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Changing Career- Need Some Wisdom Please!

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by coyles, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. coyles

    coyles New Member

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    Hello Everyone

    At the grand old age of 32 and after searching for many years trying to find an obvious talent that I may recognise or could be put on my CV (lateral thinking is not a qualification, unfortunately) I have come to realise that maybe IT might be the direction that confirms my feeling that I just don't think the same way as some people.

    I am currently working in an Accountants (Zzzzz) in purchase/sales ledger but have some talent for fixing problems even though I have no idea what I am doing sometimes. So I have just left my job.....and have been drawn toward a career in IT, (never looked at that before)...sorry for the life history, but if you will stick with me I will get to the point.

    I'm planning on trying to get into a Help Desk Support position and am considering studying for an compTIA A+ & Networking qualification to give me solid groundwork then maybe work towards an MCSE.

    I suppose a list of questions may be the wise thing at this point. For anyone out there who wants to pass on their wisdom, please do...

    1. How do you get an entry level Job (UK) in IT Support? any ideas? How do I get some experience?
    2. Would a compTIA A+ qualification be a good start even though I have no experience?
    3. It is not really viable for me to go back to full time education, so has anyone got any positive feedback from distance learning courses? or is the only way through Degree or other associated qualification?

    OK, life history over, thank you for listening..... Oh and I know it's 18 days late but Happy New Year!

    S
     
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Hi Welcome

    To answer your questions: To get an entry level job just apply, entry level means that you don't need experience obviously some knowledge will go a long way.

    Yes the A+ would be a good place to start as its an entry level certification

    You can do distance learning but have you considered self study? Its cheaper than going with a training provider you don't get ripped off and you can take your time.

    If you decide on self study the best books to get are compTIA A+ all in one exam guide 6th edition by Mike Myeres and PC Technician street smarts by James Pyles.

    After you do the A+ you could consider the N+ or MCDST but do not go for the MCSE untill you have been doing a job such as administering desktop and networked operating systems for a year
     
    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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    Welcome to the forums!

    1. You get an entry-level job in IT support the same way you get an entry-level job in any career field... look for them and apply for them. You can certainly give yourself an advantage over other people who don't have experience by getting a few entry-level certifications, such as the A+, Network+, and MCDST certifications. However, certifications that are more advanced than those won't be beneficial to an entry-level job search. Save those more-advanced certifications, such as the MCSA and MCSE, for later in your career, after you've built some experience.

    You can't get experience until you get a job. You can certainly get your hands dirty by working on a home lab. However, although that would be considered 'knowledge', it would not be considered by employers to be 'experience'.

    But that's OK - by definition, entry-level jobs don't require experience. An entry-level job is a job in which you enter the field, so if you're entering the field, you don't yet have experience. So it's OK that you don't have experience. All of us were there at the beginnings of our careers!

    2. The A+ certification would be a great start... it's designed for entry-level techs.

    3. Many of us here advocate self-study methods. You don't need to go to a class in order to pass these certification exams... all you need is some good books, some computers to work on, and if you are so inclined, perhaps a practice exam from a trusted provider (stay away from braindumps and "freebies" on the web) to see if you're ready for the "real thing".

    For the A+, I'd recommend:
    A+ All-in-One Exam Guide, Sixth Edition, by Mike Meyers
    PC Technician Street Smarts, by James Pyles (our very own Tripwire45!)

    Again, welcome!
     
    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. coyles

    coyles New Member

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    Thank you Boson Micheal & greenbrucelee


    I will get the Mike Myeres book, thank you very much.

    You have been a great help.

    Thank you

    S
     
  5. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Get trips book too its well worth it, if you are a total newbie to IT get an old pc so you can pull it to bits and put back together again. I got the two books and old PC for £80
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  6. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Welcome to CF! 8)

    Best of luck with the career change...
     
