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 Post subject: IT schooling/work questions
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:52 am 
Coppermine
Coppermine

Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 2:08 pm
Posts: 610
Heres the deal, Im 28 married/kids and this summer Im going to college for the first time. I have a couple questions if you guys would oblige me :)


Im planning on going for a assosciates. But Im wondering if its needed for IT work? Will I have trouble getting work if I only have certs and no schooling?

After school was finished I was planning on shooting for a help desk, networking position. Are there any other fields I should be looking into for certifications, or any other schooling I should be taking a closer look into I might have overlooked?

Ive read alot of you say on these forums that its best to be specialized. Would anyone like to suggest some specialized fields and how I could go about becoming "specialized"?

Last but not least, are there any specialized fields, I might be able to use as a small business? I ask that because Im a self employed kind of guy and ideally I would like to take what I know and make a small business out of it.

Any and all sugesstions, links and comments are welcome and appreciated. Thanks for your help.


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2006 1:27 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 5:27 am
Posts: 62
Location: Hearst, Ontario, Canada
HI,
I beleive the best way to figure out what you need is to browse for IT jobs that interest you and see the requirements and of course certs or education in which isnt required but very much considered.

First cert to get is the A+, Network +, Unix, Sisco, HP, Compaq, IBM certs seem to be really searched for, aswell as Database related.

As you can see there is plenty of speciality to pick from, the problem is picking the one that will be available when you are done studying and passing tests, in which you need for your future job. My teacher had well over 20 certs and he had to hide most of them to get a job since too many certs actually intimidate some recruiters :)

If i had an HP, Compaq, IBM cert, I wouldnt have any problems getting a job as tech support for any of those companies.

Hope this helps.

Marcel


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 12:06 pm 
Coppermine
Coppermine

Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 2:08 pm
Posts: 610
Ive heard that about the certifications before. Actually the way my friend worded it was--- "employers are leary of hiring someone with alot of certifications because of there expected salary."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 12:08 pm 
Coppermine
Coppermine

Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 2:08 pm
Posts: 610
As a side note Im going to go to college for my 2 year degree and most likely work my way into owning a piece of my friends networking/service company.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 9:29 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 5:27 am
Posts: 62
Location: Hearst, Ontario, Canada
Thats a great idea.
Oh, and did i mention that employers are looking for people with 2 years +, I did one of those 7 months intensive course in college for 10 000$. Well to my suprise those courses are not recognised by employers as much as a 3 years course in University :)

Hope this helps.

Marcel


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:53 pm 
Team Member
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Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:10 am
Posts: 1167
Location: Virginia
endersshadow,
Kudos to you for furthering your education.
I can give you my 2 cents worth (although some may say its worth less).
I've been in the engineering field and IT field for a long time and have worked everything from a corp engineering , college recruiter, private consultant, to managing a computational reseach lab (my current job).

In my opinion an AA is only good if you plan on going on to a 4yr college. (at least in the engineering and IT field). If you planned on getting an AA and a certification (Im assuming MCSE or something of that nature). You would be better off in saving you time and money and focus on the certification.
Personally, I favor 4 yr degrees over certifcations. I have interviewed way too many people that received their certifications via a brain dump and truly have no grasp of what they have learned.

Now, given the fact your are married and have children and starting out a bit later then others, a 4yr degree may be out of the question.
That leaves you with a certification.
There are quite a few people out there with certifications and your goal should be to seperate yourself from everyone else.
I live in the Virginia/DC area. Someone with an MCSE are a dime a dozen. However, someone with a RedHat certification or a GIAC certififcation, commands alot of attention. But that may be specific to this region.
Have you talked to the career counseling center at the local community college where you plan on attending? In many states the comm. colleges are tightly integrated with local busineses so they have a good read on what area companies are looking for.

If your goal is to eventually run your own business, then business networking is key. >90% of my business as a consultant was via word of mouth. I never once answered or placed ads. However I did attend quite a few boring conferences to meet my contacts.

