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Waste Of time?

Discussion in 'A+' started by macleod2024, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. macleod2024

    macleod2024 Bit Poster

    Hi all

    I was wondering, I recently passed my A+ certification through self study. However, I dont have a degree in IT nor do I have any experience in working in IT support. Most of my previous wor experience is in Customer Service.

    Ive applied for 15 jobs now, since May, and not heard a thing. So I have a few questions:

    1. First and foremost, without experience and/or a degree, was getting this cert a waste of time for someone like me? Especially as I gained it through self study.

    2. Does anyone have any job site suggestions? I use Monster, Reed, The IT Jobs board and CW Jobs. Occasionally I do a yahoo search.

    3. Any ideas on how to sell myself to employers? I fear at the moment with things the way they are that people more qualified than me are going for lesser paid jobs which means I may be getting overlooked.

    4. Which job titles should I be looking for? Ive mainly been looking for 1st line support and desktop technician, as the Comptia site suggests.

    I hope these dont come across as silly questions, its just Ive become a little disheartened and dont really know if its worth carrying on the search. I was also wondering if anyone started in the same situation as me and manged to get anywhere?
    Certifications: Comptia A+, Netmaster+ 2009
  2. JK2447
    Highly Decorated Member Award 500 Likes Award

    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator

    Hi, I'll see if I can answer some of your questions;

    1. It wasn't a waste of time as an A+ is generally a good way to get your foot in the door to your 1st IT job. Its probably because the market is so cut throat at the minute. If I were you I'd keep applying and self study for my N+ to give you a more rounded skill set. Don't worry about having a degree, you can study for one part time once you get your 1st role, or not, you can decide later on.

    2. Jobserve and CWJobs have always worked for me.

    3. Check this site out on how to write a good CV

    4. Service / Help Desk and as you correctly say, anything 1st line.

    Don't worry, your questions were all OK. Good luck

    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
  3. Toasty

    Toasty Byte Poster


    it took me 18 months before I landed my first IT job. I hate to think how many jobs I applied for before I got an interview.

    If you can study for the Network+ and maybe MCDST, also experience comes in different forms. Fixing family and friends pc's. Have you tried asking local shops, business if they want your services for free. I helped setup the IT system at a local engineering company near me working voluntarily at weekends and I still do now. This I added to my CV and the owner has always give me a good reference.
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, MCSA
  4. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    I was probably quite fortuitous with the way I got my job, but here's MO.

    Not at all. The A+ was the only IT cert I had when I landed my job. The Network+ was a work in progress, and I just had bag-loads of 'can-do' attitude.

    I've never really used them, so I can't really say. Never discount the 'who you know' method of finding a job (which is the way it has always worked for me). LinkedIn may be one to add to your armoury in this case. Network and socialise - listen to people gripe about their IT, then find out if they have an IT department at their work, and if that department is looking to hire to sort things out! :)

    Your CV is what sells you to employers - at first go. Are you getting to the interview stage in any of your applications? This is just so I can tell whether 'you' need to sell yourself better, or your CV needs to sell you better.

    Sounds about right - that and every pseudonym around it. Helpdesk Support, Helpdesk Analsyt, Support Analyst, Computer Technician, Support Technician, Helpdesk Technician... you get the idea :)
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA
  5. Chaindrive

    Chaindrive New Member

    I am in a similar situation, been made redundant since June and now looking for a career change and trying to get into a 1st line support role. got a couple of base level it qualifications (Btec diplomas), mixed with some basic experience of IT support. The problem is that there is so much more competition at the moment and employers have the benefit of choosing the exact candidate that they want. i have applied for 19 jobs so far: 1st line support/tech support/ it assistant roles. i hadnt had a reply from any of them until yesterday; I have an interview on the 17th. (fingers crossed)
    Best advice is to keep learning and keep applying for jobs. keep looking don't give up, its a crappy time to be looking for work but keep at it :biggrin
  6. Meshan

    Meshan Bit Poster

    Think outside the box

    I'm using my (soon to have qualifications) to get a job as a comms officer cadet in the merchant navy. The skills are needed and the pay is ok. Being at sea for 6 months isn't everyones idea of fun though.

    Just think of what you get to play with on a ship owned by the MoD.

    Certifications: HCIMA, BIIAM, BSc (Hons),
    WIP: MCITP (70-622)
  7. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

    Just what I was going to say.

    I realised the job market was against me a few months ago, not long after getting my A+.
    The way I see it, the job market will pick up, maybe not for another year or two but it will.
    I'm concentrating on getting every entry-level cert I can, and I've just started volunteer work as an IT assistant to get some hands on experience, which I can back up with more certs as I gain the experience.
    When the job market picks up I'll be a strong candidate for entry level jobs.
    Patience and persistence are the key words I think.
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  8. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    It took me 5 years to get my foot in the door, 15 jobs (especially in this climate) is nothing...

    No, it's not a waste of time. To be honest, it doesn't matter if it is gained thru self-study or via classes, it's the qualification gained at the end that's important.

    The local newspaper, the JobcentrePlus site, thru networking with other IT Pro's, etc....

    That is a possibility, however always ask for feedback. It may be the way your CV is laid out, it could be the grammer or wording in your cover letter, it could be a multitude of things, including some else being more suitable for the job, etc... Just be honest, take the feedback and use it.

    That's correct: Entry level, tier 1/level 1 roles are the ones to go for... If you go for, say, level 3 jobs, lets just say you won't have any hope of getting them at this stage...

