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A Career in IT


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#1 King_Yoshi

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 10:50 AM

I recently graduated with a Bachelors in International Business and found that I do not like sitting behind a desk for 8-12 hours a day doing paperwork, or reading hundreds of pages of text.

I currently work for a IT Consulting Company (More on the business side of things) and am thinking of switching careers.

Ideally I would like to do something that is more hands on, requires some interaction with customers, is not a sales or marketing position, and does not require me to sit the entire day. (I would have no problem traveling, or having to do some physical work on the job, not just sitting all day.)

 

Since highschool I have always been interested with computers. I have built two of my own, continually fix other peoples computers (both hardware and software issues) and continue to study computers and anything related to them.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions for deciding what route to take in the field of IT? (Its a HUGE field, with many options)
Any suggestions for a career or type of job I may be interested in?

What types of certification should I get, and what costs am I looking at. (I am currently paying off school loans, and will be doing so for the next 5 years, so I am a bit tight on money.)
What kinds of experience or resume requirements do I need? (I have interned at a Website Design Firm, and gained exposure to the consulting side of things at my current job.)

 

Any and all feedback is greatly appreciated.

Thank you. :)


 



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#2 BKSeoul

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 03:08 PM

Well, you can go two routes for onsite type of work.  More of a customer engineer where you learn a specific equipment/tech and work with a company to service those things or you can go the corporate route with other Engineering types.  While the former can be easily gotten with a few certifications (standard COMPTIA certs such as A+, Network+, and Security+, plus a more field focused Microsoft Cert) at relatively lower costs depending on if you teach yourself or go through a more formal training process, it typically will yield a lower paying position than most people think.  The later option will be more like a person who designs and R&Ds new products or QA or presentation and the like.  This can involve some office work but also some travel depending on what you get into.  While this may require a more formal re-education, it tends to yield better money and results for people from what I have seen.

When you think about computers, what is it that you enjoy the most?  Is it the satisfaction of helping people?  Is it the profit potential you can see?  Is it tinkering with things and problem solving?  These are the things you have to sit down and really think about to give yourself a better idea of where to start.



#3 drobtoy

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 10:21 PM

Very well said. Over the past 30 years I've worked in the corporate world in R&D labs creating computing products and also designing the Public Switched Telephone Network;  there is money to be made in these positions. However, for me, the personal satisfaction gained from helping regular folks to get their computers back up and running trumps the corporate world any day. 



#4 spiderland

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 11:10 AM

I work in the Events industry doing the IT for the events. My job is both hands on and office based. So I get the best of both worlds. i have to set up VLAN's. install internet connections for clients, maintain signage, maintain the free Wi-Fi network etc. 



#5 Kilroy

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Posted 06 December 2013 - 02:08 PM

What part of IT are you interested in?

How much money do you need to make?

 

Level 1 - Help Desk (pretty much locked to the desk and phone)

Level 2 - IT Generalist (a little bit of everything and desk time depends on the shop)

Level 3 - The Specialist (network, servers, applications, etc.)

 

If you're looking to get into the Level 2 field now is the time, but you need to have your A+ certification by the end of the year, should be easy enough for most people.  The reason for this is that there are a ton of organizations doing their XP to Windows 7 migrations.  The pay for this positions is in the $15 to $20 range, expect to make near the bottom.  These positions will be gone, I'd guess, around June, but at that time you'll have six months of experience to put on your resume.  I was looking for work in September to mid-October and am still getting about a call or e-mail a day for these positions.  (Forget they aren't bothering to read my resume).  There are lots of slots to fill for this project.

 

The certifications, and degree, will get you an interview, but only real world experience is going to get you the job.  Certifications don't use the real world in their testing.  Like a degree, certifications are a foundation to build upon.

 

You can pick up the A+ Exam Cram books for less than $20.  The exam is $185, if you fail you pay again.

 

Really need to know what you are interested in doing to give you more detailed advice.



#6 King_Yoshi

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 06:50 PM

I would like to thank everyone for answering this. I apologize for not responding sooner, as I thought this topic had died after almost a month of no replies.

 

When you think about computers, what is it that you enjoy the most?  Is it the satisfaction of helping people?  Is it the profit potential you can see?  Is it tinkering with things and problem solving?  These are the things you have to sit down and really think about to give yourself a better idea of where to start.

To be honest, its a combination of things.

 

What I am interested in

Firstly, I love fixing things. As I previously mentioned, I have been fixing computers for people for a couple of years now (10+) and do get satisfaction from solving problems for others. However it can be a bit frustrating at times.

 

Secondly, I love people. I am not the kind of person who can sit behind a computer 24 hours a day and never speak with anyone. In Person Human Interaction is a must.

