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Entering IT with expertise

By SirMalcom ·
Ok, I'm actually still a high school student that already manages a LAN that has about 20 comps and 2 Win2k3 servers that interact with several upstream Netware servers. I've read a lot of the MCSE books for ceritfication although have not had enough time to actually devote time to obtaining the certification at this time. Beyond this also work extensively with Linux and know enough programming in different languages to get by. Finally I had for a period of time a job creating AutoCAD blueprints as well as web development with straight HTML without any actual education than just what I was able to pick up myself.
So I feel that I definately I know enough for at least a Jr. Network Administrator job but I'm afraid I might not have enough proof of paper of this knowledge. Might there be a way of acquiring such a job without having to spending numerous hours for several weeks trying for my MSCE?

----Edit----
Wow, I never expected this much of a response and I must thank all of you. One item that would probably clear up many issues is that I do plan on going to college next year regardless of whether or not I get my MSCE. But of course college isn't cheap these days I would definately need a job to pay for some of the bills. On some of there other notes I've read is that I certainly know that there are absolutely major differences between a smallish LAN network and those of a large, corporate network. As a side note, I also use other microsoft server options (much to my own dismay as I support the Open Source 'movement' you could say) starting off with my implementation of an Active Directory and products such as SQL 2000, SMS, tested WSUS-Microsofts newest attempts at a Windows Update Server, along with Exchange 2003.
Once again I thank all of your responses. On a humourous note but just a bit of seriousness, anybody know of some opportunities in the San Francisco Bay Area?

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MCSE.

by DC_GUY In reply to Entering IT with expertis ...

Your communication skills are impressive. You write well for your age although there are several errors in your message--for an exercise see if you can find them. Still, I think your age and the fact that you don't even have a HS diploma yet are working against you.

Getting the MCSE might be your best tactic. For one thing, it is proof to prospective employers that you are disciplined, hard-working, and able to stick with something until it's finished. Those are things we all worry about when we are asked to consider hiring someone in their teens for an important job with a lot of responsibilities.

Lots of people use the MCSE to counterbalance other credentials and experience that they don't have. I have two friends without university degrees that have good IT jobs because of their certification. It's not your worst option by any means.

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I was told that more than once myself

by Oz_Media In reply to MCSE.

That my age and education would be a major deterrant in my success. I just went to his competition and found work as a sales manager at 16, managing vets who had been there years and were often three times my age and with a lot more experience.

I approached one company not knowing they had an advertised position for netadmin, and presented my drive to the owner. He hired me as the net admin with absolutely NO experience at all (I didn't even know how to configure antivirus), beating out the piles of resumes from certified applicants he had received. Drive.

Many in fact I would guess at close to half of successful entrepeneurs don't even have grade 12 yet alone college degrees.

HR does though, so you avoid HR and go for the big fish, they understand and value youth and drive far more than they understand paperwork.

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Get the Education

by jmgarvin In reply to I was told that more than ...

I would highly suggest getting the MCSE and attending college to at least get an AA.

The industry is VERY hard to break into and you need to make sure that you can break into it. The days of having little or no education and an IT job are over. After the .com bubble burst many companies are pretty gun shy about hiring teenage admins that don't have the experience or maturity (reality or just percived) to administer their network/systems/whatever.

If you really want to get into IT find a good school, get the certs, and push those doors open!

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CCNA`

by rayc In reply to MCSE.

I would recommend doing a Cisco CCNA. Underlying everything else you will ever do on a LAN is the actual flow of data: ethernet, TCP/IP, etc. This certification will give you a thorough grounding in the actual movement and interaction of the data itself that you will find invaluable many many times in your career. It also separates you from the millions of MCSE's out there.
Also, just stick with it and you will succeed. Never stop learning.

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Trouble with CCNA

by jbaker In reply to CCNA`

The problem with the CCNA is that it is going in the same direction that the MCSE went several years ago. Yes, it is one of the harder certifications to achieve, and it proves that you can study, but the industry is beginning to get saturated with certified kids (no offense meant), with no experience.

Try to find an intern or volunteer position with a company, just to get your foot in the door. Tell the IT Manager or SysAdmin that you will work for really cheap (or even free), just to get some VERIFIABLE experience. Then move on from there.

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Integrate, not seperate

by kevaburg In reply to Trouble with CCNA

Sorry but I think your opinion is wrong.

I am a CCNA and trust me, as a MCP in five disciplines the exam I passed is nothing like the "point-and-shoot" approach of Microsoft. If you don't kow the subject, you will not pass!

On the positive side, I have found that the in depth knowledge afforded by my CCNA has made me a better MCP. The one thing Microsoft did wrong was to remove TCP/IP and Networking Essentials from the list of exam objectives.

My personal advice would be to obtain an MCSE and at least the CCNA but CCNP would be better. After all, isn't integration the name of the game today?

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Might separate you from the milions of MCSE's

by Oz_Media In reply to CCNA`

But then it just lumps you in with the millions of CCNA's instead.

CCNA USED to be a very unique cert, now it's common as muck. All the MCSE's that have no job finding skills figured the CCNA would do the trick.

NOw they are all asking how to find work and what cert will do it for them.

Until a cert learns how to cold call companies and present your skills to those who AREN'T advertising positions, certs will always just be pieces of paper.

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Totally Agree

by rob.lay In reply to CCNA`

I totally agree, I got my CCNA about a year ago and it's helped me no end. I doing the netadmin duties for a small company and could do the basic microsoft stuff, but didn't understand how it really worked. Doing my CCNA has given me the understanding of how networks work, I'm now working on my MCSE which doesn't give you the depth that the CCNA does, it just tells you how microsoft impliments it. I did my CCNA entirely off my own back and in my own time. I'm now working as a customer facing network engineer with a repidly expanding company with superb prospects, and my hard work in doing my CCNA on my own deffinately helped me get the job. The CCNA is a fantastic start and its still well respected.

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Dont Worry

by gr6120 In reply to CCNA`

I was fixing cars for 18 years and when I lost my job I went into IT with NO experience I have a small company with 4 guys working for me It is all about Drive and what you want also (bull)

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Gee another one!

by Oz_Media In reply to Dont Worry

And everyone keeps saying I am one in a million.

One in a million IT staff maybe, maybe most just don't have any skills or motivation to present their ideas, unless it was in the textbooks they memorized I suppose. I haven't met an IT member myself that had any drive or personal sales ability. Mind you I have helped one guy quit his job and start his own business, he does VERY well now and has taken over many of his former employers accounts.

but like some say, it can't be done I am a special case, it's different where I live and all the other BS excuses they can contrive for not doing it themselves.

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