Originally Posted by scientific
on a more serious note, any young person not acquiring programming skills by the time they leave school is doing themselves a serious disservice and/or potentially self-selecting out of the job market for this century. as far as i can tell, programming remains by the best risk/reward career path. if you're good at sales, that is potentially more valuable but higher risk
I regret not learning some programming in college.
Originally Posted by suited
Merrill did it for a friend of mine (about 8 years ago). I also can't stress internships enough. That's how I ended up with my job, and I probably wouldn't have had a shot at getting if I wasn't in the right place at the right time when the internship was available.
The problem is that I know what's important, but that I can't get achieve it.
Originally Posted by Rugger
I can only speak for military - officer candidate school - and it's more difficult than it ever has been. They weren't having problems meeting quotas before this whole thing, now they are in the cat bird seat even more. 3.5+ GAP, documented leadership experience, excellent test scores, excellent interviews/appraisals, no trouble with the law. The quality of applicant is stunning. HOWEVER, 3.0 types STILL do get in. I went to Navy OCS with a pilot contract with less than a 3.5(although I had top 5% test scores).
As for enlisting..if you're a decent student and no law problems you wont have trouble enlisting. Again, HOWEVER, the more desirable problems are increasingly competitive. These are the ones that will offer you 100k check after 5 years to resign(read: language, some intel, NUKE!) Not everyone gets what they want anymore.
Sucks how hard it is.
Originally Posted by Matt
OP are you in college now? Finishing high school and working out what next? Have a kid of that age? Where you at boy?
I am a law student with middling grades at a "top" law school who is "exploring his options" (I have paid summer work, but do not have the traditional 2L summer job that would lead to permanent work). I am very open-minded, probably too open-minded.
Originally Posted by v0rtex
My work is in web development so it's an odd mix of advertising, software development and business. It's flexible in that I can work for a Fortune 500 company, a small agency where everyone wears flipflops to work, freelance for small businesses, consult for large ones, build a product/app, etc.
Downsides are that there's no real barrier to entry (licensing, certs, degrees, etc) so the industry is a free-for-all. It's highly dependent on reputation and experience (that quickly becomes obsolete). You're only as good as your last project.
On the plus side you can earn as much as you have the balls to ask for/sell, and you can practically write your own job description (provided you can find a client who needs your combination of services).
On the industries above:
IT: Low level is drying up (outsourcing, shift to the cloud, automation) but the mid and upper ends are doing great. People skills and communication are way more valuable than implementation skills. There's major shortages of highly skilled people (both on the tech and management sides). Most of the knowledge is self-taught (as the industry moves so fast) but my compsci-related degree is definitely useful for getting a foot in the door, and the fundamentals help you learn and adapt very quickly. In some ways technology is getting easier, in many ways it's getting way more complex. Certs are OK for entry level jobs and for entry level clients but won't help with management positions or teach you anything you can't learn yourself. Certain high-end certs are highly valuable (SQL DBA ones and Cisco ones) but I'm guessing you're talking more about A+/MCSE.
Most tech people seem to start in tech support or freelance, then climb the ranks as an implementer before making a jump to management around the middle of their career. You can choose to stick at the implementation end if you enjoy it, but there's definitely a ceiling and it's tougher to make the big $$. Changing company every 2-3 years is a good way to jump up the ranks/pay grades.
Advertising: I work with a couple of agencies and they're always doing well. Again, low level is tough, high level (conceptual thinking, branding etc) is hard to find and very well compensated. Account exec is a good way of getting into the industry; you handle the communication with the client and pass it on to the internal team. It's a good way of getting to learn the processes. I know a number of account execs who have gone on to start their own agencies. Agencies tend to scale up and down with the economy (ie. if you're not essential you get cut at the first sign of trouble), they're the first to cut (as their clients stop spending) but the first to recover (as clients want to ride the wave back up).
Healthcare: One of my clients is a very large hospital chain. They are turning record profits, never stopped hiring and are continuing to expand. They're not particularly worried about healthcare reform (which looks like it's stalled for a few years anyway). Ground level medical (nursing, techs, etc) market is flooded thanks to for-profit diploma mills, but marketing/admin side of things seems to be going great. Usual path is to enter as a marketing rep (see account exec above) and climb the ladder. Healthcare marketing is definitely a specialized industry.
Once America completely stops manufacturing anything all that's going to be left is selling things to each other, and making sure we are well enough to consume them... from that perspective, healthcare marketing is a winner
Originally Posted by LabelKing
You people all sound like upwardly mobile young professionals.
I would kill to be a downwardly mobile fallen aristocrat.
Originally Posted by Modern Day Adonis
Farming is definitely something I'd avoid, the entry costs are ridiculous. However, if I were going to farm I'd definitely farm organically. That is where the market is going and the potential to make a lot of money is much higher there. The downside is that it costs more to farm, the yield is lower, and you have to have the field clear of pesticides/herbicides for 3 years in order to be certified organic.
It's definitely hard work and isn't something you're likely going to make much money from. The equipment, land, and labor are going to cost you some serious money. Getting a job on a farm would/should be relatively easy. If you just want to work as a farmhand there are plenty of farms who'd take you. You'll work hard and long hours and you won't end up making much money, maybe $10+ an hour depending on who you work for. I made $10 an hour when I worked on the farm.
Glad you've noticed, but I'm only upwardly mobile when I'm on my Deere.
Originally Posted by fathergll
Thats a HUGE problem with the tech industry. Theres no protection and no standards. Its a complete and utter mess.
Thats where something like the Health Care industry excels at. It keeps guys from foreign countries from coming over and taking jobs without any effort. For example(I read this) a guy who was a doctor in China ended up becoming a DBA when he moved to the U.S. because it was much easier and faster to buy books and exams for that then to go through the process of trying to meet the requirements of practicing Medicine in the U.S.(This is when the IT boom was still going).
You can't just come over from a foreign country and practice medicine. However you can come over and do anything in the Tech field. Thats a big problem. Thats why there is a ridiculous amount of Indians over in the U.S. right now with H1B visas taking tons of tech positions. These visas allow U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations.
Basically a Computer Science degree from India holds the same weight as one from the U.S. A Nursing degree from India is worthless here unless the international RN's training program at least meets the US"˜s minimum educational requirement for registered nursing.
Another reason to get out. IT is viewed as purely an expense by management and they want to outsource it as much as can be. I sure as hell would be wary of trying to make a career as a programmer in this day and age when those jobs are going to be outbid by some hot shot programmer kid in eastern Europe making virtually nothing. Anything that can be done remotely will be in danger of being outsourced. DBAs, System Analysts, some Networking, Programmers...etc
I would highly caution anyone thinking about going into IT now(Unless you truly have a love for it). It is an unforgiving field filled with a lot of burnt out programmers that can't find work because they couldn't keep up with the times. Unless you get into a management position you are essentially doomed as you age. A Lawyer who's 60 years old is respected because of the knowledge hes gained over the years. A 60 year old programmer is usually looked down on as some outdated old guy who should have moved on to something else. Also lets not forget the sheer problem as you will always have to be learning new programs whereas in other fields you actually build upon you knowledge. Most jobs in IT they want 5+ years in a multiple applications. And every job has some variation with some odd ball application you never even heard.
Thanks. I think you idealize law too much, though! It only *used* to be that way.
Originally Posted by Trompe le Monde
Nobody seems to want to get into the sciences.
I wasn't good enough then. Is it too late now?