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Old 01-14-2013, 08:29 AM
Ks1020 Ks1020 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycosteve View Post
The A+ is a joke of a test if you have practical hands on experience . Look up Testking or one of the other study kits and study the questions.
but now you have to retake it ever 3 years.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:41 AM
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Good questions in your OP. Healthcare is certainly a good niche to get into. If you decide to not specialize in that and want to focus on higher pay don't ignore Data Warehousing. Business Intelligence, Data Scientist, Large Data are all things that are only going to grow in the foreseeable future.

Developers are always needed but to get into the higher ranks you need to pay attention and shape your career. Not too difficult but you have to fight through the weeds a bit.

Standard database work (dba, dbd, etc) are all still needed.

Technical Project Management is a field that you can make some money in if you go into Health Care or many other larger areas (Govt, etc).

Really any of the above you can make a very nice salary if you actively guide your career. Get your degree, work on your Masters, get a few certifications, etc. Most of what you learn along the route of getting those is fluff but in the end some of those classes are quite valuable as those you interact with also have them. Those pieces of paper will be merely check boxes at times but in order to win at the game you need to play the game. This is not 100% as I don't have MY masters and many MANY technical people have done VERY WELL with either no degree or no advanced degree. However consider removing that as a potential obstacle and consider if getting them is right for you. Or not!
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:53 AM
evialvatar evialvatar is offline
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With the coming changes to healthcare policy now is the time to get into healthcare systems. Almost all medical facilities are going to need help making sure they are meeting healthcare outcomes because of changes to the reimbursement schemes for Medicare and Medicaid. Any place that has received grant funding to create or implement an electronic medical records system also has to deal with meeting Meaningful Use related reporting. Most medical facilities that see patients with a public insurance system have already converted to electronic medical records as they can only submit claims electronically, but the portability of many electronic medical records, the outcome related data, and many other ongoing issues still exist at many facilities.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:31 PM
biathlon biathlon is offline
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If I had to do it over(I'm 58) i'd get fluent in at least one other language, maybe two.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:03 PM
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I haven't quite read through all the responses but I'll offer my 2 cents.

I started out in the IT field as a general IT consultant working for a IT consulting company. Setting up printers, general troubleshooting, etc. Through self-study and on-the-job experience, worked my way towards doing server installs, network topology, domain administration, etc.

After a few years of that I got a job as a Network Administrator for a small gas & oil pipeline company. It was a good gig, if you're a good network admin, things run pretty smoothly at a small company and your job tends to be a little boring. So, I started getting into software development. A few years later, I realized I liked doing dev work alot better, again through self-study and on-the-job experience I was able to get a job as an SQL developer making nearly twice the money at a small accounting firm.

Fast forward a a few more years, the accounting firm is acquired by a huge corporation, they fired all the managers and I hate the new management, so I quit and start out on my own as a freelance/contract programmer. That was January 2006, been doing that ever since.

To answer your questions . . . yes, there are plenty of IT-related fields that will be in great demand years from now. The best advice I can give you is stay on top of the new technology as it comes out, the worst thing you can do to yourself is get "stuck in a rut" with old technology and work yourself into obsolescence. I've seen it happen many times.

Best way to make real money in my opinion, is pick a field and specialize in it. There are plenty of jobs out there for the "jack of all trades but master of none" but they are not big-money jobs. Pick a field -- software development, network administration, database administration, business intelligence/reporting -- and get REALLY good at it.

Personally I never saw much point in getting ant type of technology degree from a college. By the time you graduate, most of what you learned has changed enough that it's not good advice anymore. College teaches you best practice in this and ideal way of doing that but in the real-world, in most cases, IT is considered as a operating overhead and your job is not to put together the best solution, but the best solution for the $$ you have available.

My advice would be to look at your local trade schools for accelerated courses in network administration, database design, business intelligence, development work. In particularly I like the dev field, probably biased because that's what I do, but I am finding more and more companies these days turning to custom software development because the "canned" products available simply don't meet their specific needs. Or, they require custom dev work to make them implement their needs.

As far as salary goes, I can only speak for my area, SW Kansas. My experience (which does involve alot of hiring) says that I don't care what training or degree you have, without on-the-job experience you're looking at best $50k/year to start, depending on the field. IT is not a field where you can pull $60k+ fresh out of school/training. Experienced developers, network admins, IT managers and the like can easily pull $90k+ if they're good at what they do. I routinely hire good VB.Net and SQL developers in the $70-$90k range.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions or need advice.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:20 PM
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I have been talking to an old friend who works as a code-writer. Her employer is handling Obamacare. The healthcare insurance 'exchanges', and how is it different for each state. She has been code-writing for 20-years, and she makes good money. Since Obamacare went through, her company shifted to this project and has shut down all other departments. They have been shifting work-load to India, a percentage each month. The out-sourcing has been going slow. They have 10 different Indian companies they have been spreading the work-load out to. The Indians get a lot less work done and with much higher mistakes. For every Indian code-writer they contract they also need more support personnel, to explain the tasking, to keep the code-writers on task, and to error check to product. For each American they lay-off, they are hiring four Indians to replace the one. However since Indians work for so much less money, the company is increasing it's profits by out-sourcing. She says that so far over a third of her department's code-writers have been laid-off. This is the biggest growing part of Obamacare right now, right in the center of it. Mechanizing how the future of our healthcare is to work, and it is slowly going entirely over to India.

If you are considering IT, do not go into her line of work, unless you want to live in India and earn $5k/year.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:37 PM
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Thanks for all the responses. You guys offered a lot of good info. Keep the advice and info coming as I have absolutely no experience in this field. Right now I haven't chosen a specific path, per se'. I am just in the computer technology transfer program. (2 years at my comm. college, then transfer to a 4 year university). Thanks again for all of the responses. I really need the guidance.
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