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Guidence required for young techno

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by techno, Sep 10, 2008.

  1. techno

    techno Bit Poster

    Hi all.
    Im Chris but my friends call me techno. Im 17 and I love IT i built my first pc at 12 and got a job at a local funeral directors/Hardware/ IT repair shop. Its a strange mix lol www.lwclutterbuck.co.uk They employed me first as a sales assitant in 2005 then in 2006 i was given the job title of IT Manager in training. Then 6 months down the line im the IT manager.

    Im in charge of there network 4 laptops 5 desktop pcs as well as dealing with customers with problems from software to hardware. i took 70-271 at 14 and scored 694 passing score of 700 i failed. Ive since rebooked it i know a few years later.

    I was at college doing a btec ND in software devolopment but without sounding like a **** i was bored stiff.
    It really wasnt challenging, i knew most of it from the experience i got at my job. My boss is a programmer and had tought be BASIC before i went. That and our only devolopment teacher left half way throught the year. I had some problems towards the end i went through teenage depression and girl issues. Id overlooked a piece of coursework and they said it was essential to hand in. I could of done the work and made the handing date. But my teacher showed me some edexel rule quoting "frowned upon doing work at end of year" or something to that extent.

    So i left and looked at going to college and doing a ND in systems support but thats just and easy 2 years of bordem. Its not that i didnt like it or thought i was better than it. It was that i was kept behind by classmates who didnt grasp it easily. Does anyone know how i mean?

    My boss has offered me a place for 2 years at £5.50 an hour with £1000 training money per year. Ive looked at india and koeing training i think.

    My ideal field would be Penetration tester/ CEH.

    My job is anything from maintence/Upgrades/building PCs/ laptops. Network setups and work has just bought a proliant server i bought one aswell so i could learn on. I have client side experience but no server side experience. I have a good tcp/ip knowledge and configuration etc etc etc i could go on for hours

    Where do i do now. im doing mcdst and then the upgrade to vista. but i mean whats next? how do i get a decent it job? what are employers looking for. I dont have any decent gcses. but im very good at my job. I run a lil repair service out of my works hours. Im in a village so word gets around.

    Id like to do MCSE, A+ N+ CEH in india hopefully soon. I just feel like im up the ****ter without stupid gcses/alevels. There a test of memory not intelligence.

    Please share you wisdom as im geting reli depressed about the hole thing.
    Thank you
    Certifications: MCTS X 4, MCITP Consumer Support
    WIP: 70-271, 70-272 im on a break
  2. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

    First think to do is calm down, for your age your in a fantastic position, and also it is a real coup you have got such a supportive boss.

    My advice is to self study from books and cbts, that 1000 training cash will buy more than enough books for whatever path you decide to take, I would make sure any exams you do take correlate with what you do at work.

    Also in general most people on this board would advise you not to go to India for training purposes.
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  3. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

    Hi Techno and welcome to the forums. You may wish to do an introductory post at the New Member's Section found here.

    I'm assuming that you still need to book and pass this exam then? The 70-271 is only half of the MCDST qualification (though you'd get MCP for either) you still need to complete the 70-271 in order to gain it.

    Without GCSE's / A-Levels you may find it hard to be taken seriously by potential employers. I'm not entirely sure why you didn't complete the course... If memory serves your ND is approximately (I think slightly higher) than A-Level qualifications so would have been useful as a base. I almost let my HND slip but managed to cram in the last two weeks to get a distinction so it is possible. Meh, retrospective thinking though.

    Saying that... your real world experience will probably count more towards going for new jobs. If it were me I wouldn't list 'I.T manager' on my CV as you're quite young in the grand scheme of things, and no disrespect to you but jobs requiring 'I.T managers' would be looking for a lot more knowledge, experience and qualifications. It's a different ball game out there in direct comparison with administering "4 laptops 5 desktop pcs" and I hope you realise that...

    Yeah, I know what you mean. Some of the modules on my HND for instance were 'easy' and I flew through them - I didn't even go to any maths lectures and still aced the exam, but that's not the point.

    The qualification proves that you have the relevant knowledge and determination to do it.

    That's the reasoning behind it.

    I wouldn't advise any training centres in all honesty - especially those abroad. You'll more than likely end up paying over the odds and going through all that ball ache for nothing. You can self study for the qualifications you're aiming to get - all of them. It's a much cheaper, better alternative and you won't find many other people here disagreeing with that.

    It depends what you want to do. It sounds very much like you have decent 1st line support experience so my advise would be to get qualifications which back this up.

