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Anyone here employed in IT? Need some career advice!

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Well, after finally realising my degree in Music Technology and Innovation is about as useful as a sponge mug, I think I'm going to go for something IT related. Basically I've been building compute…
baconsandwich Avatar
9y, 3w agoPosted 9 years, 3 weeks ago
Well, after finally realising my degree in Music Technology and Innovation is about as useful as a sponge mug, I think I'm going to go for something IT related.

Basically I've been building computers for nearly 9 years (I'm 22), and am very much the go to guy for everyone I know when they have a computer problem. Hardware, software, networking, you name it, I'll fix it, and if I don't, I'll find a way of doing so using google :-)

Well, after having not a lot of success applying for IT jobs, I'm starting to think maybe my qualifications are letting me down a little. I have 12 GCSEs, 5 A-Levels (if you can count general studies as an A-level), and my crappy 2:1 degree in music technology..

Think I need something a bit more specialised as many of the jobs I'm applying for say that IT related qualifications are desirable.

So, one day I'm out and about and stumble across a leaflet for a local professional IT training centre, not too far from me. After enquiring about courses & prices they sent me a list;

MCSE 12 Months £2295
MCSA A+ and N+ 12 Months £2145
MCSA 12 Months £1495
A+ 3 Months £995
N+ 3 Months £995
MCP 3 Months £750
MCDST 6 Months £1200
ECDL 6 Months £750
Cisco CCNA 3 Months £945
CIW Foundation 6 Months £745
CIW Design 12 Months £945
MCSD 12 Months £2095
MCDBA 12 Months £2095

The mistake I made earlier in life was to do a degree that offers little job prospects in an extremely tight, underpaid, unforgiving and competative industry. This was my fault for not asking the real world what working in the music business is like..

So. IT professionals. What's working in the IT sector like? How did you get there?

And does anyone have any suggestions as to what course I should take? Basically I'm after whichever one will lead to maximised job opportunities - i.e. the skills that the industry isn't flooded with already!
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baconsandwich Avatar
9y, 3w agoPosted 9 years, 3 weeks ago
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#1
I work in IT however I should say i have no qualifications or degree's and have done very well for myself, so I dont think they offer a lot if I am being honest.

That said I do realise that a lot of jobs stated you must have x qualification, so there is some value in them I guess.

However the course you should go on depends on what it is you want to do in IT? If you wanna be linux server engineer then the MCSE course will be a waste of time, likewise the CCNA course will be a waste if you wanna be a Windows Support Engineer.

You need to decide what area of IT you wanna go in to, Networking, Security, Windows Server Admin, Web Development.

Then you need to find an industry recognised qualification in that area.

The MCSE, CCNA are both well respected industry qualifications. Note that the MCP is a red herring, as you need 7 (i think) of these to get your MCSE status. You never see any jobs advertised for MCP's only for the MCSE.
#2
Experience counts MUCH more than any course or qualification. What you need to do is decide what sector of the IT market you would like to work in (if there is a specific sector, otherwise don't worry), then look for jobs in that sector. See what companies are looking for, & see what gaps you have & whether or not you can fill them by doing a course.

Remember, as with all jobs, the advert is looking for the ideal candidate - companies rarely expect to find that person, so will settle for the best or nearest match to what they are after. So don't be put off applying for a job if you don't meet all the requirements.

Also (teaching you to suck eggs, probably, but...) don't expect to start as the Head of an IT department. Take your time, start at the bottom, get a few years under your belt and as much experience & courses as the company will pay for, then move onwards & upwards.

There are LOTS of jobs available in the IT market, so you should find something - even if it's not exactly what you are after it may be worth doing the job for a while to get the experience.

Good Luck!
#3
Same as mccabe, I started with no qualifications & no degree - I sat an aptitude test for my first job & was taken on on the strength of that. My present job specified that a degree was essential, and yet they still took me on - proof that it's experience that counts the most:thumbsup:
#4
Im 19 and got myself in IT, got my employer to pay for my degree, maybe do that try and get in with a big company and get them to pay for your training, or got with the Open University, which im studying with whilst doing a full time and part time job. Hard work but will be worth. So take a look [url]www.open.ac.uk[/url]

Hope that helps.
#5
If you can go and do a degree and then get into IT Contracting that's the way to go. Earning around £400 per day!
banned#6
caz1cool;1674027
If you can go and do a degree and then get into IT Contracting that's the way to go. Earning around £400 per day!

True - thats what I used to earn for about 10 years but lately have found that a lot of IT is being shipped off to India and Eastern Europe so the rosy days arent quite what they used to be.

Personally, I hated IT but stuck with it for the dosh. Most jobs involved 8 hours stuck in a cubicle on your own or endless meetings that lasted hours just going over the same thing over and over again. A lot of IT people seem to like the sound of their own voice. I once worked for Amex on a 2 year Euro conversion project where the documentation I had to do took 18 months and I wrote the program in 2 days! Imagine how dull that contract was.

