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139 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 7

# 212729 10-Apr-2017 01:21
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The story so far, updated from a previous thread:


  • I've advanced as far as I can in my current PC technician job where I've been for 11 years. Building and fixing PCs has basically become the Rust Belt of the ICT sector due to the smartphone boom, and I'd like to get away from a people contact/front-counter job for once.
  • I live in Wellington where the ICT sector is on the rise, but the vast majority of advertised positions are for senior roles. By those standards I'd probably be wheeling the drinks trolley.
  • Got a big fat zero return-on-investment on student loans in the past, after finding the learning curve too steep at university. Most people I've spoken to say that university ICT courses aren't worth it.
  • Looked at part-time courses while still working, but EFTS requirements may mean I'd have to quit my job, which I can't afford to do right now.
  • Looked at DevAcademy for its apprenticeship-on-steroids approach, but denied a loan due to pre-existing debts and delays in NZQA approval for the course. Furthermore, I'm not sure if coding is the right path for me.
  • MOOCs have been suggested, but it seems they're not all they're cracked up to be. Partly because they typically require the attention span of a saint.
  • Diagnosed with an 'unspecified neuro-developmental disorder' - probably PDD-NOS as per the DSM-4. I'm too autistic to find unadvertised jobs via 'connections', and much of my future job hopes - probably in a large organisation - are now in the hands of supported employment consultants such as Workbridge or Emerge.
  • I'm very much a visual thinker with the attention span of a goldfish, so some kind of old-fashioned vocational apprenticeship approach - similar to the former Ministry of Works or the German model - would easily be best for me. The catch is, it's not easy to find if at all in ICT, despite calls for the industry to take it up, and it's a colossal ask in a relatively deregulated labour market.
  • I joined the ITP for its mentorship programme, but my membership was money down the drain, and the mentorship I was recommended turned out to be just another pep talk. It seems to cater overwhelmingly for those who are already ICT pros, rather than those trying to break into the sector.
  • My ITP mentor's testing company finally accepted applications for its on-the-job training programme, only to miss out on even getting an interview.
  • The Brexit vote and the election of President Trump have thrown renewed attention on society's 'left-behind' and under-investment in vocational training.
  • The only formal qualification to my name is a CompTIA A+, and it's merely formalised my existing skills and experience, rather than leading to bigger and better things.
  • Done paid crowd-testing on the side - I get to telecommute, but it's nowhere near sufficient to replace regular work.

At a very recent ITP meetup on "The Future of the IT Profession", there were the usual mentions of difficulty finding skilled ICT pros, and internal company cultures holding back efforts to fix it. I had a quick chat with the ITP CEO afterwards, and he was on record saying that there are no plans to bring ICT into the ITO structure, but rather there was something about ICT in the Vocational Pathways programme. According to its official web site, it's aimed at new school leavers. I forgot to mention to him that I'm approaching mid-career and seeking a career change. I'd dearly like to update my skill set, but not if I have to throw away any more money or get bored to death.


If anyone knows of an apprenticeship/on-the-job training pathway into ICT for 'rust belt' workers like myself, I'd be keen to know.

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10815 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 1813

  # 1760313 10-Apr-2017 15:43
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Since you were at the crossroads you picked a direction. You are a lot closer than you think. With your previous experience and ongoing freelance work all you really need is one of these:

Certification cost is around $300 for the exam. It's good for the CV and from there you can show how you applied the techniques to your freelance projects.

417 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  # 1760324 10-Apr-2017 16:01
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I'm not being facetious, but have you considered a career change? There are lots of jobs in the trades sector, for example. One of my friends has a PHd and is loving landscaping.



139 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 7

  # 1760389 10-Apr-2017 19:06
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BlinkyBill: I'm not being facetious, but have you considered a career change? There are lots of jobs in the trades sector, for example. One of my friends has a PHd and is loving landscaping.


Definitely on the table, if ICT doesn't work out. Someplace where I can exercise a creative bent would be nice but unpredictably boom-bust, such as architecture or special effects.

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