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Coursera/Google IT help desk certificate: will it get me a job?


neurotix

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Hi all.

 

Everyone here knows I'm severely disabled and can't really sit at my rig for long periods of time. However, I may be getting hip surgery soon that would allow me to work on my computer.

 

So there's this Google made IT help desk program run through Coursera, and you can finish it in 6 months. You can try it for free but after the first week, it is $300. It's supposed to cram 2 years of community college into a 6 month period.

 

There are supposedly 400,000 to 500,000 open IT help desk jobs available in the US, and the average starting salary is $50k/year.

 

What I'm wondering is, I don't have much of a work record having been on disability since 2011, and when I was 18-19 I worked as a delivery driver for a year and a half. Getting older and wiser I'm realizing I'm screwed getting any retirement from the government/social security because I have not paid into it. Would the Coursera certificate be enough to get an IT help desk job, or not?

 

Thanks for any insight from anyone who works in IT.

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Gonna be brutally honest, I really doubt you're going to walk right into a decent position with one random cert and zero relevant job experience. 

 

Most likely would need to start at some BS bottom tier support position (think call center "have you tried turning it off and on"). At least for a year or two to build up some work experience. 

 

I worked in IT from 09 through 21. Started with zero certs and my Bachelors isn't in a related field. Was always quizzed in interviews and clearly just knowing what you are talking about holds a fair amount of weight. Having great references helps as well. I'm not saying people don't value certs, some companies get a real hard on for them (and will pay you to get them once you're on board). That said, any desirable position will get hundreds of applicants and they aren't even going to bother interviewing anything but the top candidates. 

 

I think bettering yourself and getting back into the workforce sounds like a great idea, but just be prepared to struggle a bit to get your foot in the door somewhere. Or be ready to take on a lower paying super entry level gig for a while. 

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Thank you flux.

 

I should add I went to school for Systems Administration in 2005 and 2012. In 2005 I had to drop out because I couldn't continue as I was under 25 and they counted my mom's income so I could not get grants.

 

In 2012 I went again, and have a Cisco Certification for PC repair as well as a document stating I was on the honor roll and got a 4.0. I dropped out because I realized that an associate's in Systems Administration would probably not be enough to get a job, and most companies would want a Bachelor's in Comp Sci, which I cannot do because 1. I am terrible at math and 2. I would have to take out loans. It's a good thing I didn't in retrospect because being bipolar, I could not trust myself to be able to work consistently to make the student loan payments.

 

So I don't know if the Cisco thing and the honor roll document would help or not. Do you think they would make little difference?

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this one? 

 

image.thumb.png.458755c4efda6988c22f12b9d0a1aea2.png

 

If it's the same one, you can easily finish it in under a month. I got to pad my resume (and because it was technically free) but I don't know anyone who knows what it is 🙃

 

A+ and Network+ are infinitely more useful for getting your foot in the door. 

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I have had the opposite experience in the I.T field. 

 

I am not what you would call "Qualified" on paper, bar a few related low level certs. However I have field experience and have found that any company I have worked with where I have either taken on the I.T fully or partially have preferred the "Real World" experience on my CV/Resume over any certification and have rarely even asked if im Cisco or Microsoft certified etc.

 

Granted at the very beginning of my I.T career, I had to prove myself and do the slog, but once you have done that and learned demonstrable skills, you are on a good path. 

 

I am not saying don't get the certs, if you have the drive and money to do them, all the power to you. 

 

I came from a working class family with very low income and at the start didn't have the financial backing to go after all the various certs. These days I could go after them, but being in my current Job role and having years worth of practical experience, I just don't need to. Perhaps that will change.

 

Best of luck bud!

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18 hours ago, The Pook said:

this one? 

 

image.thumb.png.458755c4efda6988c22f12b9d0a1aea2.png

 

If it's the same one, you can easily finish it in under a month. I got to pad my resume (and because it was technically free) but I don't know anyone who knows what it is 🙃

 

A+ and Network+ are infinitely more useful for getting your foot in the door. 

Yeah I think it's that one. I was under the impression it was a 6 month thing.

 

My goal or dream job in this, as tedious as it sounds, would be to work for Corsair, Thermaltake, or another PC building related company answering tickets and arranging RMAs all day. And to do it remotely.

 

Thanks for the response E, and the encouragement, but based on what Flux said as well as Pook I probably won't waste my time and just continue being a bored, depressed NEET. Lol

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I mean if your bored and depressed anyway, what's it hurt to try?  

 

I was thinking you were trying to land a decent paying job in IT. If you just want to work remote answering support tickets for a PC component manufacture, you don't need hardly any experience for that.

