High school student needing some career advice.

darktempest87darktempest87 Member Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
I'm a senior in high school. I'm set on a computer career. I was origianally interested in going to college and getting a bachelor's in CIS for programming, but my teacher keeps telling me that those sort of jobs are on the decline because of out sourcing or something like that. Well, he's done some cisco stuff and he was telling me about it. I know that it is very difficult and it's a very advanced, in-depth version of the Net+ I'm taking now. I've been told that people can make quite a living with just the cisco cert's. Unfortunately that's about all I know. I just joined the forum and haven't read too much. I was thinking now that maybe I could go for the cisco certs then just get an associates or bachelors in CIS. Cisco needs programmers right? I'm getting A+, Network+, Server+, and Security+ by the end of this class that I'm taking along with some basic HTML. I'm also learning QBASIC then I'm going to try to learn a little java on my own. If anyone could give a little guidance it would be much appreciated.

Comments

  • garv221garv221 Member Posts: 1,914
    First off teaching jobs are on the decline & the market is flooded.
    You can make good money with Cisco products or programming, but the difference between IT & a regular profession is IT is based around experience. You cannot just graduate college and "boom" you land a job. You are in a perfect position to set yourself up to be in IT. I was in your same shoes 4.5 years ago. Graduated high school, went to college for IT & worked a part time job fixing computers. I used the little experience I had & made my resume remarkable & used the line “I work & go to school" in interviews. I finally got a good job & went with it, finished college with only an associate’s degree & started working on certs since. If you can get into IT you can make things happen, but your success is measured by your determination. I do not listen to people who tell me IT is on the decline especially from a 35k teacher. Good luck with any decision you make but I believe your first move is most vitale & should be college no matter what career path you choose. GL. :D
  • sab4yousab4you Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
    wow honestly it seems your all over the place, but since your young its no big deal.

    you need to decide if you want to do programming or networking. Learning HTML, QBasic and Java are not really going to do a whole lot of you want to be a Cisco networking guru. Learning Cisco, Network+ and A+ are also not going to do a whole lot if you decide to become a java programmer.

    The way I see it there are 3 major subsections with computers - programming, database and networking. I dont know much about programming or database, but networking can usually be broken into hardware or software (or, if you like, Microsoft or Cisco).

    I say no matter what goto college. Finish this up and it will be useful for any job you decide. Even if you take a computer degree and decide its not for you, many companies like to see a degree and may even throw away resumes that dont have it.

    If, during high school, you have time to pursue other computer specifics I say go for it. Cisco is a great thing to have under your belt, looks great on a resume and can potentially open some doors. But, I will tell you entry level jobs working on cisco equipment is pretty rare to not going to happen. If you want to get into networking, IMO its better to pursue a MCSE as there are more microsoft network/system administrator jobs out there and there is a higher chance you can get your foot in the door entry level with MS than cisco. Once your working in the field, if you want to move towards the hardware networking side, then you have an easier chance.

    Either way, make sure you have fun in high school, its a blast and only happens once. Good to see your career oriented, but make sure you know the direction your going before embarking on your path. Your young enough so your not in a crunch for time, so if you mess up or study something irrelevant towards your goal, its not that big of a deal. Your in a great position for yourself and enjoy.
  • viper75viper75 Member Posts: 726 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I agree with what everyone else has said.

    IMO...Go to College get your degree, get your feet wet in the field, and go Cisco.

    I started in the IT field 10 years ago...I was 19. I'm 29 now... icon_cry.gif

    My 2LBS. icon_wink.gif

    Good Luck!!!
    CCNP Security - DONE!
    CCNP R&S - In Progress...
    CCIE Security - Future...
  • skully93skully93 Member Posts: 321 ■■■□□□□□□□
    viper75 wrote:
    I agree with what everyone else has said.

    IMO...Go to College get your degree, get your feet wet in the field, and go Cisco.

    I started in the IT field 10 years ago...I was 19. I'm 29 now... icon_cry.gif

    My 2LBS. icon_wink.gif

    Good Luck!!!

    Definitely!

    I'm 28 now, and wish I had worked a bit harder on certs during the 'boom'. Sure, I'd still be working for poo, but I'd not have to be working for poo AND studying for certs.

    Sure, IT isn't the easiest to get into right now, but there's an ebb and flow to it all. Sooner or later, SOME people are going to want someone local to do things for them. If you're determined, I'm sure you can find something.

    A degree is NEVER a bad thing to have on your resume. Certs are a good thing and held in good regard right now, but degrees are forever.
    I do not have a psychiatrist and I do not want one, for the simple reason that if he listened to me long enough, he might become disturbed.

