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Topic: What job is right for me? (Read 17469 times) previous topic - next topic

needmorecowbell

After looking at colleges and preparing for life beyond academia, I have realized that I don't truly know what I want to do as a profession. I know I would like to do something with programming, but I'm not certain if I will get bored with just making software.

Here are a few projects I made that I liked doing...
    -a rudimentary "siri" for the computer (java)
    -arduino received serial information from python based gui in linux to make an led blink(python, arduino, bash)(simple, yet   expandable)
    -arduino transmitted serial information to control computer via tv remote and wii nunchuk (python, arduino, dos)
    -rational route theorem calculator (vb, dos, java) (...It made my head hurt, but it taught me a lot, so I enjoyed it.)

After reading these examples, you might be able to see that I enjoy relaying data from the real world into and from a computer. If there was a job that would allow me to do similar things, but on a bigger scale, I believe I would thoroughly enjoy it.

My idea was to major in comp sci, and minor in Electrical Engineering. Most of the courses overlap so it would only be a few more math classes. The weird thing is, I don't particularly do well in math. I get A's in it, but it's not my strongest.

I enjoy working with the arduino, but the main reason i do is due to the fact that I'm able to do so much with it.For example, I love how I could make my home lights go to the same intensity and cycle as the sun in another location around the world, using just a computer and the arduino. It is that kind of freedom that I would love to have in a job. I would like a job that meshes Comp Sci with Electrical Engineering, for lack of better words.


So my question is, what job is right for me? And consequently, what majors/minors in college would be advised?

Thanks for your time!


liuzengqiang

Put your location on your profile so people know where you are looking for jobs. I know in US electrical engineering department offers computer engineering. That is what interests you most. But, while holding a regular job, find fun contract jobs to keep exploring new software and hardware. Good luck!
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needmorecowbell

Thanks, just did! From what I've read about computer engineering, it is more similar to computer repair than anything else.  Unfortunately, I'm only a minor, so the jobs will come after the internships, which comes concurrently with college. For now, I'm just a geeky grill cook :)

JChristensen


From what I've read about computer engineering, it is more similar to computer repair than anything else.


Well, no. Whatever the source of that was, I wouldn't give them much credence in the future. "Computer engineering" is a pretty broad field, but you might try Wikipedia as a starter, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_engineering

needmorecowbell

Haha.. thanks, I guess I should've trusted wikipedia. I was on another forum dedicated to college admissions and the likes, I was worried they were speaking out of their butts.

That sounds like something that I would enjoy, but as wikipedia, along with a few other sites say, it is divided into two majors, computer software engineering and computer hardware engineering, which leaves me with the same issues of not having the choice of both. I'll be talking to my school counselors about this, maybe they will have some insight. If it doesn't work out, I could always major in Comp Sci, and keep the electrical engineering minor as a side hobby that may become useful someday.

JChristensen

Computer Science is different from either software or hardware engineering, and indeed can have implications on both. I haven't checked a lot of universities out, but here at U of M, Comp Sci is not taught by the college of engineering. (Check Wikipedia for Comp Sci, too.)

needmorecowbell

In most of the colleges I have looked at, they have bundled Comp Sci and Engineering together.  I'm thinking because Comp Sci with an Electrical Engineering minor is the only way to cover the most ground, I may choose that. I just hope it won't come back to bite me when it comes time to land a job.

liuzengqiang

Of course you can fix up computers if you ARE a computer engineer. You could be programming microcontrollers, designing a system that incorporate various sensors and actuators to do a specific task, with you either designing the schematic or board on hardware side, or writing firmware on the software side.

In most universities I looked at, ECE is the norm: Electrical and Computer Engineering. So CE is engineering and under the broader ECE, not EE, which could deal with optical communication, RF transmission or power transmission, etc. none of which may interest you that much. If EE is tools-maker, the CE is like tools-user.

Computer science on the other hand, is NOT science. There is no experimental method that makes it science. It should be called something else, such as informatics, analogous with mathematics, which means you can do all your work in your head while the rest of the world sees no use of your endeavor ;)

As an outsider, I see software engineering as an application of informatics (computer science if you can't stand not being called a scientist). You may be interested in this route, instead of many more theoretical stuff or network and security stuff or virtual reality or whatever.

