Hi there, on Friday i am going to be choosing my A-level subjects. I am hoping to be a web developer/system admin..basically anything to do with the internet. All i need to know are what subjects are best for em to take ?
Honestly, do you need anything other than determination, dedication and passion to become a sysadmin? You just gotta love what you do, you don't need to study for it. If you want to become a sysadmin, get comfortable with it in your spare time and learn from those who know. You can't learn that in school.
IMO you should think of your a-levels simply as a level of achievement, you're lucky in the UK not to have to specify your life-subject too early - benefit from that and take the subjects that you *enjoy* and think more about about work once you reach university should you wish to go that far.
For anything having to do with the Internet, it doesn't matter what courses you take, just as long as you take something that teaches you how to learn. Primary school is for providing us with the basic blocks of information. Secondary school and uni are where we learn how to learn on our own.
That said, there's a statistic that, 5 years after graduation, 9 out of 10 people are working in a field other than their major. So study something that you enjoy, but that isn't totally out in left field. Unless you plan to go into the crafts-business or the arts, for example, I would steer clear of Underwater Basketweaving as a custom degree program. ;->
If you want to be a sysadmin, study:
* things that emphasise problemsolving
* things that emphasise logic
* things that look at entire systems and frameworks, rather than microfocussing exclusively on subsets of information
Linguistics is very good, actually. There are plenty of theory-texts on various linguistic processes, but since the language is evolving, it's one great big problemsolving exercise.
Ubergeek makes a good point: whatever you major in, make sure your overall curriculum is well-rounded. Don't concentrate solely on the hard sciences, or solely on the humanities. Challenge yourself. Take one or two courses in something you're kind of interested in, but have never studied. Otherwise, you risk entering uni and coming out the other side wearing blinders.
Plus...knock on wood, but what would you do if this entire economy collapsed completely, and you'd set yourself up to be no good at anything but computerstuff? Bad place to be.
Any subject that you study can potentially be useful, or useless. It's all in how you approach the learning, and what you take away with you: do you know how to look around on your own and find answers to questions? Do you know how to troubleshoot? Are you unafraid to ask questions, even the "stupid" ones? Do you realise that everyone is a perpetual newbie, and it's only by asking questions and researching and learning-learning-learning that we rise above that mark (until next week, when the bar gets moved again)? Realise this, and the area of study listed on the degree won't matter that much.
Interviewers would kind of give me the hairy eyeball when they'd see "Linguistics" on my resume...until I described my syntax courses to them, told them how much systems analysis and troubleshooting was involved in that. They didn't automatically offer me the job, but they realised that I had gotten something out of my time in uni.