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I am looking to break into the IT field - a penny for your thoughts

By lauren ·
HI, I am currently a home networking consultant working part time. My background is in sales and I just don't like it anymore. I clearly have a strong technical apptitude and I love what I do when I am working (troubleshooting problems, etc). I have no formal IT training except that I have worked with IT departments in different capacities selling routers to them, network printers, etc. I have learned alot about desktop PC's and troubleshooting through practical experience. I am considering going through a certification program that would give me real world experience through an internship and I would then complete the following certifications: A+, Net+, Security+, CCNA, MCSA. I have the time and money to complete the certifications. The question I have is would I be employable after making this investment in certifications? I would take an entry level position after completing certifications....Would any IT managers hire me? Any advice that you can give me would be most appreciated.

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Good luck!

by FitNut In reply to I am looking to break int ...

From the tone of your email, you seem very motivated and committed. As an IT manager, I like that a lot.

As for how to break into the field, the certifications are great, but the experience is MUCH more important.

Getting an intership and having the actual real world experience for 6-12 months would mean a lot more to me than all those certs.

Good luck!

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Everyone is employable

by Jessie In reply to Good luck!

If you're willing to take the "crap" job that gets your foot in the door... you can break into the IT field fairly easily. Then, as you seem to have, perseverance, intelligence, and hard work will get you wherever you want to go.

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response to Good Luck...

by novicenovice1 In reply to Good luck!

Hello. Maybe you can help me. I work with informaiton systems (Win2k, NT, XP, UNIX/HP-UX, & misc. network hardware, software & paripherals). By the time I leave here, I will have no less than 5 years experience. The catch? My systems cater to the military. With a few certs under my belt and some formal military IT training, how far do you think I can leap out of the gate, before I go back to school and complete my BS?

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You're good to go

by FitNut In reply to response to Good Luck...

I'm just wondering why you'd go back to school. I do really value the college diploma, but from a business point of view, the experience is what counts. I'd take a dev with 5 yrs relevant experience over the recent college grad any day. And it sounds like your experience (Win2k, nt, xp, unix) is relevant in many environments.

You sound like you'll be well qualified for many positions. Have confidence in yourself and you'll be very successful.

Good luck to you also.

FitNut

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Don't do it

by jmcdonough In reply to You're good to go

write your own ticket.

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Post Military work

by Benjamin.Arnold In reply to response to Good Luck...

Maybe I can answer both Laurens and worksnonly77 questions at the same time. I recently separated from the Air Force after 6 years and was able to walk onto a 60K + job, which is pretty good for someone at my age and experience level. It seems that most employers are looking for experience and motivation over degrees these days. I do have a couple certs as well so I was able to lean on those in my interviews. So if Lauren is young enough to take the time, the military is a great way to take 4 or 6 years to gain some amazing experience. Also you can peruse a degree or some certifications and be reimbursed for your expenses.

Two main points about job hunting that I've learned are these. First, it helps to know people. Try and find a couple people who do what you want to do and learn what they did to get there. Also when it comes time to find a job you'll have all those contacts to use. A lot of the times it comes down to who you know when your job hunting. While your in the military there are probably contractors all around you doing what you want to do. These people may get a healthy bonus if they send in your resume and you get hired! So most times they?re looking for you. That makes it easy to approach them and start asking about how to get on with their company. Always have a current resume handy, both hard and soft copy.

The second this is that the only way to get somewhere is to start moving. What I mean by this is that you can go to Barnes and Nobles and buy some Cisco books or some Windows books and get a cert or two on your own. You don't need a class or formal training. Most people don't try first so they never make it. I would suggest getting your CCNA first. It seems to be the most lucrative for the time and effort it takes to get it and it will provide you with many fundamentals of networking that will play into most other areas of the IT world.

You can go on E-bay and get a 2500 router for $50.00 or so... try and get a 2514 so you have two Ethernet ports to configure, that way you don't have to buy serial cables. The book also comes with a great CD that has test labs and hundreds of sample questions. It should take you about 3 months of hard studying to pass the CCNA. You can also get your Network + or A + but they don?t seem to be as valuable as a Cisco cert.

I hope this info helped you two out. I really think it all comes down to your personal drive to success. Good luck!

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by akalinowski In reply to Good luck!

i agree, also as an it dept manager i feel experience is much more important, than degrees, certs and anything else, i usually grill potential employees w/ random *** tech questions and senarios and ask them what they like using.
also try to get some dummy servers at home and just try to implement different solutions, its a great way to learn (in my opinion) how to setup servers...

also (and this is just me) i like resume's where the applicant sounds like the worlds biggest geek

i'm sure there's better advice posted before me but those were my 2 cents.

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How do I get the experience?

by lauren In reply to I am looking to break int ...

I am so confused as to how to the get the experience....if I took "the crap" job as someone suggests would I have to do tha forever or would an IT manager want to promote me?

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Get your feet wet...

by Salamander In reply to How do I get the experien ...

Get your foot in the door, work on continuing your education and certification in the meantime. Once you prove your worth, it will be noticed. You'll probably also have opportunities to talk with your manager about what you're learning and your career track in your evaluations after you get hired. Just don't stop learning and applying that knowledge...the need to prove that you are valuable and current never goes away. A positive attitude and willingness to work hard will take you far. Good luck.

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Promotable

by Jessie In reply to How do I get the experien ...

Hard work, people skills, and intellect are almost always (unless management is worthless) promotable. You take the crap job that gets your foot in the door, show the manager that you're willing to work hard, develop with the manager an "Individual Development Plan," management likes for you to have goals, and management will most likely HELP you to get where you want to go. I've never met an IT manager that thought their employees should stay in the crap job forever. I've had several managers that fought to get me promoted to the higher level positions.

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