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  1. Junior Member Registered Member
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    Default Career path for 17 year old?

    I like computers a lot and currently on my way to get some vendor neutral certifications such as the Comptia A+ and Network+. I'm 17 years old right now. I don't know if I want to go to college and major in IT when I finish high school or if I want to do something different. My fear is that if i go into the IT field, my job will be boring, mundane, and depressing. I think that I will grow tired of my job, being in a cubicle inside an office all day. I like to be outdoors so I was thinking of becoming a firefighter or Navy Seal. The problem is my first option (IT) is a well paying job but I think I wont like it even though I like computers and my 2nd option (firefighter/navy seal) is a very exciting job but I don't think it pays that well.

    What would you do if you were in my position?

    I like IT and computers... I just think it'll get too boring so I'll end up not liking it...

    But I also love being outdoors and getting active.
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  3. Junior Member laloosh's Avatar
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    #2
    At 17 I would worry about who you're taking to the prom next year and how you're going to do on the SATs.

    Aside from that, you need to decide what's more important: job satisfaction or money.

    It's good to have long-term goals but I don't think you need to necessarily be plotting out a career path at this point.
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  4. Member Samurai004's Avatar
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    #3
    Or if you really like planning...become an event planner. jk, get the A+ and Net+ certs, it won't hurt you and will give you a taste.
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  5. Senior Member ipconfig.all's Avatar
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    #4
    Talk to your guidance councilor or or a careers councilor or something. To tell you the truth the job market is really hard to get into because there are a lot of people out there who are looking for jobs etc and if you apply for a job the employer will get around 70 to 150 cvs. It is all about experience and not qualifications though having certifications or a diploma or a degree will help its mainly about the experience. If you want to get into IT without going to college try doing some IT certifications like Comptia A+ or Network+ or MCTS/MCP and try and volunteer yourself to get some work experience. Also try and ask friends/family if they know anyone who is looking for any I.T people networking is really important and in I.T sadly it is about who you know rather than what you know so try and build up some contacts and try and sell yourself.

    Additonal stuff that you could get to help your job search is to get a drivers license cause some employers want you to have a drivers license if the job involves a lot of travelling. If I were you I would go to college and graduate from college with a degree because the job market is really hard at the moment but who knows in 4 more years it could be worest but your best bet is to get a good education because it will help you in the long run but if you want to break into the IT world quickly you can do what I said it could or could not work.

    Cheers.
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  6. Senior Member
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    #5
    It's good that you're trying to plan out what you want to do in life. Getting an early start is good because you'll be ahead of other people. Don't let people tell you to worry about doing other things because no one else is going to do this stuff but you.
    If you feel some things are more important than other, go for them.

    Some of our IT guys/girls at my school don't work in a cubical. Some do, while the student workers that work in IT that work on computers, don't. They have basically a bench to work on the computers. They go run around campus working on computers in the office, classroom, or whatever room. There has been days where the students had nothing to do.....
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  7. Senior Member NetworkingStudent's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by obliviousman View Post
    I like computers a lot and currently on my way to get some vendor neutral certifications such as the Comptia A+ and Network+. I'm 17 years old right now. I don't know if I want to go to college and major in IT when I finish high school or if I want to do something different. My fear is that if i go into the IT field, my job will be boring, mundane, and depressing. I think that I will grow tired of my job, being in a cubicle inside an office all day. I like to be outdoors so I was thinking of becoming a firefighter or Navy Seal. The problem is my first option (IT) is a well paying job but I think I wont like it even though I like computers and my 2nd option (firefighter/navy seal) is a very exciting job but I don't think it pays that well.

    What would you do if you were in my position?

    I like IT and computers... I just think it'll get too boring so I'll end up not liking it...

    But I also love being outdoors and getting active.
    You’re so young that what you might want to do today could drastically change within 1-5 years from now. In fact I believe a person changes careers 6 times, although I could be wrong. I suggest taking any advance classes you can while in high school. Take classes that allow you to earn get college credit, while in high school. Also, try taking any Technology classes while in high school. Example web design, networking classes, ect Computer repair classes.
    Here are my suggestions:
    Take a career test to see what you would be best at
    Follow your dreams, and try most of the jobs that you want to do.
    Take a personality test find out if you’re an introvert or extravert, this may help guide your career path.
    I suggest after high school that you take general ed classes, and after you complete those, then you can pick a degree.
    Why not go into the Navy, and get a GI Bill, I think they pay for school.
    Here is a link that explain job roles and career paths, good luck hope this helps
    Microsoft Learning: Student Career Portal
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
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  8. Member Riskbling's Avatar
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    #7
    Only you can decide what is best for you. Being 17, my suggestion is to go to a University and make good friends and develop as a person. Dip your feet in the water, try something you normally would not.

    In my personal opinion, IT is not the most rewarding or thrilling career field. You're more than likely not going to be able to tell someone at the end of the day you cured them from cancer and you won't be jumping out of airplanes. I enjoy working with computers, but it has it's dry moments like any other job.

    Good luck.
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  9. InfoSec Analyst shaqazoolu's Avatar
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    #8
    You are young enough to try both. Get your certs, get an IT job and see how you like it. Evaluate not only your own job, but keep an eye on what your boss does regularly and try to get involved. Ask him what his day is like. If he isn't a complete dickhead he will be more than happy to share and will probably appreciate the effort.

