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  1. Junior Member joshmendez's Avatar
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    #1

    Default Realistic Jobs with MCSA, A+ , Net+ and MCP?

    I am attending a 9 month certification school to get A+, Net+ ,MCP and MCSA certs. This was my first step in the direction of IT. Ive always been in sales. What is a realistic job that I should shoot for? I make about 30k a year now. I read a lot of different opinions on entry level salary and posotions, all I know is I will NOT take a job, entry level or not, making less than I do now selling cars.

    Thank you in advance for your advice/opinion.
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  3. Mediocrity is a sin Essendon's Avatar
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    #2
    Welcome aboard!

    You'll start off with probably a helpdesk job, sorting issues out over the phone, maybe some hands-on break fix, all that kind of stuff. That's where most of us started off from. Dont expect to be fixing servers from day one. Trust me, you want to climb the ladder gradually.

    As for the money, it really depends on your location. You may have to take a pay cut to get your foot in the door. And dont get discouraged because with the tight job market, there are more folks applying for fewer jobs. Be patient, flood your resume all over and plug away at those certs. In the same breath, be mindful of some employers deeming your over-qualified for helpdesk when they see you have an MCSA. Worse, they might see you as a paper-cert. You might want to omit the MCSA (this is just a suggestion) when you write up your resume for a level one helpdesk role.

    Just my $.02
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  4. Senior Member ElvisG's Avatar
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    #3
    Desktop support is entry level you will most likely qualify for with no experience. Because of the economy, the market is saturated with IT people. Right now you will see people taking jobs with higher certs for lower positions. If you find a desktop support position for 30K or more then consider that a diamond in the rough. But this really depends on your local city. If you live in New York I could see a desktop support position paying that or more.

    Unless you have a hook-up with a IT job that pays $30K+, I would stick with selling cars and continue getting your certs until you get MCSE and CCNA.
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  5. Junior Member joshmendez's Avatar
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by ElvisG View Post
    Desktop support is entry level you will most likely qualify for with no experience. Because of the economy, the market is saturated with IT people. Right now you will see people taking jobs with higher certs for lower positions. If you find a desktop support position for 30K or more then consider that a diamond in the rough. But this really depends on your local city. If you live in New York I could see a desktop support position paying that or more.

    Unless you have a hook-up with a IT job that pays $30K+, I would stick with selling cars and continue getting your certs until you get MCSE and CCNA.
    That seems counter productive, I live in Chicago, I see job postings for Desktop, Helpdesk that arent bad pay. I know I would need and would want the experience, but it seems that the MCSA would be going to waste in such an entry level position..?
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    #5
    Make sure you apply at ALL hospitals in your area. The medical industry pays very well, even for entry-level (helpdesk). Working helpdesk is not glamorous but you get a ton of experience and you can map out the locations you want to be promoted to.
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  7. Junior Member joshmendez's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by kenny831 View Post
    Make sure you apply at ALL hospitals in your area. The medical industry pays very well, even for entry-level (helpdesk). Working helpdesk is not glamorous but you get a ton of experience and you can map out the locations you want to be promoted to.
    I did not know that, come to think of it I think I may have heard something along those lines a while back but it completely slipped my mind. Thank you sir. All feedback is appreciated. As of right now, I think that will be my imidiate goal after graduating. You have truly contributed.
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  8. 1 of the Cool Kidz!!! BradleyHU's Avatar
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ElvisG View Post
    Desktop support is entry level you will most likely qualify for with no experience. Because of the economy, the market is saturated with IT people. Right now you will see people taking jobs with higher certs for lower positions. If you find a desktop support position for 30K or more then consider that a diamond in the rough. But this really depends on your local city. If you live in New York I could see a desktop support position paying that or more.

    Unless you have a hook-up with a IT job that pays $30K+, I would stick with selling cars and continue getting your certs until you get MCSE and CCNA.
    this is horrible advice....why would you tell him to stick to selling cars? if he gets the certs and the longer he has no experience, then the harder it will be for him to break into the field.

    But yeah with the lack of experience, helpdesk is probably where you'll start, and then desktop support will be the next stop after.
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  9. Senior Member ElvisG's Avatar
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by BradleyHU View Post
    this is horrible advice....why would you tell him to stick to selling cars? if he gets the certs and the longer he has no experience, then the harder it will be for him to break into the field.

