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Hi All, Newb here looking for advice...

BJ4ITBJ4IT Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hello Everyone!

My name is Julian and i'm from Northeastern Ohio. I've spent my time over the years earning an income by doing handling all of the web related jobs for a retail clothing store that i'm partnered up with a friend on and I've decided I'd like to invest my time fully in getting into the IT field. I currently do not have a bachelors degree, but i've read enough of this forum to know to skip the vocational schools, do as much as I can at the local community college, then transfer into the university for the final semesters leading up to graduation.

I started this thread because I was wondering (more like hoping) if there were any tips that you would give to a person just starting out, who knows absolutely nothing about the job, but just has a love for computers and enjoys learning how things work. I have no real direction just yet (although i've been reading that network engineer sounds nice), and im hoping to learn as much as I can from you guys (please, be gentle with me lol).

Hopefully everyone is having a wonderful day so far, and if any of you have the time to spare to respond to me, its very much appreciated.

Take care, and im happy to be here!

P.S If I posted this thread in the wrong section, my apologies
2015 Goals:
CCENT
CCNA
CCNA Security
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    VeritiesVerities Member Posts: 1,162
    BJ4IT wrote: »
    (please, be gentle with me lol).

    We guarantee nothing.

    Just kidding, welcome to TE! Usually people are told to pursue the CompTIA: A+ certification since it covers a wide range of foundation level computer knowledge. In the IT field, having a good foundation is the first step and will help you in the long run. Check out the link below for the exam requirements and what it covers:

    CompTIA A+ Certification

    Also, check out the A+ forums here:

    A+ Forums
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    BJ4ITBJ4IT Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Verities thanks so much for such a quick response! I forgot to mention that I have absolutely ZERO experience in regards to anything certification related, and I havent even begun school yet (I start in January the journey of getting my B.S Degree). Would you say someone with no experience would be fine going to the aforementioned sites and beginning the process of getting certifications this early? I only ask because honestly at this point my guidance is completely reliant upon the information provided from you guys, and if you say its fine, then i'll go and get my hands dirty immediately.
    2015 Goals:
    CCENT
    CCNA
    CCNA Security
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    cwshellhamercwshellhamer Member Posts: 90 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Along the lines of what Verities said. If you take a Computer Information Systems ( or some iteration thereof) program, you will most likely take some sort of A+ focused class. More often than not the text book will be focused towards the A+ exam with CompTIA's logo on it. Dependent on your instructors and how well they teach, I would recommend trying to take the A+ soon after that class if you do well. Same thing with the Net+ (i just don't have the capital to take it right now because of a 3 month old :)) If not there are posts all over this forum on how to study for the various exams. But a Bachelors degree will really help. AND YES SKIP THE TECH SCHOOLS!!!!! speaking from personal experience.
    HAVE: A+
    Working on: N+, CCENT
    Associates Degree: Lincoln Technical Institute ( DO NOT GO!)
    Bachelors degree in progress: Computer Information Systems and Cyber security - Strayer University
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    CyberscumCyberscum Member Posts: 795 ■■■■■□□□□□
    BJ4IT wrote: »
    Hopefully everyone is having a wonderful day so far
    On a Monday? You are sick indeed.

    I say start by searching through these forums, skimming online news about IT related stuff and just being curious about IT in general. Once you find something that interests you go after it like a mad man.

    As far as stating with A+ and schooling…Wait. Find a subject in IT that makes you think and sparks interest. Once you find that go after that specific industry of IT. I did it with security and life is good.
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    BJ4ITBJ4IT Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the quick and informative replies guys. I made a reply to Verities earlier post, but it triggered some sort of moderation filter so it may be a while before it gets posted, so i'll post it again.

    Question Verities:

    Would you say going to the CompTIA page that you linked me to would be a good idea for an absolute newb with no experience (and I havent even started school yet for the degree, i start in January)? If its something that you suggest and will teach a person with no knowledge or experience what so ever then im all in, i'll buy it now and get started today.

    Question for cwshellhammer:

    How much does the Net+ training cost? Luckily I have some spare scratch because I currently have a work at home job that pays me decent, and I would love to invest in something that'll help me in the future. Congrats on the 3month old btw, I have a baby boy due next month!
    2015 Goals:
    CCENT
    CCNA
    CCNA Security
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    BJ4ITBJ4IT Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Cyberscum wrote: »
    On a Monday? You are sick indeed.

