Youngster looking for tips :)

timespacetimespace Posts: 21Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Well I was wondering what would be the best path for me to take in the IT industry? I'm currently 16 and about to finish sophomore year of high school. I plan on studying for my A+ and passing it this summer, then study for the Network+ and then the Security+ before 2011. I want to know if anyone has any tips on what they have actually learned from past experiences. I have never had a job working with computers; I've never really had a job at all for that matter. I plan on going to college and majoring in Information Technology.
Well yeah, I'd greatly appreciate any help :D

Comments

  • Paul BozPaul Boz Posts: 2,621Member
    Just keep studying and working on projects. The biggest thing you can do is actually practically apply your knowledge. If you're working on MS certs set up a domain and configure it. If you want to get some Cisco equipment get some gear and set that up. Also try to help out with the school network if you can. I learned a lot about IT by working on my school's network and in the AV library. Beyond that, try to get some entry-level tech bench jobs. I'm sure there are some businesses locally that would take a chance on a 16 year old trying to cut his teeth.

    The more aggressively you market yourself and apply your skills the more valuable you'll be later down the road.
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
    http://twitter.com/paul_bosworth
    Blog: http://www.infosiege.net/
  • jamesleecolemanjamesleecoleman Posts: 1,899Member
    Paul Boz bascially has it down for you. Its good that you're starting at a young age.
    Booya!!
    WIP : | CISSP [2018] | CISA [2018] | CAPM [2018] | eCPPT [2018] | CRISC [2019] | TORFL (TRKI) B1 | Learning: | Russian | Farsi |
    *****You can fail a test a bunch of times but what matters is that if you fail to give up or not*****
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAPosts: 5,735Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    My suggestions would be to hit the major certification paths as soon after you finish the CompTIA certifications. CompTIA is ok for starting out, but the real pay off is with the vendor certifications such as Microsoft, Cisco, etc.
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • BradleyHUBradleyHU Posts: 912Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    My suggestions would be to hit the major certification paths as soon as you finish the CompTIA ones. I honestly wish I had done this earlier.

    some HS's have CCNA cert programs...my hs does....too bad these fockers got it a few yrs after i graduated...
    Link Me
    Graduate of the REAL HU & #1 HBCU...HAMPTON UNIVERSITY!!! #shoutout to c/o 2004
    WIP: 70-410(TBD) | ITIL v3 Foundation(TBD)
  • Paul BozPaul Boz Posts: 2,621Member
    There was an A+ class when I was in high school but it overlapped with my football schedule so I couldn't take it. I did take the advanced computer science college class that we offered and learned a lot. Most of the kids that were in that class I'm good friends with and are graduate students in various fields. I may not be a very competent programmer but I did learn a lot that I've been able to apply throughout my career.

    More info for the OP:

    My biggest piece of advice would be to be well-spoken. Know what you're talking about and don't speak up just for the sake of being heard. Volume doesn't mean competency. I'm not just speaking about posting on this forum, but working in a professional environment as well.

    Beyond that, try to become an expert in one or two things but very proficient in others. I have specializations that make me valuable in my environment. Likewise, several of my co-workers are experts in their own specific fields. We are all competent to a general baseline though. I'm strong in networking but I'm still competent as a sysadmin. On the other hand, my sysadmin co worker is very also proficient in networking. You want to have a serious specialization because being considered an "expert" is important. There isn't a ceiling in IT but you can certainly strive for the top and the only way to really do that is to make your unique mark on the industry. You can only do that by doing things that are innovative and or out of the norm. You can really only do THAT if you're a master of the technology first. You can't forget to stay well-rounded though. Just think of it this way: For every off-topic book you read, read two core books. By this, I mean for every non-networking book I read I should read two books on networking. This ensures that I maintain general competency but that my specialization stays sharp. I exercise this concept regularly and it works well.
    CCNP | CCIP | CCDP | CCNA, CCDA
    CCNA Security | GSEC |GCFW | GCIH | GCIA
    [email protected]
    http://twitter.com/paul_bosworth
    Blog: http://www.infosiege.net/
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,343Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    timespace wrote: »
    Well I was wondering what would be the best path for me to take in the IT industry? I'm currently 16 and about to finish sophomore year of high school. I plan on studying for my A+ and passing it this summer, then study for the Network+ and then the Security+ before 2011. I want to know if anyone has any tips on what they have actually learned from past experiences. I have never had a job working with computers; I've never really had a job at all for that matter. I plan on going to college and majoring in Information Technology.
    Well yeah, I'd greatly appreciate any help :D

    • +1 Try to get the certs while you’re young at least try to get the A+,NETWORK+ and Secruity+ before 2011 I think you said you want to do this is great!!
    • I would say take all IT classes that you can while in high school, these will help you when you go to college
    • Also, take any of those classes that are advancement placement

    • For example, you can take college classes in high school, try to do this so you can clear college classes.

    • My best advice is stick with it, sometimes the material in IT seems complicated, but if you have a passion for it , you will be able to learn everything and anything you want in IT and beyond.

    • Try to understand math, math is essential in IT, and I believe the more experience you have with it, the easier it will be to advance through college classes and IT material in general.