    But yeah with the lack of experience, helpdesk is probably where you'll start, and then desktop support will be the next stop after.
    What do you want me to say, "the economy is good and there is plenty of help desk jobs that pay on average $30K+"? I didn't say anything that isn't a lie.
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  10. 1 of the Cool Kidz!!! BradleyHU's Avatar
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by ElvisG View Post
    What do you want me to say, "the economy is good and there is plenty of help desk jobs that pay on average $30K+"? I didn't say anything that isn't a lie.
    u dont have to say that....everyone knows the economy is horrible, but wat you're telling him is not exactly gonna be beneficial for what he's tryin to do either....
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  11. Senior Member rsutton's Avatar
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by joshmendez View Post
    but it seems that the MCSA would be going to waste in such an entry level position..?
    I kind of agree with you, however regardless of what cert you get, you will probably have to start out doing entry level work. You could start looking for work with your A+ and N+ and then continue pursuing the MCSA while gaining experience on the job. The value of the MCSA will go up when you have a bit of experience under your belt.

    Keep at the studies and good luck in your job search. Hopefully there will be more IT jobs in 9 months.
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    #11
    Certs are just paper without experience to back them up. No one will hire a MCSE with zero on the job experience!

    Another possible avenue of employment is the education sector. I'm not sure about the USA, but here in Australia most private (and a lot of government) schools have IT departments. I started as a help desk trainee at a private school working with a small team, I got A LOT of real world hands on experience with everything from printer problems to configuring AD.

    Now i'm working at another private school as a 22 year old Sys Admin on just shy of AUD$60,000. I was hired based on an MCP cert and my previous experience.

    Anyway, my point is, get out there and get experience, even if it means a pay cut.
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  13. Junior Member joshmendez's Avatar
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by MotoR31 View Post
    Certs are just paper without experience to back them up. No one will hire a MCSE with zero on the job experience!

    Another possible avenue of employment is the education sector. I'm not sure about the USA, but here in Australia most private (and a lot of government) schools have IT departments. I started as a help desk trainee at a private school working with a small team, I got A LOT of real world hands on experience with everything from printer problems to configuring AD.

    Now i'm working at another private school as a 22 year old Sys Admin on just shy of AUD$60,000. I was hired based on an MCP cert and my previous experience.

    Anyway, my point is, get out there and get experience, even if it means a pay cut.
    Thank you sir for your feedback. One thing I am a firm believer in is Positive mental attitude. I for some reason, with my positive mindset.. find it hard to believe that I will have a hard time in Chicago finding a good paying entry level position. I mean after all.. thats why I decided to go back to school, is to earn more money.
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by joshmendez View Post
    Thank you sir for your feedback. One thing I am a firm believer in is Positive mental attitude. I for some reason, with my positive mindset.. find it hard to believe that I will have a hard time in Chicago finding a good paying entry level position. I mean after all.. thats why I decided to go back to school, is to earn more money.
    If you know your stuff in 9 months I can tell you there are places looking to hire at 30k in Chicago. (hint, hint) The problem I have with most of the "computertraining" classes is the people that come out don't usually have the faintest idea of what to do with an IP address or a router or (insert key tech component here) or how any of IT actually works - just that they paid 20,xxx to get a job that the recruiter told them pays 50,000 starting....

    My .02 - volunteer ALL THAT YOU CAN. Anywhere and everywhere (non-profits typically). Read tech all the time. Browse tech support forums, clean viruses, setup a home network, make it your life. If you graduate with some certs and no experience (as others have said) you *probably* won't do very well. If you have the training, 6 months of hands on dirty IT work, and a passion for tech - I fell you'll be better than fine.

    Forgot to ask... why are you going into IT support? If it's to make a LOT of money easily - you should stick with sales (perhaps IT sales tho - lol?)
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  15. Junior Member joshmendez's Avatar
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by desertmouse View Post
    If you know your stuff in 9 months I can tell you there are places looking to hire at 30k in Chicago. (hint, hint) The problem I have with most of the "computertraining" classes is the people that come out don't usually have the faintest idea of what to do with an IP address or a router or (insert key tech component here) or how any of IT actually works - just that they paid 20,xxx to get a job that the recruiter told them pays 50,000 starting....

