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Old 10-30-2009, 08:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Computer career advice for newbie

Hi... I've been reading around these forums looking for some good information on how to start off on a computer career, and I've learned a lot so far about the certain degrees, certifications, etc. First off I'd like to thank you guys for sharing your advice, knowledge, and experience regarding these things.

I'd like to be clarified a bit though on how I should go around to begin with this.... what certifications are the must-haves right now that I should gun for first? Something like, what kinda certifications are the ones that are usually asked from someone applying to a computer related job?

Basically, I'm asking this because I'm not really too knowledgeable on what's "hot" and what's "not" these times, so I'd like to get more of an idea of you guys who have been following it more closely.
Personally I don't really mind working in any computer field like networking, web design, programming, IT, etc. because all of them sound very interesting to me... thing is though, I don't think it's feasible to study all of them at once right now, so I'm asking which one I should start with out first that can stand alone for now.

Another thing, what would be more advisable to go after first: an associate's degree or some certifications first? If it's the latter, would I be able to secure some jobs or at least some volunteer work (for experience) with just those?
I'm asking because I'm planning to get an associate's degree in either CS or IT and eventually upgrade it to a bachelor's, but money is an issue for me now since I'm barely making enough to support myself, and I don't really have any savings set aside just yet.


Thanks once again for any and all replies I might get.
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Old 10-30-2009, 09:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer career advice for newbie

Definately go for a degree if you have the option. Even an associates from a reputable college will get your foot in the door at a lot of places. If you can, get a bachelors that will put you ahead of a lot of people as well.

As for certifications it would depend on what field you are wanting to get into. If you have no experience and no degree usually hardware is the catch-all area people start off in. Then they move into other fields from there after getting experience in hardware and feeling out what they like and what they move into other areas. So CompTIA A+, Net+, Security+ are good starts. It would also be a good start to maybe get a windows certification in XP, Vista or Windows7. That would be a good start and would give you enough knowledge to get your foot in the door and give you experience in the industry.

So to recap. If you can't get your bachelors for whatever reason at least try to get your associates. While you are studying your associates you should either be interning at a compute shop to get experience or working on certifications. The main goal being that you finish your degree and can hit the workforce with a degree and/or certifications/experience so that you make yourself standout amongst others.
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Old 10-31-2009, 03:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer career advice for newbie

get some cram exam books and materials, brush up on simple stuff and bang out the simple certs, quickly as your going for your degrees. A+,MCP,Net+ etc, can all be done quickly, and they are enough to show that your interested in the area, and willing to go farther. just make sure you get some testing software and test yourself before you drop the cash to take the test, and you'll be fine.
as far as area to go into...thats a personal decision, and its a big field.
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Old 11-01-2009, 01:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer career advice for newbie

Awesome advice guys, thanks a whole bunch.

Seriously looking now into starting off an associate's an a community college, where I can maybe shift into another college in my junior year to upgrade it to a bachelor's. Of course, all of this hinges on how much financial aid I'll be approved for.
If that doesn't work out, I'm all for interning to get me some much needed experience in the meantime.

Once again, thanks for the knowledge you guys shared.. I appreciate it very, very much.
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Computer career advice for newbie

That sounds like a good plan. Good luck !
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