Knowing which path to take

Newmarket PaulNewmarket Paul Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
Long time lurker and I'll spare the obligatory, "I'm over 40 and looking for a career change" post.
I've got a good handle on the certs and their potential outcomes, this forum is great for that. icon_thumright.gif
And of course most websites have potential paths dependent on which of their certs you take etc. Cisco, Comptia and Microsoft all have road maps.

My question is primarily for those who started where I am (potentially completely new career change with no formal education in CS). How did you choose the path you did?

I have an interest in networks, somewhat in databases and Linux. But having no prior experience with them I really don't know.

Is this one of those times when you need to take the CCENT to really know if networking is the path you want?
Same goes for database and Linux.

Microsoft certs seem general enough that they would be beneficial either way, same with the entry level Comptia.

So for those of you who didn't know before you started, what did you do?

Comments

  • ccnpninjaccnpninja Senior Member EuropeMember Posts: 1,010 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Don't narrow your focus at this point. I know it can be frustrating. Learn what you have at hand. You will be amazed by the various combinations life will throw at your career :)
  • IggI_SupremeIggI_Supreme Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I'd Say start by taking A+ just because while studying you'll be introduced to a little bit of everything(networking,security,HW/SW,Printers,etc...) and then from there you can take a spot as a Tech and start looking into more fitting roles.
  • Newmarket PaulNewmarket Paul Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the replies.

    It's funny, I debated on posting this for a while but after I posted I figured the answer was to just go with the flow for the first few months/year and it may take care of itself. The opportunities and interests would be more obvious.

    It helps to write our your thoughts sometimes.
  • GeeLoGeeLo A+,N+,S+,M+,C+,CySA+,CCT+ Member Posts: 112 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Long time lurker and I'll spare the obligatory, "I'm over 40 and looking for a career change" post.
    I've got a good handle on the certs and their potential outcomes, this forum is great for that. icon_thumright.gif
    And of course most websites have potential paths dependent on which of their certs you take etc. Cisco, Comptia and Microsoft all have road maps.

    My question is primarily for those who started where I am (potentially completely new career change with no formal education in CS). How did you choose the path you did?

    I have an interest in networks, somewhat in databases and Linux. But having no prior experience with them I really don't know.

    Is this one of those times when you need to take the CCENT to really know if networking is the path you want?
    Same goes for database and Linux.

    Microsoft certs seem general enough that they would be beneficial either way, same with the entry level Comptia.

    So for those of you who didn't know before you started, what did you do?

    Paul, 40 something.. right here as well. icon_smile.gif I worked one job for about 12 years (before I hit my 40's), and then I had the choice whether to pursue music (as in a college teacher \ professor) I then started a part time business repairing desktop \ workstation computers. Then, I got hired by an large organization working on servers and small workgroups and software support. Now I still work in a very large organization, and on top of working with all types of computer hardware, LAN and WAN's locally and nationwide. I also teach I.T. certification to that large organization again.. nationwide.

    Why I wrote that above, is not to be egotistical.. I do not know everything.. and I tell that to everyone including people first starting out. But, if I count back my past 25+ years working on computers... I do know some things. icon_smile.gif
    The first thing is, you can't get top pay and a top certification with "no experience". The first certification you really need to get.. is "CompTIA A+". I sound like a broken record (CD) to some, but CompTIA A+ gives you that "core troubleshooting" foundation that you can carry over to other certifications. It not a "basic level" certification, it's a certification that new people take as they need that troubleshooting theory foundation. I know people, who just has that certification.. as desktop techs or desktop administrators or enterprise help desk employees, and they jut keep up to date with new technologies applied to their continuing education credits.

    The only issue of the CompTIA A+, is the jobs do not pay.. what you are looking for in higher salary range. So that's that what might hurt if you decided to go for that path.. even if you advance with other certs.. it will be a slow climb pay wise.. unless you have connections. If you can.. go for it. My 2 cents. All the best!
    Vendor Neutral Certified in IT Project Management, Security, Servers, Workstations, Software, Networking, Windows, Unix and Linux and.. Cloud. :-)
  • Newmarket PaulNewmarket Paul Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Awesome, thanks for the input.

    It's funny, I thought about doing hardware/repairs out of a home business to start.
    I assumed I would start with the Comptia trio and go from there. That's where my original question came from, what to do next depending on my interests.

    At this point I don't need a high paying career, just something that interests me. My wife has a great job and really, if I don't get what I want out of this I can always go back to contracting or Autocad. I still love Autocad but being a Cad monkey pays less than entry level tech support from all I've read.

    As for connections, my wife works for a software company but making connections through her company isn't something I'd want to do. She's worked hard to get where she is and I wouldn't want to jeopardize that.
    Unless it was with another company and not hers................ Actually my brother in law has connections too..........
  • kurosaki00kurosaki00 Member Posts: 973
    Mr Paul, what you do right now?
    Maybe there is a post to kind of move to IT from there instead of fresh start. Usually better pay.
    Like there is some people with experience in business admin that move to IT Project Management instead of fresh start.
    meh
  • Newmarket PaulNewmarket Paul Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    General contractor. Previously built custom homes.
    Zero overlap with anything related to technology. icon_lol.gif
  • kurosaki00kurosaki00 Member Posts: 973
    General contractor. Previously built custom homes.
    Zero overlap with anything related to technology. icon_lol.gif

    Maybe start a business of "Smart Homes" ? You know run network cables, install patch panels, tablets, smart LEDs in homes, switches.
    That'd be kind of cool :P

    Anyways, if you've had experience managing projects as a contractor, you could look into management/IT certifications.
    meh
  • Newmarket PaulNewmarket Paul Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    kurosaki00 wrote: »
    Maybe start a business of "Smart Homes" ? You know run network cables, install patch panels, tablets, smart LEDs in homes, switches.
    That'd be kind of cool :P

    Anyways, if you've had experience managing projects as a contractor, you could look into management/IT certifications.

    Actually that's a good thought. I worked a bit doing I.P. CCTV installs. So I have a bit of experience on a very small scale.
    I still have a few electrical contacts I could use too.
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