looking for some career advice
hey guys & gals,
i am in serious need of some advice. i am currently thinking about changing careers. right now i am a cop and need to find a different line of work. i was considering the computer field but need some educational advice.
do you guys think it better to just get the microsoft certs or would it be better to go back to college and get a 2nd degree in computer science. or even a tech school. i cant really just quit and start from scratch due to financial concerns. any advice or personal experiences would be greatly appreciated.
Don't take this the wrong way, but don't depend on MS certs to get you going. Sure it can get you interviews, but you need some hands-on experience to prove to your future employer that you are competent. I obviously know nothing about your level of computer knowledge, but I'd say get something to back yourself up... a tech school is a good idea if you don't want to spend a few years in school reading books at this stage of your life. Besides, most will place you with jobs afterward. That's just my opinion and what I would do.
[This message has been edited by rh71 (edited 08-20-2001).]
I started what your contemplating about a year ago. I was in retail management for 15 years, some of that time in Houston . I decided I had enough of the long work weeks and such. I went to a technical college and started the MSCE track. I also took classes in other areas, Cisco, C++, Unix, and project management. After 6 mos. of school, I had enough knowledge to land a level 2 tech support job. I don't make quite the same amount, but close enough for virtually no experience. I am still taking a few night classes to learn more.
After having been in the industry for 6 mos. now, I have absoulutly no regrets. I have normal work weeks and weekends free. Something I hadn't had for 15 years.
Go for it. Make the change. But be ready for a huge learning curve.
P.S. I'm about to turn 39. So, us old dogs can learn new tricks.
your not the only old dog beav, i am fixin to be 35. i think now is the right time.
Microsoft Certs will get you working in the "field" working with people that don't know a mouse isn't a foot peddle up to network engineers......
A CS degree will almost ensure that you're sitting on your **** writing code all day long and later having people complain that what it does isn't what they wanted it to do, or, "OH Yeah, here's what else we needed it to do...."
Choose your poison.
I recommend you try the following first -
Build your own PC from parts - If budget is a problem - buy used parts -
That and work in a technical support call center - Software Spectrum, STREAM International, there are several and they almost always have jobs.... Many offer basic training - you hear everything that CAN go wrong on a system in a place like this and meet a lot of people in the biz getting their start.
Another few notes - the hours suck - so make sure you enjoy this. If you hate putting together your own PC, this probably isn't something for you.
If you hate rooms with no windows, this isn't a business for you -
If you like air conditioning - no problem - most equipment rooms are kept at about 68 degrees year round.
You might also try to get a job with SARCOM - they deploy new hardware for large corporations as well as banks and other places - you get to see "the field" that way to see what's out there.
College courses and certs are expensive - so try these other ideas first to make a determination if this is the right thing for you.
Good luck -
The real money is working for a Fiber Optic install and repair company - not sure what that takes, but the work will be steady for the next 20 years at least.
[This message has been edited by Axel (edited 08-21-2001).]
Forget the Certs, as a store owner, the only thing i really look for is expierence. The serts just make the experience part look better. Without any, youl have a pretty hard time getting a job. So i would focus more on the expierence part and use the certs to fill in the expierence holes. Just about anyone here will tell ya, anybody that has been doing actual computer work will know 3x that of someone that just got out of school with a degree or certification
ohh, another thing just remember the odds of getting a job where your salery is greater the the cost of a degree is very rare
Now, that depends on where you are though. I know a few people here in WI that had the experience but employers really wanted that piece 'o paper. One guy in particular had to accept a job at $9.00 an hour and promise that he would pursue his degree. I went through the technical college myself.
Of course, I should point out that I live in a notoriously conservative area.......................
Certifications are not worth much without experience. I don't think The Beav's experience is a normal one. I have several certifications and currently working on CCNA, but have not been able to land a Level 2 job in Dallas. I have 4 years helpdesk/desktop/field service experience. Right now my area is saturated with IT people looking for jobs and most of the cities in TX are the same, except Austin is in an IT boom. But I don't want to have to move every time the job opening is in a diff. city! I chose to go back to school next year full time and persue my bachelors in either MIS or Finance. I already have my broker's license, so really I have two career choices. At this point leaning away from IT
[This message has been edited by wyvrn (edited 08-22-2001).]
The training and knowledge gained in college should help you learn from experience much quicker. It truly helps to understand electrical and electronic fundamentals. There is great 2-year community college near me that is very good for this but it is also very tuff. Only about one-third of the freshmen stick it out for the degree.
yammahoppy, kill two birds with one stone. Go south on I45 a few miles (to houston). Bet the Houston police department has a few pc's/networks that need to be maintained
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