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Old 06-03-2012, 07:10 AM  
Gary Gary is offline
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Advice on career change to IT

To make a very long story short, I was recently laid off from a small company where I was working as the general manager. I am taking a serious look at changing career paths to IT. A couple of my close friends are network admins and got me interested in the field. I know there are several members here that are in the IT field and am looking for your advice. If you were going to get into the IT field now, how would you go about it (what schooling would you take, what would you specialize in, & what certs would you have to obtain)? I live in an IT poor job market(SW Florida), but my wife and I have been considering moving out of this area anyway.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:20 AM   #2
KC Tattoo KC Tattoo is offline
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Can you feel it ,see it, hear it today?
If you can't, then it doesn't matter anyway
You will never understand it cuz it happens too fast
And it feels so good, it's like walking on glass
It's so cool, it's so hip, it's alright
It's so groovy, it's outta sight
You can touch it, smell it, taste it so sweet
But it makes no difference cuz it knocks you off your feet
You want it all but you can't have it
It's cryin', bleedin', lying on the floor
So you lay down on it and you do it some more
You've got to share it, so you dare it
Then you bare it and you tear it
You want it all but you can't have it
It's in your face but you can't grab it
It's alive, afraid, a lie, a sin
It's magit, it's tragic, it's a loss, it's a win
It's dark, it's moist, it's a bitter pain
It's sad it happened and it's a shame
You want it all but you can't have it
It's in your face but you can't grab it
What is it?
It's it
What is it?...
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:38 AM   #3
loochy loochy is offline
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:38 AM   #4
loochy loochy is offline
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Go to ITT Technical Institute.
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yeah i may be a retard but I'll be the one banging your girlfriend when you're out with your friends.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:40 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by loochy View Post
Go to ITT Technical Institute.
Wow! Might as well just given me a pooptaco.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:43 AM   #6
Hydrae Hydrae is offline
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I am currently going to University of Phoenix for IT. When done I will have a BSIT with a Database Administration emphasis. There are a lot of people working on Networking related emphasis degrees.

Networking is definitely a field that is still growing and you can make some decent money. I would recommend checking local community colleges first for a school. It will be less expensive and you can be pretty sure the credits will transfer if you want or need to change schools later.

Some good information in this thread also:

http://www.chiefsplanet.com/BB/showthread.php?t=259953

Last edited by Hydrae; 06-03-2012 at 07:55 AM..
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:50 AM   #7
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:51 AM   #8
oldandslow oldandslow is offline
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If you are willing to move, every state school in South Dakota has a tuition rate 3/4 times less that Univ of Phoenix. School of mines in the Black Hills as well as SDSU have good IT programs.

You can finish in four years, and not have a mountain of debt, if you are willing to really work.

How do I know????I teach at a State University in SD and have 3 sons who graduated from there. They do not give professor's kids a break on tuition.

All of them, however, graduated with no debt. (They did live at home tho.)
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:53 AM   #9
Tytanium Tytanium is offline
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Go to a community college and see if you can at least get a two year degree in information systems or information technology. This is by far the biggest bonus you can get to a potential job, unless you can get a DBA certificate or a high level Cisco cert (very expensive). I've been in the field for about five years and I've gotten A+ and Network+ certificates that have netted me about an extra $2/hr at my current job ($1/hr raise per each), but they don't actually do much in the way of teaching you how to troubleshoot well for helpdesk style jobs.

Even an associates will get you a large bonus (Probably at least $5-10k a year) over not having one, even if you have no experience. Then you can find a four year school to transfer to and get a bachelor's for an even bigger return on investment. I plan on attending JCCC in the fall to do this, and when I discussed it with my boss and CFO, they agreed for a fairly significant salary increase if I do get it.

In short, I would only go after the basic certs if they're needed by a job you're interested in. The tests are $170 each (A+ has 2 tests you need to pay for, each $170) and there is an amazing video study guide I found before taking my Network+ test for free at http://www.professormesser.com/

On a side note, if you're going into government contracting sector (or private defense sector), get a Security+ cert.
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Old 06-03-2012, 07:55 AM   #10
Hydrae Hydrae is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldandslow View Post
If you are willing to move, every state school in South Dakota has a tuition rate 3/4 times less that Univ of Phoenix. School of mines in the Black Hills as well as SDSU have good IT programs.

You can finish in four years, and not have a mountain of debt, if you are willing to really work.

How do I know????I teach at a State University in SD and have 3 sons who graduated from there. They do not give professor's kids a break on tuition.

All of them, however, graduated with no debt. (They did live at home tho.)
Much cheaper than UoP but much harder schedule-wise when trying to support a family working full time. That is the advantage with UoP, ground classes are 4 hours/1 day a week. Online courses are mostly self-paced although you have to post in the discussion forums 4 days a week to maintain participation points.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:04 AM   #11
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One of my closest friends that has been in the field for a long time said that there is an increasing market for network security. Are there a lot of companies that are looking for network intrusion prevention/security IT services?
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:10 AM   #12
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:17 AM   #13
Tytanium Tytanium is offline
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One of my closest friends that has been in the field for a long time said that there is an increasing market for network security. Are there a lot of companies that are looking for network intrusion prevention/security IT services?
Crossposting from SA


Which Came first the Cert, The Degree, or The Experience

This is a tough one as I have found a good amount of people in IT don't actually have a college degree or certs. Yes believe it or not you can get a decent paying job just based off experience! It may take you a little longer to get there and you may have to work in the shit mill that is Help Desk, but after 2-3years and some Server/Network knowledge there isn't much keeping you from a Jr. Systems Admin.

