Thinking of getting into the field - what should I study?

Some people might assume it's an organisation founded by VSOs for the purpose of hoovering up government training (and other) grants in exchange for a figleaf of outsourced and outdated training and five free goes on their "specialised" employment agency web page.

But I'm not going to do that because I'm not a cynic.

This whole area is a massive minefield of training companies that will take your money - 4 figures sometimes - and offer very little of value in return, both in terms of knowledge and in certificates that aren't recognised by anyone. That's why I linked to the official Google training site above - anything delivered directly by one of the big players - Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Cisco etc - and leading to one of their own certifications is probably a safe bet. There are a few niche players who are respected but you won't know about them until you're in the industry already. Basically be very careful who you give any money to.
 
IT Project Management may be more your thing. Friend left the forces 6 years ago (as a Captain); he's been getting 6 figures (just) for the last year or so (London rates).

General all-round knowledge won't get you far...as it's general. Loads of people have it. Coding is competitive, and takes a long time to learn, and is low-salary. Perhaps look at jobs for large organisations with involvement in cyber (Banks, Facebook, Amazon etc) and see what quals/experience they're looking for? Or look at civil service jobs.

What kind of salary are you looking for?

I don't mind starter salary tbh, my previous employment (education) was pretty pants as far as pay was concerned. My main objective is flexibility as I now have a family to support so working from home would be a bonus. I did all the travelling stuff and fun jobs a few years back.

I always hated offices, at least at home you can go for a cuppa without people giving you funny looks. Lockdown was awesome. Most of the people I've worked with over the years are colleagues and competitors, they're rarely friends, so I don't think I'd miss that much either. Ideally, I'd want to get something fairly low stress, somewhat interesting and with flexibility. I'm not looking to make mega bucks to start with so there's likely something out there, even if it's putting them back together or troubleshooting.

Long term (10+ years) I would like to get into cyber, though it does look complex it also looks interesting. It may even allow me to get back in the reserve (left after a few years due to medical). And what could be more fun than cutting around barracks with a beard, scruffy hair and side burns whilst being untouchable from all threats made by the shouty man?

 
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JCC

LE
I don't mind starter salary tbh, my previous employment (education) was pretty pants as far as pay was concerned. My main objective is flexibility as I now have a family to support so working from home would be a bonus. I did all the traveling stuff and fun jobs a few years back.

I always hated offices, at least at home you can go of for a cuppa without people giving you funny looks. Lockdown was awesome. Most of the people I've worked with over the years are colleagues and competitors, they're rarely friends, so I don't think I'd miss that much either. Ideally, I'd want to get something fairly low stress, somewhat interesting and with flexibility. I'm not looking to make mega bucks to start with so there's likely something out there, even if it's putting them back together or troubleshooting.

Long term (10+ years) I would like to get into cyber, though it does look complex it also looks interesting. It may even allow me to get back in the reserve (left after a few years due to medical). And what could be more fun than cutting around barracks with a beard, scruffy hair and side burns whilst being untouchable from all threats made by the shouty man?

Salaries will vary according to experience https://uk.indeed.com/Penetration-Tester-jobs. Once you get a few years under your belt then you're ready to go contracting - if that's what you want.

My advice would be to call up a few of the Cyber firms and speak to their HR - see what tickets they take seriously.

But beware - Cyber is a whole way of life just keeping up to date.
 
Thank you all for the advice, I'm most obliged for the wisdom of arrse. I did look into plumbing too (also advice from arrse) but I think this is a more realistic prospect for me. I have a bit of time off so I'm smashing through any ICT books I can acquire to up my knowledge. Currently going through the iGCSE and A level. I have some part time jobs in the meantime and one is IT based. The plan is to get some accredited quals and see what happens.
 
Thank you all for the advice, I'm most obliged for the wisdom of arrse. I did look into plumbing too (also advice from arrse) but I think this is a more realistic prospect for me. I have a bit of time off so I'm smashing through any ICT books I can acquire to up my knowledge. Currently going through the iGCSE and A level. I have some part time jobs in the meantime and one is IT based. The plan is to get some accredited quals and see what happens.

How old are you DC? Is it worth simply waiting for retirement now? I highly recommend it by the way.
 
How old are you DC? Is it worth simply waiting for retirement now? I highly recommend it by the way.

If I could retire tomorrow I would, work is generally overrated.

I'm mid 30s, so the awkward middle stage where I'm a bit too old to compete with ICT graduates but still have a while left before taking up D&D or golf full time.

Changing fields has been on my mind for a while and I've looked at different areas. I imagine ICT is more secure than most because it's the fundamental structure of the world and it's the future. I'm also of the opinion that the best investment you can make is yourself - the more qualifications and skills you have the more employable you are. Hopefully that approach will provide me with some possibilities.
 
@Dashing_Chap there's money in Logistics IT. The Indians seem to dominate the SAP market globally, but local developers are still worth their weight in gold.

