Best Tech Field

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by scem0, Sep 11, 2003.

  1. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

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    back in NYC!
    #1
    I'm a Junior in Highschool and pretty soon I will be looking for colleges to go to. As of now I don't know what I want to be 'when I grow up'.

    I've thought about everything from semiconductor manufacturing (which was too chemistry oriented) to software development (but there are way too many people going into this field). I know there are thousands upon thousands of technology fields, but which one is the highest paying, most enjoyable, and overall best high tech field.

    I would prefer one that has hands on computer work. So probably something more software oriented.

    And Salary is mucho importante if you comprehende ;).

    scem0
     
  2. saabmp3 macrumors 6502a

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    Tacoma, WA
    #2
    Ok, I might be able to give you a quick run down on this. It's still confusing to people who are graduating tho because of all of the new fields. First let me tell you, the more hands on, the less money you are going to make. This is just a general rule, not a law so there are exceptions. Hands on, atleast in NY is a tech degree (aka Computer Engineering Tech). A degree like this is meant to be very hands on, so when you get a job you will be working in a lab. But your going to be working in a lab under the supervision of another engineer. There is absolutly nothing wrong with this and I actually went into college under this in the first place. The other option is to get a full fledged Engineering degree and become registered. This is much more work but you will get more respect for it in the work place (here alot of people are coming back with their tech deg's to upgrade them to full fledged Engineering deg's). Basically with something like this you are more likly to make more money. (another rule, not a law).

    The next part of your question goes to the different catagories. They range (in this discussion) from Hardcore electronics, circuit boards to Hardcore programming. Starting with Electrical Engineering and Micro Electrical Engineering, you will be doing very programming but working with resistors and stuff like that. After this you move into Computer Engineering which is 50-50 hardware and software. After this you get to Computer Science where you will be a Unix geek (tons of fun I think). CS majors are basically programmers who spend all day with code.

    I guess this is a quick run through of the major fields. There are lots of subdivisions to all of these including a tech deg for all of them. In addition to that alot of schools rename things and are adding bio degrees. (AKA Biocomputer engineering). If you want to make money, some of these fields are called "licenses to print money" . Seriously, they can pull in 150,000 right out of school. Now that's alot of money just for a BS degree.

    Good luck on finding a school, ask more questions if you want. For your info, I'm an EEEE major at RIT.

    BEN

    PS. The BEST way to make money is to do great in school. A 4.0 in any field is going to pull in cash like no else...even if you are pack sci.
     
  3. alset macrumors 65816

    alset

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    East Bay, CA
    #3
    Re: Best Tech Field

    Though I will admit that I am pursuing the dream of big cash, I switched from a field where it is practically a sure thing to one where it is very difficult to achieve. The reason is I don't want to get up every morning hating my job. I have already had a high paying job that made me depressed and strained my personal relationships. It wasn't worth it, and I'm much happier now.

    Just saying.....

    Dan
     
  4. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #4
    Go to Kettering University, into either the Electrical, Computer, or Mechanical Engineering program. They will help you figure out what you want to do. They also run a manditory Co-op Program, so you goto school for 3 monts, then you work for 3, school for 3 and work for 3. Its a great program, a little confusing for the first timer, and I have a great Co-op, it is a major UNIX compuer Maker.

    I'm studying to be a Computer Engineer, and am currently writing software, and its a lot of fun.

    TEG
     
  5. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #5
    Re: Best Tech Field

    You may want to look at stuff that is of major interest to you, that would make it enjoyable.

    Then look at what pays the most.

    Choosing something high paying, that you hate, can be expensive. ;)
     
  6. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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  7. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    Jul 9, 2000
    #7
    the closer to electronic engineering and electrical engineering, the more homework...but more pay in the real world and job security

    cs degrees, business/telecomm cs degrees, and e-commerce degrees pay less but you don't have to be a whiz at math, physics, and chemistry and you don't have to study the demanding concepts of traditional engineering

    these days you can get a "software engineering" degree or a "network engineering" degree without having to really study the basic concepts of engineering and science

    generally speaking, the harder and more boring the degree, the more pay in the real world...wanna make big bucks...manufacture componets for non computer electronics...the person making a componet for a cruise missile makes more than the person who makes components for a cool ipod or g5...but where do you draw the line?

