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Advice needed!

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by Aardvark, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. Aardvark

    Aardvark Bit Poster

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    First of all, hello to everyone here!

    I'm after some career advice, hope I've come to the right place (mods feel free to move this to a more relevant topic). My situation = age: 34, qualifications: PhD biology, job: research scientist, time left as a research scientist: :h: months! Basically I'm looking to get out of academia due to the lack of realistic career structure and prospects, and have always looked on IT as a possible option. I use stats packages and MS Office components daily, but it's programming I would like to break into eventually. I learned to program BBC Basic back in the 80s, and for a kid got pretty good (e.g. games published in magazines). I understand the logical aspects of programming well (I think), but apart from a bit of fairly basic C++ and Visual Basic programming have had no need to keep it up since then. Basically - is there a chance of me getting a job as a programmer?

    Problem is I don't know the industry at all. My first thought would be to get qualified. Having just started to look around I would guess the MCAD (with CompuTeach or NITLC) might be a good option. I guess the total cost of this would be a lot, around £5000 maybe, but how long would a course take? I realise this is person-dependent, but I would be on it full time after I finish my job, so 3 months, 6, a year?. I have a family so getting a job asap is the primary concern.

    Or could I find an entry level job with a company who would train me up? Where would I look?

    Any advice would be appreciated!
     
  2. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Hi and a warm welcome to CF to you, Aardvark :)

    Can't comment at all on programming I'm afraid, but the number of Members is growing around here who are studying in that area. Basically, read around the various Boards (search for MCAD, etc), as there's already been a fair bit of of comment on courses geared towards this.

    HTH :)
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  3. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

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    Welcome to the forum :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCSA (messaging), ITIL Foundation v3
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  4. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    I can't really comment as such cause I work in a different field in IT but get certified in a programming language would be a good step. Saying that you may have to be prepared to start at the bottom on a low wage and work your way up. In general IT is hard to get your foot in the door in my honest opinion. All I can say is dive back into programming like Visual Basic, buy some good books and start programming again. Can't really comment on training programs as I don't know how easy/hard this stuff is to self-learn I'm sure others will be along to give you some advice...:D
     
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  5. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

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    Hi and welcome to the forum. :D
     
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  6. Aardvark

    Aardvark Bit Poster

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    Thanks guys. I'll see what the CompuTeach man says next week and take it from there.
     
  7. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Greetings, Aardvark. Welcome to CertForums.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  8. gazwald

    gazwald New Member

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    hi.
    if you go for computeach read the small print and don't take the rep on face value.
    i know i'am a bit negative but, if i had joined this forum before committing to computeach i would have taken a different route.
    good luck. and watch your wallet.
     
    Certifications: nowt up to the caliber of this forum
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  9. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    It strikes me that you have already worked really hard in academia to get where you are now! Bear in mind that just about every kid wants to get into IT, they are led to believe that there will be a career for them. In truth this is not the case. The IT industry is tough to break into, the best jobs are already taken and there are usually queues of people with experience and qualifications waiting to pounce on the next good position.

    I am not saying you shouldn't make a career change, as I don't really know your true circumstances but I am saying, don't jump out of the frying pan into the fire.

    IT is changing so fast that once you commit yourself, the learning never stops. I have just recently finished my MCSE, it took three years and now it is already out of date.

    Good luck and welcome to the forum :biggrin

    Pete
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  10. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    Welcometo CF. :D
     
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  11. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Bluerinse has a good point. Whilst IT is an excellent career to get into it's getting your foot in the door that is hard. You may want to get in touch with a few work agencies and ask them what the demand is and what level is required to get into your particular field of IT. Nobody is trying to put you off but I would really have a backup plan in case things don't work out. Also expect a lot of knockbacks as IT is extremely cut throat. You may also have to start on a really low wage that your currently on and I mean low like £10k+. Just do a little research into whats hot and whats not. I'm not a programmer and someone may correct me but .NET might be a good thing to get into.
     
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  12. Aardvark

    Aardvark Bit Poster

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    Thanks for the honest advice everyone. Like I said I have just started thinking about it, but I am definately changing career. This forum was my first port of call as I just stumbled across it on my first Google! Anwyay, I am now seeing an NITLC bod on Friday, followed by the CT man on Monday. I will let you know what I thought of them, but rest assured I won't be signing anything! It will be interesting to compare them.
     
  13. Aardvark

    Aardvark Bit Poster

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    I have to report that I thought that both the NITLC and Computeach guys were good. Completely different people and approaches to each other too. The NITLC man was of retirement age and didn't seem too bothered that he was a bit out of date with their website and course structures. His priority was to find out about me, then explain to me about him and his long (and impressive) career in IT. This included why he was quite high up in Computeach for many eyars until the founder died and the company changed hands. He now says they became unethical and money orientated, resigned, and was headhunted by NITLC. He then ripped into Computeach! Anyway, I now know that he told a few little lies about them, which doesn't impress me. He then got a bit pushy about wanting to arrange another meeting for a week's time to sign everything so I said no, and I'd be in touch.

    The Comp man was more of a salesman type, but not pushy at all, and seemed very genuine. He had all the stats and info at hand as you would expect, and was very professional. He was more up to date with course info as well. As I'd already learned most of the stuff from here and from the NITLC man I had a few more taxing questions, which he struggled with a bit. I was surprised that 60% of people are turned down based on that test they make you do. I simply cannot believe this (apologies if I offend anyone saying this!).

    Overall I have decide to pay for my course, and as NITLC are cheaper then it will probably be with them I guess. I still have a number of questions, which I will raise in Training and Development now. See you there...?
     
  14. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    I would agree with you aardvark I think they are talking rubbish when they say that 60% are turned down this is probably to make you think oh wow I'm lucky to get on a course with them I'd better sign up. I'd bet if you just wrote your name on the test they would pass you. Maybe I'm a little too harsh on them...:dry
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  15. Aardvark

    Aardvark Bit Poster

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    I did question him on this, and he stuck to his guns and said that I wouldn't believe the quality of some prospective clients. I do agree with him that they need to be selective as the people they get into industry reflect on them.
     

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