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Briareos
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05 Oct 2014, 2:33 pm

This is really wordy, but please bear with me; I've done my best to not make this one giant wall of text.

Ok, so I'm a 21 year old guy who's trying to figure out his career path, as the title suggests. I took an IT college course up until January when I dropped out. I was OK at doing the PC troubleshooting, but became bored and disinterested in the course when we started getting into the networking side of things. I've chastised myself for being lazy, but I feel like the outcome might not have been very different if I went back. I also did an online IT course beforehand, but eventually lost interest in that too.

I've liked cars from a very young age, and was crazy about Toyota because of how much my dad liked his Camry. I'm still really into cars as you can see from my avatar; I'm a real Japanese petrolhead. Every time I got distracted in that college course it was usually because of reading about the latest feature car on Speedhunters or reading someone's build thread.

So now I'm enrolled in a high school program for what is essentially a catalyst into an automotive apprenticeship.
Why a high school?
Because I'm still young enough to take the program, and it costs $300 vs. $5000 for a similar college program. Mind you, if I was taking that college course, I'd at least get to learn about specific components in a car as well as getting to fool around in a garage, rather than being smushed together with the Aviation guys and being almost bored to death by basic safety and tool knowledge.
I'm happy to be getting into a profession that relates to a deeply rooted interest of mine, but I have some hang-ups about becoming a mechanic...

I feel like it's simple work, or that it is work for simple people. I do like cars and I want to learn how to fix them, but I just think it'd be a waste of my potential if I settled with being a mechanic for 40-something years. I'm going to stick with it for at least 4 years when I can write my Journeyman Red Seal test, but after that, I feel like I should go back to school for something else. People have suggested engineering, but I don't have the required math for that. I got a mercy pass in Gr. 10 Pre-calculus even though I was really trying to do well in the class; I even enlisted a tutor to help me. I'd basically have to take high school Calculus if that was the field I wanted to go into, which would take even more time.

Besides working with my hands, my other strong suit would be drawing and designing things. I'm far from the most creative or abstract artist, but I delight in trying to create something highly realistic or something from the real world, like cars, logos (I've actually designed some for friends), sketches of people, etc. In High school, I absolutely loved drafting and art, I spent a fair bit of free time making complex models in Google Sketchup and probably could have done the same in Blender 3D had I cared to learn how to operate the program. If I had a pen tablet, I'd probably doing a lot more digital art. Photography and videography are also enjoyable, but I've never had professional equipment to use, just a GoPro and my phone.
my only problem is, I have no idea how to apply this to the real world, or what schooling I'd need to do to make this a valuable asset.

Other routes I've considered is teaching, since I've started ski instructing at my local ski hill (ditch). Talking is not my best asset, but I've been working on it and I think I'm improving. It's a profession that would let me live in Japan for a few years, which is a dream of mine.
My only other skill would be writing, as you can see by this breathy post. English might have been my worst subject in high school, but only because of the constraints and subject material for which I had to write within.

_________________

If you didn't read any of that (I don't blame you), I'm basically just asking what jobs could I do that involves drawing/design, possibly involving meticulous detail? I've no idea what jobs are available or what schooling I'd need to do. Also, would teaching be an OK job for someone with AS? Or maybe something that involves writing?


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"If you focus on results, you won't change. If you focus on change, you'll get results."


queensamaria
Deinonychus
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06 Jan 2015, 9:25 pm

I think you should stay in school and use writing and drawing as hobby. I love writing and sketching a lot, despite bouts of creative block. However, I wrote poems and drew while still in school. And I'm okay with it. If you don't know what you want for your career, then find one that can match your talents while staying in school. Good luck.


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MissDorkness
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07 Jan 2015, 9:55 am

I'd say that is sounds like you would be good at mechanical design (not engineering, but, the techs that document the project in the design software).
A community college would be the cheapest way to learn mechanical design, maybe they'd have a certificate program or associate's degree. There are also trade schools that teach hands-on trades like being a mechanic, but, they also have classes for designers (I have served on the advisory board for one of those schools). They're really good, but, can be as pricey as a 4 year school. I went to community college for my associate's, then learned most on the job.

You'd use tools like Inventor or Solidworks for the bulk of the documentation, but, if you found the right roles, you'd also use more presentation-minded software for modeling, rendering and/or animating the finished product to help sell it.
Writing well is a rare gift in these fields as well, you could make yourself more valuable with writing specs or product or function descriptions. Don't know how much exposure you got to specifications in your drafting class.

If you wanted to parlay that into teaching, you'd have the option of teaching your trade, or the teaching or writing about the software you use (I primarily do the latter).

