or know anyone that has worked at a Best Buy or Circuit City? Would this be a good place to start, maybe if I could get a position working in the computers department?

themadchemist
Jul 31, 2004, 04:11 PM
Listen to other people's advice about stuff to do now, but keep in mind that college will open up a lot of opportunities that might not otherwise have existed. I'm not just talking about the degree--you sound smart and forward-looking enough to know that a bachelor's is a bare minimum--but the time during college. That is, don't freak out now: Once you're a student at a college or university, you'll find there are a lot of great ways to figure out what you want to do and a lot of great opportunities to try things out.

But until then, there are probably some cool jobs that you might enjoy. I would say no on the best buy/circuit city thing, because it's less about computers and more about pushing products, or so it seems. You sound like you're not looking forward to an exciting career in sales, so you might want to steer clear of this one.

Have you ever thought of starting a small business? Sure, it's a lot of work and responsibility, but you could tailor the experience toward something you enjoy doing. My friends started a computer repair business in a small town, offering the convenience of not having to take your system too far, the benefit of having the repair done by someone you know and trust, and the added bonus of a really, really low price (because there wasn't the overhead that a traditional store would have). They made a few bucks, had a good time, and got to explore something they might be interested in doing later.

I hope this helps at least a little bit.

Abstract
Jul 31, 2004, 06:26 PM
So are you asking us about job opportunities right now, or what you should major in "once you grow up?" I wouldn't worry too much about what you're going to later in your life. Not when you're 16. Most people don't know when they're 21 or so. ;)

I say go for something computer related in Uni, obviously, but you may find that you don't like it. My brother believed that he was going to major in computers, but then he realized that he didn't want to do it as a job, so he is now in school (after switching programs 3 times) doing something biology related.

Plans change. :)

Dr. Dastardly
Jul 31, 2004, 06:49 PM
If your more concerned with a carrer path right now then see if you can get an internship in the IT field, or go to college with a specific computer field you are interested in. Internships will either not pay you or it will be very little. :eek: But at least you will get your foot in the door and that is about 80% of the battle right there. Best Buy or Circuit City is not going to further your education for work in the computer industry. Unless you are fixing them and even then you would have probably received some sort of certification for that.

Before I started working in the IT field, 17-20 years old was a very frusterating time for me. Get a resume out there and try to at least get your foot in the door. Even if you don't think that the company will hire you, say that you would be interested in a intership program if they have one. At the very least they will be impressed that you asked.

kaylie_kipe
Jul 31, 2004, 06:59 PM
You could try to get a job at an apple store, or somewhere like Best Buy or Comp USA, for a job that will help you make money and give you something to put on a resume when you go to get a better job. But if I were you I would attend college at the same time and try to become a computer specialist. It might be hard to get a job like that but if that's what you want to do than you should try.

FredAkbar
Jul 31, 2004, 08:18 PM
Related question: if someone has programming experience but is a Mac-user, will it be especially hard for them to get a job? Should a person consider switching to PC (not at heart of course :D) when they start to focus on their career? I have experience in a few programming languages (and am planning to learn more in the coming years) and I'd say I'm a pretty sufficient computer geek (mainly with Linux/Unix including OS X, not as much with Windows/DOS). I'm only 16 so I've got a ways to go, but I'm just wondering if having a Mac instead of a PC will severely hurt my chances of finding a good job.

jefhatfield
Jul 31, 2004, 08:49 PM
you have a lot of options

first of all, whether you have a degree or not, there are many options in the computer field for people of all ages

some sectors of the field are tight right now, but since it's such a broad field, there will always be something you can do...it may not be the best pay but at your age i assume experience is more what you are looking for...unless you are someone like bill gates who has been interested in the big fish since birth ;)

circuit city can lead to better things...it's not all about sales...most salespeople in computer stores know something more about just the products they are selling...five years ago i worked at office depot, then i met a man from microsoft, then he helped me get ms certified and i later worked at his microsoft school, and later onto better things and i soon had my own clients and business...it's all because i started at office depot selling computers and software...half of the salespeople over the years there ended up with jobs in IT from cisco to being computer graphic designers for fortune 500 companies and they got their leads while selling gear at office depot...i can't think of too many temp agencies or colleges with that record

the main thing is keep an open mind

Macmaniac
Jul 31, 2004, 09:57 PM
You could be like me, I love macs and I know a lot about them so I visited a mom & pop Apple reseller talked to the owner and left a resume. A few weeks he called me back and hired me, I have been with the company for a year now and I get to fix and diagnose Macs! Its a great job I get to learn sales and repair at the same time.

Look for a local computer shop and see if they need help, you would be surprised how receptive small stores can be. Besides if they can pay you 5.50 to do as much as a full time employee fixing computers they will hire you if you have experience.

Littleodie914
Jul 31, 2004, 09:57 PM
To completely understate... you guys kick ass. You've provided me with a wealth of information and ideas, as well as possible career paths and even a few stories of people in my position getting on their feet. :) I've thought a lot about it, and am telling myself (since I know it's impossible make the decision right now) that I'm going to get a computer-related degree in college and go from there. I do have one last question though, one that other people might also have... Do you recommend becoming "IT Certified" like those commercials talk about? Like A+, MCSE, Cisco, and that sort of thing? I live near a Barnes & Nobles, and have flipped through a few of those "prep" books, and have found them not too difficult at all... A large amount of the information I actually already knew. Are these tests really worth anything in the computer world? Can I take them this young? Which should I choose, or should I get certified for all of them? Again, thank you so much for all your kind wisdom and neverending help!

jefhatfield
Jul 31, 2004, 10:07 PM
To completely understate... you guys kick ass. You've provided me with a wealth of information and ideas, as well as possible career paths and even a few stories of people in my position getting on their feet. :) I've thought a lot about it, and am telling myself (since I know it's impossible make the decision right now) that I'm going to get a computer-related degree in college and go from there. I do have one last question though, one that other people might also have... Do you recommend becoming "IT Certified" like those commercials talk about? Like A+, MCSE, Cisco, and that sort of thing? I live near a Barnes & Nobles, and have flipped through a few of those "prep" books, and have found them not too difficult at all... A large amount of the information I actually already knew. Are these tests really worth anything in the computer world? Can I take them this young? Which should I choose, or should I get certified for all of them? Again, thank you so much for all your kind wisdom and neverending help!

being a techie in computer heavy northern california, i have seen trends over the last few generations

it's cool, and often necessary these days to have an IT certification and microsoft, cisco, and comptia a+ are best

before certs, degrees were the measure hiring managers looked at... the degree to have was math, electrical/electronic engineering, or cs

and in the early days, it seems the field was dominated by math majors/graduates

...but nothing got a person a job and helped them retain it better than by knowing the stuff the company/person wanted because in the end, they are paying you to do something in the computing world which they often cannot do themselves so they rely on you to get the job done in a timely manner