Starting in IT

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by dts197, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. dts197

    dts197
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    I would just like a little advise about starting in IT.

    I have looked around the net for information but found it a little confusing.

    I have a basic knowledge of PC's & using the internet & would like to get some kind of qualifications to help find a better job but don't really know where to begin.

    I have looked at company like Computeach but feel the money they want for their courses is too much of a gamble.

    A local training centre offer free IT courses to NVQ level 2 but how good would they actually be if they are free?

    I'm they're are people who use this site who work in IT who could perhaps poitn me in the right direction where to get some good info or a good place to start. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Mac User

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    All depends on what you want to do in IT. I have the following quaif.

    Comptia A+ (Pc Support)
    Comptia N+ (Networking)
    Comptia Server+ (Server Admin)
    Comptia i-Net+ (Not a lot)
    Microsoft MCP / MCSA (Systems Administrator)

    I've been in the IT industry for 8 years now and started working in Server/Network support. But now Im working in 'Application Support' looking after Oracle 9i / Unix server / ERP systems.. The important thing before embarking on any course is to decided what you want to do in IT. then choose the correct course. Dont do any 'Bootcamps' you might get the certifcation in a week but in the 'real world' it wont 'mean jack'.

    If I was going to carry on in the networking field I would have done the Cisco CCNA course.. This is a must if your going into networking.
     
  3. dts197

    dts197
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    So NVQ's in IT would not be a good place to start? I'm assuming they're far too basic then?
     
  4. Mac User

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    Well it depends.. I've always been one for Industry IT Qualif. its up to you.. As stated above, Make a decision on what you want to do in IT then look at jobs in that field and see what qualif. they require.. Please remember the employers are looking for experaince aswell as qualif. Thats the hardest part :(
     
  5. Siro

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    Excuse me if this comes across as hijacking the thread but its IT related and might interest the OP. . .

    Im really looking to get into web design, ive always wanted to do it but never had the get go but with the new year and current boredom in my present job i really feel like doing something about it.

    What would be the best qualification(s) to go for?, are there industry standard ones?.

    Any help welcome!:)

    J
     
  6. wombar

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    All depends what you want to do in IT really, there's loads of areas you could look into like programming, networking, support, web design etc. You need to try and decide(as much as you can at this stage) what kind of IT job you want because the skill sets vary massivley from job to job. If you don't mind telling us a bit about yourself, perhaps we could offer some suggestions.

    Just so you know those adverts on TV that say you can earn £30k + a company car as a games programmer etc, are COMPLETE RUBBISH!!! I'm not saying that's the reason you want to go into IT, but I've worked with people who have done those courses and I personally wouldn't waste my time with them, generally speaking they don't equip you for the work place.

    I had to conduct the interviews at my last job and generally speaking, the people with "fancy qualifications" were completely inept. I've worked with people who have done mickey mouse courses in web design and I was distgusted by their level of knowledge. If you want to learn something, do it in your own time and show you have a passion for it, employers will respect that a whole lot more than a list of meaningless courses.

    If you are going to do a course(they're not all bad:) ), make sure you choose one that is mentioned regularly in job adverts. DaRkFiBrE has got the right idea, get a qualification that is proven in the industry you're aiming at.

    I'm a web developer (I make websites actually do something rather than just look pretty;)) with a degree in Games Simulation & Virtual Reality :D If you want any advice about those areas, give me a shout and I can give you some pointers.

    If I was you, I'd decide what area(s) you're most interested in and go from there. IT is a big industry and there's plenty of positions around for good people.
     
  7. wombar

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    Sorry Juny, you must have posted as I was posting. Web design is a tricky industry to get established in these days. I would strongly advise AGAINST the CIW qualification. I've interviewed a few people with that qualification and the majority didn't have a clue. That's not to say everyone who has one is bad, but anyone who calls themself a "Certified Internet Webmaster" needs to be able to walk the walk in my opinion.

    Most studios require a decent portfolio of work (site designs, logos, banners etc), so I'd advise you spend some time learning the industry standard tools(dreamweaver, flash, Photoshop etc) and get a decent portfolio together.

    If you want to get into web design, you're probably going to have to learn the basics yourself in your free time and then get a junior position. These days it's adviseable to have a scripting language(or two) under your belt to give you a bit more flexibility.

    PM me if you'd like some more detailed advice or post here for all to see:)
     
  8. DVD-Man

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    To the OP, if you can discipline yourself then get some books from Amazon and some cheap pc/s from Ebay and teach yourself then take the exams when your ready, look for some voluntary work to add to your cv to better your chances and don't be dismayed when you start on £12k-£14K helpdesk post, it sounds boring but your learn loads plus you can fix neighbours pcs at night for pocket money.

    Liam
     
  9. addyb

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    I totally agree with this!

