Where to go from here??--Career Wise

geeksquad09geeksquad09 Member Posts: 177
Im trying to finish up my Associates Degree/ Network Support Specialist. However after 4 years of pursuing Ive come to a road block. I have a baby due in November and all the classes required to graduate arent on the same campus, they are scattered throughout 5 counties. However im not making excuses and ive been studying in my part time to receive (Server+, CCNA). Should i put school of for now and pursue the certs to land an entry level gig, or should i stay in school and find a Part-Time (Non) related I.T job until i complete the degree.
Currently Studying for Network+, Server+, and Security+

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Comments

  • GAngelGAngel Member Posts: 708
    A lot more info prly far to private would be needed in order to give you a judgement call. How many more courses do you need to finish? If it's only a few I'd try and tough it out. If you think it may take more than a year then start looking for alternatives aka WGU type that could get you completed faster.
  • geeksquad09geeksquad09 Member Posts: 177
    Out of 18 classes I've completed 6 classes, I've applied for WGU but didn't pass the assessment test. I thought about doing ITT Tech online or The I.T in the Army/Navy but that option is out of the question due to the fact that my Girlfriend is giving birth to our 1st child in November. At this moment i have the short end of the stick. I need a career plan quick because I've noticed the years have passed and im stuck in the same place as i was 2 years ago.
    Currently Studying for Network+, Server+, and Security+

    The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before
  • filkenjitsufilkenjitsu CCNA R&S, CCNA SP Member Posts: 564 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Does your girlfriend work? What will you guys be doing to arrange your schedules to be with the child? Do you guys work the same shifts right now? Do you have parents around to help watch your child?

    I would finish your associates degree through the local option if you have to do it onsite. There are many great schools out there that have a bachelors online with the right accredidation. Do a google search for Fort Hays State University. Then Look at their online/virtual campus. They have a bachelors in Networking and Telecommunications that is VERY affordable, regionally accredited, and covers material in the degree for up to CCNP.Check out the course catalog, you will see what I mean about the awesome classes.

    Fully online from a very reputable school in Kansas. They have Basketball and Football teams, a mascott, etc. A real college for sure. Very good prices.
    CISSP, CCNA SP
    Bachelors of Science in Telecommunications - Mt. Sierra College
    Masters of Networking and Communications Management, Focus in Wireless - Keller
  • EveryoneEveryone Member Posts: 1,661
    I put off finishing school because I had a kid on the way. Now after 8 years, a divorce, a 2nd wife, a 2nd child, and a 3rd child on the way, I'm still just 12 credits (4 classes) away from an Associates in Information Systems Technology.

    Every time I look into going back and finishing it up, something else comes up, and I end up not doing it.

    Do you have to pay for college out of your own pocket? If so, is going into debt (student loans) worth it while you're starting a new family?

    Why is the military service you were planning on out of the question? I'd suggest Air Force over Army/Navy. You and your child's medical expenses will be completely covered, you won't have to worry about housing, you'll make about the same, or a little more, than most entry level IT jobs. You'll get a lot of good experience, possibly a security clearance, and when you're ready to go back to school to finish your degree, it will be paid for. If you marry your girlfriend before the baby is born, her medical expenses will be taken care of too. Child birth is extremely expensive.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Mod Posts: 6,927 Mod
    +1 on Fort Hays State University. I have been working towards the degree Filkenjitsu mentioned and will graduate this December. You can take classes as you can accommodate them. In my case I worked slowly but steadily over a few years. I was able to transfer many credits from my previous college.
  • geeksquad09geeksquad09 Member Posts: 177
    Everyone wrote: »
    I put off finishing school because I had a kid on the way. Now after 8 years, a divorce, a 2nd wife, a 2nd child, and a 3rd child on the way, I'm still just 12 credits (4 classes) away from an Associates in Information Systems Technology.

    Every time I look into going back and finishing it up, something else comes up, and I end up not doing it.

    Do you have to pay for college out of your own pocket? If so, is going into debt (student loans) worth it while you're starting a new family?

    Why is the military service you were planning on out of the question? I'd suggest Air Force over Army/Navy. You and your child's medical expenses will be completely covered, you won't have to worry about housing, you'll make about the same, or a little more, than most entry level IT jobs. You'll get a lot of good experience, possibly a security clearance, and when you're ready to go back to school to finish your degree, it will be paid for. If you marry your girlfriend before the baby is born, her medical expenses will be taken care of too. Child birth is extremely expensive.

