Question?
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  1. #1
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    About 2 years ago I worked at a shop as a PC Tech, but left the job because the money was short. I then got a job in the Circuit board industry but have been laid off twice(two different jobs)due to the downturn in business. So now that I have nothing to do with my days I am thinking about going and getting some certifications(A+,N+,Unix, and more). But what I would like to know is if I should start on a college CS degree first and then go after the certs, or get the certs, find a job, and then go back to college. I have about 1 1/2 years of job experience in the computer field and I really want to get back into the field. And I am 22 years old and need to start making some real money. Anyone have any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Registered User MacGyver's Avatar
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    I would go for the certs first, but only if there are available jobs in your area that you would be able to get in with those certs. Cruise the help wanted sites and see what skills are in demand, certs demand what salary range. Set yourself a target and shoot for it.

  3. #3
    Chat Operator Matridom's Avatar
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    I guess i'm doing things a little differently, i have no college deplomat, so i'm doing a school program that will get me a cert has part of it. So when i graduate, I'll have the diploma, the cert and experience. I'm looking at some good dough if i'm willing to move to the stats... If i stay here, i still get good money but not has much. IF your wondering, I'm getting a net admin degree with a CCNA cert.
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    Registered User ChipCreep's Avatar
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    I agree with MacGyver, if you're looking to stay in your local market, research what areas of skill are in demand first, then focus on findingthe right cert for that skillset. Just automatically thinking MCSE (which I have)or CCNA, etc. may leave you spinning your wheels for a while. In lots of areas, these certs don't carry the weight they did 18 months to 2 years ago.

    Good luck.
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    I got my combination a little differently - i started off in the telecoms test tool industry - and started doing an HNC (english qualification about half as difficult as a full honours degree) part time. I never completed it coz I had to move jobs and area of the country. I then put myself through 3 NT4 MCPs and changed jobs (almost doubling my salary). I am now (today in fact) taking the win2k pro starting out on the 2k mcse track.

    Maybe it's worth trying for a mixture - do the win2k pro and server mcps, then a cisco ccna to give yourself a fairly solid grounding (or maybe a network+) then get a junior admin role for a year. whilst at the job - upgrade your mcps to a full mcse or mcsa and go for another job paying about 50% higher (if you can). From there, you should have enough money to start putting yourself through college if the company won't pay for it. I don't know if you have this in the states, but in the UK we have Open University - where you study at home at your own pace. Check it out.
    Whatever you decide to do, good luck.
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  6. #6
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    Well starting March 4th I will be going to classes full time to get my A+, Network+, and MCSA. After I complete those classes and tests I will move onto the CCNA and Sun Unix Certifications. I am hoping that this will give my job search a little boost.

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    any employer worth his/her salt is just goign to look at your resume and say "paper qualifications".
    make sure you stress that these are paper qualifications unless you have any real world experience to back them up. It's taken me 3 years to get my win2k and nt4 qualifications, and I'll take another year to finnish off win2k and do my cisco. that'll give me a grand total of 6 years support experience, a win2k mcse+mcsa and a cisco ccna. I may do network+ as well, and an introduction to unix.
    Don't rush your qualifications - you want a balance of quals and experience.
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  8. #8
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    I worked as a PC Tech for about a year and a half. So I have some experience to back them up. Also the school where I am taking the classes helps with job assistance.

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    you should be ok then - but if I were you, space out your qualifications a bit. Do it in stages and consolidate what you already have learned in the dield with some theory - then practise this new knowledge in the field, then move on.....
    Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he's warm for the rest of his life.

  10. #10
    Registered User Jallentino's Avatar
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    Get the certs. An IT company will not hire a green college guy with no exp. or certs. But I am living proof that they will hire a certified proven worker with zero college. I filled out a resume/application for a big company that one of the prerequisites was a college degree in computer science. I have never set foot on a college campus (once I cut grass on one LOL) and I didn't let it intimidate me. I got an interview and was well prepared, I got the job. Lesson is that the job requirements are flexible depending on your ability. Nothing wrong with college but it can't replace real world experience in the field.
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  11. #11
    Registered User HIESLanMan's Avatar
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    I would say getting the certs first is a pretty good plan. They ought to be quicker, and probably easier since you already have some experience. In the long term, however, you might limit yourself if you don't eventually get a BS degree. A lot of places just won't hire anyone for a position worth having unless they have a degree, even if it's in English Lit.
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