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Where do I find the time to study?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by simongrahamuk, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    As we all know IT is constantly changing and moving forward, and trying to keep upto date with it can be a nightmare.

    Take me for instance, I work full time, I am at uni studying a degree, I fancy doing the Network+, I also want to learn Linux, become more familliar with security, brush up on my Windows Server skills, etc. Those are simply my current objectives that I have an interest in today, tommorrow I may want to become more familliar with web design, or scripting. Whilst updating skills in one area do you loose them in another?

    Many people choose to only study a single path and wont deviate from it, i.e. a Windows Admin who won't touch anything Linux, but does this make you a better professional? Surely having a general overview of a variety of topics is better than being an expert at one? Or is it?

    When starting out in IT you have a specific path that you decide upon, you may not yet know it (for any new comers to IT who read this), but essentially you do. You start with PC fundamentals, then the networking, etc, etc. (For any developer who reads this sorry but I'm a tech, not a dev) As new technologies come along you have to change your focus and adapt accordingly, but the common thing in all of this is updating of skills.

    The question that I am posing ultimately is how do you find the time to stay up to date? What is your method of learning?

    Here is how I currently learn - Each day (well, most days), regardless of what I am doing, or how busy I am I will dedicate an hour to pure reading on a subject. The subject will usually vary on a day to day basis, and I do not count this as any type of study, it is for me, simply reading. The fact that I may be reading about something that I want to learn does not count towards actualy studying it.

    Studing a subject is, for me, not only reading about it but also applying it in a test environment. If I'm studying a subject I will dedicate time (in addition to my reading) to actually learning the material.

    Your thoughts people?

    8)
     
  2. Clyde

    Clyde Megabyte Poster

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    I'm lucky enough to have a few PCs at home and I have one dedicated to 'playing around' on that I wipe and install stuff like linux on. I've also got virtual PC to play with - that and general reading has to suffice for me at the mo' as like you Im studying with the OU

    That aside, when I have the energy - I study as I commute also
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, Security+, MCSA, MCSE
    WIP: MCITP
  3. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    I pretty much do the same. During the week I will try and do some studying each evening (apart from Friday!) for a couple of hours and take some notes. If I have the time I will also try some things out in the lab that I have just read about.

    I am trying to focus my time after work just now for studying as I have a few projects from work that I could be doing in a test environment (devising a group policy for a client and also customising a sharepoint portal) but if I go down this route the certs will never get done, I guess there just isn’t enough hours in the day! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  4. Clyde

    Clyde Megabyte Poster

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    Of course, I also take plenty of evenings off as the work life balance needs to be taken into account. I also expect some reward down the line, either by promotion, pay rise or whatnot, or else why bother...

    though it helps that I enjoy mucking around with this stuff
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, Security+, MCSA, MCSE
    WIP: MCITP
  5. zimbo
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    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    well simon... just gone 3am and im packing in for the night! :blink working from 8 to 5 knock the kuck out me so i only eventually sit down at around 9 to study.. with my exam just around the corner thought i would put in some extra hours this week! :biggrin but true.. when do you find time to study when working full-time!? :blink
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  6. Pete01

    Pete01 Kilobyte Poster

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    I met this CCIE once who told me that the best time to do it is get up an hour or 2 earlier in the morning and do it before you go to work. That way you're fresher than after a day's work.

    Seems to have worked for him, when I failed my CCNA first time and studied for a retake I did that for the week when I was back at work.

    I've got my sights set on an OU business studies course that starts in November so between now and then I want to get either 3 or 4 MCPs or at least 2 MCPs and 1 CCNP, haven't decided exactly which ones yet but either way I've started on my first exam and I'll definitely choose early mornings over studying in the evening. Of course approaching the exam days I'll be doing a lot of both no doubt, not to mention weekends.
     
    Certifications: MCP (NT4) CCNA
    WIP: 70-669, Learning MSI packaging
  7. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    do have to admit what i just covered from 12 to now (3am) i tried covering three times (NTFS permissions! :twisted: ) for some reason like in the past i can really sit down after hours and get work done...
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  8. supag33k

    supag33k Kilobyte Poster

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    Well I just do it all at work....

