5 years in IT, my thoughts on Certs....

Todd1225Todd1225 ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 54Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Well, it's 5 years now that I've been in IT...thought I would share some lessons learned, etc.

For those thinking about IT or just beginning IT...learn the material inside and out, and know "how" to do everthing. Just passing the test may get you in the door, but in the end you won't end up with the job that you put so much into studying for. I don't know many people who get a paper cert and go into being an admin or network engineer, it just doesn't happen.

If I had it to do all over again, I would have actually learned the material. Thankfully I took enough from certs and enough from the job that I am getting closer and closer to being an admin.

I like most people was "stuck" in a job with the only way out was to get a cert. I got out after getting the cert (mcse), got a job that was IT, but no where near what I have "trained" for. After a while Win2000 was out and I still didn't have any relevant experience, or not much. I got out of my crappy job, but at a price. I made it into IT, but not very far.

So now that I have moved on to a job that is fairly technical I plan to start studying to A+ and then MCSE (again). I am now in no hurry and can really learn this stuff.

I won't say that it's been all bad, I think the experience I have gained has opened my eyes a little better to how and what it takes to get the type of job in IT that you want.

Hope this helps and take your time...it will pay off in the end.
Todd Baugh
Aspiring Network Tech

Comments

  • garv221garv221 Posts: 1,914Member
    Todd1225 wrote:
    Well, it's 5 years now that I've been in IT...thought I would share some lessons learned, etc.

    For those thinking about IT or just beginning IT...learn the material inside and out, and know "how" to do everthing. Just passing the test may get you in the door, but in the end you won't end up with the job that you put so much into studying for. I don't know many people who get a paper cert and go into being an admin or network engineer, it just doesn't happen.

    If I had it to do all over again, I would have actually learned the material. Thankfully I took enough from certs and enough from the job that I am getting closer and closer to being an admin.

    I like most people was "stuck" in a job with the only way out was to get a cert. I got out after getting the cert (mcse), got a job that was IT, but no where near what I have "trained" for. After a while Win2000 was out and I still didn't have any relevant experience, or not much. I got out of my crappy job, but at a price. I made it into IT, but not very far.

    So now that I have moved on to a job that is fairly technical I plan to start studying to A+ and then MCSE (again). I am now in no hurry and can really learn this stuff.

    I won't say that it's been all bad, I think the experience I have gained has opened my eyes a little better to how and what it takes to get the type of job in IT that you want.

    Hope this helps and take your time...it will pay off in the end.

    icon_cheers.gif Cheers.
  • lazyartlazyart Posts: 483Member
    I had a lenghty discussion today with the help desk manager about experience versus certs. Don't discount the value of a cert. He says he would hire someone with a cert only versus someone with experience only anytime. To him, the cert shows the person has invested in themselves. Yeah, sometimes you get burned by a paper cert, but the cert shows "something".

    Keep at it.
    I'm not a complete idiot... some parts are missing.
  • ZraxniahZraxniah ■□□□□□□□□□ Posts: 27Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I think it all depends on who you ask. I was just hired by a small company that is likely looking for a hard worker and experience ... they did mention my certifications as well. When youre applying to large companys and such, paper credientials are much more important (especially a degree -- illogically important, I would say).

    The 3 main things you need: Experience, certifications, education.

    Just my observations in the IT field -- started at 13, am now 21 -- call it 8 years or disqualify 5 of them (I have a feeling many do).

    A+, Net+, CCNA (expired), Dell certified, Security+ (in the next week)

    Zrax
  • BulletToothTonyBulletToothTony ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 66Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    See this is a real divided issue to get into. Like the last poster, I got into IT when I was around 11 or 12. I am not 24, but would not give myself 12 years experience even though I have been administering the clients and servers in my father business, for one part, because I wasn't officially on the books until I was 20. Also I finished tech school earlier this year and got offered a job through my school without any certs. The reason why I turned it down, was because I did not want to go to Iraq to build networks. But the point was, it was an offer without any certs to my name. Now that I do have certs to my name and my resume is out on the web, I find that people are claiming I am over qualifed for help desk and don't have enough experience for a sys admin position, which leaves me in the ralm of ? So I guess it really all depends on what you can get by with. Ok, I am babbling now, I'll help you all out and stop writting.
  • garv221garv221 Posts: 1,914Member
    I think the best answer is just keep chugging toward a job and certs all at the same time, if anyone keeps doing that it will pan out & a craeer is born. :D
  • keenonkeenon ■■■■□□□□□□ Posts: 1,921Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    ah, i remember hearing that and getting frustrated ( well you don't have enough experience for this position and we think this position you would get bored with easily) icon_confused.gif i know this much from coming up on my 5th year in IT do what you have to do to pay the bills but always continue to work up your latter of dream jobs in the field..

