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I shake you warmly by the hand

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by PatM, Aug 14, 2007.

  1. PatM

    PatM New Member


    I'm Pat and I'm a new member from Manchester. I want to make a career change but I am unsure how to go about it. I am coming from a senior management role in product management and I have no work experience in any IT field but that is where I want to go and I'm hoping for some advice. I am aware that I am going to have to start at the bottom of the job ladder but my first concern is that employers will look at me as a risk. I have been to one interview for a six month contract and they were concerned that I wouldn't stick with the job, I would find it too lowly, their words not mine. This has made me think I should get my self a qualification before I start looking for work. My first question is, if I get myself qualified do you think I will get employed? and then I suppose what qualifications should I go for?

    Here is some info on me.
    37yrs, got an engineering degree, got my MSCE in '98 through self study but I've never used it and it has lapsed. I don't really want to go into MS support, I would prefer networking over supporting operating systems so I have looked at the CCNA, is that sensible or should I start lower?

    I think that is more than enough for my intro!

    Hope you can help, thanks and hello again.

  2. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

    Hi there and welcome 8)
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  3. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    Hi and welcome to CF :)

    The CCNA is a good place to start, or you could go for a vendor-neutral cert first like Comptia's Network+. While the CCNA is a great cert to get, it is geared up towards Cisco equipement after you've learnt the basics (like MCP's are geared towards MS tech and Apple certs are geared towards Apple tech).

    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. stuPeas

    stuPeas Megabyte Poster

    Hello from a fellow Manc :D
    Certifications: C&G Electronic, CIW Associate (v5).
    WIP: CIW (Website Design Manager)
  5. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    Forgot to add, have you taken a look at Cisco's new cert: CCENT? It's lower than the CCNA and it may be a better option especially if you do not have any IT (or Cisco) experience, if you want to go down the Cisco route.

    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
  6. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    Greetings and Welcome, Pat. That MCSE of yours must be for NT. You say you never used it at all. Are you saying you passed the certifications exams without having any industry experience supporting NT?

    I ask because it seems you must have some technical background to have earned the certifications. If that's so, it should more or less define your starting point. For most IT newbies, the standard advice we give is for them to earn their A+ and Network+ certifications to lay the foundation for hardware, desktop, and network support. If you don't have a networking background (and the MCSE exams would have contained at least some networking content I would think), then that course of study may be a good place for you to begin before tackling any of the Cisco certifications.

    You also might see if you could do a bit of volunteer work with the IT department where you work. I'm not sure if that's a practical suggestion under the circumstances, but getting a little hands on in the networking closet couldn't hurt.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  7. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Hi welcome :D
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  8. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

    Hi and welcome to CF. Good luck with your venture. :)

    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  9. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

    Welcome to the forums.
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
  10. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Your MCSE hasn't lapsed - once an MCSE, always an MCSE. The exams are retired, but the MCSE certifications themselves don't expire.

    If potential employers are telling you that you're essentially overqualified and you're a risk to leave the job quickly, getting MORE certifications and qualifications aren't going to HELP that situation any. In fact, it's likely to make it worse.

    As mentioned earlier, the CCNA is usually pursued by people who already have industry experience. And again, it'll make you seem as if you're looking to get the job, use it as a stepping stone, then leave. Which you are... and there's nothing wrong with that... you just can't give the appearance to the employer that that's the case. Perhaps the employer saw that you had the MCSE, and knows you're looking for a higher position.

    ((Note to others trying to get a start in IT... *this* is exactly why we typically recommend to NOT get the CCNA before you get your entry-level job, because doing so can make it MORE difficult to get an entry-level job, not LESS difficult.)

    So... if the perception of overqualification is the problem, perhaps you leave the MCSE off your resume, and start from scratch. Have you considered entry-level certifications like the A+? I know you want to shoot straight for networking jobs... but those are typically given to people with experience, not to people just starting out in IT.

    That said, your stay at the "bottom" will likely be a short one, considering your previous studies and your degree. Build some experience, and then apply for those junior-level networking or systems jobs. Continue to get certifications relevant to your level, like Network+, MCDST, and CCENT.

    Hope this helps. I wish you the best of luck. And welcome to the forums!
    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. fortch

    fortch Kilobyte Poster

    Good luck, bro! Great advice from the peeps around here.

    Don't worry about your situation -- you are NOT alone. I'm also 37, and I just went through the same career change as you, only I spent my years turning wrenches. Also, I'm an MCSE (self-study as well), and I haven't formally and professionally supported a production network either. My professional IT experience, prior to landing this job, was 6 months as a SysAdmin for a webhost. That's it. You can do it, especially if you are honest, passionate, and driven.

    The greatest advice I can give you? Don't underestimate yourself. I know, its intimidating, and even though you have certs, you don't have street cred. I thought the same thing, and as I look back, my biggest hurdle was confidence. That comes through pretty clear in an interview, too, although I had tried just being humble and open. If I had to do it all over again, I'd realize that I have assets that most of my co-workers DON'T have, and I certainly have a breadth of knowledge that surpasses most. There's a fine line between selling yourself strong, and being misleading ... and I tried to stay way under the bar. Don't make the same mistake I did -- I'm sure you have qualities that make you a viable candidate to most employers. The IT world is full of turnover -- and guys like you and me are probably more stable than younger folks (not knocking youngins -- they are the future of IT!).

    Still, starting from the bottom is not necessary, and besides, you probably won't be there long -- particularly with your management experience. From self-studying for an MCSE, you're probably a quick learner as well, so I imagine you'd rise up fairly quickly.

    Good luck!
    Certifications: A+,Net+,Sec+,MCSA:Sec,MCSE:Sec,mASE
  12. PatM

    PatM New Member

    Hi all,

    Thanks for all the advise and support. I've been waiting for the new CCNA books to be come available and I've decided I'm going to go CCENT to CCNA as a start. Watch this space.



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