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Old 02-11-2010, 11:51 AM
 
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This field has always been a bit of a mystery to me back in the 90's it was common for guys with just a 2 year degree from a technical school and maybe one certification to get a good paying job at some Fortune 500 company. What is the best way to enter the field now though in 2010? It seems like noone has a clear cut answer to this question and you will get a lot of different opinions. The IT field seems more complex than let's say healthcare, in healthcare if you want to become a nurse there is a clear cut career path and it's really obvious. If you want to enter the IT field what is better a technical college or a regular university? How many certifications should you get and are they more important than a regular college degree? What is better technical college and certifications or a 4 year degree from let's say a public 4 year school w/ certifications?
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Old 02-11-2010, 02:34 PM
 
33 posts, read 193,220 times
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Originally Posted by wanderlust76 View Post
This field has always been a bit of a mystery to me back in the 90's it was common for guys with just a 2 year degree from a technical school and maybe one certification to get a good paying job at some Fortune 500 company. What is the best way to enter the field now though in 2010? It seems like noone has a clear cut answer to this question and you will get a lot of different opinions. The IT field seems more complex than let's say healthcare, in healthcare if you want to become a nurse there is a clear cut career path and it's really obvious. If you want to enter the IT field what is better a technical college or a regular university? How many certifications should you get and are they more important than a regular college degree? What is better technical college and certifications or a 4 year degree from let's say a public 4 year school w/ certifications?

Stay away from technical colleges. You're better off with a 2 or 4 year degree from a traditional university. I got burned by technical colleges and I had loans to repay back. I was lucky that my father paid them off.


An AA from a community college along with A+, MCSE, and CCIE is a good combination. With that skill set you can live like a king. BTW, you will need some paid job experience too. The private schools I attended never told me that. I should have done my research before I wasted financial aid and loans on worthless pieces of paper.

If you really want to get into that field without any IT experience, then best thing I can tell you is to try to get a government job while you're going to school. You can usually work your way up if you have a civil service job. The only thing you need is the required credentials.
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Old 02-11-2010, 02:50 PM
 
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Yeah it seems like you're right I have a number of technical schools after me now trying to get me to sign up and from what I can gather none of them even mention that you should seek certifications. They make it sound like once you graduate from their 2 year program you're automatically going to get some amazing IT job. That's why the field is so frustrating a lot of the schools don't seem like they are honest at all about you get into an IT profession. Then when you ask someone in the IT field that's already working you get a different answer from everyone you talk to.
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Old 02-11-2010, 02:58 PM
 
33 posts, read 193,220 times
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Originally Posted by wanderlust76 View Post
Yeah it seems like you're right I have a number of technical schools after me now trying to get me to sign up and from what I can gather none of them even mention that you should seek certifications. They make it sound like once you graduate from their 2 year program you're automatically going to get some amazing IT job. That's why the field is so frustrating a lot of the schools don't seem like they are honest at all about you get into an IT profession. Then when you ask someone in the IT field that's already working you get a different answer from everyone you talk to.

They also don't tell you the part about paid experience. A certification doesn't mean crap unless you have experience in the field. I wasted $12,000 and I was still unemployed for another three years. These schools promise you a $45,000+ a year salary after you finish, but when you get out into real world, employers are laughing you out the door, and you're stuck with student loans that HAVE TO BE PAID BACK.

Don't fall for the private schools offering 4 year degrees in 3 years either. I knew someone that went to a technical school, and couldn't get a job in his field. He ended making $15 an hour at a job with basically no room for growth. Once you're making $15 an hour at that job, you'll be lucky if you get an increase in pay with in 20 years (not including inflation).