    My .02 - volunteer ALL THAT YOU CAN. Anywhere and everywhere (non-profits typically). Read tech all the time. Browse tech support forums, clean viruses, setup a home network, make it your life. If you graduate with some certs and no experience (as others have said) you *probably* won't do very well. If you have the training, 6 months of hands on dirty IT work, and a passion for tech - I fell you'll be better than fine.

    Forgot to ask... why are you going into IT support? If it's to make a LOT of money easily - you should stick with sales (perhaps IT sales tho - lol?)
    Not really the money. Although the potential doesn't hurt. Some one once told me to find something I love to do and find a way to make someone pay me for it. And I really love it. I work full time after school and I cant wait to get home ... to study and learn, and network.. the strangest thing.. never thought I would be into something so much. As far as the "Computer Training" places pumping out unqualified students... from what I have seen first hand, I couldn't agree with you more sir! It seems as though everyone wants to socialize more than learn. and the instructors could care less, and I wouldn't either ... Its not there job to babysit. I don't mind though, It gives me a chance to stick out of the crowd. ****Also, more importantly.. I have been searching tirelessly for a place to intern or volunteer on my off hours. I am having no luck,, If you have any advice please shine it this way.
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  16. Certification Invigilator Forum Admin JDMurray's Avatar
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by joshmendez View Post
    I read a lot of different opinions on entry level salary and posotions, all I know is I will NOT take a job, entry level or not, making less than I do now selling cars.
    You are gonna have some problems then. A person with only nine months of schooling and a few certs isn't worth much more than a help desk salary. Used car salesmen can make a lot of money, even in this economy. People still need to buy cars, and right now people are preferring to buy used ones.

    How about looking into being an IT sales person? If you wanna sell Cisco equipment, look into getting the CCDA cert next.
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    Geek Squad... help desk kind of work.
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  18. BOBBY_TABLES RobertKaucher's Avatar
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    #17
    Yes, I have to echo what most people are saying here. IT and an MCSA is not the cash cow that some of these training companies make it out to be.

    If you want to work in the field dealing with this technology on a regular basis you need to get out and do some serious work. I have a friend who was a social worker. He worked for 1 year with me at the Geek Squad. Oddly enough he also worked with my wife who is a mental health couselor. After I managed to move on tot he admin side from support he stayed at the geek squad for another year. He also did networking, etc as a side line for some small companies and individuals.

    Once he had a decent amount of experience and understanding he began looking for entry level admin roles and finally landed one. As a career changer you have to be willing to sacrifice some place. You will not be able to just make a lateral move from an industry where you have 10+ years experience to an industry were you have 0 experience but a few initials after your name.

    If you really enjoy sales I would say take those certs and follow JD's advice. Look into sales positions at IT consulting firms. The IT consultant will LOVE you if you tell them you have an MCSA and demonstrate that you have the knowledge to go with it.

    As a consultant there was nothing I hated more than sales people who honestly thought servers could make toast and coffee for their customers. As an example I had one sales person tell her customer that a certain MFP did fax to email and would allow users to route the FAX and other scanned documents automatically to their document management system. Of course it did none of this. It could be made to do that with a hardware upgrade and the enterprise version of the document management system... Not knowing what she was selling put me and the company in a hard place.
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  19. Junior Member joshmendez's Avatar
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by JDMurray View Post
    You are gonna have some problems then. A person with only nine months of schooling a a few certs isn't worth much more than a help desk salary. Used car salesmen can make a lot of money, even in this economy. People still need to buy cars, and right now people are preferring to buy used ones.

