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Breaking into IT - Qualifications to start with?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by AAMinistry, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. AAMinistry

    AAMinistry New Member

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    Hello all!

    New Cert Forums member here.

    I am seriously looking into the viability of getting into a career in IT. It has been something I have really wanted to do with my life for quite a while now. I went to University studying for a BSc (Hons) in Information Systems, but financial problems forced me to drop out half way through my second year (something I will always regret). At 24 I have decided it is time to get this ball rolling (if I can) while I have youth on my side. I don't wish to fall into a job for 25 years that I don't enjoy doing. IT is something I have a passion for and something I want to turn into a career instead of just a hobby. I feel I have a good grounding of knowledge in XP and home networking (I'm the guy that normally gets asked for help with any problem beyond plugging in a USB mouse) although I have no delusions. I know that despite my personal experience from home, and my time in University, I will need to work very hard and learn alot to get where I want to be.

    This is where my question comes in ("At last!" I hear you cry). I need some help in where to take my first steps in learning. Is there a course everyone should go for first or is it dependant on what I want to do eventually? How likely am I to get paid work while learning? Have I already closed the door by not finishing my degree?

    I should note that I am already interested in taking A+ or MCDST and I am most likely to undertake self study and work on my own at my pace. I already have a 3 machine network to mess around with (1 powerful PC (the games machine obviously) 1 decent PC (future Mrs AAM's PC) and a fairly modern Laptop) so that would keep hands on costs down.

    Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated!

    AAM
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: None Yet
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Hi Welcome:)

    The generall starting certifications are A+, N+ and MCDST and not much else because the higher certs are there to show your experience level were as the A+,N+ and MCDST are certs that can be used as a starting block.

    Self study is a wise choice as it's cheap carries no time limits so can be done at your own pace.

    THe best books for the A+ are compTIA A+ all in one exam guide by Mike Meyers and PC Technician street smarts by James Pyles.

    For the N+ you should get Network + by David groth and Network + by Mike Meyers.

    As for the MCDST the MS Press books are the recommended study books.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    You're on the right track with the A+ and MCDST, although I'd recommend squeezing Network+ between the two.

    That said, don't wait until you're certified to start looking for your first IT job... start looking NOW. Certifications don't automagically qualify you to work in IT; they only make you look more attractive to employers. When you get a certification, add it to your CV and keep looking. Most importantly, keep at it, and don't give up - getting your foot in the door in IT is difficult, but by no means impossible.

    You haven't shot yourself in the foot by not completing your degree. Degrees, like certifications, don't automagically qualify you to work in IT... and, like certifications, they only make you look more attractive to employers. In truth, degrees aren't required for most entry-level IT jobs, and the lack of a degree will only cause you grief as you approach higher-level IT jobs (in particular, IT management-type jobs). You'd be well-served to complete your degree at some point... but it's not something you HAVE to get done at this stage of your career.

    You seem to be on the right track, and you seem to have a good, positive attitude, so if I had to guess, I'd say that you're quite likely to succeed. :)

    Hope you continue to contribute well-spoken questions to the forum! :)
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  4. AAMinistry

    AAMinistry New Member

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    Thank you both for your answers and positive responses. I already feel alot more confident about my future knowing I have a friendly community to bring my questions to!

    And worry ye not BM, I'm sure I will have alot more questions in the future and I will try and make them well written :D
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: None Yet
  5. AAMinistry

    AAMinistry New Member

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    I think I will start by working towards my A+ then! What I would like to know is what sort of role should I be looking for at the moment? I'm guessing it will be something along the lines of small company desktop support or something similar, but honestly, I am lost.

    Also are there any particularly good places to begin scouting for entry level work?

    This is happening at a somewhat fortuitous time for me as I am looking to relocate and so this would be the perfect time to find a position to start gaining some experience.
     
    Certifications: None
    WIP: None Yet

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