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A little guidance

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by James.M, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. James.M

    James.M New Member

    Hi everyone,

    Came across certforums alot lately and am a new member. Noticed some really great advice here, but was hoping for something a little bit more specific to put me at ease.

    Currently I am serving in the Army (UK), but due to events I am getting Medically Discharged. Which leaves me 2 months to start building a new career before i'm thrown to sharks. I have always had an interest in computing and am hoping to start a new career in this field.

    However my lack of experience and knowledge is really against me, but I am hoping my motivation will give this balance.

    I have found this course (Welcome to South Step Training) among many, and money is not the issue. Am I being realistic in thinking it is possible for someone of my understanding to undertake such courses. I understand self study is a major player, and I currently have the time to undertake this. But I dont want to be left feeling overwhelmed, where should I start? and are these course/s a good stepping stone to a new career?

    I appreciate I rambled on, but thank you for your time and effort

  2. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    Anywhere like that which bundles together a huge number of certifications in order to justify a massive course fee should be avoided.
    A+ may well be a good place to start and MCSE a good place to finish, but over the duration of your career and not in a couple of years.
    Also be wary of anyone that guarantees a pass. There is something of a fiddle going on there somewhere.

    The sign of a good TP is one who will let you go and sit something like an A+ on it's own - because they know that they'll deliver and you'll be coming back for more. Anyone who tries to sell you everything up front knows that if they don't, they won't get a chance later...
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  3. James.M

    James.M New Member

    Thank-you for the quick reply and advice.

    I was wary of this, although my problem is, the funding for such courses will not be around for ever. Maybe, and it is possible I am looking for a quick fix so that I dont need to pay out of my own pocket (shame on me). I know there is no such thing as a quick fix and am always wary of anything that may sound to good to be true.

    I was originally considering studying for CompTIA A+ and then further on studying for N+, before I stumbled across this. I have been recently asking for advice everywhere I can and my main concern is not having enough knowledge, and treading out of my depth.

    Is it possible if anyone can give me some advice on starting a new career and what Quals/Certs I should be looking to do with my funding.
  4. jiggy

    jiggy Nibble Poster

    Hi James, the thing to realise in this industry is experience is king. A lot of certifications but no experience will probably hurt you more than help. I would start with the A+ and or N+ and maybe some of the desktop OS Microsoft exams. You first job in I.T will most probably be a 1st line helpdesk / call center type role and these certifications will be the most relevant to those roles.

    As your career progresses and you get more experience it becomes more relevant to get you MCSA / E.

    Finally don't be afraid of being out of your depth. The one constant in IT is change and one of the best skills you can have is googling how to swim on the way down from the diving board :)
    Certifications: MCSE
    WIP: ABC's
  5. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

    Best guy on here to answer this is a very nice chap called SimonD. He's ex army.
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  6. James.M

    James.M New Member

    Thank you all for your input. Its good to have so many with experience take time to answer someone like myself, its very much appreciated. I will try to find SimonD, hopefully he wont mind helping a fellow soldier, thanks for the heads up.

  7. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

    Ask and I shall appear.

    Assuming you're getting resettlement? Then if so look for a decent provider that aren't offering too much and not costing a fortune.

    As far as certifications are concerned (and not knowing your current trade and whether it can be transferred out to civvy street) you really need to start small.

    I left the army with just a single Novel CNA (entry level admin course of a pretty much dead OS). These days I would advise someone leaving the army to take something like the Comptia N+ and A+ exams, they would give you a broad range of knowledge and send you in the right direction.

    The other thing to take into consideration is that at this point in your IT career you're probably not too sure where you want to head, is it sys admin work, database work? web design, networking etc? starting with a basic course won't give you too much info on any of these particular areas but will help you get your foot in the door.

    One thing you're going to have to be aware of is that you're going to be starting from the bottom of the ladder again and depending on your age will also be going up against younger and cheaper people, one good thing for you is the military background, people like it and it's opened more doors than its shut.

    Finally, don't over certify, the thing you need to realise with certifications is that they are there to prove your experience, they aren't there to get you a job for you to learn on, the more certifications you get at the start of your career, the worse off you're going to find it because people will look for the experience to back it up and it simply won't be there.

    Any questions please don't hesitate to ask.
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  8. James.M

    James.M New Member

    Thank you SimonD,

    I didnt expect such a quick response... I had actually PM'd you, but you pretty much covered what I needed to know. One thing I have learned through this, is certifications are only as good as the experience they carry. And as I can tell going for my CompTIA A+, N+ is probably my best route. Possibly finding a small paid job or somewhere I can volunteer would be greatly beneficial. As you may know, leaving the Army is a daunting prospect as is many transitions in life. So for everyone that has given me input, I thank you all.
  9. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    Good luck with your future dreams James 8)
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)

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