 

I also like figuring out how to use various programs and tools, and figure out how to expedite and streamline certain processes to make them less repetitive or faster in execution.

 

I still have some interest in the business side of things, I was just very turned off by the cubicle life and massive bureaucracy/paperwork that exists.

 

I am interested in traveling and would be willing to go to other countries. (However would not be willing to risk my life going to places such as Afghanistan, Syria etc.)

 

I am interested in making some serious money in the long run, and will do what it takes to get there. My current goal is 100k a year. Then next goal 200k etc. (At some point I want to use this money to start my own company.)

Mind you, I have some very lofty long term goals, but have the determination to reach them.

 

However I would like to get some idea of how many hours a week and what kind of work conditions I can expect, when working with this type of salary. (And how many years of experience are required.)

 

 

 

What I am not interested in

 

I do not like programming, especially error checking. But I do not mind writing smaller scripts

 

I am not interested in being on call 24/7. (If I have time off I intend it to be time off!)

 

 

I hope this helps explain some of my goals and interests.

 

What part of IT are you interested in?

How much money do you need to make?

 

Level 1 - Help Desk (pretty much locked to the desk and phone)

Level 2 - IT Generalist (a little bit of everything and desk time depends on the shop)

Level 3 - The Specialist (network, servers, applications, etc.)

 

If you're looking to get into the Level 2 field now is the time, but you need to have your A+ certification by the end of the year, should be easy enough for most people.  The reason for this is that there are a ton of organizations doing their XP to Windows 7 migrations.  The pay for this positions is in the $15 to $20 range, expect to make near the bottom.  These positions will be gone, I'd guess, around June, but at that time you'll have six months of experience to put on your resume.  I was looking for work in September to mid-October and am still getting about a call or e-mail a day for these positions.  (Forget they aren't bothering to read my resume).  There are lots of slots to fill for this project.

 

The certifications, and degree, will get you an interview, but only real world experience is going to get you the job.  Certifications don't use the real world in their testing.  Like a degree, certifications are a foundation to build upon.

 

You can pick up the A+ Exam Cram books for less than $20.  The exam is $185, if you fail you pay again.

 

Really need to know what you are interested in doing to give you more detailed advice.

 

At the moment I am actually doing level 2 work.
I am working for a large organization in New York as a contractor for a Windows XP to Windows 7 upgrade project.
I currently repair, upgrade and re-image computers, track and verify assets, and support various projects throughout the organization.

I am also still studying for my A+, but am pressed for time due to work and personal life. (Once Completed I am interested in studying for a CCNA and PMP certifications)

 

 

What makes this a bit difficult is that I do not really know what I am interested in doing. If I knew what I was interested in, I would not be asking these questions.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to go about figuring this out? Are there any jobs or job types that dabble in such a large range of IT related specialties, that I would be able to try many of them out?

 

Once again THANK YOU for all your help, feedback and suggestions so far!



#7 Kilroy

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 03:39 PM

If you want experience with different things contract work is the way to go.  I worked for a contracting company for ten months in 1999.  During those ten months I worked at more than half a dozen companies performing a variety of tasks like filling in for a person on vacation, standard site support, and equipment roll out.  I worked with a lot of very talented people and got to work with a large variety of technology.  It was a great opportunity to see how different organizations configured their environment.  This is where you will see that the one size fits all answers for certification don't always apply.

 

You're not going to make $100,000 doing level 2 work.  You may have to decide between doing the work you enjoy or doing the work that earns you the money you want to make.  I have made the choice to do the work I enjoy.  I don't see you making the money you want doing the work you enjoy.  Project Management might be something where you could do a little of each, but you're going to have meetings, presentations, and paperwork to go with the money and problem solving.

 

 



#8 King_Yoshi

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Posted 21 December 2013 - 06:26 PM

If you want experience with different things contract work is the way to go.  I worked for a contracting company for ten months in 1999.  During those ten months I worked at more than half a dozen companies performing a variety of tasks like filling in for a person on vacation, standard site support, and equipment roll out.  I worked with a lot of very talented people and got to work with a large variety of technology.  It was a great opportunity to see how different organizations configured their environment.  This is where you will see that the one size fits all answers for certification don't always apply.

 

You're not going to make $100,000 doing level 2 work.  You may have to decide between doing the work you enjoy or doing the work that earns you the money you want to make.  I have made the choice to do the work I enjoy.  I don't see you making the money you want doing the work you enjoy.  Project Management might be something where you could do a little of each, but you're going to have meetings, presentations, and paperwork to go with the money and problem solving.

I would have no problem with the meetings and presentations. (In fact I love presentations)

However, I wonder how much paperwork would be involved?

 

Do you, by any chance, have an example of what such a position would be called or is like? Or be able to point me in the right direction?

 

I appreciate your feedback. Thank you!






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