Jone5
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Hi, i'll be honest, i don' really have a massive passion for IT nor do i have much knowledge of the inner workings of a computer. I am however looking for a career with decent money and decent options. I mean, how many people are really passionate about their job? I was reccomended this course but it almost sounds too good to be true, it almost seems like a big scam: http://www.justit.co.uk//it_training...-Jobs/fulltime

Altogether, the course cost around £6k, if you are accepted, you'd have to pay around 2k upfront minimum as a deposit. My worry with it is, why wouldn't they accept you? They are getting 2k minimum from you and their recruiters will no doubt get commission. They are accepting people, like myself, who don't even know what a network cable looks like. I went for my first interview last week, have a 2nd coming up where I'd need to pay the deposit. I have no IT history or experience so am very suspicious of this, can you really learn compTIA + in 4 days of classroom based learning and then 3 weeks of home learning? Same goes for MCTS? Like i said, i don't have a massive passion for IT so am concerned about how short and intensive the course will be.

Any advice would be appreciated.
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ttoby
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(Original post by Jone5)
Hi, i'll be honest, i don' really have a massive passion for IT nor do i have much knowledge of the inner workings of a computer. I am however looking for a career with decent money and decent options. I mean, how many people are really passionate about their job? I was reccomended this course but it almost sounds too good to be true, it almost seems like a big scam: http://www.justit.co.uk//it_training...-Jobs/fulltime

Altogether, the course cost around £6k, if you are accepted, you'd have to pay around 2k upfront minimum as a deposit. My worry with it is, why wouldn't they accept you? They are getting 2k minimum from you and their recruiters will no doubt get commission. They are accepting people, like myself, who don't even know what a network cable looks like. I went for my first interview last week, have a 2nd coming up where I'd need to pay the deposit. I have no IT history or experience so am very suspicious of this, can you really learn compTIA + in 4 days of classroom based learning and then 3 weeks of home learning? Same goes for MCTS? Like i said, i don't have a massive passion for IT so am concerned about how short and intensive the course will be.

Any advice would be appreciated.
You've talked a lot about how you're not passionate about IT. I think that's a big problem you need to deal with. It's important to enjoy the stuff you do each day (believe me, you need to as some days you might have everything going wrong at once, people screeming at you etc etc). Also, if you want to progress then you'd need to learn lots of new stuff and it helps if you're passionate about that. You'd perform better in your job as well of you really care about getting everything working.

I couldn't say whether one course is better than another course - I got into IT myself through uni/internships. However I do think that it is a lot of money to be spending when at this stage you should still be seriously considering whether IT is right for you.

My advice would be to find some work experience, even if it's unpaid and/or only for a short period of time. This would let you see what it's really like - you never know, you might be surprised. And if you do decide to go further in IT then it would be a great addition to your CV.
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ciyo1985
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A lot of it is self study course. It is not worth paying that much to a course,which a lot of it self study. Thus,JustIT is no use.
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Binary Freak
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(Original post by Jone5)
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If you're not passionate about it, then it's unlikely you'll last long with an IT job that has high salary - It'll slowly drive you into a pool of depression.

Regarding the courses, it is possible to learn the content within 5 days on a full-time route.. However, assuming this is training only I'd go against this completely. Paying such fees is just ridiculous. Personally I wouldn't pay anyone to teach me the A+, MCTS, MCSA, or the CCNA. It's a complete joke. If you get a guaranteed work placement at the end of it, then that's fine. (I haven't fully read the entire page, just the headers)

A+
Requires you to understand the basic workings of a computer, different troubleshooting techniques, socket types, motherboard types, different speeds etc, etc. 15 year old people have been self-studying for CompTIA courses, that is how much rigor it has.

MCTS - Windows Server 2008 (Actually MCSA)
Tests the candidates knowledge to install, configure and manage services on a Windows Server 2008 machine, this includes print services, setting up/enforcing certificate services, policies, file services, and terminal/remote connection services, etc, etc. The examinations are relatively difficult, however it has a great gap from the A+. This certification is pretty much useless if you don't understand the basics behind networking, such as port numbers, or just general theoretical knowledge.