    We were just talking about the Army/Navy situation. Im going to talk to a recruiter. What benefits does a Security Clearance include.
    Currently Studying for Network+, Server+, and Security+

    The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before
  • EveryoneEveryone Member Posts: 1,661
    We were just talking about the Army/Navy situation. Im going to talk to a recruiter. What benefits does a Security Clearance include.

    I'm telling you, go talk to an Air Force recruiter.

    If you go Army, you will get deployed, a lot, for up to a year at a time. There's no maybe or might about it, it WILL happen, and it will happen frequently for extended periods of time. Even if you get into an IT related MOS, you are a soldier first.

    If you go Navy, you could end up on a ship, which could mean a lot of time at sea. You could also end up on land at a Naval base. Probably a better choice than Army, but 50/50.

    If you went Air Force, pick a 3D career field (for example, 3D0X2 for Systems Administration). You'll go to San Antonio TX for a few weeks (it was 6 when I enlisted, but I think it is a little longer now) for basic training, then Biloxi MS for a couple months for tech school. You'll finish tech school with your Security+ certification. Then you'll go on to your first assignment, which if you don't like the one you get, you have the possibility of trading with someone else in your graduating class. As a Comm troop, you won't deploy very much, if at all (unless you get assigned to a Combat Comm unit, then you'll deploy all the time, but there are very few of those). If you do deploy, chances are you'll be way in the back and nowhere near any actual combat.

    I deployed once my entire 4 years and 9 months in the Air Force enlisted career, and I volunteered for that deployment. It was a whole 90 days in Kuwait.

    What benefit does a Security Clearance have? Well it can help you find a job that pays very well when you get out of the Military, as a lot of government contracts require them. It's a very valuable thing to have. You can get jobs with companies like Lockheed, General Dynamics, Northrop, Raytheon, etc. pretty easily with one.
  • geeksquad09geeksquad09 Member Posts: 177
    Ok lets say i talk to an air force recruiter and me a my girlfriend get married sometime before the ship me off to Basic training, what results does that yield. would she be able to assist me or would they not let her be with me.
    Currently Studying for Network+, Server+, and Security+

    The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before
  • EveryoneEveryone Member Posts: 1,661
    Ok lets say i talk to an air force recruiter and me a my girlfriend get married sometime before the ship me off to Basic training, what results does that yield. would she be able to assist me or would they not let her be with me.

    No, she will not be with you during basic training no matter what branch you go with. You'll be in barracks with ~50 other guys for the duration. As soon as you move on to tech school, she can be with you there. Air Force used to be 6 weeks for basic... I think it may be 9 now. All other branches were something like 12 weeks.

    Air Force tech school, you'll live with her in an apartment type place, while the unmarried guys share a room with at least 1 other guy in big dorms on base. After tech school, you'll get the option of either a house on base at your first assignment, or a housing allowance to pay for rent/mortgage off base.

    I know in some Navy tech schools (not sure if this is true for all of them) you live on a "ship" (it's really a building) with ~50+ other guys, similar to basic training conditions. Not sure about Army tech schools, but they tend to keep the barracks theme going for all their training.
  • geeksquad09geeksquad09 Member Posts: 177
    Its something ill look into and talk to her we been talking about it, just really haven't took initiative to actually get up and do it.
    Currently Studying for Network+, Server+, and Security+

    The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before
  • contentproscontentpros Member Posts: 115 ■■■■□□□□□□
    If you can stick it out and finish college (it will take sacrifice) but it is worth it and nobody can take away your education. With as competitive as the job market can be these days sometimes a degree (regardless of certs etc.) may be the only thing that either gets an employer to look at your resume. Like others on this thread I am 34 and looking at trying to get back to school to finish my degree and with a wife, 2 year old, a career and a mortgage its no easy task.

    I would agree with other posters in the respect that if I were to enlist today it would likely be in the Air Force. They are working hard to build up their "cyber" capabilities and it is the closest thing to "stable" employment these days.

