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What would YOU do in this situation?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Lozler, Jul 9, 2011.

  1. Lozler

    Lozler Bit Poster

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    Hi guys!

    I've recently joined here, and for those who don't know anything about me:

    Work full time as an Aircraft Dispatcher presently (1 year 2010-2011)
    Worked in passenger handling within aviation (2 years (2008 - 2010)
    A few web design projects in HTML but probably won't be able to do that now (2007 - 2008 )
    CompTIA A+ Certified in July 2011 (Started self study in March)
    Going after my Network+ for the end of this month

    So as you can see, I have no real experience within IT :biggrin However, I'm trying my best to self study and get my self certified to increase my worth in the IT field, and to gain more knowledge.

    My ambitions are to get a good job in IT in which I will enjoy, and that the employer will train me and send me on as much training as possible. I'd like ideally to stay with one company, or at least stay a couple of years.

    I have the option of going to University this year to study Computer Science which seems like a good degree to have, and the stuff you learn seems interesting. It seems like everything is heading towards degrees and graduate roles now, and I see a lot of the bigger companies wanting a degree on application which is another reason I wanted to get a degree.

    My company at the moment MIGHT make an extremely small IT department at some point consisting of less than 4 people, and if so, my boss said that I could get some experience doing that, but for right now he doesn't know. No training or support in terms of certification will be provided i don't think.

    The IT company of the airport is advertising a 1st line / 2nd line suport role for 15-18k and i know most of the guys so I think I could get an interview for this job too. I'm not sure if they provide support for additional certifications.

    To conclude, I want to get into the IT field but I am not really in a rush to get there. I just want to be in a good place, and have a lot of opportunities to progress and like my job. I don't know if certifications, and degrees REALLY mean anything to employers so I thought I'd post on here, If you were in my situation and you wanted to get into IT with the opportunity to progress would you:

    1) Go to university, study CS (3,375 per year)
    2) Wait and see if an IT department is created and take that job (19,500 per annum it would be, good money but company isn't that great on the aviation side of things)
    3) Try for the Airports IT company as a 1st line / 2nd line support (15,000 - 18,000 per annum)

    I mean for those IT professionals here, is it common for employers to invest in you and pay for your Certs etc? I love studying these certs, but don't really know if they alone are good enough without a degree in a CS / IT related subject. There's just so many junior IT roles out there, but I'm not desperate for a job, I just want to take something that will benefit me and I enjoy. It's hard to know which companies would be good, and those who won't invest in you. Because I've never worked in IT before, I have no idea If I will like being in a helpdesk environment, answering phones, to me it doesn't sound exciting but I know that we all have to start some where.

    I appreciate any feedback or even your stories where you've been faced with difficult situations and what you chose to do and how that affected your IT path.
     
  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I think number three is your best bet short term. You should do all you can to get and hold this job for at least a year.

    Then on the side you can maybe take a foundation degree part time.


    If you wanted to keep the Fulltime uni option until the last minute you could aways apply and pull out when you get the job, however uni's start in September so not long to go. Also not sure when the fees are due and if you'd lose any future government funding by pulling out, so check out the details.

    Employers that genuinely proactively invest in you are very rare. Generally its down to you, if can't find such an employer, try other tactics, get a pay rise and spend it on a uni course and negotiate day-release / flexi-time etc.

    Degrees don't carry the weight they once did and many employers just want someone who can do the job. Still worth getting one though if you can at reasonable expense and with decent tuition.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  3. systempsyche

    systempsyche Nibble Poster

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    As dmarsh said go for number 3 and do a part time course or certs in your own time. number 1 nowadays means doing 2 years of IT and then having to get experience when you finish AND certs anyway. Number 2 if you wait there may or may not be an IT dept and if there is they may just take on someone who has all the certs and quals exp anyway.
     
    Certifications: A+, network+, server+, mcdst, mcp, ccent
    WIP: mac integration, ACSP, ACTC
  4. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    You're really looking at two very different paths here.

    I'd usually advise going to Uni and getting your degree, but it's a pretty life-changing decision. The question is, can you afford to take 2-3 years of paying for Uni fees (and cost of living) with no income? You could always try the OU, but you may be looking at 5 years to get a degree that way, but at least it's affordable.

    Point 2 is pretty much 'do nothing'. Yes, an IT department may come along, but how long are you prepared to wait?

