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Can you get anything worthwhile for free? An experiment with free tuition on the web.

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posted on Mar, 26 2017 @ 09:19 AM
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We've all seen those ads offering free this or free that, systems for investing and so forth. Most of them are absolute tosh.

Being a gentleman of advancing years, stuck in a job that really doesn't pay the bills, I thought I'd have a look into IT as a career change.
Now, I know this is usually the purview of younger, hipper kinds. but I have been into messing with tech since I got a BBC B in 84. I generally run Linux on my home PC's and fancy my chances of sorting most things out.

I looked into A+ courses and Cisco etc, all of which cost a bomb, so I thought I'd have a go at some of the free ones dotted around.
don't initially plan on paying for the full exams either. I am after a foot in the door really, so all that can wait a while.

One site that really piqued my interest was the Cybrary one. They offer free courses, assessments and certs that seem to offer what I am after.


So here is the thing, using the resources on that site primarily, I plan to spend the next month or two getting up on my knowledge, getting the free certs and seeing if an old, gnarly van driver can get an interview and maybe even a job in IT.

I'll keep this updated with my progress and any feedback I get from folks so we can see if it is a viable way of breaking into a new career path.

It might all fall flat, but it wont cost me anything and, I will learn something, so its a no lose situation.


Anyway, week one, A+ 40 ish hours worth of vids and stuff, plus the notes etc. I may spread this to week two since some of my shifts are 10hour ones and I do have a Mrs, kids and a dog that all need some time too.
edit on 44pSun, 26 Mar 2017 09:21:44 -050020172017-03-26T09:21:44-05:00kAmerica/Chicago31000000k by SprocketUK because: spelling




posted on Mar, 26 2017 @ 09:59 AM
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a reply to: SprocketUK

A relation of mine works in cyber security. Good pay, but it takes up your whole life and has to come first. They works night shifts, too, I believe. Big business and ever relevant in the digital age.

I wish I could do something related to computers. I love them. I spend most of my time doing something or other on them. Have been that way in ever growing circles since 2000.

I prefer the kind of training where you do it all yourself and just ask the teacher when you don't understand something. It is good to have a training centre and venue to go to I think, which aids concentration greatly; too many distractions at home (for me personally).

I am not good with group dynamics and fitting in. I have stopped doing many things because of peer related issues.

Hey, I wish you all the luck. I really hope it works out for you.



posted on Mar, 26 2017 @ 10:02 AM
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a reply to: SprocketUK

Good luck! Sounds like a very worthwhile plan to me, and I look forward to hearing your progress.

I've been watching the online education -- including free! -- with great hopes. Just imagine the doors people can open for themselves!

Here's hoping it's everything you hope and more



posted on Mar, 26 2017 @ 10:14 AM
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a reply to: SprocketUK

You've got linux skills? It might be easier to find a job in IT than you think. A good way to get your foot in the door would be to find a Network Operation Center and try to become an analyst there. It's a crap job at first, but will allow you to interact with System admins, Database admins, Network folks, etc. You would learn tons.

Otherwise, you'll probably need some additional skills. Scripting skills are handy for system administrators. I personally recommend Python because it's fairly easy to learn and comes standard on virtually all linux boxes. Also, having a understanding of SQL and Apache is helpful too.

As for free? This helped me tons when I first started scripting in Python: learnpythonthehardway.org...



posted on Mar, 26 2017 @ 10:16 AM
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Thanks Rev, and Boudica.

If nothing else, it'll be a journey, eh?

I read a lot of James Altucher, and one of his principles for happiness involves doing a set of exercises each day.
Modified to my own preferences.

Learn a new tune each week on the guitar, write a story, a list of things I can be happy about, learn something new each day and try and do a bit of exercise over and above what my job provides (It does get very physical, carrying 10 cases of prosecco up to the fifth floor when there is no lift
)


I think free education like this, if it does work out, could be the single biggest bang in our lives since...forever.
edit on 17pSun, 26 Mar 2017 10:17:17 -050020172017-03-26T10:17:17-05:00kAmerica/Chicago31000000k by SprocketUK because: spelling



posted on Mar, 26 2017 @ 10:18 AM
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I took twenty six free courses at Futurelearn and gained knowledge from these courses. I don't think it is worth paying for a certificate, they really are not applicable to a degree. www.futurelearn.com...

I actually liked these courses, especially interacting with other people with interest and with some professionals and professors. It is a good program, but all you gain is knowledge, not something that is useful for a degree. But remember, the more you know when you go into a college class, the better you will do on your tests. It always helps to learn ahead of time.

