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Need a bit of careers advice

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Spark, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. Spark

    Spark Bit Poster

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    OK, this is a long story but I try to make it as short as possible, I was signed up to a long and, needless to say, very expensive course with Computeach in 2006. The course was marketed as 'Security Professional' and consisted of A+, MCSA, MCSE, and Sec+.

    I did A+ last year and was supposed to sit 270 this week, however that has now been postponed due to CT's sheer incompetence and lack of management skills. I have just nearly a year left on the course but I have been told by them that if I cannot finish it in the allocated timescale then we can make arrangements since they made several mistakes with me anyway and their "enrolment officer" was, to put it bluntly, a complete and utter lying bastard.

    I chose this course originally as I was looking at a Computer Games degree for a career in game dev but the forums I researched did not grade those sort of degrees highly and I didn't think a Comp Sci degree would be all that beneficial either since plenty of other people at the ISP where I worked had those degrees and they didn't really do them any good due to their generalised nature. The 'enrolment officer' advised me to go for a career in networking as opposed to Programming based on what I had told him about myself and my mathematical skills etc.

    However, I was made redundant from my job as on an ISP helpdesk earlier this year and just recently have been looking for something else, without much look so far. I have been applying for mainly in-house support jobs and junior network admin roles but I am wondering if I may have just wasted my time with these certs and whether it might be worth just biting the bullet, seeing if I can get any of the money back from the course, and going back to uni instead.

    Like I said, I have been using computers since I was 8 years old (I'm in my mid-20's now) and was working in an IT-based role when the course started but now that I am currently out of work and completely disillusioned with this course I am wondering if it might be worth a slight change in direction.

    If anybody could advise me here then I would really appreciate it. :)
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: MCSA
  2. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    What kinda job are you looking for mate? From your IT experience so far you might be best going for desktop support type job which may introduce you to server admin.

    As for the course demand a free extension for another year. :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  3. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Sounds like you don't yet have enough experience for the MCSE and possibly some parts of the others too.

    Any qualification is what you make of it, unfortunately many people scrape through degrees and really put little effort into the process and therefore get little out. You are in control of what course and what college you pick, you are in control of what modules you pick, you are in control of how much effort you put in and what you learn. A good degree will give you a good foundation to build on, I'm willing to bet that many (50%+ ?) of the programmers working as games developers have some sort of degree or equivalent.

    Best of luck with that but I would say your chances are slim of getting a refund at this point. I would advise a degree in general, but you can't study at college and with training provider at same time. In your situation I would try and at least finish the A+, MCSA and Sec+. I'd maybe forget the MCSE as it sounds like its not really relevant at this point, possibly take the training and skip exams.

    If you're prepared to write off the money or can get a refund then I would get into clearing ASAP and get lined up with a course for september.

    Best of luck !
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  4. Spark

    Spark Bit Poster

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    Those are the sort of jobs I've been looking at really, I've applied for a few of them from Monster and JCPlus etc since last week but I have so far only heard back from one which is an agency and I do not have a confirmed interview for that yet.

    As for the course extension, well I'll be getting that anyway I think, firstly they made me do IC3 despite the fact that I had years of experience and worked in a Tech Support role at the time and secondly they've messed me around quite a bit, not least by postponing an in-centre that I had booked for this week to sit 270 and pissing me right off in the process.
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: MCSA
  5. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Perhaps try and get the 70-270 and 70-290 nailed as soon as poss? Having a Microsoft cert on your CV can get it past the HR peeps in some cases. 8)
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  6. Spark

    Spark Bit Poster

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    I can't really write off that sort of money, it was £5,500 and I got a CDL for it which I am supposed to start paying back next year. I have finished the A+ already and I ideally want the MCSA done by this November as I'm planning a possible move overseas to my girlfriend's country of origin next year and I want it all out of the way by then so I can forget it, get a job in IT over there, and set about getting on with the rest of my life.

