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  1. Junior Member kidjudge's Avatar
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    #1

    Default I'm glad I found this site here is my story I want to get into IT

    After 10+ years in aviation I have decided that I want a new career. I have always enjoyed computers, working on them and figuring out how they work. I currently live in Pittsburgh and my dream is to get to Florida so I figured IT was the way.

    I applied for a job at Best Buy in the Geek Squad here in Pittsburgh in hopes of gaining experience. At my current job I work 7 12 hour shifts with 7 days off and I cant go to a normal school so everything I do is online.

    I bought Michael Meyers book A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, 4th Edition
    and I am studying that here at work to get my A+ Certification and I think next I will go for network.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated..Am I on the right track? I have set a goal of 3 years to complete as much as I can.

    I decided against Ashworth and Penn Foster I felt that I could do it on my own
    Last edited by kidjudge; 01-11-2011 at 11:41 PM.
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  3. Alligator wrestler Moderator Plantwiz's Avatar
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    #2
    Quote Originally Posted by kidjudge View Post
    ]..Am I on the right track? I have set a goal of 3 years to complete as much as I can.
    Download a copy of the objectives from CompTIA.
    Work though those in addition to Meyers book should be very helpful!

    3 years to accomplish what? So, get more specific with your goals. A+ is geared toward candiates with 500 hours of experience (which is about a half year) but it should include more than a mere ram install. So, pickup some old boxes and build/tear apart and rebuild these. Scavage for old hardward and test it out...be curious.

    However, if your interest doesn't lie with Hardware and single box troubleshooting, than be prepared for the next steps of networking and beyond (well, boxes on the nextwork (or clients), servers and switches!!)

    And if you find you have more interest in switches than you may wish to merely read the A+ stuff, but not test and look toward higher level certs in the Cisco family.

    Not everyone needs an A+. There is certainly no harm in obtaining it, plus it gives you practice for your new career of exam taking Just search out your true interests and what you see yourself doing...then you can find the exams to help mark your success.




    I decided against Ashworth and Penn Foster I felt that I could do it on my own
    Not sure who/what this is, but if is a 'tech/certification' school...then you can certainly buy a TON of books cheaper than what you'll pay for that type of training.

    If you want a formal education, check out your local colleges.
    Plantwiz
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    "Grammar and spelling aren't everything, but this is a forum, not a chat room. You have plenty of time to spell out the word "you", and look just a little bit smarter." by Phaideaux

    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
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  4. Junior Member kidjudge's Avatar
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    I think I would rather stick to the software side of it rather than the hardware side of it. My goal is to go to Florida in 3 years and get whatever job I can in IT. I looked into local colleges and I cant do that based on my schedule 7 on 7 off 12 hour shifts I take take 6 of the 9 classes but the other 3 require me to actually attend.

    I want to get what I can the cheapest way I can....
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    #4
    A+, Network+, and Security+ are all a good start. By the time you finish those you'd know what you want to do specifically.

    The I.T. programs listed here Online University Degree | Western Governors University Online are pretty popular on techexams. For $3k/6 months your certifications are all paid for by the school as part of your tuition. One guy on TE (sorry I don't remember who) went from an A.S. to WGU and finished with WGU in 6 months. You finish at your pace, so the more motivated and intelligent you are, the faster you can finish.
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  6. Junior Member kidjudge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehnde View Post
    A+, Network+, and Security+ are all a good start. By the time you finish those you'd know what you want to do specifically.

