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

IT Helpdesk

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by billy bottom, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. billy bottom

    billy bottom Bit Poster

    12
    0
    2
    hi

    not sure if im posting this in the right place (it's my first post), but just had a few job-related questions to ask. i'm 28 and, apart from studying computing at a-level, have had no professional experience with computers at all. in my spare time i've messed about with them a lot though, and have become interested in getting a job on an IT Helpdesk, or somesuch thing. just wondered, what would be the best route for me to get into this?

    would it be studying A+, Network+ and then doing an MCSE?

    would this qualify me to be able to get onto these kinds of jobs, or would the lack of experience rule me out?

    any advice would be most welcome

    thanks,

    billy



    Admin Edit (J): Moved to New Members
     
  2. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

    9,915
    60
    229
    Hi Billy, and welcome to CF. I'm sure the Guys will shortly be on hand with a wealth of advice :)
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  3. KeithNN

    KeithNN Byte Poster

    225
    2
    29
    Hiya and welcome aboard!

    Not sure how it stands at the moment but have you looked into the MCDST (Desktop Support Technician)? I know a lot of the guys at our LEA helpdesk are doing that (and then using it as an elective for the MCSA). As it's a helpdesk cert it might be worth considering... unless someone else knows it hasn't got much weight behind it yet! It really all depends on what kind of helpdesk you're looking at, too! If it's going to involve hardware and Networking support then, yes, I'd suggest A+ then Network+. If you're thinking of other things with more hands on (like ICT Technician in a school...) then the A+ is the best start (worked for me!)
     
    Certifications: MCSA/MCSE, MCDST, MOS Mstr, Sec+,Net+,A+
    WIP: 70-284
  4. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    4,009
    186
    209
    Hi Billy!

    Welcome to the forums!

    I'm with Keith on this one - the A+ is the best platform for you to start an IT career from. It gives you a feeler in a lot of different areas, so that you can then move on to focus on one that you enjoy more. 'or some such thing'? If you enjoy the tech side of things - hands on, as you say, a tech job could be good. And you never know about the experience vs certs mix - I think it depends on the company more than anything.

    Good luck with what you choose!!!
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  5. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

    6,281
    85
    174
    Hi Billy,

    Welcome to CF. :D

    I'm with the other guys on this one.
    If you have been involved with PC's for a while you should find the A+ quite straight forward.
    I would advise to have an old computer you don't mine abusing. I had an old 300Mhz AMD "thing" with 98, 2000 and XP on it! It was very slow but it helped me to get around the mentioned Windows OS and experiment with swopping parts around.
    I am also seeing more and more adverts for jobs with the A+ mentioned as an advantage.

    I agree with Keith that the Microsoft Certified Desktop cert is also a good step especially if it counts towards the MCSA :D

    Good luck with your studies and job hunting. Hope you stick around
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  6. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    13,493
    179
    287
    Greetings, billy. Welcome to CertForums. I'd have to agree with the others. At your level of experience, you'll want to start out with the A+ cert. In many cases, that will be sufficient to at least get your foot in the door. The other suggestions are quite good too. In my opinion, an MCSE would be "overkill" for a help desk job, plus it takes years to pass all of the required exams.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  7. billy bottom

    billy bottom Bit Poster

    12
    0
    2
    Is an IT Helpdesk position not the same as a Systems Administrator then? I'm even more confused now. For example, there's a job offered which lists requirements as:

    Network Support Analyst / Support Engineer / Windows 2000 / NT / Microsoft Server Applications / Hardware Support / PC Support

    Which qualifications would you reccomend for this kind of direction?

    thanks again

    billy
     
  8. Weemez

    Weemez Kilobyte Poster

    372
    1
    0
    Worth looking into N+ Billy aswell for network fundimentals as the m/soft cert may be quite a big leap. Anybody welcome to correct me if im wrong though. :rolleyes:
     
    Certifications: HNC Computing A+ N+ ICND1
    WIP: ICND2
  9. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    4,009
    186
    209
    Not gonna say 'wrong'. lol. The A+ does skim over basic fundamentals, though if sys admin is something you want to look into then I'd say N+ is also a must, and a smooth follow on. Then you can switch to whichever Cert takes your fancy. Some psychos sign up for Cisco :rolleyes:
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  10. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

    9,915
    60
    229
    These are effectively opposite ends of the spectrum, Billy - basically, helpdesk (the bottom-feeders) take the sh** that comes in over phone/ email/ intranet/ ticket system. Sys Admin is the Great White - the uber-geek, simultaneously loathed, and (should be) respected by those who's network (s)he commands.

