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Topic # 146535 21-May-2014 07:05
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Hey guys this seems like the most relevant place to post this but apologizes if not..  

Anyway quite frankly I'm sick of working dead end jobs that pay F all and aren't getting me anywhere in life have been thinking about studying for a while now and I.T is an industry that appeals to me. However I haven't studied for several years (since school which I didn't do that well at) I do consider myself pretty intelligent but I wouldn't consider myself 'book smart' hence not doing great at school. For this reason I’m wanting some advice before dropping 5 grand on a course I was wondering if any of you have any references, guides, quizzes or advice I could look at to see if I’m capable of studying I.T? I do consider myself better at computers than most people which is why this industry appeals me here’s a list of some computer related stuff I’ve done over the years.

Replaced several hard drives on desktop and laptop and installed fresh Windows on them.

Installed wireless modem on home network although took me a lot longer and a lot more swear words than it should have.

Have flashed custom roms on several android phones and tablets the past few years although again took me longer and a lot more swear words than it should have particularly installing drivers on windows 8.

I’m pretty awesome at finding pretty much anything on the net for free lol

More recently been learning about proxies and vpns (Tor etc)

As you can see it’s not exactly advanced stuff but I’m far from a noob while I don’t think I’ll find the beginner and intermediate stuff too difficult to learn the more advanced stuff concerns me. The course I’m looking at is more of a self-learning course where you teach yourself and the tutors are there to help if you need it as opposed to the traditional classroom environment I think this would suit me a lot better anyone here study at an institute that had this learning style if so how did you find it? Studying I.T is something I’d really like to do but I guess a have a bit of self-doubt especially with the high fees involved, maybe I just need a bit of reassurance! Haha, thanks is advance.

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  Reply # 1050225 21-May-2014 07:34
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Let me just say School is a different kettle fish.  It was a chore for me, and I hung around but only did so so, not as well as I could have if I had really wanted it.

If you are driven you will find any IT study possible.  The key is to have that desire to succeed, only that will keep you focused; And only that will ensure you make the right choices when option A is to go out drinking on Friday night versus option B of staying home and studying something that you found difficult during that weeks classes. 

It sounds like you fit into this category based on the fact you dislike your current employment opportunities so much - a very efficient motivator.

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  Reply # 1050243 21-May-2014 08:49
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If you want to be a "jack of all trades", such as a mobile support tech, then going to courses IMHO is a waste of money - self teach, learn on the way, and ask here when you get stuck ;)
I sat through an A+ course years ago (cost a small fortune) and came out going "why did I just do that ?" - I could have just paid for the exams and still passed.... didnt help that my friend and I were having to correct the tutor during the course...

Ive still studied up on various things (picked up a couple more certs along the way, but only because the business required them to keep up our MS agreement/licensing), learnt a lot from books etc but havent been back to a course since the A+.

90% of my knowledge (or lack of depending who you talk to ;) ) has come from experience - my first PC I had in pieces within a month (there goes the warranty), got my first IT related job 6 months after that on an ISP helpdesk telling people how to reinstall TCP/IP on Win98/NT and dreading the "but I dont have a Win98/NT disc that you said at the start Ill need before we can go any further".  Funny thing was, I had used Windows 98 for 6 months, and had pretty much ZILCH experience with Windows networking.... 

Helping with finding my replacement at my old job, was an eye opener..... lots of CVs with a page full of qualifications but no actual experience (and the couple we did get in for interviews, failed miserably at the tests given). 

Just a side note, I'd be a little wary of a course that gives you tutors while self learning unless its via reputable company....  Id ask how many tutors cover the course youre doing, what the ratio of students to tutor is - if theyve got 50 students all asking stuff, theyre not going to be able to offer you a lot of time when you need it. Also, $5k seems a lot.... especially if you do the course and never ever talk to the tutors. 




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  Reply # 1050247 21-May-2014 08:56
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You'll need to target a specific area of IT - networking, database, development, project management, etc. There will be book learning, and 1 year is an introduction course. The more practical/hands on the course is the less your likely potential earnings, goes for a jack of all trades too, you specialise to make great money.




