1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

is there a Light at the end of the Tunnel ?

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by purplejade, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. purplejade

    purplejade Nibble Poster

    61
    0
    29
    Hi All,
    I have been reading the posts on this forum, and find solace in the fact that i am not alone in my Herculean task to find my first job in IT. God is it difficult... I have worked in so many industries over the years, ie Production management, sales management, sales etc,and nearly every industry will take you on even if you have no experience but a bit of knowledge... But not in IT, its like the situation where, did the egg came out first or the chicken... as far as experience goes. I have just finished my CCNA with good score 974.. ( only one mistake on vtp, vlan toubleshooting question, where out of 5 get u get one wrong and the whole answer is wrong ).. and It has not been easy either, nearly 2 years, doing a 9 to 7 job including sat and sundays...plugging away towards A+ N+ CCNA, since CCNA was fresh in my mind ( I am working backwords, yet to give N+ and A+) hope to refresh and give exams soon..., have tried agencies, ads etc etc , not one phone call yet... and I am looking for an entry level job, I know I will have to work my way up...
    I must admit its the most satisfying qualification I have achieved, and have got few over the years MBA, BSC Physics..

    Could you Brainees suggest, anything for a break in to IT..
     
    Certifications: CCNA N+
    WIP: A+
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    14,283
    254
    329
    Hi Welcome

    Although you have the cisco cert don't go any higher, as people on here will tell you if you have high certs but no job experience then it will actually be harder to get a job.

    You have made a good choice doing the A+ and N+ go for MCDST also.

    Good luck
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

    5,763
    35
    174
    Hi there and welcome 8)

    If the light is coming towards you, run like the wind, it's the train coming :D
     
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  4. purplejade

    purplejade Nibble Poster

    61
    0
    29
    Hi,
    Thanks GreenBruce and Wizard, yes, I guess once I finish my N+ and A+ I would pursue mcdst..I believe its more towards helpdesk support, and thats where I may get a start in IT, but what do you guys reckon, would server+, security+ help as they are vendor neutral or should I look towards server 2003, checkpoint, citrix , pix etc, Thats for the future...
     
    Certifications: CCNA N+
    WIP: A+
  5. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    14,283
    254
    329
    I would stay with the MCDST route and not do sercurity + etc untill you have a bit of experience
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  6. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    3,120
    51
    154
    Welcome to CF, start small look for IT helpdesk 1st line customer role and aim high from there on. To be honest a cert would only help if you already have experience to back it up. I know it can seem impossible to land an IT role without experience but with helpdesk roles you can usually get on with some persistence and determination.

    Bottom line, don't give up and yes there is light at the end of the tunnel. Just keep on keeping on:biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  7. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    19,136
    462
    374
    Employers have been burned by people who have "a little IT knowledge, but no experience". Their IT infrastructure is far too important to entrust to someone who hasn't done it before "in the real world", especially when they can GET someone with experience.

    Unfortunately, that CCNA is about as useful to you getting an entry-level job as a glove is to a duck. Entry-level jobs don't involve Cisco devices. I've made several posts here about why the CCNA can actually be harmful to your entry-level search... if you can't find any of them, let me know and I'll try to dig one up.

    The A+ and Network+, on the other hand, are GREAT for finding entry-level jobs... particularly the A+. That said, don't wait until you've gotten them... start looking for an entry-level job NOW.

    What sort of entry-level jobs have you been applying for?
     
    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. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    13,493
    179
    287
    Greetings, purplejade. Welcome to CertForums. I'd have to say that although the CCNA has traditionally been thought of as an "entry-level" cert (though this has changed), it really is a bit too far up the ladder in terms of getting an entry-level job. Frankly, no system admin in their right mind would allow you to use your CCNA skills on their switches and routers straight out of the box.

    I have to say that you'll get more play out of the other certs mentioned by the others. You may be disappointed at the tasks (and the pay) you'll get at first with the A+, Network+ and MCDST certs given your educational background and experience in other fields. However, if establishing a career in IT is your goal, there are no shortcuts. You'll have to go through the whole "paying your dues" process like everyone else.

