Moved to General Chat.
Im a new user looking for some advice! (Please move this message to another forum if it's incorrectly placed!)
Basically I work for a supermarket and have worked in annoying retail for 80% of my 'career'. I was a specialist electrician for a few months though!
I want to become an ICT Support Technician, specifically in a school because I enjoy the environment and the fact that kids seem more grateful if you solve a problem for them. Not only that, I think the job is more secure as there will always be a need for ICT in Schools.
Ive been volunteering at a high school since July to try pick up some experience and learn the ropes of IT and expand on my knowledge.
At first the school were suggesting I perhaps trained and did an NVQ however only wanted me to do a level 3 but that would cost them money so they have changed their mind.
I would be willing to fork out the money for the training (probably get a learning loan) but I'm a little apprehensive as the school have toned down how keen they are to teach me and have said they would do things such as 'make me more official by sending me an official letter of employment (for £0 wage!) which has never happened. There's also the problem with the fact they won't pay me anything nor contribute at all and I'm thinking perhaps another school might actually do this so maybe forking out £3.5K is quite a bit to have no guaranteed job at the end of it!
So..What does everyone think I should do? I love the job, I actually enjoy going in to work when I go to the school but something tells me this might not be the right school for me, just because they are so tight with money!
What is the best way to become an IT Techy?!
Hope someone can help!
Moved to General Chat.
My advice, if you are doing this for a school....DONT, unless you get everything in writing before hand, and signed off, you will rarely get whats promised (I frequent story with all techs I know personally and many on here).
Comptia do good courses which offer a solid foundation, perhaps go to a local college or university, ask to do a deal with them, they train you and give you access to courses for free, in return, you work for them at either a heavily discounted rate or free. You'd be surprised the amount of places that are willing to do this as it gives them the temporary help many are after, and you both benefit.
Job hunt for an ICT trainee or apprentice role, do not go spending ££££ on courses it's best in my opinion to get experience and then go on a course as that way it will make sense.
Don't put your eggs in all one basket, get out looking and trying in the hope you get paid work
Schools have a proven track record of exploiting their IT staff. underpaying them, and generally being unappreciative of all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes. Saying that, they're a great place to forge a career, you get to work with big kids and little kids and support staff, and the hours can be very convenient. IT in UK education is quite an exciting place to be at the moment - I'm loving the growth in the use of tablets like iPADs.
Despite the negative (but sadly true) statements regarding IT in schools, they can be a decent starting ground for someone wanting a career in IT. Expectation is high but you will get hands on experience and will certainly get to play with things normally considered above scope for junior technicians. There is a lack of appreciation but the fact is your CV will soon be bulging with various aspects of IT.
Only thing I can think of, is that the level of qualifications and experience to work as even a Junior IT tech in a school can be pretty high.
I wouldn't discount getting qualifications too much though. It shows that you have the motivation and application to want to succeed in your field.
Whilst some will disagree with me here as being unethical. I'd 'braindump' maybe the Windows 7 or 8 Microsoft Exam simply to get something on your CV that will look good. Providing you are familiar with both of these operating systems and know the basics of how to configure and troubleshoot them, then you will be fine. Remember, sometimes you need to do what it takes to get your foot in the door.
Feel free to PM me if you need any advice on the above.
This course is modular so you can pay a bit at a time, distance learning with support. Some day I shall get round to doing it myself, but a techie in this area has found it useful:
BTEC Award in Computer Engineering Level 2 - Home
But as others have said, schools can be big on promises and small on actual action. They expect you to know everything about anything that has a switch to turn it on, and don't worry too much about how you become such an expert as long as it doesn't cost them anything. Not all schools, of course, but a lot.
Wow thanks for all the quick response!
I think in all honesty by the look of it, spending 3.5 Grand on an NVQ level 3 might be a bit steep and perhaps the experience counts for a bit more? I could try get some lower level and cheaper qualifications and bulk out my CV with those? I've already sent off some more letters just this week to other schools just because I was having second thoughts about the way things were at my current school! None of the technicians are professionally qualified at all which shocks me because they are very talented and under valued!
I do get the impression that technicians are viewed as being very multi-skilled and need to know how to play with every gadget, which is fine with me but also a bit under appreciated. I do have a City and Guilds 2330 which helps me a bit with networking and techie stuff slightly.
Feeling that Im nearly too old now (27) to start to get in to this career line but I just know its the one for me!
You could always do a self study course for the A+ and N+ im 30 next year ok im a NM and have my mcsa and other new certs but I love my passion for computers and networks and I my self is thinking of doing a reed course which has the N+ and cisco but im doing it because I feel I have a gap and if you have the basic skills and know your way around a laptop and pc and know the hardware and know basic of networking then in someways you already are an ict technician its just how you bring your self across and be confident in your ability and to show them you have the skills
I think that instead of spending 3.5K on a course, spend £20 on one of the Microsoft study guides (Amazon), learn what's in it and do a Microsoft exam for £80-£90. A heck of a lot cheaper and is both a recognized qualification and depending on which you do (standard Windows 7 or 8 install exam) is fairly easy if you're already familiar with the product.
Personally, I started out on an apprenticeship scheme in a school. Low salary yes but I was training on the job and got an NVQ and City & Guilds at the end of it. After that I've done plenty of self study (MS and Apple) and attended a course for the Cisco stuff. But a school is an awesome place to work in order to get a broad knowledge of things
What part of the country are you in, if you're up t'north (around West Yorkshire) then we'll be advertising a technician vacancy in a couple of weeks.
This is just what my son is looking for - anyone got any vacancies down this way?
You have my sympathy; I got a lucky break but trust me when I say getting your foot in the door is the hard part. If you have the right attitude the education sector is a fantastic place to make a living.
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