Yet another "Advice on IT career building" post...

Mrock4Mrock4 Banned Posts: 2,359 ■■■■■■■■□□
Hey guys. Here's the deal. I'm 18 years old, and left high school at 17, to get my GED, and begin college early. I never was (and still am not) a huge fan of the GED, but I had homeschooled one year, and received zero credits from the high school. I had fought with them for two years over this, and gained no ground. It ended with me having an ultimatum- One extra year, or nothing. I decided if I could do well on the GED, I would easily be able to get into a tech school of my choice (a well known school around here seemd like my number one candidate). I did so, and took the entrance exam to the school, passed, filled out all of the paperwork. I was supposed to start January 4th, but due to problems with them processing my fafsa, I won't be able to. Furthermore..there's more going on.

A long time, I have considered joining some kind of military service. Aside from the perks that go with it, It's just something I believe in. I don't always agree with the government, but I would like to be available to aid the men and women overseas. That being said, I'll be in the reserves. I will leave in February, and be back about 6-7 months later (basic training, then individual training). Now, my MOS will be an information systems operator/technician (25B), pretty much a PC tech, with a good amount of networking thrown in. The training I will receive is more than enough to prepare me for the A+ certification. That being said, I'm almost ready to take the A+ anyways.

I also had a networking class in high school, some web design classes, and "advanced computers 3" (basically an A+ review class). I feel that after coming back from my training with the Army, I will be more than ready to take the A+. I would like to get some kind of PC technician job then, to gain experience. I know a guy who runs a PC repair business, who would be willing to hire me then, almost certainly, as I've worked with him a little bit before.

My question is, would it be a reasonable idea to- Get the army training, A+ certification, Network+ would come after (so it can be used as an elective for the MSCE), take the MCSA, then MCSE. While this is going on, I will be attending a technicial college to major in Networking systems techncology, with a focus on Cisco systems. After graduating with an associates, I'd like to try to get my CCNA. Do you with with simply the Associates, and those certifications, along with a little experience, I'd be OK as far as a career goes? I would like to focus more on wireless networking down the road, but do you think the forementioned plan of action would be suitable for a steady, and even decent career? I apologize for this being so long, but I just really would like some input from people already in the field.

My brother is a network admin for a company in florida, who also does some consulting for various companies and whatnot, and I had even considered trying to land an internship with his company- as a way to build more experience.

I want to also make sure this is clear: I am going to college regardless (even if it is an Associates in networking..which the army will pay another 2'ish years of school), and I will be working on the certifications while being in there- I'm not asking which I should do, but rather if that combination would be a good starting point for my career in networking.

Anyways, thanks guys..I'm really sorry for this taking up your time...thanks!



  • Sulblk27Sulblk27 Member Posts: 148
    You sound like a strong individual with a bright fullfilling and long range goals...that is the good thing.
    You have joined the military, getting the free training with experience, that's a better thing,
    you have options and what sounds to me a game plan for the options you have at the end of the military service, that's a better thing...
    .in other words do you see a pattern here? You are going down a well thougt out track that gets better with time towards a career....with room for expansion on many levels.
    Being a greedy person by nature (me) if it is possible and you feel you are ready go for your A+ prior to the military (one less thing to do once you get out) plus you can concentrate on your level of degree in college....but please don't stop at an Associates, go as far into college as you possible can handle. Interships are a most coveted thing (to me- since I'm unemployed icon_lol.gif ) if the opportunity is there for you- go for it...when you get close to the end of your service, look at the job market to see what employers are looking for.....with a combo of certs, experience and degrees- I believe you will do well.....
    Someone asked me when will my studying be over......
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Banned Posts: 2,359 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Sulblk27- thanks for the reply. By nature, I'm always worried about something going wrong, and I always have a degree of uncertainty about things (who doesn't?), so It's nice to hear some reassuring words.

    As far as the associates goes, I won't lie- that is what I planned on stopping at, but one thing I had considered is- the army would pay a decent amount more to me for the other 3 years (6 year enlistment) after the associates, so I figure- why not use the aid they offer me for even more education? No one likes school by any means, but I recognize if you want to have a comfortable life, you gotta get it done. Besides, I think I'd be a fool to pass up financial help from the government towards my schooling!

    Oh, and about the intership- regardless of if I'm able to go to Florida to do the internship with my brother, the college I will go to requires a 3 month internship in order for me to graduate. So either way, I'll have some kind of intership before I graduate..I don't have a choice!

    As you said, I am definently leaning towards getting the a+ sooner. Mainly, because I would possibly be elgible for advanced enlistment (more pay, higher rank, for having my cert related to the job I'll be doing), and I won't have the worry of studying for it after the military- I can go straight to studying for other certifications (There will be a good 4 or 5 month gap between when I get out, and when I begin college). Anyways..thank you again.
  • Sulblk27Sulblk27 Member Posts: 148
    Hi Mrock 4...I do know about that can get to me if I allow it....but once I accomplish the 'thing' that made me leery in the first place I wonder why I doubted myself...then I'll chalk it up as 'part of human nature'. icon_cool.gif ...
    I truly do hope you will be able to take the A+...and if possible the Network+ (that will give you a heads up a little over the class)....and your right, once you get out of the military, you can start narrowing down which direction in the IT world you want to venture off to....but the 'basics' (A+/Net+) will be behind you....
    people may be able to take material things from us, but education, certifcations and our will power will be ours till the end of time....Once you finish your tour of duty, you'll know how far you want to go...and they should still have the paying for classes/certifications still in place by the time you get out....just watch out for the delimitating date (expiration)- because there is one....find out about education benifits on and be sure to ask the education office plenty of questions...
    Good luck to you in your will do well.... :D
    Someone asked me when will my studying be over......
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