Hope this info helps and update us on your progress.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 5:17 pm 
Willamette
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As for finding a job....A+ is nice but if you have exp then really no certs are necessary. I would go to college get a cert in between but work on the side doing support at a Comp USA or Best Buy, etc... when you come out you should be about to find something no prob.

You may even want to continue working at those places they make good $$$


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 Post subject: Re: IT schooling/work questions
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 11:43 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 10:31 am
Posts: 3
endersshadow wrote:
Heres the deal, Im 28 married/kids and this summer Im going to college for the first time. I have a couple questions if you guys would oblige me :)


Im planning on going for a assosciates. But Im wondering if its needed for IT work? Will I have trouble getting work if I only have certs and no schooling?

After school was finished I was planning on shooting for a help desk, networking position. Are there any other fields I should be looking into for certifications, or any other schooling I should be taking a closer look into I might have overlooked?

Ive read alot of you say on these forums that its best to be specialized. Would anyone like to suggest some specialized fields and how I could go about becoming "specialized"?

Last but not least, are there any specialized fields, I might be able to use as a small business? I ask that because Im a self employed kind of guy and ideally I would like to take what I know and make a small business out of it.

Any and all sugesstions, links and comments are welcome and appreciated. Thanks for your help.



CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! You will never, ever regret going back to school for higher education!

I finally decided at the ripe old age of 35 to go to college, and I just finished my second quarter. markmark69 has offered some great advice in this and other threads about higher education.

ITT had what was best for me. I can't at this point in my life go to a university(too difficult for me to work the school schedule times and distance together in addition to a full time job), so I had to start somewhere. My plan is to get an associates in computer networking and finish with a bachelor's degree in ISS, which I would not be able to do at a university and I really have to get out of the profession I am currently involved in. With my associates degree I should be able to get my foot in the door and get some entry level experience under my belt while I finish my bachelors degree(and with a little luck get a perspective employer to help pay my way). In the past six months of school, I find that I've already changed what I really want to do, so I think I'd like to go the teaching route while I pursue at least one masters degree. I'd like to pursue two separate ones, one in business administration and one in electrical engineering as I'm considering more education after that(I know what a masters degree and a PhD program entails as far as pursuing one, but who knows what the future will hold). When I talked to my wife last week it seems like I wanted to be a professional student for the rest of my life! :P

Everyone that I've spoken to at school has told me that associates degrees are ok, but you'll always go further with at least a bachelors degree(so far, every one of my teachers has at least one masters degree). As far as the term "IT" is concerned, I've learned that it encompasses many things and is not limited to any one specific area. Programming, networking, web development and database administration are considered "IT" by many people. I suppose it really depends on what you really want to do. The more I read, the more I tend to change what I want to do in the future.......I went from wanting a government system administrator job to wanting to teach because of two words: FREE TIME. Getting winter break, spring break, summer vacation and every stupid holiday in between and getting paid for it appeals to me :P

As far as owning a small business, take business courses, even if they aren't in your curriculum and don't count towards a degree in your chosen field. Community college is CHEAP and a damn good place to start. You may like taking HTML and web development courses in addition to taking your core courses. If you want to start your own networking business(whether home networking, business networking, consulting or a combination of all three) I would imagine that you would need ALL aspects of information systems, of which community college would offer just about all the courses that you would need to get started(I said start, not finish :P). I can only guess at this point, but I would imagine small businesses would tend to gravitate towards Microsoft GUI applications(ease of application, larger pool of available Microsoft certified engineers, etc.) while larger businesses would lean towards higher end network operating systems(AS/400, Linux, Unix, etc.) and programs with fewer networking engineers in available employment pools that can administer these systems. Again, I'm only guessing at that, but if I was pursuing a small networking business that's what I would guess and prepare for.

As far as getting hired, that's hard to tell. But I would imagine if someone with a high school diploma and no college education that has some tough to get certifications under their belt and a stable employment history were applying for a job versus someone who graduated a major university yesterday, I would imagine they would pick the person with experience first.

