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I need some advice...

Discussion in 'Careers and Professional Development' started by Anti-Chav, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. Maccy


    Joined: Nov 23, 2004

    Posts: 34,085

    Location: Back in Blighty

    Of course I had interests, but knowing what I wanted to do with my life/career I had no idea.
  2. Ayahuasca


    Joined: Apr 23, 2014

    Posts: 17,850

    Location: County Durham

    Having interests and knowing what you want for a career are worlds apart when you're 16, it's fine if you have a niche hobby at that age like a performing art or something. Millions of young men worldwide say they're interested in computers for example but once they start working in IT that interest can quickly fall apart as they've conflated it with building your own PC or gaming, also with so many areas in IT it's often people just don't find the right field before giving up on it altogether.
  3. Anti-Chav


    Joined: May 21, 2010

    Posts: 3,332

    To be fair, when I was 16, I wanted to be a vet, a forensic scientist, a pilot and a train driver...
  4. jsmoke


    Joined: Jun 17, 2012

    Posts: 6,236

    Why not just put 2 or 3 options into a hat and pick one. See it as an experiment. Whatever you get just go for it 100%.
  5. Anti-Chav


    Joined: May 21, 2010

    Posts: 3,332

    I'm not interested in the things I was when I was 16.

    Someone mentioned about building PC's, I did that as a job, money isn't great and competition is far too intense... In my experience doing it, it left no scope for progression, which I want to progress in my chosen field.
  6. sideways14a


    Joined: Aug 31, 2017

    Posts: 958

    Really? I have aways been interested in science and technology and knew i wanted to work in those sectors.
    Now i didnt want to be an it manager or support/dev./coffee drinker back then but i knew my life was going to be around tech or similar and not say... putting ones hand up cows bottoms ;-)

    Your always going to struggle if your not sure of your own destiny, if your constantly aiming for a moving target then well.... thats going to be a baw ache. Settling on something is important as you can work on climbing the ladder of success.
  7. EVH


    Joined: Mar 11, 2004

    Posts: 25,722

    Location: Swansea

    If you’re 28 and want a change of career you need to forget 6 year uni courses!

    Go in full time, take the hit on income (which wouldn’t be massive according to your OP) and get a degree in 3 years.

    If you’re good/enjoy the degree then a 4 year degree with a year of experience could open a lot of doors too.

    Either way, pick something you like and go for it all-in.
  8. Anti-Chav


    Joined: May 21, 2010

    Posts: 3,332

    Thanks guys, seriously, thank you.

    Giving it a few days mulling over, I've settled on the Computing and IT degree, as I have more of an interest and a chunk of previous experience.

    Heres to the next 3 years of hard study!
  9. Dellboy


    Joined: Oct 25, 2011

    Posts: 89

    Location: Newcastle/Bude

    Look into degree apprenticeships - I've had a few offers for them and I've just accepted one in London. Salary is TBC but they've told me I'll be close if not slightly over £30k in my first year there. My other offers were slightly less or bang on £20k. Happy to help if I can.
  10. randomshenans


    Joined: Sep 11, 2009

    Posts: 10,320

    Location: France, Alsace

    Don't need a degree in IT for an IT job. Waste of 3 years
  11. Hades


    Joined: Oct 19, 2002

    Posts: 21,091

    Location: Surrey and London

    @Anti-Chav This isn't meant to be boasting on my brothers behalf. I only mention it as a motivational story. He left school with similar qualifications to yourself. He was asthmatic, colour blind and dyslexic at a time in the 1980's and 1990's when no-one recognised those last two. They just told him he was thick and put him at the bottom of the class. His first job was in a newsagents. He managed to get a job a few years later at a car dealer in their parts department. He worked his way up to become the manager of his department. Then, because his wife wanted to move area and she had easily transferable skills, they moved and he became a house husband for a few years. When they needed him to get back to work he had no contacts, no qualifications, but a can-do attitude. Despite that he got a job on a building site which he hated and then resigned from. He was really struggling for money and after he sold his car to pay bills I gave him my bike as a means of transport.