    I know I do not have enough experience for MCSE yet which is why I'm trying to get a job so that I can get hands on with AD, S2K3 etc but unfortunately I'm not even having much luck with that at the moment. The reason why I decided against a Comp Sci degree was because I knew plenty of people who had them at the time who I worked with at the ISP and out of all of them I would say only one of them knew more than I did (and he was a serious geek) and the rest of them had fallen into that trap where they now referred to themselves as 'web monkeys'.
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: MCSA
  7. Spark

    Spark Bit Poster

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    Well that's the thing mate, I was supposed to be sitting 270 this coming Tuesday but CT completely screwed that up, they obviously did offer me a voucher for it (nice of them, eh ?) but I have paid for their incentre tuition and the food etc and I'm having it whether they like it or not.

    I'm applying for jobs at the moment though and I want to try to get one sorted asap since I was planning to move into a new place with my girlfriend next month, and obviously I thought having an MCP on my CV as well as A+ would help.
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: MCSA
  8. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    If CT are messing you around then perhaps just do your own thing to keep your studies going. Once you get the classroom based training with CT then at least you will be confident with material already. 8)
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  9. Spark

    Spark Bit Poster

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    The thing is mate that's it's a question of time and I've heard that 291 is a real bitch of an exam anyway, I really don't know what to do with this to be honest, but I've just found a local college which teaches some IT certs and which I am considering enrolling at in September to learn my girlfriend's native language in the evenings, but it still doesn't help me with getting a job right now unfortunately, which is what I really need.
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: MCSA
  10. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    I hear ya mate. You can do the whole ‘self study’ thing though. Open up the books for the 70-290 and 70-291 and see what you think. The 70-291 is more difficult that the 70-290 IMO but don’t worry about that just yet, concentrate on the 70-290 and 70-270 just now and you could even be in a IT job before you get to the 70-291. 8)
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  11. Spark

    Spark Bit Poster

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    I NEED to be in a job before I reach 291, that isn't negotiable really. I already feel in some ways like A+ was a complete waste of my time.

    I spoke to one of CT's tutors towards the end of last week when they cancelled my visit and he advised against me looking at anything more than the first couple of chapters of the 290 text because it may conflict the 270 material in some ways and it wouldn't do me any good to get muddled up at this stage, but to be honest this all just seems like a big mess to me now.
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: MCSA
  12. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Weird, I thought there was some overlap between the two TBH and it would not do any harm to study both of the them at the same time. Just my opinion though! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  13. Spark

    Spark Bit Poster

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    Well I guess it could be worth doing that then since I want 290 done ideally by the end of the Summer and obviously I have CT's sheer incompetence to deal with as well.

    I just want a job though and I want to avoid working at another ISP if possible because they don't give you any opportunities whatsoever, they're just looking to exploit your skills and knowledge for a quick profit.
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: MCSA
  14. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    I take it you were first line support at the ISP? That kinda job (and also corporate helpdesk) generally has a high turnover as people want to move on quickly and the wage is entry level. It is a good job to get some commercial experience though. 8)
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  15. Spark

    Spark Bit Poster

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    I did First and Second line there really, wherever I was needed on a day to day basis, and I did the job for 2 years, the pay wasn't bad actually for the technical-level of the job, £21k a year, but I really want to move on to an in-house desktop support-based role now as I think that I will get more opportunities to expand my skill-base that way and actually practice some real networking stuff.
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: MCSA
  16. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Yeah, not a bad wage mate tbh, perhaps that why there was redundancies though? The first job I had paid a massive £13k but the guys who were doing it before me, who were paid off, were on £18-21k!

    You probably need to define what skills you have and how they can be applied to a job you want to apply for. If you want to apply for an in-house IT support job then the 70-270 will help you but did you get any required skills from your last job? Did you deploy desktops, update software, push out AV etc . etc. ?
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  17. Spark

    Spark Bit Poster

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    I can do all of that, I know my way around EFS, AD, GP and pretty much everything else I have seen mentioned on the job descriptions I have seen online for vacancies in Desktop Support and Junior Admin roles but the problem is that I didn't get the chance to use any of it in my last job which is why I want to avoid getting another job like that.
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: MCSA
  18. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Good call, I left my first IT job after 9 months (corporate helpdesk) as there was no way I was gonna get near a server!

    Did you get to create user accounts etc in AD at your last job?
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  19. Spark

    Spark Bit Poster

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    I got to create accounts on a radius but it was through a web based front end designed for the department (the ISP I worked for wasn't a particularly good one) so all of my experience of AD has come from the 270 material and experimenting with a machine at home which I installed s2K3 on.
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: MCSA

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