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Leaving the Army and need some guidance

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by SGT Castle, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. SGT Castle

    SGT Castle New Member

    In about 6 months I will be getting medicaly discharged from the Army due to injuries. I am a 25B (Information Tech Specalist) with 3 years and some change in a Tier 2 and 3 help desk enviroment. As far as certifications I have A+, Net+, Sec+ and MCSA. Once I get out of the service im wanting to focus my career to Network Administration and am kind of clue less on what degree I should go for and any additional certifications I will need to look good on the hiring market. Any advice would help, trying to get everything planned so im not a deer stuck in the head lights when I get the boot.
  2. SimonD
    Honorary Member

    SimonD Terabyte Poster

    Hi, welcome to the forum.

    As a general rule you don't 'need' a degree to get into IT. The fact you already did it as part of your forces career can only be a benefit.
    As you can demonstrate your skills based on your current career I would probably look to expand out to the Cisco arena with a look at the CCENT and CCNA. What you don't mention is what commercial technology you currently work with?

    One thing that stood me in good graces was the military career (I spent 10 years in, left a loooong time ago), add to that the experience and certifications and I think you won't have too much hassle. Also worth having a chat with your local VA (assuming you fall into that category?) to see what kind of help you can get there.
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  3. SGT Castle

    SGT Castle New Member

    Yeah been told not to worry about school so much but I have my GI bill and no sence in letting it go to waste and thank you for your service
  4. Apoc220

    Apoc220 Byte Poster

    Hey Sgt,

    Former Marine here, separated in 2004 so I can offer you some insight to add to what SimonD mentioned. Sorry if its a bit long, but there is a lot to consider (in my view). Also sorry if some of it is things you know, but it doesn't hurt to put it out just in case! :)

    As far as certs you are off to a great start. When I got out I had no certs whatsoever and just a high school diploma to my name. However, having been a Data Network Specialist I had hands on experience which helped me land a job not too long after I got out. I wouldn't worry too much about a degree because employers will value your experience (both in IT and the military) much more than a degree. If you do want to get a degree you will have to decide if you will be working and studying, or just studying full time. If it is full-time then you may want to look into the Chapter 33 GI Bill (Post 9/11) as it is tailored more for full-time students. However, if you are like me and will be working and studying, then the Chapter 30 might be good for you. Depending on your expenses you can make a profit on a course through the Chapter 30. The Chapter 33 money goes straight to the school so you don't personally see a dime other than housing allowance. I go through AMU and have had a very good experience with them. They have a book grant so you just pay course fees and not a dime for the books. I did my associates of general arts through them and am currently doing my IT management degree with them. A degree will be handy when you look at management roles, but right now as a tech your experience and certs will carry you a long way.

    My personal experience since separation has been positive. Been steadily employed since 2009 and have been increasing my skill set whenever possible. The main things are to have the drive and initiative to keep your skills relevant and to be an invaluable resource to your employers. Like Simon-D said it may be worth it to have a talk with the VA BEFORE you get out regarding your benefits. You will have a MUCH easier time talking to the on-base resources because once you get out you have to wait in the queue with everyone else that is seeking VA assistance. Handle as much as you can before you get out.

    One more thing... they had a GI Bill "buy up" program when I was in, don't know if they still do. You pay $600 and you get much more topped up to your GI Bill benefits. The kicker is that you have to contribute BEFORE you separate. Food for thought, in case it is still available. Best of luck. You made a very wise choice getting experience in a field that is marketable. Most of the guys that have issues after they separate are the ones that are grunts or other jobs that don't carry over to the private sector easily.

    On a final note, you did not mention if you had a clearance. If you do, that will make you so much more valuable as an employee. Clearances cost thousands of dollars, so if you already have one then you will be worth gold to prospective employers. And don't forget that with your medical separation you likely have preference for federal jobs. In short, you have many options. Best of luck!
    Certifications: MCDST
    WIP: 70-680
    SGT Castle likes this.
  5. JamesEubank

    JamesEubank New Member

    Hey this is James,
    Dear, whats your age?, If you are enthusiastic about the IT field and eager to many things in it you can do it even without holding the degree, as you have experience in IT in Army...

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