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What Path Do I Take?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Special Brew, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. Special Brew

    Special Brew Nibble Poster

    Hello there,

    My name is Chris Aldworth and I am trying to figure out what career i would enjoy doing, with a good possiblity of earning a good salary, because i want to get my own place, with my partner and then try for a baby.
    This requires money, and plenty of it!

    I enjoy fixing computers, even consoles.. though, i feel that wouldn't work for me, also i would prefer not to be self employed, i want a full time guaranteed salary.

    I would like a career where i can progress endlessly.

    I am currently studying BSc (hons) degree in ICT with the Open University. Though it will take roughly 6 years, due to being part time.

    So, What options are out there for me?
    I know it's kind of a stupid question with endless amount of possiblities, but i just wanna know some i could do, and how to get there.

    Thank you so much,

    Special Brew!!-
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Well first your not going to walk into an amazingly well paid job straight away regardless of your qualifications and certifications. Unfortunately employers like experience the most.

    If you enjoy fixing pcs and solving problems then you may enjoy working as an IT tech in a pc repair shop or if you enjoy solving problems to do with hardware and software issues then you may want to be an IT tech or support analyst in a big company whatever you do you will have to start at the bottom and usually starting salaries in IT these days is not very good (lowest I have ever seen is 11k and the highest for entry level work is 18k) but as soon as you progress so do the wages.

    You need to be looking for jobs as soon as you can wether its working in a small pc repair shop or for a large company.

    You should also be looking to get some entry level certifications such as the A+,Network+ and MCDST. The MCDST retires in June so you may not have time to get this done.
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. SimonD
    Honorary Member

    SimonD Terabyte Poster

    Getting into IT doesn't automatically mean you get good wages, I know guys who earn pittance but they still work in IT.

    I think you really need to think long and hard because getting to the point where you can earn a decent wage, enough to buy somewhere with your partner etc isn't going to happen over night.

    There are so many people coming into IT now days that you need to be exceptional if you want to stand out and start earning good money.

    Oh and self employed unfortunately is where the money is (and don't shoot the messenger guys but it really is), unfortunately being self employed does have it's pitfalls (no holiday pay, no sick pay, no paid training etc).

    I would honestly be hesitant in advising people to move into IT these days.
    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).
  4. Mariusz

    Mariusz Byte Poster

    you are only 19 and whole life
    first of all: don't rush with baby, wait at least 2-3 years and just enjoy your life.

    second of all: - like guys above wrote: it is hard to get to IT, and on the beginning money are low

    third of all: if you're not an alcoholic or party monster that spends whole salary on girls and booze then you will handle with raising kids, ex: I rent house for 550, but with all bills it is about 800, I will be getting 950 from my job plus about 200-300 from another job, plus my wife's maternity allowance about 400 per month (plus you can get some benefits but I know nothing about it yet), and I think we will be able to raise David from it (fact we won't save too much).
    Certifications: ECDL Extra, ITQ Lvl2, CompTIA A+, N+, S+
    WIP: MCTS 70-680 Win7
  5. Special Brew

    Special Brew Nibble Poster

    Thanks for the prompt replies,

    I think i explained myself a little wrong. I understand the struggles within IT and of course not expecting anything to come easily, i'm the type of guy that has bad luck lol!

    It's not expecting to be rich, just not a minimum wage dead end job.. I want a careeer.
    I know my degree won't have much affect on me, professionally.. It's something that i can feel proud to have.

    It's also better than doing nothing, it'll be working towards IT even if i take **** jobs along the way.

    I do enjoy fixing computers etc, but i want something a little more guaranteed if you get what i mean.

    Are you basically saying there is no point in trying in IT? - Do I just leave it as my hobby :cry: ?

    What careers in IT can i do, that could possibly be fun and could lead to good salary???

    I'm not being unrealistic, am i?

    I would turn to other people, in person.. but nobody seems to understand or even care.

    I don't want to be setting myself up to fail ahhh.

    Anyways, thanks i guess.
  6. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    Your degree, when you get it, is a career investment mate, so try and look at that in a positive way.

    There is no reason why you can’t earn good money in IT. It is a very competitive industry but if you enjoy what you are doing and want to put the time in then you can achieve your goals.

    Perhaps start searching for entry level IT jobs and see how it goes?
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Office 365, Server 2016, CEH
  7. Special Brew

    Special Brew Nibble Poster


    I'm not rushing into having a baby etc, I'm thinking about my future, That is my plan, one day..
    I want to get a decent respectful job. I'm pissed off being a nobody!

