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Advice needed ASAP

Discussion in 'MCDST' started by Celia, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. Celia

    Celia Bit Poster

    OK, here's the deal. I recently passed my A+ and had intended to start studying for my N+ next month.

    The point is I'm physically disabled by a long term health condition and getting involved in the repair side of multiple PCs and networks is probably not going to be an option for me for some considerable time, as I'm waiting to see an NHS surgeon about an operation that I hope will start me on the road to a full recovery. I hadn't considered taking the MCDST until recently, but I think it would probably enable me to get a job sooner rather than later as it would be less physically demanding and I could go on to the N+ and other certifications later as my condition improves.

    So what do you think? Is that the right route for me? Am I more likely to get a job given that I'm female, 50 and physically limited if I have this certification? I don't want to commit myself to tuition fees if it's going to be a waste of my time and limited resources, as I'm also living on disablility benefits. I need to make the best use of what I've got and I have till 10am tomorrow to decide.
    Certifications: BSc, PGCE(1) 16+, ECDL, A+
    WIP: MCDST & N+
  2. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

    Hi Celia

    I wouldn't get too down about your disability. The vast majority of first-line positions in medium-large organisations don't involve a lot of hardware work (although they do sometimes involve lifting, which may be a problem).

    You'll be more likely to be sitting down all day answering calls - which may or may not be related to hardware issues (usually not) - and might be expected to do first line fixes over the phone or by going to someone's desk.

    Going for a job in a smaller organisation is more likely to end up with you doing 'a bit of everything' - and its much harder to compensate for your disability if its just you and one other bod than it would be if you were in, say, a team of six.

    I'd advise you to look at the MCDST - it seems to be a reasonable qualification for first line support nowadays. You won't be in the best of positions because you've not got experience (always a problem when trying to break into IT) but your disability shouldn't count against you too much - indeed, there are plenty of employers out there who have guaranteed interview schemes for people with disabilities - you might want to look into this via the Job Centre or a registered charity that deals with getting disabled people back into work.

    Your age, sadly, may prove more of a hurdle. Lots of employers seem to have a 'cut-off' point of about 40 for IT staff - God knows why this is, but I've found it common in many places I've worked. Its ridiculous as well - I'd rather work with someone mature than a nineteen year-old know-it-all any day of the week and, I suspect, most of the reason people in the workplace detest IT so much is that every time something goes wrong on their hideous machine a snot-nosed 16 year old fixes it for them in fifteen seconds flat with little more than a sneer of derision!

    Go for the MCDST. Its an industry standard cert, it doesn't require too much on-the-job experience to achieve and will certainly demonstrate that you know your stuff to any prospective employer.

    PS: If you don't mind me being nosy, whats your disability? I have had a 'mystery illness' for nearly two years which means I'm knackered all the time, have back and joint pain and, at any given moment, seem to have about eight different niggly things wrong with me. I reckon its Fibromyalgia or ME, but the doctor doesn't seem to give a s*** - I've had all the tests done for Cancer, Heart trouble, Diabetes and God knows what else and, as far as he's concerned, there's nothing wrong with me. Thats very reassuring when I physically can't get out of bed some mornings and sometimes sleep eighteen hours in a row :(
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  3. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester


    Personally, i would say that the MS certs are mentioned more by job ads and agencies than Comptia ones. Although i haven't looked in to it, from what i have seen the MCDST is a good cert to have.
    Best of luck with the studying, why have you got a deadline of 10am tommorow?

    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  4. Keimos

    Keimos Byte Poster

    Hi Celia,

    The above advice is good particularly if you have difficulty in moving around. The MCDST is aimed at HelpDesk so you would most likely be at the end of telephone answering silly questions. At the end of the day both qulaifications will provide you with the knowledge to answer the majority of questions that you are likely to be asked.

    Certifications: Microsoft Office Specialist
  5. Celia

    Celia Bit Poster

    My condition affects my heart and limits my mobility as I can only walk short distances without needing to rest as physical exhertion makes me very tired. I also have osteoarthritis in my left knee and hip, so I walk with a stick or use a mobility scooter when I'm outside. Lifting isn't a problem but carrying can be, although a trolley usually solves that problem. Climbing stairs is a no no and I can't use public transport without assistance, which kind of kills the independance. I do drive but not massive distances, again because of the tiredness.

    A helpdesk job is what I'm looking for until things improve and I just need something that will give me an edge in finding one and show that I have both the ability and enthusiasm to get on in IT.

    Cos that's when I sign on the dotted line to say I'm gonna pay for the course. :)
    Certifications: BSc, PGCE(1) 16+, ECDL, A+
    WIP: MCDST & N+
  6. Celia

    Celia Bit Poster

    Well the deed is done, I'm enrolled and now I'm feeling so excited I can't sit still... lol :biggrin
    Certifications: BSc, PGCE(1) 16+, ECDL, A+
    WIP: MCDST & N+
  7. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

    which training provider did you sign up with?
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  8. fortch

    fortch Kilobyte Poster

    Good Job Celia! With an attitude like that, you can only succeed. It's refreshing to see someone mature, particularly with a disability, finding ways to *do* things, rather than complain about things they *can't* do. Very edifying, if you ask me. God Bless you!
    Certifications: A+,Net+,Sec+,MCSA:Sec,MCSE:Sec,mASE
  9. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    Well done Celia and good luck with your future goals for work and health :)

    As for the age thing, well there is no way of reversing that situation and we all are getting older, even the snot nosed kids. I like to think of my maturity as an advantage in the workplace, if other people can't see that 36 years of working experience counts for a lot, then that is their problem.

    Go the over 50s 8)
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  10. Celia

    Celia Bit Poster

    I'm enrolled with the Home Learning College with tutor support from the Academy of Continuous Professional Development and am now a student member of the Association of IT Professionals. LOL

    I'm just about to phone my tutor and ask lots of annoying questions. :biggrin
    Certifications: BSc, PGCE(1) 16+, ECDL, A+
    WIP: MCDST & N+

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