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Hey guys I am new to this site, so I would like to say hello to everyone here. So, the title was posted as job situation/IT career advice. I wanted to hear some people give me some advice on the IT career field.

Background: I am currently a senior at a University in the US studying Economics and Mathematics. I know you are probably asking yourself why didn't I choose computer science, or at least Information Technology. Long story, and honestly at this point it doesn't even matter. I am trying to look forward not be stuck in the past about my decisions. I don't regret it, but if I could I would change the past knowing what I know now. Any way, so I have a position currently where I operate a small server for a real estate brokerage firm. The firm is quite small with 5-6 people in it. I got hired to do their marketing work on their website and to handle their Internet marketing in general. I still do that, I do run their websites and their general Internet marketing campaign. The website is run off SharePoint and I understand SharePoint a great deal because of this. Since, they found me so technical I started tinkering around with their server and learned many things that I did not know about Windows Server 2008. I know the basics, like distributing software to client PCs, and giving different group policies and such. I would say that I am semi computer savvy and understand most of the technical languages that go into computing. The one drawback I do have is that I lack programming skills. I have the basic concepts of programming, like sorting, arrays and ect., just lack the language skill. I am thinking about getting certified from Microsoft, Cisco, or Oracle so that I have a good foothold into the world without the Bachelors in CS. So, far I love learning about the extraordinary solutions that SharePoint and even other software packages bring to truly help businesses improve their workflow, and I love to be a part of a system like that.

Questions: What is a good career path for me, database, networking, project management? What certifications are the best to get for each of the fields? Should I just knuckle up and learn programming? If so are their any recommendations to get started with objective programming like what are good compilers and what are some good script writing software packages that will help me learn the best? Most importantly I just want some feedback on the whole process in general and what I should do to really get the jobs like Web Developer, Net Admin, DBA, project manager ect.

I want to hear from people in the field who have some sort of experience with different parts, from Project Managers to DBA, and Network Admins. Thank you for your time.

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Last Post by Coolyfett
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In my opinion, it is not actually necessary to be a programmer to be successful in Information Technology field. There are many different specialties within what is considered "IT". If you want to develop applications, then programming is usually required to a greater or lesser degree. If you want to be a network engineer or administrator, or an analyst, or a project manager, or a server engineer or administrator, or a desktop support engineer, blah blah blah, you don't have to know programming.

That being said, I believe that learning a programming language and doing at least a LITTLE programming helps in being better at all those things. You mentioned that you studied math...that also helps. Makes you more "logical".

Probably the best thing you can do is more research into the various specialties, and decide which one appeals the most. For instance, if you like assembling things, server engineering is probably a good path. If you like solving puzzles, maybe programming is right for you. If you like interacting with people more, maybe applications support or service desk is better. If you like being in charge of stuff, perhaps project management or resource management is the way to go.

I myself have been in IT for quite a few years. I've been a programmer, analyst, DBA, Data Administrator, project manager, resource manager, Change Control manager, and I even spent a brief time on the "dark side" (sales) as a pre-sales tech consultant. Just go with what looks appealing, and don't be shy about changing directions if you find "the grass really wasn't greener".

Just my $.02. Good luck!

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