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new to IT, 40 years old, knowledge of languages

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by bernardpar, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. bernardpar

    bernardpar New Member


    I have been always interested in languages, I speak English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Polish and Mandarin.
    I do not want to give an impression that I know all those languages proficiently, but I definitely have no problem in
    communicating in any of them. The problem is that except for languages I lack in other skills. I don't want to work as a teacher/translator/interpreter which would be an obvious choice. I would like to learn new skills which would complement my language skills. Because of my general interest in IT I thought multilingual technical support would be the right career for me. Reading the forum I found comparatively young people (30+) asking if it is not too late for them to start career in IT. Well, I am 40 years old and no experience in IT. On the other hand I am flexible and I can work in any European country if I found an interesting job. I posted the question on other job related forum, the general advice was to forget about it and focus on teaching etc. I do not want to give up easily. What do you think ?
  2. billyr

    billyr Kilobyte Poster

    I'd say there is definately a market, I see quite a lot of I.T job postings requesting language skills particularly German and Dutch for some reason.

    I wouldn't let age hold you back either, it will definately be tougher, but that's the same for any job you retrain in.
    Certifications: CCNP, CCSI, MCSE W2k/W2k3, MCITP_SA
    WIP: Taking it easy for a while.
  3. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

    Welcome to CertForums!

    I've found LOADS of helpdesk roles asking for second languages. You're a rare find and as long as you start building your IT knowledge you could easily find a job. It was only 2 months ago I was kicking myself for skipping a modern-language...

    I'm not sure on your exact IT knowledge, but since you're looking at certforums I guess you are looking to get some paperwork to your CV. The entry level certification to start is the Comptia A+. You can go to college classes, week courses or self-study. Most of us recommend self-studying, especially since it is the lowest certification. You can save all that money for courses where you could use the additional classroom assistance.

    So, for the A+ - 90% of the people recommend Mike Myers All-In-One A+ book. It can be found on amazon or consider buying it from the CertForums own Bookstore - CompTIA A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, Seventh Edition (Exams 220-701 & 220-702) - Certification Books

    Once you've started reading the book, use Professor Messer's videos to help supplement your learning. These are FREE online videos to watch. Professor Messer, CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+, Microsoft Certification Training

    Good luck, keep us updated how you're doing. I'm doing my A+ at the same time, loving it just not had time to finish that book.
    Certifications: BSc Computer Game Technology, A+
    WIP: MOS 2010
  4. bernardpar

    bernardpar New Member

    I have learnt all the languages on my own so I definitely prefer self-studying as a favourite method of learning.
    As far as books, materials and certification are concerned, I did my homework so I have a fair idea where to start.
    Thanks for link to Professor Messer.
  5. JSH333

    JSH333 Byte Poster

    Just wanted to add I have a great deal of respect of anyone who can speak a second language, let alone seven.

    Der, die, das still haunts me from school....
    Certifications: A+, Network+, Security+, MCP, MCDST
  6. BITEK

    BITEK Bit Poster

    German did mess in my head too in secondary school, I will never forget learning two pages of inconvertible verbs from this text book just to get G for my semester :D

    I have no idea how you mastered all those languages, big respect to you. Maybe we can make a conversation in Polish one day!

    I'd recommend you doing a voluntary work in IT support company as well as study to get some ideas, I'm doing it myself - taking week of work to see how they operate what are general expectations, all that for good experience. And of course will get you an entry Job quicker!
    Certifications: BTEC Diploma in IT, Comptia A+, 70-687
    WIP: N+
  7. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

    I'm sure you've seen that a lot of the answers indicate that 40 isn't too old. I started studying when I was 40, got my first job around 18 months later after passing a few exams and doing some volunteering.
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  8. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    I think being multilingual is a skill in itself which should allow you to gain employment.

    IT tends to be very time consuming to learn and maintain competency, its also more of a engineering subject, mastery of many subjects can involve many hours sat alone in front of a screen. So that is why it has a geeky image and I suspect is in direct opposition to languages which people seem to learn best from lots of human interaction ?

    I only speak English, but trust me, the anti-social aspects mean there are times when I can barely speak to people in my own language! :wink:

    So yes I see jobs asking for a second language quite a bit, mostly English and German. However in general there does not seem a lot of overlap.

    Without wanting to upset people, most people with a passion for IT don't really want the help-desk/call-centre style roles, they are generally seen as the lower end of the industry.

    My Idols are people like Steve Wozniak, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds.

    Why do you want to work in IT ? Why have you left it until 40 if you have a real interest ?

    It sounds like your real interest is in languages, so why don't you want to be a teacher or interpreter ?
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  9. BigG

    BigG Nibble Poster

    having worked for an international bank in the UK - let me tell you that your language skills make you very very desirable in that area alone.
    Sounds like you have a good brain - so good luck with IT
    Give it a fair few years in IT and you'll probably make a fantastic international tech support person or contractor.

    Have to agree with dmarsh though - are you sure you really want to get into IT? If I had your skills I'd be looking for a translator job in Brussels and riding the gravy train all the way home!!

    Seriously - we all get bored of what we are doing but the grass isn't always greener. I miss some parts of my old Business Analysys role, but not enough to jack in what i'm doing now though..

    Finally - the last IT & Language role that I saw in Dorest was paying less than £20k. A job that wanted lots of IT knowledge plus a language on top all for not much money (in Dorset anyway!!). If I had my IT skils and your language skills and somene offered my <20K for a job i'd be insulted.


    Certifications: BSc, Prince2 Practitioner, MCSA Win7, MCSA 2008
    WIP: Vmware, ITILv3 on the back burner
  10. bernardpar

    bernardpar New Member

    I do love languages and yes I would prefer to work in language related field. The problem is I have no formal education related closely to linguistics or particular language I have been learning (that would be requirement for teaching).
  11. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Some teaching qualifications can be got in fairly short order, other places are less fussy about qualifications.

    Some TEFL courses only last a weekend.

    Its going to take years to get upto speed in IT, so under a year to get into teaching doesn't look so bad...

    I've been messing with computers for around 27 years now, and I'm STILL learning...
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2011
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  12. Monkeychops

    Monkeychops Kilobyte Poster

    With Russian and Mandarin might want to see if anything comes up at GCHQ, or any other government type organisation.

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