    Eventually he got a job at the local power station. After a number of years he took a chance and went contracting on an offshore gas rig. He really hated that but the experience opened doors for him because it gave him skills that most people don't have. He's now worked around Europe and the UK, had job offers in the UAE, drives an Aston Martin Vantage and earns a couple of hundred thousand a year.

    The point of this story is that doing well at school helps you start. But you're attitude, taking calculated risks and hard work is the most important thing. It's not (that) important what you achieved at school if you have the aptitude to turn your life around. The importance of that degree diminishes with time, age and work experience. Yes it's far better if you can. But it's not the whole story. Your working life has only just started and you can absolutely turn it around, change it, move it in any direction you choose.

    Go for it! But you have to work hard at it, including the boring times.

    Totally agree with this. I work in IT and don't have a degree.
  12. malachi


    Joined: Jun 27, 2006

    Posts: 8,403

    Location: Earth

    I don't have an degree and work in IT too but it was my motivation and attitude which got me to where I am today.
  13. mid_gen


    Joined: Dec 20, 2004

    Posts: 7,934

    Location: Düsseldorf

    I wouldn't advise getting into a 3 year degree (debt generation) at your age when you're already clearing debts...unless you want to be a debt slave until you retire.

    There are so many free resources for teaching yourself computing skills you'd be nuts to go waste 3 years of your life on a degree....assuming your aim is to get a decent job.

    Take a look at Coursera, loads of free training from top universities.
  14. randomshenans


    Joined: Sep 11, 2009

    Posts: 10,320

    Location: France, Alsace

    I was self taught, did a lot of learning online, setup my own vms at home and practiced. Read a lot on things, put them into practice. It got to when I was at interview I was confident I could do things as I'd actually done them in my spare time loads. Cost me very little but my time and helped me 10000x more than a degree would have ever.
  15. malachi


    Joined: Jun 27, 2006

    Posts: 8,403

    Location: Earth

    If you want to get into something like programming then a degree is the way to for many. But dont be that person who wastes time getting a degree just for the sake of it. To be in the same position you are now with more debt.

    Find a path you want to take in IT and pursue it.
  16. Semple


    Joined: Mar 5, 2010

    Posts: 4,357

    Depends what it is you're going to do.

    Most of the bigger blue chip companies won't even consider younger applicants without a degree, (yes, they're interested in experience as well, but that's only really applicable to someone who's been in the industry for 10+ years). Having a degree just seems to be a filter that they can rule out any without one.

    Whilst i'm not disagreeing that it's a stupid requirement for most job roles. Unfortunately that's just the way it is.
  17. dowie


    Joined: Jan 29, 2008

    Posts: 36,509

    Whether it is a waste of 3 years (or more) kind of depends on the "IT job" and indeed the degree.

    In plenty of cases it can be very helpful to have a degree. At a very general level, the existence of "graduate schemes" for example.

    For a non graduate with no experience the choice of entry level roles is a bit more limited and people frequently seem to start off in rather mundane support roles before studying for some vendor certificates etc..
  18. DreadNiK


    Joined: Mar 20, 2006

    Posts: 678

    not that it matters at all, but what do you mean 'you were a straight A* student' when you got those grades and 'constantly messing about in school?'
  19. HangTime

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 25, 2002

    Posts: 27,346

    Location: Hampshire

    Probably means he was getting A-grades across the board at KS3 level of whatever it was and then went downhill during GCSE period.
    I have a small amount of empathy in that I got strong GCSE/A-level grades but then did poorly at Uni i.e. I did not believe that my degree classification reflected my ability. Of course, it is easy to retort "if you're that ****ing good why didn't you ace the exams anyway?" so you only really get past that by doing further study later on to show that was a blip rather than a permanent decline. For me that meant doing a Masters 10-15 years later.
  20. Mason-


    Joined: Jun 18, 2010

    Posts: 4,720

    Location: Essex

    If you've never been to university before can you not just apply through UCAS? Get loans etc and go to uni full time? (Dw about the loans they're essentially taxes that you pay back after earning over a threshold).

    It was 7 years ago for me but I befriended a mature student (25 at the time of starting in 2011) and he got grants through the government to help.