CCNA - Routing and Switching
This course, and/or examination(s) tests the candidates knowledge on how to install, configure, operate and troubleshoot various Cisco networking equipment. You will understand how to configure services such as DHCP, ARP, OSPF, PVSTP, You will also learn how to predict networks routes to aid in troubleshooting various problems such as layer 1 issues (framing, CRC, runts/giants.), EIGRP/OSPF neighboring adjacencies, load balancing. You will also learn about various WAN technologies, this includes; VSAT, ISDN, DSL, T1/E1, and MPLS, etc, etc. This is a difficult certification to achieve, as you can see. I'd personally avoid being taught this, if you're taught everything in 5- days then the chances are you're not being taught some essential information, and you will more than likely forget the majority of information, since most candidates just rely on class notes as a home study resource. I'd only ever recommend this course be taught in-class over a period of 1-2 months, that means each topic will have a dedicated lesson.

As a previous poster has also stated (I'd recommend this as well):
My advice would be to find some work experience, even if it's unpaid and/or only for a short period of time. This would let you see what it's really like - you never know, you might be surprised. And if you do decide to go further in IT then it would be a great addition to your CV.
I would like to add that during the work experience (should you choose to go for work experience) you should also try and consider self-studying for the A+, N+, S+. They will provide you with basic skills that will make it considerably easier for getting higher level certificates. You can easily have a CCIE/MCSE/(Associate of)CISSP but struggle to get basic/advanced jobs because you lack the experience. Such certifications shouldn't really be taken without doing a degree (graduate jobs), or work experience.
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NewBeans
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If I may ask, what are really good sources for home study?
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username3016746
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(Original post by NewBeans)
If I may ask, what are really good sources for home study?
What exam are you interested in?


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Java7
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What side of IT are you interested in?

-networking (start taken the n+ exam then volunteer for a year and then take the ccna and you could also buy a home network routing system from eBay to test out and put this on your cv.
-systems admin?
-IT support?

Tell us more so we can guide you
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username3016746
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(Original post by Java7)
What side of IT are you interested in?

-networking (start taken the n+ exam then volunteer for a year and then take the ccna and you could also buy a home network routing system from eBay to test out and put this on your cv.
-systems admin?
-IT support?

Tell us more so we can guide you
Work for free for a year? He would be better of doing something like the A+ knocking it out in a month or two thrn going straight into helpdesk whilst doing that earning money and getting exp working on n+/ccna.


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Protek-IT
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I know this is an old thread, but here goes, in case anyone wants to know the real deal. Firstly, if you do not have a passion or even the slightest interest in computers then I would say IT is NOT for you. This is just my opinion, however, bear in mind, IT is a very diverse field. Its not all IT Support, there are programmers, website designers, database admins, project managers, graphic designers to name but a few ... If you do want to get your foot in the door, and have little or no previous knowledge, try to find one to one courses where professional people, who are in the industry might be willing to help, guide and train you. I have around 15 years experience in the Industry and over that time have done many different roles. I now run my own IT Consultancy helping small to medium size businesses with their IT requirements. If anyone needs guidance in this, I can offer FREE no obligation advice and insight around this, especially for students and people looking for a career change.
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Nununu
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(Original post by Protek-IT)
I know this is an old thread, but here goes, in case anyone wants to know the real deal. Firstly, if you do not have a passion or even the slightest interest in computers then I would say IT is NOT for you. This is just my opinion, however, bear in mind, IT is a very diverse field. Its not all IT Support, there are programmers, website designers, database admins, project managers, graphic designers to name but a few ... If you do want to get your foot in the door, and have little or no previous knowledge, try to find one to one courses where professional people, who are in the industry might be willing to help, guide and train you. I have around 15 years experience in the Industry and over that time have done many different roles. I now run my own IT Consultancy helping small to medium size businesses with their IT requirements. If anyone needs guidance in this, I can offer FREE no obligation advice and insight around this, especially for students and people looking for a career change.
Hi I am badly looking for a career change.

I have been studying a few free python courses online and have started studying with the OU.

I am going to be studying their introduction to computing and it 1 module with the aim of completing a degree within 2 years (have 1 years worth of credits already).

I would like some advice on how to get an entry level job in programming? Are u able to advise me on this, please?
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winterscoming
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(Original post by Nununu)
Hi I am badly looking for a career change.

I have been studying a few free python courses online and have started studying with the OU.

I am going to be studying their introduction to computing and it 1 module with the aim of completing a degree within 2 years (have 1 years worth of credits already).

I would like some advice on how to get an entry level job in programming? Are u able to advise me on this, please?

You're doing the right kinds of things so far.