    8:30 - 9:00 Browsing wherever and coffee
    9.00 - 10:30 Study
    10:30 - 11:00 Browsing and coffee, chat with workers
    11:00 - 12:30 Study
    12:30 - 2:00 lunch
    2:00 - 4:00 study
    4:00 - 5:30 fix up work stuff, go home before 6pm

    ....only kidding :blink :twisted: my employers are too busy working me to death for this to happen

    Yet I managed to do this twice in the first week of January as the managers where all on leave :biggrin

    Actually I try for an hour first thing at work to get stuff done but find that it is not consistent or enough...looks like I'll have to implement the plan above.
     
    Certifications: MCSE (NT4/2000/2003/Messaging), MCDBA
    WIP: CCNA, MCTS SQL, Exchange & Security stuff
  9. UCHEEKYMONKEY
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    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

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    Well done Pete:thumbleft

    Studying in the morning while your mind is fresh, that's a good idea, I think I will give it a go:clap
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia N+
  10. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Heres a few tips from my ongoing experiance at self study

    • Get up Early! this is absolutley spot on, I get up at 5 and dedicate time to reading/lab work/webcasts/labcasts, your minds fresh, you have nothing to worry about, it goes in easy
    • Stay on Topic, I know, I know, im the worst for this, stay on a topic for a few days, read a bit more about it while the basics are in your head, dont deviate from topic to topic too quickley as nothing will make sense in the end and you will go over old ground when you try to do something more advanced
    • Techs by nature try and do everything, this has its ups and its down, a general knowledge of lots is great for a lot of jobs, however to really excel at something you need to dedicate masses of time and resource to it, and that does indeed mean other things will suffer, move to the back of the mind, or be forgotton all together, your path is really up to you but know what to expect.
    • Take a break, I enjoy playing video games and i make sure i do just that for a bit each night, or if i get home late every few nights, it takes my mind of work and the subject matter and leaves me a bit fresher for the next morning
    • Get a study budy, can be difficult, not everyone is as die hard a tech as me and i find i often get smirks even from my techy buddies on some of the stuff i want to 'play around with' but there are plenty of people here who do have similar aims and desires, sharing ideas and tips with each other is a good way to learn and balance out all that taking in with some giving out (CF is great for this btw)
    • Structure yourself!, set yourself a plan, a list of aims, objectives, achievements, timescales, anything that puts pen to paper on what you want to achieve, aimless reading and studying often doesnt lead anywhere productive.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, VCP
    WIP: > 0
  11. UCHEEKYMONKEY
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    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

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    That's a difficult question to answer Simon, how can you keep upto date in world of technology that keeps changing every five minutes??8)

    I find reading computer weekly and surfing IT forums keeps me upto date.

    However, for Certification is very hard. If you work Full time and have two jobs on the go and a life, how do you find the time?

    Well you don't somethings got to give, either your health or study time. :x

    I work full time 49 hours per week 6 day's a week. I study and write revision notes on Sunday and then revise throughout the week with these revision notes and watch video training CD's.
    Then at the end of the week write quiz questions or do questions on the MM book CD's.
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia N+
  12. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Of course, this bullet point can also be reversed... Stay Up Late. My best thinking comes at night, after the wife and kids are in bed. First thing in the morning, it's very hard for me to focus on anything more difficult than getting dressed.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
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  13. UCHEEKYMONKEY
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    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

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    Well Done Ryan:thumbleft
    That's excellent advice:rocks
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia N+
  14. UCHEEKYMONKEY
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    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

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    I don't know how you do it BBM, if you have to work on computers all day and do 9 hour shift, would you really have the energy and motivation to pick up a book and start revising or use a computer if you eyes are dry and tired?
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia N+
  15. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Works for me, I generally study between 9:30pm and 11:30pm. The wife generally turns in around 10 so I get some peace :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  16. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Dude, I'm building an entire business from scratch in the evening hours. I'm worn OUT! :eek: :sleeping

    But... it has to be done. It ain't gonna create itself. :onthePC
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  17. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    Learn some magic and stop time, then you'd have more than enough hours in the day to do everything :D
     
    Certifications: SIA DS Licence
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  18. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    If I could learn some magic to stop time, I'd sell THAT, instead. 8)
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  19. UCHEEKYMONKEY
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    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member

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    Naaa... Learn how to build a Tardis and travel through time would be more fun:biggrin
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+
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  20. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    Already built a few :P
     
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