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  1. Member DZA_'s Avatar
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    #1

    Question Career Advice - Switching from Retail to IT

    Hey Guys,


    I'm looking for some feedback/direction for my older brother.


    Situation: My brother is turning 31 over the next couple of months realizing that he's spent the last 8 years working in retail coming out from a Commerce degree (Canadian context). He hasn't had any experience/exposure working in IT and I am hoping for him to fast track his way into the industry.


    I'm learning towards telling him to enroll to get a diploma at the local college. A 2 year program, see link for details: Computer Networking and Technical Support and also certifications while he's in school. Aside from that, I'll also advise to get his hands dirty on labs whether that it is security/server administration/networking, etc.


    OR


    Do you think the most feasible and quickest way to get into the industry is to apply to a help desk position and then get certified along the way?


    I've read on the TE that it's never too late to start in IT, as long as you're determined and have goals, the sky is the limit. I've come across several inspiration threads here. I'm hoping to change a life.


    Best Regards,
    DZA_
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  3. This site changed my life mzx380's Avatar
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    #2
    You're right that it's never too late to get into IT, age is merely a hurdle and not a barrier so long as you know your stuff. Landing that coveted first IT job can be a tough sell for prospective employers if you don't have a degree or experience. For your brother to break into the industry, he may need to stay the course with the retail job while increasing his technical skill in parallel with certifications. I don't think college would be the right thing for him just yet, but it will be something for him to keep in the back of his mind.

    The very first thing he needs to decide though is what he would like to do in IT? If its helpdesk, start studying A+, if it's networking, studying CCNA, etc. etc.

    Good luck
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    #3
    It's probably too early to ask him what he wants to do if he has no experience with it but you can probably guide him in certain directions based on what you know if his personality. For instance, if he's extroverted and likes to talk with people, he might be unhappy as a programmer/DBA/network engineer. If he's a big-picture thinker, he might get frustrated by the granular details of troubleshooting a user's printer problem. I wouldn't push him down a particular path without knowing that info.
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    #4
    It really depends on the job market where you are, and whether employers are willing to invest that much into training someone without a background in IT at all.

    I have a 2-year Associate's Degree in IT, and the CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications. It took about 5 weeks of daily job hunting to land a job as a Help Desk Technician. My current employer asked many technical questions and had me take an assessment that tested my Networking, Security, Windows 7/10 and even Server knowledge.

    I'm not sure it would help him to just push him into a Help Desk role even if he does get the part unless the employer is willing to spend a month or so training him before letting him answer his first phone call.
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by DZA_ View Post
    HSituation: My brother is turning 31 over the next couple of months realizing that he's spent the last 8 years working in retail coming out from a Commerce degree (Canadian context). He hasn't had any experience/exposure working in IT and I am hoping for him to fast track his way into the industry.
    yeah, good luck with that.
    His age isnt the issue; having actual Passion for IT should be your main concern.


    Quote Originally Posted by DZA_ View Post
    I'm learning towards telling him to enroll to get a diploma at the local college. A 2 year program, see link for details: Computer Networking and Technical Support and also certifications while he's in school. Aside from that, I'll also advise to get his hands dirty on labs whether that it is security/server administration/networking, etc.
    uh boy, here we go again.

    Best to Forget about Security. If he has no Experience of IT, how can he be expected to know how to 'secure' anything?
    And don't say "He can get a degree in Cyber Security" blah blah; that's all a lie.
    No one (in their right mind) is gonna hire a person with ZERO experience for a security role.

    Its better that he try dabbling into Networking or Servers.
    But even that is questionable; For instance; Windows or Linux?
    Or, he could also look into other disciplines: programming, database admin, desktop tech, or something else.

    Saying that you are looking to get into "IT"; isn't really saying anything at all.


    As for your thoughts on getting a 2-year degree; i like that idea (assuming it's affordable).
    He could also get lucky and land a part-time job (helpdesk perhaps)?

    Personally, i recommend he try Professor Messer's curriculums; A+, Networking, Microsft Desktop.
    See if any of that stuff sparks an interest.


    If not; maybe he should pursue a different direction:
    electrician. plumber. dental hygienist. Nurse. Fitness instructor. etc

    Don't pursue I.T. just because someone else said you should.

    Without Passion.... you aint gonna make it.
    Last edited by volfkhat; 02-04-2018 at 01:50 PM.
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    #6
    The main concern for me is the passion that he has for IT, if he does it for the money then he might not like it. For example, if your brother is able to change his laptop ram, keyboard, or figure things out for himself when solving computer/tech problems, then there is some hope in there that he might enjoy that. It really depends how much he likes it or how bad he wants it.

    The IT director where I work has a bachelors in accounting, he figured out when he graduated how boring accounting was so he went back to school for a masters in some IT related field. But one thing he knows is how to be a problem solver, because sometimes certifications won't help you in real life, so you basically learn something new everyday. Anyone can get a certification, but do you really enjoy working in IT? It's up to your brother, good luck.
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  8. Member DZA_'s Avatar
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    #7
    Hey Guys,


    I really have to sit down with my brother to see if he's actually interested in IT. From the general consensus, it all boils down to passion. I do see him engaged in playing with his Raspberry Pi (doing small Raspberry Pi projects on a consistent basis). That is somewhat of an indication in his interests although if he's willing to commit doing that type of work full time (problem solving, basic troubleshooting, etc)


    @volfkhat - The 2-year degree is totally affordable. I actually did the same degree with an additional year to make it my worth while. It totally paid off for me in the end. I'm gonna introduce him to Professor Messer's curriculum and see what he thinks. Originally, I think that happened to him the first time when the family said "you should pursue a career in finance" although he didn't have a passion for that either. The last thing I want to do is repeat history. You've brought up some good points.


    Thanks again all, your feedback was very much appreciated! I'll report back to see how things turn out. Who knows, he might go in the opposite direction.


    Best Regards,
    DZA_
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    #8
    i just reread my earlier post..... i think i was cranky that day.
    lol

    But, yeah, i think the general points i was making are still true.

    Good luck sir :]
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  10. This site changed my life mzx380's Avatar
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by volfkhat View Post
    i just reread my earlier post..... i think i was cranky that day.
    lol

    But, yeah, i think the general points i was making are still true.

    Good luck sir :]
    Funny thing is I thought you gave just what they needed to hear when you told them to forget about security. Seeing as how we are early in the year, some TE Newbies come on this site saying this is what they want to transition to with no prior technology experience.
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  11. Member DZA_'s Avatar
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by volfkhat View Post
    i just reread my earlier post..... i think i was cranky that day.
    lol

    But, yeah, i think the general points i was making are still true.

    Good luck sir :]
    Someone didn't have their coffee that day . No worries, there is always a bit of truth in every post here. No harm done.

    Cheers,
    DZA
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