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Another Career Choice

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  1. pasqo83

    pasqo83 Well-Known Member

    Hi, I just read someones thread regarding a career choice and I didn't want to spoil his thread by asking about mine, his was about being a system admin or programmer and hoping I can get an opinion from someone within the profession.

    I have done website designing for 3 years and I honestly have started to get bored of it, its more a hobby than to enjoy and make money.

    I also do computer repairs, upgrades, I have learnt to troubleshoot, build a computer from scratch, fixe and done some home networking and remote desktop work for friends locally and friends in other countries. I have learnt this all by myself so no qualifications to prove this.

    I am interested in a system admin role, or I.T support level 2, I wanted to know someone in that field

    A) What did they study and learn
    B) What sort of things do someone in the I.T department seek for.

    Thanks for any help.

  2. johnlgalt

    johnlgalt Antidisestablishmentarian VIP Member

    I did Tier I and II tech support for many years - I didn't study jack, though, I'm weird in that I remember things when troubleshooting PCs from years ago.

    A good place to start would obviously be A+ certifications, and then you'll want to move into certs that are specialized for tech support - but I can't say what those are exactly, it might be more company / job specific.

    I'm sure more can (and will) chime in here.
  3. pasqo83

    pasqo83 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that, I keep switching one way and then another, like I enjoy web-designing, however not a strong graphic designer nor a php coder, mainly html5 css and little bits of php (not enough to get me a job or re-write someone elses code).

    I like buisness I.T as I did a bit at my workplace, Active Directory, Servers etc.. however no qualification.

    I did do the A+ build up to it, passed the first exam but couldn't be bothered to do the rest, alot of the information is old technology and I Mean old, why the hell are they still talking about floppy discs when it is pretty much obsolete.

    Thinking of saving money this year and at the end of next year I am going to do alot of my I.T stuff to land me into a job.
  4. andr01d

    andr01d Well-Known Member

    Good to have the A+ cert. If you're still energetic ... keep going to school... don't stop... you can swing open doors (not slowly open them doors). And when you want a raise... it will be a very fast "yes!!" The more certs/diplomas/degrees and experience a candidate has, the faster/easier we all can hire him or her.

    All employees have to pass background checks too... so... always be a good person/character... don't mess up or it'll show up in the records!

    Easy way is... email/google the company that you like to work for to ask for their job desciption(s) for your target position(s) ... they'll list all the duties and cert/diploma/degree requirements in there.
    good luck. have fun...
  5. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    I've found most of the employers around here don't care so much for your certs as they do for experience. Experience proves that you can indeed do XYZ.
  6. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer


    I have nothing (except ITIL which is irrelevant technically) and always do well. I'm a 2nd /3rd line technician, mainly desktop, some server.

    As I mentioned in the other thread, doing and passing an IT course doesn't mean you can do the job. What they want is experience. I started at 1st/2nd line as I knew some stuff, which you do too.

    I suggest starting lower because the market is poor right now and in the UK at least, people tend to work below their skill level. You need to get your foot in the door and get some commercial experience, cert or not.

    My 2 pence

    I will just add though, without an aptitude or a logical and methodical approach you will never be great but many more developed IT departments have standard operating procedures which as you follow, will increase your abilities.

    IT departments, particularly customer facing (end user interaction) will believe they can improve you technically, but they are often more concerned that your "face fits". Basically, have a personality.
  7. pasqo83

    pasqo83 Well-Known Member

    I have already burnt my bridges where I am. I assist within a group of 60 people, before it goes to I.T downstairs, if I can;t sort it out (where Admin rights are required) then I advise them to pass it downstairs and the I.T team know this and they are happy for this to happen.

    We needed further licences for Office word, excel and presentation. They said that the finance and exec wouldn't give them the extra finance to purchase. I offered them an alternative solution to try and assist (openoffice), they advised they wouldn't use this as it was an open office and there is no support if it was required.

    I messaged back polite saying it seems strange you would need support to use a word or excel editor as most people already know how to use it, plus with any internet connection, you are able to block anything that goes out and also you can test the software on 1 or 2 computers first before deploying them.

    That was sent as a suggestion, but again it has come back and they thought I was trying to be a smart ass since they have the qualifications and I dont.

    Another incident was I applied for a Desktop support role and I didnt get the job as I didnt have the qualification (well my face didnt fit in the team), and the lady that intereviewed me has had a grudge on me for 4 years (so happy that she is currently into her last month as she is being made redundant).

    I am currently learning at the moment, I was planning from September this year to go back to College and study all over again. I want to get into 1st line support and build to 2nd/3rd line Desktop support.