I hope I could at least shed some light on what you want to do in the future. Best of luck in college and never give up!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:02 am 
Coppermine
Coppermine

Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 2:08 pm
Posts: 610
For starters, Im not going for a bachelors degree as there is really no reason for what Im shooting for. I want to get enough experience/certs that I can get work in the networking field and save money for my potential business down the line.

Even if I did want a career working for someone else I wouldnt go for a bachelors, because from what I can tell and who Ive talked to--experience is key.


But so far this is the general idea for school/work/Certs. Our family is low income so Ill be receiving grants for my schooling. Im told by most people, including my wife that for there winter semester they had alot of money left over. So the goal is to take my money I have left over, try to possibly get some bootcamp certifcations and see if I can get work with those alone. If I cant I will stay with school the remainder of the next year and a half.

Ideally Im trying to get a part time networking job with a small local company I plan on going into business with down the line.

So well see how it goes. I wish I would of had my head on straight when I was 17 getting out of highschool---I would of been set already :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2006 6:25 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 1:45 pm
Posts: 54
Location: Boston
certs are best to have unless you knwo the people personall;y then they wont be as concerned


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:54 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:05 pm
Posts: 14
Location: midwest
markmark69 wrote:
endersshadow,
Kudos to you for furthering your education.
I can give you my 2 cents worth (although some may say its worth less).
I've been in the engineering field and IT field for a long time and have worked everything from a corp engineering , college recruiter, private consultant, to managing a computational reseach lab (my current job).

In my opinion an AA is only good if you plan on going on to a 4yr college. (at least in the engineering and IT field). If you planned on getting an AA and a certification (Im assuming MCSE or something of that nature). You would be better off in saving you time and money and focus on the certification.
Personally, I favor 4 yr degrees over certifcations. I have interviewed way too many people that received their certifications via a brain dump and truly have no grasp of what they have learned.

Now, given the fact your are married and have children and starting out a bit later then others, a 4yr degree may be out of the question.
That leaves you with a certification.
There are quite a few people out there with certifications and your goal should be to seperate yourself from everyone else.
I live in the Virginia/DC area. Someone with an MCSE are a dime a dozen. However, someone with a RedHat certification or a GIAC certififcation, commands alot of attention. But that may be specific to this region.
Have you talked to the career counseling center at the local community college where you plan on attending? In many states the comm. colleges are tightly integrated with local busineses so they have a good read on what area companies are looking for.

If your goal is to eventually run your own business, then business networking is key. >90% of my business as a consultant was via word of mouth. I never once answered or placed ads. However I did attend quite a few boring conferences to meet my contacts.

Hope this info helps and update us on your progress.


Just wondering Im planing to go back to school for IT what would you sugest as far as what to to take and what feilds have job openings?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 11:53 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 5:27 am
Posts: 62
Location: Hearst, Ontario, Canada
DEL


Last edited by Doomboy on Sat Aug 05, 2006 7:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2006 3:45 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 5:27 am
Posts: 62
Location: Hearst, Ontario, Canada
Might be a good idea to look at the employment Issurance Office, in your city and see whats the current job offers and get a cert quick to fill it in.

Hope this helps.

Marcel


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 8:31 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 7:14 pm
Posts: 50
Location: Illinois
Like you I'm 28 m/w kids as well.
AA in IT is fine...don't listen to the 4 yr grads. Its all about selling your skills+value to your prospective employers. I make just as much as the guys with a Masters. Some college is better than none. AA is better than some college and having a degree period- the only way to make real money. :D Certs add value to both your salary and your trusted capabilities only if you can back them up when you start working. If you can't then you will be severly criticized.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 8:49 pm 
Little Foot
Little Foot
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Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 2:22 pm
Posts: 141
If you are going just for an associates, I would recommend that you do everything in your spare time to learn as much as you absolutely can. Unfortunately, you will be very dissapointed with what you learn on your way to an associates in IT (or any major for that matter). The biggest percentage of work you complete to get your associates is core classes (the classes that everyone takes per required by the institution). So most of your IT associates work will be Math, English, History, Phyc, Biology, etc etc. With only a few classes (5 for me) being IT. Once you pass your associates level, it will be virtually all IT classes for the further 2 years. This is all assuming you are talking about a traditional accredited 4 year college.

