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General Chat Thread, Career change to IT in General; ...
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    Question Career change to IT

    Dear all,
    I am new to this forum, looking some valuable advice on career change at 30. I have been working as Social worker for last 6 years but want a change now I want to start my career in IT but as its a vast field, I couldn't understand where to start, which stream of IT is in demand and is going to stay on the top.
    Above all here I need some advice on where shall I start from and which certification shall I complete to get a decent job in IT.


    Looking for your valuable suggestions………

  2. #2


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    Schools are definitely a good place to cut your teeth, but not if you want any substantial career progression. I got stuck here.

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    truebluesteve's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forums!

    I think firstly you need to have a passion for IT and want to learn. It sounds obvious, but I have interviewed lots of people for IT jobs and while qualifications are useful, having that desire to improve yourself is something I always look for. I have employed staff that haven't had MSCEs or experience, but did have that passion and they have always turned out to be great assets to the IT teams.

    Having said the above, getting some basic qualifications in IT will help get you in the door for interviews - compTIA a+ or Net + for example. You didn't mention if you already had any qualifications in IT so apologies if I'm teaching you to suck eggs!

    Apply for as many jobs as you can - they are likely to be junior positions of course and not very well paid, but once you're in a position you can get the experience you will need for the better paid more demanding roles that are out there.

    Hope this helps a bit, and good luck with your career change!

    Steve

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    shergill (2nd March 2013)

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    twin--turbo's Avatar
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    Be aware that you will be chasing a limited number of jobs, where there are time served applicants, part trained apprentices, young geeks.

    The pay at the bottom is BOTTOM.

    It's taken out ex-apprentice 7 months to get a 3 month trial with a national vehicle mover.

    What are your current I.T. Skills,

    Rob

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    IT, as you have said, is a vast area. You can have a career in IT doing what most of us do... technical support and network mamnagement. You can specialise in web design, programming, graphic media, apps... you name it.

    It's a bit like saying you want work in a shop... there are so many different types of shop and different types of jobs in shops that "working in a shop" isn't specific enough.

    What skills do you have and what training opportunities are available to you locally? You give your location as Melbourne... which is a bit out of my range when it comes to knowing the local training opportunities

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    shergill (2nd March 2013)

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    Thanks #truebluesteve for sharing an overview about IT recruiters that really is what I want to get an update of. To mention my skills level(@twinturbo), along with my Postgraduation in Socialwork I did some computer basics and some other crash courses vis VB n Oracle (must be outdated version now). Its only theoretical part but couldn't try my hands on in it as I started working with some philanthropic organisations.

    Currently I was making my mind to go for some of Microsoft certifications or CCNA as got to know from some online blogs(will it be viable to start?). Also read on some blog that IT security and cloud computing is also in demand these days (is it right to start with or it needs some intermediate level to conquer first). Here I want to worth mentioning that though currently I am in melbourne but in next few weeks/months I am moving to Canada hence I am looking here from that market perspective(@elsiegee40).
    Well above all I just following one old saying that to be happy in a profession is to choose what you want to do even in ur free time.So thats it, its IT for me.
    Thanks guys again......but keep pouring in ur Words of Wisdom.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    The first thing to say is forget "what is in demand". It's the wrong question. The more important question is what area interests you? It's a waste of time pursing a career in coding if programming bores you tears, or IT Support if you can't suffer fools lightly.

    I think most areas of IT look for experience and ability to learn on the job over qualifications. Thats not to say qualifications are not important and the higher you go more truck HR (who usually know little IT) put on fancy bits of paper, but in general demonstrable experience rules.

    When I look at CV's the first page I turn to is the supporting statement. Have you run your own website? Have wrote and programs? What kind of network do you have at home? Do you support friends and families IT? etc. Then I look at previous jobs and the example tasks listed for those jobs, and then last relevant qualifications.

    As has been said before, the best technicians I've employed have demonstrated a passion for the subject.
    .

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    shergill (3rd March 2013)

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    witch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shergill View Post
    Well above all I just following one old saying that to be happy in a profession is to choose what you want to do even in ur free time.So thats it, its IT for me.
    @shergill
    As everyone else has said - IT is huge! You say you have done some VB and Oracle which would be the software side of things - but Microsoft or CNAA is more the computer side (with associated software of course). Security and cloud can be come at from either side, it seems! If you think the sort of thing a lot of us on this forum do - work in schools - is for you then you need to do some of the basic courses such as A+ or just apply for jobs if you feel you could manage the sort of stuff we do and have some understanding of the way a network works. But be warned - the chances for progression are not numerous and unless you are very lucky, your earning power as an NM is not great.The salaries aren't bad if you are young but once you are at the top there is rarely anywhere else to go.
    Good luck with it all

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    shergill (3rd March 2013)

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    I was doing some research on the basis on inputs provided by you guys. Here I am getting an overview about the different tracks in IT like Infrastructure, database and development. I m not very much into coding so development track may not be for me. Based on some certification provider's(microsoft and CompTIA) career road map I am more into Infrastructure.
    I zeroed down to MTA (Microsoft technology associate) certificate which I assume stands equal to A+ of CompTIA too.
    But I do have some doubts here that which certification system (Microsoft or other) has better recognition in job market. While answering this question please ignore my previous certificates as I want to start afresh and dont want to take any chances here.
    Here are some certification road maps that I am referring to.
    Microsoft: https://www.prometric.com/en-us/clie...onPathways.pdf
    CompTIA: CompTIA Career Pathways

    Please do advice me which one will be better, or there are more better certification than this considering present market scenario.

