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Bonjourno! Soldier here looking for help

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by Shrugss, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. Shrugss

    Shrugss New Member

    good evening folks,
    Noob here! please do not bite!

    okay a little about me,
    i am currently leaving the Air Force after 9 years ( trust me i do not want to come out )
    but with all the cut backs ive been left no over choice.

    I have no skill set so to speak, but have always been pretty handy with computers,
    amiga's,acorns,pc,macs, etc
    i also build computers has a hobby.

    So i have a few thousand pound given to me by the air force to find some sort of qualification,
    i do know im not going to get a rock stars wages but im looking for a job to pay at 25k salary a year to support my family ( is it too much of a biggy???)

    My Careers adviser has directed me towards a company called JBC which are located in Coventry but after doing a few google searchs and finding this forum i see there is better company's were to spend the money

    So ive joined the forum for basically advice on where to start?
    i know you get asked this everyday but im honestly lost atm and totally petrified of life not wearing uniform

    Thanks for Reading

  2. Coupe2T

    Coupe2T Megabyte Poster

    Ordinarily a 25k start I would say is probably quite an ask, however many companies like ex forces staff as they are confident, keen and want to do their best, as is the mindset of any forces personnel.

    You don't mention how long you have before you come out, but the A+ and N+ are generally the intro certs, they will demonstrate a very good overall knowledge and can both be self studied in probably a few months, especially if you already have some experience in building PC's and understand the hardware etc.

    Beyond that, you probably want to pick based on your IT interest. CCNA if you fancy networking, some of the Microsoft Certs if you prefer the idea of desktop support, server management etc, or Microsoft also do some good DB courses if you fancy Database tech.

    Of course you have other options, developer if you Want to do programming and so on, but it's a difficult area to get into without serious experience and a good portfolio etc.

    Good group here though, so welcome to the community, and any questions just ask away! Most are only too happy to help!
    Certifications: ECDL, Does that Count!?!
  3. Shrugss

    Shrugss New Member

    thank you for the kind welcome...
    Well my out date is JAN 2014 so ive have some time,
    but im not happy with my current job atm...
    i get 2000 pounds to spend on a course every financial year (april) so id like to use that now,and use it yet again next year along with my resettlement grant of around £600

    Im a complete utter weirdo, im not sure what id be happy in to be quite frank(sound terrible)
    ive been urged to do a MITCP Enterprise Administrator but i know that sounds fancy but are they currently jobs demanding this skillset in the U.K
    I would love to Emigrate eventually i know you need the Experience but im a hard grafter.....

    Whats the current job sector like for I.T?
    ive also been told about Programming Android/Iphone apps is a bit Niche atm too... any truth in that?
  4. Coupe2T

    Coupe2T Megabyte Poster

    Despite what everyone says there are plenty of jobs about, the real issue IMO is that there is a lot more competition for those jobs.

    The MCITP is certainly a good qualification, but you may find that you still have to come in to IT in sort of a junior type role, as the Cert itself with no real work experience in IT won't mean as much. Unless you can get into the IT dept at your base to get a year or so's experience? Certainly worth doing if you can!

    I haven't looked much at the app programming arena as I don't know much programming, but I believe a lot of app programming for the mobiles is objective C programming, which I would imagine is probably one of the most common languages known, so whilst I wouldn't completely discourage you from looking further into it, my gut feel would be that it's an already well populated area and so difficult to break into. Programming is again a role where you need to demonstrate your experience and have a portfolio.

    The one thing I would say in favour of app programming, is for about £100 you can become part of the apple development group type thing, which allows you to make and submit apps for the iPhone which you could do completely off your own back. Apple take about a 35% I think and the rest is yours! So if you can make one great app that sells for 99p, then you could do extremely well out of it. Again though I suspect everyone is trying to do this same thing!
    Certifications: ECDL, Does that Count!?!
  5. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    Therefore not enough jobs for the amount of IT peeps that are out of work.... :)
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Office 365, Server 2016, CEH
    dmarsh likes this.
  6. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Totally agree, there is always work for highly skilled people, if you're average or below average then you are likely to be in a very long line of other skilled IT people with experience who are out of work.

    You have to remember that a career in the forces is often limited by physical fitness and defense budget cuts, its very likely you will need to leave at a relatively early age, so you should have an exit plan. Every year thousands of people leave the forces, you don't want to be the one without a plan. Half of these people seem to think they are 'good with computers' and can waltz into an IT job with minimal training. This is mildly insulting, its like me joining the TA for a month and then trying to get a job as a fighter pilot.

    Its highly competitive in the outside world, there are millions of people in the developing world that will happily do that IT job for half your service pay.

    I've always thought the best thing about the forces is they will train you a lot while your in ? What have you been doing for 9 years ? Why didn't you use the time to get a degree or do some vocational training ?

    It seems unrealistic to have one career and then expect to jump into an unrelated career in a senior position.

    MSCA/MCITP are certifications designed for skilled systems administrators, people who typically have been in IT for 2-3 years, its not a qualification design to help inexperienced career switchers.

    There is also always work for good programmers, however probably more so than administrators, good programmers aren't just made in a couple of years part time study. Good programmers spend years learning their trade and most never stop learning. There will be kids barely out of school who have been hacking away every spare minute for 4-5 years already.

