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17 posts

Geek


Topic # 111232 28-Oct-2012 01:22 Send private message

Hi Pros

Just been looking around a few IT Courses online.

I will give a brief background of my current status in IT

I graduated last year with a BSc in Information Systems 

I have been working for the last year at an ISP

I have done a support role for about 6 months and then got moved into Service Delivery - Faults  (pretty much talking to technicians all day confirming the fixing of fault/testing with on site technicians).

I am at the point where I would like to take the next step up and move into a more IT based role.

I have considered taking the path of perhaps starting with a system admin position or something along the lines of that. From there I may possibly branch off and go in the Network Engineering pathway depending how I find it. I did touch on a bit of Cisco and found it somewhat challenging but interesting.

I did get to the final stage of a graduate systems engineering role at one stage but my knowledge of Active Directory let me down.

As a result I would like to get some certifications under my belt then perhaps try for some entry level stuff.

I have narrowed it down to possible courses

http://www.ames.ac.nz/courses/course-detail.aspx?microsoft_mcts_mcitp_training_and_certification_ames_it_academy_nz_pc9814

and

http://www.computerpower.ac.nz/network-engineering

I have heard of the CBT Nuggets stuff as I have asked a similar thing in the past, but I do prefer a classroom environment, at least for now.

With going with the AMES course its straight into Microsoft Content and is only 3 months. I am however how well this will help with securing that entry level job. On the positive its under 8k to sit

With Computer Power it is a much longer course and covers a lot more stuff, Cisco, Microsoft, Network+, ....etc. Also more expensive as well. Looking at 24k on costs here.

So my question to you pros out there, if you have in insight on what I should consider I would greatly appreciate it.



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17 posts

Geek


  Reply # 707697 28-Oct-2012 01:26 Send private message

The other alternative is I can try apply for jobs where a company will pay for your studies while on the job. But those are quite hard to find.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 707754 28-Oct-2012 09:17 Send private message

Hi, I did the MCITP course at Ames starting Jan this year and found it pretty good. The other option is to do their diploma course which covers A+, MCITP, and CCNA also, but that takes 9 months I think. I just did MCITP as I was way beyond A+ and had done CCNA 2 years previously by self studying it. The MCITP course still requires that you do loads of self study anyway and I found being in a class with idiots kind of hampering. Most people were good and wanted to learn, some of them took an age to understand anything and then there were the ones who were just monkeys with clothes on. Anyway if you prefer a classroom environment and are willing to work hard and put in extra time like I did, you can end the 3 months as an MCITP. That's pretty good going actually and will validate your knowledge of the subjects. The best thing from your perspective though is that you already work for an ISP. Tell someone there what you want to do, a lot of places would be supportive of whatever career path you want to take. Only shi**y companies have no interest in upskilling their staff. Best of luck......

gzt

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  Reply # 707775 28-Oct-2012 09:55 Send private message

I have not studied these topics at CP but Computer Power deliver most of their training using a mix of practical and CBT exercises in front of the machine without a classroom environment (but instructors available) - meaning if you advance faster in one topic you are free to spend more time in another if it is needed. Less of the timewasting dynamics mentioned by tatbaird with other advantages as well. I suggest giving them a call and making an appointment to visit to discuss the course and see how they deliver it. In the past at least they were very flexible with attendance times which is useful when you are doing other things as well.

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Geek


  Reply # 717790 15-Nov-2012 16:03 Send private message

I would get into the CCNA Cisco network certifications. My mate has been in support for years and this is the only way to progress to the next level. Everyone gets microsoft certs. Be different and get the CCNA or higher in this line of certs.

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  Reply # 717809 15-Nov-2012 16:22 Send private message

It all kinda depends on your learning style and base knowledge.  If you don't have any real IT support knowledge go with one of those classes, but if you do already, save yourself some cash and self-study.  The exams arn't hard, but they do ensure you know a wide range of things.  

When studying, focus on what you don't know and take test exams - loads of them.  They will give you a good indication of where you are sitting and what you need to focus on. 

In the end, they are only really an extra chance to get a foot in the door.  I'm a IT manager (helpdesk/desktop support) who does my own recruitment and frankly im more interested in someone who knows how to think outside the box and ask the right questions, rather than someone who only knows what they learnt.  I've seen a few C.V's come past me with Computer Power on them and haven't taken any of them on. 

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  Reply # 717845 15-Nov-2012 18:03 Send private message

I've come across so many people who have gone through those AMES courses and used tools like test king? to get all manner of certs, however few actually have any understanding of what they are actually doing.

You'd be better to follow the advise above and try get on-the-job training and jump position/company to get the pay raises.



