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May pursue a IT career

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by faawrenchbndr, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

    Nov 24, 2005
    So here's the deal. I'm 44, retired Military, so I have some VA benifits for school.

    I'm an aircraft mechanic,.....and the market sux.

    To those in the IT field, what are your thoughts about ITT tech?
  2. Glock!9


    Oct 5, 2001
    South Eastern PA
    I have been in IT for 16 years, I have worked for small, medium and large companies. I know own my own IT services company, so i have a bit of experience in this area. When I used to hire for the last place i worked they would get interviewees from ITT Tech. I was not ever impressed with a single one coming out of school fresh.
    This is not meant to discourage you at all, if you would like to talk more about it feel free to PM me.
    It is still one of the best if not the best field to get into.

  3. I went to the Cittone institute in 2001 which is a part of ITT tech. It was a pretty decent school but the problem was for me I got a diploma for my major. I had to work my way up. But if I went to college instead I would of had a degree and that would of my life easier. My point, go to a credible college instead. Hope that helps

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  4. Detectorist


    Jul 16, 2008
    ITT Tech has a poor reputation. Plus, at your age, you're going to find lots of age discrimination in the IT field.

    Start out at your local Community College.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  5. Glock!9


    Oct 5, 2001
    South Eastern PA
    I agree that an IT degree is what most people are looking for these days. It is not always an absolute must as there may be depending on your financial situation to do an internship and get your foot in the door.

    This is absolutely 100% true in my experience.
  6. ThinkMud


    Jul 26, 2010
    Northern VA
    I've been in the IT field since 95, from mainframes to web, now i'm all web for the last 6 years.
    We've hired a few Devry (sp?) web developers before, but most didn't make it long. Haven't hired a single ITT tech person yet, unless they have in the networking department.

    I have cousin that went to ITT Tech and has a decent job as a tech now, so it may depend more on you and how much you can actually learn.
  7. prism

    prism more ammo

    Sep 26, 2002
  8. Linux3


    Dec 31, 2008
    I've been in IT since, hummm, 1978. Before there was an IBM PC.
    Your age is going to be a problem. I'm way, way older than you but I have experience and that's what most employers are looking for.
    College degrees will get you, maybe, an entry level job for peanuts. Certifications are semi worthless. Things like Cisco CCNA Security are good but only backed up with experience.

    This is not a real good time for new IT workers as so many have been laid off.

    In my experience things like ITT Tech and MCSE training mills are meaningless.

  9. Kith


    Jan 18, 2010
    You're doing the right thing by asking this question to people outside of your personal comfort circle in your life, we're just random people out there who've done a little of that.

    A decade ago I went to a trade school, much like ITT, to pursue that "school after school" higher education bit. I figured i'd go in for what I knew the most about, and ended up finding a course on network security. Cool.

    A little of halfway through I realized I didn't want to spend my prime years hunched over a desk indoors, and i'm way too hyperactive to do this as my day job.

    Guess what? Credits aren't accepted at a real college (most tech school credits aren't, it's an uphill battle to get them to recognize anything you've done in one, if at all) and there wasn't much room to switch my major - it was computers or...computers.

    I know that's a night and day difference between what I wanted out of it vs. what you want out of it, and the circumstances aren't remotely similar - but once you commit to going to a tech school it's finish with a bunch of debt and a semi-worthless piece of paper, or finish with a whole bunch of debt and no paper.

    (unless you are paying out of pocket - I don't know how far or what your benefits will cover, if it's everything then ignore this part.)

    A real college provides you more flexibility in fine-tuning what you're there for, and earns you more respect at the interview table when you try to go and do something with it.

    That all being said, a tech school offers you something a real college won't - smaller class size and more one-on-one with the teachers. There is a much more student-centric attitude, instead of class-centric. You'll get much more personal attention, on many orders of magnitude above what you would at a college.

    What kind of a computer background do you have?

    Will this be your first time getting your feet wet with more then personal use, or do you troubleshoot and service the computers of your friends and family?

    Don't expect to go to any school and be spoon-fed what you need to know, consider the school to just point you in the right direction. Maximize your class time with the teacher by being ahead of what's being taught, so you have your questions and confusions worked out ahead of time.

    The real learning and advancement takes place on your own time (which it seems like you have/will have a lot of). Leverage your asset of internet access, and all the free knowledge out there. Minute for minute, you can get a much more solid education teaching yourself online then you can in a classroom.

    I certainly agree with the above about certifications being semi-worthless. There are so many 'test prep' teaching materials out there that can show you how to ace the certification tests without actually knowing the stuff tested that it erodes their value - yet you still need them. Don't be that guy with a wallet full of certifications and still can't find the power button on a computer.

    If you really want to get into computers for a living, especially being older, you've got a lot of catch up to do. Something like this isn't like other sectors in the job market, you have to keep learning consistently and love it or you'll fall behind very quickly.

    People that are into computers usually get into mechanic-type stuff as a hobby to unwind, working on cars and such. I don't know about vice-versa, but the thinking skills and general brain usage is a close match. You have a leg up in that regard, as your current career path is probably a lot more related to what you want to get into then you may realize.

    Make sure to be somewhat familiar with windows, mac and some flavor of linux/unix before you begin. At least know how to navigate through those environments at the most basic level. You can't get into IT and not have at least some level of comfort with them all.

    Also, while you're in school, try to find some kind of internship you can participate in while working on your degree. Maybe a few hours a few days a week at a local library or something, they're always hurting for money and could use free help. You need to build some kind of professional references in the IT field or you'll never find work. No one really wants anyone whose experience is limited to the classroom.

    I know that a lot of what i've said is general stuff and all over the map, but IT is a huge field with many specialties and focused abilities. General computer anything only gets you so far. You didn't mention what you'd want to get into, or what your current level of ability is so i'll leave you with one last recommendation:

    If you could pick a specialty, or something to focus your attention on, database management is the best thing to get into. People that can fix a computer are a dime a dozen, and that will be your natural tendency given the field you are coming from.

    People that can maintain and secure a database well are and will continue to be in demand. The more digital our lives and business become, the more important creating, maintaining and securing databases becomes.

    And for the sake of all that is holy - learn everything you can about backing up data. Make backups of your backups, and don't ever get caught with your pants down in this regard.