In this day and age, commercial institutions would be severely hampered without the help of support workers mending PC’s and networks, while giving advice to users on a regular basis each week. Due to the progressively complex nature of technological advances, many more qualified workers are being looked for to look after the many areas we’ve come to rely on.
Many companies are all about the certification and completely miss what you actually need – which is a commercial career or job. Your focus should start with the final destination in mind – don’t make the journey more important than where you want to get to.
Never let yourself become part of the group who choose a training program that seems ‘fun’ or ‘interesting’ – and ends up with a plaque on the wall for an unrewarding career path.
You must also consider how you feel about earning potential and career progression, and how ambitious you are. It makes sense to understand what industry expects from you, which certifications will be required and in what way you can develop commercial experience.
Take advice from an experienced professional, even if there’s a fee involved – it’s considerably cheaper and safer to discover early on whether something is going to suit and interest you, rather than find out following two years of study that you’ve picked the wrong track and now need to go back to square one.
For the most part, an everyday IT hopeful doesn’t have a clue what way to go about starting in a computing career, or which market is worth considering for retraining.
Because in the absence of any commercial skills in IT, how should we possibly know what a particular job actually consists of?
Contemplation on these areas is required if you want to get to the right solution that will work for you:
- Personality plays a significant role – what things get your juices flowing, and what are the things that you really dislike.
- For what reasons you’re getting involved with computing – it could be you’re looking to achieve a life-long goal like being self-employed for instance.
- Is your income higher on your priority-scale than some other areas?
- Some students don’t fully understand the energy involved to achieve their goals.
- You’ll also need to think hard about the amount of time and effort that you will set aside for the accreditation program.
In actuality, the only way to research these matters will be via a meeting with someone who understands computing (and chiefly it’s commercial needs.)
Qualifications from the commercial sector are now, very visibly, already replacing the traditional academic paths into IT – but why should this be?
With fees and living expenses for university students climbing ever higher, plus the IT sector’s growing opinion that vendor-based training is closer to the mark commercially, there’s been a dramatic increase in Microsoft, CISCO, Adobe and CompTIA authorized training paths that create knowledgeable employees at a fraction of the cost and time involved.
In essence, only that which is required is learned. It isn’t quite as lean as that might sound, but the most important function is always to cover the precise skills needed (alongside some required background) – without trying to cram in all sorts of other things (as degree courses are known to do).
Imagine if you were an employer – and you needed to take on someone with a very particular skill-set. What’s the simplest way to find the right person: Go through a mass of different academic qualifications from hopeful applicants, having to ask what each has covered and which vocational skills they’ve mastered, or pick out specific commercial accreditations that perfectly fit your needs, and draw up from that who you want to speak to. You’ll then be able to concentrate on getting a feel for the person at interview – instead of long discussions on technical suitability.
The area most overlooked by potential students considering a training program is ‘training segmentation’. Essentially, this is the method used to break up the program for delivery to you, which completely controls where you end up.
You may think that it makes sense (with a typical time scale of 1-3 years to pass all the required exams,) for your typical trainer to courier one section at a time, as you complete each part. However:
Students often discover that their provider’s standard order of study isn’t ideal for them. They might find it’s more expedient to use an alternative order of study. And what happens if they don’t finish inside of the expected timescales?
Ideally, you want ALL the study materials up-front – giving you them all to return to any point – whenever it suits you. This allows a variation in the order that you attack each section as and when something more intuitive seems right for you.