    I don't drink (unless they buy the beers :P ) or smoke or waste money on anything, I'm actually smart with money.

    I know the benefits that are available, but i would prefer to live of myself with a career.
    I'm not expecting hand outs from companies, I will work my ass off through thick and thin..

    I envy you. I just wanna try and be somebody, Even if it fails big time.. I wanna say i tried =?
    I'm on JSA right now, and they treat ya like ****. I'm fed up with being looked down from people.

    I wanna be a real nice guy, who can help people out!!

    Can't do that on pennies..

    Special Brew!
  8. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Premium Member

    I agree with what's been said, it's really competitive these days and unless you truly have a passion for IT, I would do something else. The truth is, to earn a lot of money in IT, you have to be at the top of the chain and really know your stuff. You have to always read and learn new technologies and progress faster than an average person. I was your age when I got my first job in IT and never looked back, but I am truly passionate about what I do so it makes a world of a difference.
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
  9. Special Brew

    Special Brew Nibble Poster

    Hi mate,

    Honestly, the only reason i posted on here is because of the high morale support from you guys.
    Though, it seems to be negative and a 'give up' attitude.

    As i said, i enjoy fixing PC's, Consoles, Phones etc.. But I don't feel there is a great future in that, to be honest.
    I would prefer to have a guaranteed wage at the end of the week (or month).
    This being a rubbish job at the beginning, i don't mind but i do want to progress.

    do you know of some jobs, that i could possibly enjoy? or atleast cope with.

    I'm willing to learn new things, absolutly.

    I will keep going with my degree, never the less. If all else fails, Full time University Students are paying £40ph to people with a Bsc degree to help them with studies. Never the less, a personal accomplishment.


    Special Brew!
  10. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Premium Member

    We're not negative bro, we're just stating the reality. In all honesty if you feel passionate about IT, you will be really good at it and will get to where you want to be, this is certain. However there are people out there (and I don't mean you) but people who get into this field because they get the impression that it is easy and that you can make a lot of money. That's not the case and I am pretty sure you realize that. All we're saying is that when you do apply towards working in IT, don't be surprised if it's harder than it seems, because when I first started, I thought it was going to be a lot easier than what it really is.

    I wish you nothing but the best and hope you do well, but don't think that we're trying to discourage you.
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
  11. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

    The reality is that IT is hard to break in to. The good news is that those with commitment, drive and enthusiasm will, sooner or later, get their break.
    Most people here will recommend A+ as the first cert to go for. I agree with this. It's not a well known cert in Britain, it's expensive, but it does show commitment and drive plus teaching you the basics that an entry level tech should know.

    My 2 year route so far has been:
    Year 1: Achieved A+, N+ and MCDST while working min wage jobs to pay the bills. Volunteered at a local charity helping out with staff training, web design and network issues.
    Year 2: got my first IT job in consumer support. Got paid off after 6 months as Egypt is apparently cheaper. Was unemployed for 3 months. Got another job with the same outsourcing company doing mobile phone insurance, just to keep my customer service skills sharp.
    Going in to year 3, I start a new job on Tuesday earning 50% more than any job in the past 2 years.

    My advice, aim for what you want, work towards what you want, but do what you have to do to earn a crust in the meantime. Customer service skills are arguably more important at the entry level than technical skills so look for call centre jobs (yes, you will have to leave your soul, and your will to live, at the front door).
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  12. coolc

    coolc Nibble Poster

    get high level certs like mcse
  13. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    It's hard to break into the IT career field, but it is possible, and if you enjoy working with computers, it can be a VERY fulfilling career.

    There are multiple niches you can find yourself in with an IT career, but in general, there are two types of IT people: programmers and administrators. Programmers program code; administrators administer servers, PCs, and other network devices. Generally, these are two separate career fields, but on rare occasion, you'll find programmers who do a little admin work and admins who script a little code. However, most people stick to one or the other, for the most part. The choice of direction is yours; both are good.

    As you move up in your career, you'll find that there are certain specialties you can pursue. However, you are not required to do so... there are quite a few people (myself included) who prefer being a jack-of-all-trades generalist. Again, the choice is yours, but fortunately, this is not a decision you have to make early in your career. Early on, you basically take whatever you can find. For programmers, any junior level programming position is worthwhile. Many admins start out doing helpdesk, field service work, and/or PC technical support.

    A degree isn't required to start out as an admin in IT; degrees will come in handy later in your career. On the other hand, if you want to pursue a programming career, you can get a healthy dose of programming languages while pursuing a CS degree. Thus, programmers tend to have degrees; admins can hit the ground running, albeit at lower salaries. Over time, the difference in pay tends to even out, with occasional cycles where one type of tech is more in demand than another.

