Education and Training
It's never too early to start planning for your career. Most high schools do not offer courses specifically designed for those interested in robotics, but it is possible to pull together a credible course of study from the available classes. Algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus are taught in every high school. Many schools offer advanced math courses for advanced college credits. In addition, local community colleges often allow high school students to enroll in higher-level courses.
Take as many science courses as you can, from general science and physics to biology and chemistry. If your school offers vocational courses, tike mechanics, electronics, electrical engineering, computer programming, metal and wood shop, take as many as you can. Each one will teach you something you will need to know as a robotics technician and will demonstrate your commitment to becoming a well-rounded engineer.
That commitment can also extend to extracurricular activities such as hobbyist clubs. There are more than a million robot hobbyists in America who build their own robots and systems; millions more are interested in computers, electronics, and mathematical theory. Seek out these groups – either through your school, local youth organizations, or the Internet – and become involved. Clubs such as these provide the young engineer with hands-on experience and a competitive advantage when applying to colleges.
There are books available on every aspect of robotics imaginable in every school and public library, as well as magazines dedicated to electronics, computers, and robotics. Read as much as you can on your own – beyond what's required for school – on your particular areas of interest.
If, with all this studying, memberships in clubs, and extra reading, you still have time for a job, look for one related to electronics, computers, or mechanics that will allow you to use and expand your knowledge and skills. Internships offer academic credits for students who work at entry-level positions in private industry or government agencies. Internships place you in an actual work environment, side-by-side with experienced engineers, technicians, and managers.
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