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Beginner IT in need of advice.


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5 replies to this topic

#1 TRUsalance

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Posted 28 November 2014 - 04:47 PM

Hey I've been working on grabbing a few certifications in the IT field Through a Technical school and I'm in need of advice on a few subjects.

 

1. I've come to a fork in the road recently after my grades have dropped from missing and being late to school a large amount of days. I've been told to either spend my remanding time in the class studying to complete my A+ 220-802 so i have at least 1 certification, or  quit class and start self studying for the 802 and net+. I'm a bit lost on what to do because i'm having a hard time focusing on the work which is mostly paper work and simulations. So really my first question is, is it really worth staying in class just for the diploma ?

 

2. I"m also doing odd jobs fixing peoples computers, cleaning general virus and some ransomware, and as of recently working on smart phones too. and I'm having a hard time coming up with prices on cleaning and repairs. I live in a small town and most people don't want to spend alot of money on repairs so I want to make them feel like their getting a good deal but I  don't want to cheat myself out of money either any suggestions?  



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#2 Kilroy

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Posted 30 November 2014 - 10:28 PM

1.  If you're just starting out your A+ will serve you better than Net+.  Most entry level positions will require the A+.

 

2.  Hard to tell you how much without knowing where you are located.  Are there any places locally that have prices established for the work you're doing?  If so you should be able to do the work for less, how much less is up to you. 



#3 Go The Power

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 02:20 AM

Hello,

 

 

I'm a bit lost on what to do because i'm having a hard time focusing on the work which is mostly paper work and simulations. So really my first question is, is it really worth staying in class just for the diploma ?

 

Yes of course it is. Diploma a looked at to as skills studied and learnt from a training provider.

When it comes to certificates they are mainly in place to back up the skills you have, in other words to turn your experience into a piece of paper. The entry level certs. like A+ and MCSA will help with an entry level job, but employees look for experience and a cert.

 

 

2. I"m also doing odd jobs fixing peoples computers, cleaning general virus and some ransomware, and as of recently working on smart phones too. and I'm having a hard time coming up with prices on cleaning and repairs. I live in a small town and most people don't want to spend alot of money on repairs so I want to make them feel like their getting a good deal but I  don't want to cheat myself out of money either any suggestions?

 

A piece of advice would be to see what your 'competitors' are doing, if they are charging a lot more, then you may not be charging enough. The idea is not to match them, the idea is to still beat them, but not at a huge lose to yourself.



#4 bludshot

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 04:06 AM

Just kind of chiming in here, I find that I am unable to set a decent price. Either my fee equates to less than minimum wage for me, or it's too high for them to want to do it. They say if it costs that much then they will just live with it how it is, or they say they will just buy a new computer since this one is a couple years old. Mind you, I haven't tried very hard at all, so, I guess there is a market for a decent price, just not the cheap asses I know? lol



#5 Kilroy

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Posted 02 December 2014 - 06:14 PM

Once you start to get a reputation, hopefully positive, you'll get more word of mouth work.  You can't look at it as minimum wage, especially if you can work on more than one machine at a time.  If you're doing house calls, that is different and you need to charge a decent amount.  Normally this type of work is per job, not per hour.  Cleaning a machine may take eight hours, but only a half hour or hour of your actual time, the rest is just waiting for the machine to perform the scans.

 

You are going to have to look more into marketing your services.  If people have infected machines let them know that those machines may be sending their user names, passwords, and credit card information to the bad guys and it won't stop until they get that new machine.



#6 Zizuph

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 04:24 AM

1) Its not worth it.

2) Odd jobs are never going to truly supplement your income.  Use them as a learning tool.  Break even on your time if you can.  Abandon them when you achieve your goals.

 

Success in IT...

If its not an intolerable thought, spend a small amount of time in the military.  They will give you a free clearance and some initial training.  This will put you in a position to contend for very nice paying contract jobs most can't qualify for.

Test all of the basic CompTIA certs immediately.  They are cheap and low level.  If you have difficulty by the second attempt at each, look at some brain dumps.  Also, never list them behind your name.  Just put them on the resume.

Grab a Microsoft cert.  This is a necessary evil.  Boot camp it if you have to.  Even an MCP is better than nothing.

Read up on DoD directive 8570.  This lays out which certs. qualify you for which government contract positions.  It basically boils down to getting your CISSP or CEH to be eligible for the highest paying slots.

If you want to include Linux/UNIX in your portfolio, grab an LPI cert.  Much easier to obtain than RedHat, and easier to maintain.  Linux+ is good to have, but its just entry level, and as with any CompTIA cert, no-one who matters respects it.

 

A word on A+:  It is a basic qualification for most State level jobs, but no longer garners any respect.  Back in the mid-90's it meant something.  Now, its like a high school diploma.  You have to have it.

 

As for the diploma, its great for young people looking to get higher paying jobs right out of the gate.  It also means paying back student loans, which results in a wash.  Long-term, it means you can be a Manager.  Managers have to prove their worth continuously, because they are a 100% overhead expense.  They tend to have high stress levels and difficulty staying in touch with technology changes.  They are the first to go when ownership or a contract changes hands.  If you can handle the deception long-term, you can earn more than the talent.  But, at a cost.

 

Certified professionals, on the other hand, only have to deal with the anxiety associated with the chosen ticketing system and established "procedures"/red tape, enough to drive any person insane.

 

Career paths for certified professionals...

If you go with infrastructure, and most people hate this choice, you can bypass all of the other certs and focus on network communications.  This is highly profitable for those who achieve the highest Cisco certs, but only intrigues a small subset of the talent base.

 

If you choose programming, you can bypass most headaches in favor of development team interpersonal issues.  Devs get a lot of freedom and usually enjoy their work.  They get to go home at 5, and opt out of physical labor (racking and stacking, furniture moves, etc.).  For this category, I would advise initial focus on Java.  This language is the most widely sought after by recruiters looking to fill slots.  And, learning the Oracle IDE (Netbeans), you can be productive in whichever language your employer demands in short order.

 

If you choose DBA, you get to be an invaluable asset with high pay, freedom and valued input.  (Often a Manager without having to actually manage anything).  Pretty sweet gig, if you like fooling with databases for a living.  Look into SQL query statements and Oracle certifications to get your foot in the door here.

 

Sysadmins are going to be either Linux or MS based.  MS admins are a dime a dozen.  You'll be stuck in the 60K range forever, and there will be twenty applicants for every job you contend for.  Have a MS cert, but don't rely on it.  Linux experience will get your foot in the door for pretty much anything non-MS.  People who do the hiring truly have no idea what the differences are between the various UNIX/BSD/Linux systems.  An RHCE can easily get a job as an AIX administrator without ever having touched AiX (IBM).  Don't bother learning or going after Solaris certs.  Its in high demand now because all of the Solaris admins are dyeing off, literally.  But, no-one will be using it in ten years because of the push toward standards in open source.

 

If I had to do it all over again, I would have skipped college altogether, and picked a specialization early-on.  I wasted a lot of time and money along the way.  Maybe you can benefit from this wisdom.  I wish I had someone to tell me the truth back in the 80's.






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