Changing careers: turning my 15 yr hobby into a career

domerdeldomerdel Member Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
I've been building PC's from the ground up for the past decade as a hobby, been around computers for over 15 yrs. I gladly carry the label of a computer nerd (both Mac and PC).

However, about 10 yrs ago I pursued the career of Web/Print/Marketing. It worked out great until about 2008, when the economy shifted. I have 10 years of in the field experience as far as marketing, but am getting to the point where I'm burned out. I'm looking towards my roots, and as I am a Mac guy, PC is where it all started for me.

I'm looking to get trained in MCSE, first because that's seems to be the biggest demand in my small city.
I see all these 14-day boot camps that have 80%+ guarantee, but cost around 7-10K. I'm wondering if they are a joke. I don't need food/lodging to be taken care of, I just need the hands-on training in a crash coarse method.

Is there a general consensus of one of the other? I need one based in Northern California, cost-efficient, and shines.

Comments

  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,090
    To get an 80% pass rate with people who just walked in off the street the bootcamp is probably also teaching you the answers to the exam questions -- back in school that would be called cheating. You may wind up with a certification that cost you 7-10k, but it's probably worthless when it comes to demonstrating the MCSE level knowledge and experience on a job interview.

    Plus most people "work their way up" -- MCP --> MCSA --> MCSE (or the newer MCTS/MCITP) and gain experience along the way. So you'd be a questionable paper MCSE competing again people with verifiable work experience (and skills and accomplishments).

    You stand a better chance of walking into a small company without any certifications and talking your way into a job than you do buying into the "Earn the money you deserve" bootcamp commercials and then trying to find an "MCSE Job" with no experience.

    You're better off saving your money and taking the time to do it right. Either take the courses at a community college if you need an instructor to tell you what to learn. Or, if you have the skills, self-motivation, and dedication, do self-study which can be faster and even cheaper.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • EssendonEssendon Member Posts: 4,548 ■■■■■■■■■■
    With the number of general computer experience you have under your belt, I'd say you are in a better position than most other people just starting out in the cert world. You should be able to grasp things quicker and for longer. As for these bootcamps, except for the reputed ones, are a sham. They basically sell **** (real exam questions). Even if they did legit material, there is absolotely no way someone can teach you (or one can learn ) all of the stuff in the MCSE on 14 days.

    This is a general consensus within these forums that the best way to study for certs is the self study method. Download VirtualPC or VMware Server, chuck some VM's on it and away you go. This way you save a ton of money, actually a few tons. If you run into any problems, post up and there are plenty of helpful people out here.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
  • domerdeldomerdel Member Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Essendon wrote: »
    With the number of general computer experience you have under your belt, I'd say you are in a better position than most other people just starting out in the cert world. You should be able to grasp things quicker and for longer. As for these bootcamps, except for the reputed ones, are a sham. They basically sell **** (real exam questions). Even if they did legit material, there is absolotely no way someone can teach you (or one can learn ) all of the stuff in the MCSE on 14 days.

    This is a general consensus within these forums that the best way to study for certs is the self study method. Download VirtualPC or VMware Server, chuck some VM's on it and away you go. This way you save a ton of money, actually a few tons. If you run into any problems, post up and there are plenty of helpful people out here.


    First off, thank you ALL for actually getting such a quick response. My gut instinct is that most of these are a scam, it's finding the right one that will get me there. Some of these schools that i find that are 14-days, are 12hr training days non stop, and are also authorized testing facilities...

    Here's one I'm looking at right now:
    MCSA, MCSE 2003, MCTS Windows 7, Security+ Boot Camp

    It's in Vegas. I have a friend with a spare room in vegas. If I was able to get the boot camp method without the lodging costs, i wonder what it would be.

    I'm obviously going to take advantage of the knowledge from this site, but to some extent, I'm going to need the formal training.

    It's a hard bargain, especially with this economy in the US (California), to walk in, say you have 10 yrs of a solid work ethic, a bachelor's degree in another field, and convince them you have IT-esque intuition, and have them say "you're hire" to work myself up.

    The other holding pattern is, I'm on unemployment right now. To accept an entry level apprentice of any IT-trainee with NO EXPERIENCE, is going to be less than what I'm making sitting on my ass reading the knowledge on this website icon_lol.gif
  • bubble2005bubble2005 Member Posts: 210 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I agree Essendon, I used vmware for the 270 along with self-study and saved a few bucks. Unless you want to be counting lamp poles, it is best that you take your time.
    Think Big Stay Focus: In the midst of all situations, think positive.:thumbup:
  • twodogs62twodogs62 Member Posts: 393 ■■■□□□□□□□
    A lot of it depends on what you want to do.

    Do you want to be a system administrator, desktop support person or graphics designer, etc....?

    With your experience building computers, I'd say you could probably build your own test network much cheaper than the bootcamp and get more out of it.

    If you are wanting to get into IT:
    I'd start with A+, Network+ and then maybe get Windows 7. Get the MCSA which will be quicker than MCSE.

    If you decide to not get the A+ or Net+, just get a book and review the material, since I think the curriculum gives you a good overview of what more will come when you get more advanced certification.

    Somewhere while you are working on these look to get any job, even building computers, etc... to get some experience on your resume. This way you get paid while you continue to learn. Which I think is a better deal than paying a bootcamp when you are still looking for a job.
  • domerdeldomerdel Member Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Ideal jobs I want to get:
    Network Technician

    Network Engineer - Level II

    And to clear something up. I've been in my current field of graphic/web/marketing design for 10 years... I want out of it. If anything, it would be supplemental income.

    I'm not trying to be a bold maverick and just jump into a 50K career. I realize that in order to take two steps forward, i'm going to have to take one step back, and absorb more knowledge to fill the gaps of my current hobby.


    You've all been great inquiring to this thread! :)
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,090
    domerdel wrote: »
    Here's one I'm looking at right now:
    MCSA, MCSE 2003, MCTS Windows 7, Security+ Boot Camp
    From what I can tell that works out to 24 hours of study per exam -- including the exam themselves (since it includes 8 exams during the bootcamp). I don't think the exams are that easy. icon_rolleyes.gif

    domerdel wrote: »
    To accept an entry level apprentice of any IT-trainee with NO EXPERIENCE, is going to be less than what I'm making sitting on my ass reading the knowledge on this website icon_lol.gif
    There may be entry level position (that don't pay a lot), but I haven't seen or heard of "trainee positions" (other than the Military icon_lol.gif) in a long long long long time. You've got to have some skills and be able to deliver to even get an entry level job now a days.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • EssendonEssendon Member Posts: 4,548 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Mike's right about starting at the lower end of the totem-pole, this is where most of us started. I have more than doubled my salary in the past 3-3.5 years, work hard, get those certs, you'll be fine. Make sure you do your resume up nicely. Just a word of caution though, the resume should be tailored to kind of jobs you are applying for. The darn HR filters wont even see your resume if you dont have the right words.

    I again reiterate my stand on the bootcamps, stay away from them. There is ABSOLUTELY no way you can learn all that stuff in the 14 or so days. Even if you have money to burn, test the bootcamp with maybe a small course like just an MCP and see if they are worth the money. Good luck dude!
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >> http://virtual10.com
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