I need your help guys.....

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Luis S, Aug 12, 2002.

  1. Luis S

    Luis S Supporting Actor

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    Ok here's the deal,Im 24, married,going through bankruptcy and lost my job.So what now? I tried college and it didnt work for me.Now Im considering getting a technical certification.But ive been so down lately i cant decide what to do.Im quite talented artisticly,but dont see many opportunities in that field.I was thinkink A+ certification,can anbody tell me alittle about it?I could really use the input.Im so lost right now.Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,
    Luis S
     
  2. Jeff Hoak

    Jeff Hoak Stunt Coordinator

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    Man I feel for you... We were notified of impending layoffs in March of last year. To date the staff here has dropped from over 100 to 9. So far I haven't been given my walking papers but I know it's coming any day.
    As for A+... I've had mine since Sept. of 97. It's helped me get a job exactly one time. Of course it's never hurt me. Many consider it an "entry level" certification. Some employers require it though. Like ALL certifications it really doesn't mean a whole lot without some experience. If nothing else it may get you in somewhere and give you a chance to GET that experience everybody seems to want. There was a time when all you needed was a piece of paper to get a tech job. Unfortunately those days are gone.
    Don't get me wrong... Any and all certifications are worth having. It NEVER hurts to have a piece of paper stating that you've been trained in a particular skill.
    I don't know if it's still available but when I started looking around last March the state of Florida was providing free technical training to unemployed people. You should check with your local Florida Job Service office and see what if anything is available. At the time the state was extending unemployment benefits and dropping the "look for a job" requirements for the duration of the training.
    I was VERY lucky to be included in a state "grant" program that paid for my MCSE and CCNA certifications. All told it took 16 weeks of 4 hours per day / 5 days a week at the local community college. Had I tried to pay for the 2 classes out of pocket I was looking at over $10,000. By using the grant money I ended up paying less than $200. I really could have done it at $0.00 cost but I paid for one more exam (to get my MCSA) and a couple of books. A real bargain no matter how you slice it.
    Good luck to you. If you have any more specific questions or just want more detailed info please feel free to email me at jhoak@starband.net. I'll try to help in any way I can.
     
  3. Ben Menix

    Ben Menix Stunt Coordinator

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    I second that. The certification MAY help, but it certainly won't hurt. I do not have A+ certification, and it hasn't cost me a job, but it did cost me seniority (and slightly more pay) on a contract upgrade job a few years back.
    If you can, try to get some kind of network or net administration certification and experience. Computer Techs are a dime a dozen, but a qualified network technician is still a valued employee in some places.
    Ben Menix
    MainTease@MidniteTease.com
     
  4. Luis S

    Luis S Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for writing you guys,I'm in a real jam these days.Your advice is REALY appreciated.So A+ is entry level huh? I kinda had a feeling.Are you guys happy with the work? Is it something you enjoy? Im looking for a carreer to settle into,one that I could find interesting enough so I dont have regrets later on.I guess what I m looking for is a sense of security.Not having to worry about finding another job if need be and being in a position to advance myself in life would be nice.If you guys dont mind my asking hows the income potential for these carreers? Id like to be able to live comfortably and provide for my wife if possible.Once again thank for everything you guys keep the info coming,I need all the help I can get.

    Thanks
    Luis S
     
  5. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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  6. Luis S

    Luis S Supporting Actor

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    Wow thanks for the detailed info Joseph!One thing I forgot to mention to you guys is that I was an "independent contractor" for a sandblasting company.That being the case and the fact that things werent good when I left,Leave me ineligable for unemployment benefits correct?so any schooling would come out of my pocket,which will be difficult as you can imagine.The wife does ok,and I have a very supportive family(thank god...) so I could probably scrape by as you suggest,but Im not sure who offers a good program for these certifications.any suggestions?

    Thanks in Advance,
    Luis S
     
  7. Ben Menix

    Ben Menix Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes, generally speaking, your SOL for unemployment if you're a contractor. Sometimes it's an ambiguous deal, and if your employer knows it, they may agree to unemployment, but that's rare.
    I tried the independent contractor thing in computer support; I personally found it nerve-wracking and ulcer-building.[​IMG]
    Some people thrive on it, though.
    Ben Menix
    MainTease@MidniteTease.com
     
  8. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    My current job does not require an A+ cert and I don't have one. However, I have seen lesser jobs require one. Generally, yes, the A+ is just an entry level cert, claiming to test you on knowledge you should aquire during the first 6 months as a computer technician. Beyond that, its not going to help a whole lot because you'll have experience working for you.

