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Windows 7: IT Field

23 Mar 2010   #1

 
IT Field

Here is my life story...

I've been studying CompTIA A+ for about a month now and have decided to pursue getting certified. I'm pretty sure that i can pass the test on my own. To take certification classes in the school is costly and frankly... i don't have the money to pay for it... Besides, It's pretty easy IMO.

Back in High school i took 3 years of Cisco Networking class as my elective and i loved it. Right now i have been lucky and got a job as an "Intern" at a local computer repair shop formatting hard drives, Backing up documents, finding drivers and other miscellaneous rookie tech jobs. It's more for the IT experience and resume building...

I've been meaning to get back into school to get an actual degree in something but the problem is that i have no idea what i should get into, Or at that - Who to talk to. There are a lot of different jobs and positions in the IT field and i am having a really hard time figuring out just what i want to get into. I was hoping you guys would care to shine some light?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2010   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit
 
 

For schools, they're great colleges such as ITT Tech, or UEI. Even the military teaches you that stuff (not recommended). I currently attending UEI and i am almost done and next month will be my last right before i hit my externship where they help me look for jobs, interviews and building resumes. Studying is the key to success to an IT field because you would need to know how to troubleshoot problems and also using your resources. My part in the IT field is just to focus on building, repairing, troubleshooting computers/laptops, etc. Not much of a networking person myself or much on linux. I just work with Windows XP, Vista, and 7. But there will be times that you will have to repair computers of other os like macs and linuxs.

As for jobs, have your resumes and your cover letters updated and finished for job interviews and job searching. Since you do networking, you can work for Cox Cable, Verizon (depending on location), and AT&T since they deal with networking and internet jobs or other router manufacturers like Linksys and Netgear.

[EDIT] Also, most schools offer a certain number of vouchers for taking the A+ Certification Testing (meaning you get a free limit of taking the test). Or just taking the test, they cost like around $100 bucks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2010   #3
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I think Brian is right. With your (short) background, networking may be a good direction to persue. You could start with a CISCO certification.
But the real knowledge will only come from on the job experience. With things changing so fast, you have to have a plan to always stay on top of the most recent developments.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2010   #4

 

What about an approach as a System Administrator? Networking is something that i have experiance but don't really have a passion for. What I'm trying to get from this post is any help into pointing which direction of schooling i should go for. I want to go back to school
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2010   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

The schooling question will depend entirely on what's available in your area. I would start checking the community college.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2010   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit
 
 

But if you wanna expand your experience, its great to go to college and go for a 2 year degree. After you graduate, you start off with a great salary.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2010   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium (64 bit)
 
 

Read "The World is Flat" as you consider your long term plans.

The bottom line is to be flexible, especially in IT.

Think on your feet and try to find the right balance between specialization and generalization. If you block yourself into relying on certifications you will not be able to adjust quickly enough. Sure, do it for your first job, but don't concentrate all of your studies on one area after that. Learn other interesting areas that you think are on the horizon. You will guess wrong occasionally, but you will be ready to adjust if you keep looking in several areas.

There are certain jobs that will persist, but it is more a product of chance than exceptional training in one narrow field.

I have worked IT for 30 years, so I do have some background, and I see where things are changing.

I think the book is alarmist, but the general thoughts are good. IT other than a limited number of hardware installers and button pushers can work from anywhere in the country or world. For anything but these grunt jobs, you are competing globally. Position yourself accordingly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Mar 2010   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 8.1 Pro with Media Center
 
 

As an employer, I just want to say this: our best geeks are self taught, or have a minor degree plus some internship background.

Please do not misunderstand me. I think, and believe, that education is important. But 'nerdism' is an art form, it's in you or it isn't. The lack of formal education can't hide it no more than an accidental masters degree can compensate it. You either have it or not.

From your post I read you have it. Seek a better internship, search for interesting educational possibilities, let the employers know you are not only a pro already, but that you are willing to learn more. A modern employer seeks not only the degrees, he / she seeks potential. Your main task should be to be always ready to show that potential.

Just my 2 cents.

Kari
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2010   #9

 

Thank you all for all the responses!

It's hard for me to fully concentrate on my studies. I took high school as a joke (Oh, if i could turn back the hands of time... if only) so i never fully got down any study habits. I'm easily distracted. I definitely have "Nerdism" I'm constantly always looking at new ways to troubleshoot pc problems. trying to keep up with technology is my thing. If i do decide on going back to school. what courses do you guys suggest i dip my feet in first? I enjoy building, repairing and troubleshooting computers/laptops.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Mar 2010   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Kari View Post
As an employer, I just want to say this: our best geeks are self taught, or have a minor degree plus some internship background.
I agree with that statement. I went to college between 1993 and 1997 and graduated with a 4 year business degree in 1997. As far as computers were concerned, you really only had options for computer science or management information systems. There really weren't tracks or programs for network admins or system admins then. Thus, I think the current market is full of those self taught computer nerd types...myself included....who got into IT after being unhappy in other fields.

I'm the main systems engineer where I work and i have a bachelor of science in business administration with a major in accounting information systems. Our network engineer (who is a CCNP), majored in Food Science. Our manager of global IT has a degree in architecture.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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