Where is my career heading?

DestiniDestini Member Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
I've had serious doubts about just what I'm going to do once I leave uni recently, so much that it's completely lowering my motivation to attend lectures and get coursework done. I'm not unhappy, I absolutely love it here, I'm a confident guy with a part time job etc and I love life, but I'm dreading what's to come once I leave uni.

I seriously need to sort out these worries and I'm hoping you guys can spare a few moments to read this in order to give me some pointers.

I've always liked computers, I like modern things in general. In my early teens I started experimenting online, creating websites, and eventually creating flash games. Flash actionscript was about as far as it went before I joined uni after completing my A-levels. When I started programming with delphi and java I vastly enjoyed making programs and solving the difficult problems at first, but it just wasn't to last.

Nowadays it just feels like I've been forever solving problems that I don't really care about. What's more, these are coursework designed program examples which are about as interesting as they come, the thought of doing something like that for a bank is awful. Even though in an actually business situation it would be different because I'm working towards something, I still don't think I'd be interested for long.

To put it simply, I just don't think programming is going to interest me in the long-term, since I'm already getting bored to death of it, and I'm only in my second year at uni studying Computer Science. But it's not just that, I'm just not sure I want to be sat at a computer all day for the rest of my working life.

I'm confident and charismatic and I was hoping to put that to some more practical use, like learning the in-depth of a program then displaying how it works to an audience or something? That kind of thing would really appeal to me, I did consider teaching but I think I want to get away from academics.

I've been reading some other posts about networking etc... what exactly does that involve? I just don't think my knowledge of hardware would mean I'm cut out for it.

I really enjoy going out and socialising in general and I just don't share a lot of interests with much of my IT peers. I'm not labelling them as stereotypical "geeks", but it's suprising how many of them do fit the stereotype in terms of their interests. And that's fine an all, it's just we don't have many things in common.

Basically I would really appreciate it if you guys could give me some pointers on just how big my choice of options actually is, and areas of IT which I might find more interesting.

You'd really be helping me out with any suggestions you can give, thankyou.

I live in England btw.

Comments

  • NetstudentNetstudent Member Posts: 1,693 ■■■□□□□□□□
    IN my experience a CS degree from a 4 year univeristy it pretty much the de facto in the IT field. You don't have to make a career out of programming. YOur college degree doesn;t necessarily guaruntee you a job in any given sector of IT. The degree shows ability to learn, long-term dedication, drive, ambition, ect...

    Yes you should be trying to learn as much skill as possible during college and aquiring a well rounded education, but when you graduate your still going to find a mid to entry level job. You may use some of your book learning theory on the job and you may not. A lot of times, the job will mold and train you into the employee that is best for the company.

    It sounds like your networking skills are kinda lacking though. If I were you, I would start getting some networking certifications to compliment your C.S degree. Try to read around and say up to date with the Networking technology sector. See if your university will let you take some telecommunication electives or take some Linux or Unix or Cisco classes. Get your Network+ certification and start working your ass off to learn networking while your in school. Try as best as you can to diversify your skills. Pick up the CCNA, buy some equipment to play around with.

    A lot of times, guys with a 4 year degree start out kinda low and move up fast. The more you learn while in school and the more credentials you earn, the faster you catch on and move up.

    Good luck.
    There is no place like 127.0.0.1 BUT 209.62.5.3 is my 127.0.0.1 away from 127.0.0.1!
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Destini wrote:
    Nowadays it just feels like I've been forever solving problems that I don't really care about. What's more, these are coursework designed program examples which are about as interesting as they come, the thought of doing something like that for a bank is awful. Even though in an actually business situation it would be different because I'm working towards something, I still don't think I'd be interested for long.

    I agree that writing bank software doesn't seem like a lot of fun. Is there anything, such as game development, that you might find more appealing?
    Destini wrote:
    I'm confident and charismatic and I was hoping to put that to some more practical use, like learning the in-depth of a program then displaying how it works to an audience or something? That kind of thing would really appeal to me, I did consider teaching but I think I want to get away from academics.

