none
Career Change - Guidance To The Right Certification RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hello All.  I appreciate any help you may give me. I want to take on a career change from legal secretary to Information Technology.

    I received my Associates degree in Computer Business Systems (similar to computer Science) in October 2003. I tried to make a move in my present firm, but they discouraged me telling me that I would have to take a major salary cut and there are no positions for entry level people.  I also contacted recruiters and I was told that since I have no experience, they could not help me, and I would have to take a major pay cut. I didn't want to take the cut because I'm a single parent with a mortgage to pay. 

    I am presently a legal secretary and have been for over 23 years in New York City.  I am not a senior citizen so don't let the years of service fool you.  With my daughter heading off to college in September, this is my time to make a move and finish what I started. 

    One of my friends that is presently working in the IT field, told me to focus on Windows 7.  I purchased the Microsoft 70-680 self-paced guide at Amazon.com for about $38.00.  However, the book seems a bit intimidating.  My friend who always scored A's and B's in college said that the live training classes were a bit rushed.

    What course(s) should I be studying to make myself comfortable to obtain my first certification?  Any guidance you have would be helpful.  The Microsoft questions were not very helpful on the site to guide me since I'm not sure where I should be.  I also called customer service last week and the representative from India told me to get the 70-680 self-paced book although I explained to him my situation and that is why I ordered the book.  I spoke to another Microsoft representative from India and he told me that MCTS certification may be the way to go and it really depends on the firm/company.  I also spoke to a recruiter this week who told me that Software Support may be my best bet to get into a firm.  I'm so confused.  May someone please help me.  This is VERY frustrating. 

    Thank you in advance for your assistance.  ((((You are appreciated))))






    • Edited by envizion Friday, August 26, 2011 5:42 PM Title
    Friday, August 26, 2011 5:24 PM

Answers

  • If you're not fully familiar with computers, you might want to first look at CompTIA's A+ certification.  This is a basic, vendor neutral certification covering the basics of computer hardware/software.

    Beyond that, you might want to look at computer/video based training from CBT Nuggets, TestOut or Trainsignal.  These are similar to classroom based training, and you can watch the videos as often as needed.

    • Proposed as answer by Amare1982 Wednesday, August 31, 2011 9:02 PM
    • Marked as answer by Horizon_NetEditor Monday, March 12, 2012 5:55 PM
    Friday, August 26, 2011 5:50 PM
    Answerer

All replies

  • If you're not fully familiar with computers, you might want to first look at CompTIA's A+ certification.  This is a basic, vendor neutral certification covering the basics of computer hardware/software.

    Beyond that, you might want to look at computer/video based training from CBT Nuggets, TestOut or Trainsignal.  These are similar to classroom based training, and you can watch the videos as often as needed.

    • Proposed as answer by Amare1982 Wednesday, August 31, 2011 9:02 PM
    • Marked as answer by Horizon_NetEditor Monday, March 12, 2012 5:55 PM
    Friday, August 26, 2011 5:50 PM
    Answerer
  • Mr. Putnam, thank you so much for your assistance.

    I am familiar with computers, but have not touched them on an IT level since graduating from college in 2003.  I'll check out CompTIA's A+ Certification and move on from there.  Thanks again.



    Thank you in advance. ;-)
    Friday, August 26, 2011 9:43 PM
  • I started out in computers in high school and out of h.s I went to a technical school that cost about 9k and didn't provide a whole lot. There are alot of good classes, but they do like to cram things in.  Great books, cbt, training subscription sites, virtual labs, forums, tech articles and blogs it is a great field, but can be very cutthroat to find work.

    I have worked in alot of offices where the majority of people follow direction without alot of insight on how things work. The corporate help desk is alot different than a position like geek squad or a personal consumer repair. I have my A+ and it was a good certification for me when I was getting started. In a corporate enviroment I do not know how important it maybe (systems normally live there lifespan at the company on warranty and a service comes in to replace components). They sometimes just ask because it is sort of a standard.

    I would first decide what it is I would like to do. For me I have done alot starting with working in a configration center, server repair tech, help desk tech, domain admin, sql admin, exchange admin, and during all this time I found out what I really love Development. Writing logon scripts and sql queries brought this out of me. Wish I discovered this alot sooner, but it has worked out for me so far.

    Sit back and explore the different sets of technology that is out there. There is tons. Decide what it is you have a passion for and see what the supply and demain is for the position. Focus on this area and try to learn all there is to it. There is nothing like being comfortable and confident. Certs are good, but them alone will not get the job. A good foundation in Windows will def help. There is alot to it but there are some key areas to focus in.

     

     

    Saturday, August 27, 2011 2:37 AM
  • RowdyBullGaming, I don't know what I want to do.  I'm a legal secretary in a large law firm with an IT degree and the most they say they can do for me is give me a few projects, but are working on it. I have never worked in the field.  I'm not really keen on Help Desk with disgruntled users who are screaming and yelling, but that seems to be the base of IT positions.  I don't want to repair machines like the Techs do at work because they can't move onto another field as one help desk friend told me.  She said that once you are in the repair area, then you really have to learn IT to work on the help desk to interact with users.  I prefer not to interact with too many people.  I would like to work in a setting similar to Word Processing which I have worked many moons ago.  I like jobs where you go in get the work and then complete it.  I'm not really into helping users with questions, but I'll do it if it gets me into the door.  

    I have a serious facial expression when I am really focused and some people tend to take that as being unapproachable.  They want me to smile all day long like I'm on speed or something.

    I've been searching http://indeed.com, http://careerrookie.com and one recruiter suggested I search http://newyork.craigslist.org for firms that will train.  She said that firms will not pay agencies big money to hire employees they have to turn around and train.

    Thank you for your assistance.



    Thank you in advance. ;-)
    Saturday, August 27, 2011 4:49 AM
  • The scariest part for you would be leaving you position for a new position and then having nothing if it doesn't work out. You work on a computer now with Windows and Office correct? I would recommend to you not to take a large jump and make a life changing decison. Take it slow and learn to make things better around you. Just being able to navigate and work with and understand how to do things in Office is a big help! That is a large majority of help desk calls. If you want to just come in site at you desk and plug away /wo the the distractions of help desk or most people in paticular you might want to see if you have an interest in web design or developement... Take a look at www.learnvisualstudio.net they give a free 5 Day Course on C# the Course is free and the Tools are free what do you have to lose? I stink at web design so I couldn't help you with that!
    Saturday, August 27, 2011 3:18 PM
  • RowdyBullGaming, you are right on point about making a big step and regretting it.  I did take a few classes in HTML years ago and liked it.  It was just overwhelming when the programming part came into play.  

    Thank you for the link.  I will definitely check it out.


    Thank you in advance. ;-)
    Sunday, August 28, 2011 2:50 AM
  • They do differentiate the design vs development alot now. There are tools like DotNetNuke that you can get the prebuilt coded modules you just plug into your page. This is something you could start slow on the side and build up!

    Best of luck!

    Sunday, August 28, 2011 4:36 PM
  • RowdyBullGaming, thank you for your feedback and help.

    I found the following  site to be very helpful with information http://www.udemy.com/courses .  This may help several people here.  The videos are free and cover several topics.  I found the help desk course to be very helpful.  http://www.udemy.com/lectures/help-desk-support-specialist-free-training-and-guide-part-2-46946.html

    Thanks again. ;-)

     


    Thank you in advance. ;-)
    Monday, August 29, 2011 1:38 AM
  • Good luck in your adventures!
    Monday, August 29, 2011 5:37 PM