Will a career as a Consumer Electronics Technician be good for the future?

NickSo

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Im in grade 11, and i have a year and a half approximately before i graduate... Now im a senior, gotta think about post-secondary and careers and stuff...
At first i was looking into Information Technology, maybe something on the hardware side like setting up networks, or multimedia, like designing commercials with computers and stuff. I just really want to avoid staring into a computer monitor all day, since i do that already at home...

Then a couple weeks ago i did an interview for a Career and Personal Planing course at school, and i interviewed a local ISF-Certified Home Theater installer. It was real great talking to him, asking him questions and stuff. I asked him about the job and everything, now im really thinking that being something like that would be good for me...
I went on the computers, and found out that the job that deals with all this stuff is a Consumer Electronics Technician. Im thinking a job where i sell, and install and setup consumer electronics and stuff. I wouldnt mind repairing them, but i dont take Electronics in school right now, so i dunno how to read schematics much yet, though i am pretty good at soldering and stuff.
Im just kinda skeptical, because something like a Consumer Electronics Technician doesnt seem like they make alot of $, and i dunno if there will be a demand in that area in the future, instead of say Information Technology and stuff.
Do you think it would be a good idea to start following the path to become a Consumer Electronics Technician?
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Eric Scott

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If I were you I would keep thinking about my future with women, and there are an awful lot of women in college!
 

Steve Tannehill

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Nick, it all depends on what you want to do with your life.
But if I were planning my life at your age, I would seriously be thinking about going to college. You're not going to get very far on the pay scale with just a high-school diploma.
- Steve
 

PatrickM

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If your interests lie in the technical areas get your Electrical Engineering degree or Computer Science degree first. With that type of education you will be able to jump into a variety of different technical fields to do with electronics of some sort.
Both UBC and SFU have great engineering programs and Comp Sci programs but are very hard to get into so make sure your grade 11 and 12 grades are damn good.
Patrick
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MikeF

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I think that at the age of 16 or 17 it would be most imprudent to commit yourself to such a narrow educational/career path. You may find electronic gadgets and home theater stuff very exciting today (as do I) but shortly discover that it's REALLY not the type of thing you wish to spend the rest of your life working on -- particularly since it's not an especially lucrative field.
Go to UBC (or SFU) and get a B.A. or B.Sc. You'll have a better sense of what might interest you, become a more well-rounded person, and make a more educated decision as to your future.
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NickSo

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Well, if i did go into Consumer Electronics, i'd go to some Technical institute like BCIT or TechBC, and do that as post secondary.. I never really thought of not going to any college or anything after highschool... I dunno, coz i went to this site, and this description of the trade seems like something i'd kinda like to do: http://www.learnandearn.bc.ca/pls/tr...nt=DESCRIPTION
What school would i go to or course to study in if i wanted to go into Information Technology or something? I see like UBC and SFU have Computer Science/Studies there, but i really dont plan on wanting to sit in front of a monitor all day programming code... What other trades are there that deal with computers, but not alot of sitting and typing and programming? Maybe like multimedia stuff, or hooking up or setting up networks etc.
Argh, im so confused of what i should do...
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The So Family Home Theater!
http://www.multimania.com/sonick182/ht/index.html
Birthday: November 29 (Sagittarius)
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Sagittarius - You are very sexy and women are attracted to you.
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PatrickM

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Nick I believe both SFU and UBC have degrees in Management Information Systems which is basically IT related things. Alternately you can also go to BCIT, my alma mater and learn the same things on a 2 year program or even get degrees for certain studies.
Whatever it is, staying in a technical field is not a bad choice if its what interests you.
Patrick
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Steve Tannehill

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Nick, I'll tell you exactly what I wanted to do when I was your age: I wanted to make a lot of money.
Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it is a very narrow focus on a world of possibilities.
The career guidance counselors at school asked the following questions of us when we were seniors:
What do you want to be doing in one year? Five years? Ten years?
Except for a motivated few, the majority of us answered "Make a lot of money."
Of course, we were then told that realistic answers to those questions might be:
1 year - go to college
5 years - with degree in hand, find a job and settle down
10 years - get married, have a family (hey, I went to a very conservative school)
In retrospect, my answers should have been:
1 year - go to college
5 years - get laid, often
10 years - avoid credit card debt so that I could afford the down payment on a house.
(Edit)...one other thing to keep in mind. Jobs are different than careers. Don't expect to find your career in even the next 10 years. Career paths can take time to evolve as you try out different jobs. Fresh out of school, I knew how to program, and I got a job doing that. But my career path took me towards technical support. And as my interests change over the years, I am considering different jobs and different careers.
What are your goals, Nick? What do you want to do?
- Steve
[Edited last by Steve Tannehill on November 01, 2001 at 12:37 AM]
 