    -- James Thurber
  • DanhDanh Member Posts: 59 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Go to college. Remember that CIS majors are a dime a dozen though. I found CIS very boring. 90% of it is theory.
  • tech77tech77 Member Posts: 31 ■■□□□□□□□□
    College, definately go to college.

    My major was history and I even have an MA in the damn field, but I'm a systems manager for a mid-sized company....go figure on how that happened.

    icon_scratch.gif

    My point is, and one that everyone else is hitting on too, is that if you have the opportunity to go to college, then you should do so by all means. If you really like it and do well, go on to graduate school for at least a master's in whatever you're interested in. A PhD is too much and too open-ended depending on your field.

    If you need to take some time off and do something else in between, do that, but don't wait too long. I took 4 years off for the Army between high school and university and that worked for me. You come back really appreciating the importance of education and maybe gain a little more life experience than the normal run of freshmen.

    If you're interested in IT though, you don't have to do computer science. Get the liberal arts curriculum and do the certifications on the side. 90% of finding that great job is based on things like are you articulate and thoughful, can you solve problems and work with other people, can you be responsible, independent, and work with others? These are what employers look for. The certifications without experience just get you in the door. I guess that's the remaining 10%. However, if you like CIS then pursue it. There will always be a need for smart people with a computer or engeneering background. Just be ready to be mobile if there aren't jobs in your area.

    So, go to college and get the certs too.

    icon_idea.gif
  • kiethfkiethf Member Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I agree with Skull93 on this one. If I would have worked on my certs a few years back I would not have to be working for less then Poo. My issue was I never finished High school in the first round I wait about 3 years before I went back in and finshed high school and went to college. If I had only stayed in school the first time I would have an addition 3 years of IT under my belt. Now at the age of 27, I only have 3 years of grooling user account creations and maintenance, phone support and just in the past year good, old Cisco and AS/400 experience. I would be a lot further ahead if I did not leave school. So my advice finish High School, got to college for either programming OR networking (but not both becuase you would never be able to afford all the certs icon_lol.gif or the time to study for them icon_lol.gif ). As a side note java and .NET jobs are growing but I do recommend the networking side of computers, more oppertunities are out there for the beginner.
  • kiethfkiethf Member Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Sorry for the mistake in the name skully93.....my appoligies
  • Fu LoserFu Loser Member Posts: 123
    i've had a lot of people tell me if you are going for cisco and you going for CCIE or even make it to CCNP, then don't bother with college.

    Reason is the only thing you can get from college is basically a computer science degree, wich is basically programming. If your doing cisco thats networking. They are not the same at all.

    I have not found one college anywhere near me that offers something like a Networking Administration degree or anything like that. Its mostly computer science.

    If you get a CCIE or CCNP their simply is no need for college. CCIE is simply harder than any college will probly ever be.

    My teacher works for Microsoft and he is a security trainer, has no college but he has plenty of certs. His main certs are CCNP and CCSP and he makes a great living, he just bought his 3rd appartment complex icon_eek.gif right by railroad station, wich out in Chicago is prime realistate.

    He said he has work many jobs that actually said they required Comp Sci degree and in his interviews with those companies he simply told the person interviewing him that you don't want a Comp Sci degree. He has never had problems finding a job.

    CCNP qualifies you to run a Network with 500 nodes or more, Comp Sci degree qualifies you to.....know how a cable works.....do C+......
  • tunerXtunerX Member Posts: 447 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Fu Loser wrote:
    If you get a CCIE or CCNP their simply is no need for college. CCIE is simply harder than any college will probly ever be.

    Most CCIE's still work for somebody. The people they work for usually have degrees.

    I am studying for my CCIE and my masters in Telecommunications. When I get done I hope to be in Program Management for government systems where we hire CCIE's as consultant's make a bunch of money then get a nice bonus when the projects are successful. My Boss has no certs but a BS in CS and an MS in management. We just finished some VOIP work for the government which was around 75 million dollars, he got a 250K bonus and makes more than me a year. I got a 10K bonus and will only make about 130K by the end of this year.
  • Fu LoserFu Loser Member Posts: 123
    That's a nice size project! and a large chunk of change.

    Personally I'm going the consulting route with Cisco certs.

    At this point in my life Im really focused on certs. Its much easier/faster to get a CCNP cert and land a nice job than to spend 4-6yrs in college to get a job with the same starting salary you could have gotten 4-5yrs before with certs.

    Consulting is where its at for me, I REALY do not feel like taking english classes, art classes, and a bunch a stupid impractical math classes.

    I can work full time and get certs, I cannot work full time and go to school and get done in a quick amount of time.

    at least for me I am actually signing up for a Internetworking Degree at my local college, I can only take 2 classes at most at a time, so I figure I get certs then when done focus on knocking out the college.

