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Old 01-07-2014, 09:15 AM   #11
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Default Re: Anyone here work in I.T

So what's the big deal with math?

I have worked in I.T. for almost three years in a business environment. When I got the first job in the Help Desk, I had zero education. While I understand this is not a typical experience, I know from later doing the hiring that formal education is nothing more than a piece of paper with your name on it. Knowledge and experience weigh far more heavily in your favor than any amount of degrees or certifications. I've hired several people that were less qualified on paper than other candidates. The difference was obvious when I started asking questions on my interview guide. While this isn't a rule by any means, it always seemed that the people who came in with degrees and certs galore knew far less practical information than those who came in with 'hobby' knowledge and a passion to learn from experience.

The most important thing is experience. Hands down.

Do everything you can to get an entry level job, if even just an internship. On the job experience will go much farther than any degree and it's probably the most important thing an employer looks for.

That's not to say that degree's are worthless, because if it's between you and another guy and both have the same level of experience, but one has a degree, the one with the degree will land the job. Just don't ever feel that you'll never get anywhere until you graduate, because that's not always true.

Back to the math thing... I've never had to use any crazy math knowledge or skills in any IT job. The only 'math related' duties I've had were budgeting costs, which is all done in excel. That and writing code to calculate discount percentage for a function ((originalPrice - ourPrice)/originalPrice). Unless you're going to be designing motherboards or some other engineering function, as long as you can do the basics, that's really all you need in a support role. Oddly enough, the only time I really used complex math functions was when I worked for Qwest, trying to calculate sales incentives for supervisors. If you think that through, my point above is just reinforced. Unless you're an engineer, math is surprisingly absent in the workforce.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:03 AM   #12
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Default Re: Anyone here work in I.T

Yeah certainly don't let formal education be a factor in trying to get a job in IT.
I left school with no GCSEs and worked my way up.

In terms of interviews, there are many many studies that suggest a very large number (90 odd %) of employers will have decided if he/she is going to give you the job or not within the first 2 minutes.

That's introduction, professionalism, appearance and the ability to hold a conversation.
MOST employers are looking for good work colleagues first and foremost.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:02 AM   #13
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Default Re: Anyone here work in I.T

Quote:
Originally Posted by ssc456 View Post
I'm probably not the best person to ask about courses I've always disliked formal education . . . . My belief has been you start at the bottom of a company and work your way up.
Call Center Advisor
Systems Support Administrator
SQL Reporting Administrator
Support and Implementation Consultant
Software Developer
I wouldn't necessarily have put software developer at the top, (and that's not really a logical progression from a support role!)


Quote:
Although I've heard of ICS I've never heard of "ICS PC Repair and Upgrading Course".
The Comptia A+ and some of the Microsoft courses such as MCDST (Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician) are probably going to serve you better in terms of industry wide recognition.
the ICS courses I believe are those ones advertised on Tele. you know where the picture is all grey and a miserable looking bloke is sitting at his kitchen table in his pants or something because he hasn't got a job, then after his ICS course he's suited and booted working at a consultant earning a quarter million in his first week...

go have a look at the consumer action forums for an idea bout what these types of courses are like, they are basically not regulated, and not accredited, then they aren't recognised by industry either.

Even the ones that "guarantee" a job usually don't guarantee a good job, AND they take a commission cut as well if you stay in the job...

to be honest, they are basically the equivalent of me saying, send me £100 and I'll send you a PDF so that you can study and "learn at home"
send me another £100 and I'll give you access to an online multiple choice exam.
then I'll email you a certificate to say that you've been on my training course...

(of course, without industry recognition that £200 you just spend is actually as worthless as the certificate that I sent you! -though the training might actually be better?)


Anyway...

Industry recognised qualifications.
Standard school exams, (GCSE and or ALevels)
degree courses, masters Phd etc

CompTia plus series
A+, Linux +, network+, security+ etc.

study guides for these can be found all over the place.
CompTIA IT Certifications and Exams - Home

that's the place where they are generally arranged from, yes it's a US site, but you can generally take the exams most places (thompson/prometic type centres -same places driving theory tests are done!) and they are internationally recognised...

Sadly they are internationally recognised as entry level. if you can already work a computer, and already put one together there is a fairly realistic chance that you could pass without studying...


After this you go into more vendor specific exams.
if you want to go work in a PC repairs shop, then I doubt that anything VMware offers is going to be of use, and unless the PC repair shop serves business as well then Cisco or Citrix stuff probably won't get used much either.

Which leaves you with everyone favourite evil empire Microsoft...
To my mind Microsoft exams are a bit pricey considering what you actually get but they are internationally recognised...

some courses will just give you a cert to say that you did an exam.
with the track to post nominal letters being a four five or six sets of exams type thing.
(post nominal letters like MCITP or MSCE etc)



I wouldn't worry too much about maths, in IT services like you're talking about you'll generally only use maths for working out sub netting and super netting, if you want to work in a repair shop it's not something that you're likely to run into.

Of course if you get to be managerial, or actually opening your own shop maths is going to be pretty critical as you'll need to sort out financial affairs.

A lot of people ask for "at least a C grade at GCSE". and you might find that without this you;re fairly stuck.
you can go back to school doing night classes and retake GCSEs. (I have a friend who did that, though i can't recall how much it cost, something like £150 per exam)
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:06 AM   #14
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Default Re: Anyone here work in I.T

Quote:
Originally Posted by root View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssc456 View Post
I'm probably not the best person to ask about courses I've always disliked formal education . . . . My belief has been you start at the bottom of a company and work your way up.
Call Center Advisor
Systems Support Administrator
SQL Reporting Administrator
Support and Implementation Consultant
Software Developer
I wouldn't necessarily have put software developer at the top, (and that's not really a logical progression from a support role!)
This was just an example of my progression through my career. . . . .
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Old 01-09-2014, 06:55 AM   #15
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Default Re: Anyone here work in I.T

Sorry for the late reply, I checked it planning to reply when I had more time, and the internet went off for the rest of the day mentioning no names, ahem, Sky broadband! the worry with maths is on an I.T support job I was going to apply for, it specifically said good maths essential, but I also get what you guys mean about assessing things during the interview, I'm sure you can get a feel for whether or not they are for the job by talking to them, so if I get one, I better make sure I'm on the ball that day. I was thinking, if I landed a job in a big computer store that deals with repairs, I could probably learn a lot from the people working there, for instance, the engineers at my girlfriends work can't always fix a machine, and in some cases have to leave it to more experienced people, I'm assuming the more they're there, the more difficult task they're able to solve, I think I am going to leave the ics one well alone and go for the a+ one mentioned instead, but I will also apply at a few places, can't hurt right? thanks a lot for everyone that has taken the time to reply, it is genuinely appreciated and it was very helpful to hear from people who have been on the other end of the desk during the interview, this has been very helpful.
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