A Confused 32yr Old

j_is_my_namej_is_my_name Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello Good People,


I'm a 32yr old and im at a cross roads in my life where i think i need to go into IT, ive always been interested computers etc. since i first got my own pc at the age of 15. I completed a Comptia A+ course a couple of years ago and the tutor on the course briefly touched on a few other subjects like networking and server 2003 and this opened up my interest further and got me thinking if i could do it on a full time basis and get paid for something that interests me instead of doing the same crap day in day out for just a wage. anyway... i have access to 3 different course materials including books and video's which i can do from home, and i just want all of your honest opinions on what to do first and maybe a rough estimate of how long on average i will get through them, i should be able to start in 2 weeks time. the first one is CCNA ICND1+2 the second is MCITP 70-640/642&646 server admin and the third Oracles OCA 1Z0-051&052 i've recently been flicking through the Sams Teach Yourself SQL in 10 Minutes book and find this pretty interesting , now i was thinking, and ill probably answer my own question here is that these are three completely different technologies and one wouldnt go with the other?? this is were my confusion is. could i go through these and maybe get some kind of employment at the end of them or i have no chance with these 3 courses or .. do any of you have any recommendations of what path to take.


Thanks for reading,


Jason

Comments

  • JustFredJustFred Member Posts: 678 ■■■□□□□□□□
    It's a long road but definitely doable.

    First of all, where do you want to go, Network or OS (windows, Linux) side of things? Knowing how the Client side of things work could be an advantage when you get into networking, same goes for knowing how the network side works could also be an advantage in working in a windows environment.

    You can perhaps get both the CCNA and the MS certs then decide where you interest and passion lies. I think that's what you really need to get into just to avoid being miserable down the road :)
    [h=2]"After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true." Spock[/h]
  • j_is_my_namej_is_my_name Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    hello FredWatanbe,

    Thanks for the reply, im really not sure where i want to go as it is all new and i have no experience in any of it, i think i would like to get into the OS side and have some knowledge on the networking side of things. ive noticed a lot of job postings asking for linux experience so i wonder if its worth throwing the Comptia Linux+ into the mix (it will be a long road then) and im glad you said its doable. hmm i think i might start with the 70-640 and go from there, what do u think? sever 2008 then oracle then ccna and somewhere in between a Linux+?, is the oracle worth doing?

    thanks again
  • Complete_IT_ProfessionalComplete_IT_Professional Member Posts: 53 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Well done on making a decision to change careers!
    I notice you've chosen three different certifications - the CCNA, the MCITP and the OCA. They are all in different fields of IT - CCNA is networking, the MCITP you've chosen (there are many of them) is server administration, and OCA is database.

    Do you know which of these areas you'd like to get in to? That would help in choosing one to go for. Of the three, I believe the MCITP would take the most work (I may be wrong though). It does, however, give you an MCTS certification for passing the 70-640 exam.

    You could look at getting all three of them, and deciding which area you'd like to move in to. I'm not sure about timeframes for each of them, but they are popular certifications so they are doable.
    I run CompleteITProfessional.com - a website dedicated to helping IT professionals improve their careers.
  • JustFredJustFred Member Posts: 678 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Hi Jason,

    I personally think starting with Windows is good, they are everywhere and easily accessible. once you know the ins and outs of it, you never forget it, it's like driving a car, once you know how it works, you can drive any car. Linux i will definitely look into, there aren't that many Linux gurus out there and knowing the basics and perhaps getting a proper certification for RedHat could land you an awesome job. If you have the books, read a few chapters and see which one you would like to get out of the way first. Also don't wait until you are certified before applying for jobs or internships, do whatever you can to get into a company so you can utilize what you learn in the books and gain experience for future endeavors.

    Also don't forget this place is an awesome place to be with lots of kind folks to help you along the way and answers all your questions and help in any way they can. I know it has helped me a lot.

    Fred
    [h=2]"After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true." Spock[/h]
  • j_is_my_namej_is_my_name Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    thanks Complete_IT_Professional. Here is my thinking: i was looking at MCITP (server admin) as i thought that if i had a little knowledge in servers it would gave me the backbone of learning databases *am i right in thinking databases run on/through servers? and if i also done a CCNA that would give me an overall view of how and why things go through the network
  • j_is_my_namej_is_my_name Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks Fred,

    ive posted the same question in another forum and im getting the impression they think im onto the impossible. if i go at my own pace and give myself 4-6 months per exam i think i might get through these. hmm doubts are coming to mind now

    thanks again
  • JustFredJustFred Member Posts: 678 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Actually Jason,

    I think 4-6 months is reasonable, try not to rush, everything takes time, hard work and effort, If you have family, sit down with them and discuss how you plan to study and try to balance things out. In the end everything will work out, above all do it with passion and have fun doing it.
    [h=2]"After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true." Spock[/h]
  • j_is_my_namej_is_my_name Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Actually Jason,

    I think 4-6 months is reasonable, try not to rush, everything takes time, hard work and effort, If you have family, sit down with them and discuss how you plan to study and try to balance things out. In the end everything will work out, above all do it with passion and have fun doing it.

    im actually thinking maybe if i start on the entry level route now, because if i do all of this and get nothing at the end of it from having no experience it would be a big waste of time and effort, then again lolicon_lol.gif im thinking also if i set up a virtual lab and use the above products day in day out obsessively that would gain me experience.

    oh i dont know...
  • PsoasmanPsoasman Senior Member Member Posts: 2,687 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Welcome to the forum. I started in IT, when I was 32, as well.

