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7 posts

Wannabe Geek
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Topic # 113047 3-Jan-2013 18:27
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Hi,

So I have read most of previous posts related to career change to IT and I still have few questions that I need to know:

1. With no strong IT background in my hand, I take that the better way to get into the door is by getting a job in Helpdesk?

2. I'm in the middle of studying the CompTIA A+ and MCITP Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Technician, however, some people I've spoken to have recommended that I should take CompTIA Network+ as well. Would you be able to advise if there's more certs that I should take or certifications mentioned above are sufficient? (eg Cisco CCNA)

3. What are the pros and cons, in your experience working in IT?

A little bit of a background about myself: I graduated in Bsc. Food Science and have been working in the industry for 6 years. Initially, I wanted to do B.Tech (IT) but it takes about 4 years to complete and I had to pay international fees. I could've done Comp Sci but chose Food Sci because I thought it's the safest choice (course fees & job opportunity). I'm not sure if I want to go back to uni again to do full time study as it takes too long while having no income and I prefer not to take student loan or allowance. So I'm taking certifications to get into the IT industry instead. 

My aim at the moment is to get into programming or web development. 

Thank you for reading my post and any relevant advise will be very helpful. I apologise if there's any error on my questions or if certain part doesn't make sense. 


Sincerely

Fer D

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3095 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 739868 3-Jan-2013 19:39
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Hi,

So I have read most of previous posts related to career change to IT and I still have few questions that I need to know:

1. With no strong IT background in my hand, I take that the better way to get into the door is by getting a job in Helpdesk?

If you are looking to go to a larger company in a main centre then yes it could help. They say everyone's first job should be at McDonalds. You learn so much there - like how to deal with stress, prioritisation and dealing with customers. You will learn these skills on a helpdesk also. The customer interaction is the important part because when you are dealing with someone face-to-face and trying to explain why their new exchange server doesnt want to download from a pop3 box when the old 2003 one did can be much more difficult in person.

So yes... start on the helpdesk.
In a smaller city, a small 3 or 4 man I.T consulting firm probably wont see much of the benefit and would prefer to hire you as a sudo-apprentice.

However, if you can get on the helpdesk of any city council around NZ, then it always looks good on your CV.



2. I'm in the middle of studying the CompTIA A+ and MCITP Windows 7, Enterprise Desktop Technician, however, some people I've spoken to have recommended that I should take CompTIA Network+ as well. Would you be able to advise if there's more certs that I should take or certifications mentioned above are sufficient? (eg Cisco CCNA)


Do the CompTIA network course first before you go into the cisco one. If you are going into programming or web development, its probably not necessary. Eg. if you are developing an application in PHP then you probably dont need to know the networking side of things - you will most likley be working on a server that is managed by a person who specializes in networking.

To be good with web development you need two very special skills that are not commonly found in the same person
 - PHP or a web programming language, with knowledge of SQL database backends
 - Graphic design

Many web design houses will have one group of people who do the back end application development, and then another group who do the artistic work.

For some reason i am getting de ja vu and seem to think i have written this before, and the post was deemed pre-spam.


3. What are the pros and cons, in your experience working in IT?


Pros
 - Good working hours
 - Clients that value you
 - Always challenging and always a new problem to find a solution for
 - Moderately good pay - In the major centres

Cons
 - Windows 8 exists
 - Clients that dont want you in their building because your presence means they are loosing money
 - Have to keep up with new technology



A little bit of a background about myself: I graduated in Bsc. Food Science and have been working in the industry for 6 years. Initially, I wanted to do B.Tech (IT) but it takes about 4 years to complete and I had to pay international fees. I could've done Comp Sci but chose Food Sci because I thought it's the safest choice (course fees & job opportunity). I'm not sure if I want to go back to uni again to do full time study as it takes too long while having no income and I prefer not to take student loan or allowance. So I'm taking certifications to get into the IT industry instead. 

My aim at the moment is to get into programming or web development. 

Thank you for reading my post and any relevant advise will be very helpful. I apologise if there's any error on my questions or if certain part doesn't make sense. 



I left high school, decided that the local polytech's bachelor in computing would mean spending three years wasting time, with huge cost just to put what i know into a certificate to hang on the wall.
When it came down to it, the people that i started working for hired me because i could set up a termianal server and they didnt have time to learn the new skills for a small subset of their clients who were expanding their I.T infrastructure at the time. I had played around with sbs servers and taught myself what i needed to know in my spare time. So they hired me.

Now we occasionally will interview someone who has come out of the local polytech and even found a couple of stars who have graduated from uni and their practical knowledge is really no good. As a small company, we would prefer someone who has the skills, rather than the certificate. A larger company may have a programme where they will take a graduate and teach them the practical skills on the basis that they have staff and time avaliable to do that.

So i guess my point is that you should go to the helpdesk no matter which way, and then study according to what you want to actually do.
Networking will teach you the basics on how tcp/ip works etc. The cisco course will teach you that and probably also how to set up some fancy routers, firewalls, routing protocols and other stuff that you probably wouldnt need to know as a web developer.

If you do the basic networking course, and suddenly get the itch to go with networking rather than web development, then i suggest going and doing some cisco courses.




