The Best of Creative Computing Volume 1 (published 1976)

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A Computer Career for You? (Planning Your Education and Training)

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might want to take these tests as part of your plan to realize your best skills.

Deciding What You Want To Do
If you are interested in a career related to computers, you can begin now to
decide what you like to do, what your skills might be, and how they fit the
various jobs open to you. It is quite possible, as you learn more and gain more
experience, that your skills or ambitions may change. In the world of computers,
being ready for change is an advantage rather than a fault. But for now, you
should gain some general knowledge of what you would like to do.


Often the second question asked by anyone beginning to think about a career is
what education or training must l have to get the job I want? Assume you have,
by now, at least decided upon the general category of 
computer related jobs you would like to try. That job or any jobs in the
computer field requires a certain degree of general educational background.

Required education for a particular job may lead to a high school diploma,
junior college degree (associate degree), college degree, or an advanced degree
such as the masters degree or Ph.D. You can see there are several levels of
education available to you. Each of the jobs in data processing will usually
require some general education on one of these levels.

Getting training for a job can be quite different than getting an education for
a job. Training implies more specific learning. In data processing, training
usually means taking courses arranged by a vocational school, junior college, an
employer or a computer manufacturer. Courses of this kind teach specific skills:
computer operation skills, programming skills, or data preparation techniques,
for example. Each job in the computer
field also requires some specific training.

Let's look at the various degrees of education and training you may want or need
to become proficient enough to begin working in a computer-related field. 

Courses in High School 
Computer science courses in high school at the present time prepare you for
future training. Most high schools offer courses in computer concepts,
elementary computer programming and some data preparation courses, such as
beginning principles of key punching. These courses generally do not prepare you
for a career in data processing. They do, however, allow you to explore the
fundamentals of computer science so that you can more clearly decide which job
you would most like to do.

Your high school years are ideal for exploring the specific jobs, the career
possibilities and learning about the larger picture in the working world. Any
computer science courses, math courses, English, and writing courses you take
will prepare you for bigger decisions later. Thus, you can use high school as a
stepping-stone to help answer some larger questions, such as what specific
training do I need, which training school or college shall l choose, or what
company shall l work for?

Tyne of Training Length of Course Courses Offered Cost
Home Study Schools 18 months computer Electronics $200-$500
Commercial Data Processing Schools 60-80 hours Key Punching $100-$150
100-200 hours Computer Operation $250-$500
400 hours Computer Electronics $550-$1,000
400-1,000 hours Computer Programming $400-$1,500
Junior College Data Processing Course 6 months-2 years Key Punching $100-$400
Computer Operation
Computer Electronics
Computer Programming
Systems Analysis
Computer Manufacturer Courses 6 days-6 weeks Data Preparation Usually free to
employee of user or manufacturer
(employees of computer manufacturer)6 months-2 years Computer Operation
Computer Programming
Systems Programming
Systems Analysis
Management Principles
Software Design
Customer Engineer

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