Brodieeee (10th January 2011)
I decided to go into IT a couple of years ago. I did the COMPTIA A+ exams by buying a textbook and reading it. So far it has been of no use whatsoever in getting a job, its all about experience. All the jobs I was applying for required at least 1 years experience working in IT, which I didn't have. In the end I got this job through the mother of a friend, and have basically created my job role. I am now moving on to another job elsewhere, but everything I have learned here has been invaluable. An apprenticeship sounds like a great idea, combining the learning and experience.
I think the key thing overall is that you have an interest in IT in general. You have to take at least a certain amount of pleasure from fixing problems, and as a previous post said, you have to be willing and able to follow instructions no matter how tedious and boring.
I know from experience that apprenticeship people are moulded to fit how that company does ICT...for example, we had one apprenticeship guy show up for a practical test (as part of the interview process), he went all around the houses to add users to active directory creating all sorts of scripts etc.
Dont get me wrong he was technically able, however doing it through active directory was what I wanted to see. People who over complicate things and "show off" if you will are of no use.
If you want experience yes apprenticeships are good but look for voluntary work also!
Hi guys, sorry for a slow reply, I really do value all of your comments and I've acknowledged how much experience really is needed, an apprenticeship seems great.
I've seen some apprenticeships in networking advertised in the newspaper which can be provided by a college nearby, however, I also have a university nearby which I could go on a 3 year course doing networking... what would be the advantages and disadvantages of going to a university rather than a college?
In this economic climate, and presuming that the apprenticships would be attached to a job, I'd go for that every time - also you would be 'learning on the job' which is the best way IMHO
Thanks for the reply, I think I'll just have to see what the future holds and how the economy is. Maybe things will change but I'm seriously considering an apprenticeship now; get paid for learning, gain experience, qualifications and confidence. I think the experience will be especially useful when going for a job
HI, I have done MS and Cisco quals in the IT field you'll be lucy to get anywhere even a sniff of an interview if you havent got a few years experience so your gonna have get experience from somewhere to back up those vendor certs dude so get yourself some voluntary work maybe, still hasn't worked for me yet though!
Another +1 for experience over qualifications, I was lucky enough to be able to help out in my own school between lessons and during breaks before being offered a permanent position when I left Year 13. After a year there I secured my current job with only A-Level certifications.
In your shoes, I'd certainly be looking at the apprentiship route over a degree to allow you gain that experience. Another thing to bear in mind is that in a course you'll more often than not be taught how things should work, rather than how they actually work. And in IT there's often something of a void between the two. It's one thing being able to install and troubleshoot in an isolated lab environment, but when doing so in the real world there's often additional factors in play.
Another way to get a feel for things is to make use of Microsoft's virtual Labs here TechNet Virtual Labs These let you use a virtual machine running a Microsoft product for 90 minutes to get a feel things, and while they can't beat having a real server to play with, it's a good way to get a feel of things without the expense of doing so. One thing to bear in mind, although some of the labs may have quite imposing titles, you'll generally find that whichever you pick will present you with a full install of the product in question from where you can do whatever you like. Another advantage is that if you totally trash the machine you can just close the lab and start again.
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