Well i am completely mad on cars - did some work experience for **** lovett mercedes and it was great. I have been selling kitchens now for about 8 months and before that was at currys electrical store for a year, so i do have a grounding in sales. I would say my Kitchen job is pretty advanced and the guys i work with are 25, 27 and 32. Between us we run a franchise and i go out to peoples houses to meet them together with doing plans within the store.
I am really tempted to apply for this position because i am not convinced that my heart is in computing. I reckon i will send for some more info.
I'd say if you can get your degree first. You'll still be able to go after a job in the motoring world and having a degree especially in business will make you more attractive to dealers/manufacurers. They'll also probably pay you more. Also, having a good degree will make it easier for you if you ever want to travel and work abroad.
Plus. If you ever get bored and want to change direction you will have a large string to your bow with your degree behind you.
At to whether your heart belongs in computing it is tough to decide as at 18 it's difficult to really know what you want to do. I'm an electronics engineer and basically went down that route because there were a lot of jobs around at the time - really like my job now though so glad I did.
It looks like you're doing a combined degree but if you're not then maybe you could consider a broad based one where you don't decide your main subject until you're well into the course.
Finally. How about starting your degree and trying to get summer work at a dealership. They might even sponsor you.
Go to Uni and get your degree
I know BMW do a graduate training scheme. It is a two year course where you spend 6 months in 4 areas of the business (sales, marketing, production, finance, i think). Then you can apply to be a dealer principle. I know demand is high though and only a few dealers take people on each year, as they have to employ you as you train. Money was approx 20k p.a. while training.
I'm taking the opposite approach from most people here -- I say take the apprenticeship for a year.
If you decide that that's what you want to do for your life, you should go to Uni at that point and major in business or marketing. That way you won't be held back in later life for not having a degree, when you're up for that big promotion.
If you decide that sales and working with the public is not for you, go to Uni and get your CompSci degree. You must have some talent in that direction, otherwise you wouldn't be considering it now, right?
Or split the middle - get a business degree with a concentration in Information Technology so you can manage programmers. Hint: it's like herding cats, but if you're good at it, you will be rewarded because so many other people are so bad at it.
Well, here's an interesting spin for you. Centuries ago, when I was obtaining a liberal arts education, I worked as a student for a government agency. The agency had nothing at all to do with my chosen academic career. Care to guess what I've done professionally?
Yup, still working for a government agency.
By the way, all of my IT friends are looking for meaningful work that pays the rent.
Final advise from an old codger - go where your heart wants, not your head.
This apprenticeship scheme just got me thinking thats all. When i finished school 2 years ago i started an apprenticeship at the BMW Plant in Cowley which makes the Mini's to become an I.T. Specialist and be taken through Uni. However, within 2 weeks i decided it wasnt for me and felt A levels were worth getting first.
Anyway, i was looking round yesterday for alternatives to Uni and i found the Sales one where you would be based at a dealership. If this had been available 2 years ago i would have probably taken it. The course is 2 years and I do wonder if its a bit of an 'overkill' to basically become a salesman. Ok, i realise BMW want the best people with wide product knowledge, however it is a long time.
After chewing the options over I am going to try Uni out. If i complete the course ok, i will obtain a degree to my name within 3 years and if i hate it or something, i can always start an apprenticeship scheme later.
Also, someone mentioned Mercedes - they only do apprenticeships within their engineering sections from what i read on their website. Also, my local dealer is about a 40 minute drive.
Uni's a worthwhile experience. You'll get more out of it than just a quilification at the end.
If you're career minded, and want to get ahead in IT, then a degree isn't necessarily the way to go. I haven't regretted studying for my BSc in computer science, but if I'd taken a different route I'd be further on than I am now.
I should hopefully have my CCNA and MCSE before the end of the year. These count for more than a degree, take less time, and I could have done them 5 years ago.
I still say go to uni though. Which one were you thinking of?
I'm not sure I agree with you totally there. While I'm only an NT4 MCSE at the moment (and hopefully an MCP on Windows Server 2003 using beta certification, but I haven't had my results back yet), I think that MCSEs fall into two categories.
First there are those who haven't had a job in IT before and who cram to get their MCSE certification. While this isn't the easiest thing in the world to do, they will likely have forgotten most of what they learnt within 6 months.
However, that kind of person shows that they're keen and is probably worth employing as a junior IT guy with a view to fairly fast promotion.
Secondly, there are those who have some experience (perhaps having done a few years running around fixing things) and have studied a little to get the qualification. They will know the run-of-the-mill stuff like the back of their hand, know how file and directory permissions work and know their stuff. Most will have crammed to get the knowledge of Active Directory and things like RAS and the things you don't generally configure day in day out.
This type of MCSE is fine by me and shows they have a reasonable grasp of the stuff involved.
The people I really despise are those who come from working in a non-IT field (nothing wrong with that in itself) and go for MCSE certification because they think it will get them more money. They fluke an interview, perhaps because the manager doing the interviewing doesn't know his stuff either and has just been promoted out of harm's way.
Anyway, a degree has long-term value. An MCSE without experience is worth nothing unless you're applying for a junior position (and I'd view it negatively for someone applying for a higher-level job). An MCSE with experience shows they know the products and I don't have a problem with that. Someone with a degree (in any scientific field) and some IT experience wins my vote any day, MCSE or not.
CCNA on the other hand is a well-respected entry-level networking certification. That combined with an MCSE is pretty good evidence that you're the real deal.
I may be biased here, but any Microsoft MVP wins hands down as well.
chughes, I would definitely go for the degree. If your heart's not quite in IT, then most universities will let you switch at the end of your first year anyway. Double check what your course allows, but perhaps you could switch to a 100% business degree. That would set you up nicely for a more managerial (and better-paid) role.
Even if you ended up doing the BMW thing afterwards, I'd bet you would be promoted much more quickly than if you'd just gone straight in.
Of course, you may find that you absolutely love the IT and want to switch totally to that.
Which university are you thinking of? I went to the University of Wales Swansea. Their Computer Science degree was very strong on the theory side of things. The maths might scare you if your degree is like that, but most mixed degrees go fairly easy on that, especially in the first year.
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