    I wouldn't totally agree with your GCSE / A-Level comment having done both sets of exams myself but still... I'd recommend getting the certifications you require. Go for the A+ for general vendor neutral hardware and software knowledge. Go for the N+ for additional networking knowledge.

    Both of these exams are from CompTIA and information can be found in the relevant forum sections.

    The MCDST is obviously Microsoft specific - which is great to prove Desktop Support in Microsoft environments. All of these three qualifications add attractiveness to potential employers and all can be done self-study. Bear in mind that although you may know some of the information in these exams and they may be 'easy' to you it proves you can do it. You might even be surprised and find out some information that you didn't know! Read up in the forums and you'll see this proven.

    Just to emphasise the point - Self Study > Training Providers :p

    Hope this helps. :)


    NB - if you're looking for links for information I've listed these below for you.

    Forum Links:-

    CompTIA's A+
    CompTIA's N+
    Microsoft's MCDST

    Official Links:-

    CompTIA's A+
    CompTIA's N+
    Microsoft's MCDST

    Self Study Learning Aids:-

    A+ Certification All-in-one Exam Guide - Mike Meyers
    CompTIA Network+ All-in-One Exam Guide - Mike Meyers
    MCDST Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-271) - MS Press
    MCDST Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-272) - MS Press
    Certifications: MCT, MCSE: Private Cloud, MCSA (2008), MCITP: EA, MCITP: SA, MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003, MCITP: EDA7, MCITP: EDST7, MCITP: EST Vista, MCTS: Exh 2010, MCTS:ServerVirt, MCTS: SCCM07 & SCCM2012, MCTS: SCOM07, MCTS: Win7Conf, MCTS: VistaConf, MCDST, MCP, MBCS, HND: Applied IT, ITIL v3: Foundation, CCA
  4. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    I know I've mentioned them in the past but I've since been reliably informed by a number of people that there are very few quality training companies in India. The use of braindumps seems common throughout the country. You would be better off training here in the UK.

    Some courses are not well put together, maybe you were just on a bad course ? I wouldn't reccomend doing BTECs below the HND level, they are likely to be very basic for anyone with some knowledge as you state.

    You would likely find a Degree challenging, but if you can't do GCSE's or A-levels or complete your BTEC its not a good sign. Work or Education you have to play by the rules, nobody likes it, we've all been stung at one point, but thats life so better learn to cope with it. One minute you complain something is easy the next its too hard ? Some memorization is required on all courses, its just a matter of degree, you will find stuff you find interesting much easier to remember. How do you feel certifications are different to exams ? Do they not require some memorization ?

    Sounds like you are in a very good position with a supportive boss, if you work hard you could learn a lot on your own terms.
  5. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

    ^^ Good advice too. I think my essay should battle your smaller post :p
    Certifications: MCT, MCSE: Private Cloud, MCSA (2008), MCITP: EA, MCITP: SA, MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003, MCITP: EDA7, MCITP: EDST7, MCITP: EST Vista, MCTS: Exh 2010, MCTS:ServerVirt, MCTS: SCCM07 & SCCM2012, MCTS: SCOM07, MCTS: Win7Conf, MCTS: VistaConf, MCDST, MCP, MBCS, HND: Applied IT, ITIL v3: Foundation, CCA
  6. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    The GCSEs and A-levels may very well be a test of memory... but they're also a test of whether you can "play the game by the rules", so to speak. Nobody wants to work with someone who thinks they're "better than the system", and that's the attitude I'm getting off of you. I know you don't think you are... but that's the attitude you project when you say things like, "Why do I need to do these stupid GCSEs or A-levels?"

    The previous advice regarding training in India is spot on. They typically provide braindumps - illegal collections of questions from the real exams just so you can pass the exams quickly. Avoid them like the plague. Using braindumps is cheating, and if discovered, you can be decertified for life.

    Further... I know you're motivated and intelligent... but certification without experience is not going to get you what you're looking for. That'll just make you overcertified. And when that happens, companies hiring for advanced positions won't hire you because you lack real-world experience (NOT knowledge, NOT qualifications... experience - there is a difference!), and companies hiring for entry-level positions won't hire you because you look overqualified - they'll think you're either too expensive or that you will get bored and won't stay around long, meaning they'll have to find and hire and train someone all over again.

    So... when you say "I'm bored with this, I'm bored with that"... it's good that you're motivated to excel... but it's also a huge danger sign to employers who have a job to fill. You *have* to learn to play the game. Else, you'll continue to get discouraged.

