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Offline Kasel23  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, February 24, 2010 1:16:39 PM(UTC)
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Hey guys,

I'm new here to HotHardware and it seems to be a pretty solid and helpful community, so I figured I'd fish for some helpful advice.  A little about me, I'm currently a soldier in the US Army.  My job is a Signal Support Specialist (commo for any ex-military guys).  My job responsibilities for two deployments to Iraq now has included a lot of basic tech support, position is called IMO (Information Management Officer).  I've run phone lines, built and maintained networks, and troubleshooted everything under the sun with Windows XP, printers, basic hardware issues, etc.  Pretty much the go-to guy for any trouble people have with their laptops.  I have always had a knack for computers and messed around with a bit of web design during high school (learned basic HTML, flash, CSS).  I have also built upwards of 30 PCs for friends over the past 4 years and try to keep pretty up to date on newest hardware and tech.  So, basically in summary I am a jack of all trades (very loosely) in the IT field, but do not have a deep knowledge of anything specifically.

My question is, what would those of you that work in the IT field currently suggest as a top notch career to work toward right now?  I'll be out of the Army in 4 months with a full ride to college and right now my plan is to pursue a 2-year Network Engineering type degree and with that focus on getting a handful of certifications.  Is this a good plan, or should I consider first finding a company and catering my education to their requirements and going from there?  There seem to be a lot of options and different ways to go in the IT field and honestly my interest isn't in anything specifically.  Any advise or insight would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

Offline nelsoncp21  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, February 24, 2010 7:26:51 PM(UTC)
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My suggestion being prior military myself is to move to the DC area, take advantage of your clearance and land a job now but continue your schooling. Schooling is important but experience and getting your foot in the door is the other 99%. Don't loose that clearance and I know you got one if you do what you say you do.

Offline acarzt  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, February 24, 2010 11:33:34 PM(UTC)
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Any type of Security clearance is HIGHLY HIGHLY sought after.

You don't have to go to DC tho to land a gov job tho.

I personally work at Ft Sam Houston. I do tech support for MEDCOM and we work with a lot of the IMO/IMD folks.

I would say get yourself some certifications before you get out of the army.

Check out http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/default.aspx for the different certifications and paths and exams you need to take to get them.

MCSA and MCSE is sought after by a lot of places. More and more they are wanting you to have a cisco certification as well. The Certifications are also changing to MCTS and MCITP.

CompTIA A+, Network+ and Security+ are also very good to have.

Check out www.examcollection.com to get some practice exams. Really most of them are the actual exam.

Anywhere there is a Military installation you could possibly get an IT position. Especially with an active security clearance.

Out here in San Antonio we have Lackland AFB, For Sam Houston, Randolph, Brooks, and 1 more I can't remember.

That is if you want to go for a civilian Gov't Job. There are plenty of other positions outside of Gov't that will pay you well, and even tho they won't need your security clearance, the fact that you have one let's them know you are trust worthy.

 

Resources:

http://www.comptia.org/certifications/listed.aspx

http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/index.html

www.examcollection.com

http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/view-by-name.aspx

http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=11189

 

Offline Kasel23  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, February 24, 2010 11:51:52 PM(UTC)
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Thank you both for the input.

 

I do currently have a secret clearance and from what I understand it should be active for another 5 years (10 years total).  I'm familiar with the San Antonio area and have spent some time at both Sam Houston and Lackland.  Good to know there's lots of options out there and my job/training will prove useful as a civilian.  I'll look into getting some certifications over the next few months since it seems the more the merrier. 

 

So is focusing on Network management/security etc a pretty good direction to take in your opinion right now?

 

Thanks again for the resources and information.

Offline acarzt  
#5 Posted : Thursday, February 25, 2010 12:06:25 AM(UTC)
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If you want to do anything with DoD. Security is HUGE! So any kind of security specialization will look great on your resume. You can get a MCSA/MCSE with a Security specializations(MCSE + Security, they call it) Pretty much anything outside of entry level IT with DoD requires CompTIA Security +. It's not an easy test tho! lol

Offline Kasel23  
#6 Posted : Thursday, February 25, 2010 1:08:47 AM(UTC)
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Great, man.  I'm going to start looking into/studying Network+ and Security+ CompTIA certifications.  Heard of Northwest Vista College?  It's somewhere I've looked into that is in your neck of the woods.

Offline acarzt  
#7 Posted : Thursday, February 25, 2010 3:30:59 AM(UTC)
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I haven't heard of that one. But there are a ton of choices lol

Some colleges will take certifications for college credit too. So you might wanna look into that when you go to apply.

Offline nelsoncp21  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, March 09, 2010 4:58:10 PM(UTC)
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I agree with Acarzt alot. 1 suggestion though is use that clearance as soon as you get out where ever you go. If someone does not pick it up (sponsor it) you loose it. I wanna say it's 2 years unsponsored you loose it and you'll wish you still had it. There are alot of places, especially in my area that hire big money just for having it then train you after you come on board. Other then that I think your on the right path. The 5 year thing is how often you have to have your background check redone and that's different depending on your level.

Offline manoy385  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, September 14, 2010 4:11:41 PM(UTC)
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MCSE wrote:

Your query ends here

That made me LOL! Is that even legal? Also, spam...

 

Offline Inspector  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, September 14, 2010 4:42:30 PM(UTC)
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When you see spam hit more and report, no need to comment :D

Offline Super Dave  
#11 Posted : Tuesday, September 14, 2010 11:35:14 PM(UTC)
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Inspector wrote:

When you see spam hit more and report, no need to comment :D

Yes PLEASE! HotHardware moderators really get-off on deleting this stuff![:P]

 

Offline erichamm  
#12 Posted : Tuesday, April 09, 2019 7:15:47 AM(UTC)
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No links please!

Edited by moderator Tuesday, April 09, 2019 9:21:17 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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