    as for schooling, there is no one right path to success...jerry yang of yahoo was a phd student while dean kaman has no degree but taught himself what he needed to become one of the most celebrated engineers of his time

    if you are a genius, you won't need a degree and you can find your own company ala woz or gates

    but if you want to live at home, perhaps try junior college, and then later a 4 year degree, or you can go straight for a bachelor's degree and move away for college, or if you want go straight into a five year bachelor's/master's combined program, or try tech school and go for certification which gives one better pay in high tech during strong economic times...of course during slow times, the traditional engineering degrees pay better

    over time, the safest combinations is a mix of techie degrees and business degrees, or degrees and certifications...that way, you cover all the bases and are flexible
     
  8. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

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    The West Loop
    #8
    Re: Best Tech Field

    -scem0

    Trust me, seeking this is a path to fear and self-loathing.

    Do what you want, and the money will follow.

    Reasoning? Well, not to crush your idealism of the future, the more expensive you are, the more money you cost the company, and the easier it makes the top management to justify laying you off. Be very careful how you price yourself.

    If you approach from doing what you want, your worth will be obvious and you will be viewed by those with the axes as someone of value rather just another cost center.

    This recession has taught me quite a few things, one being that due to the efforts of consultants - myself included - in the installation of so many JDEdwards, Peoplesoft and SAP systems, it turns the process of layoffs into a numbers game, and the push of a button.

    Avoid having your numbers look expensive.

    As for what to do? I agree wholeheartedly with saabmp3, go fo a full engineering degree. I'd say one dealing with simulations of some sort - for a company that builds simulation software for bridge, building, and aircraft design (Boeing comes to mind). Engineers are always in demand - esecially those into computers.

    I would also encourage you to leave the door to upper management open, you will want to head there, and become an axe-man if you wish to really excel.
     
  9. tjwett macrumors 68000

    tjwett

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    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NYC
    #9
    After working as a music composer/sound designer, graphic artist, web designer, and everything in between, I'm having the best time of my life working as a Macintosh consultant and technician. I make my own hours, charge what I want, and best of all, I pretty much just run around Manhattan playing with, talking about, and shopping for Macs. It's the best, and the money is awesome.
     
  10. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #10
    that sounds like an awesome job...where i live, population 4400 ( a tad bit less than nyc), i have to get whatever techie work comes my way and that means pc stuff most of the time

    but when i lived in london, the vast population made for some self sustaining businesses that could never go in a small town...being a musician, i was amazed when i saw a left handed only bass guitar store...besides paul mccartney, how many left handed electric bassists are there in the uk? he he...apparently enough to keep this london store going

    and just think, there are all types of opportunities to make money there...think of just the hat maker for the london police...60,000 of them...prolly made overseas though:p
     
  11. Physiognome macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    #11
    I am personally pursuing bioinformatics, because if I don't like jobs in that exact field I should be able to bail out into any number of life-science or technology fields without much difficulty.

    I was told that when hiring computer programmers, tech companies love applicants with degrees in something other then the traditional CS or SE (as long as they have a competant portfolio, too.) Mathematics is a good one, and so might be physics.

    It's sort of like what a Guide Dogs video I was watching yesterday told me, I expect: "We like first-time dog owners, because they don't have false preconceptions of how a guide dog should be trained."
     
  12. tjwett macrumors 68000

    tjwett

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    Brooklyn, NYC
    #12
    OT:
    i'm a bass player too, righty though. you might be interested in an awesome store i found when i lived in Seattle a few years ago. it's an all-bass store, which is rare in itself, and they sell some amazing boutique instruments and high-end amps. very good prices and an awesome staff. any bass players out there should check them out.
    http://www.bassnw.com
     
  13. themadchemist macrumors 68030

    themadchemist

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    Jan 31, 2003
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    Chi Town
    #13
    nanotech is a great deal of chemistry, which he doesn't seem too into...I can't understand why, personally. :D

    But if one does want to go into that, take a good hard look at Northwestern, which has a brand-new 30 something million dollar facility dedicated to nanotechnology, and one of the pioneering research teams in the field.

    I worked on a different research team under the same professor. I did stuff with organometallic macrocycles, not really my cup of tea. I'm going to be doing DNA research starting this fall.

    I think that the work in synthetic diamonds is going to become extremely important to the computer-related tech fields soon. It probably also involves a very great deal of chemistry, organic chemistry even, but it should be very rewarding, both financially and intellectually.

