School Leaver looking for career in ICT

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by sparkym, Sep 4, 2005.

  1. sparkym

    sparkym New Member

    Hi there, I am Mark.

    I have recently left school after completing my A-Levels, and I am looking for a career in IT, as it is something which I have developed a strong interest in over the last couple of years. I recently attained a grade B in the ICT A-Level, but I am not planning on going to University.

    I have applied for some jobs, with limited success though, probably because I am simply not well qualified enough or my CV is poorly written or even nothing to show for.

    I was thinking about doing some "certs" as I am currently just working part time to earn some cash, and I am currently thinking of doing some "certs" to help me attain a job in the IT Field.

    So I have contacted the NITLC and they are coming to me on only problem is it's probably a lot of money to do the courses.

    I really would like to gain a job in IT, but without doing any certs and only having an A-Level in ICT is this possible to do, even if it is entry level job such as building PC's I am prepared to do, and then study whilst I have that job.

    I just need guidance and to be pointed in the right direction really, help is very much appreciated, remember i am only 18 and want to build myself a career and I dont want some company trying to take my money.
  2. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

    Hi there Mark,

    Ok, firstly as you have just left school, congrats on your A Level pass.

    Whilst there are many training companies out there you have to realise that many of them will promise you the world to get you to sign up with them.

    You say that you do not want to go to university, but have you considered your local college for IT training? These courses will cost you no where as much as going with a commercial traninng provider, and many colleges are now Microsoft academies, or Cisco academies, meaning that they offer you training to MCSA or CCNA level. They also tie many of these courses in with foundation degrees in liason with universities.

    Another option that you may want to persue is self study. Although this may be difficult for someone who has no prior background in IT.
    Self study is simply buying the course material (books, a couple of PC's, etc) and teaching yourself. Costing you next to nothing. Simply sitting the certification exam when you feel ready.

    Have you considered taking up a modern apprenticeship in IT? getting paid, getting experience, and getting a qualification at the same time may be worth considering. Your local careers centre will be able to help you with this.

    An area that many people have persued to gain further experience whilst learning is to volunteer, offer yourself to companies free of charge for the sole purpose of gaining hands on experience.

    Oh, I should also say welcome to CF, you've come to the right place!

    Hope this helps.

  3. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

    Hi mate and welcome to CF!! Nice to find someone younger than me here! Congrats on the a-level result! :biggrin

    I was in exactly your situation (just a little more difficult cause i left zimbabwe and came to cyprus) no so long ago... i did an in-house a+ cert before i left but thats it. From what i gather on your post its more hardware and networks you are going for and not programming correct?

    The IT world is very tough and i only got my foot in last week and im 20... Certs are worth the effort and what i can gather in the UK there are alot of people trying to make a fortune on people like you. A B grade at A-level means you do have the idea to study so why not gain the entry-level certs self-study wise?

    Take a look here:

    I want you to look at A+ and Network+ - look at the site and d/l the objectives to see whats its all about if thats what you looking at doing come back and we can hopefully set you off in the right direction!
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  4. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

    Hi Sparkym - I'd actually go with Simon's advice, and look at your local colleges. Last thing I would advise someone just out of school (presumably not working yet ?) is to commit to a course that may cost several thousand quid.

    Read around here, m8 - there's loads of good info (and prob more opinions still to come as well ) :)
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  5. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

    Hi Mark,

    Welcome to CF. I would basically say what has already been said:

    1) think wisely before commiting to thousands of pounds on a course

    2) try your local college, you might be supprised as to what they can offer

    3) if you still live with your parents you could afford to take any IT job at any rate of pay to get started and teach yourself certs along the way.

    At eighteen you should have no problem finding an employer. Good luck, we are all here to help each other. :D
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  6. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    Hi from me too Mark!

    I agree with the others, at least try self study for the A+ and take it from there. If you are successful in establishing a career in IT, you will soon find that self study, or the ability to teach yourself, is of paramount importance. We can't keep paying out money long term as the technology is continually changing and we absolutely must keep up with it. All the information you need and more is freely available on the Internet. We will help guide you on your way.

    Hands on experience is the most important aspect of certifications. You should build a home lab using either real hardware or virtual machines. As you learn each topic make sure you play around, break and fix things until you feel comfortable with what you are doing and understand the ramifications of changing things. That is how you will learn. The classroom environment is not the best method for learning this stuff IMHO. Just get stuck in and start reading, start playing and you will then be learning.

    We are all here to help you understand and to point you in the right direction should you find any particular topic too confusing.

    Good luck,

    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  7. sparkym

    sparkym New Member

    Wow, thanks for the input...I think I am going to start looking for jobs, checking out local colleges and maybe read some books.