    Have you considered being a technical trainer? I'm not sure about the programming side of things, but there seems to be a decent demand for MS and Cisco instructors. You'd obviously need some IT experience outside of your programming studies, but it's something to keep in mind if you think you would enjoy that.

    Would you like to be the person presenting, say, a new version of Windows, to an auditorium full of people? Maybe tack on a public speaking or communications minor. These companies need charismatic people to go out and spread the word.
    Destini wrote:
    I've been reading some other posts about networking etc... what exactly does that involve? I just don't think my knowledge of hardware would mean I'm cut out for it.

    I think you'll be able to get up to speed fairly quickly. There's people who are 40+ just starting now out. If this is something you're interested in, pursue it. I'd pick up an A+ and Network+ book and go through those. You could probably even start with the tech notes on this site. Those are typical foundation-level certifications. Go through that material and see how you feel afterwards.
  • DestiniDestini Member Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Cheers for the replies guys, they've begun to cheer me up already.

    dynamik, yes I think an auditorium full of people would be something I'd love to do, it takes character, it takes charisma, it takes an in-depth knowledge of I.T.

    One thing I hate about computers is that you're hidden behind them, I wouldn't ever dream of asking someone on a date over MSN because I could do it much more confidently and smoothly in real life.

    So out of interest, do you have any idea what that area of I.T. would be called? Surely it would take many years of work in a related area to achieve that. I just wouldn't be sure where to start to be honest.

    Aslong as I knew I was on track to something I could really present myself in, and have my IT skills there to make me unique, then perhaps I could actually almost look forward to the future after uni.
  • silentc1015silentc1015 Member Posts: 128
    Destini wrote:
    Cheers for the replies guys, they've begun to cheer me up already.

    dynamik, yes I think an auditorium full of people would be something I'd love to do, it takes character, it takes charisma, it takes an in-depth knowledge of I.T.

    One thing I hate about computers is that you're hidden behind them, I wouldn't ever dream of asking someone on a date over MSN because I could do it much more confidently and smoothly in real life.

    So out of interest, do you have any idea what that area of I.T. would be called? Surely it would take many years of work in a related area to achieve that. I just wouldn't be sure where to start to be honest.

    Aslong as I knew I was on track to something I could really present myself in, and have my IT skills there to make me unique, then perhaps I could actually almost look forward to the future after uni.

    Yes, as mentioned, there are plenty of IT careers that don't include programming for some bank or geeking out in some dark cubicle or lab for hours on end. Technical account manager, instructor, or sales rep for some technology (like Cisco technology) are all great opportunities and may suit you because of your social skills. They usually pay just as well or sometimes more than the stereotypical geek/hacker job, too.
  • jamesp1983jamesp1983 Member Posts: 2,475 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Destini wrote:
    I really enjoy going out and socialising in general and I just don't share a lot of interests with much of my IT peers. I'm not labelling them as stereotypical "geeks", but it's suprising how many of them do fit the stereotype in terms of their interests. And that's fine an all, it's just we don't have many things in common.


    I used to feel that exact same way. I've been the industry for about 6 years collectively and I'll have to say I'm slowly but surely becoming a geek. Networking, esp Cisco, is consuming me entirely. I received my Associates in Programming, then switched to networking my Junior year. I'm 24 and I used to be big in to going out to socialize and meet people, but now my priorities are shifting quickly. I could care less about going out anymore. I actually prefer to stay in and study some nights. Thank God for friends who won't allow no for an answer on the weekends. My Cisco training is actually taking over the part of my life I used to use to go to the gym. Working out used to be my life, now it's 3rd in the list of priorities.

