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312 posts

Ultimate Geek
Inactive user

# 19413 16-Feb-2008 06:27
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hi, i recently quit my job of 4 years managing a wisconsin burger, i'm 21 and i want to start focussing on a career in computing.

i did computers (pretty sure it was 6th form computing) at wellington college but it was a fairly useless course, partly because the teacher was almost non-existent but also when he was in the classroom he seemed more interested in spending time with students who knew more about computers than he did instead of helping the ones that didn't (back then that included me Tongue out) long story short, i walked away from college with nothing but NCEA which frankly was a joke and is useless to me.

i feel i have a good knowledge of computers these days, i have owned my own machines since 5th form. i have put together 3 or 4 for myself and regularly take them apart, do maintainence on them and frequently upgrade parts etc. i have good knowledge in networking and windows 98, xp and vista and am constantly asked by friends to help with problems (be it software or hardware related) and can usually work out the problem and fix it or recommend a solution. i really love computing and how rapidly the technology is changing and i don't really have any particular area that i favour but if i had to list a few it would be hardware maintainence and web developement and design.

anyway i'm probably going to start studying at Natcoll in july, i want to do their introductory course (i-create course) and then work out from that which diploma would suit me best. what i want from you guys is a little guidance. if anyone has been to Natcoll and could give me feedback or advice that would be great. i would also love if anyone has any recommendations of any types of jobs out there that someone with no degree but good knowledge of computers could be eligible for? any advice is very much appreciated and sorry if it felt like you just read a novel Tongue out


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2196 posts

Uber Geek
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  # 110921 16-Feb-2008 06:54
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Personally this is what I did - now a Senior Technical Consultant.

6 month certificate in computing at what is now natcol.

Got a job on a first level helpdesk and start my MCSE (Microsoft certification).

After about 2 years moved to a 2nd level helpdesk and finished my MCSE (Win 2000). Upgraded to MCSE 2003 and started study on Cisco.

After another 2 years moved to where I am now as a technical consultant and completed CCNA - currently working on CCNP.

So in around 5-6 years I am now working at a senior level with a number of junior staff to look after plus a huge amount of responsibilty and I get to do some cool and exciting stuff.

I suppose my main advise is dont do to much at natcol - this is not really recognised in the real world. You are better to get in at the bottom rung and get some experince + start doing industry certification i.e. MCSE, CCNA. 

Its a great carreer but it does take a lot of work.

When you live your life on Twitter and Facebook, and are only friends with like minded people on Twitter and Facebook, you are not living in the real world. You are living in a narcissistic echo chamber.


My thoughts are my own and are in no way representative of my employer.

206 posts

Master Geek


  # 110923 16-Feb-2008 08:28
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Go blow 3 years at uni... if you are thinking about a career in computing then the degree will give you plenty of time to think about it while giving you distractions. A degree shows you have a deeper interest in computing.

Also you may find that learning about pipelines, polymorphism, interrupt requests does not agree with you. Perhaps you discover a love of business 101, employment contracts, employment relations act, accounting 101 or even the arts?! Personally I loved doing the degree.. I also enjoyed, very previously, doing a NZCE in Electronics as now i have a very deep level of understanding what a computer of comprised of, how it ticks and how to make it turn tricks.

I also have a handful of industry certificates, studying for a Cisco cert at present, but most are 'expired' within a few years of gaining them but the degree never 'expires' and does get your foot in the door of the upper management areas.

Your question routinely gets asked around the internet, suggest you read over some /. posts, scroll the list from this simple search:



312 posts

Ultimate Geek
Inactive user

  # 111068 17-Feb-2008 01:44
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thanks guys for your help and advice. it is hugely appreciated. Sealed

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