As for seeking advice, NEVER talk with a general counsel about your future or even course choices. They are all drones! Go to the department, ask front desk to speak with a professor, like me. We know a lot more than a counsel, which (see the drone analogy?)  will point you in the wrong direction way too often and is not trained to do any degree-specific advising. Once one of them drones told a student interested in a physics class not to choose a certain class because "Astronomy 106 is TOO advanced for you!". Come on! It is a 100-level class! It's for first year students, where is "advanced" coming from, his personal experience?! Damn those drones!
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needmorecowbell


In most universities I looked at, ECE is the norm: Electrical and Computer Engineering. So CE is engineering and under the broader ECE, not EE.

As for seeking advice, NEVER talk with a general counsel about your future or even course choices. They are all drones! Go to the department, ask front desk to speak with a professor, like me. We know a lot more than a counsel, which (see the drone analogy?)  will point you in the wrong direction way too often and is not trained to do any degree-specific advising. Once one of them drones told a student interested in a physics class not to choose a certain class because "Astronomy 106 is TOO advanced for you!". Come on! It is a 100-level class! It's for first year students, where is "advanced" coming from, his personal experience?! Damn those drones!


Thanks! I didn't really know I could ask for a professor, they have always seemed like the unreachable gurus of their field. I know from experience that my counselor isn't the best, even a drone you may say ;)  but that hasn't stopped me from going to him. From what I thought, he was the best I had, and I needed to cope with it. Now I understand that forums and professors are by far the best.

I will inquire about a Computer engineering degree, it sounds exactly like what I think I want, for now. My main goal is to avoid switching majors in college if I can, so I'm doing as much research as possible now.

liuzengqiang

Some college professors are snobs but that is not what majority of college professors are. The main conflict between professors and students are their expectations are worlds apart. Professors expect students to spend a lot of time studying, typically 3 hours of study for 1 hour lecture attended (which is quite fair). Students (US students growing up without enough challenges in school work) expect to study as little and as close to exam as possible. They blame professors for giving hard exams on rate my professor websites. A minority of students know their expectations well enough and put enough effort towards their coursework. Professors would be happy to help them any time of the week. If a student shows up in my office 2-4 weeks before semester ends and wants to "improve" his grade, you know what my response will be.

Since you are reaching out to others to help you pick your major, and you know what you like, you already belong to the good students, regardless your grade, which could always improve, sometimes a lot, if you are motivated. If you were in my school and want to study physics, I'd be happy to chat with you ;)

Just what I discovered going through college myself, college is not about smart. If you're admitted, you're smart enough to graduate. College is about weeding out those lazy and unmotivated and giving the right people certificates of proficient learner so they can go get job and do well. Sadly the bars have been lowered over time and some lazy and unmotivated have been granted degrees that water down the rest.
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needmorecowbell

Luckily my school allows us to challenge ourselves as far as we want, but that's also a drawback. I feel as if I wont be one of the students that lack the will power to study, rather I'm worried I'll over schedule myself. That's why I was concerned about minoring in E.E. and majoring in Comp Sci.

There is so much hype on getting into a highly selective school, but the more I think of it, I just can't see it being that great to get into a school that you just slide into. Rather, I feel like I want to get into a school that I truly belong in, and use every resource I can to succeed as one of the top students of that less selective college. I don't know how that will turn out in application, but it seems like an okay way to live for me.

What college are you part of, may I ask? If that's too private for a public forum, I completely understand.

liuzengqiang

Read my location. I'm in a public school, predominately undergraduate institution. A student doesn't have to be very competitive to get in. We look at 6-year graduation rate, instead of 5-year for the big research-one universities. I usually see students over-schedule themselves when they have 16 undergraduate credits and hold 20-30 hours a week job(s). That is not possible. Working minimal wage jobs isn't going to pay for college tuition, just making college a few years longer. If you can afford to go to college without working, borrowing from government and parent is fine. You get to graduate earlier and start making enough money to pay back.
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needmorecowbell


Read my location. I'm in a public school, predominately undergraduate institution. A student doesn't have to be very competitive to get in. We look at 6-year graduation rate, instead of 5-year for the big research-one universities. I usually see students over-schedule themselves when they have 16 undergraduate credits and hold 20-30 hours a week job(s). That is not possible. Working minimal wage jobs isn't going to pay for college tuition, just making college a few years longer. If you can afford to go to college without working, borrowing from government and parent is fine. You get to graduate earlier and start making enough money to pay back.


Thank you, you've helped me a ton, I appreciate it greatly. I'll be scheduling another visit to my prospective college to talk to talk to a professor.

WalkItOut

@Liudr sounds like a professor i'd spend most of my days picking his brains on what he knows.  :P

needmorecowbell


@Liudr sounds like a professor i'd spend most of my days picking his brains on what he knows.  :P


Ahh I know, I just didn't want to bother him :)

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