Hello from an older newb

noisenetnoisenet Member Posts: 1 ■■□□□□□□□□
edited February 2020 in Introduce Yourself
Hi! I'm new to the tech world with regard to studying for certs. I recently turned 50 & have been a career musician since the late 1980s. Music doesn't pay like it used to so it's been time to reassess and chart out a new path.

I've always had a more than healthy interest in tech, especially with regard to computers (PCs, Macs) & the operational aspects like configuring OSs, learning what makes things tick. I started on Windows around '97 (actually with WebTV in '96, remember that ol' thing?) then moved to Mac in 2007. As such I've got a good foundational knowledge of those & can sort of futz my way around a few distros of Linux. I have a rudimentary understanding of basic networking but really need to bone up my chops there...

My roadmap (at least for now) is to study then hopefully pass my A+ and ideally get some kind of a job in IT - I'm not expecting to nail down a high paying gig with just this cert but the goal is to start building up experience. - meanwhile study for my Network+ then Security+. I've purchased Mike Meyers' courses for these on Udemy (those Thursday sales the last couple weeks have sure helped make them easier to buy). I also bought the practice tests for these so hopefully they'll be helpful as well.

Honestly, the A+ stuff has been pretty easy thus far, I've found I know most of what Mr. Meyers is teaching, just filling in some gaps in my knowledge here and there (I'm about 1/3rd through the 220-1002 course, finished with 220-1001). My plan is to finish these, taking copious amounts of notes, then do the same with his Network+ course, then go back and view the two A+ courses again to solidify/pick up what I might have missed. I've seen from a few posts here that Prof. Messer's stuff on YouTube is also great so I'm gonna watch these as well. I want to be able to walk in, nail those certs straight away, so the more learning/review I can do, the better. 

I realize that I'm getting an extremely late start on this path & that some (many?) employers will probably be turned by this but my hope is that through diligence in studying/certs and being somewhat intelligent I can find someone who'll understand my career path & allow me a shot to prove myself to be useful. Also, I'm in a resort/touristy location where there aren't nearly as many techie types & the pay scale here is fairly low so it's not like people are flocking here for IT gigs.

Anyhow, I'm glad to have found this community with such great info and so many people eager to be helpful. I'm sure I'll be lighting up these boards with some dumb/newb-ish questions so thanks in advance for your help!


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    LordQarlynLordQarlyn Member Posts: 693 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I got started in IT proper when I turned 40. To be sure, I worked in telecoms before and there is good overlap. This helped me skip the NOC/helpdesk stage and jump right into sys admin as a start. I moved into IT after I got laid off from my telecom job. During the eight months I was out of work I passed five IT exams. I personally haven't experienced ageism but it is definitely out there in the tech sector (it's out there everywhere what I mean is it seems more common in the tech sector). Just look at the big tech players, most of them have an average employee age in the low 30s, Facebook average worker age is 28.

    I've found two great ways to fight ageism. First is to always keep learning. Aside from helping your skills stay relevant and marketable, it's shown that learning new things does help the brain stay sharp. Of course it doesn't stop our brains from aging completely, but it does go a long way. The second is to physically take care of yourself. Taking care of yourself helps you look young for your age, helps your health, which can reduce (not eliminate of course, I'm not saying it will) your risk for chronic preventable illnesses, and helps your mind function better. Sometimes using cheats to look younger is almost necessary. It's shallow and superficial, but it's the way the world works sometimes.

    Keep a positive attitude and keep to a plan for a cert path, and be patient and diligent, eventually someone will look past your age and see the value you bring to the table. BTW, have you thought about leveraging your music experience for IT jobs in the music sector?
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    beadsbeads Member Posts: 1,531 ■■■■■■■■■□
    As a life long tech and continuous learner the best advice I can provide here is to start small and work your way up. Be prepared to be a bit overwhelmed with 3rd party testing as it works differently than say high school or college. Be prepared to empty your pockets, have a metal detecting wand run over your person, no watch, wallet, etc. Be prepared to be in what amounts to all to often to be an uncomfortable chair in a small room with many other exam takers and other uncomfortable but minor experiences during the exam process. Some exam centers are great, others, umm.... not so much. ;)

    For myself its not just knowing the material but knowing it so well that I become bored during the exam which only allows me to notice everything about the exam center, comfort, etc.

    This years I have to finish the Microsoft Azure exams for a client. Otherwise, I shun certifications but if that's what the client wants, certification numbers 37-40 will be no big deal. By the way I am 55 and still quite relevant in the field, so no you are not too old to learn. Last piece of advice. The learning becomes a bit more difficult but the discipline to learn makes it easier with age.

    Keep these things in mind and you'll be well on your way.


    - b/eads
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    scaredoftestsscaredoftests Mod Posts: 2,780 Mod
    I am 60 years young. Still learning and open to new ideas. That is how you keep relevant!  Welcome!

    Never let your fear decide your fate....
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