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Moving into IT... help!

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by SirJinks, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. SirJinks

    SirJinks New Member

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    After so many years doing a very unrewarding job in telecommunications I've decided to seriously consider what I should have done 10 years ago, turning IT from a hobby into a career.

    I've always leaned towards networking and considered that where I would like to move into. However upon investigation and talking to IT recruitment co's, as well as formal qualifications employers also like you to have experience and frustratingly you find yourself in a chicken-and-egg situation between needing the job to get experience and experience to get the job!

    It was at this point I considered Computeach especially as, in conjunction with their recruitment co, they would place you in a suitable IT role whilst you were working towards your qualification so you could get the experience. I had my initial consultation with their representative and we discussed different IT areas and he suggested I would be more suited to a security based role. He outlined their course over a 2 year period which would cover certification in MCDST, MCSE, MCSA, MCP and CompTIA security on the basis that the security area was an area the companies they recruited for were actively after and future job prospects would be good. The rest of the talk sounded very good, he walked through all the options, their on line support, their recruitment company to help me find the right role, their impressive pass rate for exams and the fact that they only take people they consider will be employable and pass the exams as well as many other things. Currently I'm left the information to discuss with my wife and consider before he calls me back in a few days to decide either yes or no. The cost for this course is £5.5 k!!!

    After reading what alot of people here have to say it appears Computeach may not be the best option. I also read alot about the A+ and Network+ qualification being mentioned as worthwhile. What advice I'm after is, to move into IT -

    1) Should i stick with the MS qualifications or consider seriously the A+ / Network+ courses instead as a foundation?

    2) If i go down the road of OU or a college course (which is looking more appealing) is using an IT recruitment co the only real way with little experience to break into IT or is there another way?

    3) Are there any distance learning IT providers which are worth considering other than computeach?

    I appreciate this is alot to ask but this is a big decision I'll be making and I'd appreciate the experience of people who know alot more than myself regards IT. Thanks in advance
     
  2. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I'll take a stab at 1 and 2.

    1. I'd recommend going the A+ and Network+ route first. They lay a good foundation for just about anything you'll want to pursue afterwards. Besides, there's a whole world of certifications out there besides Microsoft. I went to transcender.com which is a company that sells mock exam software and other training materials and clicked on "all transcender products". This represents only a partical list of technical certifications available:

    http://www.transcender.com/AllTests.aspx

    I'm not shilling for transcender, but it was the quickest way I could think of to show a reasonably accurate list of the sort of certs you would pursue.

    2. I was educated in a college setting and it was a rewarding...and reasonably price alternative to a private training vendor. Since I'm currently employed in tech, I guess it must have worked. As far as experience, I through my CV up on dice, careerbuilder and a few other sites and signed up with Manpower Professional. I got numerous temp assignments doing Ethernet rollouts, hardware upgrades and other similar work but build my experience base.

    Frankly, each person here has a different story to tell about how they broke into the field. Chances are your story will be just as unique as everyone else's. Good luck. :)
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  3. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

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    No prob's. I am in the same boat as you. I am gaining as much experience as i can while voluntering in a local company for usually one day per week. They teach me things and it looks good on the CV. The main thing is to keep trying. :D
    Best of luck. I wish you well. Let us know what you decide.
     
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  4. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    I prefer to self study these days as training providers can let you down and it hurts when you have committed large sums of money up front. As already stated, the entry level certifications A+ and then N+ are an excellent way to give you the foundations for whatever you may want to do in the future. Once you have those under your belt, you will have a far better idea of where you want to go. As for Microsoft certs, well an MCP is a good place to start, it only requires one exam and you are a Microsoft Certified Professional. From there you can decide to continue to MCSA (four exams) or MCSE (seven exams) etc. Or take a different path if you wish.

    Keep your options open, take it one step at a time and keep as much of your money in your bank as possible.

    Good luck,
    Pete
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  5. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    If you take a look at Bluerinse's certifications, you'll see that he has the experience and achievements to know what he's talking about. Listen to him.
     
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  6. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Trip please ease up my son, you're making me blush :oops:

    On a more serious note, listen to everyone here intently and listen to salesman too but take what they say with a large pinch of salt!!!
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  7. iank

    iank Bit Poster

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    Microsoft certification is hard and alot of people fall by the wayside. There is a good book on the A+ by myers which is easy to follow. Why dont you try it and see how you cope before you spend vast sums of money on what some (sales rep) tells you. If you pass the A+ then its a good grounding for an MCSE and at least you know that you have what it takes to complete Microsoft's certification
     
  8. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Spend the money on a new car!

    Only joking.
    For my two cents I would say:

    1) I agree with the others, ease yourself into it with A+ or N+. MS can come as quite a shock to the system.

    2) The problem with a college course is that it can take YEARS. I did two years with the OU. It's excellent value for money and you can't fault the material or the support. But it would have taken about 4 years to get a 'certificate in computing' and I'm not even sure what that is. The other thing with the OU is that there are very strict deadlines on assessments etc. I saw a lot of students drop out from my group when other commitments stopped them completing them on time.

    3) Loads. Tread carefully and have a good old hunt round the forum before making a decision. Never be bullied into rushing in because of 'special deals' etc. There are some good ones out there.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  9. SirJinks

    SirJinks New Member

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    Thanks for all your input everyone, the advice is much appreciated.

    I've decided to put the Computeach course on hold indefinitely and have purchased the higly recommended Mike Meyers book on the A+ cert. I figure if I can self-cert in the basic CompTIA cqualifications I can always consider something like Computeach later on.
     

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