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For the love of money


Hey I’m a 46 year old guy with two years of college working over 50 hours per week to make ends meet. I’m looking for advice, I want a nice paying job I believe the it field can do that without putting in an additional 2-4 years of professional education. Where do I start? This 7 day work week is getting old.



What experience do you currently have?



Right now I have very limited knowledge, I can release the network configuration , I can also do a simple command line prompts so my only experience really is building computers. I’m only looking to earn around 40,000 base per year where I live in Northeast Tennessee.



build up a decent LinkedIn account and apply to everything relevant to you

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I gotta be honest, you’re not going to start out making 40k unless you get a degree and some certs under your belt, and even then you might not start making 40k until you get a few years exp. You’re behind the curve.

I would start looking at what specifically in IT you want to do. Then start the path of getting the certs you need for that. IT is a blanket term that could mean many different things.



Very few jobs you can enter with no relevant experience or skills and make even decent money, and they tend to be illegal.

Unlike, say, nursing you can learn IT skills on your own, if you have the drive to do that.



Yeah, I mean maybe with the right college degree and specializations in certs you might be able to make that much depending on the area but its definitely not common.



Thank you very much I appreciate your insight and your knowledge.



Thank you



Something you might consider as an alternative to IT is CAD drafting. You dont have to spend a ton of time at school and you can start out making decent money with the prospect of much more as you learn.

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Be aware that in some positions of I.T. this is still a norm. It’s rare, but know that these places are out there and don’t get suckered into doing something you don’t want to do.

If you want a 9 to 5 with great pay then you have a few options. Mainly, software engineering or database administration. I know programmers that work 90 hours a week and I know database administrators that are on call 24/7/365. However, that’s not the norm, generally. As data becomes more and more important to big companies the money they spend on the management and retention of that data becomes larger. It’s also not a bad gig. You’ll typically work with programmers or asshole DevOps/Sysadmin guys like myself. You will optimize, tune, load, backup, sometimes restore databases. You will generally be responsible for those systems as well, like RDS or Azure PostgreSQL if you’re lucky. Sometimes you’ll have a Windows Server 2016 with SQL Server 2017 or Linux MySQL replicas but likely, you’ll be cloud provider or hybrid.

I would learn Database fundamentals. Maybe setup a MySQL server or a SQL Server Express server. From there, learn how to interact with the database with a GUI and with the command line. Make basic queries, updates, joins, and overall get good at doing things like that.

If you want to get into the software side, I recommend learning Java. From there, branch out into C#, Angular/Vanilla JavaScript, Node/Express JavaScript. Really, to start learning fundamentals, do something like Java or C#.

I love my job, and I consider myself the luckiest guy in the world. However, I sometimes work more than 40 hours per week and I go on call every three weeks, Tuesday to Tuesday. So, I’ll leave out the details of how I got to where I’m at.

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I work up to 60 hours regularly, but nobody is watching me, I do what needs to be done. That’s how a lot of salaried jobs are.

But you aren’t on your feet all day like a waitress, unless you insist on one of those stupid standing desks. And once you get past a certain point, your time is your own, if your house is clean nobody cares how you accomplish that.

95% of the work I do isn’t technical or operational anymore, but all that knowledge is essential to call people on their bullshit, speak technology fluently, and project steely confidence/moderate arrogance to clients.

As to which field to get into, don’t do anything that can be feasibly outsourced to India or automated. DBA work definitely falls under that umbrella, as does most IT work like coding, operational infosec, networking, etc. I started out as a DBA myself but all our DBAs are in Gangbangalore now.



It’s worse at 56…good luck :slight_smile:



It’s finding the right combination of schooling, certifications, and experience.

For me personally, I got to Google without any degrees, certs, just raw experience of roughly 5 years. (Year and a half in Support, 3 years working as a Data Center Monkey, and now I’m doing project work at the DC)

If you can build your experience and get some basic certs (A+, N+, CCENT, or some windows/linux certs, that will allow you to get hired somewhere as a jr sys admin)

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Datacenter work is an excellent example of something that can’t be outsourced or automated. You need people to physically go to your DC and move servers around.



This is the best answer by far. I love to learn so this at least gives me direction. Love the honesty, the frankness, I don’t mind long hours but having to do so to keep my head above water is the bad part. Thank you






Thank you

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