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Career change

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December 30, 2009 1:14:49 PM

I'm looking to make a career switch. I have a assoc. Degree in horticulture right now. I work for a tree company as an Arborist. I'm 29 years old. I've always been a hobbiest in the computer world. Many years ago I started taking a mcse course. Then decided I didn't want to work inside in cubicles. Regretting that now. Anyone here go/went to ITT Tech or ECPI? More expensive then regular college but faster graduation? Would you go to get a degree or just take some certifications to enter the industry. I'm looking to get into network security. Linux certification would be something I'm persuing. Maybe some mac certification as well.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you.

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December 31, 2009 10:03:57 AM

Fancy a swap? I'm going mad staring at screens for a living and have been thinking about something more physical and organic. It's only the money trap stopping me.

Seriously - if you want in and don't have experience do a couple of MCSE's, sit out a year or so in the support pit and hope you make it over the top one day into something more rewarding. Niche OS's (sorry Linux and apple fans!) whilst interesting provide way less employment chances.
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January 5, 2010 4:22:48 PM

Agreed. If you can get certified (get the basics and lean them toward security) and find work in a support pit or as assistant tech in a smaller company, you'll be well on your way. The problem in the beginning is getting the years of experience you need in order to impress some hiring HR.

Certification proves that you understand the lingo. From there just immerse yourself in the details of whatever work you find. Know the project/role you're assigned to inside and out. Show your interest and knowledge of security whenever you can and always expand that knowledge. Network Security positions are much rarer than general admin positions. The only companies that bother with a position like that are large companies and those with a specialized need for security.

Personally, I sort of fell into my job as an IT Director. I started as a general office assistant, but given my aptitude with computers quickly added some desktop support to my role. Over time I got to know the IT director and showed my interest in the infrastructure. Eventually, I was the former director's right-hand man and when he left he put me up as his replacement.

There is a security podcast I regularly listen to called Security Now. Sometimes it's general discussion and sometimes it's the technical details of security and encryption. There's a hefty four year backlog on the subject of security!
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January 5, 2010 4:47:25 PM

The CISSP is an excellent certification! One of the nice things about the CISSP is that is covers all aspect of information security; from access controls, risk management, and regulations and compliance.

The PMP is also another excellent certification. The PMP, while initially intended for IT project, is being recognized and used for more than IT type work. PMP certifications are becoming more widely accepted in the business world as companies change their business models to meet new challenges.

ITT Tech or any other school like that are good for getting the credentials needed to land an entry level position. Nothing beats a four year degree from an accredited college or university. Education is the one thing that truly is "you get what you pay for". Fact is, with a number of top colleges and universities offering BS and MS degrees in IT and Business Administration on-line, there is practically no reason to not get at least a bachelors degree.

The University of Phoenix on-line does not count! There are far better on-line programs and colleges available!
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January 7, 2010 12:11:36 PM

one word: virtualization - get your VCP.

i'm not impressed by ITT Tech. if you have zero technical knowledge, then maybe, but for someone who at least knows what an MCSE is, it's not worth it.

you do not need college to get into "IT" - that's for sure.

- j
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January 14, 2010 1:47:42 AM

Awesome. Thanks for all the advice. I'm currently looking for a support desk type of job to get my foot in the IT world door. Studying up on all the basic certifications. Maybe going back to school this summer. Local college no ITT Tech waaaaaaay cheaper. Brushing up on my Linux knowledge from my hacker high school days. Maybe even brush up my perl, java, python skills. Who knows.

But I'm getting employees gosh darnnit !

Again thanks for all the advice. Keep it coming!
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January 14, 2010 1:51:31 AM

No problem - please don't forget to "brush up" on your virtualization skills. that's where the market is moving, and quickly! :hello: 

- j
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June 25, 2012 10:48:27 AM

It is always wise to explore what type of career change you want to change to. Why? All careers have pros and cons and I know personally at age 54, I wasted too many years job hopping. Now it has come back to bite me as I have a very long resume. Job hopping causes employers to ask - will this person stick around after my company has trained them?
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June 25, 2012 11:25:35 AM

This topic has been closed by Amdfangirl
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