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O.K. what now?

By husp1 ·
well, heres how it sits. I have no schooling or formal training in the IT field, but I service at least 20 different home comps. (normalaly its mostly spyware and virus removal but I occasionaly deal with faulty hardware or bad ram.) I am thinking about getting some certs but I have no idea where to start. I realy don't have the time to attend a school since I am a full time homemaker as well. (sombodys got to do the dirty work) where should I start? is there some referance books that will help? how would I arrange to take these tests as well? I have a VERY limmited income so this is a deciding factor as well. I understand that I have a limited knowladge base and I am more then willing to increase that base before I test. but I have little to no manuals or guides so lititure is another good recomendation. (titles please) and if your curious yes I did take a pretest at a school or two (rated in the upper 2% nationwide) but I just can't commit to the $25,000 school loan when the market for IT is in such a slump.
all comments are greatly appreceated.

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Good start

by JamesRL In reply to O.K. what now?

If you want to continue where you are, servicing home computers, a cert isn't really necessary. And an MCSE is overkill for the home office market.

I've been out of the game for many years as I've become management, but the A+ certification seems useful in terms of someone who can handle hardware. I will let others recommend titles, but I learn by doing. I would recommend finding or buying practise tests.

I might also recommend another path. In many areas, you will find auction houses that sell off corporate assets. If you can find the sales that feature office computers and printers, attend, and see if you can buy a few older computers. Mess around with them, test out the hardware, then format the HD and sell them(understand the legalities of selling them with an OS though) to your clients, or advertise them in the paper. Its a way to get new clients and learn at the same time.

When I was learning desktops in the mid 80s, there were very few resources, and I learned by doing.

James

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Certs? Now what?

by mrtoad In reply to Good start

I was in the same kind of situation several years ago, but I took the gamble and jumped into finishing up my college degree, now with just 3 classes left I'll be done in May of 05. Pricey? Yes, but if for nothing else the self satisfaction of completing a college degree was worth the time, money and effort. I took all of my classes online through the U of Phoenix; a good buddy of mine who has been a hiring VP of several dotcom busts said that he had heard only good things about the U of P. Granted this isn't a cheap option but if you look at the benefits over the long haul, a BS in something is worth more than a few Certs here and there. Just my humble opinion.

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Where are you going?

by mr_dobby In reply to O.K. what now?

Hi,

you don,t actually mention what you want to do in future, system admin, network admin or carrying on with home support.

As one of the other comments mentioned, an mcse, ccna, cne, etc may be overkill if you are going to continue with home support.

For support jobs a cert may be a better bet than a BSc, its quicker and cheaper to get and is often more than enough to land a support job. I am not saying it is however better than a BSc, the BSc is the best foundation you could have, that backed up by certs and then experience is the way to go.

There are huge amounts of literature regarding certification, if you are really keen to get into the IT arena I would go for the Comptia exams (vendor neutral) initially, go to their website for exam/topic info and links to resources.

An mcse and ccna are also good to have but take longer and may cost more to complete. Again, simply check online for thousands of sites offering training material. For good simulation software for the ccna exam check out the sybex website!

Whichever way you decide to go, it is going to relativley expensive, it should however pay off.
I have numerous certifications all of which have helped improve my knowledge, make me more marketable to potential employers and helped increase my earning potential. Therefore, take the leap, invest as much as you can and go for it. It will pay off in the long.

Good luck
Steve (mcse 2000/2003, mcsa, ccna, cna, security+ and soon, with some luck, BSc;-)

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