Questions from a Newcomer

a2rutleda2rutled Posts: 2Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey. I'm kind of new to the whole "tech" world. Up until this point I have enjoyed computers (and all technology) recreationally but recently have found my interest building. I'm currently a junior studying physics and chemistry at Western Michigan University and have loosley committed to the idea of High School and possibly university teaching. Thing is, I really love to build, fix and troubleshoot stuff (especially computers and cars) and I have found myself continually trying to find a way to make a living doing this. My questions for you all are these:

1) Can you find a job and make a decent living with ONLY certifications and experience (i.e. no degrees).

2) What can you do with just A+? (i.e. what kind of jobs/wages?)

3) Does more certifications = higher salary?

4) What kinds of wages should one expect in this field? What kind of hours?

5) Looking back on your own careers, would make the same choices again? What would you do differently? The same?

Thanks, I know its a lot to reply to, but I would truly appreciate your help.

Comments

  • NoodsNoods Posts: 168Member
    1) Can you find a job and make a decent living with ONLY certifications and experience (i.e. no degrees).

    I have, I sometimes feel I got lucky though. I got an entry level tech support position with a prominent cable internet provider. They continue to hire, even when the economy is slow. Full benefits, pay started at $12/an hour, which is decent for not having a degree or cert at the time.

    2) What can you do with just A+? (i.e. what kind of jobs/wages?)

    Entry level tech support/repair. That speaks for a lot of entry level jobs. I think $8-13/an hour is a fair estimate, the IT market in your location will factor in though.

    3) Does more certifications = higher salary?

    Higher positions = higher salary. Usually more certifications help to get to a higher position. Certification are only one factor. Soft skills is another big factor. It seems to be a common industry perception that you will cap out without a degree, but certifications definitely help.

    4) What kinds of wages should one expect in this field? What kind of hours?

    Depends on the market and job. Some jobs are 9-5. A lot of IT operations are becoming 24/7. Ironically, it seems the higher up you get, the more time you spend at work. I make ~$40k after 5 years in the field, and Im currently working network monitoring. $20 would be very low for any IT position. Im sure there are technical managers that make in the $100k-$200K area.

    5) Looking back on your own careers, would make the same choices again? What would you do differently? The same?

    I would have gotten my degree straight out of high school. Its hard as balls to make time to take class and study now that I am on my own. After that, if my plan was to go into IT, I would have gone for an intership and got my A+ and Network+. That is a solid entry into IT. From there, IT becomes a much more diverse field and different certificatins/degrees may have more values for the job you want.

    Good luck!!!
  • PlantwizPlantwiz Posts: 5,057Mod Mod
    a2rutled wrote:
    I'm currently a junior studying physics and chemistry at Western Michigan University and have loosley committed to the idea of High School and possibly university teaching.

    Hey a Kzoo'er :) Welcome!
    1) Can you find a job and make a decent living with ONLY certifications and experience (i.e. no degrees).
    Modest living perhaps, but you'll fair better with a college education unless you start your own business (IMO = from what I have seen, and probably need to leave MI area)

    2) What can you do with just A+? (i.e. what kind of jobs/wages?)
    Perhaps a small computer shop. CompUSA I think requires it, so basically a board swapper position. Higher level networking and administartion should ask for more than an A+. Though you could find an execption.
    3) Does more certifications = higher salary?
    Depends upon the market you are in. Generally, your knowledge carries you much further (IMO = from what I have seen over the years).
    4) What kinds of wages should one expect in this field? What kind of hours?
    Smaller shop (independant store) 35-35 hours. Larger chain - likely to max out at 40. On your own....as much as you want!
    5) Looking back on your own careers, would make the same choices again? What would you do differently? The same?

    For looking back, I like to refernce 'Tapestry' from Star Trek:TNG
    Basically, I made choices in my life at the time that felt right. Those choices were based upon my knowledge and resources at that particular moment in time. If I changed any of them, I wouldn't be me today :)
    So, Nope.
    Thanks, I know its a lot to reply to, but I would truly appreciate your help.

    Sounds like you may be getting tired of school and aching to hit the career path. I don't blame you. I completed 4 years in 2.25 for that reason (and the growing cost way back then). If you enjoy computers now, consider doing it on the fly with your peers - charge them some, get some experience and stay on track. (IMO-FWIW) Junior level school is too close to to the end to quit for all the effort you put forth. Hang in there and even if you never use THAT degree...you'll at least have it.

    Then you could consider taking maybe a 2 year Computer track to add to your resume as well as adding some Certifications.

    Hope this helps some :)
    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?
  • a2rutleda2rutled Posts: 2Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hey thanks so much for your replies. Still don't know what I'm going to do yet but your info was greatly appreciated. Take Care.
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