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Unsure of where to begin

By kellyandvince ·
I am currently enrolled in the MCSE tract at the university where I reside. I have a strong interest in computers, and hope to move into an applicable position once I have completed my certs. Having no technical experience, other than personal, I amnot sure where to begin. I have been home for a few years, and have begun this process as a means of re-entering the workforce. Any advice?

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find your axis and go from there

by MallardtooXX In reply to Unsure of where to begin

YOu will need to find the facet of computers you like to deal with the most and build on it. Some people are hardware people. Some people are software people. There are people out there that are a melding of the two. You need to find the one thing about computers that you find the most interesting and work with it. If you try to learn everything you will fail. If you try to learn a little of everything you will not fail but you will not succeed as highly as you would like. If you find one area that you really like and become an expert on that area you will do fine. IT is a very niche oriented field. There is no way you can know everything inside and out, anyone who says they do is a liar. One little piece of personal advice, makesure this is what you want to do because if it isn't you will be wasting your time and you will hate computers for all time afterwards. IT is not the hot commodity it was 5 years ago when the budgets were unlimited and the salaries were high. Now we are in a stage of cutting the chaff from the wheat, this in a hard time for a new IT person to start and really prosper unless they are REALLY REALLY good. Good luck

-duck

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I'd go one step further

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to find your axis and go fro ...

Not only find out which area you prefer hardware / software but what area of that field you really like as this as previously stated is a very specalised area and getting more so all the time. The harder you work in one small area the more you will eventually beome to know however you will also be limiting yourself to that area which may disapear with some new development in tehnology however we do have to live in the present so go after what you really like and build on that. As a general rulesecurity is a very good area to start in but there is a lot of competition.

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by phone6911 In reply to I'd go one step further

dont do what I did.....I left my very content and fulfilling job to join a startup (with generous options) that soon nose dived, then contracted myself out to a company called Lucent in a field called Telecommunications ( I think last count has the reduced workforce near 250,000)...Just kidding the only thing that happened in Telcom was the fact that Technology eventaully outgrew its own market, meaning the hardware technology has always been years ahead of software, not to mention the usability/acceptance factors. The present main buying power rests with a significant per centage of end users who don't fancy computers,etc.plus whey'er all hanging around longer as well. Not to worry though this next generation seems to be making up for it just fine...I wonder how long pagers and hand helds will not be allowed in schools....Personally 'robotics' would be my preference if I was just starting a career, that and also bio tech I think will be sustaining a worhty grow rate long enough foryou to build a career

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Reality

by timwalsh In reply to Unsure of where to begin

First, I wish you good luck in your endeavors. The IT world can be very exiting and challenging.

However, you must be prepared for the reality of the current IT job climate.

The jumpy economy has caused a tightening of belts all over the world. The .com bubble has disappeared. Gone are the days of a certification (alone) being the key to fame and fortune.

Due to the large number of layoffs in the IT sector, you will be competing for jobs with a large number of others who not onlyhave a certification (or several), but also have years of experience to back up the certification.

Most job ads you will find that require certifications, will also require at least some experience.

After reading all this, please don't be disuaded from your path. I don't mean to suggest that there aren't jobs out there. Nor do I mean to suggest that you have no chance of getting one. Getting the job is very often being in the right place at the right time. It also has a lot to do withhow positive you are and how well you "sell" yourself. Be on the look out for job fairs at your university. Employers that advertise at these job fairs understand that they most likely will be interviewing students with little or no experience. Youmay also reside in an are where ther is a dirth of already experienced talent. Job availablity (or lack thereof) is by no means universal. You just need to look. If there are jobs available, don't expect to immediately move into a network administration job. You may need to start with an entry-level help-desk position and work your way up. It will be dependent on the local market.

Probably the best piece of advice anyone can give you is "If this is your chosen path, don't give up! Youwill eventually find what you are looking for."

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Thanks for the insight....

by kellyandvince In reply to Unsure of where to begin

I appreciate the perspective all of you have offered. I had already decided hardware is not my gig. I took the A+ three years ago, and knew software piqued my interest then. I also did expect to start at an entry-level position, as I don't have the experience to offer that some others do. Nor would I be comfortable taking on an Admin position with my lack of experience/knowledge. I am finding that what I am learning in class shows me the avenues to take specific action in W2K, but does not offer other important steps that I will never be aware of until I actually apply those principals in the real world. Ummm....Security is VERY interesting to me. I am intrigued by how secure you can be/think you can be. Well, thanks to all that responded.Don't hesitate to add any afterthoughts you may have as well. I am certainly open to that.

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Total security is only a dream

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Thanks for the insight... ...

What we all have to understand is just how secure we are willing to make a system and still be able to have basicly untrained people work it. Everything about security is a comprimise and the trick is in ballacing the need for security against the usability of the system in general. I hope this gives you something to think about!

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