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How to start a career in IT


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#1 sd3000

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:04 PM

Hi

I have recently decided to stop being a truck driver (just didn't want to do that the rest of my life) and look for a career in IT. I have no classes but I have worked on computers on the sides for over 10 years. I'm just starting out at 31 yrs old and kind of scared of how far behind I am. I was wondering what you guys would suggest as the best route to a career in IT?

The city I live in is small and there are not a ton of computer jobs around. Basic IT stuff and some with certifications I don't even recognize.

Could someone tell me where to start at this time? Computer science degree is what I was leaning toward. But I'm just now diving in and would welcome all advice.


Thanks in advance,


Scott

Edit: Moved topic from General Chat to the more appropriate forum. ~ Animal

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#2 the_patriot11

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 04:59 PM

I would check out the local college, and see what they offer. Doesnt hurt to tinker around with old computers as well, but a lot of the certs you need you can get via a local or online college. im not to familiar with all of them-I dont have any myself, like you, I am a truck driver, I just do computer stuff on the side. You can study for your A+ cert online, but I would suspect your local college may have a class you can take to achieve it.
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#3 sd3000

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 07:48 PM

Thanks for the reply!

#4 Winterland

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:58 AM

Hey there sd3000.

Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one.

Not sure if this will help, but I'm a warehouse worker (who is a bit older than you) and am also "shifting gears" with my eye on a 2 year degree from my local community college while also attempting to study for and receive my A+ Cert. Realistically, I don't expect to be done with either one in less than one year. There's the day to day of keeping my house and marriage in order and somewhere in the midst of all that, I'll be expected to study (a lot) even when my sweet crazy wife shows up with a six pack of some new micro-brew she brought for me. :whistle:


The 2 year (4 semesters for me, hopefully) degree is an entry level degree but I'm hoping combined with the A+ Cert will make me shine in my next interview.


I did a lot of reading reviews over at Amazon and purchased what I believe are the most popular books: A+ Cert for Dummies and also the Mike Myers All-In-One, which is the subject of much debate in other forums and is a real snoozer.

I also learned about this site from another Bleeping Computer member:

http://www.professormesser.com/

I plan to register this weekend and would be glad to give you my impressions if you'd like.



The A+ Cert seems like the most obvious entry level choice and so that's what I'm going for.

And, of course, there's a wealth of information and lots of good people here at Bleeping Computer that always seem to be willing to help out and answer questions, so I wouldn't be too scared.

Well, okay, maybe a little...


onward,

Winterland

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#5 sd3000

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 07:12 AM

Thanks a lot for the info winterland. I was expecting a+ to be the place to start btu what worries me is job placement. Like you i have a family and I would like to get a job making enough money to support it, although I could skrimp by a couple years for an associates degree I think.


this is what my local college offers


Associate of Applied Science in Computer Technology and Information Systems
Associate of Applied Science in Computer Networking

Certificates of Graduation

Certificate - Computer Operator/Programmer
Certificate - Networking Administrator
Certificate - Cisco Networking
Certificate - Automated Office Personnel
Certificate - A+



It's hard trying to figure out what's applicable for the job market and what isn't. I was thinking A+ to start of course then going with an associate in computer technology and information systems. Thinking that could line me up for a decent start at a competetive wage.


I would be interested in how you find the books and the websites indeed, thanks again.

Scott

#6 HydroLar

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:45 PM

Hi sd3000,

Personally I would go for a certification and get as many of them as possible. Programming is a competitive job and takes a lot of schooling just to be considered for hire. But with certifications you are guaranteed to have a certain measure of knowledge so employers rest a little easier knowing you are not 'faking' experience and knowledge.

I was a computer programmer for 25 years until I was eventually outsourced by much cheaper programmers in other countries who would do the job at a fraction of my salary. It came at a good time; 25 years is enough time for any job. What saved my job while working was the constant education I received - yes, certifications. Without the certifications I would have been pushed out much earlier.

