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  1. #1
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    Help me decide my future

    Ok, i have no done too much research into my future but I had some ideas

    there are three steps I am thinking of taking

    1) After high school, I will freelance/job hunt until I get a job in a firm. Eventually, I will open my own firm.

    2) Go to university to get a bachlor of computer science. Try to get a job as a junior/senior programmer for a company.

    3) Go to university, get my bachlors, then go on to masters and PHD. Huge undertaking but might pay off. I am concerend though, my dad has a PHD in geology and right now he is a junior programmer in a small web development firm.

    I am thinking of doing 1 or 2. What is better in your opinion. 4 years of schooling or 4 years of experience?

    I am a freelancer right now, so when I'm 18 ill have no trouble finding clients.

  2. #2
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    Go with (1) for now. Nothing beats experience (with a GREAT folio to back it up, of course). You say if you go to UNI, you'll try to get a job as a programmer? Is that really what you want to do, or do you want to design?

    But really, you should see how everything goes and what jobs will be popular when you finish high school. A bit early to make a decision, but thinking doesn't hurt either.

  3. #3
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    Yah im really stuck between 1 and 2. What I want to be when I grow up is a web developer. I enjoy what I am doing now and want to continue after school. On the other hand theres University, allowing me to become better and more skilled. Then theres my dad telling me I'm gona fail life if I dont go to university.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard Lil_Red's Avatar
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    I would say work for now since you're somewhat undecided about education.

  5. #5
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    I'd be wary of going to university to become a programmer. With how everything is going offshore, it's not a good idea IMO. If you go to university, set your sights higher and look at management positions. These jobs will have a better shot of staying in the states while the grunt work is farmed out to other countries.

    If you want to be more of a "hands on" IT guy then I'd look at networking options ... anything from traditional setups, wireless, security, etc ... these jobs will stay put alot better than programming jobs will.

  6. #6
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samson
    Then theres my dad telling me I'm gona fail life if I dont go to university.
    Hehe, the same with my folks. I'm quite happy where I'm at right now, but might consider going to UNI in the future.

  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard Lil_Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samson
    Then theres my dad telling me I'm gona fail life if I dont go to university.
    You're not going to fail in life because you didn't go to college. That's an underhanded trick that parents use to trick their kids into going to college.

    Here are a few success stories for you (people who never went to college):
    Bill Gates, Madonna, Steven Spielberg, Steve Jobs, John Glenn, Buckminster Fuller, Ray Kroc, etc.

  8. #8
    My precious!!! astericks's Avatar
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    samson, you are me 4 yrs ago.

    My only option was: Go to univ, get a degree and be part of the assembly line of programmers. Why? Because all my friends were doing it and from the third world country I come from, it was the 'hot' thing to do.

    I have a different outlook now that I've done some freelancing that is putting me through univ. I enjoy balancing univ and freelancing. It requires me working 24/7 sometimes, but I definitely enjoy it. It's a great experience.

    Also, I'd say dont limit yourself to programming...get a comp sci degree with a minor in business or a joint honors in business and computing [that's the one I'm getting]. In other words, tweak your options a bit.

    If I were to choose for you, I'd go for number 2. But you have to choose for yourself.

    Number 1 aint bad either. But what's your safety net if you fail to open your own biz?

  9. #9
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    another point ... if you do decide to go to university, don't do it specifically to be "trained" in something ... university offers alot more "life experience" than nuts and bolts training ... use it to learn more about yourself, others, and the world and it will reap rewards in the long run in all areas of your life.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Member christie129's Avatar
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    Lightbulb future

    Hey, I had the same problem. I took a year off after high school and just relaxed and I discovered I had an interest in web/graphic design but I didn't want to go through years of schooling....so I decided to go to a technical college instead. You only learn the skills you need to know, and it's a lot faster. I'm going for certification in web site fundamentals...and then one as a web site design specialist. They currently don't offer a degree in the field but they plan on adding it as a degree program within a year, and by that time I'll be finishing up my 2nd certification. It's not as stressful as a university. I like it because you just learn the skills you need and your finished! Plus, many employers prefer more hands-on experience and you can get paid just as much no matter which institution you decide to attend. You can take some classes to see if your really into it, then you can get a job in that field. You can always take more advanced degrees later on if you decide that's what you want to do.

