Free Online Career Counselors... and Should I go into the field of computers?

is there any such thing as a free online career counselor (like an actual person i can “chat” with)?

also, to get a start here, maybe some of you could make suggestions… although i’m not going to just go on your advice; i just want to get some ideas so i won’t look like an idiot when people ask me what i’m going to do.

okay, i’m legally blind (20/100 in one eye and 20/400 in the other). i’m really good at most math (i haven’t done much geometry yet; but what i have done of it doesn’t seem all that bad; and i still have the highest average of my whole class in it.) i was wondering what courses and requirements (and of course work) are involved in various fields of computer science and about how much each pays.

I don’t know about any free on-line career counsellors.

Regarding programming and math: I think you’ll find that there are only a few computer related jobs that require serious math capabilities. (Writing Operating Systems and highly specialized routines for science (or, possibly, gaming) come to mind.) In 20+ years as a business programmer, I’ve had to use math higher than 3d grade arithmetic about three times (and the intro Algebra I did use could have been replaced by a bunch of laborious guesses and checks).

I don’t know exactly how much higher math is required when developing black box routines (although I’m sure someone will stop by to let you know), but I would think that there could be a fairly steady future if you’re good at it. Of course, with far more computer-savvy users, increasing ease of 4GL-and-beyond languages, and the way that the few jobs that haven’t been reserved for H1-B holders have been shipped to India, the days of programming as a widespread lucrative career in the U.S. has passed, probably not to return. There will still be jobs and there will be a few people getting rich, but the median salary is on a slow but steady slide.

well, what about jobs that involve helping people un-crash a computer, learn to use AOL, upgrade, buy computers, and all those people who give advice on the phone if you have a problem with you computer?

My boss was tracking down a problem the other day. As he moved from Level 1 support to Level 2 support to Back Room support, he found himself on the phone with people from the Philipines, Singapore, and India–not a Yank in the bunch.

I am not saying that there will be no jobs in the U.S., only that computers are not the “get a job and be secure for life” deal they were in 1970.

(And none of the jobs you mentioned require any math; most require the ability to read a cookbook, pleasantly, on the phone. If you have excellent math skills, I’d suggest finding places where math is used–including, but not limited to the computer industry. There will always be a need for math. Computers will always need math. I am only suggesting that you not limit your search too narrowly too early.)

I’d say tech support is a bad field to get into now. They’re shipping it all overseas.

If you enjoy math and computers, may I suggest Statistician. The company I work for (a Medical Device manufacturer) employs about 7 or 8 of them, and they are very difficult to find. The only problem is that you need at least a Masters to know enough to be worthwhile. The pay is very nice though. The computer skills come in handy since statistician are forever writing their own code (S, R, SAS, etc…)