Starting from scratch

Unanswered Question
Aug 7th, 2007

Hello all. I'm 48 years old and been in radio for the past 25 years. I'm seeing the writing on the wall of a career change - and I'm comfortable enough with that. However, I want to do it on my terms and so am looking to get whatever IT training I'll need NOW rather than wait until I'm out of a job. I've always been good with computers and am the guy at family functions who straightens out someone's computer problem. I love the whole networking field and could happily do this all day. From someone already doing this - Is CCNA certification a good place to start? About me: I'm married with 3 teenagers, so I really DON'T want to go back to college if it can be avoided. Hope this gives someone enough info to provide some advice. Thank you!

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steve_steele Wed, 08/08/2007 - 21:58

Hi Kevin,

It's perfectly possible to pass CCNA with a couple of relatively cheap routers and switches along with a couple of hours each evening for a couple of months.

Once you've achieved the CCNA, Wireless technology is a pretty sought after field at the minute and you might find that your previous experience lets you pick that up pretty easily.

Whatever you decide, good luck.


narbik Sat, 08/11/2007 - 19:47

I feel your pain, but remember that if you have decided on IT certs helping you with your career, then you need to go all the way to make the same money as you were or are making. The cert I am talking about is CCIE, it may take you 1 ? 2 years to attain, but at least you will be making what you should be making.

Today CCIEs make over 6 digits.

Narbik Kocharians

CCSI, CCIE #12410 (R&S, Security and SP)

[email protected]

kevinhilley Mon, 08/13/2007 - 02:37

Yes, I've heard that Narbik - and am prepared to go as far as I have to. I will admit that it's a little intimidating, but I do believe I can do this. My biggest worry isn't geting the certs, but rather landing a job in the field with NO experience. How has everybody handled that? Thank you for all the info.

Edison Ortiz Mon, 08/13/2007 - 16:11

Start by offering your services to non-profit organization or take a entry-level job in the field of networking.

It will hurt at first since you will be on a tight budget but after a year or two, you will have some experience under your belt that you can put in your resume.

Sarg . Sun, 10/07/2007 - 09:27


Great that you should speak of this; For a person like me who desperately needs to get started with real life training and experience yet with little funds to spare, what advice would you give me. I managed to pay for semsim router stimulator and I am currently working on it. I have also downloaded lot of on-line training materials (which normally give free first 3 chapters) and have finished them. I am already conversant with computers but I can tell that I am going to be in for a lot of hassles if I do not find a way out.

As a way of helping myself, I have contemplated looking for a place where I could work as an apprentice so that I might be be opportuned to get hands-on experience and better understanding. Being very convinced that half of my problems will be solve once I find a person or body to attach with, I sought endlessly; yet, all my efforts to bring this objective into reality have proved abortive. What suggestion would you give me?

Edison Ortiz Sun, 10/07/2007 - 09:44

You are in the right track, just keep looking. Something should come up. Again, it also depends upon your geographic location - i.e supply vs demand...

Sarg . Sun, 10/07/2007 - 17:16

I guess so. Thanks, I'll keep on looking.


dpkelly31 Fri, 08/17/2007 - 07:38

I'm in a simliar situation at 40yrs with lots of RF experience. I too am locked into getting a CCNA since everywhere I look, networking is now a required skill. The other option is an MBA but is expensive. Good luck.

kareem.afifi Mon, 10/08/2007 - 08:08

You are on the right track. I'm alot younger (28) but i was in the same boat and wanted a career change. Going the route of CCNA helped me out and landed my first Networking Job and now i'm trying to learn as much as possible.

varun_vicky2000... Mon, 10/08/2007 - 19:39

Hi everyone,

I am a graduate and working in the field of entertainment (video editing). I would like to persue a course in CCNA. Can anybody guide me how is the course. How much time it takes normally to complete it? Cost? Job prospects? Is mathematics knowledge required? Is it really hard course( how many hours of study is required everyday to clear this certificate? Do u think it is really useful.

paul.mulligan Tue, 10/09/2007 - 08:13

Hey Varun,

How is the course?

The course is excellent. If you have an interest in bits and bytes flying across LANS AND MANS then its for you. If you find it interesting the different types of packets that can be sent across LANS and what can slow them down and speed them up or just down right stop them in their tracks, you'll enjoy this course. I really liked it.

How much time it takes?

If you have no previous experience in the computer industry I recommend you do the full time course. If you have exp then maybe you'd have it done in 3 months. I didnt have any and decided to do it full time. Be prepared to be broke for a couple of years. So, Max 2 years.


THe Govt. paid for most of mine so it cost a grand total of 250 euro for 2 yrs. One can do it privately for 2000 euro.or less maybe.

Job prospects?

Depending on experience. No company is going to let you near their network unless you have proven yourself in the field before. I reckon it would take a couple of years at least before you will have junior networking role. I could be wrong but I'm drawing that picture from my own job. Say If you have 4-5 years networking exp you might be on 40 - 50 000 euro. Keep doing the exams and staying with the technology, by the time your doing your CCIE you coukld be on 80 000 plus ( I'm being fairly rigid here) again, thats depending on your exp.

Maths knowlodge required?

Yes, not that much though. I had terrible maths but found CCNA easy.

Hard course?

If you dont study, yes. But you know you have to work. No slackers can do this.

how many hours of study?

the magic 2 hours a day cant be beaten.

Its only useful to you if you are prepared to start from scratch and work your way up. I am and am finding it really useful.

Thats my 2upence worth on the matter.

Good luck


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