So how should YOU do it?
School
AVOID SCHOOLS LIKE ITT TECH, ECPI, Pheonix, or any other online or not state school. Seriously these places are in it for one thing only, your money. I myself know people who have gone there and people who worked there, They will pass you regardless whatever, rack up a nice 80K loan, and then pop you into some Help Desk position at 30k/yr. You are better going off to a Comunity College or State 4yr college getting at least a AAS and a cert or 2 then getting a Bachelors in IT at a pro profit school . This doesn't mean you won't learn anything it just means employers won't laugh you out of an interview, and you will have saved a load of time and money.


What degree to get?
This depends on the school, Some smaller colleges may only have you run through Programming Languages, others may space you out in what you do. You'll have to look at your course outline and really nit pick it to find out what is best for you. I went with an AAS as I didn't really want to do a 4yr and picked up a few certs(Working on VCAP-DCA/CCNA/S+) and am well off. You just need to find what part of IT interests you most and research it.

:qqsay: I am incapable of research, What degree is right for me?

It really depends on what you want to do, and how fast you want to get there.

Associate Degree If you are unsure about the IT field, but you know you want to go into it, check out you local Community College. Great part about a Community College is that there is a very good chance you will get to meet people in the field, deal with teachers that work into the field, costs loads less, and transfer your credits to a big name college later. While it may not see the most prestigious you will get out faster, and spend ~1/3rd the cost, and still be able able to transfer most all the credits. If you want to be a Technician-Jr. Systems/Net Admin this is probably the most practical degree for you.

Bachelors Great degree to avoid the tier 1 BS, also opens up a world of opportunities and will probably get you making a bit more cash at the end of the day. Great thing about a 4yr Degree is most state colleges offer some decent internships which will give you about 4yrs EXP + a degree which will get you a job most places. If you want to go into EE, or CE this is a minimum. If you are wanting to go into Engineering, Management, Teaching(below college level), or Administration, this is more practical than a AAS

Masters If you are going for this you more than likely know what you want to do. If you plan to go into IT you'll probably get thrown into a management spot, CE/EE's will really like the pay boost and how fast they get a job in this as long as they can keep a >3.5

That said, Schooling is great to inject you in the field it opens up internship opportunities, most employers will sub a degree for X years of EXP, gain the ability to work hands on with things, and will make you more comfortable with many different pieces of equipment.

Certs See this thread for more details
Certs are wonderful way to get a much better job if you already have EXP in the field or want to get noticed by more people for proving you know something! There are many kinds of certs
Vendor Specific Certs from MS, Cisco, Vmware, Red Hat; These tend to focus on Specific Products release by each company, ie getting an MS cert would not help you much in a Linux environment.
non-vendor specificCompTIA hold this spot, offering things like A+, Net+, S+ which basically give you a general understanding of concepts in each area, these are geared more toward entry level but don't think you shouldn't look into these, especially if you want to work for the Government where an A+/N+/S+ is pretty much needed for a spot.

Certs can land you a job faster, if you lack a degree or EXP, but you will want to look into CompTIA's offerings first, then follow up with a vendor specific. You also may want to consider grouping certs, A+ is a nice cert to have but it it is almost useless if you are going for a MCSE; on the other hand getting an A+ on a Microsoft Certified: Desktop Admin/Support may look a little more appealing to an HR/recruiter.

DoD standard
What does that have to do with anything? Basically if you want to work for a Government Org you'll need a S+, and a MS cert won't help


Entry level work
Now if you have been fooling with a computer for any given length of time, and you know the basics something like HellDesk, or Bench Tech may be right up your ally! These probably aren't the most fun jobs out their but at least they are jobs with exp.

Other things you may want to consider
1. Do some Labs, fire up a virtual machine and build a Server/client network, play with a linux distro learn some commands, fiddle with your router some.
2. Talk to some people in the field, I don't know to many people who will turn you down for asking them to gloat about themselves
3. Buy a book, it won't bite you and worst case is you get a cure for your insomnia
4. Just because you have a degree/cert/EXP doesn't mean you will get the job instantly
xperience).

I WANT TO MAKE A SHITLOAD OF MONEY AND FAST! War For Profit thread has what you need, Clean Criminal Record? Got a Security+? Got time to fly around the world and live for 12 months sometimes making low to mid 6 figures? You may want to look into it. I plan to move out to Germany for 4 years, I got quoted 130k/yr+signing+completion living on base food free(or some very cheap plan, doing what looks like Network tech in Germany. in reference to your last question.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:18 AM   #14
dirk digler dirk digler is offline
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I have been working in IT for 11 years and my advice is don't. If you want to change careers go into the healthcare field.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:19 AM   #15
Hog Farmer Hog Farmer is offline
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11,000 posts about jacking off hogs... at least it was almost funny the first 20 times.
Aha ! You finally admit it. You laughed !
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