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By natepickle ·
I am considering retraining for an IT career but dont want the choice to be all about the most money How can I find out about all the diff. IT fields so I can at leastg get an idea?

Also how does one tell if they like a particular field, trying each would not get you anywhere.

What is the best way to go about getting training?

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What field are you in now?

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to great thoughts

If you please.

You're really getting way too granular with this at the moment. Each of those questions applies to each category in the IT field. If you like people, you might be both good at and happy in supporting users, but not at all happy in programming where you may spend most of your time at a computer interacting only with it and the code you write.
If you like physical work, you might be good at and enjoy the physical building of networks, but won't like doing something that keeps you in front of a computer all day. If you're a loner, you might be good at and enjoy programming as you are likely not to be required to interact much with people. If you are mathematically inclined, logical in your thought processes, you might enjoy and be good at programming, whereas graphic design or teaching, which requires creativity might not suit you.

I suspect there are a number of decent online educational opportunities.
Certain certs you can study for on your own. A+ Certification, for example. Buy the book, study up, take the test. You would need a home computer for that I would think.

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Some guidance

by NickNielsen In reply to great thoughts

Are you creative, logical, mathematically inclined?
- Look into programming or system design

Do you like physical work?
- installation or tech support

Do you like people?
- on-site tech support or help desk

These are only suggestions. Ymmv.

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The jobs don't last 6-12 months...

by NotSoChiGuy In reply to money is a consideration

...the need to refine one's skill set comes up that often. Things change pretty rapidly in the IT world. What an employer wants today is what they won't want/need by the end of the year.

Depending on your age (ageism is a fact in IT), the longer it takes to determine what you want to do, the worse off you'll be.

Asides from a field within IT, is there anything else you're considering?

CNN/Money Magazine recently put out a list of the top growth areas in terms of employment (and subsequently, an article on the firms looking to grow this year). I would definitely suggest taking a look at that, and see if anything catches your eye.

If I had to offer another suggestion, it would be to go to school for a general IS/IT program (something that will expose you to the greatest breadth of information, if not depth), and do as much volunteer and intern work as possible. Like I said in my earlier post, experience is the only thing that is really going to end up helping you.

To that end, bouncing around as a contract worker isn't as frowned upon in IT. It is a great way to build a resume and experience, if you can swing it.

If you've heard those radio ads saying you can get a certification in 6 months and start earning $50K+ right off the bat, I feel pretty confident in saying that it is a bunch of !@#$%^&*. In 1999, maybe...but definitely not now.

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It's not that the jobs only last 6 to 12 months.

by CharlieSpencer In reply to money is a consideration

It's that, regardless of what your IT specialization is, some aspect or another of it will change regularly. New web technologies appear every few month. Security issues crop up daily. New Linux distributions appear regularly, and existing ones maybe updated twice a year. A new release of Windows is a major event that can completely change a support job every three or four years.

You say you want to do something you love. Not to discourage you, but is there something you already love doing? Have you considered making that a career? If you don't love IT, an IT job is a fast path to an ulcer or a psychiatrist.

You can bounce from contract to contract. You can work for one company your entire career. In that it's no different from any other (mostly) white collar job. Like other jobs, the entry pay scale varies based on the experience you have. I've seen people start at $32K, others in six figures.

Do you own a computer? What do you enjoy doing with it? Consider exploring that in detail. Is there a computer club in your area? If you are a complete, total, green-as-grass newbie, consider an introductory computer class with a local university or tech college's continuing education department. Pick up a couple of used 'For Dummies' books and see if anything looks interesting. Heck, go to any large book store, wander through the computer section, and look at the categories and titles. That will give you an idea what's in the field.

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Areas of IT

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT AR ...


Line or Project

Web, Local (e.g. Windows), Database and Hardware

Technical, Admin, Network, Database and Hardware,

Business, Architecture

Software, Hardware, Architecture, Security, Auditing

If you are going to be succesful, you need to be interested enough in at least one of these to learn about it off your own bat.

To be quite honest, the fact that you haven't already to me, means you are going to be more people / management oriented. Us technical types usually view any new piece of kit, as a reson to take it to bits and see how it works, or at the very least to see how many different uses we can find for it.

What you are retraining from might give us a better clue. A thing to remember is domain knowledge can leverage you into IT.

For instance if you were an accountant, working as analyst or domain specialist for an IT firm that produces software for accountants is a gentle lead in to BA, QA, Management and PM.

You are going to need that leg up as well, IT is real hard at the moment. Don't lose sight of what else you have to offer , along with any technical skills you might obtain.


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my skills

by natepickle In reply to Areas of IT

I been told throughout my life and by my wife of 16 yrs that i am VERY analytical. I had a profesor friend of my tell me that the other day. He nows i hate the outside heavy shiot, so he asked if i have ever thought of IT as my analytical mind would fit right in


i am social and like to work with computers. i have ran my own business not related to IT or my current skills

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When the profesor

by santeewelding In reply to my skills

Said analytical, the reduction part, did he mention the integration part?

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by natepickle In reply to When the profesor

When the profesor

Said analytical, the reduction part, did he mention the integration part?


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by santeewelding In reply to what

What gentle, caring people are doing all around you here.

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Results. <nt>

by boxfiddler Moderator In reply to When the profesor
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