    Thanks to all for getting time to guide me to unseen paths....

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    Quote Originally Posted by shergill View Post
    Here I want to worth mentioning that though currently I am in melbourne but in next few weeks/months I am moving to Canada
    Which part? There's a large film and computer games industry in Vancouver, software development and associated work around those might be worth looking at. Don't completly ignore your current qualifications - most of the difficulty in developing applications for any industry is that you have a bunch of software developers on one side and a bunch of industry specialists on the other, and getting the two to understand each other's requirements (what the business wants the software to do versus what it is possible / practical / cheapest to get a computer to do) is tricky. You might be able to corner the niche of the market that specialises in writing / supporting social work related software.

    Edit: if you're considering certifications, and bearing in mind your current location, seemingly certification courses are rather cheaper to undertake in Sri Lanka. I don't know what your timescale on moving is, but you could take a couple of months off on the way to Canada for an intensive study course.
    Last edited by dhicks; 4th March 2013 at 09:34 AM.

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    Hi @shergill,

    I've said this before on a number of threads, but I'll say it again!

    I did the whole career change thing nearly 5 years ago. I was in my late 30's! I was advised to do the A+ to begin with, as this shows employers that you have an aptitude for the work as an IT technician. I was VERY lucky in that I got a 3 month contract with a college, and that just rolled on for a year until they gave me a full contract. At the interview, I was asked if I wanted to only go for the full time job, or the temp job. I made a wise choice of going for either. It paid off for me.

    My boss told me that he was impressed by my enthusiasm, and that is why I was offered the temp spot. Being conscientious and willing to learn made it easy for them to keep extending the contract.

    Because of that, I was able to move on and am now the IT Technician for a small business, responsible for pretty much EVERYTHING!.

    If IT is REALLY where you want to go....Don't let anyone put you off. Try to do a course that suits your mindset. Apply for EVERY job that you can....Some experience is better than none. And above all, if you DO get into the education sector....try to get on with teachers/lecturers, as this will make your life so much easier!

    Good luck for the future!

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    Miscbrah's Avatar
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    I don't know if it's now as 'do-able' as it was about ten years back, but I also wanted a career change to support IT. I cut my teeth with the then MCDST (Miscrosoft Cert) and running my own little no-fix-no-fee home PC callout repair business to get some experience in. You'll need SpyBot, Malwarebytes, a Windows disc or two and a big flight case full of spares.

    Learn, of course, how to build a PC.

    Have a LITTLE dabble with Linux maybe. Just install it and spend a week with the command line. I can't STAND Linux and am very vocal about that, but I know the absolute pre-basics and have set up a samba server/know what putty is.

    That's mostly extra curricular though, and a certification is definitely good. If you go Microsoft, then make sure to put the logos on the top of your CV! Everyone likes pictures.

    So, my run down would be:

    Build a PC.
    Rid an infected-assed PC or ten of malware/virii.
    Install Ubuntu and sentence yourself to a week or two of misery.
    Learn how your router works (in overview at least, it's quite involved.)
    Learn what DHCP and DNS are/do.
    Learn what Active Directory does.
    Learn what a proxy server does.
    Install a network printer at home or share one over your home network.
    Write a batch file that does something.

    That'll be a few exercises to play with. It's not enough to get you building a house (figuratively speaking) but it IS showing you where the screwdrivers are!

    Good luck though mate. Remember throughout all of it it's not HARD as such, there's just LOTS of it to learn! And NOBODY knows everything.

  17. #13

    mattx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shergill View Post
    Dear all,
    I am new to this forum, looking some valuable advice on career change at 30. I have been working as Social worker for last 6 years but want a change now I want to start my career in IT but as its a vast field, I couldn't understand where to start, which stream of IT is in demand and is going to stay on the top.
    Above all here I need some advice on where shall I start from and which certification shall I complete to get a decent job in IT.


    Looking for your valuable suggestions………
    You been drinking ? You want to work in IT ? Don't do it !!

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    nephilim (10th March 2013)

  19. #14
    Duke5A's Avatar
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    If this is route you want to take, then I highly recommend getting into an educational institution at first. Educational IT is the wild frontier of the technology industry. You're placed in an environment where you have limited resources and you're challenged to come up with non-traditional ways to fix issues. You'll become an IT MacGyver. If you go corporate odds are you'll become silo-ed. You'll be responsible for a very specific task and you won't be allowed out of that. No out-of-the-box thinking in those jobs.

    At least these have been observations between working in this field for 12 years. I've got a few friends who went from education to corporate as well to draw on. Advancement opportunities may be limited in education, but we have the most fun.

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    aerospacemango (5th March 2013)

  21. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Duke5A View Post
    If this is route you want to take, then I highly recommend getting into an educational institution at first. Educational IT is the wild frontier of the technology industry. You're placed in an environment where you have limited resources and you're challenged to come up with non-traditional ways to fix issues. You'll become an IT MacGyver. If you go corporate odds are you'll become silo-ed. You'll be responsible for a very specific task and you won't be allowed out of that. No out-of-the-box thinking in those jobs.

    At least these have been observations between working in this field for 12 years. I've got a few friends who went from education to corporate as well to draw on. Advancement opportunities may be limited in education, but we have the most fun.


    ^^^^^ This is my experience as well!

    Education sector is very much "do it on the hoof".... There are a myriad of different tasks to do, and only a finite amount of money to do it with. In my current role.... I need something? Talk to a Director and order it! However, being responsible for the WHOLE network ....SOLELY....does bring other pressures! I was used to working in a team of 4....Now it's just me!

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