I'm glad I found this site here is my story I want to get into IT

kidjudgekidjudge Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
After 10+ years in aviation I have decided that I want a new career. I have always enjoyed computers, working on them and figuring out how they work. I currently live in Pittsburgh and my dream is to get to Florida so I figured IT was the way.

I applied for a job at Best Buy in the Geek Squad here in Pittsburgh in hopes of gaining experience. At my current job I work 7 12 hour shifts with 7 days off and I cant go to a normal school so everything I do is online.

I bought Michael Meyers book A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, 4th Edition
and I am studying that here at work to get my A+ Certification and I think next I will go for network.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated..Am I on the right track? I have set a goal of 3 years to complete as much as I can.

I decided against Ashworth and Penn Foster I felt that I could do it on my own

Comments

  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    kidjudge wrote: »
    ]..Am I on the right track? I have set a goal of 3 years to complete as much as I can.

    Download a copy of the objectives from CompTIA.
    Work though those in addition to Meyers book should be very helpful!

    3 years to accomplish what? So, get more specific with your goals. A+ is geared toward candiates with 500 hours of experience (which is about a half year) but it should include more than a mere ram install. So, pickup some old boxes and build/tear apart and rebuild these. Scavage for old hardward and test it out...be curious.

    However, if your interest doesn't lie with Hardware and single box troubleshooting, than be prepared for the next steps of networking and beyond (well, boxes on the nextwork (or clients), servers and switches!!)

    And if you find you have more interest in switches than you may wish to merely read the A+ stuff, but not test and look toward higher level certs in the Cisco family.

    Not everyone needs an A+. There is certainly no harm in obtaining it, plus it gives you practice for your new career of exam taking :) Just search out your true interests and what you see yourself doing...then you can find the exams to help mark your success.



    I decided against Ashworth and Penn Foster I felt that I could do it on my own
    Not sure who/what this is, but if is a 'tech/certification' school...then you can certainly buy a TON of books cheaper than what you'll pay for that type of training.

    If you want a formal education, check out your local colleges.
    Plantwiz
    _____
    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
  • kidjudgekidjudge Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I think I would rather stick to the software side of it rather than the hardware side of it. My goal is to go to Florida in 3 years and get whatever job I can in IT. I looked into local colleges and I cant do that based on my schedule 7 on 7 off 12 hour shifts I take take 6 of the 9 classes but the other 3 require me to actually attend.

    I want to get what I can the cheapest way I can....
  • ehndeehnde Member Posts: 1,103
    A+, Network+, and Security+ are all a good start. By the time you finish those you'd know what you want to do specifically.

    The I.T. programs listed here Online University Degree | Western Governors University Online are pretty popular on techexams. For $3k/6 months your certifications are all paid for by the school as part of your tuition. One guy on TE (sorry I don't remember who) went from an A.S. to WGU and finished with WGU in 6 months. You finish at your pace, so the more motivated and intelligent you are, the faster you can finish.
    Climb a mountain, tell no one.
  • kidjudgekidjudge Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    ehnde wrote: »
    A+, Network+, and Security+ are all a good start. By the time you finish those you'd know what you want to do specifically.

    The I.T. programs listed here Online University Degree | Western Governors University Online are pretty popular on techexams. For $3k/6 months your certifications are all paid for by the school as part of your tuition. One guy on TE (sorry I don't remember who) went from an A.S. to WGU and finished with WGU in 6 months. You finish at your pace, so the more motivated and intelligent you are, the faster you can finish.

    So in 6 months I can have all those certs? and it only costs 3000?
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,735 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Do you have any experience in programming? If not pick up some books and start. Programming is not for everyone and since you have a goal of 3-years it's time to learn whether or not you like it.
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • kidjudgekidjudge Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Can you email me ehnde? I have some questions about WGU
  • kidjudgekidjudge Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Do you have any experience in programming? If not pick up some books and start. Programming is not for everyone and since you have a goal of 3-years it's time to learn whether or not you like it.

    I really have no experience in programming I like to "tinker" around but I feel that I know more than the average person....
  • kidjudgekidjudge Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,735 ■■■■■■■■■■
    kidjudge wrote: »
    I really have no experience in programming I like to "tinker" around but I feel that I know more than the average person....


