New to forum and new to IT

tekstrom5tekstrom5 Posts: 2Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
I would like to take the time to introduce myself. My name is Tyler and I am currently a firefighter/paramedic/hazmat tech at a fire department here in Florida. I am now taking the necessary steps to transition to an IT job. I have always been pretty knowledgeable when it comes to computers. Everyone at the station always comes to me when they have a computer issue or math question. I will preface all of this by reassuring anyone that reads this, I understand my skills probably don't even scratch the surface compared to anyone else on here. I wanted to come on here and ask everyone some questions that have experience in Information Technology by also prefacing that I have used the search feature and come up dry. It may be due to this being such an advanced forum in the subject but from what I have stumbled upon so far, this forum seems to be a very valuable and reliable resource for anyone in IT.
All that being said, and please correct me if I am wrong, but I have looked into WGU and decided that is probably going to be my best bet. I understand from what I have read on here and other searches that I have done, I am going to probably save more money and time by getting some of the transferrable certifications prior to applying to WGU. My education background is heavy in math including calc I-III, diff eq, linear algebra, trig, physics I for engineers, etc. If I can prepare for a certification it seems like I should start with A+ from what I have read unless there is something else I should do first. I am determined to change the path I am on and unfortunately I can't just quit and go to a university due to needing an income.

I am really just trying to reach out and any advice, information, and/or mentoring would be greatly appreciated!

Tyler

**Also just a side note, if this is not the appropriate place for this new thread, I apologize in advance**

Comments

  • Arod95Arod95 Posts: 216Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Welcome to the forums Tyler and Welcome to the field of IT! on a side note they might move the thread to the Jobs/Degree section. But on topic I haven't gone to WGU but from all the threads I've seen on the site it seems like a great school to go to if you want to go at your own pace and get the same great education at a lower price. As far as certifications A+ is the best place to start.
  • epcgepcg Posts: 65Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Yes you will save time by getting some if not most certifications out of the way before WGU. I'm doing this now. I cant afford right now to go but I can afford some certs here and there. Keep looking ebay for cheap vouchers. Also to save a few more bucks from what I understand if you have your Network+ it willcount for that class and MTA Networking Fundamentals. You can get some free training at Professor Messer, CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+, Linux, Microsoft Certification Training also keep doing any work with computers you can on the side. Its a good way to learn.
  • PsoasmanPsoasman Senior Member Posts: 2,687Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Welcome to the forum. A+ is a good cert to start with. The easiest cert is probably the CIW: Web Foundations. One exam and you'll be eligible for admittance into WGU.

    With your math background, you should breeze through the math portions of whatever degree you choose.
  • tekstrom5tekstrom5 Posts: 2Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Do you think it would be good to not only get the A+ cert but some others also before spending the money on the flat rate that they offer... In other words, get as many transferable certs to spend less time/money taking classes to prepare for a cert test? (that I could study for on my own time)
  • Arod95Arod95 Posts: 216Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Yes it would be much better to get as much as done on your own before applying so that then your time could be spent on other stuff you can't do without being enrolled such as the Gen ed classes. Plus it would also so that then while doing your degree those certification can help you get an entry level job to start you off with experience.
  • PsoasmanPsoasman Senior Member Posts: 2,687Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    I think it would be more beneficial to get 1 cert done, then enroll in WGU. Why pay out of pocket for certs. A quick look online shows almost $2100 for paying out of pocket for exam vouchers for the A+, Network+, Security+, Project+, the MTA exams, and the CIW exams. And that is just for the exams only. Books and practice exams would of course be extra.

    You'll have to factor in study time at the fire department vs. study time at a new job, too.
  • Arod95Arod95 Posts: 216Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    @Psoasman I'm guessing you graduated from WGU so I'm going to let you take over lol. You probably know more of the benefits since you actually been through the process. @tekstrom5 Good luck with everything!
  • jessica.gaddjessica.gadd Posts: 8Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I am new to this forum and the site. My name is Jessica and I was an ET in the Navy for 7yrs but I always preferred my work with computers and when I worked with the ITs. Anyway, I had the same question as Tyler. Which, by the way, I think it is great that you are deciding to take that leap and switch to a new career in IT! Good luck, I am sure you will do great, Tyler. But, Psoasman, if you think it is better to do your certs at WGU, do you know if they pay for the vouchers or are they covered in the cost of tuition?
    Goals for 2013:
    [ ] A+
    [ ] Network+
    [ ] Start BSIT @ WGU
  • MickQMickQ Posts: 628Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Welcome along. This might sound a little odd but if you're already working in the FD (no idea what an ET is, sorry) do you want to give up the fire side of things and move entirely into IT or are you looking for more pay? If more pay, then try a transfer to the SFFD. Plenty of overtime there.
  • PsoasmanPsoasman Senior Member Posts: 2,687Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    I am new to this forum and the site. My name is Jessica and I was an ET in the Navy for 7yrs but I always preferred my work with computers and when I worked with the ITs. Anyway, I had the same question as Tyler. Which, by the way, I think it is great that you are deciding to take that leap and switch to a new career in IT! Good luck, I am sure you will do great, Tyler. But, Psoasman, if you think it is better to do your certs at WGU, do you know if they pay for the vouchers or are they covered in the cost of tuition?

    I am guessing that ET is Electronics Technician?

    The unique part about WGU is that you earn certifications while earning your degree. The certs are built into the process. My point in getting a cert is that is the easiest way to be admitted into WGU. WGU gets the exam vouchers at the student rate, so that's cheaper. Also, they provide study materials to go with the courses. Some of the study materials would be quite expensive out of pocket.

    Unless there has been a change, WGU covers the cost of the first 2 exam attempts. After that, you pay for the next ones - but at the student rate.
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