    • I think you made a good decision to start in IT, I wish I started at 16.

    Good Luck
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • SelfmadeSelfmade Posts: 268Member
    timespace wrote: »
    Well I was wondering what would be the best path for me to take in the IT industry? I'm currently 16 and about to finish sophomore year of high school. I plan on studying for my A+ and passing it this summer, then study for the Network+ and then the Security+ before 2011. I want to know if anyone has any tips on what they have actually learned from past experiences. I have never had a job working with computers; I've never really had a job at all for that matter. I plan on going to college and majoring in Information Technology.
    Well yeah, I'd greatly appreciate any help :D

    I'll tell you this, be VERY glad you know what you want to do already. Everything Paul has said is great advice for someone like you.

    I do have some advice I don't think anyone else has given. Look for a JOB or internship through your school's business partners (talk to the counselors, especially with summer coming up) try to get a part time job working with IT, and get very very familiar with the technology. Always keep your eyes open for jobs and opportunities to learn new things. Never stop learning, you are only as good as your knowledge and experience are current with the technologies you're implementing or using.
    So always keep learning!!

    I'm pretty sure if your school has some kind of business partnerships that hire interns for the usual summer jobs, they might be willing to let you do IT part time if you go and ask, I obviously can't guarantee that, but it can't hurt to ask.

    You can volunteer at your chuch, if you go to one, that's also something that's overlooked.

    But basically my portion of advice for you deals with gaining experience you can put down on a resume so that when you're out in the world on your own, you'll have years of experience that your college education and certifications will make it easier for you to find jobs out there, even in this job market, experience + certs + college degree make your odds a lot better.

    Basically, get some kind of job that gives you the experience you need, keep getting your certifications, keep learning, and get your college degree!
    It's not important to add reptutation points to others, but to be nice and spread good karma everywhere you go.
  • watson09watson09 Posts: 7Banned ■□□□□□□□□□
    If you are looking for IT sector growth then its better to pursue any kind of networking courses with full dedication other than doing some basic graduation courses..
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAPosts: 5,735Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Paul Boz wrote: »
    There was an A+ class when I was in high school but it overlapped with my football schedule so I couldn't take it. I did take the advanced computer science college class that we offered and learned a lot. Most of the kids that were in that class I'm good friends with and are graduate students in various fields. I may not be a very competent programmer but I did learn a lot that I've been able to apply throughout my career.

    More info for the OP:

    My biggest piece of advice would be to be well-spoken. Know what you're talking about and don't speak up just for the sake of being heard. Volume doesn't mean competency. I'm not just speaking about posting on this forum, but working in a professional environment as well.

    Beyond that, try to become an expert in one or two things but very proficient in others. I have specializations that make me valuable in my environment. Likewise, several of my co-workers are experts in their own specific fields. We are all competent to a general baseline though. I'm strong in networking but I'm still competent as a sysadmin. On the other hand, my sysadmin co worker is very also proficient in networking. You want to have a serious specialization because being considered an "expert" is important. There isn't a ceiling in IT but you can certainly strive for the top and the only way to really do that is to make your unique mark on the industry. You can only do that by doing things that are innovative and or out of the norm. You can really only do THAT if you're a master of the technology first. You can't forget to stay well-rounded though. Just think of it this way: For every off-topic book you read, read two core books. By this, I mean for every non-networking book I read I should read two books on networking. This ensures that I maintain general competency but that my specialization stays sharp. I exercise this concept regularly and it works well.

    Well said Paul!icon_thumright.gif
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • votekvotek Posts: 7Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Selfmade wrote: »
    I'll tell you this, be VERY glad you know what you want to do already. Everything Paul has said is great advice for someone like you.

    I do have some advice I don't think anyone else has given. Look for a JOB or internship through your school's business partners (talk to the counselors, especially with summer coming up) try to get a part time job working with IT, and get very very familiar with the technology. Always keep your eyes open for jobs and opportunities to learn new things. Never stop learning, you are only as good as your knowledge and experience are current with the technologies you're implementing or using.
    So always keep learning!!

    I'm pretty sure if your school has some kind of business partnerships that hire interns for the usual summer jobs, they might be willing to let you do IT part time if you go and ask, I obviously can't guarantee that, but it can't hurt to ask.

    You can volunteer at your chuch, if you go to one, that's also something that's overlooked.

    But basically my portion of advice for you deals with gaining experience you can put down on a resume so that when you're out in the world on your own, you'll have years of experience that your college education and certifications will make it easier for you to find jobs out there, even in this job market, experience + certs + college degree make your odds a lot better.

    Basically, get some kind of job that gives you the experience you need, keep getting your certifications, keep learning, and get your college degree!

    Selfmade made some great points.

    Experience with a degree can get you far. A lot of places are willing to take in interns when you're in college. When you're in school, perhaps get a student-worker job at the help desk and then move up from there.

    I recently saw a local school looking for high school kids over the summer to do imaging and other tasks for the IT team. Look for opportunities like that and don't worry too much about the pay because most internships aren't paid.
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