    The I.T. programs listed here Online University Degree | Western Governors University Online are pretty popular on techexams. For $3k/6 months your certifications are all paid for by the school as part of your tuition. One guy on TE (sorry I don't remember who) went from an A.S. to WGU and finished with WGU in 6 months. You finish at your pace, so the more motivated and intelligent you are, the faster you can finish.
    So in 6 months I can have all those certs? and it only costs 3000?
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  7. Audentis Fortuna Iuvat veritas_libertas's Avatar
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    #6
    Do you have any experience in programming? If not pick up some books and start. Programming is not for everyone and since you have a goal of 3-years it's time to learn whether or not you like it.
    Currently working on: Resting
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  8. Junior Member kidjudge's Avatar
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    #7
    Can you email me ehnde? I have some questions about WGU
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  9. Junior Member kidjudge's Avatar
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by veritas_libertas View Post
    Do you have any experience in programming? If not pick up some books and start. Programming is not for everyone and since you have a goal of 3-years it's time to learn whether or not you like it.
    I really have no experience in programming I like to "tinker" around but I feel that I know more than the average person....
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  10. Audentis Fortuna Iuvat veritas_libertas's Avatar
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    #9
    Currently working on: Resting
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  11. Junior Member kidjudge's Avatar
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    #10
    Thank you
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  12. Audentis Fortuna Iuvat veritas_libertas's Avatar
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by kidjudge View Post
    I really have no experience in programming I like to "tinker" around but I feel that I know more than the average person....

    Okay, I just wanted to make sure you didn't just decide to start programming with zero knowledge about it.

    One of the more popular programming languages, Java, has quite a few online help sites:

    JavaRanch - A Friendly Place for Java Greenhorns

    New to Java Programming Center
    Currently working on: Resting
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  13. Junior Member kidjudge's Avatar
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    #12
    I looked a little at WGU and as of right now I dont have the requirements to get into the school

    A Simple Admission Process: What’s Needed
    To be admitted into this online IT degree, you must:

    Possess a high school diploma or its equivalent.
    Demonstrate IT experience through at least one of the following methods:
    An associate’s degree in IT or equivalent (A.S. or A.A.S. acceptable)
    Transferable IT certifications earned within the last 5 years
    A resume showing three-plus years of IT work experience


    So I think that WGU is out for me right now...This program that another poster talked about 3000/6months where is that at? I would like to get the certs dont really want a degree not the degree type. But if I have to I have to
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  14. Burn Baby Burn! Cisco Inferno's Avatar
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by kidjudge View Post
    So in 6 months I can have all those certs? and it only costs 3000?
    No, he had plenty of high end industry certs i believe that waived off plenty of classes. The most of the IT classes offered by WGU are focused on certifications and obtaining them are required for passing i believe.

    think you're glad that you found this site? wait till you find Professor Messer.
    freeaplus.com he's been a huge helping hand that helped me focus for my a+ and Network+ certifications. I believe you can easily do A+ and Net+ in 4-6 months. do it like this... before reading a specific chapter, watch the corresponding video while pausing to take notes. THEN read the book and it will all be so easy to understand after watching. doing it the other way around has always lead me to having to read a page about 3 times over..

    good luck.
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  15. Junior Member kidjudge's Avatar
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Cisco Inferno View Post
    No, he had plenty of high end industry certs i believe that waived off plenty of classes. The most of the IT classes offered by WGU are focused on certifications and obtaining them are required for passing i believe.

    think you're glad that you found this site? wait till you find Professor Messer.
    freeaplus.com he's been a huge helping hand that helped me focus for my a+ and Network+ certifications. I believe you can easily do A+ and Net+ in 4-6 months. do it like this... before reading a specific chapter, watch the corresponding video while pausing to take notes. THEN read the book and it will all be so easy to understand after watching. doing it the other way around has always lead me to having to read a page about 3 times over..

    good luck.

