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Please help me with technical career advice


Oct 14, 1999
I'm a junior at NC State(Anand U.) right now, currently listed as a double major in computer/electrical engineering. I'm also co-oping at the moment in a computer engineer related position(programming for embedded systems). However, after about 6 months of doing this, I've found out two things. One, I hate programming and would really rather not do it for the rest of my life. Two, I think I'd like to get into the hardware/network admin/IT field. However, being a junior, if I wanted to jump into this field, would I have wasted a lot of my time already? If not, what do I need to do to get started in the field? Should I change majors? How would I go about gaining practical, real-world experience in the IT field? Should I try to get certifications in my spare time? And finally, the inevitable question...how much money can I expect to earn starting out and later down the road? :)

Thanks in advance for the replies.

vi edit

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 28, 1999
Well, as long as you can
a) turn on a computer
b) tie your own shoelaces

You can pretty much get a job/internship working at a help desk or doing tech support of some sort. If you don't have any experience handling computer related problems or setting up networks ect. a help desk position is probably your best bet. Try checking in with the businesses in your area for internship possibilities. Many times they don't advertise the internship positions, and often times they don't consider them. If you can convince them that you would be a worthwhile investment to them, then it's win win situation for both parties. You make decent money and get invaluable experience, and they on the other hand don't have to pay you as much as a full time person.

Look into the help desk/tech support positions. It'll be a step down from the CE programming that you are doing now, but it would be a good way to familiarize yourself with hardware/troubleshooting.

I would advise against going for certifications this soon into your career. Work with the OS's and applications for a while first and get a feel for them.

As far as salaries, impossible to guess. It depends upon location, desperation, qualification, and negotiation.