The women in IT generally look like pigs too :p
#7
Dont do it
#8
csiman
True - thats what I used to earn for about 10 years but lately have found that a lot of IT is being shipped off to India and Eastern Europe so the rosy days arent quite what they used to be.

Personally, I hated IT but stuck with it for the dosh. Most jobs involved 8 hours stuck in a cubicle on your own or endless meetings that lasted hours just going over the same thing over and over again. A lot of IT people seem to like the sound of their own voice. I once worked for Amex on a 2 year Euro conversion project where the documentation I had to do took 18 months and I wrote the program in 2 days! Imagine how dull that contract was.

The women in IT generally look like pigs too :p


It's true that a lot of the work was shipped off but they were doing such a bad job of it most of it has come back. The agents are still screaming out for contractors :thumbsup:
#9
Im in the IT industry and got there by [url]www.cwjobs.co.uk[/url]. I had no previous experience! Company I work for is Getronics and they offer a virtual university to obtain recognised qualifications, so perhaps if you get in somewhere, they could offer the help you need. HTH
#10
yeah cwjobs and also jobserve are the websites to look at. I am about to launch an IT Recruitment company so if you send me your cv I may be able to help you out in a few weeks once the company is up and running.
#11
birdyboyuk
Im in the IT industry and got there by [url]www.cwjobs.co.uk[/url]. I had no previous experience! Company I work for is Getronics and they offer a virtual university to obtain recognised qualifications, so perhaps if you get in somewhere, they could offer the help you need. HTH


Getronics, what site ?
#12
Very helpful replies, everyone!

I'm definitely considering my options. IT contracting certainly sounds good, what a wage!

caz1cool I'll definitley throw my CV your way, I'll PM you about that.

Thanks everyone :-)
#13
Bear in mind when contracting - you have to sort out the tax & national insurance, you don't get paid holidays, you only get pay for when you're working, you have to work harder & faster as you are expected to move in to a job & hit the ground running almost from day one (so no one week inductions!). Yes, the money is good, if you're qualified, but don't expect to take home 365 x £400 in your first year!
#14
stora
Getronics, what site ?


[url]www.getronics.co.uk[/url]
#15
Have you got a PC World near you?
#16
thesaint
Have you got a PC World near you?


Fairly near.. Would you recommend applying there?

edit: just checked out the pc world careers website, doesn't seem to be anything near me, unless their website doesn't really reflect their vacancies?
#17
birdyboyuk
[url]www.getronics.co.uk[/url]

Sorry what site are you based at. Your not at Runcorn by any chance ?
#18
stora
Sorry what site are you based at. Your not at Runcorn by any chance ?


Not sure if that's aimed at me or birdyboy, but I'm based in Leicester.
#19
stora
Sorry what site are you based at. Your not at Runcorn by any chance ?


Nope, CentricMK (Milton Keynes)

What do you know?
1 Like #20
I've been working in IT for a good few years.

Get yourself the easiest qualificattion you can that is nice and quick to learn. Maybe an ISEB or Prince II course. You can get them done in about a month.

Get you CV sorted. Sell yourself. Take 2 days and get it read over by some one who speaks ordinary english not IT babble.

Get your self on every job board you can. Takes about 1/2 day

Get a decent email address (not something like [email protected]">[email protected] something more along the line of [email protected]">[email protected] and a decent voice mail on your phone - no rave music or 'ello mate messages).

Email your cv with a short covering letter to as many agents / agency as possible (try to get it to about 100) saying you want a junior contracting position. (Don't bother with perm work- contracting can pay easily 3 times as much). This coudl take about 3 days.

Get yourself a limited company - takes about 1 day to set-up and about £500 top to set-up.

There you go :D In about 3 months you wil be on the road to independent success.

Start contracting ASAP. Doht take anything less than 3 months and nothing longer than 1 year.

Trust me. I make about £70,000 a year as contractor and habe lots of lovely tax breaks and have worked on some amazing projects from new media to cutting edge mobile technology. Plus holidays when ever I want them.

You may disagree with this route but it works for me. Be your own boss.

Please excuse my typos.
#21
birdyboyuk
Nope, CentricMK (Milton Keynes)

What do you know?



Not much :)

I used to work for Pink Roccade and still know a few who work for Getronics at Runcorn.

Just thought I'd ask in case I knew you in real life ;-)
#22
JIM1973ANDREWS
I've been working in IT for a good few years.

Get yourself the easiest qualificattion you can that is nice and quick to learn. Maybe an ISEB or Prince II course. You can get them done in about a month.

Get you CV sorted. Sell yourself. Take 2 days and get it read over by some one who speaks ordinary english not IT babble.

Get your self on every job board you can. Takes about 1/2 day

Get a decent email address (not something like [email protected]">[email protected] something more along the line of [email protected]">[email protected] and a decent voice mail on your phone - no rave music or 'ello mate messages).

