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Where to start?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by AshGrant, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. AshGrant

    AshGrant New Member


    This is my first post on the forum, except yo say hello in the introduction thread, so please go easy if I'm being a complete newbie. I best introduce myself, for those of you who don't keep track of us noobs in the introduction page, I'm currently and have been the past 10 years, a member of HM Forces, but want to leave and get a more settled job, where I can at least live at home and see my family every night.

    I want to do a few entry level courses to get a few qualifications, this along with my experience in the Army as a Communications Systems Operator (Mostly radio communications, but some basic IT/Networking is included, as well as some help desk user support) and my personal use of computers as the 'family and friends expert' should stand me in good stead for an entry level job in IT.

    I want to start a career in IT to turn a hobby into a a job, I'm looking to earn a similar wage to what I get now, but understand a drop in pay might be unavoidable to start with, 25k+ is a ball park figure I would be hoping for to start with, but I'm flexible.

    If I'm not mistaken I want to aim for Comptia A+ Certification and Comptia Network+ Certification as a starting point for official qualifications, is this the right path to go down? Will these course help me get a wage or better than I'm seeking? Will they help me get a job in IT at all?

    I have also been looking at the Cerco route, after reading a few of these forums Cerco is not highly regarded, however, I would get the course paid for by an ex-forces charity, so surly Cerco's CCSN is better than nothing if I can get it for free? Judging by what a lot of people have said the jobs Cerco get you into are nothing more than fillers, but is this a bad place to gain specific experience?


  2. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

    Hiya Ash,

    Welcome aboard.

    I.T is all about experience, so my advice is to grab what you can. Read up on articles, participate in excellent communties like Certforums, offer help to friends and family and contact possible recruiters expressing your hunger to learn.
    If you can grab whatever experience you can, i would suggest studying for certification at the same time. This will enable you to move forward, learn new topics, prove your knowledge and show perspective employeers you really are genuine and not just "wanting to do something different"
    As for the salary, 25K is not a starting salary, but a salary for someone who has been in their respective field for a while. This doesn't mean you can't work up to it, but not straight away.
    Perhaps you could use some savings or top your income up in another way whilst you "learn and earn"

    All the best in your new chosen career.

    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  3. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Welcome to the forums! Boyce has provided some excellent advice.

    Yep, that's a great starting point.

    Will it help you get a certain wage? No, but it'll help you look more attractive to employers.

    Will they help you get a job? Yes, they can. Will they GET you a job? Keep in mind that certifications won't automagically qualify you to do a job... they'll only make you look more attractive than your competition, provided experience levels are somewhat equal.

    In my opinion, they're worth getting. But keep them in the proper perspective.

    Depends on how you learn. I learn faster when I'm NOT in a structured classroom course... I can't fast-forward or "skim" an instructor. Plus, *I* choose what materials I want to study, and *I* set my training schedule (sometimes at 2am, when there are no classes!), and *I* determine whether I'm ready for an exam (not by passing some arbitrary classroom test that I have to score perfect on before the training provider will allow me to take the official exam). You'll have to judge for yourself whether "free" is worth it.

    Not sure what the CCSN is. But experience isn't gained through classroom training... it is gained only by working in a real-world business IT environment.
    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!
  4. AshGrant

    AshGrant New Member

    Cheers guys, I think Ill try and self teach the A+ and see how I get on, if this works out for me and I can get the certification I'll look at doing further studies, as for starting at the bottom again I guess I will have to tighten my belt a bit so I can manage the drop in wages to get my foot in the door and get the experiance built up, in the long term I think it will be worth it.
  5. Jiser

    Jiser Kilobyte Poster

    Your salary expectations are probably unrealistic. For example I know plenty of people about with quite a few years experiance on less than that - you may be up against those types of people in interview.
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), PGc, MCTS:Win 7, MCSA W7/MCITP EDST, ITIL Foundation, Prince 2 Foundation, C&G: Web Design, MOS 07: Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Outlook.

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