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Chris L.
Chris L., Support Specialist
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What are some good resources for IT professionals looking to

Resolved Question:

What are some good resources for IT professionals looking to keep current in their field? I recently started a IT Support job at a bank, but the company does not necessarily offer any kind of company knowledge port, KnowledgeNet, or other professional IT training deal. It's a lot of on-the-job training, so I'd like to keep current and have places that can help me grow.

Ideally, I'd like sites that are either free or affordable (< $50 / month). Currently I'm on VTC.com and thinking about Train Signal.

I'm doing a little bit of everything in terms of desktop support, helpdesk support, and virtualization as well. It's an entry-level position with room to grow.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Computer
Expert:  Chris L. replied 1 year ago.
Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will be happy to assist you.

Congrats on your new job!

I am an IT professional and have been working in IT for about 10 years now. It can be difficult if you don't have a lot of on the job experience and keeping up with all the new technologies can be tough.

One of the reasons I answer questions on this website is to keep sharp always expanding my knowledge base.

When you get locked into a job you tend to start dealing with the issues that come up at the company and sometimes you can fall behind on other aspects of IT.

I personally aside from courses I took when going for certs never paid for online training. However I honestly find youtube the number one source for almost anything I am looking to learn more about. You can find a tutorial or training video for just about anything.

It really depends on how you learn best, XXXXX XXXXX videos and message boards help the most. Also for awhile I was really into these training guides here:
http://www.cbtnuggets.com/

Another site I use a lot is:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/

That is a great site for virus removal and keeping up with the latest infections.

The botXXXXX XXXXXne really is, no one knows it all. I didn't understand that when I first started working in IT.

So if you need specific training, for example you need to be the administrator of an exchange server, then you may want to look into taking a course online or otherwise.

But it is difficult to say where to go for just "general" IT knowledge up keep you know?

I tend to find that experience is the best learning tool as you will always be seeing something new the longer you are on the job or doing other jobs for people.

The websites you mentioned above look fine if you want to pay money for instruction on something specific.

If you are interested in answering questions on this site you can apply to do so here
http://www.justanswer.com/professional

You see alot of different issues answering here and it is definitley a good way to broaden your knowledge base while earning some extra cash.

Aside from that training is always good but I would suggest before you invest a lot of money in online courses you try either free resources online, usually a google search on whatever subject you need will yield results or maybe buy a book on whatever subject you need to brush up on.

For example if you are doing virtualazion, you may want to take a course on the specific software that is being used.

What I am saying is IT is very large field as you know, so I think you need to decide exactly what aspects you would like to keep current or learn more about for example I work on servers at my job which did cause me to fall behind on "home user" type of problems. By answering questions on this site I keep sharp on all the current more everyday types of issues that regular users have.

I am just saying that as an example it may be different for you.

If you would like some more suggestions reply back and provide some more specifics about the areas you would like to keep current in or learn more about and I may have some more ideas.

Thanks,
Chris

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Chris,


 


Thanks a lot for the well-thought out reply :)


Yeah, you're right in that IT is an enormous field. Saying I'd like to grow in IT can be broad!

Some of what I'll be doing is pulling backups from server computers ,installation of security patches and software updates, performing backups on end-user and critical computers, computer hardware break/fix, software break/fix, phone support and email support to users, calling vendors for 3rd party apps, new PC and VOIP phone deployment, troubleshooting printers/copiers/scanners/fax. Also, migrating from desktops to more virtual machines.


 


That's kinda it in a nutshell. A lot of my training of course is going to come from my job and my boss has said as much. So I'm not overly concerned, but I wanted some videos/practice/tutorials/literature I could read/watch to keep my skills sharp.


 


Does that help clarify it a bit?

Expert:  Chris L. replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

Yeah that helps a bit but what kind of servers are you dealing with? Is this a windows environment?

You sound a lot like me honestly. I have had jobs where training is on the job but I am the type of person who always likes to be one step ahead.

Which certifications do you already have?

There may be some certs that would be a good idea to get and while you would be learning more about tasks you need to do on the job you could also be studying for exams .

Are these mostly windows 7 PCs?

What kind of scanners & printers?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Mostly Windows 2008 Dell Servers. I'm not 100% sure on the actual servers themselves, bu that's the OS we're dealing with.


 


I don't have any certifications currently. I'm studying for the A+, which is a nice general cert to have. I'd also like to do some desktop cert studying as well (just in general).


 


Mostly Windows 7 PC's w/ a fair portion of XP Pro machines. HP, Samsung, and Dell printers.

Expert:  Chris L. replied 1 year ago.
The A+ is a good first cert to get. You may want to consider studying for your Network+ after that. Those two tend to cover the basics.

After that you may want to go for some vendor specific certs like microsoft. This is a good starting one:
http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/mcsa-windows-7-certification.aspx#fbid=dNC9tvM2cER

Most of the Comptia certs like A+ and Net+ offer a broad scope of IT and teach you the basics.

You may want to see if there are any classes or groups locally that you could join and have study partners. That makes it a bit easier.

If I was you I would just start watching youtube tutorials on the things that you are interested in learning.

Start with basics so you understand the equiptment you will be working with. You always want to work your way up with IT that is why A+ and Net+ are important to understand.

Experience will help a lot as well and there is no way you can prepare for every type of problem in advance. You need to deal with them as they come.

Remember, no one knows it all and to be good at IT you need to be able to find the solution, not necessarily know it off the top of your head.

I sometimes have students as interns in my office and I usually will tell them to do "x, y, and z" and will have them figure it out themselves, I do not show them how unless they are really stuck. That is a very important part of being a tech, you must be able to find the solution on your own.

As I said maybe consider taking a certification study course and just start watching videos of topics you are interested in or think would be useful for your job.

Don't be too hard on yourself ever, confidence comes over time.

You may want to check out the reddit tech support forums and try figuring out some of the issues people are having or just read them:
http://www.reddit.com/r/techsupport

Would be good to get some practice.

But also after things happen at your job. When you go home that night and start looking deeper into the issue if there is something you do not understand.

I am sure you will do fine and I am always here to help if you need some advice or support.

Thanks,
Chris
Chris L., Support Specialist
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 4017
Experience: Certified Computer expert with over 10 years experience.
Chris L. and 14 other Computer Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

You're awesome Chris. Thank you SO much :)

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