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Geek


  Reply # 717880 15-Nov-2012 19:44 Send private message

Thanks for the input. I actually thought that moving up within a company/on job training would be the best way to go. Unfortunately the place i work does not really offer that. I currently work in service delivery - faults from a billing/support role. Only path from here is to become a senior customer service rep/manager, apart from that we have a very small NOC team as the main centers are in oz which is where most the system admin/programmers and other IT positions are.

I think ill try find another job that may offer a pathway to train on job and move up to better roles. Thanks again for the input it is greatly appreciated as I am pretty lost as how to further improve my career and im getting a little too comfortable where I am which is not good.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 718018 15-Nov-2012 23:39 Send private message

Oh god please don't pay for a training course out of your own pocket!!

Get your employer to send you on it! It's up to you to prove you will be far more useful to them if you go on course "x", propose it to them something like "I'm having a bit of trouble in field "x" and I want to know it better for my role, are there any training course I can go on to help ?"

You have to make sure it's relevant to your job mind :-)

But don't pay for the courses yourself, the pricing is not setup for mere mortals doing it off their own backs, it's for companies who have training budgets.




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  Reply # 718063 16-Nov-2012 08:17 Send private message

Look around for a level 1 support role at one of the larger IT companies- helpdesk type thing.
You will be amazed by how much you can pick up in 1 year actually getting your hands dirty, as opposed to what you will learn from a course.
The joys of signing up with one of the larger companies, is they want to hold on to staff that they have invested time in, and you will have a progression path. They will also want to upskill you with industry relevant training, rather than a course that will just get you in the door.
Downside of a help / service desk role is the pay - $30-40k is typical, but is not bad I guess for someone getting a foot in the door.

IcI

33 posts

Geek


Reply # 718082 16-Nov-2012 09:03 Send private message

Hi there.
If you want to give the Microsoft stuff a go, then have a look at MVA (Microsoft Virtual Academy).
Similar concept to CBT Nuggets, all for free with the latest content provided directly by MS with a few questions thrown in for testing. After that, visit http://learning.microsoft.com and read the prep notes for your chosen exam / topic.

In my opinion, networking & data is where the money is. I've really done well with Boson for network learning. VoIP, wireless particularly.

gzt

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  Reply # 718142 16-Nov-2012 10:02 Send private message

From what I have heard over the years Datacom is the McDonalds of IT in NZ with advantages and some disadvantages of that - http://www.datacom.co.nz/Careers/Graduate-Programme

And take a look here: http://www.gradconnection.co.nz/

From what I have seen most grad programs rotate candidates through desktop support / network support / operations / datacenter over a 12 - 18 month period before looking at a permanent career path.

From that point of view your idea to move on to something like desktop support is good because it at least follows a similar path progression and from there you can plan your breakout of L1 even if it is not the same company.

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  Reply # 718149 16-Nov-2012 10:26 Send private message

I think it's sad that in NZ the best option for a graduate with an impressive qualification like BSc Info Systems is to get a helpdesk or desktop support job and work their way up.

To put in in perspective, this is the same as I did when I started working in IT - and I dropped out of a Polytech course after the first 10 months. I really feel like those people that put in the hard yards to finish their course and graduate with a degree should have better entry options.

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  Reply # 718152 16-Nov-2012 10:29 Send private message

gzt: From what I have heard over the years Datacom is the McDonalds of IT in NZ with advantages and some disadvantages of that - http://www.datacom.co.nz/Careers/Graduate-Programme


It's funny what people "hear" about Datacom, myself included, until I started working there.

Whatever you "hear" is simply untrue. You only need to look at the various vendors around to see who is doing well and who isn't.

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  Reply # 718164 16-Nov-2012 11:00 Send private message

Or think about software testing -  with a BSc in Information Systems, years helpdesk experience, and the ISTQB Foundation Level certificate, you should get to the interview stage for junior test analyst roles. The skillset for a good help desk person overlaps somewhat - technical knowledge, end to end system knowledge, attention to detail, knowledge of functional designs, help desk script vs. test script, communication skills, troubleshooting - not just seeing that there is a bug, but seeing at what level in the system it is occurring.

The exam is $300 so easily self fund-able, and not difficult to pass after learning one of these books.  To have more of an edge, be fairly proficient in sql, have a go at an automated testing plugin for firefox to understand the concept of automated testing, have a working understanding of xml and web services.


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  Reply # 718167 16-Nov-2012 11:06 Send private message

JamesL:
gzt: From what I have heard over the years Datacom is the McDonalds of IT in NZ with advantages and some disadvantages of that - http://www.datacom.co.nz/Careers/Graduate-Programme


It's funny what people "hear" about Datacom, myself included, until I started working there.

Whatever you "hear" is simply untrue. You only need to look at the various vendors around to see who is doing well and who isn't.


Everyone I've met from Datacom seem to be happy and a positive attitude.  They are also wildly successful, you don't get there by mistreating your staff.  I'd say you could do a hell of a lot worse...

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