I have made my living as an engineer. Working with Bits and Bytes came naturally to me. I wonder what would have happened to me had I not been born into this technology filled world. I suppose I would have been working as a blacksmith or hanged for piracy, I am not sure which.
So, if you want to get into IT or you are looking to change direction in IT like I am doing now, here are some hints from my experiences. Remember, your milage will vary.
Get Some Training and Certifications:
Unless you have someone that can bring you into an entry level job with no background, you are going to need your certifications. This whole certification thing is crazy, but you can blame Congress and the development of HR laws. To prove you are the qualified candidate, the certification industry was invented.
Now, someone with the right certifications can get hired over someone with several years experience. Why? Because the contract stated that the people working on the job had to be certified. I have been turned down for positions as unqualified even with a Masters in Engineering because I didn’t have the correct certifications. That was a shock.
When I was in the last year of the war, I decided to take a walkabout, and then retrain and get my certifications current before going back into the market. After some searching, I decided to go to a training location in Bangkok Thailand. The experience has been positive overall, but there were some rough spots.
You can read about the adventures of a classmate here:
WHERE TO TRAIN:
Why didn’t I go to school in the USA?
I was able to lower my costs by staying overseas. My cost of living is very low, and the training classes are very inexpensive. Try doing 18 weeks of technical training in NYC and I would guess the cost would reach $36,000. That is just for the classroom only and does not include your living expenses.
I checked into programs based on the following criteria:
1. Classes delivered in English.
2. Cost of the program.
3. Cost of living.
4. Quality of life.
That may sound strange, but my goals were to get as much training for as long as possible to ensure my skills were solid. I am moving from a senior position into a new branch of IT for me. That means I either start at the bottom and work my way up again, or I get enough training to have the skills necessary to perform in a mid-level position.
I narrowed my search down to South Africa and Thailand based on the above criteria. Of course, I would have loved to study in London, Stockholm or Berlin, but the cost would have been obscene.
My training classes have all been in Cisco technologies. There are several reasons for this.
1. Everything has been collapsing onto the Internet. That means networks have expanded faster than any other infrastucture.
2. There is a shortage of people with the skills needed to perform the work of design, deployment, and maintenance.
3. Above average pay rates. You can make a steady living as a network engineer.
4. Global demand. You can work anywhere in the planet.
You could do any network training, but Cisco is the elephant in the room. Juniper will work, but there are few places to train due to the lack of equipment and instructors.
Also, do a job search for CCNP in any city and you will see open positions. There is a worldwide shortage of qualified people.
Here is a blog entry with someone else’s view on the subject of why you would become an Network Engineer.
I have enjoyed learning a new technology and I have once again met some wonderful people in life.
The people of Thailand are very tolerant and my impression is overall positive. However, I do not fit here in Bangkok. My lifestyle and this place do not mesh very well. I came here to study and improve my life before going back to work.
You’ll find a lot of people get sucked into the adult lifestyle here and implode. It is a hard place for some people to study. In that regard, I think Johannesburg would have been a better choice. However, any large city has an endless array of distractions, and it is up to you to get your homework done.
I have not seen anything here which is a shame. At the same time, I have done a lot of reading, lab work, classes and feel confident I can move into this realm and be successful. You can choose to party or work, I chose to work. I typically do in life.
Good luck in your career choices. At the end of the day, they are all your choices in life!