Ray Taylor
Taylor Broadband (rural hawkes bay)
www.ruralkiwi.com

There is no place like localhost
For my general guide to extending your wireless network Click Here






7 posts

Wannabe Geek
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Reply # 740126 4-Jan-2013 12:36
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Thank you for the advise raytaylor, it's very enlightening.

 
 
 
 


4 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 740807 7-Jan-2013 00:11
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I have worked in IT for 4 years, and only now have got the job I have been after as a Junior Network Engineer and I did ccna 2 years ago.

My advice and if I have to start over again training/work xp. 

1.Get CCNA 
2.Get junior role in networking (this will be the hardest part)
3.Work 3-4 years exp in role
4.Get CCNP Security or Fortinet/Juniper Certification.
5.Do contract roles for $80 + hour and enjoy.



1982 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 741070 7-Jan-2013 14:01
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an alternate approach is to use your existing business experience as your leading edge, i.e. what IT systems are you familiar with in context to food science?

IT is a much broader field that networking and desktops. Business Process Automation is a good angle, but there are many more.



7 posts

Wannabe Geek
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  Reply # 741283 7-Jan-2013 20:40
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Thank you for the advise guys, I really appreciate it. My only other concern is to try to get into the entry role, I understand that it can be quite difficult especially with very minimal experience. I have been advised about the automation engineering by one of my friend before but it will require me to do full time study, if I'm not mistaken, for 2 semesters so I'm still searching for other IT area that is related to Food Sci :) There's another area that the company I work for would really value, which is SAP. I try to dabble with SAP but it's not something that I'm really interested in.

1982 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 741372 8-Jan-2013 08:13
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Get a PC with lots of RAM, install a virtualisation platform and start trying to build something. If you work with it for a month or so and walk off in disgust, it may have saved you a lot of wasted effort.

IT for a lot of us is a way of life and if you don't have a spark for it you may become disillusioned very quickly. If you?re looking for revenue rather than a career path, there are the IT fringes, such as project management and business analysis to look at.



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Wannabe Geek
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Reply # 742536 9-Jan-2013 21:10
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lyonrouge: Get a PC with lots of RAM, install a virtualisation platform and start trying to build something. If you work with it for a month or so and walk off in disgust, it may have saved you a lot of wasted effort.

IT for a lot of us is a way of life and if you don't have a spark for it you may become disillusioned very quickly. If you?re looking for revenue rather than a career path, there are the IT fringes, such as project management and business analysis to look at.


Yes you're absolutely right, but I'm at the beginning stage of A+ and so far I don't hate it :D Back when I used to own a desktop PC, I've done RAM upgrade, drivers troubleshooting, OS installation, data migration etc.. I've tried to play abit on programming language like C# (scratched my head abit) and HTML&XHTML (kinda fun to play around) just to see how it feels. 
Even if this doesn't work out, I can still make use of what I've learnt as IT is applicable to every part of life. 
Money is not the drive for me to change to IT. Judging from the level that I'm at, it will take a very good number of years to get the income more than my current job. I just have strong doubt whether what I'm currently doing is something I wanna do in 10 years time.
Thank you for the advise, please keep them coming as every bit of info is very helpful to me. Smile 

232 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 742573 9-Jan-2013 22:42
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Don't over qualify yourself for your entry role. You are right to start off with something like A+ and then build on it with more practical experience. In order to get that first role and some hands on experience in business you could offer to volunteer some time to assist and gain work experience. From this the reference you get could prove valuable for your first role. Once in your first role then start building up your skill set and qualifications in the area that you really have a passion for. You many not know what you like until you've had exposure to all areas of IT.

I support the other comments here though, you really have to have an aptitude and a love for IT to make a real career of it. You won't learn and pick up things unless you are interested in it (and it sounds like you could be).

I have been in IT for nearly 18 years and have been in multiple CIO roles both here and overseas. The most successful people come in with the right attitude and a love of what they are doing and work hard. I've often hired people based on their attitude more than qualifications and have never regretted it. You can always put someone on help desk through training to up skill. Extremely hard to change behavior.

Good luck.





7 posts

Wannabe Geek
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Reply # 743048 10-Jan-2013 21:29
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BuzzLightyear: Don't over qualify yourself for your entry role. You are right to start off with something like A+ and then build on it with more practical experience. In order to get that first role and some hands on experience in business you could offer to volunteer some time to assist and gain work experience. From this the reference you get could prove valuable for your first role. Once in your first role then start building up your skill set and qualifications in the area that you really have a passion for. You many not know what you like until you've had exposure to all areas of IT.

I support the other comments here though, you really have to have an aptitude and a love for IT to make a real career of it. You won't learn and pick up things unless you are interested in it (and it sounds like you could be).

I have been in IT for nearly 18 years and have been in multiple CIO roles both here and overseas. The most successful people come in with the right attitude and a love of what they are doing and work hard. I've often hired people based on their attitude more than qualifications and have never regretted it. You can always put someone on help desk through training to up skill. Extremely hard to change behavior.

Good luck.




Thank you BuzzLightlyear. Volunteering sounds a good idea, lucky the company that I work for have an in-house IT that I could go and ask them. 

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