I came from a family of artists, but, don't seem to have their creative knack. :lol: I love comparing my art projects from high school with those of my sister, because they were the same assignments, but, looked so different. In a perspective lesson, we both drew cities with 2 vanishing points... but, her's had laughing people and flowing plants and curtains in the windows... where mine had street lighting, accessible sidewalk ramps, parking lots and drainage grates.
I love mechanical components, but, ended up in HVAC, which is a subspecialty. It's a bit more niche, and I don't know how passionate you might get about ductwork and piping. ;) I started out in plain AutoCAD, but, then moved to AutoCAD MEP and Revit MEP, occasionally using 3ds Max for animations to get a point across to leadership. My role would've been cad or bim coordinator, yours could be those, or plm specialist or something.

I know the uncertainty is unnerving, but, this is a pretty exciting time in your life.
When I went to search for a career I could move sideways into, a couple years ago, I couldn't take most interesting jobs, because I had a family to consider (I couldn't relocate, and I couldn't take less than what I was already earning). I'm kind of jealous for the freedom you've got to think about this. Have fun!



Briareos
Raven
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Location: Central Canada

07 May 2015, 1:22 pm

Thanks so much for the response MissDorkness! I kind of forgot I made this post due to the underwhelming amount of responses after the first couple of days. The wall of text probably shied away a lot people... Always easier to compact and revise my thoughts after they're written out :lol: :lol:

MissDorkness wrote:
I'd say that is sounds like you would be good at mechanical design (not engineering, but, the techs that document the project in the design software).
A community college would be the cheapest way to learn mechanical design, maybe they'd have a certificate program or associate's degree. There are also trade schools that teach hands-on trades like being a mechanic, but, they also have classes for designers (I have served on the advisory board for one of those schools). They're really good, but, can be as pricey as a 4 year school. I went to community college for my associate's, then learned most on the job.

You'd use tools like Inventor or Solidworks for the bulk of the documentation, but, if you found the right roles, you'd also use more presentation-minded software for modeling, rendering and/or animating the finished product to help sell it.
Writing well is a rare gift in these fields as well, you could make yourself more valuable with writing specs or product or function descriptions. Don't know how much exposure you got to specifications in your drafting class.


Interesting, I'll have to check out that line of work, what industries it can be applied to and what courses are available to me locally. The drafting course I took was in high school, and we mostly did the old fashioned, drawing on paper with rulers and circle tracers kind. We never touched a PC or CAD software...

MissDorkness wrote:
If you wanted to parlay that into teaching, you'd have the option of teaching your trade, or the teaching or writing about the software you use (I primarily do the latter).

I came from a family of artists, but, don't seem to have their creative knack. :lol: I love comparing my art projects from high school with those of my sister, because they were the same assignments, but, looked so different. In a perspective lesson, we both drew cities with 2 vanishing points... but, her's had laughing people and flowing plants and curtains in the windows... where mine had street lighting, accessible sidewalk ramps, parking lots and drainage grates.
I love mechanical components, but, ended up in HVAC, which is a subspecialty. It's a bit more niche, and I don't know how passionate you might get about ductwork and piping. ;) I started out in plain AutoCAD, but, then moved to AutoCAD MEP and Revit MEP, occasionally using 3ds Max for animations to get a point across to leadership. My role would've been cad or bim coordinator, yours could be those, or plm specialist or something.


I'm probably the most artistic person in my immediate family, as the oil paintings I made, hanging throughout the house can attest to. My cousin's also pretty skilled, he's currently going to school for Graphic Arts, a path I think is worth considering. My first job actually involved helping my uncle install heating ducts/furnaces in houses; I now respect his job but never want to deal with ductwork again...well, at least when it comes to installing it. I'm also kind of interested in acquiring a business degree, as I think it could be an all round useful tool of knowledge. Teaching could be something to do at a later stage of my life; you really can't beat the vacation periods they get to enjoy!

MissDorkness wrote:
I know the uncertainty is unnerving, but, this is a pretty exciting time in your life.
When I went to search for a career I could move sideways into, a couple years ago, I couldn't take most interesting jobs, because I had a family to consider (I couldn't relocate, and I couldn't take less than what I was already earning). I'm kind of jealous for the freedom you've got to think about this. Have fun!


What's unnerving to me is the window of time I have to get through some form of post secondary education, I don't want to fall behind my peers, wait too long to get things done or get locked in a position (job) that I'd have a hard time getting out of. I already squandered my opportunity to transfer to an automotive technician course 1 year ago, and I paid for it with a course dropout in IT and wasted time.

Yeah, I avoided relationships half because I wanted to finish school and/or have a good job (dates are expensive, m'kay), and half because of social ineptitude. For most of high school, I was too shy and nervous to talk to girls I liked. Also keeping up with schoolwork was difficult enough for me, I'm pretty sure I couldn't handle girl trouble at the same time. I just turned 22 last February, it wasn't until now that I started to loosen up and have a better understanding of social convention.

I'm seeing a psychologist right now, and we're working through various AS related issues of mine, one of them being some career counseling. Hopefully he'll be able to list some further suggestions I could research.


_________________
ECU remapping in progress... (A.K.A. Rewiring my brain)
Progress: 70%

"If you focus on results, you won't change. If you focus on change, you'll get results."