    I say start by searching through these forums, skimming online news about IT related stuff and just being curious about IT in general. Once you find something that interests you go after it like a mad man.

    As far as stating with A+ and schooling…Wait. Find a subject in IT that makes you think and sparks interest. Once you find that go after that specific industry of IT. I did it with security and life is good.

    I had a 3 day weekend so I guess Monday isnt hitting me as hard as some of you guys lol. Ordinarily I hate Mondays and it usually takes me a day or so to get into the groove of things. You make a good point about finding something that sparks interest. I dont really know about all of the different fields (although i've read enough to know/think that security and cisco stuff go together?) so im looking to learn more about the different fields to see which one I'd like to get into. Hopefully browsing through the different sub-forums will help with that?
    2015 Goals:
    CCENT
    CCNA
    CCNA Security
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    CyberscumCyberscum Member Posts: 795 ■■■■■□□□□□
    @BJ

    I am not a fan of school or getting a set path of certs just for the sake of following what everyone else does (says the guy with certs :D). I believe that if you have a passion and a drive you will succeed. I know that some employers require “x” cert and “y” degree but I know of plenty of successful and amazing IT professionals that have not one cert behind their name…The funny thing about these guys is that it never once hindered their ability to find work and they are the experts in their respective field.
    Like I said, look for a direction that you want to go first. You may want to try A+, but for me there was just too much crap that I was not interested in to learn. I like security so I just went that path and did not focus on anything other than that.
    IT is one career field that you can literally specialize in 1 thing and make more money than people that know a little about everything.
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    BJ4ITBJ4IT Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Cyberscum wrote: »
    @BJ

    I am not a fan of school or getting a set path of certs just for the sake of following what everyone else does (says the guy with certs :D). I believe that if you have a passion and a drive you will succeed. I know that some employers require “x” cert and “y” degree but I know of plenty of successful and amazing IT professionals that have not one cert behind their name…The funny thing about these guys is that it never once hindered their ability to find work and they are the experts in their respective field.
    Like I said, look for a direction that you want to go first. You may want to try A+, but for me there was just too much crap that I was not interested in to learn. I like security so I just went that path and did not focus on anything other than that.
    IT is one career field that you can literally specialize in 1 thing and make more money than people that know a little about everything.

    Cyberscum thanks for all of this insight (love the name btw!). If you dont mind me asking, what made you decide to go into security?
    2015 Goals:
    CCENT
    CCNA
    CCNA Security
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    VeritiesVerities Member Posts: 1,162
    BJ4IT wrote: »
    Thanks for the quick and informative replies guys. I made a reply to Verities earlier post, but it triggered some sort of moderation filter so it may be a while before it gets posted, so i'll post it again.

    Question Verities:

    Would you say going to the CompTIA page that you linked me to would be a good idea for an absolute newb with no experience (and I havent even started school yet for the degree, i start in January)? If its something that you suggest and will teach a person with no knowledge or experience what so ever then im all in, i'll buy it now and get started today.

    There are mixed views on where to start, but the fact is the A+ study material is going to give you a good foundation as I said before. You don't even have to achieve the certification, just studying the material and becoming familiar with it is going to help you gain your bearings as the IT field has many facets to it. If you do decide to pursue the A+ certification, due to the reputation of CompTIA, its recognized as a entry level certification and can help you obtain an entry level job. There are plenty of people who have little to no experience, who go for this certification and achieve it, but everyone is different. We all learn at different speeds and from different sources. I recommend checking out the free study material provided by Professor Messer and see how fast you pick it up, before determining if you want to actually sit for the exams:

    Professor Messer's CompTIA 220-801/802 A+ Training | Professor Messer - CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+, Linux, Microsoft Technology Training
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    CyberscumCyberscum Member Posts: 795 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Couple of things really.

    I saw the future for security was bright with limitless potential as far as work and money is concerned. I read through A+/NET+/SEC+ and really only liked the NET+ and SEC+, with SEC+ being what I found the most interesting.

    Security is very dynamic and for someone with an attention span of a minute or less, it fits me perfect. There is always some emerging new threat, always some new way of attacking or defending an ever-growing technology based world.

