Which IT Certification for someone looking a career change @48 ?

dvditdvdit Member Posts: 25 ■□□□□□□□□□
I am 48 yrs old male with a collage degree in Economics who had his own small business for the last 20 years. Due to economic hardship my business is no longer profitable and I had to fold. I am now looking to enter the IT field and I was wondering if you could recommend a certification path that would lead to a steady good paying job ? Where do I start ? Which IT Certification should I peruse first ? I don't have a lot of experience in the IT field except as end user for the last 15 years. Thanks.[h=1][/h]
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Comments

  • halaakajanhalaakajan Member Posts: 167
    Get CISSP/CISA then work as a consultant. focus on managerial/security certifications as you have a degree in Economics. Attend local summits and conference. Join IT groups and user groups you'll gain knowledge.
  • ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I agree on the general direction halaakajan has indicated -- you need to leverage your knowledge and experience of business and economics. We could tell you to get your A+ and learn about PC hardware, but that seems foolish for several reasons. IMO, you want to learn more high-level knowledge and focus on management. I don't know that you need to focus on security, but security management is certainly a valid area of management, so it's an option.

    You could try to start at the bottom in a more technical role, but I think you'll be disappointed, and I actually think your experience will play to your disadvantage.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • thegoodbyethegoodbye Member Posts: 94 ■■□□□□□□□□
    In your situation I'd actually recommend going for the PMP, assuming you could use your existing experience as a pre-req. You don't have the experience requirement to become a CISSP/CISM for 4+ years. A CISSP with no IT experience is like trying to build a house without a foundation.

    Your other choice is to start entry level and work your way up.
  • CISPhDCISPhD Member Posts: 114
    First of all dvdit, welcome to the forums. You're taking a promising step into a stable field with a lot of room to grow.
    halaakajan wrote: »
    Get CISSP/CISA then work as a consultant. focus on managerial/security certifications as you have a degree in Economics. Attend local summits and conference. Join IT groups and user groups you'll gain knowledge.

    Suggesting CISSP or CISA right out of the gate may not be the best path. Both of these certifications require years of experience to qualify for. Not to say that you cant study for a few months and pass the exam, but the governing body actually wont let you become certified until you have met their experience requirements.

    I would say the best place to start would be some entry level certifications. Items such as the CompTIA suite are a good place to start. After achieving these, you can likely land an entry level IT/Helpdesk role where you will be exposed to a myriad of technologies. From that exposure, you can find your passion (following some in depth field research) and pursue more specialized certifications from there.

    Please feel free to PM me with for additional input should you wish to lend an ear.
  • GarudaMinGarudaMin Member Posts: 204
    I think sales engineer might be more close to you? Degree in economic plus experience in operating small business, so you know how to talk/relate to others and how business function. I am not sure how sales engineer hiring work, as in would they train you in the product or whether you need to have high level knowledge of the product.
    Or supervisor/management position since they don't necessarily require tech skills. You have management skill from your background already.
    I don't know if you want to start from call centers or helpdesk position but if that's what you do, I would say A+, Network+, Security+, Linux+ to have basic background. Then follow up with MCITP/Redhat/CCNA that will help with transition to next level.
  • sieffsieff Member Posts: 276
    PMP, CCNA would be good combo. Sales or Account Manager could also be a good role.
    "The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept were toiling upward in the night." from the poem: The Ladder of St. Augustine, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  • dvditdvdit Member Posts: 25 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you all for input. I don't mind taking small steps. Since I need to get some kind of employment right now, I may have to take entry level IT job, if I am offered one that is to get my foot in. I see some desktop support associate openings in my area but I have no idea what the pay is. My wife has a good paying job so I can afford to take a hit from the 6 figure salary I used to make for some time. I can get a job in my field but I really want a career in IT going forward. 48 is not the ideal time for a career change but it is what it is. Any recommended on-line resources that I can check out for further detail ? Specifically, one that would describe each certification, how long it would take to get the certification, level of difficulty and what kind of job and salary to expect and so forth. I appreciate you much, thanks again.
  • dvditdvdit Member Posts: 25 ■□□□□□□□□□
    ptilsen wrote: »
    [clipped unnecessary quote]

    You could try to start at the bottom in a more technical role, but I think you'll be disappointed, and I actually think your experience will play to your disadvantage.

    That is what worries me about taking entry level job. when you say "high-level knowledge and focus on management", which certifications are you taking about ?
  • ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Interestingly enough, this very site is the only one with which I'm familiar that has the answers to those questions.