    Okay, I just wanted to make sure you didn't just decide to start programming with zero knowledge about it. icon_wink.gif

    One of the more popular programming languages, Java, has quite a few online help sites:

    JavaRanch - A Friendly Place for Java Greenhorns

    New to Java Programming Center
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • kidjudgekidjudge Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I looked a little at WGU and as of right now I dont have the requirements to get into the school

    A Simple Admission Process: What’s Needed
    To be admitted into this online IT degree, you must:

    Possess a high school diploma or its equivalent.
    Demonstrate IT experience through at least one of the following methods:
    An associate’s degree in IT or equivalent (A.S. or A.A.S. acceptable)
    Transferable IT certifications earned within the last 5 years
    A resume showing three-plus years of IT work experience


    So I think that WGU is out for me right now...This program that another poster talked about 3000/6months where is that at? I would like to get the certs dont really want a degree not the degree type. But if I have to I have to
  • Cisco InfernoCisco Inferno Member Posts: 1,034 ■■■■■■□□□□
    kidjudge wrote: »
    So in 6 months I can have all those certs? and it only costs 3000?
    No, he had plenty of high end industry certs i believe that waived off plenty of classes. The most of the IT classes offered by WGU are focused on certifications and obtaining them are required for passing i believe.

    think you're glad that you found this site? wait till you find Professor Messer.
    freeaplus.com icon_cheers.gif he's been a huge helping hand that helped me focus for my a+ and Network+ certifications. I believe you can easily do A+ and Net+ in 4-6 months. do it like this... before reading a specific chapter, watch the corresponding video while pausing to take notes. THEN read the book and it will all be so easy to understand after watching. doing it the other way around has always lead me to having to read a page about 3 times over..

    good luck.
    2019 Goals
    CompTIA Linux+
    [ ] Bachelor's Degree
  • kidjudgekidjudge Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    No, he had plenty of high end industry certs i believe that waived off plenty of classes. The most of the IT classes offered by WGU are focused on certifications and obtaining them are required for passing i believe.

    think you're glad that you found this site? wait till you find Professor Messer.
    freeaplus.com icon_cheers.gif he's been a huge helping hand that helped me focus for my a+ and Network+ certifications. I believe you can easily do A+ and Net+ in 4-6 months. do it like this... before reading a specific chapter, watch the corresponding video while pausing to take notes. THEN read the book and it will all be so easy to understand after watching. doing it the other way around has always lead me to having to read a page about 3 times over..

    good luck.


    Thank you for the advice I think that is a good idea so you ave a+ and network? How are your job prospects and I assume you did all this on your own? No college?
  • ehndeehnde Member Posts: 1,103
    I'm sorry if what I said was misleading. The guy I'm talking about that finished WGU in 6 months already had an associates degree. He basically compressed 2 additional years of work into 6 months to obtain his B.S. in I.T. A+/Network+/Security+ is more than enough to get an entry level job (helpdesk). Of course we're only talking about $13 - $20/hour here.
    Climb a mountain, tell no one.
  • Cisco InfernoCisco Inferno Member Posts: 1,034 ■■■■■■□□□□
    kidjudge wrote: »
    Thank you for the advice I think that is a good idea so you ave a+ and network? How are your job prospects and I assume you did all this on your own? No college?
    I have no job experience but have been a pretty extreme systems builder and overclocker as a hobby since i was 14. (straight up hardware geek pumping volts and raising cpu frequency, water cooling etc. Its addictive btw) Anyways I figured i might as well start a career with what i love. I'm 21 and start college in a few weeks. I guess i should have done it sooner. Alot of people here are saying that its a degree that gets your an interview. And a degree is required for higher end roles like IT management. Job prospects are fine but im going to figure this school thing out first for a couple months while getting more certs.

    Three things to remember when getting a job in IT. Experience, Education and Certs. they all compliment each other.

    Self study is the way to go for these entry level certifications. If you ever upgraded ram or built your own computer you could pass the A+. I only spent about 3 weeks of skimming and reviewing as almost everything was no suprise to me.

    For your A+ i would like you to print out the Official Objectives and cross out or mark the areas you covered in your readings. It gives you a real perspective on what you have covered.

    Since there are two tests and there is a WHOLE lot of overlap, i would suggest scheduling your 702 exam maybe 3-7 days After your 701. It will give you enough time to refresh and focus for the 702 without losing any learned information.