SAP
Manhattan
Red Prairie
WebXpress
 
I'm fairly certain if you ever get a job in IT, you'll hate it.

Not so much the work, but the micromanagement and stress won't be nice
 
This whole area is a massive minefield of training companies that will take your money - 4 figures sometimes - and offer very little of value in return, both in terms of knowledge and in certificates that aren't recognised by anyone. That's why I linked to the official Google training site above - anything delivered directly by one of the big players - Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Cisco etc - and leading to one of their own certifications is probably a safe bet. There are a few niche players who are respected but you won't know about them until you're in the industry already. Basically be very careful who you give any money to.

And real experience counts over qualifications, contributing to open source projects where your code is on Github etc will open a lot of doors, more than paying training companies as a starter

Other than that actual work experience, either a sandwich degree course, ie an extra year tagged on of work experience in the field, or getting lucky and finding someone who will train you up (unlikely in the UK)
 
If you served, check out Cyber Vets.
Cyber vets for robo dogs?

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Not so much the work, but the micromanagement and stress won't be nice

I was alluding more to the "I want to make a lot of money. Oh, I know - I'll do what those computer wallahs do. How hard can it be?" tone of the OP's OP.
 

Yokel

LE
Just be wary of taking an entry level position with no real relevance to technical roles in the hope of moving on:



Would you consider doing some sort of educational course on a part time basis whilst you work? What type of role did you have in mind?
 
I was alluding more to the "I want to make a lot of money. Oh, I know - I'll do what those computer wallahs do. How hard can it be?" tone of the OP's OP.
I didn't mean to come across that way, I'm just looking for a less stressful and more secure and flexible form of employment. I don't think I've mentioned anything about money until someone asked me, there's a lot more to a job than just a high wage.


Just be wary of taking an entry level position with no real relevance to technical roles in the hope of moving on:



Would you consider doing some sort of educational course on a part time basis whilst you work? What type of role did you have in mind?

I'm open minded, I'm reading everything I can at the moment to see whether there's a particular field that sparks my interest. I would like to learn how to build stuff and set up/run networks so I know what to do if my own kit ever breaks. At the moment I only know how to replace a C:.

I'm happy to do educational stuff in my spare time and I've done a lot of that already. It's generally part of my plan, I just need to find out what to study. I've just completed a postgrad L6 in training.
 
I didn't mean to come across that way, I'm just looking for a less stressful and more secure and flexible form of employment. I don't think I've mentioned anything about money until someone asked me, there's a lot more to a job than just a high wage.




I'm open minded, I'm reading everything I can at the moment to see whether there's a particular field that sparks my interest. I would like to learn how to build stuff and set up/run networks so I know what to do if my own kit ever breaks. At the moment I only know how to replace a C:.

I'm happy to do educational stuff in my spare time and I've done a lot of that already. It's generally part of my plan, I just need to find out what to study. I've just completed a postgrad L6 in training.

To be honest, if you haven't started building your own PC or programming a Pi Zero W on your own initiative by now instead of waiting to learn how to do it on a course, then you're going to be struggling when/if you get an IT job. On one side you'll be outgunned by kids half your age who do everything on their phones, and on the other you'll answer to IT directors who've never owned a PC in their life.

Oh, and you can stow that "less stressful" dream in the lowest luggage compartment you can find. You can bring it out and caress it when your IT director opens a phishing email and compromises the company's entire network and blames you for not making the system secure - even though he ordered you to change his system password from "yoit0chugTeth" to "Password1" because he's too important to have rules foisted on him by some lowly IT drone.
 
To be honest, if you haven't started building your own PC or programming a Pi Zero W on your own initiative by now instead of waiting to learn how to do it on a course, then you're going to be struggling when/if you get an IT job.

This depends quite a bit on the specific flavour of IT. If you're a Cyber then yes you need to live and breathe it. But if you're a SAP consultant working for a big company or local government then that's just a normal 9-5 white collar job.
 
I was chatting to my neighbour the other day and he does something to do with the Cloud. It seems quite a cushy job as he gets to work from home.

I'm looking at a career change and computers are undoubtedly the future. If you really know how to use them then it also provides you with plenty of employment options.

Does anyone here work in IT? What is the market like? Is there any particular course I should look at doing, or should I read around the subject and see what's interesting?

I didn't realise at first what a vast enterprise IT was and how many different specialisations there were. What do you think would be a good one to get into?

As the Chinese are hacking everyone, I guess cyber security would be a goer, but it's likely to be post grad, expensive and complicated. Ideally, I'd like to weasel in without too much investment. Perhaps coding may be a better bet, or just a general all round knowledge of computers and networks?

My vague plan is to get into something like the NHS and learn their stuff then go private. In reality I have no idea what I'm doing, so I bow to the superior knowledge and advice of arrse.
How about learning data analytics - Tableau and Google Studio etc.? Much easier and quicker to learn, very much in demand and you will still get to start at the bottom of the corporate ladder.
 

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