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How to Choose and IT/Web Career???

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Manic Miner, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. Manic Miner

    Manic Miner New Member

    Dear all,

    this is my first post on the forum and I was hoping that I could get some good advice on pursuing a career in IT or Web Design/Development? What I'm aiming for is having a good position within the next 6 months, paying at least 25K. The reason why I'm choosing IT as a career is because I feel it will fit well with my interests and background. I'm a little disconcerted by the experience requirements for certain positions, although I understand the job market is particularly competitive at the moment.

    As I have no specific IT qualifications, I have been considering studying a networking certification and also learning client-side web design. I'm a qualified chemist (2005) and left academia around 2007 after doing some postgraduate research in the field of data analysis. I also have 6 years experience as a telecommunications technician, although I left that position in 1998 to pursue an academic qualification - in that job, I did have some networking experience (mainly ethernet) and a fairly broad range of technican work across the spectrum.

    At the moment, I'm the director (voluntary) of an intenational non-profits organisation and also a cab driver!:blink So, I have a very diverse background! For me, writing a targeted CV is a very difficult task!

    Hopefully this won't cause me too many problems with employers as I'm proud of my diverse background and realise its something I really need to take account of when choosing a position - I feel that a role within IT that has a lot of variety would be a good choice for me as I'm not suited to a role that lacks variety and is too highly-specialised, at least initially. In essence, I hope to create my own role over time, through gaining some good IT qualifications, developing my own portfolio and perhaps doing some voluntary work or gaining an internship.

    Some of the possibilities I've been considering are: general analyst graduate roles as many employers don't require a computing degree or, I have also considered, self studying web-design and then applying for a position within a web-design company (or even graduate employer) after building up a portfolio. Another option would be to start my own support technician business, although I feel that a permanent full-time job would be a much better option.

    Some of the courses I have considered self-studying are:

    I'm really open to any advice and suggestions on possible course/qualification choices. I find it quite bewildering trying to figure out what a good role would be for me in IT (or Web Design/Development), whilst trying to take into account factors such as future trends. I simply don't want to make a poor choice this time as I'm 34 now and really need to make the best decision for my skills and abilities!:D I'm hoping to have something within 6 months and so am in the process of deciding what to do right at this moment....

    Anyways, thank you to anyone who reads this post and thanks in advance for any advice!
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Sorry to dissapoint you but you will not get your first IT job paying 25k. Unless you are extremley lucky.

    Second you actually need to decide what you want to do. If you love technology and messing about with hardware and software then IT is right for you. IT is not for people who want to make a quick buck.

    IT is no longer an industry where you are paid well from the out set, you have to work get a bit of experience before the money comes in.

    You should not persue the CCNA unless you work with CISCO gear, there are certs for people wanting to get in IT and certs for people who already work in IT and the CCNA is for the latter
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

    You've got (effectively) 3 different career paths that you appear to be looking at here, I'll go through the 3 as much as I can.

    IT Support: To get into IT support your looking at a few entry level certs (CompTIA A+, N+ and MCDST) and a certain amount of CV tooling focussing on customer support skills etc. Starting wage is far more likely to be in the 18-20k bracket. Whether IT support is the right choice for you is obviously a decision that only you can make, but you've got to seriously think about it.

    Support staff as a general rule spend their time in one of two states, horrendously overworked or seriously bored. How you spend the seriously bored time is the most important part of ensuring career progression. Theres more elsewhere this forum on what to expect from a life in IT support so search around you'll find plenty.

    Web Design: Web design is at the creative end of the website development spectrum, you'll find yourself playing with pretty pictures in photoshop etc and writing HTML and CSS. The emphasis will be on design and usability. Certs wise you'll find very little which is massively recognised as far as web design certs are concerned, a decent portfolio of actual working sites will serve you better.

    Web Development: There are a whole range of different technologies you can work with as a web developer, PHP, .NET, JAVA etc can all be used. As a developer your best bet is to pick one of these languages and 'get balls deep' study it, use it, understand it. Get involved in some open source projects. Again portfolios will carry more weight than certs.
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, ACA – Mac Integration 10.10
  4. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

    My personal opinion is that with your 'diverse' background, you may be better off looking at something like Prince2 or MSP.

    The simple reason being that they are generic and can be applied to many industries.
    Demand is also pretty good for them, although as with other certs some experience in implementing them goes a long way.
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  5. Bossmania

    Bossmania Banned

    Hi Manic,
    Every field has some bright future. Try to select your interested field. You will perform much better work on it and get a lot of success. As per my opinion, IT professionals have various ways to get legit amount even through home based work. So as to, I prefer you to go web programming.

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