    My aim, is to obtain the ITIL and Active Directory 2008 and setting up network infrustructure, I don't want to do too much on Networking but I need to have enough information and understanding of it all.
  8. A.Nonymous

    A.Nonymous Well-Known Member

    What's interesting to me is that in interviews, employers always ask about certs. Once you are hired, no one cares about them. They want to know if you can do the job and fix the computer.

    I know many people who have tons and tons of IT knowledge, but no problem solving skills or analytical aptitude. They end up throwing crap at the wall to see what sticks and end up chasing zebras when they should be looking for horses.

    Also, I've found that 70-75% of the job is people skills, not computer skills.
    EarlyMon likes this.
  9. SUroot

    SUroot Well-Known Member Developer

    Yes I agree. People skills are very important too. I've seen people with none and they end up working with the comms cabinets ;)

    Although I said its personality based, not in one of my speight of interveiws was I asked about my hobbies.
    EarlyMon likes this.
  10. sarahtaylor

    sarahtaylor New Member

    Most companies require that you complete a Bachelor’s level computer science degree from an accredited college. This actually seems to fit your interests and skills pretty well; the degree will cover computer servicing, internet commerce, workstation administration, networking, programming, server administration, operation systems, etc. You may also have additional course options, depending on which emphasis you choose: some colleges allow you to choose between programming, networking, social media technology and information systems security. This degree takes approximately 4 years to complete but some colleges will allow you to complete it in as little as 30 months.
  11. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Well-Known Member

    It's weird, all of my IT instructors have a boat load of certs. But each one of them says that certs are worthless. They just prove what you know/knew on way day. This is the mentality that I have too (possibly through osmosis ?)...

    I would much rather know how to do something that have a piece of paper say I can do something.

    Besides people skills, my instructors are always saying that you gotta be able to type on do professional communication. So.... there is some $0.02 for ya! ;)
  12. Mayhem

    Mayhem Well-Known Member Contributor

    This was my experience when I worked in I.T. Be aware though that it can burn you out as it did me. I think part of that had to do with team dynamics (or lack thereof) but YMMV.

    Now I'm in Software QA. I like this a lot more.
  13. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Well-Known Member

    I currently do the kind of work I would never be hired to do as a staff member. One company that uses my services, does so because their staff people cannot do what I do. They will not hire me because I do not have a degree.

    But they do hire me because their staff members with degrees cannot do the work their degrees would suggest they should be able to do.

    Rather odd I should think.
    9to5cynic likes this.
  14. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Well-Known Member


    I still think that skill is/should be more marketable than a bit of alphabet soup after your name.
  15. Bob Maxey

    Bob Maxey Well-Known Member

    One of our very best best programmers was self-taught. The best skills trainer/technical writer (Me, Bob, That Guy) was self-taught. Neither job would be offered to someone without a BA, BS, FTD, UPS, FedEx or some other degree or certification.

    Certs are likely needed because I/most would likely not consider someone without some kind of certification. You can't get hired without one and not every certified what have you is qualified. Catch 2.2.03

    A bunch of letters might not mean much, but without them, hiring managers will probably not look at you. I knew many "qualified" IT people that took forever when something hard arrived on their route list. Like the guy that re-installed the OS trying to get Novel Groupwize running. Turns out, there was no network card in the PC.

    Or the lead test tech supervisor that tried to get one of our modems working and there was no PCB in the package.

    Or the document control specialist that needed my help to create a basic Word template. I was pulled from my job to do her job and she got the big bucks and I got belchy squaddle.

    Thank God I am not certified or papered or I'd be a real dummy.

    We both worked our way up through the ranks and fell into our respective positions. Our programmer got his job because he had years of programming experience from the beginning of the DOS era and the smartest department (Test Engineering) head I have ever met hired him without the usual BS.

    I got my job because I outlived most employees and I was never shy about doing grunt work. Like cleaning up the production lines after the slobs left work; entering employee data into the supervisor's database and a good knowledge of every piece of equipment on the production floor.

    Had we applied with corporate and had to deal with the hiring process, we would not have been given the opportunity. When MSL bought us, we were on the way out; they wanted people with BAs to work in Training. And they wanted us to train them because some of these people had never been on a production floor.

    As for IT people, they learn what to do by the book and they have time to figure everything out in the classroom. Toss a few difficult problems their way, and quite often, they are clueless. It takes time to adjust to the job and they need time to figure out that $@%& happens and it is not always going to be easy.

    In my view, talented people can come without any degrees or certs. It is a shame hiring managers do not understand that fact.
    pasqo83 and 9to5cynic like this.

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