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General Chat Thread, IT qualifications in General; Originally Posted by AshF all MCSE courses I've been on have been 3-5 days. This is because they fit a ...
  1. #46
    mrforgetful's Avatar
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    Re: IT qualifications

    Quote Originally Posted by AshF
    all MCSE courses I've been on have been 3-5 days. This is because they fit a hell of a lot of information in those courses. You need that time. Most MCSE books are roughly the size of a Yellow Pages...
    Yeh, and you have to love Microsoft Course 2273. This course is covered in 5 days but is actually a combination of courses 2274 and 2275. Nothing strange you might think, but those two courses and 5 days and 3 days respectively, meaning you are doing 8 days of course in 5.

  2. #47

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    Re: IT qualifications

    I have no specific quals, working towards MCSE to get the blasted bits of paper that people seem to want in there minds shortlist and interview me for positions. I have 5 years of experience, and in that time built 3 systems from scratch and worked with the rest.

  3. #48
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    Re: IT qualifications

    Quote Originally Posted by john
    I have 5 years of experience, and in that time built 3 systems from scratch and worked with the rest.
    Ok, to me, that'd be more likely to get you an interview than MCSE's...

    But i'mw weird.

  4. #49

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    Re: IT qualifications

    Quote Originally Posted by AshF
    Quote Originally Posted by john
    I have 5 years of experience, and in that time built 3 systems from scratch and worked with the rest.
    Ok, to me, that'd be more likely to get you an interview than MCSE's...

    But i'mw weird.
    Thats exactly what I hope and wish people would see but some (not everyone) wants to see MCSE there, if it doesn't say MCSE, CCNA etc then they are not interested.

    So how bout you come up here Ash and run a school up North and employ me as IT Manager

  5. #50
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    Re: IT qualifications

    7 years experience and an MCSA and I recently didnt get shortlisted for an educational job because I didnt have a degree

  6. #51

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    Re: IT qualifications

    Their loss, ChrisH

  7. #52
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    Re: IT qualifications

    [quote="john"]
    Quote Originally Posted by AshF
    So how bout you come up here Ash and run a school up North and employ me as IT Manager
    Because I'm a Soft Southerner who'd never survive up there in the harsh realms of the North...

  8. #53

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    Re: IT qualifications

    I was at college doing a computing degree when I took a placement year (offered as part of course) at a school as a technician (right place right time) who had just been let down. I was then offered a full time post with a salary increase to stay so I converted my course to an HNC and settled in to gain some hands on experience.

    I was the only technician and after about 2 years the ICT co-ordinator proved himself technically incompotent and I managed to negotiate myself into a network managers role (still loads of hands on technical stuff) and was given a part time technician.

    I am now about to negotiate for a full time technician and a salary review as the school is expanding and my responsibilities have dramatically increased, unfortunately while I am appreciated senior management are not very IT knowledglable and have no idea of the work involved to maintain a reliable and secure network.

    I never did go back to finish my computing degree as I felt the course wasn't particularly useful for my job and I learnt far more by practical hands on firefighting, however I am in my last year of an OU open degree which includes computing and Classics (strange bedfellows I know)and have just secured myself a CCNA course at the Open University which the school is funding. (hurrah) I couldn't get them to pay for a MCSE but I am going to work on that with the new Headteacher when he or she is appointed.

    Sorry I posted before I had made my point, that being in the right place with a bit of releveant experince and the ability to learn quickly and react well when presented with a problem is worth much more than qualifications but how many jobs in industry and even some secondary and tertiary education jobs now state that they require either a degree or relevant experience before you will get an interview. The honest reality is that if you and another have similar experience and one has a degree it is likley that the person with the degree would get an interview before you, a HR dept can judge a person by his CV alone and only in the interview/skills test will the best candidate prevail. The problem is if you are not shortlisted and this is where being a graduate helps, harsh but it is becoming the common reality especially if you are not young (ie cheap to employ and take a chance apon)

  9. #54

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    Re: IT qualifications

    Not many of us have seen every problem under the sun, or have an answer to every question

    I think there is an element of experience that often gets overlooked, something that cannot easily be taught in a classroom or lecture theatre.

    Experienced ICT Support staff generally have the ability to deal with a problem they have never encountered before in a calm manner; they can approach it in a methodical way, analysing the situation, looking for evidence, searching/researching the available resources for answers, a solution, or a work-around. They are able to articulate the problem (often in layman terms), present choices where choices exist, make recommendations, and deliver a solution on time and effectively.

    Qualifications don't always prepare you for this. Qualifications imply that you have the ability to achieve, but don't necessarily mean you can. This is true in all walks of life.

    It's a bit like learning to drive; you take a written test which teaches the theory; you take lessons which give you the ability to handle the controls & gain a little bit of road experience, you take a short practical test which satisfies the examiner you have reasonable control of a vehicle and are not a threat to the public, but it can take years to learn how to anticipate danger, avoid risk, cope with bad weather, driving in the dark and on motorways and be a safe driver. This is born out by the accident statistics that show younger inexperienced drivers tend to have more accidents.

  10. #55

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    Re: IT qualifications

    Reverting back to the OP's thread, if I may (and then digressing slightly later)... for any student I spoke to in our school who wanted to work in the field of IT, I said the same thing: don't go to uni... get yourself an apprenticeship or a techie job in a school or small business and work your way up.