    Although Im already hating the layout of the college course, Math, and Eng, ick! and my god the first 15/20 classes are all about microproccessing technology, a bunch of crap that has nothing to do with networking! Why the hell do I need to know C+ and the tiny details of how a damn microchip works if I'm specialzing in routers and switches!

    What i'm gonna be doing network consulting jobs and run into a problem and tell everyone, Know worries!, I'll get my torch and melt some gold and get that chip working just right! and then when I'm done I'll pump out some code, that will make frame relay work!........

    To many pointless classes at college if you ask me.

    I'd rather at oldest be 25 and have a CCIE then be 26 with a degree, struggling to then find a job, then start working on CCIE.
  • drewm320drewm320 Member Posts: 68 ■■□□□□□□□□
    To many pointless classes at college if you ask me.

    I do mostly server administration and networking. Thanks to those pointless classes I took in college, I have a pretty good feel for database normalization. I know when a hash table should be used instead of a B-Tree. I can follow C, C++ and Java coding to find out how a program works. I understand how mpeg compression works..............

    Self taught IT people and guys who went to a vocational type school (ITT Tech) generally aren't going to learn all the peripheral stuff that makes you a good, well rounded IT professional.
  • bighuskerbighusker Member Posts: 147
    If you want to be a programmer, major in Computer Science, not "Computer Information Systems" or "Management Information Systems". MIS/CIS is usually like a business/information technology degree. The only programming requirements for that degree at my school are Visual Basic and two semesters of C++ (and many MIS majors just barely get through the 2nd semester of C++). It's fine if you want to do that type of thing, but Computer Science *is* programming and algorithms.

    drewm320 offered some very good advice. Even a lot of the "theoretical BS" that gets taught in CS courses has some real-world uses in programming.
  • viper75viper75 Member Posts: 726 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Fu Loser wrote:
    I REALY do not feel like taking english classes, art classes, and a bunch a stupid impractical math classes.

    I can work full time and get certs, I cannot work full time and go to school and get done in a quick amount of time.

    at least for me I am actually signing up for a Internetworking Degree at my local college, I can only take 2 classes at most at a time, so I figure I get certs then when done focus on knocking out the college.

    Although Im already hating the layout of the college course, Math, and Eng, ick! and my god the first 15/20 classes are all about microproccessing technology, a bunch of crap that has nothing to do with networking! Why the hell do I need to know C+ and the tiny details of how a damn microchip works if I'm specialzing in routers and switches!

    What i'm gonna be doing network consulting jobs and run into a problem and tell everyone, Know worries!, I'll get my torch and melt some gold and get that chip working just right! and then when I'm done I'll pump out some code, that will make frame relay work!........

    To many pointless classes at college if you ask me.

    I'd rather at oldest be 25 and have a CCIE then be 26 with a degree, struggling to then find a job, then start working on CCIE.


    Man I agree with you...I went back to school to get my degree in Internetworking being already in the field for 10 years. Just want the degree. It's a 2 year program and I'm done this coming April..w00000000t!!!!!! I don't understand why they make you takes all these stupid classes...like math, critical thinking, studio art...all those BS classes. Right now I'm sitting in one of my boring ass classes typing this. It's 7:56pm Estern time and my next class starts at 8:25pm to 10:45pm...sometimes we get out at 11pm. What sucks about that is that's math class. crash.gifcrash.gif

    I also have a full-time job as a Network Adminsitrator. Last week I had asked my Calcul. prof. how come I need to know all this junk, like what 2 variables will equal X. Sh said that one day I might need to know that. I told her that I'm a LAN Admin and have already been in the field for 10 years. Then she replies, "Because the state says you have to take math." I think it's a waste of $$$ and time. I told her that my boss will never ask me to find the Y-Intercept for Router A if Routers 2 and 3 equal to 12xy. Come on give me a break!!!

    It also gets in the way of studying for your Cert.s because you're always doing homework. It's sucks!!!

    You work all day, go to night school from 6pm-11pm., do pointless homework, study for tests AND then you have to try to somehow squeeze time in to study for your certs. and basically have a life (friens\girlfriend).

    It just sucks!!! Trust me I've been doing it for the past 1 1/2. I can't wait to finish school. I might actually have some kind of life now. crash.gifcrash.gifcrash.gif
    CCNP Security - DONE!
    CCNP R&S - In Progress...
    CCIE Security - Future...
  • fonduefondue Member Posts: 104
    Go to college, learn how to interact with people. This isn't a knock on anyone, but there are too many anti social IT and programmers already. Any degree would help backup a CCNA, CCNP or CCIE and would be fantastic. You may be able to take the Cisco Academy classes at college as elective and work towards the initial CCNA.