    It is very interesting and what I have found is that the more specific you get into security the more in demand you will become.

    I have a very curious mind and security seems to accommodate that nicely…

    Ok, and I guess the pay in security doesn’t hurt lol.
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    cwshellhamercwshellhamer Member Posts: 90 ■■□□□□□□□□
    BJ4IT wrote: »
    Thanks for the quick and informative replies guys. I made a reply to Verities earlier post, but it triggered some sort of moderation filter so it may be a while before it gets posted, so i'll post it again.

    Question for cwshellhammer:

    How much does the Net+ training cost? Luckily I have some spare scratch because I currently have a work at home job that pays me decent, and I would love to invest in something that'll help me in the future. Congrats on the 3month old btw, I have a baby boy due next month!

    sorry for the late response im at work, and thanks man its....... fun lol

    But as far as the test goes, I just checked on PearsonVUE, which is one of the companies you can order the test through, and the Net+ test is $269. Thats who i scheduled my A+ through and it was pretty painless but youll have to create an account.
    HAVE: A+
    Working on: N+, CCENT
    Associates Degree: Lincoln Technical Institute ( DO NOT GO!)
    Bachelors degree in progress: Computer Information Systems and Cyber security - Strayer University
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    BJ4ITBJ4IT Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Verities wrote: »
    There are mixed views on where to start, but the fact is the A+ study material is going to give you a good foundation as I said before. You don't even have to achieve the certification, just studying the material and becoming familiar with it is going to help you gain your bearings as the IT field has many facets to it. If you do decide to pursue the A+ certification, due to the reputation of CompTIA, its recognized as a entry level certification and can help you obtain an entry level job. There are plenty of people who have little to no experience, who go for this certification and achieve it, but everyone is different. We all learn at different speeds and from different sources. I recommend checking out the free study material provided by Professor Messer and see how fast you pick it up, before determining if you want to actually sit for the exams:

    Professor Messer's CompTIA 220-801/802 A+ Training | Professor Messer - CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+, Linux, Microsoft Technology Training

    Holy crap thats insane resource! Thanks for that! I see he offers training for A+, Net+, as well as Sec+ would you say the training material is on par with whatever the current industry standard is? Im probably going to buy the video format for them all and dig in (starting with A+).
    2015 Goals:
    CCENT
    CCNA
    CCNA Security
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    IIIMasterIIIMaster Member Posts: 238 ■■■□□□□□□□
    If you really want to succeeded in IT know where you trying to go. CompTIA is fine for 2 certs (A+ and Sec+) but other than that it is best to look into what you wish to specialize in... Cisco, Microsoft, VMware, Redhat, programming. Do you wish to admin networks, monitor, engineer or secure them? Or do you wish to change broken mouse and keyboards all day.
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    ajs1976ajs1976 Member Posts: 1,945 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I would slow down a little. A+ is a good starting point for someone who wants to go into System admin, network admin, or even security, but it would be a waste of time for someone who wants to get into programming or web development. What do you want to do? If you're not sure, then look around. Read some books, watch some videos, talk to people, maybe take some classes.
    Andy

    2020 Goals: 0 of 2 courses complete, 0 of 2 exams complete
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    BJ4ITBJ4IT Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    ajs1976 wrote: »
    I would slow down a little. A+ is a good starting point for someone who wants to go into System admin, network admin, or even security, but it would be a waste of time for someone who wants to get into programming or web development. What do you want to do? If you're not sure, then look around. Read some books, watch some videos, talk to people, maybe take some classes.

    From the looks of it after doing a bit of research both here and around the web its looking like security is going to be the direction that I go.
    2015 Goals:
    CCENT
    CCNA
    CCNA Security
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    210mike210mike Member Posts: 55 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'm not sure what the job market is like where you live, but I know Ohio has been hit pretty hard. My advice to you:

