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Foot in the door! Need some advice.

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Penitum-M, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. Penitum-M

    Penitum-M New Member

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    Hi, I currently want to change my career, I am a mechanic at the moment, but I've been interested in computers since I was young and without tooting ones horn as it were, I'm very knowledgeable (I only say this as its not much use to me if I get replies as if i'm inexperienced with computers.

    I'm 23 and would like some help in regards to how I would go about getting a job in IT. I'm interested in networking, problem solving, hardware, anything but coding. I just need the best way to get my foot in the door as it were.

    I've got an interview with Zenos to do their 5 month course on Wednesday, however their funding is very limited so I'm unsure on my chances of being accepted. Is Zenos a good path to take?

    I have a few questions about simply booking tests and not studying on a course but learning yourself. Can you book a test on certain days of each week or are they in monthly set days?

    Obviously there are ways in which I can get some certifications by paying a lot of money to private companies, however this really is a last resort and I would rather not do this if possible.

    Any feedback much appreciated

    Scott
     
  2. cosway

    cosway Nibble Poster

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    Hi Scott

    I’m not sure about Zenos, I’d recommend doing some research on them first (there seems to be more scams than legit training schemes out there).

    Most of us have gone down the (cheaper) self study method here’s how I do it.

    Buy a book from Amazon (always buy new, 2nd hand are sometimes out of date and missing the CDs), I recommend Microsoft Press Books Self Study (they are named after exam code) for Microsoft Exams and Mike Myers for Comptia Exams.
    Read though the books, they will contain practical lessons for you to try out.

    If you can afford it get the CBT nuggets videos www.cbtnuggets.com . They are like sitting in a classroom and are really well put together.

    The books will contain a CD that has practice tests (very similar to the real exams), try and make time to sit one practice test every few days, it gets you used to the style of the exam.

    When your ready book your test, visit www.prometric.co.uk and find a test centre near you. Microsoft exams are £80 (15% discount if you buy the book), and Comptia are about £180 (but you need 2 for the A+).

    Now as far as getting into IT, there are many routes, but the way most of us have done it is this…

    Get the A+ Certification (£350 including 2 exams, books, etc…)

    Get the MCDST & MCP Certifications (£200 including 2 exams, books, etc…)

    These will almost guarantee you an interview for any helpdesk or IT technician job (around £15k-£18k), then its up to you to shine (in the interview just tell them all the stuff they want to hear about how you love helping customers, and talking to non-technical people, and being a really great guy to talk to…) let your certifications speak for your technical skills, employers won't be intrested in how quickly you can build a PC, they just want someone to keep their stats up and customers happy.

    After 2 years of being the really great guy to talk to, and talking to thousands of non-technical people about their IT issues and talking them though how to re-connect to the network/internet, etc… you should start thinking about 2nd line or something more specialized, this is where you actually start working in IT and the fun really begins, you will usually get the opportunity to learn more skills from more experienced people and get hands on experience with servers and networking equipment.

    Most people fail because they think that they can skip the first part (helpdesk or similar) and go straight to the interesting part of ICT (2nd line or similar). Others fail because they don't plan ahead, whilest working 1st line suport you should keep studying (N+, MCTS, MCITP, etc...) these are your keys to an interview for your 2nd job (and show you take responsability for your own continued profesional development).

    I’m not saying you have to take a low paid helpdesk job first, but be prepared for a long wait on JSA and a lot of rejection letters if you want to skip this part. Getting ICT work is a balance of experience, qualifications and personality. Would an F1 team hire an extremly confident kid with no hands on experience or qualifications to work in their F1 pit stop or help design their new car?
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
    Certifications: MCDST, MCSA, A+
    WIP: MCSE
  3. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    What Cosway said!
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  4. zet

    zet Byte Poster

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    What cosway said except certification doesn’t guarantee an interview.
     
    Certifications: BSc, MSc, A+
  5. cosway

    cosway Nibble Poster

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    I agree (and was waiting for someone to say that), I said almost guarantee

    "These will almost guarantee you an interview for any helpdesk or IT technician job"

    You still need to show you are employable in your CV (ie no good saying you did a day in Pizza hut but left after someone complained that you broke their nose when you punched them because they didn't leave you a tip).

    It also depends on how many people apply and what the company are looking for, but for a large company that has a typical helpdesk system (with a large turnover of staff at 1st line) such as an ISP (that still has UK call centres) then your away to go. But for a small compnay that develop and support their own software you may be a up against a more experanced people (people who are comming from the first job I mentioned).
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
    Certifications: MCDST, MCSA, A+
    WIP: MCSE
  6. Penitum-M

    Penitum-M New Member

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    Hi cosway, thank you for the excellent reply, i'll reply properly when I have more time later on today. As I have a couple more questions.

    Thanks

    Scott
     
  7. Penitum-M

    Penitum-M New Member

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    Hi cosway, sorry for taking so long to reply. Again thank you for your very informative reply.

