How to get ahead of the game?

curtis2curtis2 Posts: 8Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey guys,
I'm a 16 year old and I am very set on the IT career path. I'm still not set whether I wanna go into a SysAdmin type job or into InfoSec but most IT jobs seem great. My school offers A+ and Network+ Cert classes and possibly Linux+/Security+ but im not too sure on either. I would love to get as many certifications as I can to land me a good entry level job out of highschool but I'm not quite sure what certifications I should get. Where ever I go I see people saying that CCNA is a good route or to go through the A+ --> Network+ --> Sec+ route. I just wanna make sure I can get a respectable job later on and kickstart my odds of being ahead right now. So to sum it up in a question: What certifications should I get to land me a job out of highschool to send me on an accelerated path in the IT field.
Thanks for reading
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Comments

  • LA2LA2 Posts: 43Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Get all of them.
  • jamesleecolemanjamesleecoleman Posts: 1,899Member
    Not just certifications will get you a kick start but also having the experience. See if you can volunteer somewhere or get a part time job. If you can take classes at the community college, go for that too.

    Say you get a job at a repair shop, you can also work on the A+ and some MS cert as well to start you off. Getting the A+, Net+ and Sec+ is a good start but what is popular in the city that employers are looking for? Try indeed.com to get an idea.
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  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    If you want to get ahead stay in school and go as far as you can. It's certainly possible to excel in this field without a degree, but get one while you're young. Going to a good school and getting that paper will accelerate you faster than a measly old comp tia cert.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • mikey88mikey88 Senior Member USAPosts: 294Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Agree with @networker. At your age, a degree is the way to go. See if your high school offers a running start program where you can attend community college while still in high school.
    Certs: CySA+, Security+, Network+ | 2018 Goals: CISSP

  • curtis2curtis2 Posts: 8Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I will certainly be pursuing a college degree, but I'm trying to look in the more short term so that when I am out of college that I have years of experience with a job. I just notice that to become for example a sysadmin you need x amount of prior IT/CS job experience that I can get out of the way after highschool. But I was wondering if a measly old comptia cert would land me a entry level job to get me that sweet sweet job experience. ty for the reply btw
  • EnderWigginEnderWiggin Posts: 549Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    A+ > Net+ > Sec+ is a good starting point. Especially if your high school has classes dedicated to them. A+ can help you land an entry level computer repair job, or a help desk role. That'll get you some basic IT work experience, and you could use that roll into an internship at a higher level while in college.
  • jcundiffjcundiff Posts: 482Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    it very well may! But also check to see if your high school has a program like the one my 16 year old is in currently. He is a junior in high school but attending college full time. He is on our local (Morehead State University) college campus full time (carrying 15 hours) taking courses that also meet our state high school requirements. When he graduates high school, he will have 60 hours of college credits. This program allows him to still play football and run track and participate in all extra-curricular activities at the high school. the cost of the program is 3200 plus books for the two years ( savings of about 15,000 based on current in state rates).
    "Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn't Work Hard" - Tim Notke
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Posts: 2,287Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    If your school offers those courses I would consider at least 1 or 2 of them.

    Getting A+ before you graduate would be pretty cool.
  • joshuamurphy75joshuamurphy75 Posts: 155Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Does the school pay for your exam costs too? If they did, I'd recommend starting with those and saving the money. You can add on the harder stuff out of pocket as you find out what parts of tech you enjoy most.
  • curtis2curtis2 Posts: 8Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Does the school pay for your exam costs too? If they did, I'd recommend starting with those and saving the money. You can add on the harder stuff out of pocket as you find out what parts of tech you enjoy most.
    The school doesnt pay for the exams but I'm sure my family would have no problem paying for them assuming that it would give me an advantage in the job field
  • curtis2curtis2 Posts: 8Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    jcundiff wrote: »
    it very may! But also check to see if your high school has a program like the one my 16 year old is in currently. He is a junior in high school but attending college full time. He is on our local (Morehead State University) college campus full time (carrying 15 hours) taking courses that also meet our state high school requirements. When he graduates high school, he will have 60 hours of college credits. This program allows him to still play football and run track and participate in all extra-curricular activities at the high school. the cost of the program is 3200 plus books for the two years ( savings of about 15,000 based on current in state rates).
    I will definetly look into it and see what my local area has to offer. Thanks for the advice!
  • joshuamurphy75joshuamurphy75 Posts: 155Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    curtis2 wrote: »
    The school doesnt pay for the exams but I'm sure my family would have no problem paying for them assuming that it would give me an advantage in the job field

