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Career Future

Career Future

Career Future

(OP)
Hello
I'm in High School right now and have tutored people on computer for about 5 years, I have also created 3 web pages for businesses (at $20/hour) and am working on parallel processing a couple of computers together. I also know how to program in BASIC, VB, and HTML; I am teaching myself C. My school offers a Cisco networking course and I will be taking that for my Junior and Senior year (I'm a sophomore). Also I'm looking into getting MCSE but my local community collage wants $5000 for it, is it cheaper and is it worth it? Once I'm out of high school what should I do?

Should I:
Goto Collage and get a degree in CS
Or
Look for a job in my area

Hope someone can help me.... I have some time though :)

Erik
cirvam@netzero.net

Looking to learn more about Linux, Apache, PHP and others.

RE: Career Future

If you want to get into networking, the Cisco course will be very beneficial as there are not too many Cisco qualified engineers out there.

Creating 3 web pages should have taken about 30 minutes so congratulations on the $10. I hope you mean 3 sites... If you know VB, picking up Java and SQL should be very easy. Combine that with the HTML you know and you could be a very successful ecommerce provider.

MCSE is very highly thought of if it has been done properly. There are some cowboys out there who try to memorise the test questions and then take the exams, but that is getting harder (damn, I'll have to do some work now). You can try MCSE via books - the Dummies series are ok, but the Que books are better. That works out at around $100 per exam or $600 for your MCSE.

I have to say it is a lot harder than sitting in a classroom listening...

RE: Career Future

It sounds like you're a pretty capable person and enjoy learning. You don't have to choose between school and getting a job. You can do both, and it's a lot easier at your age than later. I know lots of people who worked full or parttime during college and also went back to school part time while working in their 30's and 40's and we'll all attest to that. Also a great advantage of working is that many employers wil pay for your schooling. You might even try an internship. Also if you're doing very well in your grades in HS, you may be interested to know that many colleges have an early admissions program that allows you to skip your senior year at HS, as long as you fulfil your HS graduation requirements by tkaing the necessary gym or english or wahtever your state requires in your first year of college. Also many colleges have accelerated (sp?) programs and summer programs so that you can get through in 3 years. It can be very useful to have a degree, but there's no use spending a lot of time doing that unless you're looking for the social side of it. Though there's actualy a lot to be said for developing that side of yourself too. If your guidance counselor at your HS isn't aware of these options or interested in helping you explore them, call the admissions dept of the college(s) of your choice and get some help there. BTW, be sure to take the PSATs and SATs, good scores can help you find scholarships!

RE: Career Future

(OP)
Can the MCSE tests be taken without taking the course? The person I talked to gave the impression that you needed the course to take the test.

It was 3 web sites and they all have 20+ pages, and for most I had to scan/edit/crop all the graphics. :)

Erik
cirvam@netzero.net

Looking to learn more about Linux, Apache, PHP and others.

RE: Career Future

I was ribbing you about the 3 pages... you should go to the web site designers forum and ask their opinions of the sites just to get some feedback.

MCSE can DEFINITELY be done without going on a course. Just buy the book, take the practice exams that come with the book either text or on CD. Wait until you can score 100% in your sleep and then book the exam through Silvan Prometric or VUE (they both have web sites - try www.2test.com as I recall). Then book it and take it. Exams are $75 each approx depending where in the world you live.

I have done it this way myself and have passed 4 so far but I don't recommend it as an easy option, only a cheap option.

Sounds like you are keen to learn everything - good luck!

RE: Career Future

Just to give you some insight on a couple of things from someone who has been there . .

I am 22 and just graduated in May 99 with my BS in Computer Science.  I was in the same situation you were.  I was debating on whether or not to get my MCSE and go straight to work after high school and be making 40-60 grand a year.  Sounds great . . . . for now.

Without that degree you usually get stuck.  All the BIG money positions (in larger businesses) require a degreee.  That is just the way it is now.

Also, when I graduated I got on to a company that payed for my MCSE.  I am getting paid to go to school.  It is great.  And after I get my MCSE (I am an MCP now) I will get my company to pay for my masters degree.

Trust me.  Go to College.  You will regret it in the long run if you don't.  And with the knowledge that you have already you should not have a problem getting a scholarship.

Hope this helps.

Pinkman

RE: Career Future

I don't agree at all that college is necessary.  I'm not going to disuade you from going, by any means, but I was just hired on as a National Technology Director in one of the nation's largest law firms and I am a MCSE, not a day of college under my belt.  This is a "BIG money position."  If you show the initiative and intelligence you can prevent yourself from getting "stuck" anywhere.  Obviously you have that drive and know-how.
  
I've worked with many MCP's, MCSE's and people with degrees in Computer Science, there are very distinct differences... those with degrees understand the theory better behind the work, those that are certified understand the technicalities better.  Both are valuable, you just have to decide what is better for you.

College is a very valuable experience, I won't say I regret not going, but I won't say that I DON'T regret it either.  I am 38 and the road to success has not been an easy one, but I am not disappointed in how it turned out.  After all, I don't have thousand upon thousands of dollars to pay back in student loans.

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