Hey everyone, my name is Mike and I am a third year student in college. I am new to this website, and glad to have found it! As my user name states, I am an IT noob. Also the thread title states, I am pursuing a BBA (bachelor of business administration) degree in MIS (management information systems) and am in need of advice. My school's MIS program is centered on preparing graduates for the career, Systems Analyst. However, network administrator also is a viable career option as per the MIS curriculum description.

Anyway, I am not the most computer savvy guy, but really want to learn. I figure that attaining a solid understanding of hardware and software can only lend to helping me succeed in this field.

I currently work for a small software company and have recently started working lightly with the company's IT guy. However, I can't help but feel like a complete idiot when working with him due to my lack of knowledge of basically anything computer-related :$. I am eager to learn about networks and maintenance, computer troubleshooting, as well as programming (applications development). I know a bit of programming, but very little; I have started with C++ a while back and now Java.

I have also read about certifications such as A+, Network+, Security+, as well as MCSE and others and was curious as to whether you all think that any of these would help me delve into the IT world (I was thinking A+ since that is about computer troubleshooting and hardware/software).

I have clicked on a couple threads here and there and can see how kind and courteous you all are to new members here and am hoping to receive that kindness. As I mentioned earlier, I am very eager to learn and want to try and learn outside of school and work.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post :),


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Starting with a basic foundation such as A+ is a very good place to start, leave the more speciailized ones for later on, maybe when you have a better idea of where you want to head with your career, but have some good certs under your belt can go a long way in helping oyu and to increase your knowledge as well

I assume you have a personal computer and/or laptop? Probably running some variety of Windows? Ok. Take that (or one of them, scrub Windows off, and get Linux From Scratch (LFS). It is a book and boot CD that will walk you through the entire process of building a Linux system from souce code, configuring the network, configuring and building the kernel, and a lot of other stuff. You will finish up with a functional Linux system and a great deal more in-depth knowledge of operating systems, tools, and networks than if you took a couple of years of coursework.

Then, get a Linux-enabled router such as the Linksys WRT54G, get the source code for that (available from the manufacturer), and study that to see how routers are configured. Your experience with LFS will give you the knowledge needed to make sense of it all. That router you can then tailor to your home network's specific needs.

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