I'm currently a 5th year student and I've always had a huge interest in computers and technology from a very young age. It's coming to the stage where I'll have to decide my course in college and my future career, which I am unsure about...
I have had an interest in programming in the last 3-4 years and I'm currently reading a book and watching tutorials on Java, which I quite enjoy. The Computer App. course in DCU (which I heard to very good and suited to me) also appealed to me. So, up until recently, I was pretty sure on going down the software (pure) path in I.T.
On the other hand, I have some experience in hardware from changing parts in my PC etc. and this interest has grown since I did my week long work placement working alongside a I.S. Desktop Support team in a large company, which I loved. I also like this side of I.T. because of it's hands-on element and you get the chance to design and program a device that you can see and use in the real-world. I'm also trying to get my hands on an old PC so I get take it apart and see what the PC responds with when I disconnect this part etc.
One thing I noticed while on my work experience is that the software developers were always at their desk, all day, and I don't think I'd like to be working like that for the rest of my life (no offence to any Software Engineers/Developers, I just don't think it's for me). Computer/Electronic Engineers (as far as I can see) could be programming at some stage, put then on their feet to have a look at the device and see if it's working.
I don't really have an interest in Business Information Systems so basically I'm tied between CS and CE/EE. Also, I think I have the potential to have my own business in the future so which path would favour this more? Currently, I'm slightly on the side of C&E Engineering as a job of designing and programming the new processor in the iPad really appeals me (pardon the ignorance there!) Additionally, is it true that the computer science side is being more outsourced to countries suchas India etc. more so than engineering (correct me if I'm wrong). Finally, could you tell me which path has better job opportunities for the future (if possible, prob not).
Thanks a thrillion in advance,
P.S. Sorry for the awful long post, I just wanted to get everything that's been in my head for the last while!
You seem to have a good idea what you want but these jobs are tough to get sir, everyone says IT but look at the number of grads that are sitting twidling thumbs. I'll tell ya, it aint easy
Think carefully about it and you'll go far but maybe not in this country.
Thanks for your reply. To be honest, it's the only thing I'm interested in doing as a career. Would I be right in saying that I have a headstart because of my great interest in IT&T, compared to some people would did the course for the sake of getting a job - with no interest at all. It's just that I think it would be a shame to throw away an interest I've had all my life which I could use on daily basis at work... Decisions...
I think you need to be clear on the distinction between the careers you are looking at.
Computer Science covers more of the hardware, along with programming.
Information Technology covers more "what can the hardware do for me/my business", yet would also cover programming.
You mention hardware, yet you mention programming the iPad, so I would suggest Computer Science.
Also, a love of hardware is A Good Thing. If you start off in a IT Technician type role, you get plenty of hands-on hardware experience. This could lead to System Architect/System Administrator type roles. These are the type of roles that cannot be outsourced to India. They can however be outsourced to local companies. So, you could be working in a local IT company that provides IT services to local non-IT companies (guess what I did for a living before I jumped into Education ).
To be blunt, don't listen to the detractors. If you have a love of IT and can prove yourself, via the likes of college projects or personal projects you will get a job. iPad/Android programming is ideally suited to personal projects to show off your talents and get you a job.
Again, thanks for the reply. Now I'm very confused... I though CS was the software side while CE was the hardware side of things?.. I know that the 2 courses cover both HW and SW but they both specialise more in or the other. Oh, and when I meant programming for the iPad I meant programming the actual HD inside it, not the apps that 3rd parties develop for it.
AFAIK, Comp. Science studies the theory behind the Hardware while CE would study how to take apart a PC etc. and to diagnose a hard drive problem and troubleshoot it.
CS would cover both, as would CE. However, you are correct, CE is much more towards the hardware side of things.
The best thing to do is pick out a few courses and have a look at the subjects.
CE and CS would have the likes of maths, digital electronics and programming in common. Personally, I loved assembly language programming and still do. You will find it in both areas.
CS and IT would have subjects such as maths, programming, operating systems and networking in common.
First of all...I'd just like everyone to know that there is currently a huge shortage of ICT qualified people in Ireland. There is really no need to emigrate or be unemployed (twiddling their thumbs) at the moment with a good ICT background...as shown here.
and more recently here
Now that I've made that point...I would also like to answer the op's original query, software or hardware? If you can't make up your mind a good combination of both hardware and software is Networking. Most networking courses cover JAVA and scripting...I know that in the University Of Limerick that they also will be teaching App development and cloud computing. These types of courses also teach network configuration and implementation. Some more info here....
To be honest Computer Engineering doesn't really teach PC repairs....a good training course for that is the CompTIA A+ which is sometimes incorporated into some labs but not exactly taught as a goal of the course but as background to explain a concept in some lectures.
If you want more hands on experience the Institutes of technology might be a better approach....as someone who has graduated from both an IT and a University I can definitely say that you get more hands on from the IT's.
Good Luck with your choice!!!
Thanks again for the reply, really helpful.
Hi Bonzer, thanks for the reply. Tbh, I would n't be very into the Networking side, I got a flavour of it while on work experience and it didn't really appeal to me, thanks for the recommendation though! The App Dev and Cloud Comp. course sounds interesting so I might give it a look, thanks.
Ya, I kinda knew that CE doesn't focus on repairs but had some bits on it. I wouldn't really like to be a PC technician in the long term, maybe 1-2 years, I heard it's a good way to get into the IT industry... I'll probably be taking a year out before going to college so I might pick up one of those CompTIA A+ books and sit the test. I was looking through some of the sample tests and they look quite manageable. Thanks for the idea.
I was also looking at the courses in the IT's. The Software Development course in GMIT is supposed to be very good and I heard that Ericsson take on the best 3-4 students from the course every year (grads).
Hopefully I'll be able to get some work experience during the Summer which will give me an insight into different IT jobs...
Thanks for the info,
Moved from LC at user request.
there seems to be a fair bit of demand for sql programmers for cloud based database businesses.
Haven't replied to this thread for a while, so I thought that I'd revive it, hopefully I'll get some new replies!
Ya, I heard that there was alright, I got a taste for SQL on my work experience.
My opinion on which job I want to work in has since changed slightly. I looked into Networking and the more I learn the more I like it. I think the reason I didn't like it at first was because I was speaking to an expert in the field and he literally threw tonnes of info at me in the space of a few minutes, and it seemed very overwhelming. Now I get to learn at my own pace, which I like.
I also hear that jobs in Networking are/will be in high demand, is this true? I was looking at the Mobile Communications and Security course in UL, which I am really fond of studying.
To be honest, I think the Computer Science (Computer Systems), the C&EE and the MC&S course in UL will all be in my top 3. In what order - I do not know yet, but I'm leaning towards the MC&S and C&EE courses.
Is there anyone else that would like to add anything? I'd really appreciate it.
Computer Science covers you for anything to be honest. Unless you're *really* into one specific area, my advice would be not to tie yourself down.
Dam didnt see this thread before i made my own!.
Don't worry. You have different needs etc.
Woukd it result in a ban if i didnt ?