    Get yourself some decent books and even some self training dvds from ebay and get stuck in with some homestudy! When ready sit the exams at your nearest test centre and away you go! Also look to get a helpdesk role as your 1st I.T job as you will cover a wide range of problems and even though you might just be logging lots of calls and not actually fixing them yourself you will be able to build up some good all round knowledge on I.T!
    I went down the MCP route and have them in windows 2000 and soon im going to start self training on the 2003 track. I have 6 years experience now and i started out doing basic RSA clait courses at night school (think these are now called ECDL) and then i started home study with MCP books. I then got a job as a helpdesk advisor and then after 2 years of this i moved within the company to Systems administrator and specialised in backup and recovery. I would gladly do another helpdesk role again to give me a kind of refresher on everything!
    As for qualifications dont get too hung up on these as its very hard at times to break into the I.T industry even if you have 3 c.v pages full of them! If your lucky you might find somewhere that will offer decent training but again even if you start on a low salary dont get disheartened as building up some hands on experience is invaluable and remember that the more you learn and progress the more you will potentially earn! Also remember to keep learning as well. The I.T field is evolving at an alarming rate so you really need to be uptodate in some aspects but its all good!
     
  10. FaxFan2002

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    I've always found in IT if you have common sense you'll go a long way! But I suppose that could be said of any job.
     
  11. mjn

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    If i were to choose a career now, i would keep away from IT! Its crap hours, for no reward, you're expected to know everything about everything, you have to keep renewing your exam certs every 6 months to stay "current", regular workers/users treat you like **** and think you're a socially inept nerd with no personal skills except for playing dungeons and dragons, your boss thinks because you work in IT, that when you go home you immediately turn on your home computer and do more nerdy stuff or that you're happy to come into work at weekends....because...at the end of the day "you love computers" :rolleyes:

    Can you tell...i hate IT with a passion. The sooner i win the lottery, the better
     
  12. Mickey G

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    In my opinion qualifications count for nothing in IT. It's all about what you can do and what you have done.

    So, it's all about getting your foot in the door. Salary will rise quickly with experience and knowledge. (not true if you stay in one company)

    My advise is to get a job doing anything in IT even if it's volunteer work. If you dont fancy that, set up a network at home and run a webserver, or perhaps write some code. Anything to demontrate what you can do.

    Secondly, get your cv onto some of the job web sites and start ringing job agencies. Hastle them until the give you a job.

    Thirdly, interview technique is import. Get as many interveiws as possible to gain experenice with interviews. The same questions are usually ask and they are often taken from the internet so search for interveiw question on google.

    Another path is to get any kind of job in a company that does IT, once you're in try and move to the department which interests you. Make sure that company doesn't outsource it's IT to another company or you will get no where. I've worked with people who started in the catering department, though this is not too common.

    Best of luck.
     
  13. Member 79251

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    Dont go down the NVQ route its not worth the paper its printed. Speaking from experience... Over 10 years developer/designer experience and yet my lack of 'true' qualifications dont get me far.

    With the influx of people from the EU, The IT sector is a very easy target to start for them and others. If you want it go for it. But remember its not easy and you will have to work very hard.

    Good luck whatever you do.
     
  14. Singh400

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    :rotfl: LOL!

    Anyway, get in touch with your local high school and speak to the head of ICT. They might run some adult education courses. I know my school/6th form does. Think they are CLAIT courses, they are run by my cisco instructor.

    Other method would be to home school yourself (buy a big book from amazon) and just learn all the material then go in and ace the exam :smashin:
     
  15. Member 79251

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    CLAIT - !:D
     
  16. breszh

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    As you're not sure what you want to do it might be worth considering something like a HNC/HND in Business IT.

    I started the above course at night school whilst working for a local Housing Benefits office, I'd been there years and had to move as I was so sick of it. IT seemed the way forward as I had an interest but no real skills or qualifications.

    The attraction to the HND was that it wasn't vendor based and it covered a wide range of IT disciplines. I learnt enough about lots of subjects to be able to talk my way through an interview without looking too blank!

    Hope this helps, if you want to know anything else, just PM me.
     
  17. DVD-Man

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    never a more true word spoken too mjn!

    Liam
     
  18. dts197

    dts197
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    Thanks for all the replies, you've given me a bit to think about & it's much appreciated.
     
  19. addyb

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    You dont work for CSC do you? :rotfl: :rotfl:
    I left there on voluntary redundancy last august as that was what it was like in the division i worked in!!
    Glad to get away from it! To be honest I.T roles can differ greatly depending on the size of the company. Im looking for another IT job as we speak and id much prefer my next job to be with a smaller company!
     
  20. meansizzler

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    Like the other guy said, seems that for most It jobs, the basic requirements are usually A+ Qualification, you can study it on your own, give it a few weeks, £40 for the book, £105 for each exam, there are 2 of them, plus extra if you want to sit the Network one.., so not really that much, and it's the basic requirements, but Ciso Networking and other courses are what they really look for I guess..., but I hear there around £2000...
     
