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person0

Career Change - Advice?

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I have been working in the Human Resources and Insurance Industry for 6 years.  I have a lot of private background with tech, including programming, etc, but not a lot of work environment experience (meaning 0).  I am scheduled to take the CompTIA A+ exam next Tuesday, and from there will begin studying for the Network+ and Security+.  Once I have those three certifications, the IT guy at my office suggested I pause and make the move into IT, and from there, go on to decide if I want to go the CCNA-CCNP route, or do something else.

What are my odds to be able to make a move into IT with those certifications and make at least 50K a year.  Honestly, that is the lowest I could go (which is a massive drop).  More importantly, if I do go on to get CCNA, etc, or higher tier certifications, can I expect to make a substantial increase above that within 5 years?

I know this isn't a tech forum, but I know many here are programmers and the like, so I thought I'd ask.

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I ran our automation department for a year (knowing nothing about automation).  I had several people with similar certifications go to work in the civilian sector making six figures.   One went to work for TJX.

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17 hours ago, person0 said:

I have been working in the Human Resources and Insurance Industry for 6 years.  I have a lot of private background with tech, including programming, etc, but not a lot of work environment experience (meaning 0).  I am scheduled to take the CompTIA A+ exam next Tuesday, and from there will begin studying for the Network+ and Security+.  Once I have those three certifications, the IT guy at my office suggested I pause and make the move into IT, and from there, go on to decide if I want to go the CCNA-CCNP route, or do something else.

What are my odds to be able to make a move into IT with those certifications and make at least 50K a year.  Honestly, that is the lowest I could go (which is a massive drop).  More importantly, if I do go on to get CCNA, etc, or higher tier certifications, can I expect to make a substantial increase above that within 5 years?

I know this isn't a tech forum, but I know many here are programmers and the like, so I thought I'd ask.

Depends on where you are.  In Florida and Texas, those 3 certs are going to start you off at $36K out the gate.  The median would be $55K (5 years experience).  In places like the Silicone Valley, you'll get a whole lot more than that due to cost of living trade-off.

My advice - go for Healthcare Informatics.  A Healthcare Informatics certificate in addition to the standard IT certs might be able to leverage you into that $50K range in Florida and Texas out the gate.

 

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Those CompTIA certs are a good start and usually the minimum requirements for getting your foot in the door at an entry level Tier 1 ($30-40k).

Tier 2 ($40-70k) and Tier 3 ($60-120k) is when you start narrowing it down into each of the following fields

a. Networks - CCNA/CCNP/CCIE
b. Server-Database - MCSE/ Netapp/ VMware/ MCDBA/Oracle
c. CyberSecurity - CEH/ CAP/ CISSP
d. Programming (Im not familiar with)

How quick you move up the ladder depends on many things like who you know, how well you perform and the opportunities that surround you. 


 

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47 minutes ago, MarginOfError said:

I can't help much with your career change, but if you have any recommendations for taking the CompTIA Security+ test, let me know.  For some incomprehensible reason, I'm being required to take it.

I have been using courses that my company pays for on "LinkedIn Learning" and also the "pocketprep" app for lots of practice questions.  It costs about $25 for all 500 questions, but they have a pass guarantee where they will refund your $25 if you don't pass.  Also, Professor Messer has free videos and practice questions that should make it easy enough.

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I made a mid life career change into IT 21 years ago. 

It really depends on where you live as to how much you make - I was in Florida and my first IT job was just under $20K, 3 months later I moved to TX and started a new job at $35K

Keep in mind those were 21 years ago.

I do make well over your required minimum now, but starting out you cannot expect much.

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On 10/1/2019 at 10:34 PM, mnn2501 said:

I do make well over your required minimum now, but starting out you cannot expect much.

Good to know.  However, while I will still pursue the training and certifications regardless, if I can't get in at or above the minimum with expectations of growth that will get me back to my current salary within ~5 - 6 years, then I will probably just keep doing what I'm doing unless/until something happens to make it where I can't.  I'm not unsatisfied with my job, I'm just more passionate about technology, and I enjoy the fact that there is always something new to learn.

