Hi guys! new guy here! I have a little of a problem, I graduated from college in '03 with a major in Computers Information Systems. I joined the military and my military duties have nothing to do with my studies. Now that I have less than a year of service left, I thinking that I want to try and do a career in the IT field.

My first question will be, how is it? How is the day to day taks that you do in your job? Do you like it? Is it challenging?

My second question will, since I only have a very basic knowledge and its been a while, what kind of literature is out there that can give me an update in the new things about the career field? I have kept up with the basics, but not into the in depth stuff, keep in mind that I have no experience in the career field.

Another thing, since the military can pay for any type of certification that I desired up to $10,000, is there any particular one that you recommend?

This all depends on what area of IT you want to go into. I graduated in '06 and wanted to move north, I am a big outdoors guy but love the IT path. I took the best job available where I wanted to live and honestly have been pretty disappointed with the amount of technology I get to work with. My recommendation is to start your own thing. I have recently worked something out with my current job and will be able to focus more on my business, I am also currently earning a masters in software engineering because I did not feel my undergrad prepared me enough, and for my current situation a Masters will help me find work and stay where I want to live, ie telecommuting.

Running your own business means dealing with customers, but what I like is I am in charge of my schedule again. The IT industry depends a lot on where you live and what you’re capable of. Computer Science enrollment has dropped way low, I saw one report saying over 50% drop. Technology is always in demand no matter where you live, but if you live in a place like I do where there are only a handful of IT people but still quite a few businesses and individuals that require IT support, it is great! Drop in education and Technology continuing to grow has me in high demand where I live. On the other hand, if you want to create video games and live in Orlando, your SOL as there is a ton of people who do that there. I know when you talk about IT you are not talking about Game Developing but it’s a good example none the less. Your knowledge + Experience + Market = your Value. Where I live I am considered an IT Genius (not to toot my own horn) but if I lived in a place like NYC, Seattle, Dallas, or Orlando I would probably be average. How long do you have for the military to pay for a certification? I would wait as long as you can to find a particular field you enjoy the most or are the best at then choose to get more education in it. Remember, 87% of undergrad students do not end up in the field they studied for. I was a hospitality management undergrad with an emphasis in Business Systems. I love technology and I wound up, in under year, switching to an IT Field with a little web programming, nothing to do with my undergrad.

My advice, go explore the jobs and markets out there, find where you want to live, than find a job you enjoy there. Then go after more education. The view on the employee and work place is changing as the new generations are coming into the workplace. On average, a person with an undergrad degree will have 10 different jobs in 8 different career paths before he/she is 30, and this is no longer looked down on but looked at as now the person has cross over experience and is more likely to be happy with a job he has chosen. Choose where you want to live, find out what you like, choose a path, than educate yourself more. Technology is always a good career path because there are an infinite number of paths within it. Good luck and welcome home!

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