    Like I said it took me 5 years to get my foot in the door. Now, I'm an IT Manager, a writer (advice) and occasionally I even teach up to the MCSE at the local college (I'm on a break from that at the moment). Where would I be if I gave up after 15 applications?

    Certifications: CITP, PGDip, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: MSc in Tech Management
  9. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

    Mate, I still have no real formal qualifications in IT (I dont count the ITIL). No standard grade, no higher, no certificate. And I'm doing well enough (Started on servicedesk, and now Im a developer), so it can be done.
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
    WIP: None at present
  10. d_mcgrail

    d_mcgrail Nibble Poster

    Just in response my tips from my previous experiance contracting

    try jobserve, jobsite, monster, itjobsboard etc etc etc but bare in mind that a lot of companies are utilising the cheapest way of recruiting especially for starting positions in IT so the jobcentre is a good place to visit. An idea to repost your CV as well as this will keep getting passed as a fresh CV and land on the peoples desks who are recruiting.

    It might be worth trying linkedin if you know a few recruitment people you can get a few contacts through them.

    Also in the current climate people like myself are being a lot more proactive in their search for work. I decided where i was willing to work/able to travel to and went about finding out companies 100+ users in size and therefore most likely to have an IT department. I sent off my CV and a covering letter to these companies and set myself a target of 5 a day whilst i was out of work. Anyway paid off as i got my current job.

    Also worth actually visiting the recruitment agencies in your local area and do this on a routine basis so your the first person they think of when they get a job like the one you require. Obviously this is easier if you are out of work but a phone call every day before they post up the jobs (usually Thursday from my experiance) hopefully this keeps you ahead of the game.

    Anyway these are the things that i have picked up over the years so good luck and like others say it can be hard work and may take a while so give yourself targets and make time to relax as well otherwise it will probably grind you down.

    Good Luck
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: Taking a xmas break
  11. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

    My suggestion would be to make sure your CV is attractive to potential employers, I would emphasise a can do attitude, the willingness to learn (as shown in your self study), your ability to deal with people at all levels (examples are great such as ones included in a list of accomplishments), your abilities to work to deadlines and within a team.

    Typically 1st time IT roles will not expect you to be a genius, but will ideally be looking for someone who is willing to learn, and go the extra mile for the company.

    Also i would echo the state of the market at the moment, it may be worth looking at some voluntary work to get you some experience, or writing to local IT companies and indeed any company with regards to possible IT work or even a weeks unpaid experience.
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  12. macleod2024

    macleod2024 Bit Poster

    Sorry for the late reply, thanks for all your advice everyone.

    Im hoping once I complete the N+ that will help increase my chances, probably end up getting an A+ job! haha.

    Im just glad it is just more the market more than the qualification.

    I didnt think that people might not use job sites so much to advertise at the moment, so I will do as most of you suggested and look up some companies.

    The other thing that lets me down I think is the fact Im in a permanent job and need to give a long notice as opposed to an immediate start. Cant leave my job in the hope something comes up, catch 22 huh?
    Certifications: Comptia A+, Netmaster+ 2009
  13. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    There aren't really "A+ jobs" and "N+ jobs". Both certifications relate to entry-level tech work.
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  14. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    Excellent replies given already by others however persistence is the key and don't give up. Best wishes:)
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  15. Pad79

    Pad79 New Member

    I just wanted to echo what everyone else has been saying and that is to keep looking. 15 applications in the time frame you mention is not many at all, so apply for everything you can. When i left University we were told that we could expect 1 reply for 100 CVs, letters, or applications, and even that one maybe a rejection. Interveiw practice is also invaluable.

    As an employer running a small firm a can do attitude will set you apart even if your technical arent as good as some other candidates.
    WIP: A+, ITIL, 70-640
  16. macleod2024

    macleod2024 Bit Poster

    Thank you for all your advice.

    One other that worries me is things like repairs to motherboards (soldering e.t.c.), is that something that would be expected or is it a case of if its broken swap it for another one?
    Certifications: Comptia A+, Netmaster+ 2009
  17. Evilwheato

    Evilwheato Kilobyte Poster

    Maybe in some jobs, but I would think no for most IT roles.
    Generally if a motherboard is broken- replace it. It's not worth the risk of damaging other components :)
  18. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    The job of repairing motherboards is not considered part of a typical IT gurus work. It's very much experienced electronic technicians work. So, in a word 'no'. Though you would be expected to make logical fault analysis to determine the fault down to a modular level i.e. *the motherboard*. And of course have the ability to change it without making matters worse :wink:
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  19. macleod2024

    macleod2024 Bit Poster

    So firstly, thank you for all your replies.

    Secondly, Ive decided not to pursue the IT thing any further. After doing some research Ive noticed that the MCSE, which is part of my course bundle, isnt really worth much without experience.

    It seems that there are quite a few people out there who have gained this qualification through home study without gaining experience and consequently the MCSE 2003 has lost much of its credibilty. Unfortunately I dont have the money to go to a "boot camp" either. :( I believe we are labelled "paper MCSE's".

    Plus its looking like the MCITP is going to overtake it anyway and without getting a better paid job I cant afford that either.

    So Im going to finish the course, only have a little bit of the N+ left and I have a while to complete the MCSE, as I have paid for it anyway.

    Thought Id take the time to let you all know as you were kind enough to offer me some advice. I will let you know how I do qualification wise at least.
    Certifications: Comptia A+, Netmaster+ 2009
  20. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Why would you do the Network+ or MCSE if you don't plan on being in IT? :blink That'd be like finishing cooking school even though you don't want to be a cook.
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!

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