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Hello DaniWeb,

Sorry if this is in the wrong place, I didn't want to clutter the 'Business Exchange' and so the general chat section seemed the most appropriate.

I am a teenager, currently studying my A-Levels (UK Qualifications for 16-18 Year Olds), and I have always had a fascination with IT and Computers.
It is getting to the time, when I need to look seriously about my options of going to University or whether or not I go into employment. It is almost certain that I would like a computer related job as this is one of my main interests. The problem is, I have no idea what sort of job I would want to, or could go into.

I have previously done work on websites, and I can efficiently create a fully functioning site (Logins, Registrations, Forums, Members Pages, Content Management Systems etc.) from scratch in HTML, CSS and PHP. I liked it because I could see the results almost instantly, I could write a PHP script in half an hour and I would see if it worked or not.

I have tried some programming, mainly C++ but I didn't like it too much because I didn't have that aspect where I could see the results. I therefore am not sure whether or not I could learn a programming language, which would obviously restrict the types of jobs I could do.

I am however very keen on security, but if I don't know a language then I can't really proceed into this?
I do enjoy servers, the sound and the sight... strange I know but maybe something data centre related?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated,
Thank you

Edited by Octet: Corrected Spelling Mistake

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  • > Looking at another interest of mine, being Robotics at the moment at University which kind of combines all of my main interests... If you're interested in robotics, you'll have to make a choice about which way to go about it. Because it is a multi-disciplinary field (which is what … Read More

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Your situation sounds perfect for going to university. You'll have a better idea of whether you want to do something with computers after taking classes and and if nothing else leave with a degree that will help you get a job.

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Thanks Deceptikon,

Looking at another interest of mine, being Robotics at the moment at University which kind of combines all of my main interests... maths may be an issue though.

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Sounds to me like you are on the right path. I dont know of anyone under the age of 20 that knows exactly what they will be doing for certain as a career. I think the key is to stick with something you love. You'll find your path as you continue your studies. You may have to take classes that you don't necessarily enjoy, but they will help shape you as you go along.

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I'll be honest, my parents went to great universities but they told me that universities are overrated... you get nothing out of it if you do nothing... The only way you make it count is if you make connections... that's really what they are for now....

So go to a university but remember... if you don't connect with other people to make your business you basically got nothing out of the university...

(that's my point of view... but remember its not the only answer!)

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Just what you want to be, you will be in the end
From the song "Nights in white satin" by the Moody Blues

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Thanks guys, still undecided but I think robotics is an interesting field to go into.

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Remember, we are just giving our opinions, so you must depend on your answers because this will determine your life...

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Thanks mSedique, I understand.
I'm continuing my education at Sixth Form and shall be looking into it a lot more.

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Remember...

"The fate of your future is in your hands!"

Some random movie quote, possibly starwars :)

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Looking at another interest of mine, being Robotics at the moment at University which kind of combines all of my main interests...

If you're interested in robotics, you'll have to make a choice about which way to go about it. Because it is a multi-disciplinary field (which is what I love about it), there are many aspects to it, essentially, hardware and software. The hardware side is usually called "mechatronics" (fusion of mechanics and electronics / electromechanical devices like actuators and sensors), and would normally require that you go down the path of getting a B.Eng. degree in either mechanical engineering or electrical engineering (or something in between, if you find a good mechatronics program). The software side is usually called "automation", and would normally require that you do something like a software engineering or computer science degree. Few people work in robotics without having at least a Masters degree, so that's something to be prepared for too, and that's also a good time to step to the opposite side (hardware vs. software) of what you did the undergraduate degree in.

maths may be an issue though.

Be warned, whatever you do in robotics, there is a ton of programming or a ton of math, and usually both. The programming is mostly low-level C and high-performance C++, with some interludes with languages like matlab or Java (for tools or testing things out). The math is mostly probability theory (artificial intelligence stuff), computer sciency things (like graph theory), and advanced calculus (e.g., abstract algebra, set theory, vector / tensor calculus). It is very interesting and rewarding. For example, I once spent about 2-3 weeks working out one math equation (finding the Lyapunov stability bound on a non-linear force observer), then coded it into the robot's controller, and was able to shake the hand of the robot, feeling it being soft and almost weightless (which was the goal, and not really supposed to be possible with that kind of robot). But the point remains, you have to be comfortable with math. Don't let it scare you or anything, just know whether that fits you or not.

I liked it because I could see the results almost instantly, I could write a PHP script in half an hour and I would see if it worked or not.

I have tried some programming, mainly C++ but I didn't like it too much because I didn't have that aspect where I could see the results.

Here's one little thought. Do you want your job to be a long sequence of instant rewards or a small number of great achievements? Either way is fine, but it's an important question to reflect on. My brother's a carpenter, his projects usually last about 1-2 weeks, while most of my last projects lasted 6-12 months or more, needless to say, we're very different, but we're both happy in our respective endeavours, and that's the important part.

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Thank you Mike_200_17,

That is an exceptionally detailed answer! I'm still considering all the possibilities but I probably would do Mechatronics more then automation if that is the route I went down.

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To be honest you must try getting a computer related job only since that is your niche. And we all know that job is a place where you have to be happy about your work. So if you opt for any other field then do think twice before finalizing things.

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So how about studying cisco and getting certifications first. There are lots of scopes of it in the market I heard.

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