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 Post subject: What is worth learning and what to avoid
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 2:57 pm 
Little Foot
Little Foot

Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 5:52 am
Posts: 110
I was wondering what you guys that are the most knowledgeable feel is worth pursuing in the IT world. What would earn you the most money and get you the most jobs. I also wonder how you guys have learned what you have and what you do in your free time(study/read comp books, search around on the Internet for info, self-taught, experiment?)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2006 4:00 pm 
Team Member Top 500
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Location: A place that many fear
Quite honestly, go to school. No other type of learning or training can teach or give you everything that going to school will. I am lucky to have a good technical school in my area. So I can get an associates degree for cheap, and its not from something like Devry or ITT Tech (not trying to slam them or anything). Plus I can get certifications for half the cost being a student.

If your still in high school or in a similar situation, study for and get A+, it is the most popular entry level exam. Sure its nothing great but it shows that you are competent with PC's and Windows. If you have no experience it COULD land you an entry level job, HOWEVER don't rely on it.

If you can, go to a University that offers bachelor degrees in a field you are interested in. Getting a degree will open up so many more options to you than having certifications. There was a post with quite a few replies on this subject some time ago go back and try to find it. I'll link to it if I can find it, having a degree will also give you a much better salary increase than cert's will. Having said this don't think certs aren't worth anything they definitely (note that it is spelled correctly) are...but having a degree behind you is the smartest way to go. Then stack on the certs, that will expand your knowledge and abilities.

Don't go into a field just for the money, anything in computers can pay good enough to be happy with your earnings. For instance what I really love is hardware, but I am also really intrigued by networking. So I went for Network Administration, the ladder has a better salary range and I like it. However if I lose interest I could easily change direction down the road and move into the hardware side of things.

In free time that I devote to computers and learning, I am fixing PC's for friends and family, combing the free clinic on the forums and helping people, stuff like that. Just always look to improve your abilities and knowledge, I like to use the cheapest and most accessible resources available to me.
Just my $.02


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:59 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:07 pm
Posts: 78
I just graduated recently with a BS in IT. I have a couple of interviews this week for entry level help desk postions. It's a good start for me to get some XP. I enjoy networking the most. I have taken all the classes for CCNA and I am currently reading the network + certificaton. I plan to go for the certification after I am done the two books I have. I figured this certification last for life and then I can go for my CCNA after. I myself got into this because I enjoy computers. I didn't go for it because of the money. The field was doing really bad when I first went to school (9/11). I just knew what I liked and decided to go for it. I took a small gamble expecting that the field would recover. It has recovered pretty nice.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 4:26 am 
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Bowdin, what did you major in and what school did you go to? I am getting AS right now, majoring in Network Administration and I think I take CCNA Phase 1-4 throughout the 2 years. and in my first semester am taking Network+ course.

I am just curious because I'm surprised you didnt do Network+ if you took all the classes for CCNA...not that it matters but it just seems like odd course scheduling on the schools end.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 3:36 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:07 pm
Posts: 78
I went to a tech school for the first two years. I went through semesters 1-4 of cisco. I got A and B's in the courses but the cisco exams at the end were highly curved. The average was about 60 I think. The questions were hard. I'm not sure if they changed them at all but when I was there they had no partial credit for getting one right. For example, the question would state choose all that apply. There were five multiple choice questions. If you picked two but forgot the last one the whole question was wrong. Because of this I wanted to make my background stronger before I went for the CCNA certification. I was at the tech for two years it wasn't ITT it was a local one that was certified to teach cisco. The first semester I was there was Cisco semester 1. We did nothing with Network +. I did however take a Network Security + class that was interesting. I went to New Hampshire Community Technical College. My major was Computer Information Systems with a concentration in networking. After I completed that I went to a four year school (Southern New Hampshire Univeristy). My major there was Information Technology. I was there for 16 months and got my BS. All my credits transfered there nicely. I still have access to the cisco books from my school. Semesters 1-8. They never change their user name and password so I can just log in and go over the material untill it drills in. I enjoyed the tech school a lot more than the university. Probably because I did my networking there. It was a lot of hands on. The exams were 50/50. Half written half hands on. We would go to class once a week for six hours. The first three hours were class and then the other three were labs. Also, Phase one I did semester 1, phase 2 I did semester 2, and phase three and four I did semester 4(they were combined into one class). It was a lot of fun.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2006 6:56 am 
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Oh ok, cool. This is my course layout, in in the first semester right now. By the end of this year I plan to have A+ and Network+ and I should have A+ in the next month or so. Follow the link and click suggested course schedule. I like it its no BS but I can transfer the credits and get a BS if I want.

What field are you looking to go into specifically?

Stark State Network Admin w/ Cisco Option AS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 8:43 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:07 pm
Posts: 78
Well..I want to be a newwork admin one day :). All the courses look very good. I'm thinking that grouping Cisco 1 & 2 into one semester will be a lot of work. There are about 11 chapters for each. That will be about two a week. Just try not to work a full time job like I did. Then you will really have no life for a few years. Sometimes you have to do waht you have to do. The market is crazy right now for IT. Everyjob posted about 100 applicants apply. Atleast in my area. Best of luck to you. Thats a strong start and after I would consider going for a BS. BS makes you take a lot of annoying classes but its nice to have.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 8:50 pm 
8086
8086

Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:07 pm
Posts: 78
My roomate that graduated with me gota nice job as a Help Desk Support specialist. I'm trying to get into that company. www.ecopy.com. They started him out at $40,000. Not bad at all right out of college. I got a computer operator job making $32,000. It's not a bad start. I took it more for a foot in the door. I have to be here 9 months before I can move to another position in the company. The company is www.chasepaymentech.com. We have tons of networking here. I hope a Network Tech position opens up and I can take it. Right now im on third shift and its draining me ( 11:30 pm - 7:30 am). If something else does come a long im going ot take it probably. You have to start small but think big.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2006 7:06 am 
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Yeah , my plans are pretty much once I graduate I will get a decent entry level job like your friend got. Work for a little while to build up some serious savings, then go back to college for a BS and work part time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 2:04 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:07 pm
Posts: 78
Or...Find a company that will pay for it :). My company pays up to $8,000 a year. Thats not bad. They are paying for my network +.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:58 am 
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Location: A place that many fear
Yeah or that would be perfect! Man 8k thats wild! As long as I could find a place near that that would really put a dent in another 2 years tuiton.


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