General discussion


Getting back into the Help Desk Support Tech Career

By clintonroane341 ·
Although I wouldn't call myself a "Jack of All Trades" I do have over 10 years experience with computers, although not all of it as a computer professional. I have worked as Help Desk Support, and a Systems Operator (computer operator). I am familiar with some Unix/Linux systems administrative duties, have done some minor programming in C and Visual Basic, and have also designed and implemented a database using MS Access for the Federal Government. However my experience has not been consistant and I want to get back into the field. I am 43 years of age without a Certification. Does my experience count for anything or do I have to get certified?
I can't afford the courses right now which most are too expensive. I currently trying to teach myself Oracle. How do I go about this? I have had several interviews but no job (as there are many with more years of experience and knowledge than me). An entry level position would be ideal for me. Any suggestions?


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Look where other don't.

by Oz_Media In reply to Getting back into the Hel ...

Newspaper, nope.

Recruiters, nope.

Online ads, nope.

Call small to medium sized businesses, work hard at this one! Call them ALL, say what you can bring to the table, perhaps offer them a cheap alternative to multiple site outsourcing of the various tasks.

You will get shots at internal openings, unadvertised. Might spur somethought from employers and get thom with a follow up call or someone they know.

These small businesses still need someone who has a broad GENERAL knowledge as most major tasks are outsourced or hosted. They usually pay good money for onsite techs to come and clean the PC garbage out, help users etc. You can niche in and make youself useful everywhere in the company.

You can go get a cert, I here it helps in some places, and your experience will be more of an advantage against young grads. However you should still find work with effort in the right direction, I did and even had THEM pay for my cert AND the O/T while in training. I cold called my last three or four employers, they never advertised.

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help desk

by afram In reply to Getting back into the Hel ...

I think smaller businesses don't care as much about certs. When I hired people at my last shop, I focused on previous experience (just because you read a book on flying doesn't mean you can get in a plane and go).

Oracle is a very broad area. There is database management, applications, programming, reporting, etc. I'd start with the admin part. You can download oracle lite from and play around with it. There are many tutorials around the internet and any book on oracle administration will give you start.

If you are looking for general, entry level tech suppport, there are several skills that all companies have use of:

hardware maintenance - can you fix a PC or printer if hardware fails (replace components)

OS maintenance - can you keep everything patched

security - antivirus, firewall, antispyware, antispam

networking - troubleshoot slow networks, add computers, printers, peripherals, be familiar with domains, DNS, DHCP, and other snazzy protocols.

tech support of basic programs like MS Office.

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Network, network, network

by BFilmFan In reply to Getting back into the Hel ...

Both previous posts have excellent advice, to which I wil add this thought. Find the Oracle user's group in your area. Join it and network with those folks. Chances are they will KNOW where some opportunities are or who does.

Best of luck.

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