Originally Posted by ssc456
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
I wouldn't necessarily have put software developer at the top, (and that's not really a logical progression from a support role!)
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?)
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)