    I definitely agree with the other guys. If you're outgoing and a people person, sales or teaching are the way to go. I think you would really advance quickly in those fields. You will probably be a lot happier as well. Good luck in all of your endeavors.
    "Check both the destination and return path when a route fails." "Switches create a network. Routers connect networks."
  • KGhaleonKGhaleon Member Posts: 1,346 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I think this subject is best approached with a song. icon_lol.gif
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=X5aWTmLzTYg

    :)
    Present goals: MCAS, MCSA, 70-680
  • TeslTesl Member Posts: 87 ■■■□□□□□□□
    As someone who works as a software developer in a bank, I want to point out that you are all wrong :P

    There is nothing quite like being given all the resources need as and when you need them, in order to build a system and watch more than 1BN$ *a day* pass through it. A heck of a responsibility, and since most of the time is spent talking with traders and planning how to make more money, its far from not interesting ;)

    Anyway, how long have you been feeling this down about it? I hated my 2nd/3rd year of my computer science degree and skipped tons of lectures as well, but still had ups and downs in relation to programming and other IT things. It might just be a down period, and in a few months you'll start enjoying things again.

    Otherwise, are you really sure that IT is what you are interested in? From what you say, you certainly don't fit the stereotype. Computers can be done, but like you, there is a certain point where I just lose all and any interest. For me now, I'm expecting my career to move further and further away from IT to the point where my skills become irrelevant, because I think there are more interesting things out there too.

    For me (I always like talking about me) I expect my next role will not be about IT per say (ie, not development, not support) but where my IT / development skills may compliment my role and make things easier (with skills in scripting and so forth). If there are other things you are really interested in, you may be able to find positions where you can also make use of what IT skills you have, without your job actually being nothing but IT.

    For networking, you said you hadn't studied it and didn't know enough about the hardware side. I got my CCNA a while back, enjoyed it, but don't want to do anymore. I know nothing about the hardware as well, I just know the theory and required commands to make a Cisco IOS do some magic (though, at CCNA level, not all that much magic). Everyone elses advise here has been to go crazy studying networking theory, but I'm not sure I agree at all. I wouldn't advise against reading some things online or getting a book to read, but if you aren't interested don't force it on yourself. Why study something you aren't interested in? So you can go pick up a dull helpdesk job after you finish university? Doesn't sound like fun to me.

    I'd say to stick it out for now, but have a think about other non IT things you are interested in. You may well be able to find things that are complimented by your IT knowledge. I don't even consider much of the IT industry a good career at all, but I still find myself posting on this board because, damn it, its quite interesting =(

    If it makes you feel better though, I think much of software development isn't a bad gig either. I have a close friend here who is my age (22), works in the same city (Not England, but we are both english), finished his degree the same year as me (same degree) and works as a game programmer. We both love what we do for different reasons, and there can definitely be more to life as a programmer than just sitting in front of a computer all day.

    Sadly I type too fast and have written too much, so I'll cut it out now. Good luck with whatever you do, you have another year or so left so don't worry too much. No go get some beer in you ;)
  • KGhaleonKGhaleon Member Posts: 1,346 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I spent my day today watching videos and learning SQL and Exchange 2007. I've been out of college for years and still haven't found a good job and I'm bored out of my mind studying all the time...it's like I never left school. :D