    HTH

    ~CP
  • geeksquad09geeksquad09 Member Posts: 177
    If you can stick it out and finish college (it will take sacrifice) but it is worth it and nobody can take away your education. With as competitive as the job market can be these days sometimes a degree (regardless of certs etc.) may be the only thing that either gets an employer to look at your resume. Like others on this thread I am 34 and looking at trying to get back to school to finish my degree and with a wife, 2 year old, a career and a mortgage its no easy task.

    I would agree with other posters in the respect that if I were to enlist today it would likely be in the Air Force. They are working hard to build up their "cyber" capabilities and it is the closest thing to "stable" employment these days.

    HTH

    ~CP
    Yes the air force was my other option. i will look into what they have to offer. I really wanted to pursue " Cryptography" in the Navy but ill see what the navy as to offer as far as I.T wise.
    Currently Studying for Network+, Server+, and Security+

    The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before
  • afcyungafcyung Member Posts: 212
    Everyone wrote: »
    No, she will not be with you during basic training no matter what branch you go with. You'll be in barracks with ~50 other guys for the duration. As soon as you move on to tech school, she can be with you there. Air Force used to be 6 weeks for basic... I think it may be 9 now. All other branches were something like 12 weeks.

    Air Force tech school, you'll live with her in an apartment type place, while the unmarried guys share a room with at least 1 other guy in big dorms on base. After tech school, you'll get the option of either a house on base at your first assignment, or a housing allowance to pay for rent/mortgage off base.

    If his tech school is less then 6 or 12 months cant remember which its a tdy on route to his first duty location and his wife will not be allowed to come live with him.
  • EveryoneEveryone Member Posts: 1,661
    afcyung wrote: »
    If his tech school is less then 6 or 12 months cant remember which its a tdy on route to his first duty location and his wife will not be allowed to come live with him.

    Did they change that? It's been over 9 years since I went through it. The 3C0X1 tech school was only 12 weeks, not sure how long the 3D tech schools are now. I know there were guys in my class that had there wives with them through tech school.
  • EveryoneEveryone Member Posts: 1,661
    Yes the air force was my other option. i will look into what they have to offer. I really wanted to pursue " Cryptography" in the Navy but ill see what the navy as to offer as far as I.T wise.

    If you want a career in IT, Cryptography won't help you. I had a guy that worked for me when I was still in the Air Force who was prior Navy. He was in Cryptography for his 4 year Navy enlistement, got out of the Navy did something else for a year or 2, then went into the Air Force. Nice guy, but he didn't know much about IT at all.
  • geeksquad09geeksquad09 Member Posts: 177
    Well after a hour long talk and brief consideration. My GF decides to stay behind and raise the baby as i decide to purse the Air Force/ Navy...(Havent made my mind yet). I plan on taking my ASVAB test after the baby is born and go from their. I plan on enlisting for 6 years in the Navy in the (Cryptography) program or in the Air force for their (Computer Science)
    Currently Studying for Network+, Server+, and Security+

    The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before
  • EveryoneEveryone Member Posts: 1,661
    Well after a hour long talk and brief consideration. My GF decides to stay behind and raise the baby as i decide to purse the Air Force/ Navy...(Havent made my mind yet). I plan on taking my ASVAB test after the baby is born and go from their. I plan on enlisting for 6 years in the Navy in the (Cryptography) program or in the Air force for their (Computer Science)

    You'll probably have more time to take the ASVAB BEFORE the baby is born, why wait until after? Your ASVAB scores are good for a few years IIRC. You can take the ASVAB without making any commitments.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Everyone wrote: »
    I'm telling you, go talk to an Air Force recruiter.

    If you go Army, you will get deployed, a lot, for up to a year at a time. There's no maybe or might about it, it WILL happen, and it will happen frequently for extended periods of time. Even if you get into an IT related MOS, you are a soldier first.

    If you go Navy, you could end up on a ship, which could mean a lot of time at sea. You could also end up on land at a Naval base. Probably a better choice than Army, but 50/50.