    example: my first job was a computer operator .. i wanted to work during the day and not third shift.. got a first shift on helpdesk.. i told my manager that i plan on running somone network and not working tech support.. i got hired out to run somone network ( which was a humongous experience and resume booster) and so on , so on , so on ... take chances
    Become the stainless steel sharp knife in a drawer full of rusty spoons
  • Todd1225Todd1225 ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 54Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I agree 100% with what you said about being overqualified for helpdesk but not enough for an admin. I think alot of people are in the same boat, the first hurdle is getting in the door and the second is getting off a helpdesk and into an admin position.

    I don't regret the decisions I made, but I think I could have gotten to this point in my career had a applied myself earlier. That's why i'm studying again, so i can take my time and not be worrried about getting out of the job as fast as possible.
    Todd Baugh
    Aspiring Network Tech
  • keenonkeenon ■■■■□□□□□□ Posts: 1,921Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    your right i would be alot further along had i kept the hunger i did when i first got into IT the whole time.. it took the company i worked for to close to get my mind back hungry again. so never feel safe at your job better to feel comfortable in your skills being able to produce income ( FYI always stay learning and hunting the next best opportunity) all these jobs i had before certs.. for me certs are just the proof you want to show that " i know what the **** i'm talking about and i have done it" exuse the u know icon_cool.gif
    Become the stainless steel sharp knife in a drawer full of rusty spoons
  • garv221garv221 Posts: 1,914Member
    I'm half way through my fourth year in IT and continue to have the title System Admin all the way through. I had to make a Sacrifice in pay to get started- luckily enough I was in college & Money didn't matter except for beer, but now I'm loving the benefits of accepting a lot of responsibility for small pay in the beginning of my career 4 years ago.
  • EluderEluder ■□□□□□□□□□ Posts: 27Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I'm actually working on my cert (MCSE 2003) simply because I can't get a [email protected] job in the IT industry. I've got a freakin' degree in IT and butt loads of knowledge and skills from personal experience and just a plain love for the field, but since I don't have their so called experience (I dunno, I would think helping the countless friends, friends of family and coworkers as experience) I can't get a simple job in this industry. I just want to get my foot in the door somewhere so I can do what I love! If the MCP alone doesn't at least get my foot in the door I think I'll pack my bags and try my luck in Europe; hopefully a North American Degree with some certification will work there, can't take much more of working in a non IT job. icon_evil.gif
  • keenonkeenon ■■■■□□□□□□ Posts: 1,921Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    when the company i worked for closed .. i was fine for about 2 weeks and started going crazy trying to get a job.. i thought about doing something other than IT icon_eek.gif i looked into it for a minutes before i came to the realization that i was in the normal person world icon_confused.gif "i will be fine if i can get a job", " i'm happy with the job", " i think i make enough money".....BS icon_evil.gif
    IT is my career and no employer, no recruiter , and no dumb @ss boss is going to determine where i can go in it or do in it. allout.gif so the way i know to live my career is to pick jobs i'm willing to do letting them know what i want to make doing it.. if they don't like it screw them icon_eek.gif yeah i said it.. we all should determine our own destiny in our field b/c if you don't someone else will and you may not like the choice they choose for you
    Become the stainless steel sharp knife in a drawer full of rusty spoons
  • ZraxniahZraxniah ■□□□□□□□□□ Posts: 27Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    IT is my career and no employer, no recruiter , and no dumb @ss boss is going to determine where i can go in it

    I think they're a lot of us out there (I share the same brick-head attitude), and they're plenty more that came in the field for the money 5 years ago ... that there aren't enough jobs. You've got to really prove yourself in the field these days.
  • skully93skully93 Posts: 321Member
    I think there will be at least some more jobs as our culture becomes more technology involved.

    There's also the issue of lots of companies want a web presence, and the convenience of modern computing, but they don't want to shell out anything (or can't!).

    Here in Amarillo there have been lots of times where an insurance office or something has a single computer, with all the data (which is NEVER) backed up, and they scream when it dies.

    "What can we do to avoid this issue?" Do backups, buy more than one machine, and don't expect the $300 HP special at Officemax to be an enterprise solution. " I usually say this as euphemistically as possible.

    "Well you just know everything don't you?"

