Where to start?

45 pts.
Tags:
Career Development
Certifications
IT careers
IT jobs
IT training
Hello Everyone! New guy here. I have a question if you wouldn't mind. I am an Avionics Technician looking to make a career change into IT. The scope of my profession is exaustingly extensive but I basically work in a customer delivery dept on an aircraft that uses a "Windows based" operating system. I hold an Associates degree in Electronics/Avionics, yada, yada, yada. I'm not sure, but I think some of my experience would lend its hand to the IT profession as I troubleshoot extensively, have knowledge of data buses, and I program and configure systems. Systems integration knowledge is a must. Anyhow, I am looking for advice on how to best enter the IT field with the experience that I do have. My interests lie in Information Assurance, but I wonder if Network Admin may be a better entry point given my experience with avionics systems. Also, I would like to expedite my entry into the profession if possible. I am concidering an AAS degree with certs to go along. Would this be enough to get me a good start or would I be looking at Help Desk stuff and minimal pay? Should I just spend the next 5-6 years on a BS degree to get a better position with a company? I make fairly descent money doing what I do, so I do need to maintain a bottom line financially. I know an experienced IT professional makes better money than I, but entry level positions I'm not so sure about. Don't get me wrong, I do have a genuine interest in the career, it's not just the money, but it does pay the bills. Would it be worth my effort? Thanks for your help, Shane

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Shane,
Pretty much no matter what getting in IT means starting in an entry level position. Degrees mean less in the IT world than they do in most other parts of business. In IT its all about having real world experience. Without the real world experience the degree is only good for getting passed the HR people. Once you interview with the technical people not having the experience will show up very quickly.

Classes (both for degrees and certifications) can only teach so much, and there is much more IT knowledge out there.

The exception to this would be if you go into a non-technical role such as project management. These roles require some technical knowledge, but not as much as a sysadmin or developer role.

**********************************************
Wow! Lots of interest in IT for new people! Woo-Hooo

Certifications can mean more to employers than degrees, though having the degree can make gets the certs easier. A good place to start is here:
<a href=”http://www.comptia.org/”>http://www.comptia.org/</a>

But as the above answer says, experience is needed, so be prepared to start at entry level, regardless of age or knowledge in other fields

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    I have noticed in various articals and job postings that more emphasis is put on experience regardless of the BS degree requirements. I find however that alot of the information is rather ambiguous and sometimes even contradictory as far as position requirements go. For example, they say that a BS degree or equivelent experience is acceptable. What is equivelant experience in the IT field for a BS degree? I do realise that there is always a starting point to enter into a career field. The management side is something that I'm fighting, it's really the only place left for me go in my current career field other than going back to school for an EE degree. What I hope to do is relocate back to my home state of Colorado before starting on the BS degree. IT seems to be the best way to go. So, for a person to start out in IT, they are basically looking at doing their time at a help desk before entering the sys admin or developer rolls? I guess what I should really be asking is this: 1) If I get an AAS degree in Information Assurance with CCNA cert or MCSA or E certs or both (if that's possible before graduation) ... or 2) If I get an Internetworking Management AAS degree with MCSA, MCSE, CCNA, CompTIA+ (I realise it may not be possible to achieve all certs right away)... Should I be expecting to start in help desk positions? I'm really just trying to find that starting point to get an idea of what I'm looking at. Where did you guys start and what education did you have? I see now that simular questions have been posed many times on this forum and I appologize for sounding like the broken record. I do appreciate the input though...Thanks again
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    FLAME wrote "Wow! Lots of interest in IT for new people! Woo-Hooo" I think that anyone who looks into the current outlook for IT would be hard pressed NOT to consider it. I know that there was a big outsourcing issue not so long ago but I'm amazed at the number of opprotunities in CO alone...given one has a degree or equivelant experience. So: Mrdenny, who is a Senior DB Architect recomends Project Management. That would require a BS in MIS would it not? Long term goal I'd say yes, that sounds cool, Sys Analyst is one long term direction for me. FLAME, who is a Nework Spec recomends that Certs are more important than education to employers. Short term, that's what I'd like if I can get there and still make the truck payment...lol...I hate throwing numbers but...40-45K anually is doable if overtime pay was involved! I have the asperation to eventually gain a BS, hopefully that's after I get to where I want to be regionally though...Network Admin is something that I could definately consider and is actually right in line with what I'd like to do...I've looked at so many postings for security I can't remember, do companies offer entry level positions into Network Admin for someone with little to no experience? If not, what comes before Admin positions? Career changes are STRESSFULL! I'm taking the rest of the night off for a change!
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    Ok guys, Monster posted some new jobs yesterday and I found my answer. There were actually salary ranges in there too. I can do this...looks like I'll be going through the CC in the spring. Thanks for the input! Shane
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    Yep, I know, experience, experience, experience...I should gain "some" going through the CC (a friend of mine was given about a year from a large corp. here in town for her "experience" with the school). I know a couple people who know a couple people that I might be able to work with in the very limited spare time I'll have...the CC has a co-op that I might be able to manage durring the summer months...I've got a Sys Del Manager in the family who has already offered his "scouting" services after I graduate if I need it. I just needed to know that I can afford the venture if you know what I mean. I think I can pull it off, it'll be tough working full time, but it's nothing I've never done before! Getting into Aviation wasn't the easiest thing either. Hind Sight is 20/20 but there is nothing we can do about it now except change tomorrow, right?
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