Practical Experience

spangburspangbur Member Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
Thanks to each of you that has taken the time to read and offer advice on my situation!

So here we go...

I'm getting ready to retire from the military in the next 6 months, and feel that i am on very uneasy ground.
I've spent the last 20 years working in the electrical / electro-mechanical/ and electronics field developing an ample amount of technical and leadership expertise.

In preparation for my transition back to the private sector, I felt that furthering my education was probably my best bet. So along that mode of thought, I earned my BS in Information Systems (2006) with a concentration in telecommunications, and then quickly jumped into an MBA program which I'll be finishing in March 2008.

Without a doubt in my mind, I'd like to be working in IT infrastruture. Maybe this comes from my years of troubleshooting complex systems, who knows. In the end though, I truly believe that working on routers, switches, LANs, WANs, etc... will give me a good feeling getting out of bed each morning.

The problem that i have is that beside the degree's I don't hold any certifications or practical experience. I would like to think that my years of education, troubleshooting, and leadership would count for something, but the realist in says without the alphabet soup I'm sunk.

Because my free money is currently wrapped up in finishing this MBA, I don't really have the extra cash or the time to start A+, CCNA (ICND1 or ICND2). Where should I go from here?


  • MishraMishra Member Posts: 2,468 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I don't think IT is going to be as exciting for you as the military. ;)

    Since you are used to the government and have been in the military for so long then you might be able to be a shoe in for a government IT job. It never hurts to try to apply for entry level positions with your qualifications. If you don't get anywhere then you will need to add a certification or 2 once you finish your degree.

    I would try your luck and see where you go.
    My blog

    You may learn something!
  • spangburspangbur Member Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for guidance Mishra I certainly appreciate it.

    I guess I'm just still trying to figure out exactly where I fit in. I certainly see certs as a big part of my continuing future, however its just not a reality within the next 6 months.
  • famosbrownfamosbrown Member Posts: 637
    How many years of Active Duty do you have? Are you about to retire from Active Duty?? Pretty good pay check depending on rank :) . I've got a friend who just retired at age 38 and he is pulling in close to 1400 dollars a month and he works for the Government as a GS-12. Do have a Security Clearance? If you have been in the military for 20 years, you should have been deployed or at some point needed a Security Clearance...there are some exceptions. So many governemnt jobs/contracts require a Security Clearnace so you would be a shoe in. Will be receiving any Disabled Vet benefits (30% or more)? If so, you already have two up on the competition for Government Civilian jobs. I only have 5 point Pref, but if you are 30% or more Disabled, you'll get 10 point Pref...which I've seen always trump others.

    What branch are you in? If you are Army Enlisted, you could always go to 25B school and learn the Cisco LAN/WAN stuff. That's all the Army teaches really on the I.T. side of things...Cisco. The Officer Corp has a similar path, but I can't recall the MOS or how you would get to change branches or whatever it would take to go to the school.

    You have the education and leadership experience, so you would be a good fit for a I.T. management position. In my experience, hiring authorities value mature military service members that can show discipline and leadership was one of the reason I got my first Tier 2 Help Desk Manager job...along with the clearance. Since you want to get your hands dirty with the LAN/WAN router/switches, picking up a book and maybe some cheap Cisco equipment to test and study with will work too. Post in the Cisco section of TechExams and the Cisco folks will help you get started. Depending on what branch of military you are in, I would check out the MOS schooling they might be able to really get your hands on experience and education for free. Also, check to see if your branch offers free online study material...Army offers eLearning online for all Certification and technologies from EMC, IBM, MS, Cisco, etc.

    Good luck man and keep us all posted!!
    B.S.B.A. (Management Information Systems)
    M.B.A. (Technology Management)
  • spangburspangbur Member Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks famosbrown...let me see if i can answer those questions.

    I've been in the Navy for just about 20yrs. I know that they do offer some
    computer based training through NETg and skillsoft but the training doesn't
    seem to keep up to date with changes in technology.

    As far as the clearance goes I have an active Secret so that should help
    depending on the company.

    Retirement wise, I'm very similar to your friend in that i'm retiring at 38 bringing
    around the amount that you stated. On the downside, no disability percentage
    at this point so it looks like I'll have the standard 5 point advantage. And on the down, downside,
    the ex-wife and child support payments pretty much zero out the afore mentioned retirement pay. icon_sad.gif

    Looks like I'm starting the game over with zero debt
  • famosbrownfamosbrown Member Posts: 637
    That's alright. I totally understand your situation. Check out and for job postings. They usually have jobs posted requiring Security Clearances. I would also check out USAJOBS.OPM.GOV. There you will find all of the government related jobs in your area. Like I said, with your degree and military experience, you would be a shoe in for Federal Government jobs at the GS Levels starting off. With your Security Clearance, you will be a less risky candidate for Tech/Admin/Engineering jobs in the Infrastructure field due to you already holding an Active Clearance. Many governement contractors would rather train you than pay for a Security Clearance.

    It is very good to hear a fellow veteran retiring from the military without Disability :) . My freind and a few family members get some extra cash per month, but there is nothing like a healthy retirement versus a BROKE retirement :D ...although I must say that 1000+ more dollars per month for being broke isn't too bad...just joking :) . I do commend you for going 20 years straight active duty...I did 6 reserve and called it quits...although four of the six were Active Duty Training and Fighting the Bush War.
    B.S.B.A. (Management Information Systems)
    M.B.A. (Technology Management)
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