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Different types of I.T careers

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by NoCompanyIT, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. NoCompanyIT

    NoCompanyIT Nibble Poster

    I don't know why most if not all discussion here revolves around I.T support but I'd like to consider different I.T careers rather than stick to one.


    I have never seen a post about getting into programming or entry level programming jobs. I find the work a huge challenge and very rewarding when you finally get the code to work, however, I find it extremely difficult in the sense that there is no clear direction or progression in learning to code allowing you to create a program.

    An analogy of what I mean is, you are taught how to make a brick, then you are expected to build a house including all furniture inside and decoration. You are not taught how to build a house but are expected to know how to do so without any direction.

    I wonder if being employed in a programming job would be less stressful than learning to code alone given that you would work as a team and work on only an aspect of the project rather than the whole lot leaving you bewildered.


    I loved one aspect of my old office job, a chance to improve things, although this opportunity gradually slowed to a halt as there was so much work, I worked like a robot with no time to think, improve, use my initiative, so I quit.

    Anyway I loved creating databases from learning about the fundamentals to thinking about how the user interacts, then making amendments so the user couldn't mess things up. I also didn't mind showing office staff how to use this database.

    Web design

    I have never really been interested in web design since I am more of a technical person than creative. So while I'd find it fascinating reading about low level programming and networks, when it came to design and creation I was not moved. So I won't take this route.

    If you could have any I.T career what would it be?

    I'd love to work in security, specifically as a penetration tester. So I'd get to attack a network and then tell them how to improve its security (like I did in my degree). But this career route is not clear to me, I would assume it is only available to those with 5-10 years or so I.T work experience (I don't know in what job role or how they'd get it) in addition to certification and a MSc in Information Security, that costs 12k.

    Working on a helpdesk does not give me passion, working as a mobile I.T engineer would be better, but still, I'd love something where I could research things deeply long term.
    Certifications: Bsc (1st)
  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Theres a few pen test companies near me, I'd have thought a good Comp Sci degree would get you through the door as a junior pen tester.

    Theres also regular adverts for GCHQ IT people.

    The salaries are not not generally great so I doubt an MSc or 10+ yrs exp is required or necessary, they probably train people on the job.

    I think when people mention security roles as advanced they mean the security architect / manager jobs for large corporations are for people with backgrounds in either pen testing, network administration or the military.

    Programming - Nobody said it was supposed to be easy :wink:
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  3. mattstevenson

    mattstevenson Byte Poster

    Penetration testing is certainly something I find interesting, but I reckon that to get the big bucks you will need plenty of prior experience and certifications to get you a good reputation. I know the EC Council have certifications that would give you a speciality in these type of topics. Have a look here:

    I would think they're much like the MCSE or such though, there's no point just going and getting those certs on their own, you'd have to work up to them via relevant experience and certifications in networking with various vendors' equipment. What good is a penetration tester that isn't as smart as an attacker?
    Certifications: Triple A+. Network+, CCENT
    WIP: MCP, ICND2, Sec+
  4. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    A lot of it is government work, the government have their own qualifications framework, they don't recognise the CEH or EC-Council as far as I know.
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  5. mattstevenson

    mattstevenson Byte Poster

    How come? They're a legit organisation, their certification program is respected. If not them, then who would the government trust to train their employees?
    Certifications: Triple A+. Network+, CCENT
    WIP: MCP, ICND2, Sec+
  6. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  7. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

    Then you havent been looking in the right places. I've lost count of the number of new people looking to get started as a developer. Same for the other areas.

    The reason that most topics on CF cover support is because most people who come to the forum are looking to get started in IT. Its much much easier to get into IT first, then try to specialise into a given field, and is the de facto recommended route on this forum. Therefore the highest recommendation is to get any job in IT you can.

    Its also much more likely you will get your IT break in helpdesk/desktop support, as these areas live upon the new IT members with little or no experience. Much less likely you will be asked to develop an application or administer a server without first providing evidence of your capability to do this.

    Your analogy of programming is inherently flawed. You arent taught how to make a brick. You are taught how to use a trowel, a cement mixer, a spirit level, and then expected to make a 'house'. The reason for this is simple. When writing an application, there is no single way to achieve any given goal. Once you know how the IDE works, how the syntax works, and how to access methods on objects, you can do virtually anything you can conceive a method for.

    The way I program is not the same as the methods employed by my colleagues. I am much more at home in .Net, so I know quite and powerful methods of achieving certain goals, whereas they take a different route to get there, based on their knowledge base.

    You cannot be taught how to 'build a house' with software development, simply because there are no rules about how to build that house.

    Also, dont think that in a programming job you are only ever working on a particular aspect of the development. In some jobs, sure that might be the case, but not most. In my team, we develop and support 15-20 applications (possibly more, I havent counted), and support others we havent developed. People are assigned to projects. I just wrote an entire system from scratch on my own. I also support (and am expected to support the entirety) applications that were written in excess of 10 years ago.

