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Hi, Thinking of a career change. Any advice appreciated

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by CrazyDiamond, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. CrazyDiamond

    CrazyDiamond New Member

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    Hi, A bit about me.

    I'm 29 and work as a Security systems engineer (Mainly CCTV)
    I have always been good with computers, for the past 15 years or so, Building, programming, repairing and troubleshooting etc, and I have an interest in all things electronic :)
    Before I was an Engineer, I worked as a builder (not computer builder) but the bricks and mortar type of builder.
    During that time I attended night college and took some programming courses. I never wanted a career in programming but I enjoyed getting the qualification anyway.

    I just done this job installing 40+ IP cameras, 2 NVR's a DVR for the existing analogue system and a PC to Control the lot. All the machines I built and configured myself.

    Anyways, I was doing this job and was working alongside some Network Engineers who turned out to be some really nice blokes.
    I took a lot of interest in what they do for a living and the Cisco POE routers they were using and now I feel like I want to learn more.

    My questions, and what brings me here is.. Where do I start? What course/s should I venture into?

    Also please note, I want a change and I don't have much money as I have a small family and its hard surviving on 28K as it is.

    I have been reading a lot and was thinking CCNA but courses are far too expensive and I have to carry on working while I study.

    Really appreciate any help from this community.

    CrazyDiamond
     
    Certifications: VIsual Basic Programming
    WIP: Network CCNA
  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Some CCNA evening courses are available from local colleges from around £1000. They seem to vary a little in format, I think most are split into four modules and run part time in evenings for one-two years. Check around your local colleges for what they offer.

    Examples (Google is your friend !) :-
    http://essex.floodlight.co.uk/essex...cate-(ocr)/16180339/28837663/course-info.html
    http://www.askedu.net/course/c_19387_Certified_Cisco_Network_Associ.htm
    http://www.southend.ac.uk/courses/detail.asp?c=2468

    Alternatively you can build your own lab and self study, I'd prob want to do both if it were me.

    You probably want to start looking for a more IT focused job also or maybe try and take on more responsibilities where you're at, try and pick what you can up from the Network guys.

    Best of luck ! :D
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  3. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Our local college is offering the BTEC/Cisco CCNA combined qual (after the course and passing all the exams you get both a BTEC national award as well as the Cisco CCNA) for £622 or £50 consessions.

    The entry level certs, in general, are the A+, Network+, MCDST, the MCAS in Vista and the MCTS in Vista.

    Instead of the full blown CCNA, have you thought about the vendor-neutral Network+ and maybe the CCENT on the networking side of things?

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  4. Pheonicks56

    Pheonicks56 Kilobyte Poster

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    Howdy and welcome to CF!
     
    Certifications: BSIT, AAIT, A+
    WIP: Network+
  5. Notes_Bloke

    Notes_Bloke Terabyte Poster

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    Hi & welcome to CF:D

    NB
     
    Certifications: 70-210, 70-215, A+,N+, Security+
    WIP: MCSA
  6. CrazyDiamond

    CrazyDiamond New Member

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    Hi Dmarsh and thanks for your reply.

    I did also Google the course and came up with the same results.
    As I live in Southend, the college would have been perfect. However, 4 modules lasting 2 years each is way too long to get a Cert and at £800 each!!. I think I will self study and buy some material to teach me in less time.
    I would rather spend a few hours at home a night studying than at college :)
    The job where the network guys were is over now, So unfortunately I cannot pick anything up from them now.
     
    Certifications: VIsual Basic Programming
    WIP: Network CCNA
  7. CrazyDiamond

    CrazyDiamond New Member

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    Hi Wagnerk, Thanks for the info on the Entry level Certs. Maybe this is something I should look into before even considering the CCNA.

    Your Local college seems a lot less expensive than mine and I would like to be able to spend £50 concessions

    I will have to look into A+, Network+ Exams and getting the certs quick as I can.

    As far as Vista Desktop support goes, Not what I want to do. I don't even use Vista as I'm a Linux kind of a guy.

    If its possible to take exams and not the course, then that is what I will do.
    Will have to look into that.

    Its a shame that with all my Experiance and I have no qualifications to prove it.

    Better get my foot on the ladder somehow ;)


    Cheers
     
    Certifications: VIsual Basic Programming
    WIP: Network CCNA
  8. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Then how about Comptia's Linux+?

    Yes you can sit the exam without the course :)

    -ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  9. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    I've seen good reports of these people on here and elsewhere and the costs aren't too bad. Sometimes they have offers too.
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  10. CrazyDiamond

    CrazyDiamond New Member

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    Thanks, Sounds Interesting :)

    I think I will read a few books and take the exams for Comptia A+ and Network+ when feel ready, can't be that difficult.

    Is this type of learning not frowned upon? Brain dumps or whatever you call it?
    I was looking at this place called Firebrand that offers a 6 day course but then I read here that this sort of thing is not recommended as they just cram as much information as possible into your head in the hope that you will pass the exam.

    Prices look good but I want to learn the trade, not just know the answers to questions on the exam.

    Any thoughts
     
    Certifications: VIsual Basic Programming
    WIP: Network CCNA
  11. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    No, this is not braindumping. It's bargain training, no frills i.e. you buy your own books etc and pay for your own exams. Joe, the owner, is a member on here too. Just search the forums for them, I'm sure you'll turn up good reports.
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  12. CrazyDiamond

    CrazyDiamond New Member

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    Actually, I just spent some time reading the website and am quite impressed with what they have to offer.

    This leaves me with a lot to think about. I might wait till they do the free one day course and then I will hopefully feel more comfortable knowing it is right for me.

    Thankyou for all of your help. I feel I am getting somewhere now, or at least know what I would need to learn to get my foot in the door as to speak.

    First things first, comptia A+ and Network +
    Maybe also Linux+

    Then the 6 day (weekend) CCNA whilst I study at home from whatever I can get my hands on.

    Now too go read, study and prepare for what could be a new life and better future for my family
     
    Certifications: VIsual Basic Programming
    WIP: Network CCNA
  13. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Good luck ! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  14. Firebrand-Robert

    Firebrand-Robert Bit Poster

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    For the record Firebrand Training include books/courseware/exams/accommodation in our 6 day course. The reply in the posting is referring to the other company not ours - I assume?
     
  15. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Braindumping is frowned upon but I am sure Firebrand don't do this sort of thing.

    Self study is just the same as using somewhere like firebrand but without paying anyone you just get the books and practice yourself, and it isn't difficult it's how I am studying.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  16. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

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    Have you checked out the salaries for experienced network techs? Outside of London that are mostly up to about 28k to perhaps 30k. And those roles require plenty of experience and not neccessarily any certs. As a junior tech you're perhaps looking at between 18k - 24k but with the way things are going at the moment salaries are not going north.
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  17. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

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    Hi and welcome to the forum.:biggrin
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP (270,271,272,290,620) | MCDST | MCTS:Vista
    WIP: MCSA, 70-622,680,685
  18. CrazyDiamond

    CrazyDiamond New Member

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    I think I could earn more than that, seeing as I am already a security systems engineer.
    If I install an IP based CCTV system, access control or Intruder alarm then I will not need to contract anyone else to do the Network side of things.

    If I continue in my line of work with the added bonus of being a network engineer then I can guarantee someone somewhere would find me worth 40+
    If I start up on my own then I could be pricing my own work.

    Thanks for your concern. I have plenty of experience, its the certs I do not have.

    If all fails I will go back to the building game. :eek:
     
    Certifications: VIsual Basic Programming
    WIP: Network CCNA

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