    In that case, you may want to look at job postings in your area, local newspaper, indeed, monster, dice, whatever you can find, using the cert name as a keyword when searching to see what is out there. You may find a certain one is in more demand than another.
  • curtis2curtis2 Posts: 8Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    A+ > Net+ > Sec+ is a good starting point. Especially if your high school has classes dedicated to them. A+ can help you land an entry level computer repair job, or a help desk role. That'll get you some basic IT work experience, and you could use that roll into an internship at a higher level while in college.
    I could easily attain those certifications within my schedule since I have plenty of open space from testing out of other classes, but do you think it would be worth it to pursue something higher through a udemy course like CCNA? or would it not be worth it at this level
  • jcundiffjcundiff Posts: 482Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    curtis2 wrote: »
    I could easily attain those certifications within my schedule since I have plenty of open space from testing out of other classes, but do you think it would be worth it to pursue something higher through a udemy course like CCNA? or would it not be worth it at this level

    Start with the basics 1st (A+/N+/S+) then move into the CCxx certs
    "Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Doesn't Work Hard" - Tim Notke
  • EnderWigginEnderWiggin Posts: 549Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    curtis2 wrote: »
    I could easily attain those certifications within my schedule since I have plenty of open space from testing out of other classes, but do you think it would be worth it to pursue something higher through a udemy course like CCNA? or would it not be worth it at this level
    I would recommend starting with the CompTIA certs, then moving forward towards something more advanced. CCNA is something that can help you get a higher level job, but without the basic experience (help desk/computer repair), it will be harder to land one of those positions. Once you get the A+/Net+/Sec+ trio knocked out, then something like CCNA could be a good next step (or Linux+ if your high school does in fact have a course for that one as well). If your local area has a program like Jcundiff described though, I'd say do that over certs for sure. $3200 for two years' worth of college? Wayyyyyyy better in the long run than a handful certs. And you could always just do certs during summer break, too.

    Also, take advantage of all the resources you have available through your school. Udemy will always be there, but once you graduate high school, you lose those options.
  • docjackson33docjackson33 Posts: 1Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    What's the name of the program? I'd like to see if they offer something similar here in TX.
    Thanks.
  • IsmaeljrpIsmaeljrp Posts: 480Member
    I'd also suggest getting into Linux and Python. For college, a computer science degree is your best bet.
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    Concentrating on school and getting into a prestigious program is going to do infinitely more for you career wise than a couple years on the help desk and an A+. That should be your fall back plan not your first priority.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • SteveLavoieSteveLavoie Posts: 554Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Do the A+, Network+, and Sec+ then it will help you get a much paying job while working toward a college degree. Your priority should be to get a degree. The certs will only help you get some part-time experience during your studies.
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 2,088Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Certs are waste of money if you're planning to attend college full time.
    2018 Certification Goals: Maybe VMware Sales Cert
    "Simplify, then add lightness" -Colin Chapman
  • curtis2curtis2 Posts: 8Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    dave330i wrote: »
    Certs are waste of money if you're planning to attend college full time.
    But if I try to get initial experience during college and I slap on my resume some certs, I could start with like a help desk job. Or is it not viable to have a job like that during college?
  • dontstopdontstop Posts: 565Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Take it from someone who has both that you need both. Just make sure you spend the minimal amount of money and time going to college. For IT you just need the paper and where you go to college means squat. Knock it out and never look back, during college you can study certs which will help you during your studies. It will also help you gain a bunch of experience as college is very theory based. Although certs are theory they're much more practical real world theory.

    Unfortunately the industry is driven by HR and recruiters and they're only goal is to quickly weed out candidates on a bunch of requirements they really don't understand. My Degree has opened the door to countless jobs because it's seen as a gold standard. You're only 16 and I cannot predict what the world will be like when you're 21+ but at the moment a college degree with certs is the way to go.
  • stryder144stryder144 Posts: 1,488Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    One thing to consider is that quite a few certs, such as A+, Network+, Security+, and CCNA all have expiration dates (generally three years). As such, if you are planning to go to school full time make sure you stagger your certifications.

    Year One - A+
    Year Two - Network+ (renews A+ for three more years)
    Year Three - Security+ (renews A+ and Network+ for three more years each)
    Year Four - CCENT/CCNA (can be used to renew Network+, which will renew A+, each for three more years).
    Year Five - CCNA: Security (renews the CCNA and Security+, which as you've probably already guessed, renews A+ and Network+ for three more years).

    Naturally, when year one is for you depends on you. I would get the A+ my senior year of high school then go work for Geek Squad or Micro Center during the summers/part-time during the school year. I would also see if I could work in the computer lab at the university and participate in every cyber-challenge they had. Add in an internship or two, and you'll have built up experience while you go to school for your degree. If you follow the roadmap, you will graduate college and have about two years left to renew everything. Since all of your certifications will be current, and you'll have graduated with a degree and some IT-related experience, you'll find the post-college job search that much easier.