    If you went Air Force, pick a 3D career field (for example, 3D0X2 for Systems Administration). You'll go to San Antonio TX for a few weeks (it was 6 when I enlisted, but I think it is a little longer now) for basic training, then Biloxi MS for a couple months for tech school. You'll finish tech school with your Security+ certification. Then you'll go on to your first assignment, which if you don't like the one you get, you have the possibility of trading with someone else in your graduating class. As a Comm troop, you won't deploy very much, if at all (unless you get assigned to a Combat Comm unit, then you'll deploy all the time, but there are very few of those). If you do deploy, chances are you'll be way in the back and nowhere near any actual combat.

    I deployed once my entire 4 years and 9 months in the Air Force enlisted career, and I volunteered for that deployment. It was a whole 90 days in Kuwait.

    What benefit does a Security Clearance have? Well it can help you find a job that pays very well when you get out of the Military, as a lot of government contracts require them. It's a very valuable thing to have. You can get jobs with companies like Lockheed, General Dynamics, Northrop, Raytheon, etc. pretty easily with one.

    Good point. It's not just tax dollars the industrial-military complex consumes, it's also people. With over 700 bases across 35 countries overseas I think is highly likely you will be deployed if you go the Army route.
  • geeksquad09geeksquad09 Member Posts: 177
    Everyone wrote: »
    You'll probably have more time to take the ASVAB BEFORE the baby is born, why wait until after? Your ASVAB scores are good for a few years IIRC. You can take the ASVAB without making any commitments.

    Ok im going to see my local recruiter this week and see where things go.
    Currently Studying for Network+, Server+, and Security+

    The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before
  • afcyungafcyung Member Posts: 212
    Cryptology in the military deals with linguistics. They send you to the Defense Language Institute in Monterrey CA and they teach you a language. Usually Arabic, Chinese and the like. It has nothing to do with computers.
  • geeksquad09geeksquad09 Member Posts: 177
    afcyung wrote: »
    Cryptology in the military deals with linguistics. They send you to the Defense Language Institute in Monterrey CA and they teach you a language. Usually Arabic, Chinese and the like. It has nothing to do with computers.

    Thanks for clearing that up lol,
    Currently Studying for Network+, Server+, and Security+

    The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before
  • instant000instant000 Member Posts: 1,745
    Just to be clear, I was in the Army, and I had the pleasure of interacting with Marines, Navy, and Air Force throughout my career.

    The Air Force might be slower to bring you in, or whatever, but it is definitely the one you want to get into. You will be with your family more, and, like the others mentioned, you basically have to volunteer for deployments, as they are so rare (usually). Also, one more point to make. I was at my Advanced Individual Training, at Fort Gordon, GA. There were also some Air Force people who came there for some training. The Air Force people got a little extra $$ kicker, as our living conditions were below their "standard." That alone told me that I had joined the wrong force. :D

    Ignore the other recruiters, and go Air Force. They will find a slot for you eventually, and go from there.

    If you want to prepare in the meantime, you should work on your physical training.

    I never actually "prepared" for the ASVAB, if you're worried about it. I scored pretty high on it in high school the first time I took it, but the test result expired. I had to go back and take it again when I decided to drop out of college, and I did OK. AFQT-99 and GT-129, for what's that's worth. I thought it was pointless, but the ID-TEN-T's in the Army would go around and denounce people, based on their GT scores alone, so frivolous and stupid, LOL.

    Seriously, you'd see guys thinking they're cool, ten or twelve years into their career, because they scored highly on an entry-level test that tested basic math and reading comprehension skills. Cool, you can add, subtract, and read, want a cookie bro? LOL.

    Also, I'm currently working with Air Force personnel, and they do Active Directory, Messaging, Storage, Networking, Vulnerability Assessments, etc. Except for the fact that they wear uniforms and do physical training in the morning, you'd think they were civilians. (I know it's weird to classify people, as servicemembers vs. civilians .... but it comes with the territory.)
    Currently Working: CCIE R&S
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  • geeksquad09geeksquad09 Member Posts: 177
    instant000 wrote: »
    Just to be clear, I was in the Army, and I had the pleasure of interacting with Marines, Navy, and Air Force throughout my career.

    The Air Force might be slower to bring you in, or whatever, but it is definitely the one you want to get into. You will be with your family more, and, like the others mentioned, you basically have to volunteer for deployments, as they are so rare (usually). Also, one more point to make. I was at my Advanced Individual Training, at Fort Gordon, GA. There were also some Air Force people who came there for some training. The Air Force people got a little extra $$ kicker, as our living conditions were below their "standard." That alone told me that I had joined the wrong force. :D

    Ignore the other recruiters, and go Air Force. They will find a slot for you eventually, and go from there.

