Changing to Information Technology

Good morning everyone! I am a 44 year old woman that works in manufacturing and wants to get into IT, any recommendations on classes or training?

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IT is a huge subject, just like manufacturing (automotive, chemical, aerospace, machining, plant etc.), what exactly are you looking to do?

Security, networking, ethical hacking, helpdesk, system administration, analysis, programming, testing, QA, project management?
What technologies are you interested in?
What experience do you already have?

There are so many different opportunities and they each need their own training. IT Pro TV is good for technical, system administration, networking, security, ethical hacking etc. There are plenty of good programming courses out there.

If you can narrow down, what exactly you want to do, what interests you, we can probably provide you with some useful information.

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Scripting languages are a valuable tool for any IT specialization, I’d recommend getting familiar with them. If you’re in the Windows world you’ll want batch and PowerShell. Linux you’ll want bash scripting. Python is also valuable no matter what you end up managing.

My favorite thing about this field - for the most part this job is as easy or difficult as you make it. If you can automate expected scenarios then you’ll have an easier time handling the unexpected ones!

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big_D thank you for the reply. I was looking towards security and testing.

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Thank you for the reply knewman. I don’t think I’ve heard of bash scripting. I have heard that Python is a very valuable over other languages.

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Hi @LaTia859, sorry I haven’t gotten back to you sooner, I saw this whilst I was out and about and it had drifted off my radar by the time I was back at my PC…

I’d recommend IT Pro TV, they advertise regularly on TWiT and there is often a discount (an extra 3 months usually, when you take out a years subscription). I found it very useful and I have done several online courses. It isn’t cheap, I think it is around $300-$400 a year. For IT training, that is cheap, a typical 2 day course over here costs over a grand, but the employer usually pays for that and having to invest yourself is a big leap.

For me, it was worth it, because I can do an unlimited number of courses over the year and they are generally very good. If you are looking at investing in your future and want to dabble with different topics that might be of interest, it is a “relatively” cheap way of doing it.

I don’t know what the situation is where you are, I assume the USA, but over here the schools offer evening classes for a small fee (generally under 100€ a semester) in various topics, including introductory IT, using Office etc. If you aren’t already proficient in general IT, one of these types of courses would be a good start, as working in IT generally assumes you can really use a computer. :wink:

For more general IT, linda.com is also supposed to be good, but I’ve never used it.

I agree with @knewman, learning a (couple) of scripting languages is a good idea. Python is pretty hot at the moment, but it depends on which area you are getting into, Perl is also a good bet and if you are going to concentrate on Windows, then learning PowerShell would be a good idea.

For security, the Ethical Hacking course on IT Pro TV and the associated certification (https://www.eccouncil.org/programs/certified-ethical-hacker-ceh/) is a good grounding it IT security.

There are lots of testing tools out there, learning the basics of testing is possibly better than learning a specific tool, until you know which direction you are going in - there isn’t a lot of point learning a Java testing framework, if you end up doing Python, for example, but learning how testing is done and the discipline behind it, what sort of things need testing etc. makes you flexible and your prospective employer can then train you up on their explicit method.

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Security is a great gig right now. It’s ever changing and there is always something new to learn…

CompTIA Security + certification is the gold standard especially for Government positions (for which there are many). If you’re interested in working for the DoD you should check out USAjobs.gov. With a Security+ certification you will be eligible for many positions. Once you’re in the best part is they will give you free training. You’ll be able to get a ton of certs and apply for better and better positions. RMF is HUGE right now, they need people like crazy for it. Risk Management Framework.

If you can get a Security+ Certification and find an RMF training to get into, you’ll be almost guaranteed a job.

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Scripting is very powerful for one off stuff, but almost useless for longer term solutions. (Although one could argue that PHP is more like a script language than a programming language, I won’t try and make that argument, and it’s probably very different today than it was when I used it in the late 90’s.)

If you’ve a gaming bent, Lua is used in a lot of gaming circles I’ve heard.

If you’re interesting in the software side of IT, you have two choices, hope you can master the framework/language du jour, or go with something steady. From what I know from businesses, you will not regret learning Java… it seems highly used inside businesses for corporate stuff.

For web stuff, learn JavaScript, PERIOD. It’s the ugliest language ever, and I hate it, but it’s the du jour language, and you can use it on server, desktop and web (NPM and a million frameworks.) Microsoft is developing in their customization of JavaScript, called TypeScript. (This is probably what their free CODE editor is written in.)

If you want to start small, with no headaches, Python is good… and it’s commonly used in certain circles, like mathematical computation. It can be a bit difficult to reliably transmit a Python program to someone else thou, unless you’re certain that the necessary prerequisites will be present (like a corporate environment.)

If you want to be cutting edge, learn Rust. It’s the C/C++ of the future.

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It depends on what you are doing.

If you are going into testing, security or administration, then you use scripting languages all the time for a lot of tasks, simple and complex.

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Fair enough. I always automated my testing with actual code in the same framework the code itself was written in, but I never had the luxury of using anything more common than Bash, and while it works, it’s too painful for my kind of tooling.

I should make it clear that for a majority of my career I worked on embedded systems with no UI to speak of, and where they were critical to the company’s infrastructure so you couldn’t ever stop them running (aka breakpoint them) in the field to fix the problem. So log analysis and gut instinct was more valuable than testing software. And the testing group had specialized hardware that was scripted with wires and dip switches. :wink:

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Hi OP. As others have said IT is a huge field. There are different sections like administration, databases, security and software development, etc and in each one of these there is additional segmentation.

Taking software engineering as an example, most companies belong to one of a handful of categories based on the stack that they use. For example a lot of enterprises are using the java stack, others are using the Microsoft stack, python and django, ruby on rails, golang etc.
These are all things you need to research and find which one you like and is most suitable for you.

Each one of these and more are wide enough to build a full career on.

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I just listened to this episode last week. Check this portion out:

https://techguylabs.com/episodes/1337/how-could-my-son-get-job-it

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Thank you everyone for the information and knowledge. I now have an idea of which direction I should be going.

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Best of luck to you. And I second resources such as Lynda.com and ITPRO TV (sponsor). Both of these are good resources.

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Let us know how you get on and don’t hesitate to ask if you need help. We might not have all the answers, but the community here is generally friendly and ready to help.

Just remember, there is no such thing as a dumb question, just a dumb answer. :wink:

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IT Pro TV is really great for Security + exam.

I have like 900 questions from the latest exam and cool little program that loads them up and you can take the exam and it’ll repeat questions you missed and stuff like that. These are the exact questions that are on the exam. If you’re interested shoot me a DM and I’ll share them. Same goes for anyone else.

@LaTia859

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So I signed up with lynda.com. I forgot that it’s also LinkedIn. And for additional learning I’ll sign up for itprotv. And of course watching TWiT and listening to the podcast while I’m at work as I always do :grin::wink:

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