    Be prepared to move. There are a lot of IT opportunities out there, but you need to go where they are. That probably means a larger city if you don't already live in one, or one with more job opportunities.
    WGU BS: IT Network and Design Management (Completed Oct 2014)
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    cwshellhamercwshellhamer Member Posts: 90 ■■□□□□□□□□
    That's what I'm currently doing, just wish i knew that 2+ years ago >.<. I thought it was pretty cool that I set a Cisco switch to recognize only 2 MAC addresses on all the ports via ACL's and watched my class mate try to figure out why he couldn't use the switch. I hate to admit it but setting up and configuring ASAs is "fun" too lol. However i wouldn't have known that if i didn't go to school where i did so i guess in retrospect. i CANT WAIT to get into the security classes at school now. I\I guess you just have to experience a little bit of everything and see what strikes your fancy I suppose.
    HAVE: A+
    Working on: N+, CCENT
    Associates Degree: Lincoln Technical Institute ( DO NOT GO!)
    Bachelors degree in progress: Computer Information Systems and Cyber security - Strayer University
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    BJ4ITBJ4IT Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    210mike wrote: »
    I'm not sure what the job market is like where you live, but I know Ohio has been hit pretty hard. My advice to you:

    Be prepared to move. There are a lot of IT opportunities out there, but you need to go where they are. That probably means a larger city if you don't already live in one, or one with more job opportunities.

    I'm in/near Cleveland, which is one of the largest cities in Northeastern Ohio, and once I've got all the paperwork I need im more than willing to relocate to another state if necessary, really all depends on the job and if the pay is enough to relocate my family.
    That's what I'm currently doing, just wish i knew that 2+ years ago >.<. I thought it was pretty cool that I set a Cisco switch to recognize only 2 MAC addresses on all the ports via ACL's and watched my class mate try to figure out why he couldn't use the switch. I hate to admit it but setting up and configuring ASAs is "fun" too lol. However i wouldn't have known that if i didn't go to school where i did so i guess in retrospect. i CANT WAIT to get into the security classes at school now. I\I guess you just have to experience a little bit of everything and see what strikes your fancy I suppose.

    You're currently doing security? Thats awesome to hear!
    2015 Goals:
    CCENT
    CCNA
    CCNA Security
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    cwshellhamercwshellhamer Member Posts: 90 ■■□□□□□□□□
    If your willing to relocate the Filthadelpia(spelling intended) area is chalked full of Info Sec opportunities. Even try DC area if you can handle all of that traffic O-o
    HAVE: A+
    Working on: N+, CCENT
    Associates Degree: Lincoln Technical Institute ( DO NOT GO!)
    Bachelors degree in progress: Computer Information Systems and Cyber security - Strayer University
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    NersesianNersesian Users Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 96 ■■□□□□□□□□
    DC traffic is manageable if you chose the right place to live. If you live in Capitol Hill and work in Virginia, you're going to have a bad time...every day...forever.

    Stay off 66.
    Don't cross the beltway unless you have to.
    Be ok with smaller spaces.
    Think really hard if you want to keep that car.
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    CyberscumCyberscum Member Posts: 795 ■■■■■□□□□□
    @BJ
    What about security makes you want to go into security? I say take a week or two and really do some research on all aspects of IT. Search these forums because similar topics have been discussed. For you to make a decision to go into security in 1 day might not work for your likes/dislikes.

    To give you an idea of what security is where I am:
    I work and enforce many policies and do C&A
    I work with high level management to make security decisions for multiple networks
    I work with engineering types to est security baselines and implement new technologies
    I do security design for small SAP networks that operate as stand alone
    I do mostly project management work with just a little technical work. If you ask 10 security types on this site they can all prob give you a very different answer as to their work and their duties. So as you can see, even if you want to go security for whatever reason the field is so diverse that you can’t really say I will be doing this or that.
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    cwshellhamercwshellhamer Member Posts: 90 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Along the lines of what Cyberscum said i would eventually like to get my CEH and do penetration testing and more from the CLI/scripting side of the house.

    PS never thought id say id LIKE to do CLI lol
    HAVE: A+
    Working on: N+, CCENT
    Associates Degree: Lincoln Technical Institute ( DO NOT GO!)
    Bachelors degree in progress: Computer Information Systems and Cyber security - Strayer University
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    BJ4ITBJ4IT Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    @Everyone,

    Thanks so much for all of this stellar advice you've given thus far. Honestly you guys have far exceeded the expectations that I had and have delivered more than what I could hope for. I had an appointment scheduled with the local college academic advisor set for the 2nd of December, and now you guys have given me tons of direction so I can go into that meeting equipped with a solid battle strategy.