    Good luck.
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  • knownheroknownhero Posts: 450Member
    @networker050184 offers the best advice here
    70-410 [x] 70-411 [x] 70-462[x] 70-331[x] 70-332[x]
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  • curtis2curtis2 Posts: 8Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    dontstop wrote: »
    Take it from someone who has both that you need both. Just make sure you spend the minimal amount of money and time going to college. For IT you just need the paper and where you go to college means squat. Knock it out and never look back, during college you can study certs which will help you during your studies. It will also help you gain a bunch of experience as college is very theory based. Although certs are theory they're much more practical real world theory.

    Unfortunately the industry is driven by HR and recruiters and they're only goal is to quickly weed out candidates on a bunch of requirements they really don't understand. My Degree has opened the door to countless jobs because it's seen as a gold standard. You're only 16 and I cannot predict what the world will be like when you're 21+ but at the moment a college degree with certs is the way to go.
    Is there any specific degree you would recommend like CS or IT? I heard that CS would be more well rounded since it also opens you up to dev jobs incase IT falls through or does it just not matter.
  • curtis2curtis2 Posts: 8Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    stryder144 wrote: »
    One thing to consider is that quite a few certs, such as A+, Network+, Security+, and CCNA all have expiration dates (generally three years). As such, if you are planning to go to school full time make sure you stagger your certifications.

    Year One - A+
    Year Two - Network+ (renews A+ for three more years)
    Year Three - Security+ (renews A+ and Network+ for three more years each)
    Year Four - CCENT/CCNA (can be used to renew Network+, which will renew A+, each for three more years).
    Year Five - CCNA: Security (renews the CCNA and Security+, which as you've probably already guessed, renews A+ and Network+ for three more years).

    Naturally, when year one is for you depends on you. I would get the A+ my senior year of high school then go work for Geek Squad or Micro Center during the summers/part-time during the school year. I would also see if I could work in the computer lab at the university and participate in every cyber-challenge they had. Add in an internship or two, and you'll have built up experience while you go to school for your degree. If you follow the roadmap, you will graduate college and have about two years left to renew everything. Since all of your certifications will be current, and you'll have graduated with a degree and some IT-related experience, you'll find the post-college job search that much easier.

    Good luck.
    I think I'm just gonna go A+ N+ in the same year due to the fact that I can get it all into my school schedule but I was definetly looking at the renewal process in general. When it comes to a job/internship I don't know how it would pan out right now due to a very packed summer, and the nearest Microcenter/BB is about 50 mins away. I'm certainly going to look into if I have an opportunity for a job and capitalize on it if the opportunity presents itself.
  • EnderWigginEnderWiggin Posts: 549Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    curtis2 wrote: »
    Is there any specific degree you would recommend like CS or IT? I heard that CS would be more well rounded since it also opens you up to dev jobs incase IT falls through or does it just not matter.
    Computer Science will open more doors than IT, but it ultimately comes down to what interests you the most. If you don't like programming, then CS isn't worth the headaches. Take a look at the class lists for the different degree programs, and see which one has the most classes that you're excited to get into and learn the content.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Posts: 3,835Mod Mod
    Go to College (University). IF you are US based, aim to go to the best college possible or a state university.

    College is a good time to hone your social skills and grow as a person! Trust me this will pay dividends!

    Make friends, join social clubs if they're available..learn...explore! It's a good time to build an outgoing personality and it's a good introduction to the real world.
    Goal: MBA, March 2020
  • shimasenseishimasensei Senior Member Posts: 240Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    +1 to certificates, experience and college.
    When I was still in HS I worked summer jobs as an IT intern for various companies. It will help you gain valuable experience. Continue your internships as you go through college, it will be helpful in getting you an open door to full time employment by the time you graduate.
    Current: BSc IT + CISSP, CCNP:RS, CCNA:Sec, CCNA:RS, CCENT, Sec+, P+, A+, L+/LPIC-1, CSSS, VCA6-DCV, ITILv3:F
    Future Plans: MSc + MCSA, PMP, CCNPx...
  • E Double UE Double U Posts: 1,467Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    curtis2 wrote: »
    My school offers A+ and Network+ Cert classes and possibly Linux+/Security+ but im not too sure on either.

    We still had a typing class on typewriters when I was in high school lol. Damn I feel old, but I digress.

    You have the interest and opportunity so take advantage. If I were in your position I would get everything my school has to offer. My cert path was CompTIA -> Microsoft -> Cisco -> and then the stuff you see under my name, but that was guided by the jobs I landed.
    "You tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is, never try." - Homer Simpson
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