    The third option is pretty low risk, you can always apply for IT jobs whatever you're doing. Just out of interest, why are you limiting all of your options to the airport?

    In terms of employers investing in you in terms of certs etc, it's pretty rare. After all, why would an employer want to increase your value to other employers? Generally they only do it when it's of value to them in order to meet some kind of requirement (such as Microsoft partnership) or to fulfil some kind of business policy 'all our technicians are Microsoft certified) etc.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  5. Lozler

    Lozler Bit Poster

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    I could afford to take the 3 years out at uni to do computer science. I've got my first IT interview with an IT company in london as a 1st line / 2nd line support 17,500 and the requirements are just to have knowledge of certain OS's and outlook etc. On one side i think, wow that's awesome I can get this job, progress, build my CV up with certs to back my experience up.

    The problem is, I don't know what I will enjoy. I don't know if I'll enjoy the support role, I don't know if i'll enjoy the programming roles in the future if i go to uni. Maybe a degree will open more paths? Maybe i should just work hard if i get this job to progress?

    Just so confused!
     
  6. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Join the club mate.
    You're never going to know what you enjoy until you try it.
    Uni is a big commitment and you could always get there and find you don't enjoy that! :(

    Uni will not necessarily open many more doors for you, and you may well find that it doens't actually give you any more direction in life - they can be a bit rubbish like that.

    One thing you may want to consider is an Open University course. They are cheap compared to Uni and you can work at the same time. The main advantage is that you can pick and choose your modules. The even do a course now based on Microsoft certification. So you could do something on programming, object orientation, embedded systems, whatever. If you don't get to grips with it, you've only wasted a few months and a few hundred quid. Then you can switch to an MS course, or even Cisco etc. It just gives you a bit more flexibility.

    For the record, I know quite a few computer science graduates, and none of them has a good word to say about the experience.

    Ultimately though, work hard and get good at what you do. You may well find that the most rewarding pursuit. :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  7. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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    Just a heads up, these roles dont exist, basically due to the fact that the above makes no business sense for a company whatsoever.
    You may get training if you are lucky in applications/systems that the employer needs you to do, but realistically if you do get a company thats willing to invest, they will either make you sign a contract whereby you work for them for a number of years, or pay the money back for the training you have received.

    Companies have grown wise to people with the above expectation!

    The best way to approach the work aspect is you are gaining the practical experience, you will then be studying in your own time, or if you are lucky in quiet periods at work (Dont study while you are busy as you wont learn anything and if you get caught then you could be getting your P45).

    Having said all that, good luck in your search.
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  8. sheepluv

    sheepluv Byte Poster

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    Some companies do, my mate has been sent on courses and hasnt signed anything. Where I work they payed for some exams cert prices. Heard of staff being sent on M$ courses in a local council too. Depends where I guess, and I have no idea if this is a common thing across the industry though.

    Id go for home study and work, safest bet. I wanna do a CS HND topup someday.. prob OU. good luck
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
    Certifications: CCNA | HND | 70-646
  9. jm1

    jm1 Bit Poster

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    Hi new here been browsing a while, regarding doing a computer science degree..

    I did one at a top uni and unless your going into engineering or programming which is very intensive its very hard to get a computer science degree past a HR department for IT Support because they dont realy know what it is.. From my experience they just pick out your certs and show little respect for your lets face it incredibly hard degree course. It has taken me 6 months since finishing my degree to break into an IT support role.

    I think Computer Science students are a rarity in IT support, however saying that i have been selected for some IT support interviews recently purely for my degree and been to some interviews where the manager has clearly understood the difficulty of a comp sci degree and felt the technical skills would be very usefull.

    Overall i dont yet know how well my degree will help me progress my career in the future so its hard to say if it was worthwhile yet if im honest... i could of worked my way up the IT ladder years ago but how far up am i going to get without a degree? I realy dont know..

    One thing you need to be aware of is a Comp Sci degree has little to do with fixing any Windows problems or issues etc. The majority of the course is algorithms and very mathmatically based with lots of programming, hardly any of the skills are transferable into an IT support environment.
     
  10. jm1

    jm1 Bit Poster

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    Just spotted this, quite agree lol. There is a sense of satisfaction if you get through it though.
     
