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Read or watch video tutorials first?

Discussion in 'A+' started by Martay, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. Martay

    Martay Bit Poster

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    I just acquired the Mike Meyers A+ book for 801/802 and discovered Professor Messer's site. I was wondering which would be best, reading the book first or watching the online videos?

    I had thought of doing both at once, whereby I read a section of the book and then watch the corresponding video, but both mediums don't follow in the same order.

    I might as well ask while here, but I work in retail/hospitality, I'm almost 29, and was wondering is it worth pursuing a career in IT? I have no qualifications or degree, hence going for certifications. I'm asking more to see if a CV-reader/interviewer won't laugh in my face.
     
  2. Stuzzle

    Stuzzle Byte Poster

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    Don't be worried about the age issue and lack of existing qualifications - this forum has many examples of people much older than you starting. Focus on how much you want to change your circumstances and how much work and time you are willing to put in. You may have to accept the fact that you will be facing rejection for a while before you get your first break job wise, but as many here before have experienced, if you just keep on smiling and keep on pushing you'll get there eventually :)
     
    Certifications: A+, MCSA: Windows 7, 70-640, 70-642
    WIP: 70-646
  3. Martay

    Martay Bit Poster

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    Thanks Stuzzle. It's reassuring knowing I'm not over the hill. I wish I'd done all this at 18, but dwelling on the past is folly, I guess.

    I work full time and have a girlfriend (no kids yet, thankfully), so I have an okay amount of time to self-study. Yeah, I accept it could take some time, I just hope that after I get a couple of certs, I'm not waiting years for a foot in the door. I guess a lot of it is luck and striking gold with one of your earlier interviews.

    I'm definitely committed fully to this, even willing to relocate if the Gloucestershire area doesn't prove conducive to a career in IT.

    Thanks again :)
     
  4. Coupe2T

    Coupe2T Megabyte Poster

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    I only moved properly into IT when I was 26 I think it was, before that I ran a pub restaurant in Hampshire. I also had no degree or anything like that.

    I now work as a network support engineer for a global electronics company that you will definitely all of heard of, and I still have zero qualifications unless you count my ECDL! haha.

    I just recently done the ITIL v3 Foundation course but still no technical certs. Although I mist get on and sit my CCNA this year, and then want to sit my CCNP as well towards the end of this year/early next.

    Just look for jobs on helpdesk support, 1st line etc. Make sure you sell your soft skills coming from the retail environment etc and no reason you can't break into IT now. Obviously the certs will help, but no reason you can't start applying now.

    Remember many managers on these helpdesks are not that technical themselves, but they will want people with excellent customer service skills due to the very customer faced role, so as long as oyu can show you know your way round a pc a little bit and you have great CS skills, then you find something before long I'm sure.

    In my experience when you first start out probably 90% of what you do is logging calls and passing them on to other groups to investigate/resolve. The other 10% is outlook profiles and password resets and that type of thing which anyone could show you the basics in about an hour.

    So you don't need great technical skills to start, but do improve your knowledge as you go in order to push on etc.

    Good Luck
     
    Certifications: ECDL, Does that Count!?!
  5. Martay

    Martay Bit Poster

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    Hi Coupe2T. Thank you for a great reply.

    Wow, you really got that far with no certs, etc? There must be massive knowledge and experience acquisition on the job itself.

    I'm still going to wait the month (I'm estimating it'll take) to get my A+ first because my CV will look completely barren otherwise. And when I go on DirectGov and see the most rudimentary of first line and helpdesk support job descriptions with the likes of this in them, I feel I have no chance with nothing.


    (That's from DirectGov job ID 12524756 - For some reason I can't link it!)
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
  6. Coupe2T

    Coupe2T Megabyte Poster

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    If you apply and they say no thanks, then what have you lost? Nothing!

    Sell yourself on your soft skills, make sure you put in there experience that you have with IT, however rudimentary and if you get an interview then it would be good experience and good practice to see what sort of questions you get asked.

    When I joined the first line support desk where I worked I didn't get asked a single question about IT skills, They just asked if I knew my way around a PC in general, I said Yes, they said 'Great' then spoke more about the role.

    You have nothing to lose so I say go for it. Many MANY people on the 1st line desks I have experienced have no interest or real knowledge of IT, they learn to do password resets but basically they are happy just being call loggers. Don't sell yourself short, tell them you are studying for your exams and show you understand basics and no reason you wont be in with a shout in my opinion.
     
    Certifications: ECDL, Does that Count!?!
  7. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Going back to the main question being raised here, I would use a mix of blended learning, read the book and go to video on subject matter you don't understand, it's not a hard and fast rule that you need to do one or the other as a priority.

