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About to branch out in tech, no certs, need tips on first step

By SkepticEye ·
I've been in retail management for too long just to tie up financial ends and working with faceless, grouchy, needy people by the daily thousands is my ****.

I have an inclination, a bit of a knack with computers, to the point where my family points it out to me daily. But this means nothing to me because they're baby boomers.

So they say, the a+ cert is some key to the gates of the financial promised land, and its far from that simple. I've done my homework and searched for jobs on employment sites that feature "A+ certification" in their buzzword query, but often times requesting a bachelor's degree or 4 years equivalent. Im not going to spring on a certifcation that's going to get blown away by the winds of competition that fast, its idiocy to shell out close to 2000 for a framed wall or wallet decoration.

I am fiending to escape retail limbo, but I am on my last limb. I keep getting the shaft from these jobs, because I never wanted to work them in the first place and I have no financial tuition bequeathed to me from family.

My question boils down to, what can I do to sharpen my competitive edge? I've worked menial store-level management jobs, trace college hours (prerequisites finished) half way to AA, but I attempted a 4 year university immediately out of HS and simply couldn't hack it financially. Don't want to funnel half my salary into loans, anyway. So unless a clean, average salary happens first, the Bachelor's can't happen at all.

Just to clarify:

What kind of certs would break that entry level barrier?
What are some hands-on programs, such as internships that would help me to garnish that required experience? I know degree programs offer fertile opportunity for internships, but do certification programs offer anything at all?
Are institutes such as ITT Tech feasible or overpriced?
Where are some more sites for further info?

To understand my ambition and help me select a cert to meet my long-term needs, my one year goal is to obtain my inital cert, 5 year goal is to establish my foundation salary and obtain the degree, and I don't see computers so much as the destination , but the vehicle . If I can approach meteorology or neurology from a technological angle I would have landed my dream job.

Thank you very much for taking the time out to read my lengthy post. I hope I have supplied enough information for your appreciated answers.

Thanks again :)

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Start at the beginning

by mjd420nova In reply to About to branch out in te ...

I like to first recommend checking out your local community colleges. Start with a basic electricity/electronics course. I say this as your safety should be first and you need to have an understanding how to protect yourself and the gear you work on. Advances in the state of the art in ICs have driven other advances in networking and "smart" devices. I enjoy the hands on part, carry a soldering iron in my kit along with the current swap out boards/cards for trouble shooting. Cables have become essential for diagnostics and leads to large collections over the years. A community college is often free or low cost and students range in age from 15 to70+. No intimidation.

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Best Suggestions

by dsponenberg In reply to About to branch out in te ...

My best suggestion is to work on gaining professional references. Buy some computer manuals refresh your knowledge. Free lancing is a way to gain exsperience. A+ cert is a way for companies to notice that you have experience in it feild. Being it for business is complete different then being a home user. Best suggestion is to do some freelance work. Feild Solutions and onforce is great free lance sites to help with that. Many tech discussion sites can help you also learn. youtube provides many tech learn videos also.

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