    The amount of time and difficult are highly subjective. Salary is even more highly subjective. What you will want to understand right of the bat is that virtually no certification guarantees you a job or a specific salary. In fact, you really should not expect any specific salary based on getting certifications. They are factors that help you get interviews and jobs, but they don't define your salary. While some certifications are all but guaranteed to come with fairly high salaries, not many are, and certainly non of the entry-level certifications.

    If you really want specific details, I would actually recommend the Wikipedia page for each cert. Most of the popular ones have decent articles.

    For entry-level technical work, CompTIA A+ is basically the the standard starting point. It is about basic PC hardware, software, and troubleshooting. It generally is enough to qualify you for most entry-level work. Net+, which goes into basic networking standards, protocols, troubleshooting, and theory, can also compliment A+ very nicely for entry-level positions as well.

    From there, it will really depend on what you want to do. There are a lot of different areas of IT. Some of the most common choices for the broadest areas are CCNA, MCSA 2008, RHCSA, and Security+. There are literally two or three dozen popular IT certifications that can work towards different fields, and probably over 100 worth considering. That's really a lot to go into. I would recommend you look into A+ and Net+ to start. As you do that, you will start to learn more about other areas, and might find something that really interests you. A+ alone can be enough to get you a foot in the door.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • antielvisantielvis Member Posts: 285 ■■■□□□□□□□
    sieff wrote: »
    PMP, CCNA would be good combo. Sales or Account Manager could also be a good role.

    I agree with this point
  • dvditdvdit Member Posts: 25 ■□□□□□□□□□
    [removed unnecessary quote]

    @CISPhD: Thank you, very kind of you. I may shoot you a PM with a question or two.
  • ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    dvdit wrote: »
    That is what worries me about taking entry level job. when you say "high-level knowledge and focus on management", which certifications are you taking about ?
    PMP, PMI-RMP, CISM, and CISSP are all examples of certifications that can help you greatly in managing IT. But that advised is based on you leveraging your existing experience to get a position in IT management. If you truly want a technical position, then this advice does not apply.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • dvditdvdit Member Posts: 25 ■□□□□□□□□□
    @ptilsen: It seems I have a lot of reading to do. You have provided me with good pointers that should get me started. You guys are awesome!!!

    Which companies offer comprehensive on-line courses for say for A+, net+ , security + ?
  • KronesKrones Member Posts: 164
    I would self-study and purchase the Mike Meyers for the A+ and Nework+ or the Exam Cram books because it will be much cheaper. Also, check out the forums here and posts for additional suggestions - there is a wealth of information. You can also watch a bunch of free videos from Professor Messer and combine the two. You should not have to invest more than 50 dollars in study materials for each certification and pass with flying colors. If you prefer a course to help prepare you for the A+ and Security + I think Tesout is decent option and WGU utilizes some of their modules as part of their course curriculum. I used all three sources and it was complete overkill on the A+. I have not tried their Network + course but I might...
    WGU - Security
    Current: Start date Sept 1. Remaining:
    CUV1, BOV1, CJV1, CVV1, KET1, KFT1, DFV1, TPV1, BNC1, RIT1, DHV1, CSV1, COV1, CQV1, CNV1, SBT1, RGT1 Completed: AXV1, CPV1, CTV1 Transferred: AGC1, BBC1, LAE1, QBT1, LUT1, GAC1/HHT1, QLT1, IWC1, IWT1, INC1, INT1, BVC1, CLC1, WFV1, DJV1
  • Daniel333Daniel333 Member Posts: 2,077 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Round our your basics with A+ and Net+ certifications. If you're serious, you can probably do that in about 3 months. You need to MASTER Microsoft Office as well. I mean, really know it. None of that "I know it well enough". If you dont know VBA for Excel, you dont know office well enough.

    After all that toss in some fun, Adobe Phototop or Premier. Just something to keep you going.

    Volunteer doing your unemployment to start building your experience. Church, Libraries and Senior centers are the way to go. Read the news, get a feel for the direction you want to go.

    Cisco is universal. Project management is a nice place if you're organized.
    -Daniel
  • dvditdvdit Member Posts: 25 ■□□□□□□□□□
    After going through some free online videos it seems A+ is not as difficult as I thought. I am very familiar with internal component of a PC. I think I will purchase the books Krones suggested and go the self study route.
  • dvditdvdit Member Posts: 25 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Daniel333 wrote: »
    Round our your basics with A+ and Net+ certifications. If you're serious, you can probably do that in about 3 months. You need to MASTER Microsoft Office as well. I mean, really know it. None of that "I know it well enough". If you dont know VBA for Excel, you dont know office well enough.

