1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Advice for a newbie

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by bigfatandenglish, May 7, 2006.

  1. bigfatandenglish

    bigfatandenglish New Member

    5
    0
    16
    Hello all,

    I stumbled on the forum while researching available IT certification, and i'm wondering if I can get a little advice.

    A little background, I started working towards a career in IT from the ground up when I was 20, taking the academic route and gaining a HND in Business Information Technology when I was 22. I then decided to take a top-up degree to a BSc (hons) while at the same time starting a CCNA. However, halway during the year I fell seriously ill which knocked out any plans for progression for about a year. At the end of that year I found myself with the choice of going back to uni and taking the final year again, or going for real-world job experience. I accepted a 1st level Tech support position with Apple, and later moved into a 3rd line support/in-house consultancy role with Hewlett Packard - which in the end resulted in redundancy when support was outsourced to India.

    I now find myself 25 years old, taking whatever work I can just to pay the rent and the bills (yeah, those horrible things) and unsure where to go from here.

    This is where my questions come in :

    1. Im finding that my HND doesn't mean much to employers, who all seems to be looking for MSCA/MSCE (or at least, MCP) qualified candidates. I had a visit from a gentleman from the NITLC who completely put me off the idea of studying through a distance learning company mostly because he spent 20 minutes describing the best way to fiddle a career progression loan. I'm now seriously considering self-study for my A+/N+ and the on to MCSA and perhaps an MSCE - does this accredidation make a difference to my employment prospects? The prospect of learning new skills excites me, but I have to be practical. Would continuing to apply for entry level IT positions be more beneficial if I want to develop a career in IT?

    2. I may be worrying over nothing, but does age make a difference? Im trying to enter an industry at 25 (nearly 26) years old and finding myself competing for jobs with people who are 21-22. I have plenty of work experience but only the support roles have anything to do with IT - most of my experience mainly relates to IT as a hobby, with the little bit of Web design and development that I did to help with my education fees. Does my age pose a problem?

    Sorry if that was a little long-winded, but i've been treading water for a while now and need to start progressing if I want to get anywhere - and it's good to find a place where I may get a little advice rather than muddling through on my own.

    Thanks in advance to anyone who can offer a little advice.
     
    Certifications: HND BIT
    WIP: That's what i'm here to work out...
  2. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

    6,199
    125
    199
    Firstly, Welcome. :biggrin

    Secondly, to answer your Questions.

    Question One - Apply for entry level positions whilst self studing A+, Network+, and a couple of MCP's. Once in employment you can progress from there to the higher certs. There is no point in having the certs if you don't have the experience to back them up.

    Question Two - No! Many people are late entrants in to IT. To stand yourself above the others you have to make sure that your personal skills outshine the rest, that is, you are polite, smart, confident (but not too confident), and show a desire to learn.

    8)
     
  3. bigfatandenglish

    bigfatandenglish New Member

    5
    0
    16
    Firstly, thankyou for the quick response.

    I mostly knew the answer to the age question, but a little reassurance is nice ;)

    One follow up question if you don't mind, how important are the compTIA A+/N+ qualifiactions? I understand that both count towards an MSCA, but do employers rate these qualifications? I realise that I don't know everything (no, really I do!) and relish the thought of learning something new, but I don't want to waste any time doing something that will not benefit me in the long run.
     
    Certifications: HND BIT
    WIP: That's what i'm here to work out...
  4. bigfatandenglish

    bigfatandenglish New Member

    5
    0
    16
    oh, and how's the weather in sunderland?

    'cause it's p*ssing down in Newcastle! :D:P
     
    Certifications: HND BIT
    WIP: That's what i'm here to work out...
  5. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

    6,199
    125
    199
    I can't really say what employers will think of the Comptia certs, but what I can say is that if I were looking at applications I'd consider them to be valuable. IMO It would depend on who looks at the applications, HR won't have a clue and will be looking at putting ticks in boxes, an IT person worth their wages will know what they are and (should) consider them valuable.

    Don't know! I'm at the GF's in Durham! :biggrin
     
  6. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

    5,215
    98
    181
    Welcome to CF! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  7. juice142

    juice142 Megabyte Poster

    763
    9
    62
    Hello mate! :thumbleft

    I think Si's about covered it there. I suggest you have a look around and see what everyone else is looking at doing and make your mind up from there.

    Oh, and I'm 42 years young and luvvin' it. :biggrin

    Bloody whippersnappers. :rolleyes:

    J.
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), A+, Network+
    WIP: 70-270, MCSA
  8. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

    5,763
    35
    174
    bfe,

    I'm 32 and trying to break into IT, so there is no such thing as being old. I'm willing to start at the bottom rung of the IT ladder even at my age :)
     
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  9. juice142

    juice142 Megabyte Poster

    763
    9
    62
    Look a p1ss take's a p1ss take but I have me limits... :noway

    J. :biggrin
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), A+, Network+
    WIP: 70-270, MCSA
  10. BUGIE

    BUGIE New Member

    8
    0
    1
    The downfall of I.T. certification s follow:

    Degrees - while I.T degrees show you have a good general knowledge of I.T. you are not job specialised meaning that while you require it for any sort of decent managerial position, employers don't rate it highly for jobs such as administrators, help desk, etc.

