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Jobs that don't require sitting all day

  1. Apr 17, 2014 #1
    I recently tured 28. I have BSc in Computer Science. Originally I wanted to study Physics. Went for CS thinking it is easier to get a job. I have been programming professionally for about 10 years now. I come from a poor family. So CS was a logical choice for getting good money fast.

    I've become very good at way I do. Getting a well paying job is realatively easy. But there is no fun anymore. I remember telling my boss I feel like a machine. He said congratulations - You've become a professional. Maybe I want to remain an amateur.

    I view my job as sitting by the computer all day. I feel like a carpenter making cheese all day.

    I need a career change. Deep down I am an engineer not a programmer. In the long run I am looking for an engineering job that:

    o) Doesn't require sitting all day
    o) Ideally makes you spend at least some time outdoors. Or indoors but away from computer
    o) I expect to work on the computer but not 100% of time. Ideally 50% or less of time.
    o) Ideally requires collaboration/dealing with people
    o) Is highly techical
    o) Ages well with experience. Something I can do in my 40s.

    I think I still have time to go for a MSc or at least BSc in another field. Any pointers?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 17, 2014 #2


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    This does not meet all of your criteria, but its a start and might be a fairly easy transition based on your skill set.

    I'm assuming you spend your day at a desk simply programming for PC based programs. Why don't you transition to embedded programming. The transition would be fairly easy and you would get to spend some time in lab debugging circuity. Which would require some movement at a lab bench. Note: that is just a minor tweak, it would not help you reach your goal of being outside
  4. Apr 20, 2014 #3
    Applications engineers(AEs) in the semiconductor industry could fit most of your criteria. I agree with the embedded programming suggestion from donpacino which is what most apps engineers in semiconductor companies do.

    Also, if you've strong object-oriented programming background, with a couple of grad courses in digital design/verification, you can easily pick up skills required to be an applications engineer in EDA industry (search for AE jobs in companies like Cadence, Synopsys etc).

    Most of their verification IPs are based on OOP languages like System Verilog/Specman. I'm a chip designer and I work with apps engineers of various EDA vendors that support our team/company by solving some tough problems we face while trying to design and verify our chips.

    But <50% time on computer may not be easy to find unless you're in training or marketing divisions in these companies.
  5. Apr 20, 2014 #4
    I am not sure about a cut off age, but a military officer may be interesting.
  6. Apr 20, 2014 #5


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    Technical Sales, or Field Service Engineer?
  7. Apr 21, 2014 #6
    Following up on Lisab's good advice, let me point out that the constant travel can be a drag. Some don't mind it, for others, it's unacceptable.

    The positions she's suggesting typically do involve a lot of overnight travel. However, they're great experience and it typically pays well.

    Someone in their 20s could take a job like that and run it for a few years. After about a year, I'd start carrying around a few resumes in case an opportunity presents itself. This kind of travel can take a toll on you and it can be very lonely at times. Nevertheless, visiting so many places and talking to so many people is an experience that can give you enormous insight in to how things are done, what works, what doesn't, and how people cope with what they have.

    If you have any aspirations toward management, this is a great step forward.
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