    My dad was a firefighter and my little brother is going out to be a Navy Seal. Both are very demanding jobs. I will tell you that you don't just become a Navy Seal. It's more like you try out for 6 months and they only accept like 3% of those who tried. I would suggest doing a LOT of research about it before you go that route, maybe even check out a BUDS training camp. It's definitely not something you just do. The one my little brother just got back from is linked below.

    NAVY SEAL TRAINING HOME NAVY SEAL TRAINING Extreme SEAL Experience
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  10. n00b
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    #9
    Here's a way that you could be active and work with computers... the US Army. You could join with the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 25B, which is an Information Technology Specialist. You'll work with computers and networking equipment, but you'll also do basic soldiering tasks such as rifle marksmanship, field maneuvers, land navigation, and other stuff that I can't think of at the moment. You may be eligible to become 'Airborne' and jump out of planes, or 'Air Assault' and repel out of helicopters. Depending on the unit you go to, you may be setting up computer networks in the field (aka in the middle of nowhere... or Afgan).
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  11. Senior Member deneb829's Avatar
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    #10
    Build a solid educational groundwork NOW! I've been in IT for 16 years - starting out with an Assoicates Degree as a bench tech. Not having a 4 year degree may limit you later. At 42 with 4 kids and working full time, I just finsihed my 4 year degree. You have time ... lots of time. Get that foundation now, believe me, you won't know how much it matters unless you do not do it.
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  12. Senior Member ipconfig.all's Avatar
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    #11
    I reckon in 10 years from now every single junior to intermediate level IT jobs will ask for a bachelor degree plus certifications. It wasn't long ago when you could get into I.T without having no previous experience or previous qualifications, times has changed a lot. I.T is something that everyone does now and the competition is so high. Unless you have some contacts it is pretty hard to get into I.T, just don't give up and follow your heart.
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  13. Senior Member billscott92787's Avatar
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    #12
    Well,



    Honestly it sounds like you pretty much have already made up your mind. You have more negative things to say about a job in IT than positive, and more positive things to say about a career as a fire fighter or something else. To be honest, I would do what you think is going to "keep" you happy. Don't let the money worry you. There are firefighters and police men, that make decent money once they move up the chain of command. The only other area that I could think that may interest you with computers is Cisco. Maybe once you get done your A+ and Network+ check out the CCNA. See what you think. If you don't like it, then chances are you should really look toward a different career path, as you already mentioned. Either way no matter which IT job you have, your going to be working probably inside a cubical, or at a desk. If you do desktop support, you'll be up walking around fixing computers. Or if you are a Network Admin, you might have access to a couple wiring closets, to walk around the building and check out. But chances are the switches and routers, will have IP's so you can sit at your desk and SSH into them.

    I applause you for trying to make a choice early on. If you are going to get into computers, best thing you can do is get your IT degree NOW. I say no less than a 4-year degree. I waited about a year and a half to almost two years when I graduated to start my degree. I regret it every day, because I would have been done by now and been able to concentrate on something else. In addition, I have a wife, and three kids to care for, on top of working full time, getting a bachelors, studying for CCNP, and once done that, going to study for CCIE. So, you have the time, decide what you want to do and go with it. Don't let money be your only choice to get into IT. Didn't your mom and dad ever tell you, "Money doesn't buy happiness." LOL Gosh I sounded like my parents there. *pukes*
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  14. nel
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    #13
    My advice would be to go to university for at least a 4 year degree - its becoming the standard. You could do some certs along the way.

    But imho - bloody enjoy your youthful years - plan partying, travelling, enjoying yourself, sleep with as many women as possible!!! haha. They'll be some of the best years of your life man, dont waste them reading cisco books 20 hours a day - that will come later in your career . ok ok, well maybe read some but what im saying is enjoy yourself firstly! Just keep your head screwed on and make sure you dont go off track and do well at uni.

    Look before anyone starts im not saying having a plan and learning is bad, infact its very good. just i wouldnt recommend what some do and immerse yourself in study at that age and forget about the good times. Infact i would recommend writing a list of things you would like to do in life - scuba diving, skydiving, bunjee jumping, etc...you'll love it!

    Alot can change over time so prepare to be flexible.

    Good luck mate.
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  15. Senior Member
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    #14
    Go out and see the world a bit first or you really will be bored later on.
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  16. Senior Member phantasm's Avatar
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    #15
    Once upon a time I was 17 and had the same thoughts, firefighter, IT guy or Navy SEAL. I loved computers but enjoyed being outdoors even more. At 17 I enlisted in the Navy and served 3 yrs on AD. In that time I met several SEAL dropouts and knew only 1 person who made it (out of about 60 who tried). I travelled the world and saw some good things and bad things. I realized my dream of being SEAL was just that.

    Upon returning home I went to school and got my A.S. in my CIS then started trying to find a job in IT. That took anothr 9yrs for my first true IT job. Here I sit at 29 and currently work as a Network Tech II in a national NOC for an ISP.

    Life is what you make of it, dream of being a Navy SEAL all you want, and I wish you the best. But statistics are not on your side. Firefighter is a good choice, great job with some good rewards. But in the end it comes down to you. My suggestion would be goto a real university such as a state school and get a 4 year degree then decide. But if you really must join the service then look into the Army as a 25F I believe or the Navy as an IT, if you qualify. I wouldn't trade my service for anything in the world, I enjoyed it all and miss it like hell.

    Army 25F: 25F -- Network Switching Systems Operator-Maintainer
    Navy IT: Information System Technician (IT)
    Last edited by phantasm; 06-07-2010 at 12:56 PM.
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