  11. sheepluv

    sheepluv Byte Poster

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    Done the HND computing course, which is really the first 2 years of a degree (although all the Comp Sci degrees seem to vary between Uni/Colleges). I then went into IT support.

    Do I wish I didnt do it? No I really enjoyed it and there were other things on it like Personal skills (presentations), meetings, some law, management of change etc.. so it wasnt just programming and maths.

    So I didnt learn much of IT support (there was an assigment in Linux and NT skills). But learnt about lots of other things and a great sense of achievement. Also worked at the college, lecturers often have contacts..

    Main skills learned for actually doing a job were probably coding skills though, and I think that HND/Degree Comp Sci. is a great course to start you off programming. I think they are a good foundation really, and there are so many versions now, stuff with Cisco/MS/Linux certs as part of them etc. You can work the holidays, bias the degree to support side of things..

    If I had the money for 3 years off, id prob do a full time topup of me HND (a year I think).
     
    Certifications: CCNA | HND | 70-646
  12. jm1

    jm1 Bit Poster

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    My 3 year degree didnt involve any stuff like management and law atall however team projects and the main programming dissertation go down well at interviews as you have alot to talk about regarding the entire project life cycle of developing a system.

    I agree it is certainly a challenge and a great sense of achievment my main point is i think alot of HR departments dont understand the challenge and skills you get from it and dont realy distinguish from the fact that a computer science degree is a million times harder than normal IT degrees. However when you do find someone who can appretiate the degree you have done then it is certainly a benefit.
     
  13. Monkeychops

    Monkeychops Kilobyte Poster

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    As this chap says, it depends on the company.

    My first company were only interested in training you on things they were using at the time or wanting to implement, but they were not fussed on you taking the exams. They just wanted you to do the course.

    Then my last company were the opposite and wanted you to get certified up on things. I was there for around 3.5 years and in that time had roughly 7 training courses/certifications paid for by them with no clauses on leaving.

    My new job is similar, been here a month and am already in the process of having a weeks course being booked up for me.
     
  14. Lozler

    Lozler Bit Poster

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    Just messaged you mate! Well, what i think i'd like to do is go into programming, but i've taken this year to study the support side of things in order to get some knowledge of 'real world' stuff. It's taken 7 months to get the certs in my signature, but i'm ehopfully gonna have my network+, and security+ before university if I go. In this way, when i'm applying for an internship or placement for 3rd year (Hopefully as a developor), the employer will see I might have an edge over other cadidates because i've got the knowledge of some of the basic support stuff that comes along with my CompTIA A+, Network+ etc.

    To be honest, i'm completely new to the IT field, and don't REALLY know how the IT market is for jobs. It sure seems hard to get even the most basic IT support role.
     
  15. sheepluv

    sheepluv Byte Poster

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    Sounds the way to go though, no more spending weeks on end in the evening reading books. Id rather go on a week or so course and study in the night then do the exam, depends how hard it is. Its crap here for IT recognition on the whole, they dont like paying for exams.
    Funniest one I seen is on the eacademy website, one week course (although it says one week+) for full MCITP server status :lol:
     
    Certifications: CCNA | HND | 70-646
  16. Monkeychops

    Monkeychops Kilobyte Poster

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    I much prefer popping on an instructor lead course for things, blasts it in one go and gets it done plus allows you to just focus on that for a time period.

    A colleague of mine in my last job went on the MCITP EA intensive course, 13 days straight it was I think. He said it was hell, only 2 out of 12 passed (he was one of them), plus he paid for the extra exam to also get the SA cert as well.

    Not an MS cert man so that's not my thing but definitely one way to get it done!
     
  17. sheepluv

    sheepluv Byte Poster

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    I can imagine it was hell :blink I think that course should realistically be a month long, not a good way of learning more of `how to get the exam` course :rolleyes: A week for one cert might be ok
     
    Certifications: CCNA | HND | 70-646
  18. Monkeychops

    Monkeychops Kilobyte Poster

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    Well the guys who dropped out/failed would have been the ones who didn't have enough experience to to it that quickly.

    On the flip side it's a good way for the guys who do have the experience and knowledge to just blitz it and get it done relatively quickly.

    I have been guilty of going on a course on a subject matter I don't work within or have any real experience in, and have come out with a couple of certs.

    But I did that more for fun than to go around saying I'm know an expert in the area!
     

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