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  Reply # 1050249 21-May-2014 09:00
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Pick up a helpdesk or desktop support role and work your way up, learning on the job.  It'll take a few years to get somewhere decent but you'll get more out of it than studying first, because you'll probably end up in a helpdesk role after you study anyway.

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  Reply # 1050276 21-May-2014 09:34
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Find a helpdesk job at an ISP.  You learn the basics of networking and telecommunications as you get paid.  You can then advance to other areas of the business within a few years and find your passion that way.

I agree study is a bit useless.  It would be nice to have the qualification, but from my experience the public care more about how much you are going to be invoicing them over what qualifications you have printed on your business card.





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  Reply # 1050281 21-May-2014 09:42
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DravidDavid: I agree study is a bit useless.  It would be nice to have the qualification, but from my experience the public care more about how much you are going to be invoicing them over what qualifications you have printed on your business card.


This may be true for service desk type work, but for corporate work qualifications can be important. Also billing the public indicates helpdesk level activities.

Helpdesk may be a good place to start, it may not. I have a friend who started at a helpdesk and is now a program/project manager with significant technical skills, though they have a degree in an unrelated field. I'm a solution architect, I have a computer engineering degree. The degree got me from university into a job, around fifteen years ago, now I'm an IT contractor and have been for almost ten years, primarily to government but to large companies too.




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  Reply # 1050288 21-May-2014 09:51
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Working for yourself, it looks good to have qualifications on the card, gives customers that piece of mind that theyve hired someone who at least appears to know their stuff.
Working for someone, they should know what they want, and larger companies will have experienced staff who will be able to tell if you'll be good at the job or not after an interview or two, regardless of qualifications. 

I know for a fact my experience got me my current job, only got 3 qualifications over the years, and 2 of those have "expired" (dont think anyone has much need a MCDST or A+ for Windows 2000/98 anymore ;) )

But yeah, regardless which direction you want to go, something like an ISP helpdesk is a good start, theyve got a range of sections that you can look at while youre there - support, networking, database, web design and so on....




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  Reply # 1050293 21-May-2014 09:57
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xpd: I know for a fact my experience got me my current job, only got 3 qualifications over the years, and 2 of those have "expired" (dont think anyone has much need a MCDST or A+ for Windows 2000/98 anymore ;) )


That qualification if matched with experience in the field since then suggests you'd be up to date, with a good grounding :)




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  Reply # 1050303 21-May-2014 10:18
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I'm a mobile computer technician in my spare time and an IT manager for a small to medium sized printing company as a day job.  I'm focused more on delivering open source solutions for business applications, training business and other clients on how to use them effectively, rather than click the ticket on a product worth thousands they really couldn't afford in the first place.  Maybe I'm a crappy businessman.

I guess I work a different way.  People hire me because I'm friendly, explain the complicated stuff that in plain english that "the last guy" said would cost them a fortune to fix.  Trust and effective communication has been 100X more valuable than that stupid CompTIA certification.  I didn't bother putting it on my business card because I feel silly for doing it.  They charge you for the "learning experience", treat you like an infant all throughout and then charge you again for the exam.  Not doing that again.  Maybe if I feel like branching out to enterprise stuff I'll look in to it.  Pretty happy where honesty has gotten me so far though.





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  Reply # 1050311 21-May-2014 10:30
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i was in a similar position to you, i worked as a mechanic for a japanese franchise but was sick of being paid peanuts etc etc etc, i was very interested in IT and mucked around building PCs etc and wanted to move to IT but found it hard convincing an employer a mechanic was the right person to employee in IT.
I starting a diploma in IT majoring in Network Engineering at Computer Power in wellington which basically covers the infrastructure side of IT (MCSA included) and at the end there are a few basic programing modules and the very last module is cisco CCNA,

there are other courses that are slightly shorted also focused around infrastructure/ helpdesk etc

i studied part time while i continued to work as a mechanic full time, it wasnt easy but i managed it as i was passionate about IT.  I managed to get a job after i had only finished around 1/3 of the course. i started in a help desk and then moved onto doing desktop/network admin and now work for a Large IT vendor doing level 3 support. 

