Going to College. Tell me how Amateur Radio has infulenced your career path.

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BonziBuddy

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I'm 17 and just finished attending a community college in place of my senior year of high-school. In September I will be going back full time and working toward graduating and transferring to a university.

I've always been interested in computers, electronics, programming, networking, WiFi and Amateur Radio. I know I want to take up technology as my major in school, so I'm trying to make the right decision on what major I will be taking up.

Networking Associate of Applied Science
Computer Information Systems A.A.S
Electrical Technology A.A.S.
Computer Science A.S.

I feel that the Networking A.A.S is too specific to the Cisco Networking examination. I feel that if I take that up, I will be limited as to moving up in my field. It would be networking, and networking only. Networking guys are a dime a dozen.

Computer Science focuses a lot more on programming. I don't want to be a software programmer only.

The Computer Information Systems A.A.S sounds better. The range of jobs with this are a lot more broader than taking up something like networking or programming only.

The Electrical Technology A.A.S would be best. I'm sure that would be more important to a computer related field than the CIS degree. If you can do Electrical Technology, you can do computer technology.


I feel that my passion of Amateur Radio could bring a career in cellular, WiFi, public safety communication, etc. I'm interested to hear about what everybody here does for a living and what they studied in school.
 

Ref-Jazzy

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My career path, lead me to Ham, not Ham to Career. When I started my path to become a "Networking guy" they were telling us the market paid 65,000 a year. By the time I got my degree and was ready to be making that kind of money. We were a "dime a dozen" I started work in a call center. At this call center there was a group. the elite of the building. They were "wireless guys" I made the right friends and proved myself time and time again, and i was chosen to be one of teh wireless guys. When I joined the team I knew squat about RF. But I quickly fell in love with it. That job was working to support techs/engineers/installers of Motorola Canopy and PTP equipment. I consider myself more of a wireless guy now vs networking guy. That job got moved to the Chec Republic and now i have a dumb job "designing wireless networks" for Eli Lilly, Which sounds cool but im basically a project manager paid like a ditch digger, and I dont even get to play wih the wireless toys. Ham radio is an interest I picked up along the way, I studied for a bit was ready for the test got too busy so had to put it off, just got back to it, Studied for a couple months took my test and recieved my CallSign on Monday.
 

k9rzz

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Ham at 16. College degree in Physics, then another in Nursing, now looking for next 'move'.

You may not know what you want to do, but you'll quickly know what you _don't_ want to do and that will guide you down the right path.
 

eorange

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Your degree will get you hired and placed into a job with a similar fit.

But your drive, skill, and aptitude, will define what kind of career you have. Get exposure to as many skills as you can, both technical and non-technical.
 

N4DES

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My career path, lead me to Ham, not Ham to Career.
Pretty much the same thing here. I was a college grad before I got my ticket, but I spent many years in consumer electronics through HS and college, then moved into the industry doing tachometry/tememetary, then HF radio R&D, then finally into public safety two-way where I have been for almost 25 years.

I admit that I'm not a big computer guru, but I am doing a lot of personal reading on the topic. Like some said the networking guys are a dime a dozen now and the true RF types are very hard to find. Right now with the explosion of 4G in the cellular world there are a number of field RF engineers coming out of retirement to fill the need.

Mark
 

kayn1n32008

ØÆS, I put that shØt on everything.
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Was a ham at 15, ham radio lead me to working in the rf field, but only for a short time, from 18-30 i have done lots of stuff that i know i _don't_ want to do. I am now a surveyor, a job that i fell into by cance and even though my first love is rf, my career choice is something totally different. The ham experience is helps with the job, especially with RTK-GNSS data link coverage. although radio is what i love, it is not a career path i want, it is better as a hobby for me. more than anything find what you enjoy and do that, there is nothing worse that getting up in the moring to go to a job that you are not happy at. I am going to school now to get the education for surveying, and my company is paying for it, other than that i basically wasted 10+ years figuring out what i wanted to do, but in hind site it has been totally worth it.

good luck with what ever you choose to do, but do something that you like
 

gcgrotz

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Feb 21, 2006
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Had a Ham license for 8 years when I was looking for a job in a new city. A local 2-way radio shop needed someone and he said since I was a Ham I must know something so he hired me. Eventually had to get a commercial license but it was easy since I had studied the same stuff except for some of the rules.

That was 25 years ago and I'm still in radio as a field tech for a cellular phone company. Been in 2-way, paging, wireless, and even a little broadcast. Great career, and I get to play with radios all day and then at night too!

Good Luck guy, OK? Work hard.
 

SCPD

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Actually, it wasn't amateur radio, but police scanning/monitoring that led me to my first job. I got my first AM/FM/PSB (i.e. VHF-High) multiband radio at age nine, and immediately started tuning in the hotshot calls on LAPD. Then I graduated to a Realistic Patrolman 4 VHF Lo/High portable and started listening to Orange County police and fire, finally moving up to a Regency ACT R-106 10 channel crystal scanner when I was in high school.

Meanwhile, my freshman English teacher was encouraging me to write, so it only seemed logical to combine both interests. I eventually became a police reporter, heading out to crime scenes, etc. and writing up stories for both weekly and daily newspapers. I can recall several times hearing over my scanner words like "the newspaper guy is here" whenever I approached a crime scene.

God, I could tell you tons of stories of how I tagged along with the cops while they were chasing suspects. They even caught a few in convenient range of my camera lens. Actually, this was a good way for me to play cop without the actual hazard of being one. Although in one instance I was caught in the crossfire between the cops and a couple of armed robbery suspects. When my wife found out, she insisted I do something other than police reporter, so I got into public relations where I've been ever since.

My best advice is to take what you love doing and try to make a paying job of it. I loved playing around with scanners (still do) and I loved writing. In the years I was a police reporter I always got to carry my scanner around with me and, best yet, if I was in a boring staff meeting I could always get out of the office whenever there was a robbery, traffic accident or fire to cover.

Dave
KA6TJF
 
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