  7. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    Hi and welcome to the forums :)

    I can't really add much to the already sterling advice, so I will simply wish you luck with your studies and your career change! :biggrin

    I was working in sales just over a year ago; generally, all you need is enthusiasm and an aptitude for learning at this end of the ladder! I wish you best of luck!
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  8. coolchef

    coolchef New Member

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    hi and welcome to the forum,
    i did a career change at 40 from chef/catering manager to It and i did as all other i got books off ebay i did sef study and read lots i also applied for help desk jobs, i only did it as a hobby fixing pc's fault finding helping out with office etc.
    i got a job on a help desk after 6 months badgered the desktop team leader got a position on the team and then after 18 months left and i am now a system admin looking after servers network security and lots of other stuff, i now have my MCSA and am working towards CCNA and can administer an oracle and sql database.. it is hard do not believe what the adverts on telly tell you as i am sure you won't but perseverance and determination with a sprinkling of luck ( hehe what a recipe) and you will get where you want to go, i now looking to move on again.. but it can be done and good luck.
     
    Certifications: Sec+, MCSA
    WIP: CCNA
  9. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Welcome to CF:) and must say you've been given great advice. Just a thought, remember with hard work, direction and persistence you can reach your goal. Best wishes.
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  10. coyles

    coyles New Member

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    Thank you all for your advice, it is much appreciated!

    Good luck coolchef with your studies.

    Q. If you self study, where do you apply to take the exams?

    Thanks

    S
     
  11. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    I did mine using PearsonVue. If you register there, and then locate a test centre, you should be able to find one near you. They still do the CompTIA exams; however, I believe they have either stopped or are stopping doing the Microsoft exams.

    The other is Prometric. Again, you would need to regsiter with them and find a test centre near you.

    For both, you do not have to pay to register but you do have to pay for any exams in advance of taking them.

    Edit: I echo what has been said already... CompTIA A+ and Network+ are an excellent starting point for you if you're changing career...
     
  12. Becki

    Becki Byte Poster

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    Heya and Welcome to CF!

    Start with the A+ from CompTIA just to get the basic's then the worlds your virtual oyster

    Becki x
     
    Certifications: NVQ IC3 A+ Network+ MCDST MCITP MCTS Vista & 7
  13. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    Hi there and welcome to CF 8)
     
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  14. Node

    Node Byte Poster

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    Personally i think its too late for anyone above the age of 30 to enter the IT industry, employees would rather hire younger people for the entry level jobs, i think you will find it very difficult to find a job specially if you have no experiance. Also the pay for entry level roles might not be sufficiant enough for you specially if you have wife and kids.
     
    Certifications: MCSA, MCSE,
  15. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    So, is this opinon based on hard facts? Not trying to wind you up but as a forty-something who has, judging by the previous statement been thrown on the IT scrap heap, I want proof. :ohmy
     
  16. Node

    Node Byte Poster

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    Nope its not based on hard facts, its just my opinion :D
     
    Certifications: MCSA, MCSE,
  17. MrNerdy

    MrNerdy Megabyte Poster

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    What a load of bull!

    I entered the IT industry aged 38!!
    Had 3 years employment & found that often when working for an agency that employers did not care about my age.
    They saw it as a bonus, i was more mature & less rash and not arrogant.
    And in fact within the IT department i spent nearly 2 years in, out of 16 staff 8 were over 30.

    With your attitude you will go far, but mostly in the job centre looking for a job!!!!
     
    Certifications: ECDL, CiscoIT1 & A+
    WIP: Girlfriend & Network+
  18. Node

    Node Byte Poster

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    LOL seriously? Get real!! Explain to me how a 32 year old man with wife and kids can survive on £20K, come home after 8 hours work, and study for 2-3 hours a night. Right ok lets say your 38, have no experiance in IT and your working in helpdesk. Need to work in the helpdesk for at least a year before even thinking about moving to 2nd line support. At the same time you have bills to pay, you have to study, wife and kids, mortgage payments etc all on £20k PA... good luck. By then time you get to 2nd line and thats "IF" you make it youd be 39. Get to the age of 45 and most likeley they will replace you with someone younger simple as! Have you got the time to stay upto date with the latest technology ALL the time? Reading up on new technology and materials ALL the time?
     
    Certifications: MCSA, MCSE,
  19. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Ah... so money IS everything! Sheesh, and there was me thinking that the love of the job was the reason I was looking to change.

    And... what if my wife was working, earning money to help me pay the mortgage? Does that STILL mean I can't go ge that job?

    Or are you worried that someone more mature may actually be keener to succeed at the job, more employable and more dependable, less likely to walk away for more money because of those committments?
     
  20. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Thank god for commonsense!
     

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