New Career

skynyrdskynyrd Posts: 6Member ■□□□□□□□□□
I am a 46 year old man who has been a structural steel fitter/welder all his life. This is all I know. Other than occasional web surfing, and playing around with the computer from time to time, I have had no experience with computers. Because of a minor back problem, and simply because I am sick of what I’m doing, I went to a local school here in Jacksonville, Fl. called FastTrain, paid them $6,900 and I signed up for CompTIA A+ and CompTIA N+ training. Upon completion of those, and another $6,000, I will begin training for CompTIA Security+, Microsoft MCP, Microsoft MCSA, Microsoft MCSE and Cisco CCNA certs. I guess the main questions I have are; did I wait too long to get started with a new career? Does anyone out there know anything about FastTrain? I make about $40,000 with my current job. How many years experience will it take to equal my present salary? With the above certs, will I be able to get a job relatively soon after school? If there is anyone out there who could help me in anyway with any advice, I would be forever so grateful to you. Thank you so very much for your time and trouble.

Comments

  • garv221garv221 Posts: 1,914Member
    You need experience & how you get it is entirely up to how motivated you are. About money- after a couple years working as a Systems Admin with an MCSA your good for about $55,000 on average. In this field you can easily get over 40k without breaking a sweat. Get good & certified at what you do and you can make over 100k. Its up to you & its never too late.
  • skaeightskaeight Posts: 130Member
    skynyrd wrote:
    I am a 46 year old man who has been a structural steel fitter/welder all his life. This is all I know. Other than occasional web surfing, and playing around with the computer from time to time, I have had no experience with computers. Because of a minor back problem, and simply because I am sick of what I’m doing, I went to a local school here in Jacksonville, Fl. called FastTrain, paid them $6,900 and I signed up for CompTIA A+ and CompTIA N+ training. Upon completion of those, and another $6,000, I will begin training for CompTIA Security+, Microsoft MCP, Microsoft MCSA, Microsoft MCSE and Cisco CCNA certs. I guess the main questions I have are; did I wait too long to get started with a new career? Does anyone out there know anything about FastTrain? I make about $40,000 with my current job. How many years experience will it take to equal my present salary? With the above certs, will I be able to get a job relatively soon after school? If there is anyone out there who could help me in anyway with any advice, I would be forever so grateful to you. Thank you so very much for your time and trouble.


    My first question is how much experience do you have working with computers? If you have even modest experience and are somewhat tech savy, I would say skip the $6,000 class. You could buy two $50 books (or a few more if needed) and pass those. You may want to look into investing money into more trainging for the MCSE courses, but I would not spend any where near $6,000 on A+ / Net+ classes.
  • keenonkeenon Posts: 1,921Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    true that is way too much for a A+ and Net+ even for a newbie. 40k is easy to make in IT even without a cert . i suggest what skaeight said. or even invest the money into equipment that you will need as your train for your certs(FYI if you find other tech people in your area they tend to study/learn/practice together) icon_wink.gif
    Become the stainless steel sharp knife in a drawer full of rusty spoons
  • xeviousxevious Posts: 59Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    First, welcome to the forum...

    I'd hold off on the MCSE, CCNA, etc... until you've gained some experience.

    Having formal training for the A+ and N+ is not such a bad idea, somewhat costly, but nevertheless it's a quick start into a new career if you have relatively zero experience.

    1. You'll at least be able to compose a resume with coursework expertise. Be sure to ask their placement & career counseling services for help in this area.

    2. They might have some leverage with companies that hire FastTrain students. Again, be sure to find out more about their placement programs as this might be your best ticket into an IT career.

    -Xevious
  • mobri09mobri09 Posts: 723Users Awaiting Email Confirmation
    It's Never 2 late to learn! I would highley recommend skipping the classes because its expensive. Now since you have some knowledge with A+ and Net+ you should be ready for some Microsoft material. Good luck and welcome to Techexams
  • sab4yousab4you Posts: 66Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Its never too late to learn :)

    But I am very warey of the amount of money you are willing to drop into this education.

    I also dont see the job market as high paying as the other posts in this thread.

    You definately need to pay your dues and get your foot in the door. Get a technical support job asap and work in that for a year. During this year, just buy the MCSE books and study them at lunch time or when you get home. You should be able to do it on your own within a year and have much more/better knowledge than a quickie class. Unless the class is a 6 month program for just MCSE?

    Alot of these schools cost alot and promise these certifications in a reasonable short period of time. ie. 3 months to get MCSA, MCSE and CCNA. Thats rediculous and a waste of your time and money. This stuff needs to be learned and understood. They are simply preparing you for the certification test, which you can potentially pass - but you will probably be worthless on the job and not know what your doing. Take the time to learn the stuff. Dont expect to memorize key terms and answers to become a pimp network admin.

    Once you get a MCSA/E and a years experience then I think you have the opportunity to make equal money to what you have now. From here you can gain experience and more knowledge and work you way up.

    I would say you can make 40-80k as a network/system admin with just microsoft knowledge alone, but getting cisco type experience can get you into higher paying jobs. This is just in general, and what to expect - there is always exceptions to the rule and working for yourself.
  • Todd1225Todd1225 Posts: 54Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    As others have said, develop your A+ and Network+ skills, don't just take a class then take the test. I made the same mistake when converting over to the IT field. I think a desktop support role would be a good primer to the IT field. Skip MCSE and CCNA, the reason is clear, you won't be a network/data engineer straight out of training and most stuff probably won't make much sense either.

    Kick butt with A+ and Network+, get an entry level job and then maybe that will help you decide where to go next.
    Todd Baugh
    Aspiring Network Tech
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