  21. HCK

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    I started off in IT by building and repairing PC's. I then went on a training course and bought (via a local auction house) 5-6 pc's, networked them and then studied on networking, active directory etc

    Most of the information can be found free on the internet....its just understanding it! I would go down the practical hands on route rather than the qualification route. Buy some decent books and get your hands dirty by getting some eval copies of Windows etc and study that way. If you can afford it go on a good training course, companies Like Spring training, Parity are reasonable companies for training but unfortunately it costs money.

    To get experience you could sign up with a local charity and see if they need any help in IT.
     
  22. Br0ken

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    I work in a globel IT Solutions company as a software developer.

    I actually enjoy my job, opposite to the negative posts about how IT personel are seen i've found in my experience its not always like that.

    IT is quite a general term, there are lots of facets to what you could do. I only skim read most of the posts, so forgive me if you've already said, but what part of I.T interests you?

    Networking? Developing? Testing? WebApps? e-commerce? etc etc etc

    Like people have suggested a few good books will help, but actual practical experience is a very big help too so do the excerises in the books if you buy some.

    Unlike networking, as a developer i dont need to take exams every 6months :)
     
  23. Br0ken

    Br0ken
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    Actually, just remembered, I have the MCSA Server 2003 training kit at home, worth about £100 i think, i dont need it, if anyone wants to take it off me let me know.
     
  24. pixelated

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    I currently work in IT and mostly work solely on Cisco routers/switches/pix firewalls.

    My advice, without attempting to even understand your current level of knowledge etc, is to try and get into "Security" ... i.e. firewalls. Since I started being able to implement PIX, my company has become a lot nicer to me ;)

    Doing Microsoft training initially maybe a good option as everyone uses Microsoft to some degree whereas some companies simply can't use Cisco due to cost etc. Plus being familiar with Windows will help you along with Microsoft training. I used to also be a Cisco instructor myself and occasionally stepped in to teach a MS course every so often to cover... MS is easier to grasp, and the looks on students faces reflected as such. :)

    Being an ex-instructor and currently working in industry... plus I'm also relatively fresh as I'm only 20(!) but luckily I got to CCNP level by 18 I've cemented that knowledge in the last two years... I guess I'm in a pretty good position to give advice. If you need anything just drop me a PM, I'll be happy to help.

    Incidentally though....... I've just started doing a degree in Law so within 5 or 6 years I can be out of IT. :smashin: lol

    Also... the NVQ2... it's free... I guess part time... it's a qualification you don't have in IT... why not do it? :)
     
  25. Tyler D

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    to the OP.

    Take a look at www.certforums.co.uk. Full of friendly helpful IT folk and many in the same situation as you (and I ) trying to train and make it into IT.

    Best of luck
     
  26. dts197

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    This is something that I need to think about because I realise that there are many things you can do in IT.

    But there's been some good advise on here (thanks!) & I think deciding what area to look into more & getting some good books would be a good start.
     
  27. pixelated

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    For Cisco I recommend Cisco Press books. They can be somewhat heavy going but they're brilliant learning tools. Sybex also do Cisco books and they're easier to read with a bit of humour in there.
     
  28. jenic

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    Sorry to hijack this thread but it seems pointless to start another and it might be of use to the OP.

    I am currently studying maths, IT, biology and physics at A level, software developing is something i have alwaysthought of doing in the future and i need to make some choices soon. As i am doing maths and IT it seems a good way to go, just wondered if you really need a degree in computer engineering to do it or are their training placements.
     
  29. WhyAyeMan

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    Brilliant :clap:

    And having worked in IT for around 9 years now, yet never really got anywhere in it (not qualified or motivated enough i guess), that is scarily close to the truth.
     
  30. pemberto

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    For all the guys who have been in the business for a long time your not really helping this guy/girl with positive feedback about the industry....And before you start jumping at me, I am 37 and been the business since I was 18 and I have the scar's the T-shirt and the liver damage to prove it.:D

    I left school with only hand full of qualifications, went to study HND Computer Studies but became frastrated as the teachers were only learning the material a few weeks before the students. I left after the first year and got my first fulltime job.

    The important thing to remember is that this industry is so wide and offers many different job roles. You need to look at yourself and try and workout what you like and dont like.

    My first job at 18 was a technical training. I specialised in desktop publishing and word processing applications. After that I moved in the Technical support, and for the next 7 years work my way around the software applications, from WP/DTP, Lotus Notes, All the MS Beta programs Lan Manager, NT, Win95, Exchange the list is endless.

    I moved from Post sales support of standard apps to implementation consultant for Call Centre technology and then into Pre Sales/Sales/Marketing and now a Pre Sales Manager in EMEA for a US software company.

    What I am ramberling on about, is that the industry has lots to offer, if you dont mind starting at a jnr level you could go anywhere. if you wanted to talk offline more than happy to help, just PM me.

    Hope that helps,
    Pemberto
     

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