    You description of 'Databases' makes me think that you are talking about 'MS Access Application Databases'. Access Databases applications are a pain in the arse, and I dont think theres a person in my team who likes them. If I could burn it out of every machine on our network, I would. Users dont actually interact directly with a 'true' database. The Database is purely the data store, other applications are used to provide access to that data (websites/client applications).
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
    WIP: None at present
  8. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    There are plenty if you look for them. That said, most people on this forum aren't programmers, because programmers don't rely on certifications as much as IT technicians/administrators do. After all, a programmer can submit a portfolio of code to an employer; we admins cannot similarly submit a portfolio of sites we've administered.

    It's simple, really: learn to code, and you're good to go.

    Perhaps you're just using the wrong materials. With the right books or classes, you'll learn what to do with those bricks.

    Well... they're not gonna teach you how to code... you'd have to learn that before you can be employed in a programming job. In short, there's no shortcut.

    The one I'm doing. :)

    Most people work their way up to it... through entry-level > desktop support > server admin > network admin > security specialist. One cannot hope to attack or defend a network without ever administering a network.

    No, but everyone starts at the bottom and builds a solid foundation before moving up... otherwise, they find it extremely difficult to continue to build their career on a weak foundation.

    That said... you don't have to stay in help desk forever. Treat it as torture or something that is "beneath your level", and you'll miss out on a great learning opportunity. Treat it as an opportunity to learn new things (such as how to troubleshoot efficiently) and you'll set yourself up for a highly successful IT career.
    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!
  9. dalsoth

    dalsoth Kilobyte Poster

    I just want to sit back and watch others do the work for me:biggrin All the while raking in big money!

    Maybe i should get into banking!
    Certifications: MCSE, MCP, MCDST, MCSA, ITIL v3
  10. jo74

    jo74 Byte Poster

    I always thought you had to stick with either technical IT or change and work in programming. Perhaps because it could look like you couldn't decide what to do or even that you weren't that good at the technical IT in the first place so switched to programming :).
    I've got the A+ but I've been undecided about whether to include OU programming courses on my C.V in case it looks like I'll leave any technical job I could gain as soon as I'm proficient in programming (here's hoping I will be :) ).
    Certifications: A+, N+, Sec+
  11. Indo77

    Indo77 Nibble Poster

    I am a web developer and when applied for jobs have never been asked to produce any sort of IT Cert - for the main part it's simply not requested. They may ask you for a 3rd level qualification in a Computer Science discipline and experience using an OO language like C# etc. I don't have any motivation to go for a cert or do a Masters Degree when it makes no difference to my pay scale. I have to agree with the poster that said there are many ways to "build a house" - I have faced existing code I could not get my head round and found it quicker to get rid of it and produce my own code rather than twik something for hours that made no sense. Usually this was produced by outsourced companies and I question whether the code was built that way on purpose.

    I don't agree with this statement. You are implying that those who are programmers simply are in that profession because they can't do technical IT - maybe they simply prefer that profession. You are assuming that programming jobs are dead simple when compared to tech IT jobs. I can assure you that there are many technical IT people within large organisations that cannot write basic scripts - including highly paid managers. Neither profession is simple. They are different. I don't presume to think a tech IT job is simple. Programming may be only one aspect of a programmer's job - there is also working with large scale servers, configuring technologies like SharePoint, SQL Server etc. You would be surprised how much technical support programmers have to deal with.
    Certifications: BSc (Hons) HNC
  12. jo74

    jo74 Byte Poster

    No, I wouldn't agree with that. I don't think I was implying that they are simply in that profession because they can't do technical IT. It was said in a 'light hearted manner' (maybe a different emoticon might've been useful :) ). And I wasn't suggesting that ALL programmers are in that profession because they can't do technical IT. Maybe there are some programmers who couldn't do technical IT :).
    I was suggesting that perhaps a potential employer might think that about someone's who has stopped
    working in technical IT and has decided to give programming a go. Not about everyone who's switched to programming. I agree that it could be because they prefer programming.

    No at all :-).
    Certifications: A+, N+, Sec+
  13. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Why not switch the question around ? Why should a government take any interest in a commercial company's certification programme ?

    I've got nothing against EC Council but I have read stuff on the internet that mentions they are driven largely by commercial interests and some Infosec people's blogs indicated they were less than impressed.

    They do however seem to be growing, so who knows what will happen ? There are still many other commercial and non commercial vendors of security certs.

    Lets See :-

    EC Council
    Learning Tree
    SANS organization
    The Security Certified Program
    Planet3 Wireless
    Cyber Enforcement Resources Inc.
    American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS)
    Security University
    High Tech Crime Network certifications
    International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists
    International Society of Forensic Computer Examiners
    CyberSecurity Institute
    Institute of Internal Auditors
    Association of Certified Fraud Examiners
    ISEB ISO27001, ISO27002 the international ISMS standard

    Note these are just cert bodies, some offer 7 or more individual certs !

    Sure I missed a few ! Now get the picture ? Commercial company's see the area as a potential for revenue growth shall we say and theres limited standardisation.

    There seems some commercial interest in the EC councils certs on job sites so may be worth a punt.
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  14. Jiser

    Jiser Kilobyte Poster

    Spot on!! Ditto.
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), PGc, MCTS:Win 7, MCSA W7/MCITP EDST, ITIL Foundation, Prince 2 Foundation, C&G: Web Design, MOS 07: Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Outlook.

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