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Where is the best place to start? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I'm a 31yr old pc repair person in NW CT. Ive been a roofer for 11 of those years and working on pc's for 6. Im getting to old to roof and computers are my passion. I also support a family of 6, so as you all can imagine my funds are limited. I do know however that if I want to get anywhere doing what I love I need to have some documented skills. My question is where is the best place for me to start? Is there a specific path I should follow to achieve, say, an MCITP? 
    Wednesday, April 7, 2010 11:05 PM

Answers

  • When I hire people I tend to look first at their level of experience, which I know you probably don't want to hear, but bear with me for a sec. I like to see people with certifications that match their level of experience, so for example in your case I would look for MCTS in Windows 7 and probably A+. People with higher levels of certifications tend to, at least in my experience, want to start at the top rather than work their way up and I'm always looking for someone who is willing to put in the time to get to know the team, do their part, volunteer when they can. Everyone is different, but I can only speak from my own experience in this so keep that in mind when you read what I have to say next.

    Just talking out of my hat here, but let say you were to apply for one of my technician positions with your experience and a higher level cert like MCITP Enterprise Server 2008. During the application review process (before choosing who to interview) I might be inclined to see you as someone who just wants to do higher level admin work rather than end user support. Because of that I might also think that you would not be very happy with not having admin level access and responsibilites and that you would be likely to get frustrated and quit after a short period of time because you could not move right to the upper levels of administration and network management. Now, if you came to me with an A+ and MCTS certifications for the same position I would be far more inclined to see you as someone who is willing to work their way through the system, someone who could be a solid team member and move up internally as opportunities permit, and if you proved out after a time I would try to give you the chance to do more when I could so that you could have that experience.

    Everybody is different, and every situation is different, but if I personally were in your position, especially with money playing a role in the decision making process, I would probably try to land a tech position somewhere where I had the opportunity to gain new skills on the job and hopefully move up in the organization in time. To that end I would get the Windows 7 MCTS cert, and probably A+ if for no other reason than to get past the gatekeepers. Finding the right environment has been the key for me over the last 20+ years. When I was in a good position with a good organization I was always given opportunities to do more, and often to move up the heirarchy, and when I took them I advanced my certs to match my new level. Only you can decide the best course of action for you, but that's how it looks from where I stand.

    Good luck to you however you decide to go...

    - R

    • Proposed as answer by -MainFrame- Thursday, April 8, 2010 10:57 AM
    • Marked as answer by GregDrumm Thursday, April 8, 2010 5:53 PM
    Wednesday, April 7, 2010 11:58 PM

All replies

  • It will take a long time to achieve an MCITP but the rewards would be beneficial, but buying the course material (books) can be expensive :-/

    Personally for anyone looking to get their first qualification in IT I would recommend the A+ Certified Technician.  Most Microsoft exams are based on the software and if you're like me and more passionate about hardware and getting the damn things to work - then the A+ is a great starting point.

    I recommend any Mike Mayers books, sadly this one isn't out until late June: http://www.amazon.com/CompTIA-Certification-Passport-220-701-220-702/dp/0071702989/ref=sr_1_42?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1270683527&sr=8-42

    I am currently studying for this myself even though I already have various qualifications, and I can tell you now that I have learnt a lot more than I already knew!!


    Hope this helps! Please vote or mark as correct answer if it does :)

    - Microsoft Certified Professional (Windows 2000 Professional)
    - Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (Windows Vista)
    - Professional Member of the British Computer Society

    http://www.xinx.co.uk - my website
    http://www.systems-and-solutions.co.uk - where I work

    • Proposed as answer by -MainFrame- Thursday, April 8, 2010 10:57 AM
    Wednesday, April 7, 2010 11:42 PM
  • When I hire people I tend to look first at their level of experience, which I know you probably don't want to hear, but bear with me for a sec. I like to see people with certifications that match their level of experience, so for example in your case I would look for MCTS in Windows 7 and probably A+. People with higher levels of certifications tend to, at least in my experience, want to start at the top rather than work their way up and I'm always looking for someone who is willing to put in the time to get to know the team, do their part, volunteer when they can. Everyone is different, but I can only speak from my own experience in this so keep that in mind when you read what I have to say next.

    Just talking out of my hat here, but let say you were to apply for one of my technician positions with your experience and a higher level cert like MCITP Enterprise Server 2008. During the application review process (before choosing who to interview) I might be inclined to see you as someone who just wants to do higher level admin work rather than end user support. Because of that I might also think that you would not be very happy with not having admin level access and responsibilites and that you would be likely to get frustrated and quit after a short period of time because you could not move right to the upper levels of administration and network management. Now, if you came to me with an A+ and MCTS certifications for the same position I would be far more inclined to see you as someone who is willing to work their way through the system, someone who could be a solid team member and move up internally as opportunities permit, and if you proved out after a time I would try to give you the chance to do more when I could so that you could have that experience.

    Everybody is different, and every situation is different, but if I personally were in your position, especially with money playing a role in the decision making process, I would probably try to land a tech position somewhere where I had the opportunity to gain new skills on the job and hopefully move up in the organization in time. To that end I would get the Windows 7 MCTS cert, and probably A+ if for no other reason than to get past the gatekeepers. Finding the right environment has been the key for me over the last 20+ years. When I was in a good position with a good organization I was always given opportunities to do more, and often to move up the heirarchy, and when I took them I advanced my certs to match my new level. Only you can decide the best course of action for you, but that's how it looks from where I stand.

    Good luck to you however you decide to go...

    - R

    • Proposed as answer by -MainFrame- Thursday, April 8, 2010 10:57 AM
    • Marked as answer by GregDrumm Thursday, April 8, 2010 5:53 PM
    Wednesday, April 7, 2010 11:58 PM