I have no idea why these schools are allowed to rip off students.
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Old 02-11-2010, 03:12 PM
 
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Yeah they are a rip off especially after I found out one of the technical schools near me charges 20k a year or so and they're barely even regionally known let alone nationally. Like I said the whole field is like some sort of mystery to me. If I wanted to go be a pharmacy tech I know what do I've already researched that but for some reason everything in the IT field is some sort of big secret and everyone w/ a good paying job in the field did it a different way.
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Old 02-11-2010, 03:54 PM
 
33 posts, read 193,220 times
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Originally Posted by wanderlust76 View Post
Yeah they are a rip off especially after I found out one of the technical schools near me charges 20k a year or so and they're barely even regionally known let alone nationally. Like I said the whole field is like some sort of mystery to me. If I wanted to go be a pharmacy tech I know what do I've already researched that but for some reason everything in the IT field is some sort of big secret and everyone w/ a good paying job in the field did it a different way.

If you want to get into the IT field, then get a four year degree from a state school or an ivy league school. If you have to start off from the community college level, then do that. You should try to get a BSEE or a computer science degree. Make sure you pass as many vendor certification exams as you can. Once you finish, apply for city, state, or federal entry level jobs.

If you're under the age of 37 and you can finish your degree and certifications before you reach the age of 37, then you apply for the FBI or DEA. They need special agents who with degrees in technology.

If all else fails, and you're not too old ( I think the cut off age is 40) you could become an officer in the military after you finish school and get some experience.

The big secret about IT is it seems like most of those guys have a military or law enforcement background. The military is know hiring college grads. It's the number one way to get experience in IT. You also get top secret clearance. That is something else employers look at before they consider hiring someone.
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Old 02-11-2010, 07:10 PM
 
5,721 posts, read 5,462,779 times
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Originally Posted by thelongkissgoodnight View Post
If you want to get into the IT field, then get a four year degree from a state school or an ivy league school. If you have to start off from the community college level, then do that. You should try to get a BSEE or a computer science degree. Make sure you pass as many vendor certification exams as you can. Once you finish, apply for city, state, or federal entry level jobs.

If you're under the age of 37 and you can finish your degree and certifications before you reach the age of 37, then you apply for the FBI or DEA. They need special agents who with degrees in technology.

If all else fails, and you're not too old ( I think the cut off age is 40) you could become an officer in the military after you finish school and get some experience.

The big secret about IT is it seems like most of those guys have a military or law enforcement background. The military is know hiring college grads. It's the number one way to get experience in IT. You also get top secret clearance. That is something else employers look at before they consider hiring someone.
Ahhh thanks for the tips I will consider all that and look into it..I'm in my early 30's so I could swing a 2 year degree and certifications but probably not a 4 year degree and certifications by the time I'm 37. I do have a 2 year CC like 5 minutes from my house that offers a few IT programs so that's a possibility for me. It's a regular school not a technical school.
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Old 02-12-2010, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,052 posts, read 80,813,775 times
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Originally Posted by wanderlust76 View Post
Ahhh thanks for the tips I will consider all that and look into it..I'm in my early 30's so I could swing a 2 year degree and certifications but probably not a 4 year degree and certifications by the time I'm 37. I do have a 2 year CC like 5 minutes from my house that offers a few IT programs so that's a possibility for me. It's a regular school not a technical school.
Then I suggest go for the AA or AS that let's you continue on for a Bachelors. Take the harder program..that is fully transferable to a University later on. Once you get a job then you can finish up a BS degree..either in engineering or information systems and get that 4 year degree while still getting a paycheck. May take a while longer but a 4 year degree will get you further in the IT world.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:11 AM
 
Location: West Texas
423 posts, read 790,538 times
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You should definitely go with a Bachelor's degree in either CS or EE from a 4-year university (but not Phoenix Online or any other equivalent of that).
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:42 PM
 
Location: The Ranch in Olam Haba
23,715 posts, read 28,896,207 times
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Here are some payscales. But try to find a job that actually pays this high. Its a dying field in the US. I'm in it and there is no stepping up anymore. Just more workload to keep my job and nearly yearly certifications to stay ahead of India.
PayScale - IT Security & Infrastructure Skill Salary, Average Salaries

Go into nursing and become an RN. You have to look at career path and state first " Can it be outsourced to another country?". Then secondly look at the payscale.
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