    Specialised courses (such as MCSA) - These are great in that they find you a good job due to their specialised nature but leave you with nothing once the OS changes.

    I strongly believe that what really counts in I.T is your experience and willingness to continually undertake new courses. Ask anywhere who did the MCSE about where they learnt more from - The course or the job? (I'm sure the replies will all be from the job)
    My advise is to start off with Something like an MCSA so that you can get a decent job and gain valuable work experience and slowly work towards obtaining a degree. P.s. get in employment a.s.a.p (even if you have to start at the bottom)
     
  11. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

    5,215
    98
    181
    i agree experience is everything in todays market but i think the value of degrees will go up pretty soon.. im about to do computer networking and they covering some cisco so i feel i cant go wrong...
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  12. xxedrushxx

    xxedrushxx New Member

    9
    0
    13
    Hi mate

    Interesting to hear about your situation. I work for desktop support 2nd support in an Investment bank in central London. But the thing is I have the same background as you. I only did a HND in business IT, had no previous experince and was sacked from my last job (on technicality of course :p)
    I got this job after looking on the internet, there are plenty of jobs out there that would suit your background.
    Dekstop support is pretty much entry level into IT anyway. Degrees are not needed for this job, thats more for project managment. So send out your Cv and watch the offers roll in

    Take a look on IT job sites, agencies are climbing over themselves to get people in due to the beginning of the financial year

    ps a collegue of mine just left to work as tradefloor support and he's getting £400 per day - he only has a GNVQ :eek:
     
    Certifications: mcp 70-271
    WIP: MCDST
  13. slyuen

    slyuen Byte Poster

    112
    3
    34
    I've got some experience, including a bit on server 2003 administration, have helpdesk & desktop support-like experience for some companies, but not official ones (as in job title and stuff).

    I've got a few certs... quite a few responses from recruitment agencies saying all this crap to me, something like "we've looked at your CV and got a few opportunities for you" and "we'll send your CV to our clients", etc. but that is the point where it's stopped, and this goes on and on and on....

    I've done a few technical tests which they sent me and scored high on all of them, again, the same happens. All stopped at that point, I tried getting back to them and they just kept asking me to resend my CV, which I did, and the same goes on and on and on.

    Is it just a matter of time? of experience-wise? or London-wise, should I go to a different city?

    P.S. I'm not asking for a lot more in salary (compared to what I am earning at the moment), just a chance to move onto IT and not like "admin with a bit of IT support" which is what I am at the moment
     
    Certifications: ECDL,A+,Network+,CST,CNST,MCDST,MCSA
    WIP: MCSE, CIW, CCNA, CWNA, Others...
  14. BUGIE

    BUGIE New Member

    8
    0
    1
    well to start off which certs do you have?

    2nd if you have no work experience as a systems administrator and no official experience in support, few companies are going to be willing to let you have full control of the systems. Try going for a junior administrator or help desk position. stay there for a couple of years and you should find it fairly easy to get a job as an administrator
     
  15. slyuen

    slyuen Byte Poster

    112
    3
    34
    Same as most others........MCSA, MCDST, MCP, Net+, A+, ECDL...etc..
     
    Certifications: ECDL,A+,Network+,CST,CNST,MCDST,MCSA
    WIP: MCSE, CIW, CCNA, CWNA, Others...
  16. xxedrushxx

    xxedrushxx New Member

    9
    0
    13
    What jobs are you applying for 1st\2nd line support or 3rd line (network adminstrator)

    If you dont have any exp i would say try and get a 1st line \ 2nd line support job and work your way up. With those certs you shouldn't have any problem. Also look at your CV again, you need to come across as having good communication skills as employers hold that in just as high regard
     
    Certifications: mcp 70-271
    WIP: MCDST
  17. slyuen

    slyuen Byte Poster

    112
    3
    34
    thanks for your reply.... I'll fix my CV :)
     
    Certifications: ECDL,A+,Network+,CST,CNST,MCDST,MCSA
    WIP: MCSE, CIW, CCNA, CWNA, Others...
  18. BUGIE

    BUGIE New Member

    8
    0
    1
    you've got a very good range of certs (better then most actually) but need experience. try looking at help desk support and you should get a job easy. then after 2 years or so you can look at changing jobs for a systems administratior role.

    On another note what you might find is that because you have all those certs you might actually be scaring the employers off because you're over qualified for the job. You could try resubmitting your cv and just mention: A+, N+, MCDST and the fact you're willing to study and learn new skills. It would be interesting to see if you get more replies like that
     
  19. slyuen

    slyuen Byte Poster

    112
    3
    34
    scaring employers off - very good point.... I will do what you suggest
     
    Certifications: ECDL,A+,Network+,CST,CNST,MCDST,MCSA
    WIP: MCSE, CIW, CCNA, CWNA, Others...

Share This Page

Loading...