Anyone Here In IT/System Admin?

Hey guys, I’m currently working as a claims rep and I’ve grown weary of both the job and the dismal pay. I’ve started considering pursuing a technical certification such as A+, MSCA, etc and trying to get an entry level IT job or something like that.

For any T-men in IT/Systems Administration I’d love some input. I’ve got a few particular questions and it’d make my day if any of you guys could answer some of them.

  1. I’ve always enjoyed using computers and I’m pretty good with technology on the whole, but I really know nothing about networks and systems administration at this point. Would one or a bunch of these courses teach me about networks, or do you really need to have taught yourself a lot about such things on your own time in order to stand a chance at getting through them?

  2. Do these courses actually mean anything to employers? Are some more respected than others? Are any a waste of time?

  3. How much computer aptitude do you need to be successful in this line of work? Like I said, I’ve been very into technology and PCs for most of my life, but I’ve also been handed my own ass when trying to progam in C++ and other programing software in the past. I struggle with programming, but my hope is that programming is a completly diffrent animal from most systems administration.

Any advice at all is very welcome. Thanks guys…

Hi, I have been In IT for about 4 years.
My suggestion is to forget about the certifications and to find a job doing tech support. With the way the Job market is right now, Even people with degrees in computer science are still only able to find entry level positions.

Your best bet is to find an opening in tech support with a good company and learn all you can on the job. Then try to move up with the company. In this instance work experience and “who you know” count for way more than any scrap of paper. The point here is that, if you don’t come off like an idiot at your interview, you will get the same job whether or not you decide to spend the thousands of dollars on courses, books, certifications, etc.

Just My $.02


I’m a Senior Software Design engineer and self-taught computer guru. I have done a lot of ghetto IT sysadmin stuff both on Windows and Unix.

There is absolutely no replacement for experience. Get some. Build a cheap computer you can install stuff on and play around with. Break it, fix it. Self-taught is worthy of respect.

As I said, I don’t work specifically in a sysadmin type role. In programming, certifications are pretty much worthless, IMHO. They show me you know how to take a test. I need hands-on skills and real-world experience.

Sysadmin will be slightly different, and the accreditations will probably be a little more worthwhile there. They certainly can’t hurt. But they will take a back seat to experience.

And… yes serious programming and sysadmin are totally different animals.

However, if you’re going to be moving into higher-level sysadmin, especially on Unix/Linux boxes (and it’s even very handy on Windows), learning to do some script programming in Python, perl, PHP, etc. is very valuable.

I am a programmer and an ERP modeller, with certification in Microsoft and SAP. I agree with michaelv that it is not the certification that get you the jobs. Experience is more important (in Australia and New Zealand anyway, don’t know about USA as I have never worked there)

I’ve been in IT about 7 years. I started entry level with very little experience (took 1 of those basic computer courses) and over the years worked my way to a tech specialist role. I’ve taken a few classes here and there but most of my skills I’ve learned as I went.

You want to hit all the tech forums you possibly can and learn the basics quickly. The rest you’ll learn as you go.

If money isn’t a huge concern and depending how quickly you want to change careers you can always hook up with a tech placement service and do contract work until you learn enough to get a help desk position. You could luckout and get a temp to perm position somewhere as well.

If you want some tech sites pm me.

Thanks for the input guys. I think I’ll take your collective advice and try and get some experience and keep my eyes open for entry level jobs.

Oracle Database Admin for ~7 years. The job market is pretty tight for IT.

Know this, anything you start doing in IT will get old after a couple of years, unless you are responsible for the creative side of things (game designer or whatever). Basically, the 80/20 rule applies, but I’d say it’s more like 90/10. 90% is the same-ol’/same ol’ and 10% is when it gets interesting with new issues or opportunities (those you haven’t done several times over).

So maybe your job isn’t so bad (and I’m NOT saying IT is “bad”, just boring but with occasional moments of “fun”), or perhaps you can move around within your current company to a different role?


I’ve been in IT for over 9 years now. I’m now a Network Engineer/Project Manager. I didn’t get my first certification until roughly three years ago (only because my boss was f’n with my pay). Everyone has hired me on experience (I was working on computers before I was actually in the IT field).

However, if you don’t have a contact to get your foot in the door, you better have something decent on paper. You probably won’t get a second look if you don’t have much experience or certifications. At this point in the game, it might be best for you to get an A+ or Network + certification just to give you some credentials. Also, you’ll learn a ton in either class.

Not sure what else you should do. Every situation is different, and it sort of depends on the job market in your area.

Good luck,



Any Certified SQLServer or Certified Oracle folks in here?

There is a lot of truth in that experience is much better to have than a certification, but for the last year the contracts that I have managed or pursued have specifically asked for certifications and didn’t have any language such as, CISSP required or 7 years experience blah blah.

Which has been difficult. I’m currently looking for for 2 help desk agents and for an entry level position the contract requires Security +, ITIL Foundations and MCDST at a minimum.

Edit: Whoa, I just saw that this is from 2005.

[quote]SteelyD wrote:

Any Certified SQLServer or Certified Oracle folks in here?[/quote]

I was Sybase and Oracle certified years ago, but I’ve been out of the DBA game since about 2001.

not certified, but i do DBA in mySQL, have worked with oracle as well.

[quote]SteelyD wrote:

Any Certified SQLServer or Certified Oracle folks in here?[/quote]

MCP SQL Server for 10 years now (2K+2K5+2K8), whaddya wanna know??

[quote]Jaybee wrote:

[quote]SteelyD wrote:

Any Certified SQLServer or Certified Oracle folks in here?[/quote]

MCP SQL Server for 10 years now (2K+2K5+2K8), whaddya wanna know??[/quote]


[quote]SteelyD wrote:

Any Certified SQLServer or Certified Oracle folks in here?[/quote]

Yep SQLSever