    The 701 is the Essentials exam and the 702 is the Practical(troubleshooting) exam. Heres a snippet of the A+ for dummies book listing the official objectives ALONG with whether its on the 701 or 702. real helpful for knowing what you need to cram last minute.
    2019 Goals
    CompTIA Linux+
    [ ] Bachelor's Degree
  • Chief JakeChief Jake Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Kidjudge,
    Have you looked into doing your IT training at New Horizons Computer Learning Center? The majority of our tech classes are 5-days long, which would work perfectly with your 7-on, 7-off schedule. Good luck on your journey to Florida, I moved here 2 years ago and love it!!
  • kidjudgekidjudge Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Chief Jake wrote: »
    Kidjudge,
    Have you looked into doing your IT training at New Horizons Computer Learning Center? The majority of our tech classes are 5-days long, which would work perfectly with your 7-on, 7-off schedule. Good luck on your journey to Florida, I moved here 2 years ago and love it!!

    No never heard of it but looking at it now..So did you move to FL from the burgh? Are you doing what I am trying to do?
  • JCGeeJCGee Member Posts: 17 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Had to rework my post as I didn't see that you want to stay on the software side of IT. I don't know why this thread is headed toward suggesting A+/Net+ then, because you are just wasting your time as you are entering the hardware realm with those certs.

    As someone else stated, look into Java as it is pretty much the base language to learn comp sci methodology off of at the college level nowadays. I am a comp sci major, Java was taught throughout [one semester we touched on a few other languages, just for comparison, which was a waste of time and money...but, that's college for you]. Look into the SCJP certification, or whatever Oracle calls it now, check Here.

    While digging into Java & Comp Sci, might want to learn some Perl. Lightweight and powerful language, which can get things done quickly. You won't need to get into the meat and potatoes of OOP to get something done with it. Just my 2 cents.

    Watch New Horizons. My old company sent people there for their 5 day schedules, but they are pricey. I am currently looking into some CCNA training and there is a school nearby that offers much more in terms of classwork, instruction and lab time for the same cost. Granted it's a 10 week, 2 days a week course with open lab access as compared to a 5 day course. Nothing against NH at all, but if you are looking to really get into something....common sense should tell you that 5 days is only skimming the surface of anyone one topic.
  • kidjudgekidjudge Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    JCGee wrote: »
    I've recently had an interview with 2 IT recruiters, and they both highly recommended getting the A+, since many of their clients *require* the cert for the contract techs to take on the more involved [albeit still lower level] hardware jobs.

    My degree in Comp Sci didn't seem to matter to them and rightfully so as it's software centric. However, it didn't come into play AT ALL due to payrate, which I was a little taken back by..but then again, the employment environment, beggars can't be choosers.

    Definitely look into certifying. It will get you passed HR screening and get you familiar with basic terminology and show you are making a commitment [of time and money] to the industry.

    I saw you like to tinker with programming as well and someone suggested Java. My degree was centered around the language, and it can get pretty involved, pretty quickly. I would suggest looking into Perl first. I am currently doing it and it is more practical for administration than java is. Need something done fast for a repetitive process, draft up, or find, a perl script. Just my 2 cents.

    Thank you for your advice I am looking into the A+ Certification and whatever else I can get in 3 years. With my schedule it is hard to go to a regular school but it looks like New Horizon that the above poster suggested will work well for me. I just emailed them asking about prices
  • kidjudgekidjudge Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Chief Jake wrote: »
    Kidjudge,
    Have you looked into doing your IT training at New Horizons Computer Learning Center? The majority of our tech classes are 5-days long, which would work perfectly with your 7-on, 7-off schedule. Good luck on your journey to Florida, I moved here 2 years ago and love it!!

    Do you remember the prices of the classes
  • JCGeeJCGee Member Posts: 17 ■□□□□□□□□□
    They were $1800 a pop, but this was a few years back. I think upwards of $3000 is standard now, but do not quote me on that. In fact, I was in talks with a new horizon consultant 2 weeks ago after responding to a job posting they had on a site. Turns out it was a misleading ad and they wanted $19000 for a course where they pump out most base certs all the way to the MICTP or MCSE depending on path chosen.

    Deciding to go the Cisco route, I found a school that offers CCNA and Sec+ coursework for $4000. 10 weeks, 2 nights a week, online access and hands on lab time.

    Again, nothing at all against NH, it's just good to get quotes from as many vendors as you can.

    If you are not wanting to get into the hardware side of IT, you need to rethink your path though. CompTia certs are the "basic" certs of IT, but they are not cheap, and now need re certification as opposed to lifetime.
  • kidjudgekidjudge Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    JCGee wrote: »
    They were $1800 a pop, but this was a few years back. I think upwards of $3000 is standard now, but do not quote me on that. In fact, I was in talks with a new horizon consultant 2 weeks ago after responding to a job posting they had on a site. Turns out it was a misleading ad and they wanted $19000 for a course where they pump out most base certs all the way to the MICTP or MCSE depending on path chosen.

