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Is mine a hopeless case?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by bretfrag, Jun 11, 2014.

  1. bretfrag

    bretfrag New Member

    Hi all.

    First of all: great forum: very informative. Nice one.

    Now here's my situation:

    Basically I want to switch my career to IT and be some sort of IT technician. Trouble is I have no academic background in IT, nor a great deal of practical experience. I think I'm reasonably good with computers on an intuitive level and I'm for sure interested in computers, but that's about it.

    Now I was tempted to go with JustIT whose Network Professional Programme and 'lifetime' career support seemed like just the ticket for getting a foot quickly on the ladder. But having met with one of their representatives and looked at course prices, it transpires this isn't a viable option for me. I can't afford £4000. Moreover, having read some of the objections to training providers on here, to wit that they're massively exorbitant next to the cost of self-study, I'm not sure I would if I could.

    So what I'd like to know is the minimum resources I need to learn enough to get an entry level job as an IT support technician: as in, what certificates should I go for, and how should I best go about preparing myself to acquire them.

    I've seen CompTIA A+ mentioned a lot on here and people saying you could study this with a guide and then book and pass the exams yourself, but could I literally learn enough just from reading the book? Another thing I lack: a PC. I have a laptop, but I'm assuming if I'm to learn hardware troubleshooting, I'm going to need access to at least one PC. This seems to me to be one of the advantages of doing the course via a training provider which will be able to provide access to a lab. But I've not seen any mention of the necessity of tinkering around with hardware in connection with self-study here, so I hold out hope that this isn't necessarily an obstacle for me.

    My other big concern is: how do I get IT work experience? Another plus point for JustIT is that they send you on a work placement after you've passed a couple exams, which in many cases leads to permanent employment with that company. Is there another route for me once I've got the requisite certificates?

    Any advice will be massively appreciated guys.
    jk2447 likes this.
  2. ade1982

    ade1982 Megabyte Poster

    If I understand correctly, you are currently working.

    As far as work experience goes, you can volunteer in your spare time. The CAB and places like that are crying out for help. Obviously find one where you can use your skills in IT, and they will be grateful of the help.

    I would never, ever pay an agency like JustIT. There are better, cheaper ways into it. Don't expect to walk into a £25K a year job without any qualifications, but there will be other 1st line support jobs about.

    As far as a desktop goes, buy the cheapest one you can find and have some fun pulling it apart. You can install Windows onto it, you can mess around with the BIOS, you can do all sorts. This is the same (basically) if you spend 20 quid or 2000 quid on a PC. The A+ is a great start, but it's not going to be the silver bullet. That would be a lot of luck and a lot of perseverance.

  3. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Agreed, look on freecycle or ebay. Ask around friends that work in offices. There is loads of old IT kit getting given away or sold for low prices all the time.

    You don't need up to date kit for 90% of the A+. Simply looking at pictures of newer kit and connectors is good enough for a lot of it.

    Then learn the hands on with older kit where it doesn't matter so much if you break it.

    You can also disassemble, upgrade and repair laptops, but if you are a beginner I don't recommend you taking apart your only laptop. Better to use it as a machine to study on the web and watch professor messor videos etc.

    JustIT pretend to be a magic solution for £4000, the reality is there is no easy route, you have to work hard and make your own luck and put yourself out there.

    If you're any good you will get a job, with or without an agency and an expensive course.

    If you feel the self study option isn't working out you still have the expensive option open.

    I'd rather be starting my job without £4k of debt for a two week course, for a small amount more you could spend an entire year at college.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
  4. bretfrag

    bretfrag New Member

    Thanks both for your helpful advice.
  5. JK2447
    Highly Decorated Member Award 500 Likes Award

    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator

    Hi, welcome to Certforums, an awesome resource for anyone starting or progressing in IT. Don't worry that you have no IT experience, at one point, none of us did.

    You can pass the A+ and N+ with minimal kit but as said, it really cements your learning when you can do these things yourself. Once you progress into the Microsoft and Cisco worlds it becomes essential but don't worry about that.

    Get your A+ and start applying for service desk / 1st line support roles. You almost always receive on the job training. If you're good you will progress up the ranks to 2nd line, 3rd line etc. Good luck and keep us updated. Also use this site as a learning resource for your A+ and beyond. It's just another way to get help and see how others are doing and passing their certifications, not to mention a cool place for nerds to hang out :)
    Certifications: 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, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV, VSP, VTSP
    WIP: AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate
  6. bretfrag

    bretfrag New Member

    This is encouraging stuff, thanks.
    I was thinking of doing the CompTIA A+ e-learning package through their website and then see how I go from there.

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