    As has been debated on here experience counts as much for, if not more than, qualifications. My personal belief is that it would be much more useful to gain the knowledge and experience whilst studying for the formal quals.

    I went down the university route, in fact I have a degree in English and the extent of my knowledge about IT was how to use MS Office when I left uni. I have been very fortunate so far in that my first job was a graduate job with a large bank, who put me through eons of IBM training to qualify me as a Sys Admin in AIX. I was late to Windows, not starting on the server side until I was 23 and got bored of the UNIX stuff. I dropped a silly amount of money and went to work for a solicitors as a 2nd/3rd line helpdesk bod in an environment completely foreign. Needless to say, I have no idea why I got that job and why they employed me.

    However, I started to learn and was just finding my feet when I got the job in a school... they weren't bothered by my lack of qualifications but were happier with my enthusiasm to learn. The same with my current job - I still have no formal IT qualifications which are useful to my current role; they have already told me that they aren't bothered by qualifications as long as the experience is there. That said, in order to bring me up to the same standard as everyone else they are going to pay for me to do my MCSE etc etc (basically I've been told: "do what courses you think is required"). Then a BCS nomination come July... and I start wondering why I ever left industry...

    But yes, back to my original point - any hands-on 'earn as you learn' style courses or jobs for students these days are, in my opinon, worth more than studying for degrees and exams which provide no practical experience.

    One of the lads in my old sixth form has just landed himself a role with Zenos. he's only getting EMA allowance whilst he learns but will walk out with experience and an MCSA, which he can at least build on for the future... with no student loan debts to speak of... lucky thing! I personally think it's a fantastic route and wish I'd had the same thing available to me ten years ago...

  11. #56

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    Re: IT qualifications

    Quote Originally Posted by indiegirl
    Reverting back to the OP's thread, if I may (and then digressing slightly later)... for any student I spoke to in our school who wanted to work in the field of IT, I said the same thing: don't go to uni... get yourself an apprenticeship or a techie job in a school or small business and work your way up.
    While I might agree with this in practical terms - I'd have to say that as a long term strategy, I'm more aligned with the BCS's plan of trying to make ICT a profession, rather than a trade. Until you get to a situation where every IT project has to have a qualified IT professional on board (rather like engineering projects do), then there will pretty much zero respect (or reward) for our technical abilities.

    I'm probably too old to benefit from this myself - but I'd certainly maintain that we should work towards it.

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    Re: IT qualifications

    Quote Originally Posted by indiegirl

    One of the lads in my old sixth form has just landed himself a role with Zenos. he's only getting EMA allowance whilst he learns but will walk out with experience and an MCSA, which he can at least build on for the future... with no student loan debts to speak of... lucky thing! I personally think it's a fantastic route and wish I'd had the same thing available to me ten years ago...
    Going back to this, i too myself saw this opportunity and decided to give it ago and landed a place. Your right the way its run it great.. Ok most people moan that it isnt paid but the amount the qualification total to is worth its weight in gold. The company is to make more sites this year so i imagine its going to give alot more people the opportunity to step into a IT career too, its quite heavy for people who arent computer literate and on that there has been alot of people dropping out but hey... there loss

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    Re: IT qualifications

    This is my first full time job and I am the network manager for a medium sized school (it is a middle school). I got into the job after having taken 2.9years of my BSc degree course and dropping out. During the time I was at uni I worked in various areas of the uni's IT support dept supporting users with their own computers, the uni-maintained computers, anti-virus stuff, developement and technical documentation writing. So a wide spread really.

    And before that, between ages 15 and 18, I set up and maintained a linux server/windows client network at my high school during my time there, was involved in a project called the 'Manx Multimedia Centre' etc...

    So overall, even though I don't have a specific IT related qualification (yet) I nearly got one (the degree which I ended due to financial/personal issues) but I have a wide range of experience.

    But then, I'm probably an atypical example really...

    So my advice would be to tell them to think more about experience than courses. Get them to come and give you a hand or something? Or get them to go get part time jobs in IT somewhere. Other than that, I would say that high school courses related to IT are pretty useless. Other qualifications such as MCSE/MCSA/A+ etc... are possible but they are rather costly for a high school kid.

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    Re: IT qualifications

    If you really want to get some paper to go after your name go the self study route, and actually spend the time playing with the product.

  15. #60
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpuffMonkey View Post
    Seriously - those of us of a "mature" age usually just drifted into IT from other things
    'tis true. I left school at 16 with no GCSE's and a promise of a career in printing.

    That fell flat on its face after 2 years, at which point over the next couple of years, I drifted from retail to Sussex Trug maker! I finally ended up as a postman prior to getting married in the late 80's, and by accident, discovered I just 'understood' how computers worked by fiddling with my Dad's Atari and Commodore, and then moving onto so-called 'IBM Compatibles'.

    I used to pay the other posties to do my shifts as I could go out and work as a computer technician on private jobs and still make money!

    Never really looked back since.

    Regretfully perhaps, I've no industry recognised qualifications in IT (except a dated City & Guilds from 1995!) but this is something I intend to address in 2010.

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