    Deciding to go the Cisco route, I found a school that offers CCNA and Sec+ coursework for $4000. 10 weeks, 2 nights a week, online access and hands on lab time.

    Again, nothing at all against NH, it's just good to get quotes from as many vendors as you can.

    If you are not wanting to get into the hardware side of IT, you need to rethink your path though. CompTia certs are the "basic" certs of IT, but they are not cheap, and now need re certification as opposed to lifetime.

    Wow that expensive eh? I think I will go the route that I am going now with the Prof
  • Chief JakeChief Jake Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Kidjudge,

    I work at the New Horizons in Jacksonville Florida. Each NH is individually owned but the prices should be pretty standard. Unfortunately I can't do anything for you here, but I'm sure the folks in Pittsburgh will treat you right. I also agree with the advice to look at several vendors, but from the sounds of your schedule, NH might be the right ticket for you.

    I moved to FL from South Dakota 2 years ago. Never been to Pittsburgh, but i do own a terrible towel!!

    Best of luck with your career!
  • kidjudgekidjudge Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Chief Jake wrote: »
    Kidjudge,

    I work at the New Horizons in Jacksonville Florida. Each NH is individually owned but the prices should be pretty standard. Unfortunately I can't do anything for you here, but I'm sure the folks in Pittsburgh will treat you right. I also agree with the advice to look at several vendors, but from the sounds of your schedule, NH might be the right ticket for you.

    I moved to FL from South Dakota 2 years ago. Never been to Pittsburgh, but i do own a terrible towel!!

    Best of luck with your career!

    Thanks OUCH South Dakota COLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • JCGeeJCGee Member Posts: 17 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Cert courses are usually pricey, but should be looked at as an investment per say. Ideally, you get your foot in the door somewhere, and they will pay for training, exam and bump your pay after you obtain the cert. I guess that's why places like NH have such high costs...because corporations will pay to fill a need without batting an eye. Those leads those of us that are flipping the bill ourselves carefully weighing the cost/benefit ratio.

    If you have toiled with computers, building your own systems and troubleshot computers for a while, you can self study the A+. If you have a strong interest in Networks, same with the Net+.

    Are you basing this 3 year period on your entrance to the WGU program? If so, I would just call someone in the admissions department tomorrow. You'd be surprised....some schools just want the money and might waive certain entrance requirements, and it would save you all the time [and money] on certifications/training.
  • kidjudgekidjudge Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    JCGee wrote: »
    Cert courses are usually pricey, but should be looked at as an investment per say. Ideally, you get your foot in the door somewhere, and they will pay for training, exam and bump your pay after you obtain the cert. I guess that's why places like NH have such high costs...because corporations will pay to fill a need without batting an eye. Those leads those of us that are flipping the bill ourselves carefully weighing the cost/benefit ratio.

    If you have toiled with computers, building your own systems and troubleshot computers for a while, you can self study the A+. If you have a strong interest in Networks, same with the Net+.

    Are you basing this 3 year period on your entrance to the WGU program? If so, I would just call someone in the admissions department tomorrow. You'd be surprised....some schools just want the money and might waive certain entrance requirements, and it would save you all the time [and money] on certifications/training.

    No the 3 years is for me to get to Florida I just moved to PIT and the wife is not trying to hear about a move for at least 3 years. I was thinking abiout WGU but I really have no desire to get a degree I just want the certs. I have been trying to get a job in Florida for awhile and while I am stuck in PA for awhile I might as well get all the knowledge that I can while I am here and have this job.

    My field is aviation but the Orlando and Daytona Beach Area the airports are not hiring too many ppl in management in the aviation community. I have always loved computers and want to get into the field. In 3 years if all I can do is work at Best Buy then I am ok with that but I would think that with a 3 year window I should be able to get some certifications to help me out. Just dont have the most money to pay for all of them.
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,090
    JCGee wrote: »
    I was in talks with a new horizon consultant 2 weeks ago after responding to a job posting they had on a site. Turns out it was a misleading ad and they wanted $19000 for a course where they pump out most base certs all the way to the MICTP or MCSE depending on path chosen.
    The problem with New Horizon is that you don't know if you're getting a good training center or a scum of the earth training center.

