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Hello! 16 year old needing help!

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by MrJamez, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. MrJamez

    MrJamez New Member

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    Hi, I'm James. 16 years old and live in Telford.

    My main two interests are music and football, massive Wolves fan and tend to go as often as I can! As for my music, listen to mainly Oasis, The Jam, The Beatles, Arctic Monkeys etc.

    Having only recently decided I want a career in ICT I thought I'd join up just say hello but need a question answering.

    I've just left Secondary school with 4 GCSE's (Obviously not proud of this, I was expecting more) and got my Maths. I know I need my English so I'm retaking it at college along with GCSE Business studies but have no idea what to do next once I get my English after the first year. Do I stay there and get my A-Levels where I'm thinking about doing: ICT, Computing, English Language and Business studies, this way I can get my A-Levels out the way whilst I'm there or do I go for an apprenticeship at my local Capgemini or Zenos Academy/Pearson in Practice where I can study A+ and N+ I believe. Are A-Levels important if I want to go down the route of starting off in First Line Support?

    As for me posting regularly I'll probably be commenting alot more once I actually start studying my A+ and N+.

    Many thanks in advance.
     
  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I would try and get on an apprenticeship program if you can. A-levels are really designed to get you ready for university, if you don't want to do a degree there is probably not a lot of point in taking them to be honest.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  3. Gav

    Gav Kilobyte Poster

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    I think Zenos have stopped doing apprenticeships now, although I could be wrong. We recruited several people from Zenos into our 1st Line / Call Centre team, but I'm not sure whether we would going forward. The quality of a Zenos 'graduate' seems to have dropped (perhaps because they're now only focusing on MTA rather than MCTS & CompTIA) and I think we could get better from a wider pool of candidates.

    Definitely get your A+/Network+ done. I did mine when I was 15, and they were a very good foundation for vendor-specific certifications.

    Whilst I don't have any A-Levels, I would highly recommend you get some, as anything that sets you apart from other candidates is good. An A-Level in English would be attractive, as the main problem I've seen in CVs from people without A-Levels/Degrees is that their spelling and grammar are atrocious. Whilst you're going into a technical role, you could find yourself writing customer-facing Incident Reports and RFCs at some point, so 'soft skills' are important.

    My advice would be to keep your CV up to date, and apply for full-time IT roles whilst still in education. If you get the chance to interview for a role with good career progression, take it. Right now, there's little merit in dropping out of Education without the guarantee of work.

    Hope this helps.

    - Gav
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
  4. pete.grant

    pete.grant Byte Poster

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    Hi James,

    I was in a similar situation to you after completing my GCSE's. I got all the grades I was expecting but I went on to do A-Levels purely because I didn't have any other options available at that point in my life. As dmarsh has already pointed out, A-Levels are effectively university entrance exams and that is exactly what our head of sixth form told us early on in my first year. In fact I vividly remember some university representative coming in and giving a presentation with various bar charts and basically said if you go to university you will earn X and if you don't you will earn sod all!! Looking back I can see he was a complete t**t but at the time it really worried me.

    Long story short, I dropped out early on in my second year (after getting terrible AS Level results) and went to work full-time for the company I already had a part time job with. Six months after that I spotted an advert in our local paper for an Apprentice IT Technician. I got the job and the rest is history. Been there ever since (over eight years now) although I'm happy to say I'm no longer an apprentice!

    If you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them, although I completed my apprenticeship six years ago so I'm not sure if things have changed. All I can do is highly recommend going down the Apprenticeship route. I found it to be a really rewarding experience, especially financially compared to some of my friends who went on to University to study Computer Science etc.

    You might find the following link helpful:

    Home - Apprenticeships


    All the best
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
    Certifications: A+ IT Technician, CCENT, CEH, CPTS, CIW Security Analyst, ITIL v3 Foundation, Master CIW Administrator, MCITP (Windows Server 2008:SA), MCSA on Windows Server 2008, MCSA:Security on Windows Server 2003, MCTS (70-648, 70-652), Network+, SCNS, Security+, Server+
  5. MrJamez

    MrJamez New Member

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    Thanks for the replies, much appreciated.

    I think I'm leaning towards doing the apprenticeship after reading some of your comments.

    The two I've looked at are the following:

    pearsoninpractice.com/apprenticeships/it-apprenticeships/ict-advanced-apprenticeship (Formerly known as Zenos Academy)

    uk.capgemini.com/capgemini-careers/apprenticeship-programme/advanced-apprenticeships/


    Which of the following would you recommend?

    The Pearson in Practice one states that I would complete my A+ and MTA where as Capgemini say the following 'the opportunity to gain qualifications that are recognised and valued by the industry, including the Level 3 ICT Practitioner Apprenticeship Qualification

    Many thanks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
  6. pete.grant

    pete.grant Byte Poster

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    Personally I would go for the Capgemini option. They are a large company and it would look good on your CV to gain an apprenticeship from a large reputable firm (Rolls Royce also springs to mind).

    However, the fact that the Pearson option is offering A+ etc is a bonus and not to be sniffed at. The only thing that puts me off is that you can't see the specific companies that you are applying to on their vacancies page (although I'm certain you could find out) and the salaries look very low (average £100 per week). I know it was eight years ago but when I did mine I earned more than double that but I appreciate times have changed. I'd be interested to know what Capgemini are offering in terms of salary.

    In the current climate though, you'd be silly not to apply for both!
     
    Certifications: A+ IT Technician, CCENT, CEH, CPTS, CIW Security Analyst, ITIL v3 Foundation, Master CIW Administrator, MCITP (Windows Server 2008:SA), MCSA on Windows Server 2008, MCSA:Security on Windows Server 2003, MCTS (70-648, 70-652), Network+, SCNS, Security+, Server+
  7. amzee83

    amzee83 New Member

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    Hi james welcome to the forum
     
  8. MrJamez

    MrJamez New Member

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    Thank you all for the help! Will apply for both ASAP.

    and thanks Amzee.
     

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