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What to do with six months and a grand?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by ben386, May 19, 2013.

  1. ben386

    ben386 New Member

    Title says it all I think :)

    I work in desktop support, both Windows and Macs, making £11 an hour. My job is only part time and that doesn't look like changing... but I can live on my pay so I have it much better than some. No certs whatsoever, but I'd get a good reference if I moved on. I also have £1000 savings in the bank.

    If I stick it out here for 6 months, what would be the best way of investing £1000 in my career? Or should I be looking at a new job immediately? Any tips appreciated. Can't promise to act on any that involve professional poker or moving to deepest Alberta though :biggrin
  2. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

    If you're happy in the role and can survive on the salary then I would use the time for self study and exams (the exams will cost the most btw). In that time gain as many relevant certs as you think required (perhaps an Apple cert or two with a Microsoft exam or three) to back up your experience and then start looking for a new role if you want to.

    I think it would make life so much easier if in 8 or 9 months or so (because 6 months takes you up to Xmas and who hires just before Xmas???) with some relevant certs to find a role than trying now with no qualifications.
    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. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Go backpacking someplace cheap ?

    ..oh you want career advice :biggrin

    You don't need to spend very much to learn, look into books, coursera, udacity, etc.

    What route to follow depends on where you want to go.
  4. ben386

    ben386 New Member

    Very tempting, but don't people who dare to go out in the big bad world get their iPads stolen? :eek:
    If you were in my shoes, what would you put the time and money into? Anything you think might pay off. I'm just trying to get some ideas.
    - - - Updated - - -

    You're right, waiting til the new year to jump makes sense. What certs would you say are worth the money, and are there any I shouldn't try to self study?

  5. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Very boring answer, but in my line of work getting two years good experience counts more than anything else, so thats the first thing to do.

    While you are getting this experience you should learn as much interesting / useful other stuff as you can.

    The last £1000 I spent on training was on a Big Data course, before that it was a multi-threading course, and before that is was CUDA course, but thats just me.
    In the meantime I've also learnt lots without spending hardly anything.

    You need to decide what interests you and what career positions you want, have a look on job boards and find positions you think you'd like and think about what it would take to get there.

    What pays off is generally :-

    1. What the market needs
    2. What interests you most
    3. What gives you a USP
    4. What matches your background and skills
    Last edited: May 19, 2013
  6. B33 ENN

    B33 ENN Nibble Poster

    From my understanding, all IT support specialisations (such as admin, security, databases...) start from a strong technician/networking base, so that's a useful amount of experience you'll have accumulated after 2 years, which will come in very handy when interviewing for your next career move, especially when combined with paper credentials.

    So, like other posters have indicated, I would also recommend you to "stick it out" and use your spare time to study for some entry level certifications which validate your skills and experience gained so far. Obvious suggestions would be CompTIA's A+ and Network+, at least one of which should be achievable in 6 months given your experience.

    To help understand your options after that, I'd suggest taking a look at the interactive "roadmap" guide on CompTIA's site, as I found it useful in getting a lay of the land beyond the entry level. There's also a similar one from Microsoft showing their proprietary certificate pathways. (I can't post the links unfortunately, but they are easy to search up.)

    Resources like that can help to plan your route forward, but which direction you choose depends on which area you've found the most interesting/challenging so far.
    Certifications: ECDL, ECDL Expert | Cisco ITE | CompTIA Strata, A+ | Microsoft MTA Operating System, MTA Server Administration | CCNA Exploration
    WIP: CompTIA Network+ | Microsoft MCSA Windows 7, Server 2012 | Cisco CCENT, CCNA

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