    The ones running the FAKE JOB SCAM to sell training are most likely the SCUM of the Earth training centers. They probably are "**** camps" where they teach you the answers to the exams. Those should be avoided at all costs. Those are definitely worse than the "earn the money you deserve" for-profit "training centers" that just target gullible people to sign up for student loans with false/hyped statements about their job prospects after training.

    Unfortunately even the "good ones" may pressure their instructors to keep an unrealistic certification exam pass rate if they want to keep their training job/contract. Or an instructor may decide on their own to get more training jobs by increasing their pass rate. icon_rolleyes.gif

    For a noob to take a 5 day course and pass a certification exam is at best a short term "CRAM JOB" -- not a long term solution to gaining the knowledge and skills to perform on the job. Worst case it's a "**** CAMP" teaching people the answers to the exam questions to earn a useless piece of paper that they can't back up with knowledge and skills.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • AlexMRAlexMR Member Posts: 275
    I decided I didnt wannt to be a civil engineer for the rest of my life back in january 2008, and I order Todd Lamle's CCNA book because getting the CCNA certification was "a sure way to get my foot in the IT world" here in my country.

    After reading that book labbing a lot and reading both interconnecting Cisco Devices 1-2 and The official certification guides (and about 8 months later, because I got a job in early april of that year) I decided I was ready and took and pass both exams in my first attempts.

    I went gladly to modify my resume to add my newly acquired CCNA cert with some certainty the phone was going to ring soon and repeatedly, with lots of great companies requiring my sevices. It didnt happen, but I had already started studying for both BSCI and a few weeks later the CCNA Voice...

    I had a job and then a business startup...it wasnt easy but I kept on reading, studying and labbing, realizing that IT was the career I had to pick from the day one. I had access to the full TestOut training material and watching some of the Microsoft Server 2k8 training got me very interested in that. I split my time betwen Cisco (BSCI, CCNA Voice -actually passed the exam for that one-, SWITCH, CCDA, CCNA Security lots of design documents from the Cisco Website) and Microsoft (Active directory, Network infrastructure) and never took any exam besides the CCNA Voice, mostly because of my personal economy was too bad to do it.

    During that period I was contacted by Preplogic and I was contracted to write the CCNP SWITCH Mega Guide (they havent paid me and refuse to even reply to emails or calls, btw, i think you people should stay away from that company). I'm really proud of the work I did for that one. I think it is a great guide...

    I went to about 3 interviews with all of them showing a lot of interest and even greater respect for my determination, but in all cases they needed experienced professionals in areas that I personally considered myself weak (wireless and security)

    I went to an interview about 3 weeks ago. Almost 3 years after deciding I was going to change careers and was going to become a network engineer. They had me solve some minor issues with Active Directory and ISA server. They also had me install a network drive.

    The job is mine now and I am the network administrator for a 3 servers, 45 users domain under Server 2k8, with a couple routers, several switches and 4 Access Points. They will be installing a very expensive datacenter soon and a lot of contractors are going to come in to help, but I will be there too, working directly and mainly in the design and also in the implementation.

    That long story was to let you know that times are hard and that a a start in IT is not something that comes from 3 months of studies and gaining a CCNA. It used to be, not it's not.

    If you think you have the passion to keep on learning for a very long period of time then go for it because i is a win-win situation. If you really need to be optimistic and think about 3-6 months before you get your first job i would strongly suggest you keep looking for your passion. You need passion to reallly shine at whatever you do. You simply CANNOT compete at the same level of someone who feels passion about what he does...

    Now I am in a situation where all the work Ive put can show. And I am in a situation where a little effort to get microsoft certs like MCITP: SA can really make a difference because I will have the experience to back it up. But it took a lot of time and more than being optimistic. I knew I was going to push through it because i am passionate about all this. It wasnnt optimisn. It was knowing for a fact that I was going to do whatever it took to get there.

    I hope you feel the same way and i really really hope it is easier for you!!!
    Training/Studying for....CCNP (BSCI) and some MS.
  • tekalontekalon Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I just finished with Ashworth with my AS. It's a good starter online school but I am much more excited (and comfortable with employ-ability) with WGU. Ashworth is only nationally accredited (similar to most community colleges or trade colleges). It is affordable, online and work at your own pace. The materials are outdated (but you're learning only some Gen Eds and some basics) and it takes a week for books to ship. I didn't have enough experience to get into the WGU without the AS so it worked for me, but would not recommend it to others if they had other options.
  • Dsmith81Dsmith81 Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Just starting out myself, can't wait to take the A+
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