    While the CCNA won't really score you any entry-level jobs, it is encouraging that you absorbed the concepts and practices so well and those skills map quite nicely to basic networking skills so the knowledge is useful. My suggestion is to practice using your Cisco related skills a little big every day. While all of that information is fresh in your mind right now, a month or two down the road, if you haven't revisited the material, you'll be shocked at just how much you've forgotten. It would be a shame to have devoted all that time to study and practice just to have it all be forgotten.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  9. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

    1,547
    46
    113
    Purplejade, what's your CV like? If you're not getting any calls from at least an agency then your CV maybe the problem.
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  10. purplejade

    purplejade Nibble Poster

    61
    0
    29
    I have thought about it myself...having worked in different industries, I have put my work exp in chronological manner, ie sales manager, production manager, senior sales exec etc..the fact is my priorities abrubtly changed 2 years ago, and decided.. If ever I wanted to really enjoy my job and see results and satisfaction of good job done it has to be IT...I was very keen on IT from the days of dos windows....while doing my MBA but like all things in life you get yourself bundled and prod along..and as you folks pointed out having done CCNA may actually be to heavy on my CV.

    In reply to other members, tripwire, and bosonMicheal, I am in no rush to sell my cisco lab on ebay...LOL I am kinda attached to it and it will only grow, yes will keep practicing CCNA labs and look towards the future... I am applying for 1st line support jobs, would they even consider me if I am yet to finish A+ and N+ ???

    PS: I must tell you folks I already feel welcome here... Big Thanks to you guys, I have browsed through other forums and they strip the hell out of newbees...
     
    Certifications: CCNA N+
    WIP: A+
  11. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster

    1,547
    46
    113
    Cheers for the reply. Another question: how many pages is your CV?
     
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  12. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    19,136
    462
    374
    Even having your Masters degree and job titles like "manager" and "senior exec" can cause companies to think, "Hmm, this guy isn't going to want to stick around here very long as a PC repair tech... I can't take a chance on hiring him if he's going to leave soon for bigger and better things." These things can also be a bit "heavy" on your CV. At least... for now. In time, those skills will again be amazingly valuable, as will your CCNA.

    Entry-level means entry-level: no experience required. Thus, some companies will hire you for your aptitude and knowledge, even without the certifications. That said, certifications can certainly help to get your CV noticed.

    No reason to haze newbies, here... this is a place of learning. We all started out in your shoes, once upon a time. :)
     
    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!
  13. MacAllan

    MacAllan Byte Poster

    249
    6
    30
    Hi

    My CCNA got me my present job, despite lack of experience - and the guy who interviewed me hadn't even heard of A+ - but another job I was interviewed for at around the same time weren't interested in my CCNA (nor discouraged by it either) but were by the A+, N+ I had as well. I'm sure there were others I applied to where my lack of experience to back up the certs meant the application went straight in the bin, but what I want to say, is it's not as impossible as some here would have you believe.

    I used sites like Jobsite and applied for jobs from there (usually but not always via agencies), but I used the covering letter to tell a really good story, and one of the agencies helped me re-write my cv, and that also helped (From 20 apps I had 2 interviews (+ job offers) and was shortlisted twice more). Every application got a slightly different cv and letter, thinking each time: what would they want to hear? With an MBA and sales experience this should be bread and butter stuff to you.

    Approaching agencies directly I found a complete waste of time - that would be very different if I had the experience, but via this route I was asked to apply for jobs that were just stupid for someone like me (like UNIX sysadmin!)

    It depends on what type of jobs you're applying for, as to whether they want A+ and N+. If you've got CCNA already, then I don't see the point of N+ (and it's a ridiculously expensive exam), but ymmv.

    Also, do you really want IT helpdesk? Why not try for IT sales with a cisco partner?
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, CCNA
    WIP: CCNP, Linux+
  14. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

    7,796
    71
    224
    Hi and welcome to the forum. :D
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP (270,271,272,290,620) | MCDST | MCTS:Vista
    WIP: MCSA, 70-622,680,685
  15. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    19,136
    462
    374
    ...because the CCNA is specific to Cisco devices, while the Network+ is vendor neutral.
     
