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Will have MCSA by Christmas....then what?

 
 
Guy
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-07-2009
Hey folks, I am currently working on 290 and have CompTIA's A+ and Net+ and
270 under my belt already. I am confident that I will have my MCSA by X-mas
but here is the problem:

I want to start working ASAP in the industry BUT unfortunately, I have never
worked in the IT industry before! See I started off as most of us by messing
with computers at a young age and continuing as a hobby but then joined the
military and they stuck me in Civil Engineering. Now I'm out and thought I'd
1. test my knowledge in the PC Tech field 2. get some certifications while
doing so. The CompTIA exams were cake and now I am in the meat of it (MS).

My question: Where does one like myself with NO prior work experience in
the IT field start off? A call center's help desk? Geek Squad?

I have considered volunteering for a local library or something and do help
desk work there and then work my way up to a job that entails more MCSA
duties.

Any ideas and suggestions would be Greatly appreciated.
 
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Lawrence Garvin [MVP]
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      08-07-2009
"Guy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Hey folks, I am currently working on 290 and have CompTIA's A+ and Net+
> and
> 270 under my belt already. I am confident that I will have my MCSA by
> X-mas
> but here is the problem:
>
> I want to start working ASAP in the industry BUT unfortunately, I have
> never
> worked in the IT industry before! See I started off as most of us by
> messing
> with computers at a young age and continuing as a hobby but then joined
> the
> military and they stuck me in Civil Engineering. Now I'm out and thought
> I'd
> 1. test my knowledge in the PC Tech field 2. get some certifications
> while
> doing so. The CompTIA exams were cake and now I am in the meat of it
> (MS).
>
> My question: Where does one like myself with NO prior work experience in
> the IT field start off? A call center's help desk? Geek Squad?


Those are two viable choices..

> I have considered volunteering for a local library or something and do
> help
> desk work there and then work my way up to a job that entails more MCSA
> duties.


This is also an excellent idea, and I would encourage you to consider doing
this immediately.

Don't wait to get the cert to begin volunteering, or to start looking for a
position. Many organizations may be willing to fill an entry-level position
with an ex-military person who's committed to the cert and already halfway
through. The MCP/Windows XP will be your most useful credential in getting a
Help Desk job -- and working on the 70-290 Windows Server 2003 exam will be
seen as a bonus for that level of position.


--
Lawrence Garvin, M.S., MCITP:EA, MCDBA
Principal/CTO, Onsite Technology Solutions, Houston, Texas
Microsoft MVP - Software Distribution (2005-2009)

MS WSUS Website: http://www.microsoft.com/wsus
My MVP Profile: http://mvp.support.microsoft.com/pro...awrence.Garvin

 
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John R
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-07-2009

"Guy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> Hey folks, I am currently working on 290 and have CompTIA's A+ and Net+
> and
> 270 under my belt already. I am confident that I will have my MCSA by
> X-mas
> but here is the problem:
>
> I want to start working ASAP in the industry BUT unfortunately, I have
> never
> worked in the IT industry before! See I started off as most of us by
> messing
> with computers at a young age and continuing as a hobby but then joined
> the
> military and they stuck me in Civil Engineering. Now I'm out and thought
> I'd
> 1. test my knowledge in the PC Tech field 2. get some certifications
> while
> doing so. The CompTIA exams were cake and now I am in the meat of it
> (MS).
>
> My question: Where does one like myself with NO prior work experience in
> the IT field start off? A call center's help desk? Geek Squad?
>
> I have considered volunteering for a local library or something and do
> help
> desk work there and then work my way up to a job that entails more MCSA
> duties.
>
> Any ideas and suggestions would be Greatly appreciated.


First, let me say "Thank you" for your service.
Also, that I applaud both your effort so far, and your self-motivation.

Getting started in the field is difficult, for many various reasons. Hiring
managers today are looking for things to set candidates apart, and certs
certainly are one way to do that. However, in my humble experience, certs
are only good if you have the experience to go with them. The cert by and
of itself is not nearly as powerfull on a resume. Today, I think formal
education is more important than certs to a large extent.

Now, all that crap out of the way, instead of going straight for the MCSA,
you might consider going for MCDST or MCITP:EST first if you are looking to
enter via the helpdesk position, as that cert is more geared toward that
position. If you've passed 70-270, you already know 90 percent of the
70-271 test, and the 70-272 test is centered around Office 2003. There are
plenty of good study materials available.

