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Old 12-06-2005, 01:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Location: UK
Help with a big decision

Ok so I am thinking about a change of career right about now and I was thinking about going into IT. I found a web site with a few courses on the following of which seemed to sing out to me, as I have only really a rudimentary knowledge of computing, and this seemed like a good starter.

http://www.icslearn.co.uk/it-technic...page-designer/



Quote:
Course Overview

Interest in the internet has exploded in recent years, bringing new career opportunities to people with the right skills. And if this is an area that appeals to you, you'll get a lot from our Web Page Designer course.

This course is an excellent starting point if you want to build a career in web design and it covers everything from web basics, technical aspects as well as the pure design skills involved Ė allowing your confidence to grow until you can create exciting, involving web pages. It also includes our Writing for the Web course Ė free!
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Pre-requisites

The great news is that you don't need any previous experience to take this course. However access to a PC and the Internet is required.
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Support

As an ICS student you will have your own personal tutor helping you with your course work and with any questions you may have. Plus you can contact our Student Advisors by email or phone for all the practical advice you may need Ė so we really are with you 100%.

What's more, you'll have access to the ICS online Student Community, where you can interact with other students, browse our resource library and manage your account.
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Assessment

This course includes a number of assessments that you complete as part of your coursework and then forward to your tutor via email or post. Once your tutor has marked and graded your work, they'll send it back to you with their comments, if any.
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What our Students Say

"Having recently set up my own business I was really keen to start using the Internet to promote it by creating my own website. I already had a design background but didn't know how to use my skills to develop my first web page. The ICS Web Page Designer course provided a good understanding about the Internet and using HTML. It also helped my identify my customers' needs and develop the right style of website for them." Graeme Bridges, ICS Graduate, Cardiff.
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Your Future Prospects

Web page designer; Website manager.

The whole thing costs around 350 Earth pounds but I have no way of knowing if this is a worthwhile course or not. What worried me was the only quote that they get is form a guy who used the course to set up a website for his business. I don't have a business I want a job, which makes me wonder if anyone that has done this course has ever got a job as a result of it.

So I guess what I am asking is if you think that this course is worth doing? Also do you think that this could lead to a job opportunity or will I require more education in order to benefit?

Ooh and one more thing...what would you recommend instead of this for a sparkly new career in IT?

Any help is much appreciated.
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Old 12-06-2005, 01:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Part time studies at your local college might be the better option. There are usually night classes in your chosen IT field (and there are several; web design, graphic design, engineering in hardware or software, programming, etc) and that ought to give you a good basis to start with.

Be aware that if you're well-established in your current field you're really looking at starting over; you may end up in an entry-level position such as technical support that isn't all that fun and may not pay nearly as much as you're used to. The guys who work for Microsoft or Google or (insert big high-paying IT firm here) have many years of college and often many years of experience in the field behind them; until you build up that experience in some way the choice jobs just aren't going to be available.
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Old 12-06-2005, 01:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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IMHO if you are not in IT, for the love of god, don't start now, there are so many of us fuckers running around now that the jobs are so hard to come by and it is just sad.

Quote:
Web page designer; Website manager.
In all seriousness, you are not gonna make much money in this area, unless you work for a huge company, which is not gonna hire you without actual certs from MS, ect.. but if it's really something you want to do, go for it.
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Old 12-06-2005, 01:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: UK
Actually my current employment sucks big time which is why I am trying to break into something new. Starting at the bottom doesn't worry me because I am not that far from it at the moment. The only thing is that I want to try and make sure that I set off in the right direction.
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Old 12-06-2005, 01:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Mansfield, Ohio USA
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonovanDuVal
Actually my current employment sucks big time which is why I am trying to break into something new. Starting at the bottom doesn't worry me because I am not that far from it at the moment. The only thing is that I want to try and make sure that I set off in the right direction.
I answered that here........ http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showthread.php?t=98398

My history is I was a golden child at everything I did.... Navy, Stockbroker, Convience Store manager, Pizza business manager then owner..... each time I showed promise when I started would be taken under superior's wings and would burn out. But I went through the motions, never had my heart in the job.

The reason was I had no love for what I did. The money was there, the promise of a better future financially but no reward for me as a person or individual. I felt just part of a system.

For me as you can see by the diversity, I tried a little of everything, but now I am the most content mentally and spiritually I have ever been with myself and my profession. I have a passion for what I do.

My advice to you is to find your passion and conquer it, be the best you can be at it. you'll realize the job is right for you when you find it (the job) is not work but a part of your life that you want and need.

I truly hope you find it, because there is no better feeling in the world, knowing people respect your work and trust your opinion.
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Last edited by pan6467; 12-06-2005 at 01:48 PM..
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Old 12-06-2005, 01:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonovanDuVal
Actually my current employment sucks big time which is why I am trying to break into something new. Starting at the bottom doesn't worry me because I am not that far from it at the moment. The only thing is that I want to try and make sure that I set off in the right direction.
I'd second Crack's statement...