Email your cv with a short covering letter to as many agents / agency as possible (try to get it to about 100) saying you want a junior contracting position. (Don't bother with perm work- contracting can pay easily 3 times as much). This coudl take about 3 days.

Get yourself a limited company - takes about 1 day to set-up and about £500 top to set-up.

There you go :D In about 3 months you wil be on the road to independent success.

Start contracting ASAP. Doht take anything less than 3 months and nothing longer than 1 year.

Trust me. I make about £70,000 a year as contractor and habe lots of lovely tax breaks and have worked on some amazing projects from new media to cutting edge mobile technology. Plus holidays when ever I want them.

You may disagree with this route but it works for me. Be your own boss.

Please excuse my typos.


Thanks, thats exactly where I want to be!

Everything you've said seems sound, my only question is do you have any more information on how to set up a limited company?

Regards
#23
stora
Not much :)

I used to work for Pink Roccade and still know a few who work for Getronics at Runcorn.

Just thought I'd ask in case I knew you in real life ;-)


Ahh, I see!

I've only been there a year....I've heard Pink Roccade mentioned tho!! I work on the Barclays contract - if that means anythign to you! lol

KPN have now bought into Getronics or something! :thinking:

Anyway, back to topic - Good luck Bacon! :thumbsup:
#24
Dont do an ECDL!!! I did one and its as basic as it gets. Im at college now doing a HEFC in IT and want to go to uni next year doing ethical hacking. Want to get into the security side of IT.
#25
Hey there don't mean to HJ or anything but I need some career advice for IT too, it just didn't seem worth bloating the board with another topic about the same thing.

I got myself a BTEC National Certificate for IT Practicioners (with extra units) at college and I'm going to be studying either the foundation degree or higher national diploma in Computing (doing extra year after to top up to full degree in both) or, if I get accepted, the Computer Science degree, all at university.

Have I made any bad moves or planned any bad moves? Suggestions are appreciated :)

I'm not sure what area of IT I'd like to be in but contracting sounds pretty good and anything that has decent pay...
banned#26
JustExtreme;1677182
Hey there don't mean to HJ or anything but I need some career advice for IT too, it just didn't seem worth bloating the board with another topic about the same thing.

I got myself a BTEC National Certificate for IT Practicioners (with extra units) at college and I'm going to be studying either the foundation degree or higher national diploma in Computing (doing extra year after to top up to full degree in both) or, if I get accepted, the Computer Science degree, all at university.

Have I made any bad moves or planned any bad moves? Suggestions are appreciated :)

I'm not sure what area of IT I'd like to be in but contracting sounds pretty good and anything that has decent pay...

Hands-on experience is far better in this field. My last employer used to just take out ALL applications with no experience. Two years in the field is far better than any degree. You can't just do 5 years at Uni then go contracting. Any recruitment company would tell you that.
#27
Yes you couldn't just contract straight off, you would need some hands on experience first.
#28
So if I done my uni course for the 2/3 years required and then went out and got some experience afterwards would that be a better idea?
#29
Try your local NHS Trust, while I did my degree I worked for Desktop support for a summer job where I am now did that for 4/5years with paid training, now I'm a CISCO engineer still at the same NHS Trust, done the CCNA, CCDA and about to do CISCO Wireless Specialist. The NHS is not the best pay in the world but from one day to the next you never know where you will be or doing. Well I like the diversity!
#30
I think experience is worth more than a degree. Decided not to go to uni, got a job in IT and asked for training, so on my way to getting a degree, and have 1 year so far commercial experience. Try for something like that!
#31
Is anyone going down the self study route instead of paying those high fees for courses?

CBT Nuggets and Train Signal are good providers. I have found the videos quite interesting as books are boring. You can download the stuff from newsgroups :-D
#32
I am in IT, and have just been headhunted for a 25% payrise, so In my sector, Medical Informatics and instructional design, business is very rosy.

The point I wanted to make is about qualifications, the best programmer I ever employed was an ex bin man, with zero qualifications, but could write the most exquisite code, he has now gone to London for 95k a year.
#33
Almost totally agree with DKLS and I believe the part about the bin man. I know a bin man who did a few night classes and was on about 70k as a programmer almost 10 years ago.

A qulaification is good in IT but not that good.
1 Like #34
To - Bacon Sandwich and anyone else who found my advice useful.

Get the contract first then set-up the limited company.

Here's the best place to start.

http://www.contractoruk.com/

Send me a private message any time you need some advice and I will do what I can to help.

Sincerely,

Jim
#35
Some very good and interesting advice!
#36
JIM1973ANDREWS
Almost totally agree with DKLS and I believe the part about the bin man. I know a bin man who did a few night classes and was on about 70k as a programmer almost 10 years ago.

A qulaification is good in IT but not that good.


You got to have the right personality to be a programmer most of them at my old work were very dull...
also baconsandwich £750 for an MCP is a joke I done a brain dump and took the exam for £80 passed.

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