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from zero to working in IT in one year?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by samjhudson, May 5, 2007.

  1. samjhudson

    samjhudson New Member

    Hey people
    My names Sam and I'm a 23 year old admin assistant. Sorry for the cliche, but, like most of you, I've loved computers from a young age. been hopping from job to job since uni because nothing seems to keep me interested for long - theres only so much paper you can push around before getting bored.

    I've got tons of personal experience with computers, have completed many builds and upgrades myself and have a special interest in performance 'tweaking' (overclocking), linux and have just started to learn Java.

    I'm interested in breaking into the IT industry when I move to bristol in about a year, and was wondering what certs I could realistically expect to achieve by then (bear in mind I would work damn hard)

    Now, I have no intention of purchasing any courses - I managed 2 A's at AS via home study so am sure I can get by without giving a company of questionable repute 5K. however, I'm confused as to where to start.

    I first looked into the A+ and Network+, however the IT manager at work has told me that he wouldn't look at anyone without a MCSE. He said that a Network+ is "too basic". Does anyone know if this is the industry concensus?

    Whew - know there's a lot there guys, but thanks in advance!

  2. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

    Hi and welcome to CF!

    IMHO just one person's views is not enough! And the first question would be "Does every employee under that manager have a MCSE?" Because I would be surprised if that were true.

    IMHO you can't start this sort of career these days without doing the basics first. I believe you were correct in identifying A+ and Network+ as good starter certs. In addition, what that manager failed to say was that he would (or should) be looking for experience to go with that MCSE. So I would go for a starter job with the A+ and N+ under your belt to start building that experience.

    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  3. mbr2

    mbr2 Bit Poster

    Hi Sam & welcome to the forum.

    CompTIA A+ & Network+ are good qualifications to take and are looked at by the IT industry as good basic professional IT qualifications to have.
    More advanced courses like CCNA are probably better taken after doing, say A+ &/or N+ as you then have some understanding about how pc’s work & often it can help.

    2 good courses run my local colleges in the UK are:
    Cisco IT Essentials I which would prepare you to do A+
    Cisco IT Essentials II which would develop your skills and to take Server +
    Both are good courses & often lead people into CCNA

    MCSE is a good course, but a more advanced one & a target to go for after getting more experience.
    And in the IT companies i have worked in it was probably only 1 or 2 people who had it out of may be 16 staff.

    Hope this helps.
    Certifications: ECDL & A+
  4. Sandy

    Sandy Ex-Member

    Many people do not know the basics, and I include some MCSEs here - it is a VERY good start.
  5. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    Welcome to CF and I'd advice you start with the A+ and then the N+ to get a good grounding in IT general and basics. Don't listen to every comment made by people in IT especially about having the MCSE as it is a high cert targeted at people with more experience in the IT network and infrastructure roles.

    MCSE can be earned through cheating using brain dumps to become a paper MCSE or the right way through hands on practice and knowledge not just acquiring the cert for interview sake because it would not help that person.
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  6. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    Hi Sam, i agree with the others and i honestly think your IT manager lacks good judgement.

    You should go for the A+ and then N+ regardless of whether you eventually decide to progress to MCSE. The two CompTIA exams are vendor neutral and globally recognised - they are *entry level* qualifications which will give you a solid foundation to build on. Starting on the MCSE track without this foundation is a bad idea, i know because i did just that.

    The MCSE is seven exams, which typically can take from a year to three years of hard work and study - many people doing it the right way ie not cheating and using braindumps, drop out when the going gets tough. The MCSE is targeted at IT people with at least a years experience of dealing with Microsoft *server* products in a big environment. It is not a walk in the park.
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  7. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    I also agree that your IT manager is somewhat clueless unless he only hires senior-level network engineers.

    What everyone else has said is true: start out with the A+, and get an entry-level job. Entry-level jobs do not require experience, nor should they require the MCSE. If they require either of those... it can't be considered an entry-level job.

    After you get your foot in the door somewhere, build some real-world experience and continue to get certifications. Network+ and the MCDST would be great next steps. Continue building experience, and getting certifications that are relevant to what you are doing or what you hope to be doing very soon. In time, the MCSA and MCSE will become more relevant to your (hopefully) increased responsibilities, as will the CCNA, if you're interested. By that point, you should be able to pick the certifications that you would enjoy pursuing.
    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!
  8. samjhudson

    samjhudson New Member

    Thanks for the advice guys - I'm glad you all cleared that up for me!

    Now, this part is a bit weird but hear me out. Basically, I don't want to start working in IT until I move to Bristol - probably in about a year. The reason for this is I have a job that I like in south wales that pays ok - with the prospect of more money in the next 6 months. Also, I've changed jobs a fair bit recently and realise the negative affect this has on my CV. so, getting some work experience, at least for the next year, is out.

    So, how do you think I could use my time effectively, so that when I move I'll be in a good position to apply for an entry level IT job? I have 3 PC's at home so could set up a lab I suppose - would that count as experience? I'm also going to attempt both my A+ and Network +. Do you think this is realistic for 1 year?

    thanks again guys
  9. supag33k

    supag33k Kilobyte Poster

    Well mate we all had to start somewhere..and Welcome also!

    I would focus on the A+ for a start, just get going on the initial subject matter first up.

    If you get the Network+ over the next 12 months - well and good.

    The point to remember is that it is easy to start two things and finish neither.

    If you have the A+ next year you would be well under 25 still and studying for your Network+ - this is a good employee prospect in anyones language.
    Certifications: MCSE (NT4/2000/2003/Messaging), MCDBA
    WIP: CCNA, MCTS SQL, Exchange & Security stuff
  10. Spilly

    Spilly Kilobyte Poster

    You could do A+ & N+ first & use them as an elective towards a MCSA.

    A+ & N+ will get you started & demonstrate you the basis skills to mount O/S specific skills & certs on.
  11. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    I think many people are failing to address the issue, the first question you should ask yourself is :- What job do i what ? or Where do i what to be in 2 or 5 years ? Then you should start to plan how to get there.

    Everyone on here seems to automatically assume some sort of support role, this is good in that there are many of these roles available and they are fairly stable. The certification paths are also fairly stanadard.

    The basic answers to the first question however could be manager, support, developer, tester.... or many more diverse positions.

    You mentioned an interest in Java ? Are you interested in development ? Have you considered SCJP ?
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH

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