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This is a discussion on New and Need Advice!! within the Certification & Career forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hello all, I am changing my direction in life and am very excited that i have made a decision to

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Old 04-13-2015, 07:05 PM   #1
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Hello all,
I am changing my direction in life and am very excited that i have made a decision to enter the IT world. I need some expert advice. Here is my situation.
1. I am mid life and need to get working ASAP.
2. I don't know where to start.
3. I have built a couple basic web pages and really enjoyed it.
4. I also enjoy trouble shooting, building, and would like love to create new things.
5. Need a career that will allow me to have a stable and lucrative career with income around $100,000 within 5 - 10 years.
6. Would love to work from home.

Any advice out there? What paths would ya'll recommend? What certs should i start with and get next?

Any help is greatly appreciated!!!
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:30 AM   #2
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Hi Chris,

What's current job experience or life experience do you have in IT? Do you currently have any certifications? Degree?

Getting a start in IT can mean starting at the bottom. This is typically a position as entry level tech support engineer or a junior position in a small IT department.

While the certifications can help you get your resume read, having work experience or practical experience is going to get you past the interview process.

You'll need to figure out what area you want to focus on (software development, networking, systems administration, product/project management). Once you know that it'll be easier to determine what path to take and what type of education is required.

Salary is going to be highly dependent on where you live, the job market around you and how quickly you're able to move up in your position.

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Old 04-14-2015, 04:10 AM   #3
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First if you have no experience in the field forget about lucrative for a while.

Secondly if you have no experience, you need some and this will mean starting at the bottom.

third if you have no experience, your initial pay will be rubbish and may stay that way for a long time. Back in the early 90's someone with no experience could start on a very good wage, not anymore they don't.

fourth if you have no experience you need to get some entry level certifications although you can get an entry level job with no IT qualifications. Certifications you should study are:- compTIA A+, compTIA Network+ and go for a basic Microsoft cert such as 70-680 but do not go for high level certs as this can hurt your job prospects as you will be expected to have experience to go along with those certs.
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:32 AM   #4
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We can't decide for you what path to take. There are quite a few available. To be a programmer, learn to program (however you want to learn - from books, from a class, however). To be a web designer, learn how to design webpages. To be a computer tech, learn how to be a tech, and take entry-level certifications such as the A+, Network+, and Windows client certifications. None of these paths require a degree or a formal course.

The others are right about having to start out at the bottom. This is the primary obstacle to career changers. Many people mistakenly assume that they can jump into IT making close to what they are making in their current job. Unfortunately, this is not usually the case. But take heart - although you will start out at the bottom, you won't be there forever. Pay increases will come with experience, either through promotions or by changing employers.

Regarding the $100,000 salary requirement... although you can make a good living in IT, you've got to be either particularly gifted or particularly lucky to make that kind of money after 10 years. I've been in IT for about 17 years, and I know many more techs who make under $100,000 than over it.

Working from home is another catch. Although remote support options have indeed increased these kind of job opportunities, they are rarely given to those who don't have much experience... and only occasionally to those who do. I have to deal with an hour-long commute each way every day.

So... if you're getting into IT for the money or for the work-from-home possibilities, I would recommend that you carefully consider whether IT is what you want to be doing. However, if you're getting into IT because you enjoy it, it can be a very rewarding, interesting, and financially stable career field.
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