    Certifications can make you look more attractive, particularly if you're following the admin track. That's not to say that you should acquire every certification under the sun... in fact, you should stick to certifications that generally match your experience level. At the start of your career, the A+, Network+, and MCDST (or MCITP for Vista and Win7) are worthwhile, entry-level certifications for admins. Hold off on any certifications beyond those, however... being overcertified can sometimes be worse than being undercertified!

    Programmers don't rely on certs much (or any), because it's pretty easy to prove whether you can code or not. It's much more difficult for an admin to prove he can administer a network, ya know?

    Sadly, the "big bucks" won't come until later in your career (if even then!). That's not to say you'll starve... but it's not the "get rich quick" career that many people seem to wrongly think it is. Fortunately, you seem to have a good attitude towards this already, with reasonable expectations.

    The best piece of advice I can give you is to not give up. If you're intelligent and passionate about IT, you'll likely do well. And, like I said, it can be a very fulfilling career... stressful at times, but often quite enjoyable.

    Hope this helps and fills you with the drive, determination, and positive attitude that you will need to succeed. :biggrin
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
    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. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Excellent post BM, however a lot of people think interviewing programmers is something of a black art, so I'd have to disagree with you on this one...

    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  15. zet

    zet Byte Poster

    Programming roles are harder to break into unless you're willing to do an internship. Unless you have a degree (and a good one at that) and you can programme in quite a few languages confidently then consider this route. The only other way to get a job is to build your own projects/do an internship to demonstrate your skills.

    I have a friend who is a extremely talented programmer. I mean he got a distinction on his masters and has around 3 to 4 years experience with various programming languages. He was by far head and shoulders above everyone else in the class. However, he can't get a job - infact I have had a few agencies call me about programming roles and I pass the opportunity onto my friend but nothing.
    Certifications: BSc, MSc, A+
  16. zet

    zet Byte Poster

    A quick question to the OP, why is it taking you 6 years to do a degree from the open university? You're on JSA so that would mean you have plenty of time on your hands to get it done sooner?
    Certifications: BSc, MSc, A+
  17. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    As I always say and would say it again with hard work, persistence, determination, drive and enthusiasm you would go a long way in realizing your goals.

    The only hindrance or limit would be you, sorry might sound harsh but the truth is not always easy to comprehend.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2011
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  18. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    IT as a whole appears to be saturated at the bottom, its hard for employers to differentiate and there are large numbers of applicants, getting your first gig is always the hardest. Programmers that can show 2+ years good experience and references are generally in higher demand and have a slightly easier time of it.

    Unfortunately proving you are head and shoulders above the rest seems to be a career hazard for the whole of your career if you are a jobbing programmer.

    Agree with Zet in the an OU degree can be had in 3 years if studied fulltime, however the OU don't reccomend this and I'd reccomend a fulltime uni if you can commit to that for sure. However there are ways you can chop bits off your OU study, some level one courses can be loaded up, as they are easier for instance and don't have exams. Then there is credit for prior learning, certs etc. So in summary I'd try and get you level one points as fast as possible and possibly ignore the time reccomendations a little and aim for only passing scores to pass the level one modules faster. I'm was told only level 2 and 3 count to your final degree classification. Then at level 2 and three try and take 60 point courses as these give you points easier and cheaper on average. Maybe also initially aim only for a foundation degree and top up to full degree when in work.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
  19. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

    Hey Special Brew!

    I would suggest you start your A+ and then head onto N+ - while you are doing these you will learn the entry level knowledge required for helpdesk/technical support roles at the same time get a basic background into all areas of the IT. From doing the A+/N+ you will find out where in IT your interest is, whether its server admin, desktop support or networking.

    While you self-study, feel free to apply for IT roles - Helpdesk, Technical Support etc, let them know (on your CV and during any interviews) that you are self-studying as you know you don't have any certs. This will show them you valve learning in IT, as technology is forever changing and updating.

    I got into my IT role with no real qualifications (was studying computer games at university), I've just landed an interview with a stockbroker in London without anything other than my degree and 2 years experience helpdesk a school. Experience really counts, but the stockbroker was very impressed that I was willing to self-study to improve my knowledge even though I had a couple of years experience.

    Good luck with it. Understand that your first few roles you have will be lower pay (13-19k), but its laying the foundations to a better career.
    Certifications: BSc Computer Game Technology, A+
    WIP: MOS 2010
  20. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    I already suggested careers you could do if you like fixing computers.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?

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