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Where to start??

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by werthers93, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. werthers93

    werthers93 Bit Poster


    First and foremost I'll apologise for this if it's in the wrong forum!!

    My names Mark and I am 26. I am currently employed as a trainee chartered accountant which I am hating every minute of, I am also suffering from depression (no doubt from spending most of my energy in the wrong career). My first love is IT/computers, which i have a passion for. I have spent numerous long hours upgrading my pc, my trusty old amiga (dont laugh!) and do have a genuine interest in networking, servers etc. I know this is a little cheesy and cliche but it's true.

    What I am looking for is a little guidance in a mountain of information. I have looked at the qualifications and to me, the MCSE seems the most appropriate route. I have the typical problem of someone entering IT, I dont know whether to look for a job now or wait until I am qualified. I certainly know my way round a computer but anyone can actually say this without having the necessary paperwork to back it up.

    My other issue is how to get to MCSE (if this is the correct course). I have looked into Computeach and Advent and also Zimbo's guide. I was tempted to pay for a distance course for CompTIA A+ just to give me a bit of weight if I did decide to go for an IT job soon.

    This may seem like a ramble but hopefully someone can shed some light for me and hopefully stop me shelling out 5k!!!

    Any replies will be greatly appreciated.


    [mod edit - post approved by bluerinse]
    WIP: WIP A+
  2. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    Mark, you need to be looking at entry level certs and finding yourself some real world entry level practical experience. The MCSE is targeted at experienced people and therefore it's not really suited to somebody wanting to get into IT.

    I would be looking to progress like this. Start getting some hands on by pulling PCs apart and playing with them, whilst doing this, study for and pass the two exams which make up CompTIA's A+. Then follow that with their N+ which covers a broad range of subjects relating to networking in general. Note that both of these certs are vendor neutral and globally recognised. Then decide which direction you intend to branch out into, the two most popular are Cisco and Microsoft. If you chose Microsoft, look at the desktop support technician cert MCDST. From there, the MCSA (microsoft certified systems administrator) would be my goal.

    Whilst progressing through these stages, you should be seeking employment in job roles where you can put the relevant knowledge gleaned to work.

    If you find yourself in a situation where you are working in an environment which has Microsoft server products, using Active Directory and Exchange etc and you are involved in the everyday administration of the network and have experience under you belt, well then i would look at going for MCSE.

    Right now going for the MCSE would be trying to run before you can walk.

    All of this can be done through self study, it won't be easy whichever way you chose but self study is a darn sight cheaper.

    Good luck,

    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  3. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    Spot on advice bluerinse, as this would definately be way for Mark to go. Finally, welcome to CF.
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  4. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

    First of all welcome! :D

    Second, the quote above, this describes me - an absolute passion for IT - I did a physics degree, my heart wasn't in that at all - passed, more by luck than anything I'm sure! in my current IT role - I aim to take bigger challenges each day, can't stop me - thats the difference a passion makes.

    Thirdly, bluerinse has said and loads of others will probably be saying the same thing, A+ is a definite starter. Find a job and progress.
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
    WIP: 70-293
  5. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    Cant add much more on what Bluerinse has posted. :biggrin

    Why not purchase some books for the A+ cert and see what you think?

    Always remember there is a difference working in IT in comparison to just tinkering with your own PC for fun. 8)
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Office 365, Server 2016, CEH
  6. werthers93

    werthers93 Bit Poster


    thanks for the advice. The goal of MCSE was a long term goal not short term, isn't A+ included in this anyway?

    As for work what would you recommend me starting as, I am having difficulty with this as most are asking for people with experience.

    WIP: WIP A+
  7. werthers93

    werthers93 Bit Poster

    I was thinking of doing this and looked into the exam objectives on the website. If I do choose to do this when are the exam dates? As in how often?

    WIP: WIP A+
  8. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster


    Blue's advice is spot on. You want to be looking at the A+ to start, then progressing to the Network+ and MCDST certifications. You shouldn't pursue the MCSA or MCSE until you've gotten some real-world experience under your belt.

    No, you don't need to pay thousands to a training center. See my list of certifications in my sig? Didn't take a training course for any of them.

    Sparky's also right in that working in IT is different from playing in IT. My degree is actually in Chemistry because I didn't want to "spoil" my love of computers by working with them. I've been messing with computers for 27 years - since I was 10 (loved my C64 and my Amiga 500, by the way). But when I found that companies wanted chemists with Masters degrees rather than Bachelors degrees, I had no choice but to bail and work an $11/hr job as a field service tech. My career launched from there, and 9 years later, I'm doing quite well.

    Glad you found us!
    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!
  9. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

    A+ is not included, i wish i had studied it first but i got bad advice :(

    As for work experience, that is a conundrum which has raised it's head time and time again - how does one get experience in anything? Well either you start at the bottom, entry level help desk etc and or you volunteer for work with a local company, which to be honest is the magic key imho.

    Simple as that :)
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  10. werthers93

    werthers93 Bit Poster

    I've ordered 2 books that Zimbo recommended in his sticky, it's a small step but at least in the right direction. :D

    Is CompTIA mostly covered by homestudy? Ive looked at a few colleges and cant really see anything covered by them, only elements of it but not A+.

    WIP: WIP A+
  11. Crito

    Crito Banned

    Tinkering is undervalued and real world experience is overvalued, IMHO. You don't spend 60 hours a week tinkering with computers unless you love tinkering with computers. And I know plenty of IT professionals who spend 20 hours of their 35 hour work week in meetings, not working with computers. So remember this too: both Apple and HP were started by people tinkering in their garage for no pay. :ohmy
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: none
  12. Deckerhobo

    Deckerhobo New Member

    I was in the same boat your in. I was in the food service industry for 20 years, but I always wanted to do IT. Long story short…I started with A+ and Network+. The school I was going to was able to get me an interview for a company that supports data centers. I got the job and the money was more than I could have asked for my experience. From there I went Security+, Microsoft’s :70-270, 70-290, 70-291. That finished my MCSA. Then CCNA and back to Microsoft’s: 20-293, 70-294 (70-298 next week.) All this within’ a year and a half. I’m not terribly bright so it can be done. Start with A+ and Net+ and look for a job that is in the field, but may require work that a lot of IT folk don’t like to do, like say a data center which requires a bit of physical labor – racking and stacking servers, running cable, etc. This will however give you some experience in the environment and expose you to servers, network equipment, and operating systems. If you can deal with that for a year or so and work on your certs at the same time, you should be good to go in no time. Hope this helps.
  13. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

    Well it really depends how much you hate accounting.

    Do you really want a support role ? If not MCSE might not be for you ?

    There are plenty of IT jobs with a business process or accountancy bent, look at Sage, SAP, Oracle etc. You may be able to move to a different department or different accountancy firm and do both.

    Having little experience can actually be an advantage as you can apply to firms and ask for training and offer to take a low salary. Later on in your career this becomes less of an option.
  14. sparkyelectric

    sparkyelectric New Member

    why don't you try a short course like i did, before i was useless with sage 50, now im pretty good. if i might fold my own boat. i have a contact in central london, e16 thats trains people in sage 50, and she's great!

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