    After all that toss in some fun, Adobe Phototop or Premier. Just something to keep you going.

    Volunteer doing your unemployment to start building your experience. Church, Libraries and Senior centers are the way to go. Read the news, get a feel for the direction you want to go.

    Cisco is universal. Project management is a nice place if you're organized.

    I have used MS Office over the years and I am familiar with it but I am not an expert in it. I will target that after I am done with my A+ and Network + certification.
  • dvditdvdit Member Posts: 25 ■□□□□□□□□□
    After three weeks of hard study, I am ready to take the A+ exam 1st week of Jan/13. Meanwhile, I want to go ahead and order a book for the Network+ but I am not sure whose book I should use to study. Todd Lammle's CompTIA Network+ Authorized Study Guide for the N10-005 exam, Mike Meyers CompTIA Network+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, 5th Edition (Exam N10-005) or Emmett Dulaney's CompTIA Network+ N10-005 Authorized Exam Cram (4th Edition) ? Help!
    [h=1][/h]
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    CISA would be a solid one.

    Either way good luck on your exam.
  • YFZbluYFZblu Member Posts: 1,462 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I would normally say completely ignore someone who advises an IT noob towards CISSP; however that could be a good eventual goal for someone in your situation. Start with something like Network+ and Security+ to learn the very basics of computer networking and security concepts. From there pursue more advanced security credentials and try to leverage your previous experience with it - I think someone with your background could do very well in Risk Management.
  • dvditdvdit Member Posts: 25 ■□□□□□□□□□
    YFZblu, thanks for your input. Either security or server administration is what I am going after. As I know more about what is available in IT field that complements my degree and experience, I might change that path.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    Certified Information Systems Auditor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Certified Information Systems Auditor - IT Certification - CISA | ISACA

    Certified Information System Auditor

    I'm not sure of the requirements but it maybe worth looking into. Getting a functional position within an environment who utilizes an ERP like SAP or JDE (okay JDE sucks) or like PeopleSoft :)
  • dvditdvdit Member Posts: 25 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Googled CISA and deleted my post but you were right on top of it ? Thanks for the links.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483
    Not a problem you have a lot of skills the key is leveraging them.
  • JayTheCrackerJayTheCracker Member Posts: 169
    ITIL 3 levels & PMP
  • KasorKasor Member Posts: 912 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Not recommend you to move into IT field. Just look around you at this forum. You will need to competitive with college student that is much younger and more aggressive, much easy to adopt learning. You will end up wasting money and time to invest on IT school. Programming is less physical demand, but need to have a clear mindset. Project manager required management skill, but you also need to have understanding on IT technology, and specific field. Otherwise, nobody will listen to you during the project meeting (I saw them a lot). Just think about from different perspective... Good Luck.
    Kill All Suffer T "o" ReBorn
  • IvanjamIvanjam Member Posts: 978
    @Kasor - Like the OP, I too am 40+ and changing careers to IT. Just to let you know, your kind of advice is the same type of thing I read on dice.com that caused me to delay the switch to IT for a long time. Luckily I found TE and helpful, supportive colleagues. You can keep that negativity at dice.com and similar sites.
    Fall 2014: Start MA in Mathematics [X]
    Fall 2016: Start PhD in Mathematics [X]
  • dvditdvdit Member Posts: 25 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Update: passed 701 & 702, now A+ certified. :D Next up network+. Many thanks for all of you who helped. I needed the direction and encouragement.
  • About7NarwhalAbout7Narwhal Member Posts: 761
    @dvdit
    Congrats! I have always felt that you can make it in anything if you truly have a passion for it. I hope you find success.

    @Ivanjam
    I am not entirely sure that Kasor was being negative so much as blunt. I too have noticed that other communities are a little bias in regards to age, but I think Kasor was merely pointing out a reality. Like it or not, age is a factor we all deal with. I, being 23, get cross looks from the senior staff because I make 10K less than them and they assume I am here to replace them. On the other side, the 40-somethings are regarded as past their prime and passed over because "He/She isn't worth the investment."

    I am not agreeing with the mentality, but I do think the reality of the situation should be disclosed.
  • NotHackingYouNotHackingYou Member Posts: 1,460 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Congratulations on the A+! Good luck with the Network+!
    When you go the extra mile, there's no traffic.
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