You asked an interesting question. This career area is very broad and diverse. The most important things that you can do are:
- determine which area you are most suited for by virtue of your personality traits.
- network with professionals in your chosen area based upon the testing results to determine your proper focus and develop contacts and relationships that will help you along your education/career journey.
- take courses in a prudent and efficient manner to prepare yourself for proper development and advancement in your career area.
Ken recommends the following next steps:
- Take interest and aptitude testing administered and interpreted by a professional during high school and when entering college, as the interpretation might differ, but do not wait until college, as your preparation and networking should start as soon as possible.
- When you get the results, talk to the person at your school or college you are considering or college you are considering to arrange to meet, talk to, visit, and possibly shadow graduates who are doing what you think that you might want to do based upon the testing interpretation. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
- Locate professional associations to which professionals belong who are doing what you think that you might want to do based upon your testing to meet and talk to and visit people who are doing what you might want to do. When I was doing college recruiting, too many students skipped this step and ended up in jobs/careers for which they were ill suited. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ## Many times these professional associations have or know of internship, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. It is through these associations that professionals are able to keep up with changes in their career area and make advancements as they progress through their career .
- Here are some good tips on reducing costs for college. ## http://www.educationplanner.org/students/paying-for-school/ways-to-pay/reduce-college-costs.shtml ## Many times students in CS can become involved in very good jobs upon graduating from a community college with an AA in CS and have the employer pay for advance training if deemed necessary along the way in their career. Many times these community colleges have internship and coop programs which will allow a student to earn and get practical experience as they learn.
- It is very important to show appreciation to those who help you along the way. To make is more personal, it is best use face to face and telephone methods of showing appreciation, as this allows for a two way verbal conversation and exchange of information and the possibility of getting more helpful assistance. Here are some tips. Whenever possible, when another means is mentioned, substitute phone and face to face interaction. ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ##