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Career Advice Appreciated

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by mrgeo82, Feb 13, 2010.

  1. mrgeo82

    mrgeo82 New Member

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    Hi everyone.

    Here's a little about me:
    Currently, I am teaching I.T in a U.K secondary school and as far as work goes I find it okay. Nevertheless I would prefer to work within a more hand-on role in industry.
    From 2007 to 2009 I was supply teaching and obtained a Master Degree in Computer Networking with Merit, where Furthermore I also have a BSc Hons in Computer and Network Engineering 2001 - 2004 and a PGCE in Teaching obtaining QTS in 2006.

    At the moment I am actively applying for jobs in Industry but a lack of work experience is putting potential employers off and have been encouraged to sit certifications like Comptia A+ and CCNA.

    Before I finally get my foot through the door so to speak, would it be a good idea to take these Certs? Or will they not be of great benefit until I get experience working in some help desk/ support role and sitting these certs a couple of years down the line. If this was the case then I would be taking a pay cut initially but feel it would be worth it long term if it was a role I enjoyed?

    Ideally my preferred role would be as a Network Engineer, I have read a fair amount of Cisco books for CCNA exploration and as a whole find it interesting. Also, would anybody recommend other certifications? I hear Comptia Network + is easier but I seem to be handling the CCNA okay so I figure that might be a waste of time and money.

    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    Kind regards ..........
     
    Certifications: BSc Honours, MSc Networking Professional
    WIP: CompTia A+ and Cisco CCNA Exp
  2. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    Welcome, first of all!

    Second, whilst the Net+ is easier, it is giving you a greater understanding of what Networking as a whole is, whereas the CCNA is specifically about Cisco kit. If it is easier to you, it won't take you too long to nail it and have a qualification in it - showing that you can/do know something. I took it, and learnt quite a bit from it, and thats after a couple of years in the industry - as a teacher, I'd hope you recognise that learning is never a waste of time and money, especially as it isn't a huge amount!

    Third, A+ is a good grounding in probably more hardware than the software side of things, but if its old hat to you, you'll sail through quickly - and again it isn't a great amount of money.

    The only other one I would look at doing is the MCDST - which will give you a Microsoft cert, which some employers look for, will give you a nice understanding of the desktop environment especially in a work place - again not a lot of money. But all 3 of the above can be classed as "entry level" certs, a nice basis for a starting role in IT.

    If you have a good enough PC at home, look for VMWare to install and start playing around installing, breaking and fixing Windows - its a good way to practice what you learn and what you might come across.

    Finally, phew!, speak to your IT guys and see if you can shadow them on some weekend/evening work, or during "free-periods" - this is another great way of building up experience. Taking a pay cut may be part of the chance you take to change industries - if money isn't an issue to you (ie, by taking a cut you won't loose your house etc.!) then it may have to be the case.

    Hope this helps somewhat.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
    WIP: 70-293
  3. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Hi and welcome to CF:) Firstly what derkit advised is spot on and considering your knowledge on the theoritical side of IT networking you should get through the N+ easily.

    To be honest you're still better off applying for IT network 1st line support roles as am assuming the customer focus side of things would be more prevalent. Best wishes and lets know how you get on.
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  4. mrgeo82

    mrgeo82 New Member

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    Cheers for the advice guys.
    I get on quite well with the technicians I have spoken to within the department I am in, when a post becomes vacant within schools in s yorks they said I would be informed etc. They gave me the name of the company they are contracted to whom the school uses.

    Tinkering about with VMWare sounds a good idea and im delighted the cert fees and books for the cisco and comptia arent on par with tuition fees at uni :-). I seem to be learning a lot of useful info too which is str8 to the point too which is something im pleased about in contrast to the way things are done at Uni.

    Think I will look at the microsoft one too, which is a cert they seem to ask for frequently on sites like cwjobs. One I tend to use a lot and have had people contacting me regarding work etc

    I will let you all know how I get on
    Kind regards
    Mrgeo82
     
    Certifications: BSc Honours, MSc Networking Professional
    WIP: CompTia A+ and Cisco CCNA Exp
  5. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I'd be really worried if someone with a BSc and MSc in IT and Networking plus a quarter of the way through the CCNA didn't already know 99% of the Network+. Taking an entry level cert with no learning involved would largely be a waste of time and money unless its an employer requirement.

    Thats an unreasonable or 'apples to oranges' comparison, books at uni are pretty cheap as well, college exams also tend to be cheaper than cert exams. Self study has no tuition, hence no 'tuition fees'. Professional tuition tends to be much more expensive, 1-2 weeks professional tuition can cost as much as a whole years university tuition.

    I'd continue your CCNA maybe also get the MCSA to learn MS specific networking and for job prospects.

    Then just learn whatever interests you, virtualization etc.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  6. mrgeo82

    mrgeo82 New Member

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    I'm delighted I can do this self study as there's no way i'd be able to go through around £4800 in professional fees like the MSc annual tuition fees. Most of the time and I am not the only student who had this opinion, felt all they did was tell us what to read and not be much help at all in hands on labs. Claiming something was broke if they could'nt do something practically. Furthermore as good as admitting to us that we pay all that in fees at masters level to have a crack at the qualification. Although I hope that I will reap the benefits of the MSc years down the line, in addition to learning a lot theory wise.

    Being more specific I feel self study where I just have to buy books and take cert when ready costing a couple of 100 while being able to work is much of a relief for me. I have to be tight with cash atm with bills to pay etc so apologies in advance if this is making me sound negative at times.

    Judging by some of the dealings people have had with advent, these so called pro fees and promises aren't what they're cracked up to be either.

    I am willing to do some shadowing/ helping out if that can be taken into account as relevent experience for employers/recruiters.

    Also, I have thought about freelance pc repair and using dreamweaver or a CMS like joomla or drupal to create websites for local companies etc. This could be good on the side and I just wondered if anyone has had any success this way?

    Apologies if this is off topic.
     
    Certifications: BSc Honours, MSc Networking Professional
    WIP: CompTia A+ and Cisco CCNA Exp
  7. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    If you have a look around the internet there are "agencies" that put you on their books, and then get jobs for you through that system. I looked for my area (outskirts of Greater London) and there were about 7 people within a small radius, each vying for every job that came along - it ended up being who could lower their price the most - for me, this wouldn't work.

    As for own business - only you know the market in your area. Also there are other posts already on here of people asking similar thoughts.

    Its your opening post, you can direct it any way you want! :)
    Of course, if its a different topic then sometimes it benefits from having a new topic as people not interested in one section, may be able to help you in another!
     
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
    WIP: 70-293
  8. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Totally agree with this, if you're running a service industry in the UK and your only advantage is cost, you're in trouble...
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  9. mrgeo82

    mrgeo82 New Member

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    All of the advice given has been good

    I will keep you all updated with any developments

    Many thanks
     
    Certifications: BSc Honours, MSc Networking Professional
    WIP: CompTia A+ and Cisco CCNA Exp

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