NickSo

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My goal is just to get a steady career doing something i like doing, and get paid enough to have a good lifestyle and afford a few luxuries once in awhile...
I mean, im afraid i might study the wrong thing, or go into the wrong field, waste my years in college/university doing somethign i hate, and going into a career that i dont like...
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The So Family Home Theater!
http://www.multimania.com/sonick182/ht/index.html
Birthday: November 29 (Sagittarius)
Horoscope:
Sagittarius - You are very sexy and women are attracted to you.
ICQ: Add Me to your Contact List!
 

Philip_G

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quote:
If I were you I would keep thinking about my future with women, and there are an awful lot of women in college! [/quote]
yet I can't find one to save my life

As far as picking the right thing, I think it's much less important to an employer once you have some work experience what your degree is in, as long as you have a degree.
[Edited last by Philip_G on November 01, 2001 at 05:57 PM]
 

MikeF

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I mean, im afraid i might study the wrong thing, or go into the wrong field, waste my years in college/university doing somethign i hate, and going into a career that i dont like...
Firstly, unless you're 30 or something, you've got a lot of years left to "waste". Don't worry so much.
Secondly, I can argue precisely the converse of what you're saying. If you don't go to college/university, maybe you'll spend years doing something you hate, missing all along the field that you discover is the love of your life at university.
There are so many options at a post-secondary level that the argument that one should head straight to technical school lacks credibility insofar as it is based upon the perception that one won't find anything one likes at university.
A final word: university is worthwhile not only because of the job it might lead you to. It will inevitably make you a more well-rounded person and more knowledgable about the world, both generally and in terms of what you choose to specialize in. Only in North America is life frequently depicted as revolving around getting a job. Go get an education -- it is of great intrinsic value apart from whatever (extrinsic) value it might have career-wise.
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Seth Paxton

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Nick, CE is hurting right now, just like most tech sectors (and the whole economy).
If you want to make money and deal with this stuff, then consider college and an Electrical Engineering degree. With that, you design the stuff, tell the techs what to do, make more money, and still get your hands on the hardware as well.
A BSEE can also get you into programming/CE software. You could pursue this path by getting a BS Computer Science which will teach you how to program real-time OS stuff on embedded systems which applies A LOT to CE work.
Focus on microcontrollers and DSP ICs. Either designing them or writing code to use them to control systems or process data. You are home free in CE from there.
I have my BSEE and work for a CE company doing both programming and hardware (although I might be laid off tomorrow
).
By the time you would be coming out of school you have every reason to expect the tech sector to have improved so that the jobs are out there. Right now things are tight, but 2 years ago it was booming. That's how it goes.
The techs suffer through these same pains and get paid less. To me you would only go into tech if you just honestly can't hang with the EE or CS classes (no shame there). You can always try for the 4 year and shift to a 2 year tech degree if you can't hang. That way you at least have a shot at it.
If you want crazy loot, bust ass getting a BS in Chemical Engineering. Drug companies, health care research, oil companies, etc. Lots of money that isn't going anywhere.
 

Steve Tannehill

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I mean, im afraid i might study the wrong thing, or go into the wrong field, waste my years in college/university doing somethign i hate, and going into a career that i dont like...
Mike's entirely right. You are worrying too much!
Keep in mind that much of what you will study in college will have no direct relation to what your job will be out of school. It will show, however, how you can apply yourself in a structured environment. Study hard, make good grades, have some fun, learn something useful, but learn how to learn. (That's the whole point.)
Most of the classes I took in college I never use specifically. Hours upon hours of calculus, differential equations, linear algebra, and numerical analysis did not turn me into a mathematician. But it did raise a complimentary eyebrow to an interviewer when he saw that I made all A's. Now, some 18 years later, I couldn't solve a differential equation if my life depended on it. But I can sit down with a book and figure almost anything out.
So don't worry about studying the wrong thing. Odds are, you won't be using it 20 years down the line anyway. But do--right now--make a committment to getting an education. It will serve you well in the future.
- Steve
 

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