Help in Starting an IT career

biggishbiggish Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi all,
I am changing career, to an IT career. I am in my forties, which may be quite old, for such a move, but I am determined to do it. I have been building and fixing computers for friends and family for over 8 years now, so I decided to make a living out of it, after losing my job.
I just passed the A+ and I am now studying for the N+ exam. Can I have suggestions as to what I can do after, and how to get a job in the industry, as I keep getting knock backs at every turn.

I live in the UK.
Thanks.

Comments

  • CiscodianCiscodian Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hello

    I'm from the UK too!
    Changing careers is one of the hardest things especially as the UK is sufferring it's highest unemployment for about 30 years. I think alot of people from other countries don't realise how tough it is over here. Things are significantly easier over in the USA as i discovered recently.

    My advice is to definately do the Net+ and then consider whether you want to focus on Microsoft or proper networking. I think the Microsoft path would open doors to you quicker simply because a lot of networking jobs in the UK require some experience. If you did an MCTS in Win 7 that would certainly help you in getting a job on say 1st line or even a repair PC company.

    I reckon if u volunteer as well that would be cool (like 1 or 2 days per week if you can spare it) get some experience that way too and you never know if they are really happy with you they may decide to pay you for it full time.

    Good luck!
  • halaakajanhalaakajan Member Posts: 167
    Learn everything you can possibly, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 or 2012, (2008 will still be used for some time until 2015 prolly) Cisco Networking, ITIL terms etc.

    Your current aim is to gather knowledge - not to take certifications - i am not saying not to take but it depends on your priority.

    Fix your resume, cover letter and spread your resume.
  • IvanjamIvanjam Member Posts: 978 ■■■■□□□□□□
    biggish wrote: »
    I am changing career, to an IT career. I am in my forties, which may be quite old, for such a move...

    I too am in my forties and changing careers to IT. Although I still haven't found my first job in the industry, I have enrolled in an online college for a BS-IT while pursuing certifications. Have you looked at the Open University?

    Q62 - BSc (Honours) Computing and IT - Open University Qualification
    Fall 2014: Start MA in Mathematics [X]
    Fall 2016: Start PhD in Mathematics [X]
  • CiscodianCiscodian Member Posts: 21 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Ivanjam wrote: »
    I too am in my forties and changing careers to IT. Although I still haven't found my first in the industry, I have enrolled in an online college for a BS-IT while pursuing certifications. Have you looked at the Open University?

    Q62 - BSc (Honours) Computing and IT - Open University Qualification

    to be honest when you're looking at jobs like IT Support or PC Technician in the UK, they don't ask for degrees. Some of my friends do programming type jobs, sharepoint etc and degrees are more important here. I have a friend who has a degree in Computing yet she doesn't know the difference between OSI and TCP/IP models so really i think these degrees are aimed at a different market of IT crowd. You are better served with a trio of CompTIA certs and something else like MS or Cisco. Assuming it is PC Technician or 1st/2nd Line support you want in on
  • biggishbiggish Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks guys. I am working on my resume, and its really not easy to find a job. I have been looking to volunteer if I can find one, but nothing has come up so far. If anyone has any suggestions as to how I can volunteer, please let me know. I currently live in Kent, but I can commute to London. I intend doing the Network+ exams in 2 weeks, fingers crossed.
  • DarrilDarril Member Posts: 1,588
    Welcome to the forums.

    After the Network+, I'd recommend pursuing the Security+ to round out your knowledge. This trio (A+, Network+, and Security+) gives you a taste of several different avenues and shows you have a broad amount of knowledge to hiring managers. Make sure you study the information to know and understand it because the certs might help you land an interview, but if you can't answer questions in the interview you won't get the job.

    I'd also recommend looking at postings for technology jobs and see what they're looking for.

    Good luck.
  • Complete_IT_ProfessionalComplete_IT_Professional Member Posts: 53 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Darril wrote: »
    This trio (A+, Network+, and Security+) gives you a taste of several different avenues and shows you have a broad amount of knowledge to hiring managers.

    Good point Darril, these three certifications are a good way to start.
    If you're interested in more certifications at this stage, you could look into the CCNA certification, or even some of the MCTS certifications if you want to get into development or system administration.

    Regarding getting a job - I think you should try to play to your strengths. In your forties you would have a lot more life experience than graduate-level employees. I assume you would have better interpersonal skills and experience in different areas of the workforce. This can be beneficial to employers - if you point it out to them!

    Good luck!
    I run CompleteITProfessional.com - a website dedicated to helping IT professionals improve their careers.
  • RoyalTechRoyalTech Member Posts: 94 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I followed Darril's path with the CompTIA certs and am now building a test lab so that I can get comfortable with the different OSes and apps that I will likely work with or at least need to know something about come interview time. Looking at the test lab guides that Microsoft offers, I would strongly suggest setting one up so that you can work through some of the concepts that you will be learning if you continue your path with the certifications.

    One thing I realized pretty quickly with the certifications is that concepts are great but they don't help you much when it's time to get to work.
  • Michael2Michael2 Member Posts: 305
    You already have your A+ cert, that's a good start. I guess everyone needs that one because it certifies you to work on hardware, which I'm more than sure you would have to do even as an admin. I'm not quite sure why you need the others, though. I've got the Security+, which means I understand encryption principles but I really don't think I could get a job securing networks. I guess you just need to build your cert library with some software- and system-specific certs like Microsoft or Windows, or even Cisco, etc.
  • ADandridgeADandridge Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Experience I have determined looks great on a resume. I didn't do anything with IT before I joined the Marine Corps. They made me an IT guy. From there I went to different courses, but not really civilianized courses, more for the gear we operated with. I got out in 2010, and it's been easy getting a job in the IT field just because I have the experience. Not too much pay though because I don't have the paperwork that says I can do it. I figure I have been lucky so far though because of that experience from the service.
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