    And actually I got in to IT at 28, at nearly 45 now it's certainly not held me back that I spent 10 years doing something else before coming in to IT
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  8. Stuzzle

    Stuzzle Byte Poster

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    And I (only slightly) envy @SimonD for his 10 years of learning military discipline and precision
     
    Certifications: A+, MCSA: Windows 7, 70-640, 70-642
    WIP: 70-646
  9. Martay

    Martay Bit Poster

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    Thanks again, Coupe. Are you saying to apply for jobs for which I don't meet the requirements (within reason, obviously)? If so, I might apply for that one in Gloucester right now. Then again, I haven't worked on my CV in a while. Can you guys please give me a sample CV that would look good to IT employers?

    Just something interesting to note, but it seems to get one of these helpdesk jobs, I will likely need to take a pay cut, which I'd be more than happy to, since it's obviously a foot on the ladder to something possibly much bigger in the future. And not having kids and only a girlfriend who also works helps I suppose.

    I should also note that while no expert, I'm a little further ahead than just general PC use. I know it's child's play in these Plug n Play days, but I built my own PC in June last year, configured a RAID array of drives for my always growing music collection, and always enjoy trying to figure out why an old Steam game won't work and how to fix it to work with modern Windows.

    Hey Simon. Thanks for the advice. I will crack the book open then and try to match the videos to the section I'm reading, because they're out of order from the book.

    All of you not having gotten into IT until late 20's is giving me a new hope! So thanks for that :)
     
  10. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Just my 2 cents. I always watch the videos more than once, they cost enough money whether I'm paying or work, so for that reason it has always served me well to watch all of the videos. Read a book or two. Do some practical work where possible on a Virtual Machine as is usually the case for my studies, then watch the videos again.

    I also watch videos after I've passed an exam if I've not worked with a technology for a while. If you've got the time do it all I say, a few times :)
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  11. Coupe2T

    Coupe2T Megabyte Poster

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    Essentially yes, I am saying don't be afraid if you don't meet every requirement on the job application. Many people get jobs where they don't meet every single requirement.

    Make sure you put on your CV as a note that you are a keen PC enthusiast, that you have built your own PC's and raid arrays and that you have installed OS from scratch and anything like that to show you have basic IT awareness and skills, and then make sure you sell your soft skills as well.

    In my opinion too many people moving into entry level IT jobs focus far too much on IT skills, and forget to sell the soft skills, but in an entry level position you are almost guaranteed to be customer faced and so soft skills are just as important.

    Again as well, at very worst they say no thank you, what have you lost? Nothing at all. They may say come in for a chat, and then at very least it's valuable interview exposure and practice, so go for it I say! :)
     
    Certifications: ECDL, Does that Count!?!
  12. Martay

    Martay Bit Poster

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    Hi jk2447, thanks for the reply. I've decided to watch all the videos first since they're more condensed and streamlined, whereas the Mike Meyers book tends to go very in-depth, which will be helped by having watched the vids first.

    Love the list of certs in the sig btw!

    Wow, thanks Coupe. I never knew that. I always assumed if you didn't have the requirements you stood no chance.

    I'll definitely try to emphasise my soft skills when I give my CV a working over shorlty for the first time in forever!
     
    jk2447 likes this.
  13. Coupe2T

    Coupe2T Megabyte Poster

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    Yeah, the problem is that made adverts etc, especially if they are done via agencies are not written by the company, so you often get buzzwords and terms as requirements, where as in actual fact you just need very basic knowledge etc.

    I have seen 1st line roles up demanding MCSA and CCNA certs! lol.
     
    Certifications: ECDL, Does that Count!?!
  14. Martay

    Martay Bit Poster

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    Yes I have seen CCNA and such on some of these job adverts, which made me think I would get nowhere. Now I can see why they don't make sense. Isn't the MCSA cert for people who can conduct their own projects and have years of experience? Haha

    I know this is jumping the gun, but do these companies want somebody who intends to push up the ranks, or is it better to save that thought until you're in and have proven yourself useful for a while?
     
  15. Coupe2T

    Coupe2T Megabyte Poster

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    Depends on the company and role. My help desk job was working on an outsourced help desk, so there wasn't really anywhere to move as the other technical teams were in house hires and miles away.

    Allowed me to get experience though and that is the main thing you want to build to start with! Get a year or two under your belt learning what you can and then you can start to think more about which direction in IT you want to go. If there are internal teams doing that then all the better as you can make your feelings known and work towards getting in there etc. Otherwise you may need to look for a move.
     
    Certifications: ECDL, Does that Count!?!

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