    I believe it will all pay off in time. One of these days I'll know servers and networking equipment by the back of my hand and I'll be making tons of money until I'm 70. ;)
    Present goals: MCAS, MCSA, 70-680
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSOM GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ Linux+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,774 Admin
    Destini wrote:
    To put it simply, I just don't think programming is going to interest me in the long-term, since I'm already getting bored to death of it, and I'm only in my second year at uni studying Computer Science. But it's not just that, I'm just not sure I want to be sat at a computer all day for the rest of my working life.
    This is actually quite a common personal discovery to make while at university. I have several friends who went into a computer science program specifically because they knew a high-paying aerospace job would be waiting for them when they graduated. Well, after four years of college and a year in aerospace, they all decided they hated programming and immediately started to move upwards into a career in management. You are just discovering sooner than later that programming is not how you will earn a satisfying living.
    Destini wrote:
    Nowadays it just feels like I've been forever solving problems that I don't really care about. What's more, these are coursework designed program examples which are about as interesting as they come, the thought of doing something like that for a bank is awful. Even though in an actually business situation it would be different because I'm working towards something, I still don't think I'd be interested for long.
    Tesl wrote:
    There is nothing quite like being given all the resources need as and when you need them, in order to build a system and watch more than 1BN$ *a day* pass through it. A heck of a responsibility, and since most of the time is spent talking with traders and planning how to make more money, its far from not interesting ;)
    I've helped write software that is used to save lives in hospital Emergency Departments every day. It was difficult and tedious software to write and test, but I found an enormous satisfaction from doing it because of how important the software was. The work I've done lately on computer gaming products I find completely unfulfilling because I'm writing software that doesn't really do anything, and contributes nothing to the betterment of humanity. It turns out that, for me, computer games are fun to play, but I really don't want to waste my time or talent designing and implementing them. Therefore, after working for over twenty years as a software engineer, I am currently looking to take my career in a very different and more satisfying direction. I think everybody goes through this type of occupational transition at least once or twice in their lifetime, and it's a sign of personal growth and a healthy mental attitude.
  • royalroyal Member Posts: 3,352 ■■■■□□□□□□
    KGhaleon wrote:
    studying all the time...it's like I never left school. :D

    That doesn't change once you get the job. :)
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
  • APAAPA Member Posts: 959
    royal wrote:
    KGhaleon wrote:
    studying all the time...it's like I never left school. :D

    That doesn't change once you get the job. :)

    I'll second that.... if anything, to progress higher up the ranks the studying becomes second nature and continuous!!!! icon_wink.gif

    CCNA | CCNA:Security | CCNP | CCIP
    JNCIA:JUNOS | JNCIA:EX | JNCIS:ENT | JNCIS:SEC
    JNCIS:SP | JNCIP:SP
  • royalroyal Member Posts: 3,352 ■■■■□□□□□□
    A.P.A wrote:
    royal wrote:
    KGhaleon wrote:
    studying all the time...it's like I never left school. :D

    That doesn't change once you get the job. :)

    I'll second that.... if anything, to progress higher up the ranks the studying becomes second nature and continuous!!!! icon_wink.gif

    Yep. My goal is to become a Senior Engineer for my company in 3-5 years. To do that, I do a TON of reading. For example, I started and finished reading Intro to Server 2008 book the week before last, and this week I read the 70-237/70-238 book for Exchange and will be taking the 70-238 exam on Tuesday. After that, I have SQL 2005 stuff I want to read because I don't know too much about SQL, and then I want to read my Vista book for 70-620. Then I want to learn more about Group Policy so I have a Group Policy book. Then I want to read an Active Directory book because the only book I've read on AD is 70-294 and that's only focused for an exam. Then I want to read a SCCM book and then a SCOM book. Then there's Powershell I want to learn. I also plan on getting the Server 2008 Resource Kit which is 4000 pages alone!

    Basically, what I'm saying is, studying never ends!
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
  • MishraMishra Member Posts: 2,468 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I think I know where you are going with this post. A lot of people say they have general interest in IT but don't want to get into it because sitting at a desk 8 hours a day is boring.

    I didn't become a programmer because I thought I would eventually get bored sitting at a desk and coding for 8 hours a day. I instead, became a system administrator. So what do I do that doesn't involve sitting at a desk in nerdom land?

    I have long walks and requirements to visit users at their desk when they are having a problem with the production systems. I have to run a patch cable or fiber in the data center when setting up new servers. I have to walk into the server room and work on hardware problems with servers. I have to go get the new systems that come into the building and set them up. I have to interact with the customers/sponsors in order to come to the right decision on a product they are looking for. I have to interact with supervisors and higher ups to help meet their needs. We have to plan/coordinate/implement many projects which take a lot of team work and non IT related work.

    I really don't find system administration to be as streamline as a programmer.

    I think the most action you are going to find is being a consultant/contractor in systems or networking. You will be doing different projects all the time and will keep you on your toes. It will give you a lot to think about and do and will make you feel good.
    My blog http://www.calegp.com

    You may learn something!
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