    How about looking into being an IT sales person? If you wanna sell Cisco equipment, look into getting the CCDA cert next.
    I dont wanna sell and wont do it. Im sick of it. And used cars are actually peoples last resort, when they cant get financed for a new one. (Although I would never buy new) I guess I will have to rely on my charm and resume fudging skills to get a job I really want then. And I WILL...
    Thank you all very much, Im afraid the "Bad economy" has gotten most of your hopes down. Its not as bad as FOX says..
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  20. Senior Member rsutton's Avatar
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by joshmendez View Post
    I dont wanna sell and wont do it. Im sick of it. And used cars are actually peoples last resort, when they cant get financed for a new one. (Although I would never buy new) I guess I will have to rely on my charm and resume fudging skills to get a job I really want then. And I WILL...
    Thank you all very much, Im afraid the "Bad economy" has gotten most of your hopes down. Its not as bad as FOX says..
    It's good to be determined. I would recommend not mis-representing yourself on your resume. If it catches up with you, you could really be in a situation that is embarrassing. Not too mention that you will likely end up burning a bridge and possibly losing your job.

    Good luck on finding a job in the 30k range, my first IT job without any certs or a degree paid around 34k. That was when things were better though. I don't think that is unreachable now, espeically if you know someone.
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  21. Senior Member
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    #20
    If you're just looking for the money, don't expect it to be there right away.

    Assuming you have no real computer experience, 9 months to go through the A+, Network+, and MCSA will surely end you up at a dark lonely road. 9 months will not really prepare you for what you're going to see. So don't be shocked if you don't have offers rolling in for higher paying jobs.

    For reference, I met with a recruiter here about jobs so they could place me in their database. I was told to ask for 30-35k here in South Bend, IN. About a 2 hour drive from Chicago. I think 25-30k is a more realistic idea. I'd expect Chicago to be in the same ballpark. I'd take anything at this point to just get the experience. I am finishing up my Associates of Applied Science in Computer Networking (Cisco focused). I have a couple years of the customer service PC tech stuff. My certs are listed to the left. I also have been working on other side projects like MCP/MCSA and infosec related studies. Find something you like and stick with it.

    If you don't have a degree, you'll be hurting to get that 30k without some serious charm. I have no personality, so I'm definitely screwed.

    If you really want into the field, take whatever experience you can get since that seems to be the highest hurdle.
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  22. Junior Member joshmendez's Avatar
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by rsutton View Post
    It's good to be determined. I would recommend not mis-representing yourself on your resume. If it catches up with you, you could really be in a situation that is embarrassing. Not too mention that you will likely end up burning a bridge and possibly losing your job.

    Good luck on finding a job in the 30k range, my first IT job without any certs or a degree paid around 34k. That was when things were better though. I don't think that is unreachable now, espeically if you know someone.
    Ohhhhhh, I will smudge. I am the smudger of all smudges. My brother in law got his first job in it a couple years back in Decatur IL, as a Jr Systems Admin at 40k, simply by smudging. Now he works in Chicago making 60k, about to jump to 80k. Why not be relentless in these tough times? Make lemonade. Bitter sweet delicious lemondae out of this sour "recession".
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  23. Senior Member sambuca69's Avatar
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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by joshmendez View Post
    Ohhhhhh, I will smudge. I am the smudger of all smudges. My brother in law got his first job in it a couple years back in Decatur IL, as a Jr Systems Admin at 40k, simply by smudging. Now he works in Chicago making 60k, about to jump to 80k. Why not be relentless in these tough times? Make lemonade. Bitter sweet delicious lemondae out of this sour "recession".
    lol.. I like the cut of your jib.
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  24. Junior Member joshmendez's Avatar
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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by sambuca69 View Post
    lol.. I like the cut of your jib.
    Im not sure what that means Sir, but right back atcha!
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by joshmendez View Post
    Ohhhhhh, I will smudge. I am the smudger of all smudges.
    Well you have to to sell used cars!
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  26. Member drewkeg's Avatar
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    #25
    Well, first let me say that I also came from sales and did exactly what you are embarking on. I started last November, and by the end of May I had earned my MCSA, then by August earned my MCTS for SQL Server 2005. Going for more education is never bad, and the experience will teach you a lot. Please keep in mind though that the road is a tough one, lots of reading and studying, and you also need to be a good test taker. Using the forums here was very helpful, and helped keep me focused and my 'head' in the game.
    I would not trade my experience or what I have learned in or do it differently, it is hard though to get recruiters and IT managers to see your true potential.
    Good Luck man! PM me if you need any advice.
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