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Looking for advice

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by kalanisi, Oct 21, 2007.

  1. kalanisi

    kalanisi New Member

    Im 37 years of age and i have come to a crossroads in my life and am desperatly looking for some advice.

    I am currently umemployed. For the last four years i have had a number of jobs, mostly within the transport industry as a driver. From 1999 to 2002 i was employed as a Computer Operator for a major retail company. I went into this job as a total IT newbie and started at the bottom rung of the ladder. Before that i was employed within the Printing trade. Whilst working as an operator i learnt quite a bit about VMS and i enjoyed the IT enviroment. After the 3 years in this role i moved departments and became a field engineer, looking after the computer systems for approx 30 stores within london and the home counties. I only done this for a year and i admit i did struggle with this time. Things didnt work out for me in this role and i lost the job. From then until now i have had mainly driving jobs that basically wasnt going to get me anywhaere in life. Ive decided i have to do something, and fast. The are 2 options that are available to me.
    The first one is to try and get back into IT as either an operator or field engineer at entry level.
    The second is to do the knowledge for the black cabs within london.

    Ideally i want to become a field engineer but do not know where to start. I went on an evaluation day with CERCO IT training company and passed the tests and they want me to start on the 4 week fast track course with them asap. The 4k fee is a problem as i do not have any savings although the option to borrow the money is there for me. I am worried that i will spend so much money with no garuntee of a job afterwards although CERCO have told me that living in London is a major plus on that side of things.

    I can go down the knowledge route to become a black cab driver which would mean at least 2 years studying.

    Its been 4 long years since i worked within IT and i am disappointed i didnt stay with it.

    Any advice is very welcome

    Thank you
    WIP: Looking get back into IT
  2. webslinger2k

    webslinger2k Byte Poster

    To be honest mate, there is no fast track option for either - so wanting to do something fast to land a job may not be the option - studying anything, including "the knowledge" and any IT certifications are both going to be time consuming.

    I would suggest your best option is to look at entry level jobs in your area - luckily for you, there should be plenty about within london. You should be able to land something if your previous IT experience was at least relevant to the position and you come across well in an interview.

    I dont think any of us can choose one over the other for you - you have to ask yourself what you will get more enjoyment out of, and perhaps a sense of achievemnt - personally for me, I could never even entertain the thought of being a "Cabbie", it just wouldnt give me the satisfaction level i need - but thats not to say its wrong for eveyone else - just me.

    Good luck with whatever you do mate - keep us informed...
    Certifications: 270, 271, 272
    WIP: 70-290
  3. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator


    You state that you are unemployed, so I assume that you're receiving some sort of money from the Government? Now depending on what benefit you're on you could approach your local college (provided that it does's Microsoft, Comptia and/or Cisco courses) and get them either paid for by the Government or reduced.

    The benefits that count are either: Jobseekers Allowance (Income Based), CTB, HB, Income Support or WTC.

    If you do not qualify for a reduction of fees, colleges/Uni do offer a installment pay plan.

    For an example of the kind of courses that are offered by some local college, see here (this is our local college).

    Me personally, I would recommend doing the A+, Network+ and the MCDST as entry level certs. Then once you're back into IT start going (after you get the recommend/required experience) the higher level certs, eg MCSA, ACSA, etc (depending on what field/area you work in).

    You do not have to pay out £££'s to do courses as there are educational institutes (eg schools, colleges, Uni's) that provide this and there is also the self-study route, both are alot cheaper than private training companies.


    <Sorry, I have a chip on my shoulder with private training companies as they make it out that you do their 4 week course and you'll earn £30k a year, which belittles us IT professionals that work and train hard to get to where we are. :x >
    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. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    Hi there, note with hard work coupled with enthusiasm and determination you can land a role in I.T regardless of your age. The ball truly is in your court:biggrin
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  5. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    Seems like you did well as an operator but not as a field engineer. If I understand the roles right (I'm in the US and what we call these job roles is a little different), you'll probably need to become more proficient in the area of a field engineer. Can you tell us what you need to get better at this?
    I hate to say it, but I imagine you "passed" whatever tests they gave you because they want your 4k fee. Can you imagine them saying "Sorry but you failed the exams. We can't take your money"?

    BTW, I have no idea what a "black cab driver" is beyond someone who drives a black cab. Sorry.

    As far as advice, I guess that depends on your specific goals and what you are bringing to the table right now. That is, what do you know so far and what do you need to learn to get where you want to go?
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  6. Stoney

    Stoney Megabyte Poster

    If you're unemployed or on a low income I would definitely recommend you go down the self study route. It will save you a LOT of money. You also don't want to get tied into a contract that means you owe 1000's of pounds regardless of whether you a) Change your mind and decide IT isn't for you, b) don't receive the training you was promised in the first place, or c) can't physically pay the money back!

    Although I don't know the details of your work experience, it sounds like you are in a strong position to get some sort of IT role already, even if it turns out to be a low entry role.

    Yes, you are right there trip, but to be black cabby in London you have to pass a test that shows you know every single street within the city. I don't think you can just drive a black cab about and charge for fares.
    Certifications: 25 + 50 metre front crawl
    WIP: MCSA - Exam 70-270

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