Assuming you do go the MCSA route, which I agree with Lawrence will be seen
as a bonus, you're going to want to setup a home lab to test and play with,
and your own suggestions about volunteering for NPOs and such (or better
yet, Intern for a For-Profit business) would be a great start. Once you can
put that first IT job on your resume, more doors will open. I think my
company has made full time offers to almost every Intern we've had. It only
makes sense, they already know a good deal about your policies and
procedures.

With your attitude, I'm sure you won't have too many problems.

John R.

 
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Guy
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      08-20-2009
Thanks folks for the pointers!

"John R" wrote:

>
> "Guy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> > Hey folks, I am currently working on 290 and have CompTIA's A+ and Net+
> > and
> > 270 under my belt already. I am confident that I will have my MCSA by
> > X-mas
> > but here is the problem:
> >
> > I want to start working ASAP in the industry BUT unfortunately, I have
> > never
> > worked in the IT industry before! See I started off as most of us by
> > messing
> > with computers at a young age and continuing as a hobby but then joined
> > the
> > military and they stuck me in Civil Engineering. Now I'm out and thought
> > I'd
> > 1. test my knowledge in the PC Tech field 2. get some certifications
> > while
> > doing so. The CompTIA exams were cake and now I am in the meat of it
> > (MS).
> >
> > My question: Where does one like myself with NO prior work experience in
> > the IT field start off? A call center's help desk? Geek Squad?
> >
> > I have considered volunteering for a local library or something and do
> > help
> > desk work there and then work my way up to a job that entails more MCSA
> > duties.
> >
> > Any ideas and suggestions would be Greatly appreciated.

>
> First, let me say "Thank you" for your service.
> Also, that I applaud both your effort so far, and your self-motivation.
>
> Getting started in the field is difficult, for many various reasons. Hiring
> managers today are looking for things to set candidates apart, and certs
> certainly are one way to do that. However, in my humble experience, certs
> are only good if you have the experience to go with them. The cert by and
> of itself is not nearly as powerfull on a resume. Today, I think formal
> education is more important than certs to a large extent.
>
> Now, all that crap out of the way, instead of going straight for the MCSA,
> you might consider going for MCDST or MCITP:EST first if you are looking to
> enter via the helpdesk position, as that cert is more geared toward that
> position. If you've passed 70-270, you already know 90 percent of the
> 70-271 test, and the 70-272 test is centered around Office 2003. There are
> plenty of good study materials available.
>
> Assuming you do go the MCSA route, which I agree with Lawrence will be seen
> as a bonus, you're going to want to setup a home lab to test and play with,
> and your own suggestions about volunteering for NPOs and such (or better
> yet, Intern for a For-Profit business) would be a great start. Once you can
> put that first IT job on your resume, more doors will open. I think my
> company has made full time offers to almost every Intern we've had. It only
> makes sense, they already know a good deal about your policies and
> procedures.
>
> With your attitude, I'm sure you won't have too many problems.
>
> John R.
>
>

 
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Guy
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      10-06-2009
Thanks everyone for the great info! Turns out that I've been getting
contract work for bank conversions lately and I love them. I am sure they
will look nice on my resume as well.

"matrixx333" wrote:

> Guy wrote:
> > Hey folks, I am currently working on 290 and have CompTIA's A+ and Net+ and
> > 270 under my belt already. I am confident that I will have my MCSA by X-mas
> > but here is the problem:
> >
> > I want to start working ASAP in the industry BUT unfortunately, I have never
> > worked in the IT industry before! See I started off as most of us by messing
> > with computers at a young age and continuing as a hobby but then joined the
> > military and they stuck me in Civil Engineering. Now I'm out and thought I'd
> > 1. test my knowledge in the PC Tech field 2. get some certifications while
> > doing so. The CompTIA exams were cake and now I am in the meat of it (MS).
> >
> > My question: Where does one like myself with NO prior work experience in
> > the IT field start off? A call center's help desk? Geek Squad?
> >
> > I have considered volunteering for a local library or something and do help
> > desk work there and then work my way up to a job that entails more MCSA
> > duties.
> >
> > Any ideas and suggestions would be Greatly appreciated.

>
> When I started in the industry back in '99, I had no prior experience or
> certifications. I interviewed at an outsourcing company that outsourced
> technical customer service for Dell and Gateway. Both interviews
> required a test. The Dell test was way more A+ intensive and the Gateway
> test was just 10 basic questions on how to operate Windows 98 (Display
> properties, drivers, etc.) Needless to say without any certs or
> experience I got the position on the Gateway account
>
> But that job gave me the experience and knowledge I needed to
> spring-board further into the industry. My advise would be to try and
> find a company that will offer a help desk job with little or no
> experience, spend 2 years working there, then interview elsewhere.
>

 
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