    ~*Christie*~
    ~*Christie*~

  11. #11
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    You want to have experience, it way more valuable than schooling. But you also want to have a solid education that you can fall back on. Freelancing isn't always roses, and when it's not, you want to have the assurance that you could go out and get a good job in a week or two. But definitely do what feels right to you, I think it is much cooler to absolutely love a low-paying job than detest a high-paying one.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Wizard Lil_Red's Avatar
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    A good job in a week or two is the dream of lots of unemployed people with college degrees.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Member christie129's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re:

    Yeah, a friend of mine has a bachelor degree in CIS networking, but he can't find a steady job! I think he has one now, but they are sending him to vo/tech school where I am now so he can learn skills he didn't learn at the university! It's crazy because you spend more time and money there but it seems like it can be more difficult to find a job with a degree...
    ~*Christie*~

  14. #14
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    DamienArbos

    Experiece > education. Everyone is going to respond to this and argue otherwise, well in boston it is.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Wizard Lil_Red's Avatar
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    Damien,

    I'm going to agree with you but we definitely hold the unpopular opinion.

  16. #16
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    samson,

    Don't take what anyone says here as gospel. It's an internet forum, and as such, you shouldn't base your life's direction based on what some random strangers think. But since you asked...

    I am a big proponent of college. I think it has a lot to offer somebody besides learning a trade (there are tech schools for that). However, one has to be open to those life lessons that you'll spend four or more years learning. If you're not at that point right now then you will get little out of college other than maybe some programming skills. I would recommend that you try and find work that you like doing and revisit going to a university in a year or two. If you feel you are up to it then, you can go and get a richer experience out of it, and you'll have some money saved up which will spare you from being a poor college student. You can also go part-time if your work is going very well at that point and still get your degree while building up your experience. When you get out of college you'll have a combination of education and experience, which will make you a much more likely candidate for a great job in the future.

  17. #17
    Intoxicated with the madness petertdavis's Avatar
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    Try not to think of higher education as an end, but rather a means.
    Peter T Davis

    I buy forums - PM me if you're selling.

  18. #18
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    Yeah, don't goto college because you have to. I went just so I could get a degree now I owe 50k in loans . Make sure its what you truely want and your the only person that will figure that one out.

  19. #19
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    DamienArbos

    I have said it before and i will say it again, it is not the education that makes the man it is the man that makes the education. What you do with your 100k degree is up to you. What you do without one is also up to you. I love when i meet people and they are like dude i just graduated and i make 60k a year this is great. Then i think to my myself "dude" I make that in 3 months without a degree. Anyways enough of my rambling. Adios

  20. #20
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    Oh one more thing, if your going to go into sales skip the degree and pick up some books and get yourself into some seminars.

  21. #21
    SitePoint Wizard Lil_Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DamienArbos
    I have said it before and i will say it again, it is not the education that makes the man it is the man that makes the education. What you do with your 100k degree is up to you. What you do without one is also up to you. I love when i meet people and they are like dude i just graduated and i make 60k a year this is great. Then i think to my myself "dude" I make that in 3 months without a degree. Anyways enough of my rambling. Adios
    I love listening to people brag about their overpriced degrees considering that most of them spent the 4 years partying and absorbed just enough to get a job. They slept through the humanities classes and the other classes required to get a degree.

    It takes maturity to become a well rounded individual and appreciate the arts, literature, fine wine, etc.

  22. #22
    My precious!!! astericks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lil_Red
    It takes maturity to become a well rounded individual and appreciate the arts, literature, fine wine, etc.
    What if the person does not drink wine?

    off topic:
    i have univ sometimes. currently, I'm taking a computer architecture class (coz I need the course if I wanna graduate) and I can guarantee you the things/skills I learn in that class will never be used again...ever.

  23. #23
    SitePoint Wizard Lil_Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astericks
    What if the person does not drink wine?
    They don't know what they are missing then. I can't understand why anyone would drink miller/bud/mich when there are much nicer choices like a good craft beer.

  24. #24
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    i really have to agree , its not about the degree and just getting one, as most people should of realized at some point in there life - anyone can get a degree, its more the matter of if you do something with it and just make things happen dont just sit around and wait for money and success to find you cause it will never happen...

    these are the things you have to go out and create and earn

    education is just the foundation

  25. #25
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    also, many people get there degree and dont use any of it, try your best to apply what you have learned into what you are doing, every aspect of life is tied in to each other in some way shape or form.... keep that in mind and you will get the boat sailing


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