    If you know a bit about computers and can learn from reading, I suggest just picking up a book and studying it until you feel ready to take the test. Also, be sure to contact a local community collge because many offer classes for such certs. My local CC has many classes that are subsidized by the state and cost the student roughly $30-40 per semester long class. Once you get our A+, you can try landing a job with CompUSA, BestBuy, etc. I've heard they aren't great places to work but they probably are better than the call center. I have never worked at one of the retail places but I HAVE worked in a call center and I can't imagine much worse. Last time I checked, the retail outfits all required an A+ cert.

    As far as MCSE goes, they are also a dime a dozen. Whatever you do, though, make sure you really KNOW the information and aren't just paper trained. If someone's willing to pay you or give you a great discount on MCSE training I say take it, but don't spend 10K on it. Its just not worth it, IMHO.

    Some of the more respected certs include Cicso and Oracle. If you can, get in on those because those will take you places (for now anyway) unlike the MCSE and A+ which may not take you as far.
     
  9. Alex Prosak

    Alex Prosak Supporting Actor

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    How about getting training as a CAD tech? Haveing good artistic ability can be a big help in this field. There are plenty of CAD techs where I am but very few really good ones. I'd kill to have another couple right now. In the engineering firm where I work we've got 2 techs and a lot more engineers. We often have to do our own CAD work which is a big drain on project budgets.
     
  10. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Luis:
    The Workforce Development Agency includes the department that handles unemployment claims and compensation, but isn't limited to that. I don't think you need to be collecting unemployment (or even eligible) to get a training grant. Yeah, paper MCSEs are a dime a dozen, especially those who got their certs in the NT 4.0 days when you could basically buy a study guide and pass the exams without knowing anything. Which is precisely why Microsoft is decertifying people who took those exams and cannot now pass either the full series of seven new exams or the one-time-only "all-in-one" exam. (Which had a 90% failure rate when it was introduced.) So the herd is being thinned. [​IMG]
    There are specifically grants for "displaced" workers, people who cannot get the same or a similar job in their normal industry. A friend of mine with no formal computer background (but who learned a lot from her husband, who designs games) was unable to find an equivalent job to her senior closing agent position when we were both laid off from a mortgage company where I did the IT support. She had been with the company so long and was given so much responsibilty that she couldn't simply walk into a similar job elsewhere. She'd have to take a much more junior position (and a lot less money) and wait for someone to retire (or die.) [​IMG]
    With the help of a letter of recommendation from me she was accepted for retraining and went through A+ and MCSE courses. Last I heard she was still an exam or two away from finishing her MCSE. (The state pays for your exam "coupons", but they must be used within one year. She started a new job as a technician, and didn't find time to finish her tests, and now has to pay the $100 or $125 that each exam costs, so she's been putting it off. I'm in the same boat with my last couple.)
    She lives in Broward, and attended PC Professor down there. I went to their school in West Palm, and know the owner's slightly. That's also where I filled in teaching the A+ course. They're reputable. I've also heard good things about New Horizons. Not sure if they're down in the Dade/Broward area. Several local colleges also offer authorized CompTIA, Cisco and Microsoft training. Workforce would tell you which ones are accredited with them in your area, and they should all be reputable because they are subject to state inspection and audit. Even if you don't qualify for the program, you should be able to get the list, which will save you from signing up with some fly-by-night outfit.
    Good luck and hang in there.
    Regards,
    Joe
     
  11. Luis S

    Luis S Supporting Actor

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    Hey guys just Wanted to give you an update.Ive been looking around and finally settled on getting my certification in computer support specialist.Which is actualy A+and network +,Iwnt to take this on first and see how I do and possibly getting a more advance certification later on.But more importantly I want to thank all of you who replied to my thread,you guys have given me more help than you could imagine.I feel soo much better now I cant thank you all enough,just know that you made a difference and now Im on the right track again. [​IMG]
    A BIG Sincere Thanks to You All,
    Luis S
     
  12. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    Good luck, dude. [​IMG]
     

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