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  1. Member fleck's Avatar
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    #51
    Quote Originally Posted by knwminus View Post
    Isn't that quite a bit of certifications to obtain in a year?
    It sure is quite a bit of certifications to train for. I don't know if I'll be taking all the cert tests that quickly, but I'll definitely take Network+ and A+ as soon as I can.

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  3. Baroo? skrpune's Avatar
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    #52
    Quote Originally Posted by knwminus View Post
    Isn't that quite a bit of certifications to obtain in a year?
    That was my thought. It sounds like it's going to be a pretty intensive program.

    With 17 courses in a year, that's about 3 weeks each. Yowza! I've been contacted by companies for similar programs, and to me, it just seems like too much in too short a time. You might get adequate preparation to pass the exams, but not so sure you can really learn the materials to apply them on the job. And getting that many certs on such a fast timescale without job experience to back it up may result in being seen as a paper tiger.

    All these certs are attainable on a self-study path. From dealings with other similar programs, I'd venture to say that this program is charging anywhere from $10K - $15K or more, and great googly moogly, that's a lot of money. To each his/her own, but I've chosen the slow & steady path of getting my certs on my own at a pace that's more natural and that ties in better with where I am on my career path. It's a much smaller monetary investment which is spread out over a longer time period (and hence is much less painful to the ol' bank account) and I find that it helps me to retain the info better when going at a bit of a slower pace.

    If you do go for this program and get those certs, my advice would be to NOT mention the training program's name on any resume and to just list your certs. These programs are often seen as negatives and as diploma mills and it may give folks the wrong first impression about you. There are multiple complaint sites that mention FastTraining and a quick googling would yield some results that would make me question the legitimacy of the training. They also have multiple (at least 16) registered complaints with the BBB.

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    #53
    Quote Originally Posted by fleck View Post
    It sure is quite a bit of certifications to train for. I don't know if I'll be taking all the cert tests that quickly, but I'll definitely take Network+ and A+ as soon as I can.

    The reason why I said that is because not only is that alot of test, there is a lot of very different types of information involved with all of those test. Retaining all of that info would be difficult. Also if an employer saw that you just "magically" ( no offense) obtained a laundry list of certs, it may hurt you.

  5. Member fleck's Avatar
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    #54
    I already mentioned knowledge of their PAST problems with a SPECIFIC campus. I did not find any of those BBB reports, and I just cam back from the BBB site, where my campus has an A- rating. As I stated before, this school has clout in Tampa and is recognized by several companies and is allied with the state's unemployment (now subsidized as 'Workforce') offices.
    Last edited by fleck; 09-07-2009 at 04:36 PM.

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    #55
    Quote Originally Posted by skrpune View Post
    That was my thought. It sounds like it's going to be a pretty intensive program.

    With 17 courses in a year, that's about 3 weeks each.
    Oh EM Gee! That is not alot of time. I have been doing this CCNA for sometime (a solid couple of months) and I don't think there is anyway to pass that test in 3 weeks without prior experience. Even N+ maybe slightly difficult without networking knowledge. I am not sure about the MCSA/E but I am sure that it would be difficult. I read your post about the Community Colleges but many schools have certs/prep for certs built into the degree. have you considered that?

    For an example, I am going back to school in the spring. With the A+/N+/CCNA/CCNA:S i can get out of about 30 credits out of a 90 credit degree. The best part about it is the fact I get credit for those classes when on my transcript as A's.

  7. Member fleck's Avatar
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    #56
    Quote Originally Posted by knwminus View Post
    Oh EM Gee! That is not alot of time. I have been doing this CCNA for sometime (a solid couple of months) and I don't think there is anyway to pass that test in 3 weeks without prior experience
    17 classes for a handful of certs means that there will be compound months of training for each cert. And I AM already highly familiar with the subject matter at hand when it comes to A+ and Network+ (and I already have a couple of pages of Network+ notes from video lessons I've been watching). MS will be a bit hard, I know that much because I've seen the ridiculously specific types of questions they ask relating to menus and dialog boxes. I might put off the MS certs and go straight for CCENT and CCNA.

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    #57
    The MCSE is composed of seven exams. With the other certs on your to-do list, I hardly think that qualifies as a "handful".

    If you are so familiar with the material, what's the point of taking classes? There are cheaper and easier ways to learn. If you're the type of person you claim to be, this seems like an absolute waste for you.