    The software development train is running out of steam. Esp. for the software engineers who plug stuff into SAP and Oracle systems. Those who are in solid now are doing great, but I don't think there's too much future in that field. Actual programming isn't in that dire a situation, but it's not great either.

    When you're doing hardware related stuff, esp. the fundamental basic science stuff for it, there is always funding. That kind of research probably requires a PhD, but if you're interested, it would be very fulfilling. That doesn't seem the road you want to go down, and I'm not an expert in these fields, so maybe everything I wrote above was a waste of your time...Time you'll never, ever get back. ;)
     
  14. WinterMute Moderator emeritus

    WinterMute

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2003
    Location:
    London, England
    #14
    There's the Bass Centre in London, used to be in Wapping, but I think they've moved now, I got all my bass stuff from them since I got back to the UK in 1987, they even let me borrow basses to road test when I was looking for a 5-string, excellent people.

    On the threads subject, I found it impossible to stay with a job I didn't love no matter what the salary, and the friends I have in high-powered jobs that they hate spend half their lives miserable.

    So, miserable and rich is that cool?

    no.
     
  15. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    back in NYC!
    #15
    I think theMadChemist makes a very good point when he says that it is very chemistry oriented. But that definitely is a great field to go into with it being the future of technology ;).

    Is there a sector of the nanotechnology field involving hands on computer work?

    OK here is the deal with the whole money thing:

    To the people saying that I should do what I want and the money will follow, etc - that is the problem. I don't know what I want to do. I love hardware, I love software, I love computers, I love gadgets, I love lots of high tech things. So if I am going to make a decision without knowing which one I REALLY want then I might as well go for the high paying job ;).

    Plus, even if I really don't like my job, if I am getting paid a ****load of money I can deal with not liking my job.


    Hmmmm.... I really have no idea what I want to do. Today I went to a Game Confrence (instead of going to school :D), and I enjoyed it. I think of myself as a creative person so I was thinking of going into character and setting design for 3d games. But I still am not sure if that is right for me.

    scem0
     
  16. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2002
    Location:
    iowa
    #16
    well there's not really any hands-on nanotechnology, in the strictest sense... it is a lot chemistry, but isn't that just molecular engineering? ;) if you can find a subfield that interests you, go for it... i picture nanotechnology as being a huge revolution for the entire world... both positive and hugely negative... we need good people driving it. i think it'll be 100 times as impactful as the advent of computers... the applications are limitless...

    i'm waiting for nanosurgery myself, screw getting cut up-- in a few decades, you get an injection of nanomachines, and a month later your nose is smaller... or your heart is repaired... or your ass is better :eek:

    okay, so in reality, i'm waiting for nanocosmeticsurgery...

    pnw
     
  17. couch potato macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    #17
    yeah, im only 15 and i have been asking myself these sort of questions for years:rolleyes: i was into game desgin/programming. if you are thinking about that, try modding a game. it contains a lot of things a developer needs to do, like support the game(add more levels, fix bugs, etc...) but i really really love movies, so im going post-production i think. its a pretty interesting field, and you dont really have to be creative to do it. :)
     
  18. einsteinium macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    #18
    physics...

    mmm physics. with physics you can go just about anywhere. I have friends who have gone to Grad School, gone to work in engineering firms, gone on to pursue phsycology or economics. The possibilities are endless...
     
  19. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    #19
    Do what you love and the money will follow?

    Nah, do what you love and you won't give a **** about money anymore.

    Or, alternatively, learn to love what you do.

    A job where you get along with your co-workers and don't dread going to everyday is worth a significantly lower salary; it's that important.
     
  20. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #20
    Re: Best Tech Field

    See, if you enjoy software, go into software.

    It's easier to switch fields in the real world than many people, especially overpressured highschoolers and overbearing parents, would think.

    Experience counts more than education nowadays. That's something you won't learn from your guidance counselor.

    Which brings us to this:

    Experience is most important when you're dealing with salary. You're not going to make a lot out of the gate. Patience is a virtue you will have to learn because you will have no choice. In all likelihood, you'll have to wait until you're in your late 20's to start making an above average salary. Get that in your head now or be set for disappointment.

    My one uncle never went to college and makes better money than his wife who did. He writes code for the company. It's down to natural talent and experience with a company, both of which he has in abundance.
     