A few ideas I can think of:

  • Think of a decent-sized personal project to work on as a way to focus your learning and build your skills. That could be anything such as a web app, Arduino (microcontroller), a game (e.g. using Python's "PyGame"). Eventually it would be good to aim to have a larger app; maybe something to go alongside your OU studies / similar in size/scope to the type of thing you might do for the Level 3 project. Other project ideas here: https://learn.freecodecamp.org/codin...home-projects/
  • Create an account on GitHub (or GitLab or Bitbucket) and use that to host your project.
  • You could also include any smaller projects or assignments to show your journey - for example, solutions to some of the algorithm challenges from sites like Project Euler or HackerRank.
  • Go to meetup.com or other similar event/meet-up sites and seek out tech community events which interest you; those can be an excellent opportunity to learn more and do some social networking. Depending on the area you live in you may be able to find some job opportunities that way too.
  • Join online communities to help with your learning - e.g. Codebuddies and Codenewbie
  • Look on sites like CWJobs to find out what specific of skills employers are looking for when it comes to entry-level jobs. (The most common ones will probably be in one of the main programming languages like Python, Java or C#). You will also find a lot of them asking for experience in SQL and *nix too. Also CWJobs will link to a lot of IT recruiters who you'll probably need when you're finding work.
  • Get involved in some 'open source' projects to gain a bit of experience writing code for larger existing projects and collaborating with other programmers in the same code/project: https://www.firsttimersonly.com/ https://opensource.guide/how-to-contribute/
  • Get used to searching for a lot of information in Google and using that as your first point of reference for every question you'd ever think of asking. Also make sure you use StackOverflow a lot.

Also, once you're strong/confident in your chosen programming language, See if you can find a copy of this book in a library somewhere, (otherwise it's not too expensive). It contains a lot of good practical programming advice for people starting a software engineering career: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Code-Comple.../dp/0735619670

I'm sure your OU degree will cover all of these, but make sure you cover these skills - most of it should be covered:
  • Become an expert in whichever your preferred programming language is - Python is really good, and Java is also excellent (I believe the OU uses Java).
  • Analytical skills, Computational thinking, Problem solving and ability to express solutions to problems as algorithms
  • Know how to use the debugger for your chosen programming language and be comfortable using it to troubleshoot logic errors (use breakpoints).
  • Core computer science principles around things like data representation, HTTP, logic, etc
  • Being able to 'read' and understand other peoples' code -- you'll very likely be asked to do this in a job interview.
  • Learn 'good' coding habits and make sure your personal projects sticking to popular coding styles/standards. (Your code editor should automate a lot of that anyway)
  • Be able to handle errors and write code which works with edge-cases/corner-cases. Also be able to handle exceptions/failures
  • The Object oriented programming paradigm - particularly on how to logically organise your code and create 'abstractions'.
  • Learning software design guidelines and principles ("design patterns", SOLID and GRASP principles)
  • Automated unit testing and 'Test driven' development methods (this is really important for employability)
  • Make sure you're familiar with "git" and source control
  • Be confident using your operating system including the command-line and be able to solve general computer technical problems.
  • SQL databases, 3NF and relational data modelling - able to create databases with complex table relations and write reasonably complex queries.
  • Some web development would be really useful.
  • Use the 'functional' programming paradigm (You'll probably do a bit of functional programming if you dive deep enough into Python)

When it comes to finding work, you could start out looking for Internships (most IT internships are paid well enough to be able to relocate across the country if that's an option for you) - the OU degree you're on should put you in a position where you're able to apply to internships in the same way as any other undergraduate.

Or alternatively (depending how much effort you put into learning) you might reach a point after a couple of years where your skills are strong enough to apply to some permanent junior/entry jobs. (jobs aimed specifically at graduates might be open to hiring you before you've finished the OU degree if your skills are strong enough; it doesn't hurt to apply)

You could also consider starting out in jobs which involve test automation to gain some experience working in a software team and some programming - for example: https://www.cwjobs.co.uk/jobs/junior-test
Last edited by winterscoming; 1 year ago
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lili4648
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(Original post by Nununu)
Hi I am badly looking for a career change.

I have been studying a few free python courses online and have started studying with the OU.

I am going to be studying their introduction to computing and it 1 module with the aim of completing a degree within 2 years (have 1 years worth of credits already).

I would like some advice on how to get an entry level job in programming? Are u able to advise me on this, please?
Hi, I think that Tech is a great industry to get into and it's great to hear that you are taking the initiative to work towards your goals. There are entry-level roles which do not require programming courses and experience but the company wants to learn about your passion for Tech and IT. Jobleau.com has a job sheet for Tech and IT which has a list of 100 different grad schemes for 31 different companies across the UK. Many of the programmes featured are looking for students with a STEM degree but there may be some which do not have a degree requirement. Alternatively, GradCracker would be another place to look.
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riverpath2
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(Original post by winterscoming)
You're doing the right kinds of things so far.