    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!
  16. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

    5,763
    35
    174
    On a more serious note, when you did the CCNA, did you have any IT experience at all?
     
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  17. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    3,782
    302
    184
    Maybe things in the US are different with the vouchers etc, I'd have to agree with MacAllan, in the UK I'd find it hard to justify taking the N+ to someone with the CCNA especially at the current exam price of £150.

    I'd have thought that someone with CCNA would know 90% of the N+ content anyway, the N+ is pretty basic. I passed it without issue and I'm no networking guru.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  18. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

    5,763
    35
    174
    Sorry I disagree with you there. Not every single business out there is going to have cisco equipment. When you do these certifications you have to bear in mind what brands are actually out there. I would prefer to go for a vendor neutral cert first, then if I did end up with a company that happened to have cisco equipment installed and I have gained enough experience then I would consider doing the CCNA.

    You really have to see the bigger picture when deciding what certs to embark on first.

    Business really dictates which certifications you should go for at certain times.

    What is the point in having the CCNA if you've never been exposed to cisco equipment in the "real world? All fine and dandy doing it in lab conditions when it doesn't matter if you mess up.

    Folks on here many times have said that any comptent sys/network admin wouldn't let a "rookie" anywhere near network critical equipment until they've gained a couple of years experience.

    When I embarked on the CCNA, I thought it would be interesting to do without giving it a thought that you would need at least a couple of years experience with cisco equipment under your belt. Trying to do the CCNA through the Open University in 9 months almost killed my motivation, thats why I gave up on certifications and IT in general for a while.

    I ended up answering 1 question on the OU CCNA exam and just walked out because my brain was completely fried.

    So my train of thought is take a look at the position you want to get started in first, then look at the certifications that would help you get that job. Then after a year or so when you are settled, take a look again at what certifications will progress your career further.

    It is all common sense in the end.
     
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009
  19. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    3,782
    302
    184
    Read the post ! :D

    I also reccomend that people take certs that match their level of ability, unless the cert is easy and cheap to do in which case it can be done for 'padding' the CV.

    I didn't advise not doing the N+ for everyone, just for people that are already above that level I think it offers fairly low value, unless you are planning to put it toward your MCSA because you have A+ etc. The situations depend on the individual, In this case I'd say skip it. I think people need to avoid being too prescriptive on their advice. Not everyone needs an A+ and an N+, especially people with other qualifications and experience.

    I'd also reccomend vendor neutral certs but to be honest the Comptia and CIW certs are the only ones I can think of and in general they carry less weight than other certs. If you can understand a Cisco router I'd expect you to be able to abstract the fundamentals and be able to figure out the purpose of routers in general so It need not be that big an issue. The TCP/IP and networking aspects of the CCNA will be universal.

    Your experience indicates you weren't ready for the CCNA, it does not indicate that everyone without the N+ is not ready for the CCNA.

    Yes hands on on the job experience is preferable, but many students study networking at college every year to fairly advanced levels, they have little prior experience either but they still study it, everyone has to start somewhere, being overqualified isn't always a bad thing and its generally better than being underqualified ! The catch 22 issue and steep learning curves exists with many things, theres many ways around this and getting lab experience is one of them.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  20. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

    5,763
    35
    174
    I did read your post. Yes everyone has to start somewhere, but you don't go straight into a company and tinker around with critical networking equipment if it is your first ever job in IT.

    Sure it's great to have qualifications when going into a job, but many academics I've come across have the knowledge but when they come to actually put that knowledge into practice they are woefully ill prepared.

    If I were an employer, sure I'd have a quick glance at your qualifications, but I'm really after experience. I see tons of qualifications but no experience, I'd think twice about offering a job. I need a hands on person not a book worm.

    Don't get me wrong I used to think education was the be all and end all of everything. Then I take a look at the most succesful people today and they have no qualifications whatsoever they just have tons of experience.

    I say get your experience then do your certs at the same time, don't build your CV up with loads of qualifications and no experience. Things have changed a lot since the 80s.
     
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
    WIP: A+ 2009

Share This Page

Loading...