    Thank you for the advice I think that is a good idea so you ave a+ and network? How are your job prospects and I assume you did all this on your own? No college?
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    #15
    I'm sorry if what I said was misleading. The guy I'm talking about that finished WGU in 6 months already had an associates degree. He basically compressed 2 additional years of work into 6 months to obtain his B.S. in I.T. A+/Network+/Security+ is more than enough to get an entry level job (helpdesk). Of course we're only talking about $13 - $20/hour here.
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  17. Burn Baby Burn! Cisco Inferno's Avatar
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by kidjudge View Post
    Thank you for the advice I think that is a good idea so you ave a+ and network? How are your job prospects and I assume you did all this on your own? No college?
    I have no job experience but have been a pretty extreme systems builder and overclocker as a hobby since i was 14. (straight up hardware geek pumping volts and raising cpu frequency, water cooling etc. Its addictive btw) Anyways I figured i might as well start a career with what i love. I'm 21 and start college in a few weeks. I guess i should have done it sooner. Alot of people here are saying that its a degree that gets your an interview. And a degree is required for higher end roles like IT management. Job prospects are fine but im going to figure this school thing out first for a couple months while getting more certs.

    Three things to remember when getting a job in IT. Experience, Education and Certs. they all compliment each other.

    Self study is the way to go for these entry level certifications. If you ever upgraded ram or built your own computer you could pass the A+. I only spent about 3 weeks of skimming and reviewing as almost everything was no suprise to me.

    For your A+ i would like you to print out the Official Objectives and cross out or mark the areas you covered in your readings. It gives you a real perspective on what you have covered.

    Since there are two tests and there is a WHOLE lot of overlap, i would suggest scheduling your 702 exam maybe 3-7 days After your 701. It will give you enough time to refresh and focus for the 702 without losing any learned information.

    The 701 is the Essentials exam and the 702 is the Practical(troubleshooting) exam. Heres a snippet of the A+ for dummies book listing the official objectives ALONG with whether its on the 701 or 702. real helpful for knowing what you need to cram last minute.
    Last edited by Plantwiz; 01-12-2011 at 05:53 AM. Reason: posting copyrighted material
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  18. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #17
    Kidjudge,
    Have you looked into doing your IT training at New Horizons Computer Learning Center? The majority of our tech classes are 5-days long, which would work perfectly with your 7-on, 7-off schedule. Good luck on your journey to Florida, I moved here 2 years ago and love it!!
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  19. Junior Member kidjudge's Avatar
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Jake View Post
    Kidjudge,
    Have you looked into doing your IT training at New Horizons Computer Learning Center? The majority of our tech classes are 5-days long, which would work perfectly with your 7-on, 7-off schedule. Good luck on your journey to Florida, I moved here 2 years ago and love it!!
    No never heard of it but looking at it now..So did you move to FL from the burgh? Are you doing what I am trying to do?
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    Had to rework my post as I didn't see that you want to stay on the software side of IT. I don't know why this thread is headed toward suggesting A+/Net+ then, because you are just wasting your time as you are entering the hardware realm with those certs.

    As someone else stated, look into Java as it is pretty much the base language to learn comp sci methodology off of at the college level nowadays. I am a comp sci major, Java was taught throughout [one semester we touched on a few other languages, just for comparison, which was a waste of time and money...but, that's college for you]. Look into the SCJP certification, or whatever Oracle calls it now, check Here.

    While digging into Java & Comp Sci, might want to learn some Perl. Lightweight and powerful language, which can get things done quickly. You won't need to get into the meat and potatoes of OOP to get something done with it. Just my 2 cents.

    Watch New Horizons. My old company sent people there for their 5 day schedules, but they are pricey. I am currently looking into some CCNA training and there is a school nearby that offers much more in terms of classwork, instruction and lab time for the same cost. Granted it's a 10 week, 2 days a week course with open lab access as compared to a 5 day course. Nothing against NH at all, but if you are looking to really get into something....common sense should tell you that 5 days is only skimming the surface of anyone one topic.
    Last edited by JCGee; 01-12-2011 at 10:27 PM.
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  21. Junior Member kidjudge's Avatar
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by JCGee View Post
    I've recently had an interview with 2 IT recruiters, and they both highly recommended getting the A+, since many of their clients *require* the cert for the contract techs to take on the more involved [albeit still lower level] hardware jobs.

    My degree in Comp Sci didn't seem to matter to them and rightfully so as it's software centric. However, it didn't come into play AT ALL due to payrate, which I was a little taken back by..but then again, the employment environment, beggars can't be choosers.

