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A new interest in IT


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#1 SubtleNerd

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 11:20 AM

Hi Everyone,

I have just recently become very interested in pursuing an IT career.  I am trying to start learning as much as I can about the field.  I have graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology.  I realized that

psychology was not right for me and would like to change my interest to computers because they interest me much more (I just wish I would've known that before getting a Psych degree).  But anyways I have obtained a Bachelors degree so I cannot complain.  As of right now I am currently studying for an a+ certification and am trying to volunteer at this place where I will be installing url filtering software onto their computers for some experience.  I am working hard to get my foot in the door with this field and am not sure if there is anything else that I can do to help me get a job.  I currently have no real experience other than messing around on the computer my whole life and reading some of my a+ study book.  Are there any suggestions anyone would have with how I can be more involved in the field or how to start my career in IT.  Thanks for the help!



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#2 zingo156

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 11:27 AM

I got my foot in the door by working for a local pc repair shop for a few years. I learned more there in 2 years than I had my entire life messing around with computers. Though I have always built my own computers (outside of commodore 64 and the old apple 2). There are so many random issues that you can not simply encounter without years of actual hands on work. Most pc repair shops do not pay that well but it is likely the best way into the field without going back to school for computer science, although I would argue you would learn more in 2 years in retail hands on than 4 years at university.


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#3 SubtleNerd

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 11:31 AM

I would love to work for a repair shop to get some experience, though I don't know if I would get hired due to my lack of experience.  The ole catch 22.



#4 zingo156

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 11:31 AM

By the way when I started working in the pc repair business, my interview test was to disassemble an old dell laptop, de-solder the dc jack and solder a new one in... I had experience with soldering irons and had already disassembled laptops many times and was able to do this with no issues. I was knowledgeable with software as well and things like msconfig/autoruns.


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#5 zingo156

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 11:33 AM

You may be able to go to a local shop and do some internship, sometimes the employees will help you learn, other times they may just have you do simple work like dusting out pc's or starting diagnostics (bootable discs to test hardware). Might as well call around.


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#6 SubtleNerd

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 02:29 PM

Thanks zingo.  I will look around for some local shops.



#7 Kilroy

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 03:14 PM

Get your A+ certification ASAP.  From now until April 2014 there are a ton of contract jobs doing Windows XP to Windows 7 migrations.  They normally pay about $15 an hour.  The reality is they need people to work and entry level is just fine.  Provided you're willing to learn you will pick up a ton of real world skill doing a migration.  After you get your A+ update and post your resume up on Dice and Monster.  Reload it every Sunday night.  You should get some hits and hopefully a job.  After April there will be a glut of available entry level IT people and getting in will be more difficult.



#8 SubtleNerd

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 07:55 PM

Thanks for the tip Rkilroy.  I am trying as fast as I can to study and get through this Mike Meyers book that I bought, but it is definitely taking me some time.



#9 Kilroy

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 09:42 AM

I highly recommend the Transcender practice exams.  While I didn't find them as dead on for the CompTIA exams they were almost the same as the Microsoft.  But, in both cases they showed the questions you will see on the exam and give you a good idea of where you need to concentrate.  When you get a question wrong you can see why the answer is incorrect and what the correct answer should be.



#10 SubtleNerd

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 08:27 PM

Thanks rkilroy...I'll check them out.  Do you think it looks bad to employers that I have a bachelors in psych?  Are they going to prefer someone with an associates or bachelors in a computer field over me?



#11 HandSolo

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 12:00 PM

Up through the A+, I went by the sneaking suspicion that the best study guides were those published, or directly recommended, by the certifying organization. 

 

I read the Dummies manual on the CCENT and it made the test seem pretty straightforward.  But I knew I needed a Simulator, and the best deal was in the Cisco Press study guides.  Since I got a great price on Amazon, I went for it with a smile. 

 

Okay, here comes the Big Word -- paradigm.  The Cisco paradigm of networking is distinctive overall and might well be unique.  First, even with the basic cert now split into two, there is a hell of a lot of material to be mastered, plus simulator runs. 

 

I took it as confirmation.  When studying for a certification, spring for the sponsored study guides.  Then master them. 

 

I passed both my certs the first time out, using this policy, and even then the A+ was harder than I had estimated. 



#12 Kilroy

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 11:49 AM

They will prefer someone with a computer degree, but your degree will still be a help.  Think about it this way, anything you study for a computer degree will be replaced and updated by the time you graduate.  You will have a foundation, but for all practical purposes your studies are already out of date when you graduate.



#13 mjd420nova

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 12:11 PM

I come from the old school where we learned physics, math and electronics before even thinking about touching anything.  I was fortunate enough to get a good job in a calibration laboratory for a very large international company.  The basic electronics understanding is most important for your protection and those around you too.  Field service will certainly give you a rounded background in a variety of environments and manufacturing systems.  Bench repair can get boring but is more suited to those without customer skills.  If getting your hands dirty isn't the goal, life behind a keyboard can get boring.






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