    Oh and pay close attention in english so when I read your network documentation it's legible.
  • drewm320drewm320 Member Posts: 68 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Oh and pay close attention in english so when I read your network documentation it's legible.

    Good call. I don't care how many certs you have or how long you've been a SysAdmin. If you can't spell, you come off like an idiot.
  • tunerXtunerX Member Posts: 447 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Fu Loser wrote:
    That's a nice size project! and a large chunk of change.

    I'd rather at oldest be 25 and have a CCIE then be 26 with a degree, struggling to then find a job, then start working on CCIE.

    75 million is nothing. The MSE project which has lasted 20+ years has been over 25 billion in contracts. The next government project (WIN-T) slated in 2008-2009 is starting out at 14 billion dollars. There are a hefty number of sub contracts to be won many in the low to high millions.

    If I wouldn't have gotten my degree then I would not have gotten the nice raises and promotions that I have been earning. Without the raises I would not have been able to invest 15K in my personal CCIE study lab.

    When I started out I had 4 years experience in the military I had my CCNA, SCSA, SCNA, and MCSE NT4. I got a job at HP for 76K a year. Two months after I started, the bottom dropped out of the IT sector and my section of HP closed down. I took a job with a GD starting out at 45K. GD has paid for my college and I have been to over 100K in classes and training. I am now making over 120K a year but it would not be possible with certs alone. You need a degree and 4 or about 8-10 years experience to get a position as an MTS (Member of Technical Staff). I see lots of people getting out of the military with 6+ years experience, CCNP, and MCSE 2000-2003. These people are thinking they will be making in the 90s right out of the cage. The most they can pull in is 40-60K. The people who have a degree, the same amount of experience and the same certs start between 50-80K. With a masters they are getting 60-90K a year.

    A CCIE alone isn't worth that much unless you have experience or degrees.
  • Fu LoserFu Loser Member Posts: 123
    CCIE isn't worth much......hmm...only about 12,000 peple in the world have a CCIE. The CCIE is ranked to more than likely be the 3rd hardest test in the united states. I have seen job offers on computerjobs.com offering well over 100k a year with all sorts of bonuses and incentives.

    Well I am starting to take classes again, heres why.

    Well I went to my college and sat down with the head of the IT department and started asking a lot of questions. The internetworking degree "at this school" is basically composed of 2 basical eng/scie classes then all your other electives can be in the computer field. You need a total of 96 credit hours to graduate......inless, you have certs :D

    part of the degree is actually A+, then N+ and last CCNA courses, CCNP can be taken as an elective, but is not required.

    When I was all done talking to my the professor, I walk away with this knowledge.

    With A+, N+, and CCNA you automatically skip 10 classes (about 50 credit hours.) and you then bypass all of the pre-req. classes for those classes, you can then easly test out of a few dumb "easy A" classes just with the knowlegde from your certs.

    Over all in January I'm starting my Internetworking degree, I will have 2 classes and then 3 classes in the summer simester, o yeah, then I will have my Internetworking degree.

    With these certs you skip enuff classes to the point that you only need to meet the schools "30 credit hour min. That's five 6 credit hour classes and I'm done.

    So do I still think its best to get certs over college? Of course, get the certs, skip 2 years of college, get degree in 4 months. Only took 3 months to get N+ and CCNA

    :D
  • jinx37jinx37 Member Posts: 8 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Fu Loser wrote:
    I have not found one college anywhere near me that offers something like a Networking Administration degree or anything like that. Its mostly computer science.

    If you get a CCIE or CCNP their simply is no need for college. CCIE is simply harder than any college will probly ever be.
    works.....do C+......

    Hi, thought I'd put my 2 cents in. Anyways, in reguard to what FU Loser said, that is simply not true. Michigan Technological University offers two such BS programs. There's Computer Systems Science and Computer Network & Systems Administration (http://www.mtu.edu/computers/)

    I went through this same thing when I graduated high school. The best advice I can give you is go to college, then you'll know 100% that you want to do something in the IT industry. However, while in college, try to knock off some certs, I knocked off A+ and Network+ in about 2 months and I shoudl have CCNA whithin the next couple months.

    Look at it this way, if an employer has to decide between a degree and certifications, why not just make his/her job easier and get both. Whatever you choose, good luck, it's a hard choice but for me, once I started college, it made a lot more sense.

    This is for FU Loser:
    For the record, CCIE is not harder to get than college. A REAL BS degree takes 4 years to obtain and a ton of studying. If you can't get a CCIE in 4 years (this is assuming that you act like a student, have no job, just study for CCIE), then you are more than likely never going to get it.
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