    Helpdesk is entry level - from no certs to maybe A+, poss N+/ MCP - for sys admin, you're gonna be MCSE at least, with maybe Cisco, and a whole load of additional skills as well (eg Unix, scripting, design, deployment etc.)

    Hope that clears things a little ....
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  11. Weemez

    Weemez Kilobyte Poster

    372
    1
    0
    Nutters they must be! I say that cause im one of them Billy :lol:
     
    Certifications: HNC Computing A+ N+ ICND1
    WIP: ICND2
  12. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    13,493
    179
    287
    I concur with Gav on this one. The only thing lower than a helpdesk worker is a contract tech. I used to be one and pretty much a recruiter calls you, tells you to drop everything and go to work for them the next day, jump through all kinds of hoops from faxing in copies of your credentials, drivers license, etc... to taking time out of whatever else you're up to in order to participate in a lengthy conference call that you probably didn't really need to attend.

    You download and print a large manual or script that tells you what you'll be doing, show up where and when the job is scheduled for and either meet up with your team or if solo, introduce yourself to the manager of the business you are going to install/upgrade whatever piece of technology they've bought and somehow prove to them that you really are the person they are supposed to let have access to their server room.

    Ok, actually I really enjoyed the work but it didn't always do alot for my self-esteem.

    Helpdesk may not be where the "glory" is at, but you'll learn an awful lot about IT and particularly troubleshooting. I occasionally fill in on the helpdesk here at work and having to diagnose a user's problem remotely has helped me understand not only what I'm writing about in terms of our product, but about troubleshooting in general.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  13. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

    6,771
    102
    221
    Welcome to our place Billy :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCSA (messaging), ITIL Foundation v3
    WIP: Looking at doing ..................
  14. billy bottom

    billy bottom Bit Poster

    12
    0
    2
    well thanks guys, that's been really helpful.

    i assume, then, that the salaries i'm seeing for systems administrators (£18k right through to £30k) are a lot higher than those somebody might receive on the helpdesk?

    in which case, my plan changes to

    1) get my A+ and Network +
    2) hope that this gets me a job on the helpdesk
    3) whilst on the helpdesk study for MCSE and hope that this can progress me to Systems Administrator.

    thanks again,

    billy
     
  15. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

    9,915
    60
    229
    Certainly in my neck of the woods (north of the border), you've hit the nail right on the head m8 - very accurate expectation.

    In general, your plan sounds absolutely fine - the only point I'd make, and I'm sure the Guys will agree here, is that due to the recent de-valuing of the MCSE (through f**** braindumpers), it's unlikely that it will get you a sys admin role on it's own. But by that time, your experience levels will starting to be just as significant as your quals.
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  16. billy bottom

    billy bottom Bit Poster

    12
    0
    2
    ok cool,

    just one last question (if that's ok)

    is there anywhere on the web i can get hold of tutorials that would begin to teach me the kind of stuff the A+ would? just wondered, would be nice to get a sneak preview of what i'm letting myself in for

    thanks,

    billy
     
  17. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

    9,915
    60
    229
    Again, rather than try and answer in one short post, Billy - I'd say spend some time trawling around our A+ board. In there, there have been a lot of useful posts and links to training aids from Members in the past.

    And there's no need to ask if it's OK to ask a question around here - that's what we're here for, my friend :)
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  18. The_Geek

    The_Geek Megabyte Poster

    772
    13
    64
    You could also pick up a copy of the A+ book by Mike Meyers.

    Even if you decide IT isn't your thing, you'll have read a good book and have some great information on computers.
     
    Certifications: CompTIA and Micro$oft
    WIP: PDI+
  19. The_Geek

    The_Geek Megabyte Poster

    772
    13
    64
    Again it would depend on where you are and what the job is.

    Being in the states, I started with a large communications company in a call center doing data support, ie, email problems, web hosting, and DNS zone changes. I STARTED right about in the middle of your pay scale. I got lucky. I was in the right place at the right time.

    I had no prior professional IT experience of other than a working knowledge of networks.

    Don't get discouraged in you go on a lot of interviews and don't get callbacks. You may have to start out doing something you weren't really looking for, but it's a foot in the door. I'm a perfect example of that. What I'm doing isn't what I had set out to do, but I'm looking a year down the road at what I can move into.
     
    Certifications: CompTIA and Micro$oft
    WIP: PDI+
  20. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

    9,915
    60
    229
    Right now, in Scotland, you're looking at anything from £10-16k for entry-level helpdesk (more likely the 12k mark, IMHO), but as the_geek wisely says, once started, you can only learn, and move up if you show the willingness.
     
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity

Share This Page

Loading...