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I need career advise...

By tiffytoodle ·
I am currently attending an online college. I am taking there Associate of Arts in Information Technology/Networking. I have NO networking experience. I currently work for a large manufacturing company as a laborer. My company offers a very nice tuition reimbursement package that I am taking advantage of. However, I need advise. What should I be taking? Is the course I?m taking a waste of time? Will it be recognized? If so, what other certifications would you recommend that I get? Am I even on the right track?

This is the course description for the degree I?m working on;
Associates of Arts degree with specializations in business, accounting, information technology, criminal justice, health care administration, human services management, communication, psychology, and paraprofessional education. The Associate of Arts curriculum provides a foundation and overview within the academic disciplines of communication arts, social sciences, mathematics, life sciences, and the humanities. Instruction focuses on the development of student skills in writing, critical thinking, and information utilization, as well as foundational competencies in the selected discipline. The completion of an Associate of Arts degree represents an important milestone for many students as they pursue their educational goals.

The Associate of Arts in Information Technology/Networking degree program offers a functional overview of information systems and the analysis, design and security of modern computer networks. Concentration courses emphasize Local Area Networks, Wireless Local Area Networks, Wide Area Networks, and network security. In this degree program, students will be able to simulate network administration tasks through remote access to real hardware and software commonly used in the IT industry.

I would love any feedback that I can get. Thank you!

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Begin with

by santeewelding In reply to I need career advise...
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What school?

by CharlieSpencer In reply to I need career advise...

You didn't tell us what school offers this program. That plays a large part in whether employers respect the program offered.

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Feedback from 20 years in the future

by tobagoman In reply to I need career advise...

If you are getting all this education to get a career in IT, you need to understand that IT is a jungle with many paths. The key to success to any job is that you love to do it and you have a natural ability to do it.

Ask yourself the following questions:

What comes easy to me but seems to be hard for others? (this is a key to what you are naturally good at.)

What are my needs that I care about meeting the most?

who do I admire the most?

what make me feel most fullfilled?

What do I love to do the most?

What do I feel called to do?

What Legacy do I want to leave?

If you don't know the answers to these questions, you could end up working 30 years at something that sucks the life out of you.

A job is just a job. If there is no passion for it, no amount of pay will make it worth it.

You may be able to do CISCO router configuration and be good at it, but if you don't love it, it will get old fast. Trust me!

My advice for an IT career:

Get very specific on one or two skill sets you want to obtain and be the top in that area. There are tons of "jacks of all trades" in IT. If you have people skills, you will eventually move into management of people in you area of expertise.

Fast track for these specific areas is to get certifications in those areas. Most College teaching of IT is very general at best and if it is not a technical college, you may be wasting time and money. Some degree programs in Business Management and Engineering are good for the resume.

Hope this helps

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Thank you for your response!

by tiffytoodle In reply to Feedback from 20 years in ...

Thank you for your reply. I am taking classes through University of Phoenix. So would you sugjest that I go to a tech school instead?

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by santeewelding In reply to Thank you for your respon ...

I make the assumption that you are young -- very young, and that this is your first encounter with college.

I assume further you wish to hold your head up in the world, and that "laborer" does not suffice. I suspect that you have come to identify your worth with your work. Easy enough to do. Who around you does not?

Tobagoman, "Feedback from 20 years in the future", counsels you wisely. I would concentrate first on learning how he comes by his wisdom, aside from longevity.

That is why I counseled, "Theology". I was not being lighthearted.

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One other tiny recommendation

by DelbertPGH In reply to Tiffy

If you want to be taken seriously, don't use the moniker "tiffytoodle" in a business setting.

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Solid foundations for any career

by DelbertPGH In reply to I need career advise...

A tech grounding is fine... you are unlikely to get hired if you can't do any programming and know nothing about networks, security, and operating systems. So go for that stuff. Don't ignore programming, by the way. Life is long, and you'll need it sooner or later in this industry.

However, tech jobs take place in a human context. Technology did not create people so it could have users, and thus be useful; people buy and exploit technology, because they have some hope that it will do them some good. The measure of a successful computer specialist is in being able to see how people's work demands technology to accomplish specific things, and managing the tech package to do that stuff and deliver the goods. Too often, computer specialists try to shape people to use technology, rather than create a product that matches actual human needs. What you require, if you want to be good in this field, is the patience to understand people and the work that they do, as much as understanding technology. I rate the liberal arts high for that reason. Some study of art, literature, and history gives you tools for understanding people, and will provide you with metaphors that may help write useful applications down the road. You might find you enjoy yourself better if you study this stuff, too.

Anybody and everybody should take an introductory course in bookkeeping or accounting. It's the language of money. If you design applications for business or even just manage an office, you will need to understand accounting principles. Also, take an intro to economics. Economics is the science of human behavior as it is influenced by money. That's a big element in the human understanding I was talking about.

Any effective technology worker has to write, and write well. There's another humanities element for you. I notice that your first paragraph, probably the only one you wrote yourself, has some annoying spelling errors: advise, where you meant advice; there, where you meant their. The paragraph was otherwise not badly composed. However, errors like those make an informed reader groan a little.

An online college is okay, but being taught by actual people in a classroom is a superior learning environment. It also provides you some extras, like being able to get the teacher's advice on personal matters. A locally based instructor may even know about some employment opportunities, and be willing to recommend you, if he likes your style. A distance learning instructor won't have the local knowledge and is less likely to develop an interest in you. On the other hand, the online college may have some superior technology course offerings. You have to judge. Make sure the online college is actually accredited as a college, by the way. Check out other colleges in your area and see if the online school's credits will transfer.

Getting any kind of part time or temporary work experience in technology (like helping set up a small computer network for a visiting sports event, for example) goes a long way to establishing your creds for that first job. Any kind of technology-relevant work, even unpaid or lasting just a day, shows you have put a toe in the water.

Last of all, once you have your AA degree, get a bachelor's. It's way more respected. It will earn you an extra $10,000 per year, every year, by the time your career is in high gear. (Here's where transferability of your online credits may be an important issue.)

Good luck.

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Thank you DelbertPGH

by tiffytoodle In reply to Solid foundations for any ...

DelbertPGH, First off I want to start by thanking you for taking time out of your day to give me career advice. That is very generous and not something you had to do. However, yes, I am not a good writer, or particularly good at spelling or grammar, for that matter, which is another reason I have made the decision to go back to school. So there is no need for you to state the obvious. As for the tiffy toodle comment, that happens to be my name. So, before you criticize think about a nice way to give constructive criticism with out offence. I was offended, but you did choose to give a complete stranger advice so I don?t think you intended anything by it. Other than that thank you for the advice it is very much appreciated!

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by santeewelding In reply to Thank you DelbertPGH

Your name will either be the marketing coup of the millennium, depending on how you handle it, or you are dead.

I, too, thought it your moniker.

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by tiffytoodle In reply to Tiffy

Tiffy IS what everyone calls me. My first name IS Tiffany. But the later is no joke. Maybe I should consider a new name.

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