You could try to get a helpdesk job or service desk job without any qualifications as from what ive seen in the IT sector as long as you show a willingness to learn and also go that little extra mile you will be given the opportunity to keep progressing.  Either way you do it you will need to do a bit of study along the way 

I cant comment much on Uni study but from what i have heard unless you want to be a application developer etc you can get more out of studying via other methods like computer power

It  sounds like you have the right mind set if you already work on computers for fun 




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  Reply # 1050346 21-May-2014 11:19
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I know for a fact my experience got me my current job, only got 3 qualifications over the years, and 2 of those have "expired" (dont think anyone has much need a MCDST or A+ for Windows 2000/98 anymore ;) )



my experience with job hunting in IT - you need the qualifications (even if "expired")  to get pass the recruiter search for people - if you do not have them on the CV, it get put in the trash as the company is looking for someone with MCSA, so the agent get 50 CV for the job, step one - throw out none MCSA people, down to 20 people, step 2...

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  Reply # 1050371 21-May-2014 11:35
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Only found one recruiter who didnt care about qualifications, but more on experience......  I avoid the agencies where possible, they dont seem to listen or care about what you want.
Current job (which Im loving) and last one (6 years) were advertised by the company themselves, was so much easier to get through the process and tape... 





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  Reply # 1050376 21-May-2014 11:42
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you could always self-learn iOS programming and go from there.

You just need a reasonable  macbook, xcode (free), and start free online tutorials. 

I've started to do the same myself out of interest.   It's a bit heavy going (me coming from a procedural language background)  but you keep reviewing / repeating and you'll get there. 



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  Reply # 1050413 21-May-2014 12:25
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I don't work in the IT industry per se and I am not an IT guy. However, here's another perspective.

Simply put, others here will likely have better advice for the OP in terms of how to get started now. However, if I were the OP and if I were interested in broadening my options in terms getting involved in implementing new systems and finalising projects at a high level (in particular in the corporate space), you'll likely find industry qualifications and, in particular, a reputable and at least perceived high quality tertiary degree to be essential. A while ago I was on a risk/compliance corporate committee meeting and a couple of high level IT guys were in there discussing with the rest (executive, risk management and legal types - all but one of the IT guys were tertiary qualified and in many cases the people had overseas post-grad degrees) privacy and information security risks to do with some new systems upgrades.

From what I can see, both of the IT guys were experienced and qualified but the guy without a tertiary background really struggled to talk the language of the rest and lacked the report writing skills to convince. I've seen this kind of scenario repeated over and over in the corporate world. It's not always the fault of the IT guys concerned but it's the reality.

  

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  Reply # 1050416 21-May-2014 12:37
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mr_shady:

Anyway quite frankly I'm sick of working dead end jobs that pay F all and aren't getting me anywhere in life have been thinking about studying for a while now and I.T is an industry that appeals to me. However I haven't studied for several years (since school which I didn't do that well at) I do consider myself pretty intelligent but I wouldn't consider myself 'book smart' hence not doing great at school. For this reason I’m wanting some advice before dropping 5 grand on a course I was wondering if any of you have any references, guides, quizzes or advice I could look at to see if I’m capable of studying I.T? I do consider myself better at computers than most people which is why this industry appeals me here’s a list of some computer related stuff I’ve done over the years.


In a past career I taught IT at PolyTechs. My experience was that it was the people like you who *knew* what they wanted that did well... many of the book-smart kids got easily distracted by the girls/booze/drugs/gaming/cars lifestyle.

My advice would be to steer clear of private providers... there are sharks out there whose only interest is the remuneration from bums on seats. They may have poorly paid, poorly qualified, poorly motivated staff. You might end up with a qualification that is worthless.  (These issues increasingly apply to public providers like Polytechs as they compete for students (i.e. funding) with the private providers).



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