    I have some more questions if you guys still dont mind sharing some of your time and wisdom with me:

    1. As I understand it (from reading this forum, Professor Messer's site, and the Gibson site) A+ seems fairly foundational for alot of people getting into IT. Is there a lab or anything needed in order to aid in getting the A+ certification?

    2. Once the A+ Certification has been obtained, do I have to get re-certified after a period of time has lapsed?

    3. I noticed the videos from Professor Messer's site are from 2012. Is that material dated, or is it still current as far as testing goes?

    Thanks a metric ton to all of you guys, I owe you all a beer
    2015 Goals:
    CCENT
    CCNA
    CCNA Security
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    cwshellhamercwshellhamer Member Posts: 90 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Think of the A+ as a VERY bare bones computer HW and network tech certification. When I say bare bones i mean BARE lol. Once you get your certification it is good for 3 years, over which time you can do a certain number of qualifying CE's that you can submit to comptia for a renewal instead of taking the test again. If it sounds confusing it is to everyone lol. You can also get your Net+ which renews your A+ as does the S+ renew your N+ and A+.

    The information on Professor Messer's is all still relevant to the current CompTIA tests. He updates it every time a new certification version comes out.
    HAVE: A+
    Working on: N+, CCENT
    Associates Degree: Lincoln Technical Institute ( DO NOT GO!)
    Bachelors degree in progress: Computer Information Systems and Cyber security - Strayer University
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    BJ4ITBJ4IT Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Gotcha. What about building a lab? Is that necessary for A+, or is that something better suited to some of the certifications?
    2015 Goals:
    CCENT
    CCNA
    CCNA Security
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    stryder144stryder144 Member Posts: 1,684 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Some cert books have a lab. What I would suggest, if possible, is get your hands on some old computers and tear them apart. Identify the parts and pieces. Rebuild the computers and try to troubleshoot any issues you come across.
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

    Connect With Me || My Blog Site || Follow Me
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    BJ4ITBJ4IT Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    stryder144 wrote: »
    Some cert books have a lab. What I would suggest, if possible, is get your hands on some old computers and tear them apart. Identify the parts and pieces. Rebuild the computers and try to troubleshoot any issues you come across.

    For what its worth, I've got some $$$ to invest in my education regarding my certification. Im not a billionaire, but im not exactly flat broke either, I have some comfortable spending room to invest in things (hence why i asked about the labs). So far im going to be using the following for A+ Certification:

    Professor Messer's 220-801 and 220-802 CompTIA A+ Training Course | Professor Messer - CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+, Linux, Microsoft Technology Training
    CompTIA A+ - Get Certified Get Ahead | Get Certified Get Ahead

    Im not sure if those have a lab, but if so, i'll get whatever is needed. Do you think that as far as A+ study is concerned that the above resources will suffice? Also, I've read that Gibson has some sort of premium area of his website, but I cant find it, does anyone have a direct link?
    2015 Goals:
    CCENT
    CCNA
    CCNA Security
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    cwshellhamercwshellhamer Member Posts: 90 ■■□□□□□□□□
    You should be fine with those materials so long as you actually learn and remember the information. Take some free practice exams too so you can get used to how the questions will be worded and setup.
    HAVE: A+
    Working on: N+, CCENT
    Associates Degree: Lincoln Technical Institute ( DO NOT GO!)
    Bachelors degree in progress: Computer Information Systems and Cyber security - Strayer University
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    BJ4ITBJ4IT Member Posts: 42 ■■□□□□□□□□
    @Cwshellhammer (or anyone for that matter),

    Do you think Professor Messer's paid A+ course ($199) is worthwhile? Im considering buying it.
    2015 Goals:
    CCENT
    CCNA
    CCNA Security
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    cwshellhamercwshellhamer Member Posts: 90 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Personally i cant justify a $200 course for the A+ shoot even the Net+. But who am i to speak i paid 30K and 15months of my GIbill for my mine in a round about way >.< (sorry for the rant) Back to the point, if you feel you are not retaining the information and you think itll help go for it. I just think there are far cheaper and better alternatives out there. And if you are taking practice exams and passing them with a good score I'd say no.
    HAVE: A+
    Working on: N+, CCENT
    Associates Degree: Lincoln Technical Institute ( DO NOT GO!)
    Bachelors degree in progress: Computer Information Systems and Cyber security - Strayer University
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