When I looked at resumes and I saw solid training I was more attracted to that than experience which probably could not be substantiated. I suggest you pick something you are interested in like Networking, for instance, get any and all certifications and practice until you are an expert in that one thing. Then you become more marketable.

Good luck!
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#7 sd3000

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 08:59 PM

Thanks hyrdolar I'll keep that in mind. I may take some networking certs as Im sure I don't want to go the programming route but I'm still not sure where I can fit in job wise.

Edited by sd3000, 27 November 2012 - 09:01 PM.


#8 Winterland

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Posted 28 November 2012 - 06:00 AM

Morning sd3000, wanted to let you know that my experience over at the Professor Messer website has not been entirely pleasant.

There does seem to be a ton of information there, esp. videos but the registration process seems a bit clunky and tied into all the basic Social Media regulars (Facebook, MySpace, etc.) which I do not like.


I did send a a question to them via their Contact Us page and this morning, the email address I used to send the question had been the subject of much Spam.

I've used this email address for many of my online accounts and very rarely get more than a couple of spam emails a month, but I submitted one question to this website and *poof* I've got spam everywhere. And, they never even responded to me. :angry:


So I would stay away from the site or at the very least not submit any email addresses/personal information to them.


Thought you should know.

onward,

Winterland

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#9 sd3000

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 04:21 AM

Thanks for the info. I have found a good site for A+ vids I'm using nwo that I like. CBT NUggets.

#10 Sneakycyber

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:24 AM

From personal experience having a degree doesn't guarantee you a job, and not having one doesn't rule you out.

~Chad Mockensturm~
Systems Admininistrator  Windows Server 2008R2, Windows Server 2012
Cisco Certified Home and Small Business Networking Support


#11 DarkSnake-Kobra

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 11:35 PM

From personal experience having a degree doesn't guarantee you a job, and not having one doesn't rule you out.


I agree. I stopped going for my degree. Now I'm just taking some cheap continuing ed classes on subjects I want.

@sd3000

My advice is to research the different areas of IT and decide where you want to start. I'm currently using the Ed2go Network through my local college. The classes are about $150 if you go through the Ed2go Network or cheaper (around $100 for me, but not sure if that's the same for other registered colleges) by going through a local college. They are six week courses with 2 lessons released each week. It's all at your pace just that you have to complete the final exam within 2 weeks to get a certificate after the final lesson is released. You may even find it easier to browse a local bookstore or library on computer books and see what gets your interest.

#12 Winterland

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 06:43 AM

DarkSnake-Kobra - thanks for the link and info.

I just enrolled in my local community college (full-time) because in the area that I live in there aren't many options for training, etc.


I went to the Ed2go page, typed in my zip code and, lo and behold, there are a number of classes (through the community college that I just enrolled in) that I need / am interested in and for a lot less money and with a schedule that is much more accommodating.


I also want to say "thank you" to everyone here at BC for checking in and giving some real world feedback about this topic.


onward,

Winterland

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#13 DarkSnake-Kobra

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:47 PM

You're welcome Winterland. :)

That's great! Hopefully that works well for you. :)

You're welcome and let us know if you need anything else. :)

#14 HaxxTaxx

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 05:36 PM

I just wanted to ad some extra info for anyone.

Even if you don't have a bachelors degree in computer science any degree or diploma from completing a college will assist in some jobs.
If looked at by a recruiting agency or a headhunter the certifications will put you on top of the pile but the best information I can give you is knowledge.

No matter what you have on paper none of it will matter if you can walk in to the office and provide to IT managers you are competent and know your stuff.
I have worked with people who have certifications a mile long beginning with A+ ending in MCSE and CCIE but can't apply the knowledge. No matter what path you choose always make sure you can work 5 times better then your resume says you can.

#15 Orange Blossom

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 05:01 PM

In terms of jobs, don't overlook the possibility of on-line work.

Orange Blossom :cherry:

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