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Picking a Degree

MorganMllr
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Hello there everyone! This post is a little long before it gets to the point, but i felt most of this post beforehand was relevant. Im almost 30 years old, a father, and I've been in the US Navy coming up on 11 years. I went into the navy straight out of high school because i had no clue what i wanted to do, and many of my family members had been in the same boat and switched degrees multiple times. As I'm not a huge fan of classroom settings anyways, and more of a hands on person, i figured this would be the smarter route. My biggest hobby, like most people, has always been video games. Whether it be on consoles to play with most of my friends, or MMO's on computers like diablo 2, FF11 (for most of high school). Even after 11 years, i still struggle to figure out what i want to do after the Navy. I could go the average route for my job, which is to go work for a defense contractor. However, I'm not 100% sure that would interest me. Im a Missile Technician 1st Class, and have worked on Nuclear and Tomahawk missiles and their support systems for a better part of those 11 years. So between my hobby and my job, I've worked around electronics a lot. That being said, I've never actually taken the time to truly understand them, sure i have baseline knowledge, but I've never actually dug deep into books and tried to completely understand their makeup. I know i have very minimal interest in software. However, now that I've gotten higher in the ranks and have more money, an interest has been sparked over the past year thats made me wonder if there was something i could pursue out of it. Last year i bought a CYBERPOWERPC Gamer Xtreme GXIVR8020A4 (review and specs here > https://pcgamehaven.com/cyberpowerpc-gamer-xtreme-gxivr8020a4-review/ ). My laptop fried, i was strapped for cash, and wanted a decent rig to pick up my gaming again. This thing was on sale for 550$ on black friday. I had spent the prior months on pcpartpicker trying to design a cheap, similar priced, custom build. However when i saw this on sale for a similar price tag, i decided to grab it. My thoughts were i could buy it cheap and upgrade it overtime. Well over the course of the past couple of months, i realized I'm pretty much going to have to upgrade the entire rig. I already knew the PSU was their off brand crappy PSU and that it was the first thing to go. Then, with the help of the forums at pcpartpicker i started picking parts, and asking for help. I learned a lot during this research, about pricing, how prebuilds work where i would have to buy a new Windows 10 license since the copy i have is attached to the motherboard (or at least ive been told), and that the mobo i have can't support much higher than an I7 quad core. While this rig has served me very well over the year, it does not serve my purpose of upgrading. So over this past week I've had off, I've really dug in doing research on components, how they work together, making sure i don't repeat the mistake i made last year. Im going to completely rebuild this rig from scratch in increments. Starting off by upgrading to this > https://pcpartpicker.com/user/MorganMllr/saved/jnPXLk  and then eventually to something like this (this isn't 100% what I'm going to do, i still want to look at GPUs. The only thing I'm certain of is i want to move to AMD for the price and this motherboard seems to be good. My only qualm is that someone told me on the forums that AMD is switching to a 7NM chipset architecture, and it was my hope that this motherboard would last me another gen or two so that i didn't run into the same issue I'm having now, where my upgradeability is limited.) 

 

So why go through this long explanation? During this process, I've found a genuine interest in PC hardware design and building this PC. Ive been watching youtube channels such as this one and really gotten engrossed into the topic. So finally, my question is, what suggestions for career/degree do you guys suggest for an interest like this? Hopefully this topic wasn't too long to read, i just felt that all the information kind of would help better explain my interest to help narrow down the answer. Thank you so much for your time for reading this, and if i didn't explain well enough, please let me know.

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If the US Forces is anything like the Canadian Forces, just stay in it. You'll make good money, have stability (especially with the way the US is), and still get to toy around with electronics. Maybe consider taking night classes to see if you really want to pursue something else.

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MiniPC - Sold for $100 Profit

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I know it strays a bit away from pc stuff, but Id look into industrial automation especially with your skill set. Lots of interesting stuff that wont be too far from what you may have done in the military as a technician. Electrical and PLC guys in industrial automation are getting harder and harder to come by so it would be a great field to get into. Can be pretty fun too.

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5 minutes ago, dizmo said:

If the US Forces is anything like the Canadian Forces, just stay in it. You'll make good money, have stability (especially with the way the US is), and still get to toy around with electronics. Maybe consider taking night classes to see if you really want to pursue something else.

Thanks for the input, I plan to stay in till retirement, but I can do my degree and the navy will pay for it. So I'm trying to figure it out now. I have 9 more years till retirement barring something happening to me.

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6 minutes ago, bob345 said:

I know it strays a bit away from pc stuff, but Id look into industrial automation especially with your skill set. Lots of interesting stuff that wont be too far from what you may have done in the military as a technician. Electrical and PLC guys in industrial automation are getting harder and harder to come by so it would be a great field to get into. Can be pretty fun too.

That's why I figured I'd post here. There are so many career fields it's hard to find out about them all just through research solely on me own. Thank you for the new idea, I will look into it.

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