  21. ryme4reson macrumors 6502

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    Mar 5, 2002
    Location:
    Cupertino CA
    #21
    I would agree with Physics. That is the basis for most engineering sciences. I am a police dispatcher for a city in the Bay Area, and I made 121,000 last year. Not bad for a 23 year old "kid" living at home. I am a CS student apt San Jose St. because I like computers, so its more of a past time.

    Above all, your time, and your well being are most important. Money is not nearly important as younger people think. Now I purchased a mercedes, and although I dont have many bills, I still spend way too much, so the key is to learn to live within ones means, no matter how much you make.

    I also think that you should polish your personality... To often you can be smart as hell, but you need to sell yourself. Sales is also a very good field to look into. A physics BS and MBA can take you very far. Your interests in a product, along with the technical now how can go far.


    (For the record I did work alot of OverTime, but I got 6 weeks off last year.)
     
  22. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    back in NYC!
    #22
    Well, salary isn't going to be the most important thing for me when I start to look for jobs. But I must be able to satisfy my 'high tech hunger' - ie I have to have the newest cell phone, computer, PDA, CD Player, etc, etc, etc. This may sound like a quick road to bankruptsy, but you must keep in mind that in every other area of my life I am extremely cheap. I mean - my favorite food is ramen noodles, I don't drink alcohol, I don't smoke, I don't do much requiring lots of money. :)

    I still don't know what I want to do though... :(

    Oh, and as a side note, networking may be the best field for me to get in to, because I am part of this Cisco Networking course at my highschool. It is actually my hardest class, but I feel more confident in it than most of my peers.

    Upon completion, students have the opportunity to take a certification exam.
    This may be a problem. Last year not a single person from my school passed this.

    But a new curriculum has just been set up, and I'm hoping that it will end up helping me.

    And if you pass the certification exam, then the doors are wide open for many nice, high paying jobs - right out of high school. So, I am hoping that may be a route I can take.

    scem0
     
  23. ryme4reson macrumors 6502

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    Mar 5, 2002
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    Cupertino CA
    #23
    You should have a little more fun. Do a little drinking, some smoking, and go out.

    As you get older, the newest cell phone will be the least of your concerns...
     
  24. scem0 thread starter macrumors 604

    scem0

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    back in NYC!
    #24
    Bah, drinking just clouds the thinking. I can have more fun when I can think clearly.

    Smoking is just a bad trap. Yes, its a little fun, but the consequences aren't worth it. Oh, I will go out plenty when I go to college, I just won't be drinking and smoking :).

    All of my friends at school smoke pot, or worse. ALL of them drink.

    But the group that I'm starting to 'migrate' to is a group I enjoy much more. I guess you could call them the brains of my school. But they are so much cooler than all the pot smokers I used to hang out with, even if they aren't cooler in the conventional sense.

    Its not like I'm barring myself from all alcohol. I just don't plan on drinking heavily, or even casually. I'd rather just drink a glass of wine here or there when I want one. I hope I will never just drink to get drunk. Its so pointless...

    But I have a feeling that if I go any further on this tangent, that the whole thread will quickly shift into flames over alcohol, narcotics, and the like. ;)

    scem0
     
  25. patrick0brien macrumors 68040

    patrick0brien

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    #25
    -scem0, couch potato

    Don't worry about not "knowing" what you want to do. Do the tasks at hand right now, there will be plenty of time to worry after college.

    The key is don't force it. Don't try to think about what you want to do when you get into the big world (I call it that because we all live in the 'real' world, just different shades of it). Go where your nose takes you, head toward doing what you like.

    I've done both sides of this. I had a job with USWeb, back when it was at the vanguard of the internet revolution. Internet Explorer had just turned to version 3, and netscape was very much the king. The job paid squat, but going to work was like going to summer camp. Heck, the job was so much fun, I'd be there until midnight most times for the fun of it! All I had in my apartment was a TV and computer. At work, we had Quake :D

    I did work for KPMG for a few years, and I was good at my job, as wild as it was. What I had a problem with, as most KPMG alums had, was that I was "never good enough" I was alway never quite making it, and that attitude pervaded. The job payed well, but what a cost to me.

    Start thinking about what you want to do in life in the summer after your sophomore year in college, and know that you will likely change careers several times. Don't worry about it now, the world will be quite different by the time you get there.

    Go where your heart takes you. Don't try to steer it.

    Sounds to me like you alread are getting an idea.
     

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