<p>Hey guys. </p>

<p>I'm interested in the field of computer engineering, but honestly, I've never explored programming/hardware in depth. I mean, computer use comes naturally to me -- I've been using them since I was eight -- but my knowledge only goes so far. I'm familiar with most of those standard windows short cuts, I have some experience with writing some primitive macros with excel, I can learn to use any software fairly quickly... but I don't think these things are sufficient to jump right into a programming class. I feel like I'd be really behind...</p>

<p>So what I'm pretty much hoping is that someone on here can sort of guide me and tell me what some of the basic things are that I should know before actually embarking on my major. Any books I could use? I read that I should try to become A+ and Network+ certified, among about 8-9 other certifications. Are these necessary in the field of computer engineering? I'm pretty overwhelmed, but pretty determined.</p>


<p>Computer science and engineering is not really about IT certifications.</p>

<p>You may want to read the following book and do the examples and exercises on your computer to get an introduction to computer science and engineering:</p>

<p>Welcome</a> to the SICP Web Site</p>

<p>OTOH, if you do want to do IT/support/operations work, there are many avenues. You have listed some certification for Windows; there are also certifications for various flavors of the Linux operating system, such as Red Hat. There are certifications for Unix-based system administration work from SAGE. There are vendor-specific certifications for network equipment from companies such as Cisco (e.g. CCIE) and Juniper (JNCIE). There are certifications for virtualization platforms such as VMware as well.</p>

<p>Someone interested in IT or system administration work may want to take the CS versions of the courses in operating systems, networks, databases, and security in order to get a stronger foundation of knowledge that will be helpful when learning new technologies or handling unusual problems that many people with entry or lower level certifications* have difficulty with.</p>

<li>Often derided as "paper certs" because their holders have trouble handling unusual problems and anything new or different. CCIE is not such a thing, as it is a relatively high level certification that has an eight hour lab test with difficult network problems to troubleshoot.</li>