    You're more than welcome to do whatever you want; it's your life. You seem to be on the defensive and are acting like we don't want you to be successful for some reason. We're just familiar with those types of institutions and have gotten lots of feedback from people who have attended them. I think you're going to be hard pressed to find anyone here that will encourage you to go that route. Have you looked at WGU or Capella?

    Oh well, if/when it doesn't work out, I suppose you can always try suing the school...

  9. Baroo? skrpune's Avatar
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    #58
    Quote Originally Posted by fleck View Post
    17 classes for a handful of certs means that there will be compound months of training for each cert. And I AM already highly familiar with the subject matter at hand when it comes to A+ and Network+ (and I already have a couple of pages of Network+ notes from video lessons I've been watching). MS will be a bit hard, I know that much because I've seen the ridiculously specific types of questions they ask relating to menus and dialog boxes. I might put off the MS certs and go straight for CCENT and CCNA.
    I'm not sure I would call A+ & Network+ & Security+ & MCSA & MCSE & CCENT & CCNA a "handful" of certs. That's a lot of stuff to cover! It works out to about 12 exams (give or take, depending on how you go with electives for MCSA/MCSE), so it averages out to about 1 exam per month over a 12 month period. We're not questioning your abilities or knowledge, but the pace of the program is pretty intensive, even for someone with some previous knowledge of some of the subject matter.

    I can't speak for others here, but I am just trying to be helpful and give you some honest feedback. Just because your one campus gets an ok review with the BBB doesn't negate the less than stellar reputation of the overall parent company, and others out there might not make that distinction you make between the locations.

    I truly wish you luck in your studies, and I would recommend that you take however much time you need to really learn the materials and to prepare not only for the exam but for the knowledge you'll need to perform on the job.

  10. Member fleck's Avatar
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    #59
    Thanks to all, and hell yeah I'm on the defensive! I am already knee deep into this. FASFA and Pell have given me the loans/grants, and everyone's eyes are on me right now. If I back out of this now my parents will say 'go live with your sister or your loser friends!'

    Also CCNA isn't part of the curriculum, just CCENT. CCNA obviously I plan to pursue another way, possibly independent studying which will be easier after I have the basics down.

    I just think this is the best way for me to become educated on what I need to know to pass the certs. And to be honest I do not really learn well from just reading books or watching videos and taking notes. I need access to the classroom's hardware and software so that I can do the labs and get hands-on knowledge of what I'm doing. The most I'll have to buy over the next year might be a decent Cisco router to play with on my own time. The rest I can actually work on learning there at the school, have assignments to do and SPECIFIC things to learn, which really helps.

    The MOST important part is that I get through this school, do well and obtain that piece of paper that says I've learned something.
    Last edited by fleck; 09-07-2009 at 05:11 PM.

  11. Baroo? skrpune's Avatar
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    #60
    Quote Originally Posted by fleck View Post
    I just think this is the best way for me to become educated on what I need to know to pass the certs.
    I'm not trying to beat a dead horse here, but your focus should be on learning the materials to apply on the job, not learning how to pass the exams. Perhaps it's just phrasing, but that first statement just doesn't sit well with me.

    Quote Originally Posted by fleck View Post
    The MOST important part is that I get through this school, do well and obtain that piece of paper that says I've learned something.
    And I'd venture to say that the most important thing is that you learn the skills you need to back up the certs. It might be a nice added bonus to get a diploma, but I still caution against putting the training program/diploma on your resume since its reputation may not be seen as a positive addition. Diplomas for training programs don't get a lot of respect in the industry, so take that into account when you're working on your resume.

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    #61
    I'd cut my losses and find something better. Throwing more time and money into a bad deal is only going to make things worse. There are quality programs for what you want to do; I'd seriously reevaluate the situation if I were you.

    I agree with the hands-on portion, but we can help you build a lab that will allow you to do everything you could possibly want for a small fraction of what going there will cost you.

    Also, when you speak of their reputation and how they'll help you with job placement or whatever, are respected businesses telling you that, or are they? Have you spoken with previous students? What types of jobs did they land? How are they doing now?

  13. Member fleck's Avatar
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    #62
    It's pretty diverse. A lot of the guys studying there are already professionals working in the field. Some have been recommended FastTrain by their place of work/co-workers. One of the guys there who works in IT is well established and came to FastTrain to get certified because he's known the Director of Education for years. Over the last 2 years FastTrain has revamped everything in attempts to be seen as a serious school, and I definitely see it as a serious school.