    Definitely look into certifying. It will get you passed HR screening and get you familiar with basic terminology and show you are making a commitment [of time and money] to the industry.

    I saw you like to tinker with programming as well and someone suggested Java. My degree was centered around the language, and it can get pretty involved, pretty quickly. I would suggest looking into Perl first. I am currently doing it and it is more practical for administration than java is. Need something done fast for a repetitive process, draft up, or find, a perl script. Just my 2 cents.
    Thank you for your advice I am looking into the A+ Certification and whatever else I can get in 3 years. With my schedule it is hard to go to a regular school but it looks like New Horizon that the above poster suggested will work well for me. I just emailed them asking about prices
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  22. Junior Member kidjudge's Avatar
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Jake View Post
    Kidjudge,
    Have you looked into doing your IT training at New Horizons Computer Learning Center? The majority of our tech classes are 5-days long, which would work perfectly with your 7-on, 7-off schedule. Good luck on your journey to Florida, I moved here 2 years ago and love it!!
    Do you remember the prices of the classes
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    #22
    They were $1800 a pop, but this was a few years back. I think upwards of $3000 is standard now, but do not quote me on that. In fact, I was in talks with a new horizon consultant 2 weeks ago after responding to a job posting they had on a site. Turns out it was a misleading ad and they wanted $19000 for a course where they pump out most base certs all the way to the MICTP or MCSE depending on path chosen.

    Deciding to go the Cisco route, I found a school that offers CCNA and Sec+ coursework for $4000. 10 weeks, 2 nights a week, online access and hands on lab time.

    Again, nothing at all against NH, it's just good to get quotes from as many vendors as you can.

    If you are not wanting to get into the hardware side of IT, you need to rethink your path though. CompTia certs are the "basic" certs of IT, but they are not cheap, and now need re certification as opposed to lifetime.
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  24. Junior Member kidjudge's Avatar
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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by JCGee View Post
    They were $1800 a pop, but this was a few years back. I think upwards of $3000 is standard now, but do not quote me on that. In fact, I was in talks with a new horizon consultant 2 weeks ago after responding to a job posting they had on a site. Turns out it was a misleading ad and they wanted $19000 for a course where they pump out most base certs all the way to the MICTP or MCSE depending on path chosen.

    Deciding to go the Cisco route, I found a school that offers CCNA and Sec+ coursework for $4000. 10 weeks, 2 nights a week, online access and hands on lab time.

    Again, nothing at all against NH, it's just good to get quotes from as many vendors as you can.

    If you are not wanting to get into the hardware side of IT, you need to rethink your path though. CompTia certs are the "basic" certs of IT, but they are not cheap, and now need re certification as opposed to lifetime.
    Wow that expensive eh? I think I will go the route that I am going now with the Prof
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  25. Junior Member Registered Member
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    Kidjudge,

    I work at the New Horizons in Jacksonville Florida. Each NH is individually owned but the prices should be pretty standard. Unfortunately I can't do anything for you here, but I'm sure the folks in Pittsburgh will treat you right. I also agree with the advice to look at several vendors, but from the sounds of your schedule, NH might be the right ticket for you.

    I moved to FL from South Dakota 2 years ago. Never been to Pittsburgh, but i do own a terrible towel!!

    Best of luck with your career!
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  26. Junior Member kidjudge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief Jake View Post
    Kidjudge,

    I work at the New Horizons in Jacksonville Florida. Each NH is individually owned but the prices should be pretty standard. Unfortunately I can't do anything for you here, but I'm sure the folks in Pittsburgh will treat you right. I also agree with the advice to look at several vendors, but from the sounds of your schedule, NH might be the right ticket for you.

    I moved to FL from South Dakota 2 years ago. Never been to Pittsburgh, but i do own a terrible towel!!

    Best of luck with your career!
    Thanks OUCH South Dakota COLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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