With all that said, an associates degree is better than nothing. As much information you can learn on your own will come in handy. If I were just going for an associates, certifacations would be a must. A+ is kind of a joke, but fairly easy to get, (the college paid for mine). If you are in to networking, the CCNA - ICND would be much more appropriate. It is also a much harder test though.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:01 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 7:14 pm
Posts: 50
Location: Illinois
I have more technical credits than I know what to do with.
It really just depends on the school you are attending and your background. Between my time in college and my IT Specialty credits earned in the military hmmm *counting....
I was released from the service with over 100 transferrable technical credits. If he maps his courses in a school without too many prereq restrictions then he can end up with a ton of technical credits.
I actually only have a few more gen-ed courses towards BSIT but I just don't feel like taking boring courses right now.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 7:26 pm 
Team Creamsicles
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Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 5:28 pm
Posts: 312
Location: Illinois
A 2yr degree is fine since once you have experience most employers look at experience over schooling.

As far as certs... the + certs are an easy place to start along with at least and MCP which is easy enough to get. The MCSE is nice but the boot camps made them look bad. I would definitely spend the most time on Cisco and Linux since they are the most marketable atm.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 10:41 pm 
Team Member
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Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 7:10 am
Posts: 1167
Location: Virginia
malachite2501 wrote:
markmark69 wrote:
endersshadow,
Kudos to you for furthering your education.
I can give you my 2 cents worth (although some may say its worth less).
I've been in the engineering field and IT field for a long time and have worked everything from a corp engineering , college recruiter, private consultant, to managing a computational reseach lab (my current job).

In my opinion an AA is only good if you plan on going on to a 4yr college. (at least in the engineering and IT field). If you planned on getting an AA and a certification (Im assuming MCSE or something of that nature). You would be better off in saving you time and money and focus on the certification.
Personally, I favor 4 yr degrees over certifcations. I have interviewed way too many people that received their certifications via a brain dump and truly have no grasp of what they have learned.

Now, given the fact your are married and have children and starting out a bit later then others, a 4yr degree may be out of the question.
That leaves you with a certification.
There are quite a few people out there with certifications and your goal should be to seperate yourself from everyone else.
I live in the Virginia/DC area. Someone with an MCSE are a dime a dozen. However, someone with a RedHat certification or a GIAC certififcation, commands alot of attention. But that may be specific to this region.
Have you talked to the career counseling center at the local community college where you plan on attending? In many states the comm. colleges are tightly integrated with local busineses so they have a good read on what area companies are looking for.

If your goal is to eventually run your own business, then business networking is key. >90% of my business as a consultant was via word of mouth. I never once answered or placed ads. However I did attend quite a few boring conferences to meet my contacts.

Hope this info helps and update us on your progress.


Just wondering Im planing to go back to school for IT what would you sugest as far as what to to take and what feilds have job openings?


Sry Mal, I havent been in ED & Cert forum for a while.

It really depends on your region. In the mid-atlantic region, people with skills in any flavor of unix/linux are in high demand.
Which region are you in?

Also, some may have miscontrued my opinion on 4yr degrees vs 2yr vs certification.
4yr degrees are not for everyone. However, they do open doors that are completely closed for people w/o a 4yr degree. I can count the number of technical managers w/o a 4yr degree that I have met at conferences/jobs/etc on 1 hand in the last ten years.
Does that mean you cant get a job w/o a 4yr degree? Of course not, but not having it, will limit options in the long run, because you will eventully migrate up toa position where you are competing against other applicants that are just a qualified, same amount of experience, but they have that 4yr degree.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 5:41 am 
Northwood
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Location: Rowing on the left side.
endersshadow wrote:
Ive heard that about the certifications before. Actually the way my friend worded it was--- "employers are leary of hiring someone with alot of certifications because of there expected salary."


Your resume should be tuned for each position you apply for anyhow. I only list the certifications I see as being relevant to the position. No need to bury them in useless acronyms.


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