    I would start off with the Network+ That will give you some exposure to Networking and troubleshooting. If you like that, then working on the CCNA would be a good next move. You've got the A+, so you've learned about OS's, troubleshooting, background, etc. Between those 2 certs, you should have a good idea of where your interests are.

    Most companies aren't going to hire someone with no IT experience to work on their servers, especially database servers. However, they will hire someone with basic certs to work Help Desk or Desktop support. Being new to IT, you are going to need to build a foundation of knowledge.
  • Patel128Patel128 Member Posts: 339
    Do you think that he should go straight to CCENT instead of Net+? (I ask this for him and because I am thinking of going straight to CCENT and skipping Net+.) I was under the impression that if a person is going to CCENT that it covers basically all of Net+ and more.
    Studying For:
    B.S. in Computer Science at University of Memphis
    Network+
    Currently Reading:
    CompTIA Network+ Study Guide - Lammle
  • j_is_my_namej_is_my_name Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    im just thinking(again) that i might want to get into networking, i have a City and Guilds Copper and Fibre-Optic installation certificate coming in January-February time so maybe i might just carry this path on, so here is what im thinking now: CCNA ICND1&2 , Comptia Linux+ and maybe a Microsoft MCTS exam (win7 config) to start with. that might give me a little bit of a platform to go off. i dont know!! what you guys think?

    my thinking has changed about 4-5 times in 4 hours. icon_study.gif
  • RoguetadhgRoguetadhg Member Posts: 2,472
    If you want to go into cisco. I'd recommend going CCENT, first. Then go for the ICND2 afterwards. I'd actually say get your Network+ before any Cisco exams. Hear me out: You'll get basic knowledge, and it'll give you time to have the knowledge sink in. It's got the benefit of being vendorless, as Juniper also has a decent market share.

    Linux+ is a basic Linux knowledge exam, I would like it just so I can show I have the ability to use linux. I don't know the scope of the RedHat certs, but that seems to be recommeneded over L+

    Im not sure how relevant Windows 7 information will be as we're at the cusp of Windows 8 release. But I'm sure as XP is on fringe of no-support, companies will be forced into Windows 7 and won't move onto Windows 8. That's just my guess.
    In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
    Pictures:
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    TE Threads: How to study for the CCENT/CCNA, Introduction to Cisco Exams

  • pertpert Member Posts: 250
    Psoasman wrote: »
    Welcome to the forum. I started in IT, when I was 32, as well.

    I would start off with the Network+ That will give you some exposure to Networking and troubleshooting. If you like that, then working on the CCNA would be a good next move. You've got the A+, so you've learned about OS's, troubleshooting, background, etc. Between those 2 certs, you should have a good idea of where your interests are.

    Most companies aren't going to hire someone with no IT experience to work on their servers, especially database servers. However, they will hire someone with basic certs to work Help Desk or Desktop support. Being new to IT, you are going to need to build a foundation of knowledge.

    I think this is wrong man. With no experience or degree you need to start with Microsoft and OS just to get into the Helpdesk. Anything networking is years away. He should get some Win/Linux/Whatever the HD specializes in, start with that, then move on to more specialty. Also, as a holder of Network+ I would say not only did I learn very little, but its meant next to nothing career wise.
  • it_consultantit_consultant Member Posts: 1,903
    Do they no longer do the CCNA composite exam? If they do, take that one. Read Network+ book but don't waste your money on a test for it. Network+ explains some things better than the CCNA material plus it has useful things like mapping printers, SMB shares, etc, which is useful for network admins.

    I would be remiss if I didn't mention some other avenues. Look at Brocade's BCNE and layer 4-7 courses if you are hell bent against Cisco. I will be going for these certs shortly. You would be surprised at the amount of Foundy/Brocade gear there is out there. Look at storage (FC, FCOE, FCIP) certs as well through Brocade. Check out the Juniper networking track as well.
  • AldurAldur Juniper Moderator Member Posts: 1,460
    pert wrote: »
    I think this is wrong man. With no experience or degree you need to start with Microsoft and OS just to get into the Helpdesk. Anything networking is years away. He should get some Win/Linux/Whatever the HD specializes in, start with that, then move on to more specialty. Also, as a holder of Network+ I would say not only did I learn very little, but its meant next to nothing career wise.