And, it is free.



posted on Mar, 26 2017 @ 10:19 AM
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originally posted by: DrWily
a reply to: SprocketUK

You've got linux skills? It might be easier to find a job in IT than you think. A good way to get your foot in the door would be to find a Network Operation Center and try to become an analyst there. It's a crap job at first, but will allow you to interact with System admins, Database admins, Network folks, etc. You would learn tons.

Otherwise, you'll probably need some additional skills. Scripting skills are handy for system administrators. I personally recommend Python because it's fairly easy to learn and comes standard on virtually all linux boxes. Also, having a understanding of SQL and Apache is helpful too.

As for free? This helped me tons when I first started scripting in Python: learnpythonthehardway.org...


Hey, thanks Doc, I will look into Python once I am through the A+, Linux + and Network+ stuff, I am mostly a user of Linux rather than an admin, though I can sort my own partitions out for dual boot setups, use the terminal for all the user admin stuff that needs doing etc.

I guess we'll see soon, eh?



posted on Mar, 26 2017 @ 10:22 AM
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originally posted by: rickymouse
I took twenty six free courses at Futurelearn and gained knowledge from these courses. I don't think it is worth paying for a certificate, they really are not applicable to a degree. www.futurelearn.com...

I actually liked these courses, especially interacting with other people with interest and with some professionals and professors. It is a good program, but all you gain is knowledge, not something that is useful for a degree. But remember, the more you know when you go into a college class, the better you will do on your tests. It always helps to learn ahead of time.

And, it is free.


I hear that!
To be honest, My Open Uni stuff is Arts and Humanities based, so I will pursue that when I can. It would be a shame to not make use of the credits I already have and I do love the subjects.



posted on Mar, 26 2017 @ 10:45 AM
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before starting in IT do some maths knowledge of base 2,4,8,10,16 and if you're looking really back base 6 will be a great help.

Also stuff like Boolean logic and general theories on logic will help as you can build pretty much any computer with just 3 types of gates.

It does depend on your area you want to go into so high studying in TCP/IP would be good for networking style jobs but useless for someone doing pretty much programming jobs using a high level language.



posted on Mar, 26 2017 @ 10:51 AM
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a reply to: Maxatoria

That's cool advice.

I was guessing entry level might involve phone help or something but programming wouldn't be me, I have an ancient Btec in electronics though and did used to enjoy the logic stuff in the micro parts of the course.

Time will tell I guess, I can always do my party trick of counting to 1023 on my fingers at an interview



posted on Mar, 26 2017 @ 11:05 AM
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Hi just marking this so I can find it again.

Tons of great info from posters.

Thank you and good luck.



posted on Mar, 26 2017 @ 11:12 AM
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www.coursera.org...

This is one used here, some courses have certificates which employers recognize. There are also free classes as well.
Hope this helps?



posted on Mar, 26 2017 @ 11:19 AM
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a reply to: SprocketUK

Not exactly free but most classes are $10, $15, $25.

www.udemy.com...

This Cisco CCNA class was $15
www.udemy.com...



posted on Mar, 26 2017 @ 11:22 AM
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Here is the deal, I have been in the Telecommunications sector for 20+ years. We currently hire Network Operations Technicians and Engineers who hold Cisco Certifications. Usual start pay entry level is $45 - 50K just for having a CCNA which takes less than 90 days to get.


Go do a few searches on the job boards.... key words CCNA, CCNP and see for yourselves.

Now $20 but with Bonus Material
www.udemy.com...




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edit on 26-3-2017 by infolurker because: (no reason given)

edit on 26-3-2017 by infolurker because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 26 2017 @ 11:35 AM
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Thanks folks.


Certainly more to look at for me there.



posted on Mar, 26 2017 @ 02:05 PM
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knowing the basics really does help, theres no point running a cat 5 cable 20 miles for example...



posted on Mar, 27 2017 @ 11:47 AM
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Well I spent most of today's study time installing oracle virtual box and win 7, 8, 10 and the latest Ubuntu in there.

Proved to be more of a pain thsn it should have because it wouldn't recognise the 64 bit os choices, sorted through the Bios though, so no biggie.

Tomorrow (or maybe later today) I will start playing with them.
Got Eval copies of win 8 and 10 which last 90 days and are free.
Win 7 was an old disk and, of course, Linux is always free.



posted on Jul, 12 2017 @ 05:36 PM
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Ok, it's been a while.
Based purely on the fact that I have been studying online at cybrary, I had an interview today.

A prelim kind of deal where they asked me about my general experience and stuff. The job is with a local hosting company and they want me back to sit a few tests and for a second interview.


Pretty much ground level stuff, but they were way happy that I knew what Linux was and, I think, mildly impressed that I cited slackware as my first install


So, it seems, at least to this level, free education can help. If I get the job, then we can call this experiment a success.



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