Need advice from IT guys

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by Szyslak, Aug 21, 2008.

Aug 21, 2008

Need advice from IT guys by Szyslak at 2:51 PM (1,077 Views / 0 Likes) 9 replies

  1. Szyslak
    OP

    Member Szyslak Nudibranch Lover

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    Hey guys. I know there are quite a few IT professionals who hang out here at the 'temp, so I was hoping to pick your brains a little bit to help me prepare for a job I'm in the process of applying for. The job is mostly IT support. Entry level job that deals with network management, user help desk support, telecom admin, etc.

    A little background first. I graduated from college with a degree in Management Information Systems, where I took all the normal courses in computer programming, web development, network administration, database management, etc., but I graduated back in '98. I'm sure most of what I learned is completely outdated by now. I spent a few years working as a software consultant, but that wasn't really in an IT capacity. It was more in testing, troubleshooting, training, software implementation, etc.

    I work now as a CAD operator, but things have gotten a bit stale for me in this field.

    I stay pretty much up to date on personal computer trends, and I have decent skills for troubleshooting and updating PCs, Windows, simple databases, etc. I'm always the personal IT guy for friends, family, and co-workers. I have some experience setting up and troubleshooting simple WANs, LANs, and print servers.

    So my main question is, what are the most common sources for industry information for IT guys these days? Any recommendations for the best industry publications, and/or websites that IT guys frequent? Any other advice for getting up to speed on the latest in IT lingo?

    Are there any certifications that would be easy to achieve within a couple months?

    Any other general advice that would help me pad my application a little bit, or give me a leg up during the interview process?

    I know that's asking a lot, but I'd appreciate any advice you have for helping me make a bit of a career change.

    Thanks, Sizz.
     
  2. dice

    Former Staff dice pansy-ass ex-staff member

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    I'd actually like to know from you guys also (I'll be doing a similar course for university) but I'm considering taking a gap year to earn some money and visit family around the world.
     
  3. jpxdude

    Member jpxdude GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Hi There,

    If you're looking to get into a I.T Support role, you shouldn't face much problem jumping back into it with your degree and some of your experience as software consultant mentioned alone, although you would probably enter the field more likely at entry level which still isn't bad.

    I did my degree in Applied Computing with ICT, which in a nutshell is graphics and games programming and completed 5 years ago. I was in the I.T field within 6 months afterwards and just stuck with it. If you feel that your skills are getting a bit stale, the best thing is to do some self projects, one of which is really beneficial is to build your own Active Directory server from scratch, very easy with Virtual PC, and the obligatory Microsoft Windows 2003 server software! Getting to know this inside out is what will propel you forward quickly in the role. This above all with give you the confidence in interview/vetting processes.

    If you want to take some quick qualifications to jumpstart your way into the field, you should first look into the A+ course, which is very easy and extremely basic knowledge of basically putting a machine together and knowing how it works of which you get recognised certification! In addition to this, you can go for the first MCP (microsoft course) Completing the first MCP alone will qualify you as a Microsoft Certified Professional, which employers love. Both of these you can complete in your own time, and can be done reasonably within 1-2 months with dedicated study. Do 3 MCP courses, and you are officially a Microsoft Desktop Engineer qualified. Of course, if you already have even a bit of experience such as the OP, these courses are optional IMO but they help considerably.
     
  4. BiscuitBee

    Member BiscuitBee Semi-Resident Cookie-Bug

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    Hey Sizz,

    When I applied for this job, of which I am at right now, what they mostly cared about was that I had a piece of paper to prove I had some sort of dedication.

    THAT being said, the second part they were looking for was applied knowledge. They asked some pretty basic questions about computers (i.e. In an office environment, how would you block users from using MSN, etc etc). They asked me how I would, step-by-step, troubleshoot a certain situation.

    As for certification, A+ is getting kinda' old. I know some places ask for it, but you can argue that no one needs to know what IRQ a keyboard uses (note: IRQ 1).

    It's a bit hard to remember since that was two years ago... a month after I graduated from college.

    Anyhow, good luck! Don't sweat it for an entry-level position. When they, eventually, promote you, I'm sure they'll tell you everything you need to know... or at least send you to training.

    EDIT:
    Oh yeah, sites:

    Reddit.com / great for computer/IT news (and other categories!)
    Digg.com / get the latest trends (just shuffle aside all the Mac trendy folk)
    Neowin.com / Pretty much a nerd/geek treasure cove. TONS of information and help there.
     
  5. fischju

    Member fischju Rehabilitated Jaywalker

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    http://www.zdnet.com/

    This and other Ziff Davis sites are good resources for news related to the IT field
     
  6. Szyslak
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    Member Szyslak Nudibranch Lover

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    @jpxdude, BiscuitBee: Great advice. Thank you both very much.

    @fischju: Thanks for the link.
     
  7. Javacat

    Member Javacat GBAtemp Fan

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    IRC!!!!!

    The only qualification I would both going for is a CCIE, although that would take quite a long time (although it'd be well worth it!). Before you reach that level a CCVP should be pretty impressive and should earn you some decent £££. Most of the other qualifications available are pretty boring and useless, only really impressing anyone that doesn't know much about IT.
     
  8. Mewgia

    Member Mewgia drifter

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    I just took the first A+ test (going to take the second next week) and there was nothing about IRQ addresses. I think there was on the old version, but they updated it recently. The only reason I'm taking it is so that I can get some sort of IT job more easily...I'm just under 15 atm so I need all the help I can get to land a job :x.
     
  9. Strokemouth

    Member Strokemouth GBAtemp Regular

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    The only IT jobs I've seen that A+ helps with are the very basic, entry-level positions. A+ is very easy to get and I think employers are starting to recognize that now. Much more specialized certs hold more water these days.

    And Szyslak, any self-respecting IT guy can't go without slashdot.org (in addition to the sites BiscuitBee mentioned, although I don't go to neowin anymore). And picking up a subscription to Linux Journal will get you a couple nerd points as well (subscriber since 2000 here!) while teaching you a thing or two!

    Don't worry about staying on the bleeding edge of technology...you're going to get hired by someone who is most likely 5 years behind on the tech and will barely have the money to pay you close to what you deserve and won't have the budget for new processes/technology.

    (I'm in the same boat as you, graduated in '04 though. Degree in MIS with double concentration in network management/systems analysis & design)
     
  10. Szyslak
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    Member Szyslak Nudibranch Lover

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    Funny and depressing all at the same time.

    Thanks very much for the advice though.
     

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