    The experience you're getting is excellent. The first IT job is the hardest to get, because employers desire people with experience... and when you're starting out, you don't have experience. You've passed that hurdle. Continue to build experience.

    Qs is right in that you probably don't want to put the title of "IT Manager" down on a CV at the young age of 16. I mean no disrespect to what you do, but managing a group of 9 PCs is, in truth, no more than an IT Technician would do. Plus, consider the function of a CV. Its primary function is to impress employers... but you can't do that if you make them scoff or disbelieve when they see it. Put yourself in the shoes of a 40-year-old. What would you do if you received a CV from a 16-year-old - or even a 20-year old! - who alleges they are an IT Manager? It very well may be true that that's your title... but it can also cause your CV to be binned after a hearty laugh.

    In truth, titles really aren't important. What is important to an employer is what you can do. And, at present, that's performing desktop administration of a few computers. Don't get me wrong... that's GOOD.

    If you want to get into network penetration testing, you'll have to be extremely lucky (not extremely intelligent or extremely certified) to be able to jump from what you're doing straight into that... you'd likely have to know someone who is already in pen testing who can get you on the inside track. The standard IT career path is help desk/1st line/PC tech > desktop support (in a domain environment) > server administration > network administration > THEN network security - one cannot hope to secure what one has never administered. Each step along the path builds upon real-world experience that you've learned along the way, and just about everyone starts at the bottom (again, unless you "know a guy"). Intelligence is great, and it will help you advance faster... but it's not a substitute for experience... and it takes time to gain that experience. Patience is not easy for me, and I was even more impatient when I was younger. However, I've learned that it's absolutely required. You can't rush experience. Be patient. :)

    My recommendation is this: continue to build experience while pursue your entry-level certifications: A+, Network+, and MCDST. If you're not already in a domain environment, your next logical step would be to become a desktop administrator in a domain environment, hopefully in a job where you can assist the server admins with server administration and soak up their knowledge by learning from them and leveraging their experience. Once you've been in server administration for 6 months or so, the MCSA is a great certification to pursue. Continue up the IT career ladder - as a server admin (learning from network admins), then as a network admin (learning how to properly secure a network), then as a full-fledged security expert. By then, you will have collected a great deal of experience from top to bottom... likely, well before the age in which I started in IT. :)

    Your motivation and desire is quite admirable. Just be sure to temper it with bit of patience, logic, and common sense, and you will go far in IT. :thumbleft
    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!
  7. techno

    techno Bit Poster

    Thank you all for your advice.
    Ive spoken to my boss about the job title, he agreed that it was more of a technicons role. I went to connexions today to see about doing a NVQ whilst working with my boss. It sounds promising as a nvq level 2 is worth 5 gcses so id have gcse equivilent. But whilst i was there i looked through my old colleges prospectus and i found a BND in Forensic Computing. The course looks really exciting. IT auditing, Network security technologies, hacking, crytophogry and a few more cant remember of the top of my head. Its level 3 Btec so its worth 3 a levels a-c if i get distinctions in all the units.

    I valued your comment about attitude. TBH i think your right. I did have a know it all attitude. But didnt get the coursework done on time. If i get on to do this course i shall look it in a different way. A positive attidue to learn even if its to reinforce known knowledge. 2 nd to do coursework when i get it rather than letting it build up.

    My boss is phoning up the NVQ people to see about me doing one at work. In the meantime im going to phone up the college and see if i could get an interview. If they take me on it will be brill if they dont il do the nvq and go next year. I was so gobsmacked that they did a course like that. as i inquired before i took the software devolopment course.

    Im trying to get some experience with server, im testing out different servers at work, used whs..wasnt enough for the business. got server 2003 r2 running at the moment. Have been trying to get the boss 2 buy some more ram so i can test sbs.

    Ive got a server at home but not really set anything up was thinking of trying a linux one and geting some experince with terminal service setups.

    Anyone suggest anything other to try out? Would like to get some experience of sql server. Im in my element at work though. I get really excited with the new projects were setting up. We provide B2B it support aswell. im setting up a server for a expading plastic fabricators. nice learning curve and great project. I do enjoy the networking side of laying cables etc. Recently bought 100m of cable, cable tester, rj45 heads and crimp tool. Felt really techie then lol.

    Do you think this btec in computing forensics will be good on the cv is it worthwhile? Is it worth doing over losing my job at work including its nvq and training money. ?
    Thank you all
    Certifications: MCTS X 4, MCITP Consumer Support
    WIP: 70-271, 70-272 im on a break

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