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    #63

    Default Degree

    But the fact is, you won't be getting a degree. Most job posting/employers are looking for Degree or Relative Experience + Certs. A degree is huge man.

    Even an Associates degree will have a leg up on you here.

    I do feel your pain. The normal community college route did not work for me, which is fine. There is a technical school here that taught towards certs. However, it was setup much differently. We spent a SEMESTER learning Cisco materal. We spent a SEMESTER on Microsoft. Another SEMESTER for just A+/Network+. And Another SEMESTER on Linux. So they were strictly technical classes, that slowly delved into the material. We had HANDS-ON labs for months in Cisco equipment, etc. And this was 2 years of night classes after my non-IT job, 5:30Pm - 10:00PM. And I tell you, there is no way you will learn the material in 3 weeks. You may know enough to sit and pass the cert, but not for practical job purposes.

    And the biggest difference? The school I went to was accredited and I earned an Associates degree. And I went and tested for some certs, so I had an Associates + Certs. And an Associates may not sound like a lot, but.. it counts when you are looking for that springboard into IT.

    I'm telling you man, the degree is important. I didn't think so either. But guess what? Once I got that degree and the certs, I was able to find a nice helpdesk role for the govt, which launched me into my networking job. Without that degree, I would have not even been considered for a HELPDESK job.

    Not trying to sound rude, insulting, condescending, etc. I just want you to know.. is that you are dropping all of this money for nothing more than hyper-paced cert preps. In the end, you still do not have a degree. And in this day and age, unless you have the experience to backup your certifications, lacking a degree will hurt you starting out.

    I wish you the best and hope you get what you need.

    EDIT: and one more thing, the key thing you mentioned in your last post.. is that alot of the guys there are CURRENTLY working in the IT field. They have experience to backup the high paced cert training they are sitting through. Even though you both will go through the same material, they have that one thing that you don't. Experience.

    And you should be looking for a way to get experience. My advice? Self study A+ and Net+ and get an entry level helpdesk/support job. This will help you make contacts (social networking is HUGE in IT). And it will give you time to self study for higher lvl certs depending ony our interests, while getting experience. Cramming in 12 certs in a year is not going to impress anyone, and you will still need to start at the bottom like the rest of unfortunately.
    Last edited by DM05; 09-08-2009 at 05:46 PM.

  15. Network Geek ccie15672's Avatar
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    #64
    My first computer was a TI99-4/A. I knew what a multidimensional array was when I was 8 years old. Sadly, nobody cares about your enthusiasm for computing these days.

    I too have no degree. Just some certs and the experience to back it. These days when I do interviews, I just ask questions that I think demonstrate to me that this person can figure it out. IT is about figuring it out. Not about knowing it already. I don't care if you have every CCIE there is, if the next problem involves you building a database and writing an app in Tcl or Perl... can you figure it out and put the pieces together? That is who I want to work with.

    Your resume should show this. It should scream.. "I understand technology and I can figure it out. I know how to read manuals and search the internet and then make it happen!" Your experience and your certs are just a by-product of the sorts of problems you have already encountered.

    Sadly.. though... this is not how people are evaluated these days for hire...

    If only it were so.

  16. Senior Member remyforbes777's Avatar
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    #65
    Quote Originally Posted by fleck View Post
    I'm wondering if there is a difference in going into IT certification between uber-geeks who have always loved computers and are just naturally good at them because of trial and error, and the other guys who don't already know a lot about computers and are just starting out.

    For the already-gurus of home computing in general, what do you all think? Is it better to be one of us? Is it better to be the guy to have self-taught BASIC and HTML in 8th grade, self-taught VB and C in high school and played with computers our whole lives? I was there compiling my own Linux kernels at age 16 in 1998, using Slackware because nothing back then could really be considered 'user-friendly'. The Brainbench tests in Linux and Windows 98 Administration I took just after my lay-off of my IT internship I held directly after graduating high school were jokes to me. I was fixing bugs in Linux kernel beta code when I was 17, etc etc.

    But the fact is I wasn't a practical IT guy. I was a heavy metal party punk on the inside and I couldn't really keep up in school studying Computer Science, so for the last 7 years I've submitted my resume hundreds of times, but due to my lack of education and my short term experience, I am rarely contacted for an interview unless the job involves travel to another state and only temporary, post-training employment.

