Hoping to start a career in IT, looking for cert advice.

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by DaveT, Apr 9, 2022.

  1. DaveT

    DaveT New Member

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    Hi all, I'm currently serving in the British armed forces in a non-IT role, but due to health issues, I'm medically downgraded for the next 14 months, and it's looking like I won't be able to pursue this career any further anyway.

    I've been thinking of getting into the IT sector, as I do have the equivalent of an undergraduate degree in network administration (from 2006 - a little out of date I'll admit...). The advantage of my situation is that I have plenty of time to study, and I also have the ability to make use of some educational funding through the armed forces, to the tune of up to £3000. So luckily for me, time and money are not an issue. If anything, I might as well make the most of these funds and get as many certifications as I can out of them.

    What would be helpful, however, is some advice as to how to best make the use of my time and funds. I was thinking that given my qualifications, aiming to work in network administration would be a good start, with the aim of specializing on cyber security later. I expect I'd have to start at the bottom and work my way up. I should note that I currently have no experience with Linux/Unix and my coding abilities are limited to basic CSS/JS (so not exactly much to speak of either), though I do aim to rectify that.

    I've started working towards CompTIA Network+, as I thought it would be a good means to refresh my foundational knowledge, and I'm confident I'll be able to pass using publicly available resources and self-study.

    Given all this:
    - Is it realistic to expect to land a junior network admin position?
    - Is it worth looking into cyber security related certifications yet, or is that pointless at this stage?
    - Which certifications should I be aiming to get under my belt before applying for a job?
    - Should I focus some of my efforts on Linux/coding skills? I assume so, but if I can make better use of my time and funds then I'd like to know.

    I'd really appreciate any advice or insights you guys might be able to provide (preferably UK related), and that's not limited to my questions either. If you think there's a better way for me to make use of my time, I'm all ears! thanks in advance for your help :)
     
    JK2447 likes this.
  2. dmarsh
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    dmarsh Petabyte Poster

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    Loads of WebDev jobs if you fancy brushing up on JS/CSS. Can then move into doing bits of NodeJS, Cloud, Kubernetes. It is a totally different career though.
     
  3. JK2447
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    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator Premium Member

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    Hi Dave

    I know of many people who have made the transition from the forces into IT. I work with a lot of them still at VMware. I think you are off to a good start looking at the N+. You'd likely enjoy the Security+ but don't pay for training other than the likes of Udemy or similar like this https://www.udemy.com/topic/comptia-security/. Very cost effective so even though you have access to funds, I'd use them sparingly I think, purely because for the these sorts of certs, mega bucks aren't needed IMHO.

    CCNA always was the one to get but I'm not so sure with you not working in IT. I remember failing the exam years ago, it's not to be taken lightly even though it's a lower end Cisco cert. Juniper too do some good certs but ideally you'd have your role and certify in what the company use. That said appreciate your position where you can access training now.

    VMware do a VMware Certified Technical Associate certification that is aimed at engineers old and new. We do these for other technologies too so a good route could be for you to do what I did, which was be willing to start at the bottom, and work your way up to being a server engineer, architect, now pre sales selling solutions.
    https://www.vmware.com/learning/certification/vcta-nv.html

    I'd say it's definitely realistic to want to build a lucrative career in IT from the forces as many have done this. Let us know how you get on with your studies and if you need any support
    Thanks
    Jim
     
    Certifications: VCP4, 5, 6, 6.5, 6.7, VCAP DCV Design, VMConAWS Skill, 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, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VSP, VTSP
    WIP: vROps specialist
    DaveT likes this.
  4. DaveT

    DaveT New Member

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    Thanks for the advice Jim, I've just passed Network+! :)

    I ended up using Dion training's practice tests on Udemy and I found them very helpful. On to Security+ next. CCNA would certainly be useful, but possibly a little ambitious right now as you say. VMware is definitely something I'll need to get to grips with, or at least some form of virtualisation. It wouldn't be a bad idea for me to set up a virtual lab at some point...

    Any thoughts on what path to follow in terms of employment if I intend to break into cyber security? What kind of entry level position would be preferable?

    Thanks
    Dave
     
    JK2447 likes this.
  5. JK2447
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    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator Premium Member

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    Well done mate that's great. All adds a bit of weight to the old CV doesn't it. To be honest most roles have an element of security in them, so you can't go wrong just getting your foot in the door of any role that takes your fancy. Often internal jobs come up that don't go external. I've not worked in security so possibly not the best person to answer but keep doing what you're doing.

    Definitely a great idea to get into virtualisation. Anything is possible once it's pushed into software. Get yourself a free product like virtual box or VMware Player here. If you laptop is a reasonable spect it's going to be enough to have a play. That's also useful for security as you can have a sandbox eg a VM that you can access but you've taken away its ability to communicate out to the network. Google EICAR virus. Its a little test virus that you can create to test your AV. Very basic now but something we all know of I'd say
     
    Certifications: VCP4, 5, 6, 6.5, 6.7, VCAP DCV Design, VMConAWS Skill, 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, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VSP, VTSP
    WIP: vROps specialist
    DaveT likes this.
  6. DaveT

    DaveT New Member

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    Thanks for the insights, it's interesting regardless of your employment. I haven't really properly researched entry level jobs yet, all I've gleaned up to now is that tech support is usually a good starting point, but poorly paid and not particularly enjoyable either...

    I'm leaning towards VMware, sounds like it's the more versatile option. I would imagine it's also more widespread in enterprise environments? I do have a reasonably good laptop, but might just throw a few more gigs of ram at it if I'm going to build a lab...
     
    JK2447 likes this.
  7. JK2447
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    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator Premium Member

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    My thoughts are my own but I do work for VMware, so I am naturally a fan of their wares. I would add however that I was a fan of their technologies a decade before I started working for them.

    The benefit of looking at skilling up in VMware technologies is that we’re a one stop shop. We do containerisation and app modernisation with Tanzu. Software defined data centers with VMware Cloud Foundation, so compute (vSphere), storage (vSAN) and networking (NSX). Load balancing (AVI), SD WAN, cloud management (vRealize Suite), VMware cloud on AWS, Azure, Google. You name it. We probably do it.
    I think it’s a fair statement to say we are the de facto standard for enterprise data Center virtualisation working with every public sector customer. It’s quicker to say who doesn’t use VMware solutions unless they’re small. Therefore, I would agree that VMware is a great place to start. It’s changed my life.

    That said. We don’t pick favourites here. Microsoft, CompTIA, AWS, Google all do really kick ass certifications that will do wonders for your career. I think the key is to pick something that interests you
     
    Certifications: VCP4, 5, 6, 6.5, 6.7, VCAP DCV Design, VMConAWS Skill, 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, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VSP, VTSP
    WIP: vROps specialist
  8. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Tech support isn’t all bad especially if you are in a good team so you can share experience and progress quickly. It would get you some commercial experience and then you could look to move to a cyber security role.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Office 365, Server 2016, CEH

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