    Cost is the main reason I don't want to go to looking at 15 grand + top up fees = 22grand+ thats a LOT of money

    Where as with a job I can gain experience and certifications for much less.
  8. superkarimo

    superkarimo Bit Poster

    sparkym, just my 2ps worth. Gain any experince in IT in any form you can. Check out charities/voluntary organisations to see if there is any IT work you can do for them. Build a portfolio of work you do as you are learning even when teaching yourself. Build up a collection of teach yourself books and work through them. I am sure you are aware that most of these books retail at around £20 to £35 but good value imho ( even cheaper through ebay or amazon ) In short I think you need to provide proof of your abilities as employers do not like taking too many risks. You need to ease their fears. A portfolio of work will help
    Certifications: City & Guilds diplomas in C,C++ and VB
    WIP: ???
  9. Sarah

    Sarah Byte Poster

  10. sparkym

    sparkym New Member

    I have been on those links before, thanks for posting them, the only thing that annoys me is that its all okay to say how to get in via an apprenticeship or training...but then it doesnt say how to get on an apprenticeship or good training firms.
  11. sparkym

    sparkym New Member

    I have done some job searches...and nothing came up really.

    I have applied for a few jobs..and I had one interview for a Trainee IT Field Service Engineer but unfortunately I was not successful, would have been a great opportunity.
  12. a1210

    a1210 New Member

    I think I'm in almost the same boat as sparkym, but I have an A+ certification. Just took it and passed a few weeks ago. I'm also bilingual in English and Korean.. but I haven't had any luck in getting a reasonable job in IT.

    I noticed there were some free certifications on brainbench. I'm planning on getting a few of those. I think those might be a good start.

    Also I'm planning on getting a CIW or I-net+, maybe taking the 70-290, and network+. but each exam costs 88~160pounds.. :dry

    If you get on the jobseeker's allowance they give you a bit of advice on CVs, interviews, etc. I think.
    I also took a 3-day course in business start-ups. It was pretty interesting, but I think that was about it.

    I would be self employed and go around fixing people's computers, but I dont have a car. :( O well. I better keep looking for some office job... G'luck.
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: N+
  13. superkarimo

    superkarimo Bit Poster


    one thing to add. be prepared to take aptitude tests and undergo pyschometric profiling. Companies like to get you to jump through hoops. Most of all make the most of your time when you are this young and do not have other commitments or responsibillities as you will need the most poreciouis resource in the world ...time

    anyway good luck
    Certifications: City & Guilds diplomas in C,C++ and VB
    WIP: ???
  14. Sarah

    Sarah Byte Poster

    Have you spoken or contacted anyone at e-skills? if you ring or email them they will help!

    what area of the country are you in M8?
  15. sparkym

    sparkym New Member

  16. Sarah

    Sarah Byte Poster

    Forgot to add:

    Finding an apprenticeship first
    The Learning and Skills Council runs a helpline where you can find out more about apprenticeships, vacancies and other training agencies in your area. Call on 08000 150 600. They'll send you more information about the opportunities in your area.

    Have you looked at your local college/council web site? regarding apprenticeship?
  17. Kitkatninja
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Kitkatninja aka me, myself & I Moderator

    Glad you passed your A-level's. I'm actually on the other side of the coin. We've just taken on a trainee tech at our place a couple of months ago, like yourself, he's just finished school and this is his 2nd job (1st job in IT).

    We are currently getting him on to the apprenticeship scheme, this goes from NVQ level 1-5. As long as he's under 24 or 25 there's no cost to him or the organisation he works for.

    So if you want to get into IT, go for the trainee/junior posts. In reality you will get turned down (I had a good few), but you will get one. However you get into IT, go for the NVQ training after all it's free and it's recognised all around europe (well that's what the college say's away). I wouldn't go for the expensive qualifications just yet, cause you may spend more than you should - employer may pay for it. Or you may end up with too much "certification" and not enough experience.

    This is just my opinion, good luck which ever way you decide to go.
    Certifications: PGDip, BSc, HNC, LCGI, MBCS CITP, MCP, MCSA, MCSE, MCE, A+, N+, S+, Server+
    WIP: Master degree
  18. sneezie

    sneezie Nibble Poster

    Well done for passing your A-levels. There's excellent advice here from everyone and I don't really have anything to add. I just wanna say, best of luck! Hope everything will work out for you. There's so many ways to get into IT, research carefully and find the route that's most suitable for you. You sound very focused and determined, I'm sure you'll succeed and have a fantastic career.

    Certifications: Degree
    WIP: MCAD in

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