    £4600 of professional training doesn't go as far as you'd think, you're talking 3-4 weeks of full-time tuition, there are better ways to spend the money but you may be limited on how you can spend it by your employer.

    Really what you need to do is use every spare minute and your own resources to get the appropriate materials and study for the next two years. So that when you leave you've done two years worth of study not 4 weeks.

    You also need to look at maybe 'stepping stone' jobs, ones that use some of your existing skills and give you some of the new skills you want. Finding an IT related position on base is an excellent idea you should definitely look into. If this fails look at other part time jobs in the local area or night classes at college etc.

    As mentioned there is no 'quick fix' it takes years to build up the expertise, until then you are competing with the masses for entry level jobs.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2012
  7. Shrugss

    Shrugss New Member

    if you look back at the last 9 years buddy we have been involved in some pretty big conflicts, which i have done 5 years away from the U.K in Northern Ireland,Iraq,Afghanistan,
    whilst back in the UK you have no time, constantly the enemy are finding new tactics which why Pre-deployment training takes 6months

    I wish i would of picked up some sort of qual but thats not the case,
    i will take onboard what you have said about getting my head into books,
    Any recommendations?
  8. Coupe2T

    Coupe2T Megabyte Poster

    As mentioned initially, start with A+ and N+, Mike Meyers books are good. Also the professor messer website has instructional videos which are decent! Try an run through both together and you shouldn't have too much trouble with them. Start there first, then as said you need to really decide where you want to go etc.
    Certifications: ECDL, Does that Count!?!
  9. TechTock

    TechTock Byte Poster

    I personally think the market is very over saturated and you might struggle to gain employment. If your willing to relocate or live in a strong area for IT then your career prospects are much better (Reading and London spring to mind). IT is a popular career but there are so many people flooding the market that new comers find it hard to break into the industry. I don't want to put you off as if you want it hard enough and have the skills I'm sure you will make it.

    As for starting salary you might get a shock as not a lot of people start on 25k. Whilst I've worked in IT for 8+ years and am well qualified I've just accepted a job for not that much more (one of the problems is I'm in Newcastle and IT isn't great here).

    And sorry to hear about you leaving the RAF as I think all our Armed Forces are the best in the world and take my hat off to you all.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician | PRINCE2 Foundation | VCP5
    WIP: Having a rest :-)
  10. Shrugss

    Shrugss New Member

    Thanks everyone for the info,
    just been on a few sites and watched a few videos, the A+ stuff looks like im pretty familiar with most of it,
    the N+ is a whole new ball game though,
    will get the book on comptia a+ and see how i go on self study
  11. FlashDangerpants

    FlashDangerpants Byte Poster

    That training budget can work for you, but you have to spend it on the right stuff.

    So suppose you wanted to be a network engineer and went for A+, N+, CCNA (a normal enough route). Those first three things are best done with well written books and in the case of CCNA a couple of cheapo bits of old junk from ebay. As everyone has pointed out, your CV is afterwards going to be on a pile with lots of similar ones and if you blew your cash on boot camps for them it would do little good.

    But you could blow your cash on training for Sonicwall, Riverbed, Juniper, Checkpoint, BlueCoat and so on, which none of those other guys will have - it doesn't even matter that you don't know who any of those manufacturers are right now. What you need to know is that there are lots of outsourced IT firms all over the country who need to have people with manufacturer certs like that because those guys sell expensive stuff, and firms with well qualified staff get big discounts and juicy sales leads.

    The cheaper, easier courses (Sonicwall) are less valuable, but they still spice up a CV and put you at the top of the pile. If you can swing a Riverbed RCSP (which is a big ask from where you're starting, but the RCSA course is doable if you are good at TCPIP and didn't struggle too much on CCNA), you will get your 25K starting package in any major city in the UK.

    If you don't really, really take to N+, that path above is torture and ends in failed exams. But the same basic principle will do you ok in any IT field. You can get the basic certs that everyone else has from a few books, but if you use trainer led courses to add spice, then you are the second person to get called for the interview. Sorry, the guy with real world experience still comes ahead of you by a mile.

    Spend your training money well, tell the recruiters that you don't panic when people shoot at you, and you will be fine.
    Certifications: MCITP Exchange 2010, MCSA Svr 2012
    WIP: Exchange 2013
  12. The Zig

    The Zig Kilobyte Poster

    Hey all,
    Been looking up a lot of certs lately for a project I'm working on, and just to add to what FlashDangerpants said, there's a thing called
    Juniper Fast Track which offers free on-line training for some of the entry to mid-level Juniper certs and - upon completing the training - 50% discount on the exam vouchers. I think they're mainly aimed at luring people across from camp Cisco, but they could probably be a nice booster for any TCPIP literate person looking to specialise.

    Just highlighting what's out there.
    Certifications: A+; Network+; Security+, CTT+; MCDST; 4 x MTA (Networking, OS, Security & Server); MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Support; MCITP - Enterprise Desktop Administrator; MCITP - Server Administrator; MCSA - Server 2008; MCT; IOSH; CCENT
    WIP: CCNA; Server 2012; LPIC; JNCIA?

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