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Career Changer looking to get into IT

By rsg2372 ·
Hello everyone,

I have been the mortgage banking and financial services industries for the past 12 years, mostly in sales and business development roles. I have been thinking about changing careers and getting into I.T. I have a BS in Business Administration, and was wondering if I should go back and get a Masters of Information Systems (from Devry University) or if I should go to a computer training center and get my CCNP, MCSE, and MCSA-S. I would really like to combine my previous sales experience with IT by being the person who goes out to various client companies and help them determine what they need to set up or revamp their computer systems. I was wondering what the best way to go is, to get my Masters in IS first, or get my certifications. Also I was wondering if anyone could give me advice on the career path I am looking for above. I would like to thank all of your who respond to my post in advance.

Rick

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Funny, but most people are moving away from IT due to outsourcing madness

by Big Ole Jack In reply to Career Changer looking to ...

and the influx of H1-Bs' driving the salaries down to pathetic levels. If you are serious about moving into IT, you had better gain a lot of experience fast or else you'll be seen as another paper certified BS artist that's nothing more than all talk and no walk. Getting a masters degree in IS will do nothing for you in terms of technical knowledge, but it will give you an understanding of business in general. Since you already have the experience as a salesman, your next big step would be to get project management certified so that you can come onto a site and manage any type of technical project as well as consultants who would work under you. That's where the money is...project management and disaster recovery and business continuity engineering.

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Jack, Thanks for the info.

by rsg2372 In reply to Funny, but most people ar ...

Jack,

Thanks for taking the time and answering some tough questions that I am faced with right now. I really appreciate you taking the time. I guess the best certificate to get for project management would be in the Six Sigma, Greenbelt/Blackbelt arena, I think. Am I on the right track here, or did you have another certification in mind. Again, thanks for your helpful feedback and guidance.

Rick G.

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True, and the drive to dump and avoid all but the younger techs strenthens

by Eii In reply to Funny, but most people ar ...

You can spend a number of years becoming well regarded for your expertise on a variety of complex products/versions and how best to apply and support them and for your personal investment in self training. This experience/expertise ties you to the products/versions as people get laid off or leave and you have more work to do while the company shops for your tax payer funded and trained young replacements.
http://www.computerworld.com:80/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9040761&intsrc=hm_list
US Governor sell-outs urging Nancy Pelosi to increase H1-B visas and green cards: http://www.competeamerica.org/news/alliance_pr/gov_letter_9-11-07.pdf
It's not just native born citizens being dumped - earlier waves of imported high tech grads are being dumped and need to compete with all others for other livable (and non-livable) wage jobs.
There is an amazing disregard for a great many capable people who make a huge investment of their personal lives to be successful in science and technology. Due to this, science and technology jobs are becoming as worthless for capable people as manufacturing jobs have become in the US. Such a shame as this greed to get the cheapest worker trained by taxpayer dollars will not result
in a more competitive US in the long run. It will result in more companies loyal only to themselves and the country/politicians that give them the pipelines to the cheapest people, taxes and other resources.
http://www.ostp.gov/PCAST/NITRD%20Review.pdf

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Certs and home network

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Career Changer looking to ...

If you want to help clients with hands-on technology (hardware or software solutions), go for the certs. If you want to work with big-picture solutions (disaster recovery, project management, business practices) go for the advanced degree.

In either case, spend some money on a home network so you can get your feet wet. Start with either a very low end server or a high powered desktop. Use virtualization software to emulate a network. Eventually add a couple of used physical clients to your network, either desktops or laptops.

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Thanks for the advice.

by rsg2372 In reply to Certs and home network

Palmetto,

My fellow Carolina native, thanks for your advice, I really appreciate it.

Rick G.

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Come on over to the IT side!

by walter In reply to Career Changer looking to ...

It makes me happy to hear about intelligent people, coming to the IT world!

I made a huge career change myself. I was a horse trainer for 14 years, and I took my MCSE online and hand on at a school near my home.

I work 80% out of my home now, and I love my career path. I am a full time IT Consultant, and not only is the pay good, but the fact that I make my own rules as I go, my own schedules, and do not commute at all...some times I hav to physically be at the sites I manage...well it's just amazing.

I worked for a major IT firm before becoming a consultant, and it gave me the initial experience and boost to know this is what I wanted.

I would start with MCSE, and then move into the CCNA. It makes it easier because you will have a solid foundation.

Good luck!!

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Sounds like you made a good career change decision.

by rsg2372 In reply to Come on over to the IT si ...

WC,

Thanks for replying to my post, I appreciate that. Boy, it really sounds like you made the right career move, HOPE I CAN DO THE SAME. If you would, please answer me one or two more question. Number one, did you have an undergraduate degree in IT or CS, and then went and got your Certs, or did you just do the certs? Number 2, I keep hearing it is tough to get a job if you have your certs, but no hands on experience. Was this the case with you when you where looking for your first job?

Again, thanks so much for your advice, I really appreciate it. Considering the costs I am looking at with getting the certs or going back and getting my masters in Info. Systems, your advice could save me a whole lot of time and money. Thanks again.

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My first thoughts....

by JamesRL In reply to Career Changer looking to ...

You have a valuable store of domain knowledge - don't throw it away.

Having been a business analyst working on a Mortgage application for a big bank, I can tell you that there is a need in IT for Business analysts who can understand a business process, describe it in terms an IT person can use to create an applications.

I STRONGLY suggest you check out the field of business analyst. One of the keys things they do is gather requirements from the user, and that sounds right up your alley, especially if you can get a job in the financial sector.

Your best bet would to try and land an entry level position doing that and get your masters part time - getting practical and theoretcial experience will help you both ways, and in the right company they will pay your tuition too.

Certs verus Degree is a challenging question and there have been lots of threads. My thought is that a degree will help launch a career, a cert is a path to a specific job.

Hope that helps.

James

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My First Thoughts Reply

by rsg2372 In reply to My first thoughts....

James,

Thank you for the advice, I really do appreciate you taking the time. I have worked in the banking/financial setting my entire career as well, so it would be a familar setting to me at least. You response about being a business analyst really intriques me, and sounds like that is exactly what I am looking for.

Thanks again,

Rick

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