    Hopefully the economy will pick up and awareness will spread, and even though the days of getting out of high school and making 90k are gone, perhaps we can at least all have some kind of IT related job.
    I do not have a psychiatrist and I do not want one, for the simple reason that if he listened to me long enough, he might become disturbed.

    -- James Thurber
  • linuxguylinuxguy ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 50Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    While the economy has been turning around there is a bigger issue facing us. When the economy took a hit IT was seen as an expensive invistment and a lot where 'let go'. They were replaced by IT by contract. Then companies repized they could work this way, so now they do not wish to re-invest. I do not think this was intirely bad. It culled\curbed some of the 'paper tigers'. It is a hard field to get into but if you are willing to always continue to learn you will get in and get ahead.

    Props to keenon, IT is not a job, it is part of you.

    To everyone else... if it is not, find something that is!

    icon_cool.gif
    If you do not feel like a newbie you probably should. :)
  • mlevitonmleviton ■□□□□□□□□□ Posts: 1Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I went to school while I worked in a warehouse and got my A+, N+, MCSE, and CCNA. It took me almost two years to get these certs. I talked to the IT department on a regular basis during this time, planting the seed.

    Soon after I finished my MCSE, I moved into the help desk with the company I was already working for. The certs got me in the door because I had no IT experience. 3 months after I started, one of the network administrators left and I sold myself to get into that position.

    My salary increased by about 50% - with only three months experience. It is so easy to find the information you need on the Internet. Even if the certs only give you a general knowledge of how things work, you can easily find step-by-step guides on how to do thngs.

    I think certs will get you the $$$, but you really need to prove yourself to move up.
  • linuxguylinuxguy ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 50Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    mleviton wrote:
    I think certs will get you the $$$, but you really need to prove yourself to move up.

    But if it is all about the money, peolpe should find somethingelse.

    Great point on the fact it takes a bit of leg work.
    If you do not feel like a newbie you probably should. :)
  • keenonkeenon ■■■■□□□□□□ Posts: 1,921Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    initially IT started out for me as a way out of low paying jobs.. i seen how much money the field paid and was like "yo i wanna do that" :o but i didn't like it i liked the thought of being able to make that kinda money and the thought of not getting hurt at work.. but years later i realized money is a good motivator but kids are the best of all. so if your in it for the money thats fine in the beginning but as time goes on if the love doesn't grow for the work/field then you will quit. thats the plain truth... there is something in IT for everyone just find what area that interests you and pursue it like you would someone you really want to know( woman or man not in a sick way)


    take chances its all we have in the end.. some work and others don't but trying is its own reward
    Become the stainless steel sharp knife in a drawer full of rusty spoons
  • garv221garv221 Posts: 1,914Member
    linuxguy wrote:
    But if it is all about the money, peolpe should find somethingelse.

    I'm in it for Project management & Network Developing. I like computers, technology, business, clients, staying on the ball & importantly MONEY. IT is all of that, you can create your own pay if you want & your ability in this field is a direct reflection of your motivation. I plan on having IT as a base pay until I do my own thing & diversify out of IT. 65% other business, 35% IT work. icon_wink.gif
  • linuxguylinuxguy ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 50Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    GARV221
    Yes... you are motivated and are making your place. that is exactly what I am encouraging people to do. I am not saying wanting money is bad. Nor am I saying that taking a job for that reason is. I am saying people should find something they can have a passion for. A carrer they love not "just a job". That is all I am saying... nothing more and nothing less.

    What is the other sector you are trying to pull into?
    If you do not feel like a newbie you probably should. :)
  • garv221garv221 Posts: 1,914Member
    linuxguy wrote:

    What is the other sector you are trying to pull into?
    Actually, I'm not at Liberty to say (not being rude). It involves developing/investment & future high demands in the Southern Sates. icon_cool.gif I wasn’t countering anything you said about money, I understand completely what you were saying.
  • linuxguylinuxguy ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 50Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    garv221 wrote:
    linuxguy wrote:

    What is the other sector you are trying to pull into?
    Actually, I'm not at Liberty to say (not being rude). It involves developing/investment & future high demands in the Southern Sates. icon_cool.gif I wasn’t countering anything you said about money, I understand completely what you were saying.

    Sweet... I hope it works well for ya. I just figured I would make sure I was clear, did not want to throw ou the wrong impression. lol
    If you do not feel like a newbie you probably should. :)
  • kicker22kicker22 ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 80Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    you need a degree now days... that is more important than certs if you are going for a long term career...
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