    So what is the realism of becoming IT certified? I am about to be certified in CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ as well as achieve 4 levels of MS certification and the CCENT within the next year, and I'm paying for the 'Management Information Systems' diploma I'll be receiving. How hard will I have to work? Will I have to whore myself out for internships at super low pay and work myself up the ladder? What does becoming certified after all this time say about me to an employer?

    I have the drive, the knowledge and the passion, but I still see learning so much in such great detail over the next year as such a big and scary challenge. And the thing is, I discovered the idea to become trained and certified through the state's unemployment offices. I hope they know what they are doing, because their first question when I told them I wanted a job in computers was "Are you certified?" Well, how much does it REALLY matter? If I have the passion and the love for computers already and can get myself excited about what I'm about to learn, do you think my chances are better?

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts and opinions.

    BTW I'm a writer, sorry for being so lengthy and prosy in my post
    How does a person get on here, ask for advice, says thanks in advance for your THOUGHTS and OPINIONS, receives honest and blunt answers, and because he/she already spent a chunk of money on the program, gets defensive and goes on the attack? Some people have no etiquette.
    Last edited by remyforbes777; 09-08-2009 at 07:12 PM.

  17. Senior Member Turgon's Avatar
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    #66
    Quote Originally Posted by ccie15672 View Post
    My first computer was a TI99-4/A. I knew what a multidimensional array was when I was 8 years old. Sadly, nobody cares about your enthusiasm for computing these days.

    I too have no degree. Just some certs and the experience to back it. These days when I do interviews, I just ask questions that I think demonstrate to me that this person can figure it out. IT is about figuring it out. Not about knowing it already. I don't care if you have every CCIE there is, if the next problem involves you building a database and writing an app in Tcl or Perl... can you figure it out and put the pieces together? That is who I want to work with.

    Your resume should show this. It should scream.. "I understand technology and I can figure it out. I know how to read manuals and search the internet and then make it happen!" Your experience and your certs are just a by-product of the sorts of problems you have already encountered.

    Sadly.. though... this is not how people are evaluated these days for hire...

    If only it were so.
    Very true.

  18. Member fleck's Avatar
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    #67
    Quote Originally Posted by remyforbes777 View Post
    How does a person get on here, ask for advice, says thanks in advance for your THOUGHTS and OPINIONS, receives honest and blunt answers, and because he/she already spent a chunk of money on the program, gets defensive and goes on the attack? Some people have no etiquette.
    Read the OP. People are going off on tangents. My advice seeking was of a completely different nature. It had nothing to do with college or whether or not having a degree will help me get a job.
    Last edited by fleck; 09-09-2009 at 06:09 AM.

  19. Member fleck's Avatar
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    #68
    Quote Originally Posted by DM05 View Post
    There is a technical school here that taught towards certs. However, it was setup much differently. We spent a SEMESTER learning Cisco materal. We spent a SEMESTER on Microsoft. Another SEMESTER for just A+/Network+. And Another SEMESTER on Linux. So they were strictly technical classes, that slowly delved into the material. We had HANDS-ON labs for months in Cisco equipment, etc. And this was 2 years of night classes after my non-IT job, 5:30Pm - 10:00PM. And I tell you, there is no way you will learn the material in 3 weeks. You may know enough to sit and pass the cert, but not for practical job purposes.

    And you should be looking for a way to get experience. My advice? Self study A+ and Net+ and get an entry level helpdesk/support job. This will help you make contacts (social networking is HUGE in IT). And it will give you time to self study for higher lvl certs depending ony our interests, while getting experience. Cramming in 12 certs in a year is not going to impress anyone, and you will still need to start at the bottom like the rest of unfortunately.
    I don't understand why you guys think it's cramming. And it's clearly not 12 certs. If you split up a year into 3 CompTIA, 2 Microsoft and the CCENT that's several months for each. It's not far off from what you did.

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    #69
    Quote Originally Posted by fleck View Post
    I don't understand why you guys think it's cramming. And it's clearly not 12 certs. If you split up a year into 3 CompTIA, 2 Microsoft and the CCENT that's several months for each. It's not far off from what you did.

    I would certainly consider it cramming, as it is clearly 12 exams to take in a year - and many might argue that passing a certification exam is a certification. Whatever you prefer (exam or certification), it's still 12. So one exam per month, you'll be studying for several weeks and testing - assuming you pass then it's on to the next exam to study for. I don't see you coming out of that with much more than the knowledge just needed to pass the exams - which is quite a bit different than the knowledge needed in the professional world.