A few ideas I can think of:

  • Think of a decent-sized personal project to work on as a way to focus your learning and build your skills. That could be anything such as a web app, Arduino (microcontroller), a game (e.g. using Python's "PyGame"). Eventually it would be good to aim to have a larger app; maybe something to go alongside your OU studies / similar in size/scope to the type of thing you might do for the Level 3 project. Other project ideas here: https://learn.freecodecamp.org/codin...home-projects/
  • Create an account on GitHub (or GitLab or Bitbucket) and use that to host your project.
  • You could also include any smaller projects or assignments to show your journey - for example, solutions to some of the algorithm challenges from sites like Project Euler or HackerRank.
  • Go to meetup.com or other similar event/meet-up sites and seek out tech community events which interest you; those can be an excellent opportunity to learn more and do some social networking. Depending on the area you live in you may be able to find some job opportunities that way too.
  • Join online communities to help with your learning - e.g. Codebuddies and Codenewbie
  • Look on sites like CWJobs to find out what specific of skills employers are looking for when it comes to entry-level jobs. (The most common ones will probably be in one of the main programming languages like Python, Java or C#). You will also find a lot of them asking for experience in SQL and *nix too. Also CWJobs will link to a lot of IT recruiters who you'll probably need when you're finding work.
  • Get involved in some 'open source' projects to gain a bit of experience writing code for larger existing projects and collaborating with other programmers in the same code/project: https://www.firsttimersonly.com/ https://opensource.guide/how-to-contribute/
  • Get used to searching for a lot of information in Google and using that as your first point of reference for every question you'd ever think of asking. Also make sure you use StackOverflow a lot.

Also, once you're strong/confident in your chosen programming language, See if you can find a copy of this book in a library somewhere, (otherwise it's not too expensive). It contains a lot of good practical programming advice for people starting a software engineering career: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Code-Comple.../dp/0735619670

I'm sure your OU degree will cover all of these, but make sure you cover these skills - most of it should be covered:
  • Become an expert in whichever your preferred programming language is - Python is really good, and Java is also excellent (I believe the OU uses Java).
  • Analytical skills, Computational thinking, Problem solving and ability to express solutions to problems as algorithms
  • Know how to use the debugger for your chosen programming language and be comfortable using it to troubleshoot logic errors (use breakpoints).
  • Core computer science principles around things like data representation, HTTP, logic, etc
  • Being able to 'read' and understand other peoples' code -- you'll very likely be asked to do this in a job interview.
  • Learn 'good' coding habits and make sure your personal projects sticking to popular coding styles/standards. (Your code editor should automate a lot of that anyway)
  • Be able to handle errors and write code which works with edge-cases/corner-cases. Also be able to handle exceptions/failures
  • The Object oriented programming paradigm - particularly on how to logically organise your code and create 'abstractions'.
  • Learning software design guidelines and principles ("design patterns", SOLID and GRASP principles)
  • Automated unit testing and 'Test driven' development methods (this is really important for employability)
  • Make sure you're familiar with "git" and source control
  • Be confident using your operating system including the command-line and be able to solve general computer technical problems.
  • SQL databases, 3NF and relational data modelling - able to create databases with complex table relations and write reasonably complex queries.
  • Some web development would be really useful.
  • Use the 'functional' programming paradigm (You'll probably do a bit of functional programming if you dive deep enough into Python)

When it comes to finding work, you could start out looking for Internships (most IT internships are paid well enough to be able to relocate across the country if that's an option for you) - the OU degree you're on should put you in a position where you're able to apply to internships in the same way as any other undergraduate.

Or alternatively (depending how much effort you put into learning) you might reach a point after a couple of years where your skills are strong enough to apply to some permanent junior/entry jobs. (jobs aimed specifically at graduates might be open to hiring you before you've finished the OU degree if your skills are strong enough; it doesn't hurt to apply)

You could also consider starting out in jobs which involve test automation to gain some experience working in a software team and some programming - for example: https://www.cwjobs.co.uk/jobs/junior-test
Super insightful! Just adding onto what @winterscoming has said, hopefully this helps you out:

How to Get Into FAANG - by real FAANG employees

It's a compilation of interviews with the folks at Google, Amazon, Apple, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Slightly spammy title, but has some useful tips on tech career/interview advice!
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