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Author Topic: Need advice/thoughts about IT career  (Read 484 times)
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namatoki
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« on: February 10, 2012, 02:43:00 AM »

I hope to get some help trying to figure this out.  First a little backstory - I have a younger brother who I am trying to help get into school and hopefully an IT job.  He is turning 30 this month and he's never really had a chance to get into something he would like to do.  He worked various jobs like at EB/Gamestop and then at Countrywide right before the mortgage crash.  So for the past few years, he was trying to get into school and get a career started.  Well, time is running out since our household income is shrinking.  I think this is our last chance at righting the ship before it sinks.

So, I was doing a little research and thought that community college would be cheap and quick to get him something soon.  So my question is, would it be a good idea to get a CCNA or MCSE cert or do a 2 year AS degree in IT?  Pasadena City College offers both the certificate programs and the AS degree.  I want him to have the best opportunity at getting a good paying IT job ASAP.  Any thoughts and ideas are greatly appreciated.
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TK-421
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2012, 03:27:43 AM »

Cisco UC/UCS. Seriously.  

We are a $1B+ company and we desperately need qualified UC/UCS engineers.  There is a severe shortage of qualified people right now and this is one of our fastest growing enterprises.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2012, 03:30:05 AM by TK-421 » Logged

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namatoki
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2012, 03:31:57 AM »

Where would one get that training?  I didn't see that offered at PCC.
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Abaddon
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2012, 06:31:57 AM »

Skip the Certificates and focus on the degree. Going for your A.A.S, Associate in Applied Science, will require taking many of the same courses as those offered for the certificates, why not apply them to an actual degree and your brother can always still take the Cert exams.
Most C.C. offer two degree paths for an A.A.S. either CIS, Computer Information Systems or IT. The CIS degree is typically easier to transfer to a 4 year program for your Bachelors in Computer Science, the IT degree is more hands-on techie stuff and structured for people looking to get out in the world and start earning a living. In either case having a degree is not going to be a hinderance.
10 years ago I would have said it's not that big a deal in the IT world because it really wasnt. IT used to be one of those career fields where experience and know how were what really counted. Today it's a different story. The current economy and the abundance of IT savy folks have made it an employers market and companies are setting the bar fairly high now a days. Peruse your local want ads, craigslist, monster.com etc. and SOME sort of formal education is requirement for most jobs followed by a lengthening list of certifications. Employers no longer advertise for JUST an MCITP or JUST a Net+ now they want a whole alphabet soup.
CCNA is an awesome certification to have but it's still one bitch of an exam and even if someone passes I would not recommend trying to step into a job as a Cisco Admin/Engineer without at least 2 years of real experience or that person may quickly find themselves in over their heads.
MSCE has pretty much been repaced by MCITP, plent of info on MCITP on the web. If the school your looking at is offering the "MCSE" rather than one of the newer certs I'd do some more checking.

So to recap, Community College is an awesome starting point to gain some credentials to break in to the IT field....Skip the quick certification track and go for the 2 year degree....your brother should examine his long term goals, does he see himself happy getting his hands dirty and doing the actual tech work or does he aspire to Information Systems Managment....Pick the appropriate degree path.

Finally Cisco UC/UCS isn't really something you just take a couple of classes to pick-up. You need a fairly significant background in network infrastructure and architecture.
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TK-421
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2012, 12:43:00 PM »

Quote from: Abaddon on February 10, 2012, 06:31:57 AM

Finally Cisco UC/UCS isn't really something you just take a couple of classes to pick-up. You need a fairly significant background in network infrastructure and architecture.

True that.  It does require some serious networking history but it's a definite aiming point on a career track for somebody with any networking ability and a desire to grow their knowledge/paycheck.
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Covenant
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2012, 01:20:42 PM »

I got an associates in computer science and went right into the job market as a programmer. Started out on the low side of the salary scale, but now I'm doing great for myself and my family.
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Laner
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« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2012, 04:49:58 PM »

Would getting an associate's degree be the right course for someone who already has a B.S. in an unrelated field?
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Abaddon
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2012, 10:25:55 PM »

Quote
Would getting an associate's degree be the right course for someone who already has a B.S. in an unrelated field?

This would depend on your overall goals. Do you want to be hands on technical, write programs/code/applications and are you looking to move in to management?

As mentioned in previous post Associates in IT typically come in two flavors, one for the highly technical minded that are a)looking to be in the trenches and b) seeking quicker employment. The second flavor is for those looking to move in to Information Systems Managment, looking to specialize in programming or looking to offset the cost of a four year degree by taking their pre-reqs in a two year school first.

I have found most colleges will accept/transfer credits for courses going back about 10 years for your math/english/humanities etc. classes and about 5 years for advanced science classes. College algebra is college algebra, English composition is still English composition. I would speak with a local college counselor and see how much of your current B.S. you can apply to a  4 year CIS/CS(tend to be B.S.) or MIS (tends to be B.A.)degree. Why repeat classes you have already taken and payed for in the past?
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ravenvii
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« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2012, 04:34:40 AM »

Quote from: Covenant on February 10, 2012, 01:20:42 PM

I got an associates in computer science and went right into the job market as a programmer. Started out on the low side of the salary scale, but now I'm doing great for myself and my family.


Sorry to take this thread slightly off-topic, but could you give me a tip or two? I'm also in community college working towards a A.S. in computer science (as a sort of a "plan B"). Ultimately I'll go into a 4-year university and get a B.S., but I'd like to get a job and work for a year or so to earn some money to pay towards school. How did you get a job right out of community college? Where did you look?
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