    If you want to prepare in the meantime, you should work on your physical training.

    I never actually "prepared" for the ASVAB, if you're worried about it. I scored pretty high on it in high school the first time I took it, but the test result expired. I had to go back and take it again when I decided to drop out of college, and I did OK. AFQT-99 and GT-129, for what's that's worth. I thought it was pointless, but the ID-TEN-T's in the Army would go around and denounce people, based on their GT scores alone, so frivolous and stupid, LOL.

    Seriously, you'd see guys thinking they're cool, ten or twelve years into their career, because they scored highly on an entry-level test that tested basic math and reading comprehension skills. Cool, you can add, subtract, and read, want a cookie bro? LOL.

    Also, I'm currently working with Air Force personnel, and they do Active Directory, Messaging, Storage, Networking, Vulnerability Assessments, etc. Except for the fact that they wear uniforms and do physical training in the morning, you'd think they were civilians. (I know it's weird to classify people, as servicemembers vs. civilians .... but it comes with the territory.)

    Ive never took interest in the Airforce but after reading these recent posts from you guys i might have to check into it. The other day i was talking to a Army/Navy recruiter about entering in and what not just trying to get he jist of things and whatnot, He throws at me that if i pursued I.T and did a few years in the Army/Navy i could obtain a secuirty clearance based on what i pick i could Land some contract jobs that pay 120k or more a year. I was like "Dude Lay of the bong"
    Currently Studying for Network+, Server+, and Security+

    The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before
  • afcyungafcyung Member Posts: 212
    It's not unheard of to make that kind of money as a contractor but it usually involves deploying to the desert for a year.
  • geeksquad09geeksquad09 Member Posts: 177
    afcyung wrote: »
    It's not unheard of to make that kind of money as a contractor but it usually involves deploying to the desert for a year.

    Upon becoming a contractor and obtaining a security clearance to obtain a position like that requires at least 6-7 years experience in the Service correct. Id love to go in pursue the I.T field and become a contractor with those benefits..(Who Wouldn't). you guys make it seem so easy lol
    Currently Studying for Network+, Server+, and Security+

    The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Upon becoming a contractor and obtaining a security clearance to obtain a position like that requires at least 6-7 years experience in the Service correct. Id love to go in pursue the I.T field and become a contractor with those benefits..(Who Wouldn't). you guys make it seem so easy lol

    I think those benefits and the money will likely diminish for most IT contractors in the years ahead so get the experience asap if it's what you want to do.
  • EveryoneEveryone Member Posts: 1,661
    afcyung wrote: »
    It's not unheard of to make that kind of money as a contractor but it usually involves deploying to the desert for a year.

    Or living in DC, where that amount doesn't go near as far.

    I was offered $95k/yr to work in DC back when I was fresh out of the Air Force and only had about 5 years experience and my TS/SCI clearance. I turned it down because I didn't really want to live in the DC area. I think I could easily pull in $120k+/yr now if I was willing to move to DC for a TS job, but that's because I'd be looking at Senior/Lead or Manager level work.
  • geeksquad09geeksquad09 Member Posts: 177
    There are a few Sr position jobs in my area that are offering 80k or more but are asking 7-8 yrs experience with a bachelors degree or a masters with multiple certs
    Currently Studying for Network+, Server+, and Security+

    The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before
  • EveryoneEveryone Member Posts: 1,661
    There are a few Sr position jobs in my area that are offering 80k or more but are asking 7-8 yrs experience with a bachelors degree or a masters with multiple certs

    Sounds about right. Although with the right skills and experience, you can get around the degree and cert "requirements". icon_cool.gif
  • geeksquad09geeksquad09 Member Posts: 177
    Everyone wrote: »
    Sounds about right. Although with the right skills and experience, you can get around the degree and cert "requirements". icon_cool.gif[/QUOTE
    I look at that and the cost of living. I was reading in another thread that if your making somewhere shy of 80k after they deduct all taxes and what not your actually making high 50's low 60's a year. Location is everything
    Currently Studying for Network+, Server+, and Security+

    The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before
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