    I would have to disagree with you here.

    Granted this was back in 2007 for me, and times are different now, but I got into networking with no experience and no degree.

    I has just started a CS degree program at school but I hadn't taken any networking related courses. Through some serious self study and a little help from friends I was able to get a job at the local Juniper TAC on the SSL VPN team. From there I was able to move to the routing/networking team in about 4 months, and about 11 months later I picked up my first JNCIE cert.

    I don't mean to say that I didn't work my butt off, every waking free moment studying, every moment learning. And looking back I can't believe I was able to dedicate that type of time. But it is possible, if you have the discipline and motivation.
    "Bribe is such an ugly word. I prefer extortion. The X makes it sound cool."

    -Bender
  • buzzkillbuzzkill Member Posts: 95 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Aldur wrote: »
    a little help from friends

    Yeah well from the sounds of it the OP doesn't have his buddy as the hiring manager for any networking gigs so that's probably not much use.
  • AldurAldur Juniper Moderator Member Posts: 1,460
    @buzzkill

    I guess I should have been more clear when I talked about a "little help from friends"... What I was referring to there is that I had friends who guided me and helped me study, I, at no time of any point in my career, had any friend as a hiring manager before I got a job.
    "Bribe is such an ugly word. I prefer extortion. The X makes it sound cool."

    -Bender
  • PsoasmanPsoasman Senior Member Member Posts: 2,687 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Aldur wrote: »
    I would have to disagree with you here.

    Granted this was back in 2007 for me, and times are different now, but I got into networking with no experience and no degree.

    Same for me. I changed careers from healthcare to IT. I started with the A+ and moved to Network+ and so on. The Network+ is an entry-level cert, but it gives you some foundational knowledge that is helpful for entry-level positions. My first IT position was at a telecom, so having the Network+ under my belt helped me much more than the XP cert did.
  • antielvisantielvis Member Posts: 285 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Jason:

    I was almost 31 when I started in IT. I had been working in a job that paid well and I hated it and, like you, I loved computers. I couldn't wait to get home and be on the computer.

    As for what path to take, well you decide between networking & server/desktop. If you decide on desktop, I'd recommend you take A+, N+ and Windows 7 stuff (MCITP). You should be able to do all 4 exams in a year or so. By streaming into desktop, you'll make it easier to find your first job. It's easier to get a help desk gig than a junior network administrator gig. In my experience, many of the network admin's I work with started in helpdesk/desktop, then later did their CCNA.
  • yoshiiakiyoshiiaki Member Posts: 48 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Well I may not be the most qualified person here, but I would suggest getting started with A+ cert if OP doesn't already have it. I understand he stated he took a course but never specified if he got the actual cert. I know people say that it's essentially a waste of time due to ROI, but I got my A+ knowing it would probably be the easiest cert I'll ever get, but it was a confident breakthrough into the field. I knew I wasn't just someone who enjoyed computers a lot, but someone who could actually do this as a career. Then the trick is to find what you truly love to do. There is a million different fields of IT and you just have to find what you really love. I would suggest studying, but don't need to get a cert, Net+, Sec+, and L+ to get a broad range of aspects. All beginner certs that will quickly be overshadowed but at least it will help you find a field you love. However, I would also recommend learning other things ie; even if you become a windows server administrator, it won't hurt you to learn some basic linux as the companies I've dealt with all had at least one linux machine. Also, and most importantly get a job in the field. Start with a help desk and work your way up. if you can find a small company they may be more willing to allow you to "play" with their servers after working their for a year or so. Don't be afraid to take a job "beneath" you, as unless you know someone , I would say most if not all IT started at help desk at some point. Always keep learning, as soon as a you get a cert keep moving on, learn on the job learn off the job. I would say fred had some good advice, if you have family make sure they know what you are going to do before you do it. I have seen some spouses that say they are fine with it, but they don't realize the time investment that you will need. That frankly may be your biggest obstacle, a spouse that only makes things harder. Then you end up spending your time not studying to satisfy their wants and fall behind and slippery slope from there. Get family on your side, because then even if you want to give up, they will lift you and keep you motivated.
    2013 Goals: [x] Sec+ [x] CCNA []Proj+ []OSCP
    2013 Stretch Goals: [] CCNA-Sec []Land Sec job
  • JayTheCrackerJayTheCracker Member Posts: 169
    yoshiiaki wrote: »
    I would suggest getting started with A+ cert if OP doesn't already have it.
    +1

    DBA is also a good route. cos, their technology is stable... i don't know about database certificates though & whether companies look for just skills or certs in database field.

    what about virtualization? which is quite hot right now, and u can catch up fast too.. after A+, then Network+/icnd1, then study for Microsoft exam 70-642 & VCP5 :)
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