Really think about going into IT... IT has it's good points and bad points, it's got a high burnout rate for people in it - because people are so easy to come by... I've been in it for about 15 years and seen a lot of changes ...and there will always be jobs but it's not like it was 10 years ago... and it wil never be there again...

If you are looking for something different - take some skills assesssment surveys and interest surveys to see what you are good at and what you'd like to do... Most people end up in IT because of the love of the computer... if you've never been around computers - -then why IT?
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Old 12-06-2005, 02:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Money can not buy happiness but lack of money can make you miserable.

If you work ONLY for money, unless it is money you love, you will not be happy. If you follow your pasion and do not make money, you will not be happy either.

A friend of mine did the early 90's IT thing made 60k a year right out of highschool. Now hes going back to school at 30 because the job market for IT isn't there. If you don't really love it, don't do it.
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: UK
I used to have a love for computers about sixteen years ago. However after a terrible two years in college I had that knocked out of me. The course that I was on was wrong for my interests, and I was wrong for the course. I enjoyed programming, but the course didn't focus only on that, it also went into marketing, accounting, business studies and other stuff that, while useful did seem to be the main focus of the course. As a result I lost focus on what I did like (programming - Pascal and Cobol if you're interested, not that I can remember much about them now) and the whole thing went tits up.

I have to be honest with myself when it comes to a career change. I like the idea of things and that may be a little over romanticized in my head. For example, while I like the idea of becoming a councillor, with the whole talking with people and helping them through their problems, that is a rose tinted view of the job and myself. People get on my nerves if I am honest. I currently work on a helpline and I hate it. People who are rude and ignorant still have to be treated reasonably, where as I actually believe these people should be told directly that are a pain in the ass. Another story, I digress.

I like to work on my own. I like to get my head down and do my job. I donít mind interacting with people, but I donít want interaction to be the focus of my role. This is why I thought that computing would be a good area to move into. I didnít want into the IT world for the money. I want in because I think that I would be happy in the job. I know that the money would be first rung type stuff, and certainly not as good as the people who advertise training courses in the paper try to lead you to believe.

Thanks to all of you for the feedback. Any further comments are of course welcomed whole heartedly.
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Old 12-07-2005, 12:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonovanDuVal
Thanks to all of you for the feedback. Any further comments are of course welcomed whole heartedly.
since this is really a career change for you... I recommend this book so often, i should really buy stock inthe company.. but i would strongly suggest picking up a copy of What color is your parachute.. .it's a very effective and helpful tool for 'changers'.. and past editions (i haven't seen the 2005 version0 have had very good assessment tests to help you decide where to go next.
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Old 12-07-2005, 01:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Alright, I'll pitch in here as I've been involved in just about every level and almost every aspect of IT at some point. First, decide what in IT you want to do and understand the ups and downs of that specialty. Do you want to be a programmer? You'll usually get to work in a team or solo based on the job you get and you can gun for your preference. You'll get direct results (the developed solution is at least partly a result of your work). You will get MASSIVE crunch times almost regardless of employer. You may have an entire project scrapped after months of work due to funding, business politics or any other possible reason. The same types of items can be said for any aspect. Remember also that knowledge vs. experience requirements vary. As a manager, there are times I'd rather hire someone right out of college that will work for cheap and is willing to soak up what I need them to. There are other times I'd MUCH rather pay a ridiculous amount for a stodgy old timer who will get something done very quickly and very well. It's project by project, timeline by timeline.

If you're looking for a lucrative option in IT that is still growing, look into security. ITSec is a field that is growing rapidly in almost all major markets worldwide and in almost all verticals. This is going to be a growing need for some times now and frankly, most IT people suck at the security side of things.

As for your online class... if you feel the familiarization will do you good, go for it. Don't expect for it to be a winner on a resume. For that you will need experience and/or a degree. Starting out at a call center or helpdesk usually doesn't require a degree at all and can at least get your foot in the door. I started out as a PC Assembly Tech at a small local OEM in Michigan, moved to service then went to another retailer as a service manager. Went from there to IT Support with EDS to Systems Administrator to VoIP Installation Tech. I left EDS and went to a regional tech services firm as an IT Telephony and Routing/Switching Expert, moved to Arizona and starting working for my current company as a Field Engineer and now I'm an R&D Manager. All this in, uhm... 12 years or so with no degree. It's a LOT about knowledge, a LOT about networking and SOME about degrees. Also, flexibility, willingness to wear multiple hats and the ability to pick up on new technologies and responsibilities are key. You can be a lazy bastard with an MCSE and make USD$60,000 and sit there forever, or you can put forth effort and make six figures at a small company and make a name for yourself.

At any rate, feel free to email me if you have any more detailed questions.
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Old 12-08-2005, 01:26 PM   #11 (permalink)
Crazy
 
Location: UK
Thanks for all the advice folks. Certainly gives me food for thought. I will certainly check out What color is your parachute? Thanks for the tip Mal, I think that something like that could be very helpful.

Once again thank you all for the feedback.
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Old 12-08-2005, 01:30 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'd second Mal's suggestion of What Colour is your Parachute... very informative.
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