  21. Member fleck's Avatar
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    #70
    Quote Originally Posted by msteinhilber View Post
    I would certainly consider it cramming, as it is clearly 12 exams to take in a year - and many might argue that passing a certification exam is a certification. Whatever you prefer (exam or certification), it's still 12. So one exam per month, you'll be studying for several weeks and testing - assuming you pass then it's on to the next exam to study for. I don't see you coming out of that with much more than the knowledge just needed to pass the exams - which is quite a bit different than the knowledge needed in the professional world.
    Well I've already been watching Network+ videos on my own, taking notes and revising them frequently on my free time, so take that however you will. And first day of class was terrific, although we started with client/server vs peer to peer networks and network topologies and devices which I already know a lot about it was good to know that there are good teachers and decent co-students.

    Did you read where I said that I am a natural-born mega geek and have already had over a year of experience in IT companies? It was a few years ago, but yeah, I've already helped design web sites, tested databases, filed reports or debugged when I could, installed and configured Red Hat servers and firewalls and installed web servers at a datacenter. I'm worth a little something, and I did all of that just by figuring it out myself and straight out of high school. And yes I did have contacts at both companies I worked at. I'm going to use school to make contacts, which is a very important factor in all of this that I think is important to mention.

    I already said why it is that I am pursuing this direction and what I plan on doing. Well, actually, I didn't mention that as soon as the certs like Network+ and A+ start being passed, I'm going to put together business packages with business cards, pamphlets and catalogs and begin competing with local PC tech services. The doctor's office my sister works at gets charged $300/hr for IT services. When she told me that, I knew I had to get off my ass and attempt to compete. The current market is perfect for it.
    Last edited by fleck; 09-09-2009 at 06:49 AM.

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    #71
    My last contribution to this thread.

    You seemed to have already had your mind made up when you created this thread, but the fact that you created the thread in itself suggests you have some doubts that you may or may not be consciously aware of. Since you continue to post positive things about how great this is most certainly doing to work out, I think it suggests that you really do have some concerns and are hoping others here would jump in and say "oh yea, that sounds great!" to make you feel better about your decision.

    Either way, I see no further point for anyone to continue with this thread since you're mind is clearly set on the path you intend to take. I wish you the best of luck and future success and hope you pickup a lot of knowledge and earn some nice credentials during your training.

  23. Member fleck's Avatar
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    #72
    Quote Originally Posted by msteinhilber View Post
    My last contribution to this thread.

    You seemed to have already had your mind made up when you created this thread, but the fact that you created the thread in itself suggests you have some doubts that you may or may not be consciously aware of. Since you continue to post positive things about how great this is most certainly doing to work out, I think it suggests that you really do have some concerns and are hoping others here would jump in and say "oh yea, that sounds great!" to make you feel better about your decision.

    Either way, I see no further point for anyone to continue with this thread since you're mind is clearly set on the path you intend to take. I wish you the best of luck and future success and hope you pickup a lot of knowledge and earn some nice credentials during your training.
    But the whole thing is I don't understand why you drew a totally different question from my OP: "I'm wondering if there is a difference in going into IT certification between uber-geeks who have always loved computers and are just naturally good at them because of trial and error, and the other guys who don't already know a lot about computers and are just starting out. For the already-gurus of home computing in general, what do you all think? Is it better to be one of us?"

    I never asked anything about school or training, just certs and how easy they are to learn if you're a mega-geek.

    And your psychological evaluation is wrong.

  24. Cyber Ninja L0gicB0mb508's Avatar
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    #73
    Your enthusiasm will indeed help you in the long run. I will be entirely blunt with you, what you did in your past has about 0 to do with whats going on in your life today. Not many people care that you recompiled your own kernel on Slackware 10 years ago. If you aren't proven in a production environment/under pressure, it doesn't matter. I have experience as a Linux home user too, but I wont be getting a call for a Linux sys ad job anytime in the near future. Your drive to succeed will help you, but even with your certs and what little bit of formal experience you have you are still looking at an entry level help desk gig. Just don't expect to come out with a network engineer job, and you're probably going to be ok. There is no quick fix. Get used to whoring yourself out for little money until you have the formal experience to move on.