    In terms of self study, how long would it take to learn some of the above? Would it be possible to learn each of them within 2 weeks, if so how many hours per day would you recommend, I ask this purely as a rough guide not an exact of course.

    Zenos is a government course, it takes 5 months and you gain many certifications from it. If anyone has any information as to whether this is the correct path for me I'd be very grateful.

    How hard at the moment is it to get a basic IT technical support job or similar? I'm based in the south east.

    Thanks

    Scott
     
  8. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    That's entirely up to the individual. Some people can pass without studying at all. Some people take years.

    How many hours should you study? As many as you feel you can handle. Again, everyone's different.

    The problem is, you don't need to "gain many certifications". You need to gain a few entry-level certifications, such as the A+, Network+, and MCDST (or MCTS on Vista / Windows 7). Gaining more advanced certifications without the real-world experience to back it up can actually do you more harm than good.
     
    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. zet

    zet Byte Poster

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    Yeah, I've heard of Zenos - they're legit and receive funding from the government for 16-18 year olds. They also consider those who are older. Your best bet is to go with them as they can then get you interviews with employers otherwise you're on your own which is alot harder.
     
    Certifications: BSc, MSc, A+
  10. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I would disagree with this statement. Just my opinion. There are plenty of threads on this forum regarding this very topic, so I would urge you to do your research before proceeding.
     
    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!
  11. Vdubster187

    Vdubster187 Bit Poster

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    Hi Guys,

    This has been a very helpful thread thank you all, I am serving in the Royal Navy and due to leave soon, I have gained the following whilst service:
    Comptia A+
    MCP (xp config)
    I used self study alone for these certs and found Mike Myers book on A+ very easy to follow. My advice to anyone wanting to sit the A+ exams, would be to book an exam with prometric say for 3 months time then you have a target to work towards, this way you are more likely to study harder as you will lose your money if you don’t pass, I found that helped for me. I would like some advice myself, I am currently studying N+ using Mike Myers book again and due to sit the exam in May. I have also arranged a 5 day ICND1 (cisco) course in late Oct in between the both I am doing modules towards my MCSA, I understand I will not be able to go straight into a Network support role earning £25k+ and I will have to start at £15k-$18k doing helpdesk support work. Will these certs help speed up promotion? Is it pointless me doing them without the experience? OR is there another role I can go into other than 1st line helpdesk? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Eddie
     
    Certifications: A+ (2009), MCDST, NVQ2 IT, CCNA, CCNA (S) MCP (70-290) McAfee NSP
  12. Colloghi

    Colloghi Kilobyte Poster

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    Hi Penitum-M

    I cant say for everywhere with Zenos, but I know the Fujitsu site I used work at had quite a few applicants,and employees that had come across from the "Zenos Academy", so it will open doors for a few people Ive no doubt.

    Most of what Cosplay say I agree with, and would suggest the self study option, and the Helpdesk option as well. Although you could happily do this alongside the Zenos course, especially if they do get you a placement.......

    My only slight picky disgreement is the suggestion that helpdesk isnt the intresting part of IT. Its certainly not the most advance part of IT obviously, but how interesting the role is, can depend on what you make of the role, and what you do to advance your knowledge whilst in that role..........in my opinion:)

    I mean come on............having someone spend 20 mins on a phone trying to solve a internet router issue, and then finding out they dont have any ISP, therefore no internet conenction at all. However they were told to buy a router and the internet would work.,.........how can that not be interesting:P
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2011
    Certifications: A+, MCP 270, 271, MCDST
    WIP: 290
  13. Natasha Knapp

    Natasha Knapp New Member

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    There are a lot of grea tplaces that you can study right on line, cheaper and easier. www.certguard.com ranks some of the top companies that you can check out too, which is where I started. Good luck!
     
  14. premier martin

    premier martin Bit Poster

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    hi guys
    in this current economic climate no one is really getting a 25K-30K job anymore unless they know someone. and i agree with people who have all these certs but no brains as i employed a uni grad who was almost top of his class but when i ask him to do simple things in regards to repair a computer man he would take hours the guy had two phds and one was in computer science i to him to change a key bboard in an HP DV6 which is 3 srews and he took 20mins simples or what so when if you get a chance to do 1st line support take the job ride the storm and keep going for the qualifications but dont hang around too long as all certs have expirey dates till they need redone and plus you dont want stuck in a dead end job but think there is more than just you out looking to do the same thing but you have to prove that you are the better choice for that position even though call centers seem to be the only place taking on low level IT professionals as most uni grads are taking these jobs as i said all brains but no experiance what is a shame cause it has come to this but good luck on what you want to do. P.S. I sat my A+ Exam in one week done the software on the wednesday and the hardware on the friday then the week after i sat the Network + and this was all done the week after i finished my HND and i would never do it again it was alot of stress and long days and nights studying but never the less i passed them cause it was all fresh in my head and i was in the learning zone but wouldnt do it again but everyone is different because some of my mates failed and it was with minor percentages they knew the answers but hut a brick wall with over craming good luck
     

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