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I am a Level 2 Information Technology Technician.  My job duties are mainly the following:

* Computer operating system installs

* Data back up from personal computers

* Software installation and troubleshooting

* Computer hardware troubleshooting

* Warranty claims for hardware replacement

With my wages and my wife's income we make enough to survive and save some toward retirement.  Wage information I have found is just too general financial information to get a specific financial picture since the cost of living varies so much across the country. 

Then there is debt people incur to pay for items they want.  If you make $110,000 per year but have a $4,500 per month home mortgage, pay a $1,500 per month for two car payments, have a boat you financed at around $900 per month and other multiple debts you are paying on then you are not doing so good financially.

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1 hour ago, Still_Small_Voice said:

* Computer operating system installs

* Data back up from personal computers

* Software installation and troubleshooting

* Computer hardware troubleshooting

* Warranty claims for hardware replacement

Thanks for the perspective!  I'm happy to say that I could do that stuff in my sleep; those things are part of a skill set I have kept current since I was a teenager.  I am looking to hop into a deeper level of IT, and am actually working on some projects at home to use as 'experience' and evidence of my knowledge and abilities.  Since I have 7 children, I am going to set up an Active Directory server to manage our home systems.  Additionally, I intend to implement a VMware ESXi virtualization system running both Windows and Linux virtual environments providing services such as a mail server, SMB file server, DLNA/Media server, firewall, and a DMZ to protect local environments while remotely enabling access to the appropriate servers.  I am also planning to physically set up off site storage that will backup/sync pretty much everything in near-real-time over a site to site VPN connection.  Once I have all this in place I will take it into every interview to show them I know what I'm doing.

Other than our mortgage, my wife and I have no debt, however, I am the sole provider, so income is still fairly important.  You are right though, wage information is very general and it is pretty hard to pinpoint an exact figure.  I suppose we'll see what happens, however, this is the first time I have felt truly excited about my where I am looking to go with my career.  I have done very well for myself in my current role, but it is just a job to me, and I am curious to see where I can go once I hop into a career I am actually passionate about.

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On 10/4/2019 at 5:23 PM, person0 said:

Thanks for the perspective!  I'm happy to say that I could do that stuff in my sleep; those things are part of a skill set I have kept current since I was a teenager.  I am looking to hop into a deeper level of IT, and am actually working on some projects at home to use as 'experience' and evidence of my knowledge and abilities.  Since I have 7 children, I am going to set up an Active Directory server to manage our home systems.  Additionally, I intend to implement a VMware ESXi virtualization system running both Windows and Linux virtual environments providing services such as a mail server, SMB file server, DLNA/Media server, firewall, and a DMZ to protect local environments while remotely enabling access to the appropriate servers.  I am also planning to physically set up off site storage that will backup/sync pretty much everything in near-real-time over a site to site VPN connection.  Once I have all this in place I will take it into every interview to show them I know what I'm doing.

Other than our mortgage, my wife and I have no debt, however, I am the sole provider, so income is still fairly important.  You are right though, wage information is very general and it is pretty hard to pinpoint an exact figure.  I suppose we'll see what happens, however, this is the first time I have felt truly excited about my where I am looking to go with my career.  I have done very well for myself in my current role, but it is just a job to me, and I am curious to see where I can go once I hop into a career I am actually passionate about.

Have you thought of starting your own IT business?  This would be perfectly tailored to your IT knowledge while having a money-making job to hold things steady while you build your business.  The Starting and Managing your own Business course at church could be something you can go through to see if you can make something out of it.  You can start out your own local Geek Squad business that services small business operators like Dentist offices, etc.

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20 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

Have you thought of starting your own IT business?

I have considered it, however, I'm not yet to the point where I feel comfortable with that, mostly because I can't imagine having enough time to dedicate to my regular job and to starting a business.  Secondly, because I actually did begin the process of starting a new business (with a partner) developing secure and trackable solutions for child pickup and drop off from schools, and it was taking too much of my time so I dropped it halfway through the development process.  We had a working alpha, but the schools didn't want to test it until we got to the beta stage.  Earlier this year, about 10% of the way through the Beta stage, I put everything on hold.  Suffice it to say that my business partner is pretty upset about that.  I hope to come back to it soon, but I need to focus on this other stuff right now, and hopefully in the long run I will be better equipped to complete the project and actually take it somewhere.

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