    I don't have a college degree either, and I'm doing pretty well as a security analyst. I however did put in my time, took classes at my local community college, and self studied for certifications. I like you have a very large love of computers and started at a very young age.

    Don't get angry with the people here. They are really only trying to help. We have a lot of extremely smart and talented people here. They have been "around the block" as far as the IT field goes. Sometimes comments come off as harsh, but usually aren't meant that way.


    anyway....good luck to you

  25. Baroo? skrpune's Avatar
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    #74
    Quote Originally Posted by fleck View Post
    Did you read where I said that I am a natural-born mega geek and have already had over a year of experience in IT companies? It was a few years ago, but yeah, I've already helped design web sites, tested databases, filed reports or debugged when I could, installed and configured Red Hat servers and firewalls and installed web servers at a datacenter. I'm worth a little something, and I did all of that just by figuring it out myself and straight out of high school. And yes I did have contacts at both companies I worked at. I'm going to use school to make contacts, which is a very important factor in all of this that I think is important to mention.

    I already said why it is that I am pursuing this direction and what I plan on doing. Well, actually, I didn't mention that as soon as the certs like Network+ and A+ start being passed, I'm going to put together business packages with business cards, pamphlets and catalogs and begin competing with local PC tech services. The doctor's office my sister works at gets charged $300/hr for IT services. When she told me that, I knew I had to get off my ass and attempt to compete. The current market is perfect for it.
    If you're going to start up your own tech business, you probably would be best served by going to work for one for a while first. A year of experience is nothing to sneeze at, but it's not quite enough (in my eyes anyway) to make an expert technician who can go out on their own with no safety net. You can find a decent paying job as a tech working for someone else and have that safety net for a while...and if you find that you're not hitting challenges that you can't overcome without help from others, then certainly strike out on your own.

    And yes, there are IT services that charge $300/hour, but usually they're much more than just roving techs, and there are a subset of IT services that specialize in medical/dental offices and software. They've got to do everything from design the network to setup and install the server to installation of proprietary software, and all this with a very keen eye on security since patient privacy is beyond important. Most of these folks have several years experience too. It's not like they started charging $300/hr after a year or two and a couple entry level certs...they had to work their way up to that, and regardless of whether you're a super mega ultra uber geek, folks will have a hard time justifying paying a rate like that to anyone without years of proven experience.

  26. Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    5,015
    #75
    Quote Originally Posted by fleck View Post
    Well I've already been watching Network+ videos on my own, taking notes and revising them frequently on my free time, so take that however you will. And first day of class was terrific, although we started with client/server vs peer to peer networks and network topologies and devices which I already know a lot about it was good to know that there are good teachers and decent co-students.

    Did you read where I said that I am a natural-born mega geek and have already had over a year of experience in IT companies? It was a few years ago, but yeah, I've already helped design web sites, tested databases, filed reports or debugged when I could, installed and configured Red Hat servers and firewalls and installed web servers at a datacenter. I'm worth a little something, and I did all of that just by figuring it out myself and straight out of high school. And yes I did have contacts at both companies I worked at. I'm going to use school to make contacts, which is a very important factor in all of this that I think is important to mention.

    I already said why it is that I am pursuing this direction and what I plan on doing. Well, actually, I didn't mention that as soon as the certs like Network+ and A+ start being passed, I'm going to put together business packages with business cards, pamphlets and catalogs and begin competing with local PC tech services. The doctor's office my sister works at gets charged $300/hr for IT services. When she told me that, I knew I had to get off my ass and attempt to compete. The current market is perfect for it.
    You are an excitable character huh? Basically what everyone seems to agree on here is that, you are going for a lot. Are you working? Are you going to simply go for certs and that will be your "job"? If so then "get it in", go balls to the walls and go for it. By all means, I'll even race you (I have about 6-7 tests I want to do next year) . Just realized that people here think you are trying for a lot.

    Being a "geek" and a server/network admin are very different. I know many "geeks" but it takes something more to get to that next level. It takes more than technical aptatude. Ultimately you have to learn to play the game (business-wise, etc) and just by your post it seems that you haven't got that down. But that is ok, that can be taught. I think it would help if you went to a college and enrolled in a degree program and bone up on the interpersonal communication classes. That might help in more ways than you think

    At any rate, no one here wants anyone to fail and this enviroment encourages competition (friendly or course) and the sharing of knowledge and you probably have some to share. So go and get those certs, just pace yourself and you will be fine.

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