 

Hell Corsair has just the job you're looking for right now

 https://edix.fa.us2.oraclecloud.com/hcmUI/CandidateExperience/en/sites/CX_1/job/7324/?utm_medium=jobshare

 

Starting Pay: $15-16/hour which sucks, but it's better than sitting around being bored. 

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That's great but reading it, I'm not sure I'm capable of everything they're looking for.

 

Also, they do provide health insurance, but that might be a big no because my current insurance provider has paid for a special CAT scan and eventual surgery on both hips. If their insurance doesn't cover the place I'm going to, I'm essentially screwed on getting help for my pain.

 

Perhaps I will look again and see if they have a similar position like 6 months down the line when I've had my surgery and recovery.

 

Thanks so much for finding that for me though.

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It (certificate) may not be enough to simply get you the job but I would consider it a very important first step to make a change. Maybe consider the ones The Pook mentioned tooz

 

IT in general has been in high(er) demand since the pandemic. Finding resources to accelerate knowledge demonstrates initiative and a desire to learn.

 

What grinds my gears OP is that you mentioned you don’t believe you don’t have the skills they’re looking for.

 

A lot of people can pick up technical skills but don’t forget that interpersonal and soft skills can be much more important to differentiate yourself and for your growth.

 

I will give you a few examples from my own experience to illustrate what I am taking about. Furthermore, I will also echo Enterprise’s comments.

 

Field experience stands out for a reason, because for a lack of better words, it shows that you know or can demonstrate yourself in real world scenarios. 

 

I landed my first interview for a architectural technologist (internship) at a “prestigious” (gagging on how pretentious that sounds) Architectural studio thanks to a connection from my university. My portfolio was garbage at the time, but I am usually more confident in person. I can tell you right now, I definitely did not have all the skills they listed in the role.

 

During the interview, the senior Architect (hiring partner) picked apart one of my portfolio projects and asked me to explain how this building component, which was a balcony, would handle drainage (water). Just to determine if I can talk the talk, so to speak. I probably shat my self but then I focused, and told him what I knew from my limited experience working in construction. It was on the lines of “You could slope the concrete surface (~2%) away from the facade or into a drain but the drain may be more expensive”. He seemed very surprised but it seemed to have worked. Maybe because my portfolio was so * he didn’t expect me to be able to communicate a half reasonable solution. But hey, soft skills with a mix of technical and BS worked. We talked a bit more and he asked what kind of projects I would like to work on. A few days later… I landed the job and it was an insane experience

 

Spoiler

When I say insane, I mean, it didn’t sound real then and it still doesn’t sound real now. I’m talking about a client asking for a floor to exclusively smoke cigars and for the building to be LEED Gold certified. To explain why this is crazy… to be LEED certified in a nutshell… you need to demonstrate how your design / build will obtain credits that are tied to sustainability, like grey water recovery, X% of permeable or green surfaces, bicycle parking, and most importantly for this small rant, no smoking near the building, let alone an entire floor dedicated to cigars LOL. There is a lot more to this one. Like preventing the building from IEDs with a literal moat. Yea we went medieval on this one. I won’t mention much more about the project here because good ol NDA but it is real and it was built.

 

Pay was through an internship / government subsidy program. Of course I didn’t apply in time but it was such a good way to start my career and get some hands on experience. Good for telling stories too… Not to mention the name of the place on my resume helped opened a lot of doors. But objectively speaking, interning for experience is not the only way. It was just the way I preferred at the time because a) I was younger, b) I do better in person c) I prefer hands on. That was my approach to get in without “the skills”. I had the opportunity to stay on, not be an intern and earn a regular salary but I decided to part ways for other reasons.

 

Anyway - there is no standard, one stop shop way of landing a job. But there is usually a common thread and that’s the initiative and drive that comes from within.

 

I’m under a NDA so I can’t delve too much into my current role but I transitioned out of my field of work (Architecture) into the games industry a few years ago. I leveraged what skills I had plus put a lot of time and effort into a completely unrelated side project / portfolio piece. No one told me that this portfolio piece would land me the job but I was confident that it would be a good starting point to get my foot in the door. Even my girlfriend at time was very skeptical why I was spending 5-10hrs a week after work into a modelling project that no one requested.

 

Then when an opportunity arose (protip: set up alerts on Linkedin) at one of the game studios I was interested in and I was just relentless in follow ups, emailing the HR recruiter, messaging the HR director on Linkedin, until I got an interview. Again, I didn’t have all the skills they were looking for on paper, by a wide margin.

 

Since getting my foot in the door and landing the job, I’ve got a whole bunch of experience on a wide variety of projects and with a lot of different teams. Technically speaking I have supported teams directly and indirectly that have shipped two AAA games.

 

I havent really stopped either. I was doing continuing education at a local university during the height of the pandemic (full remote) when things slowed down.

 

I was also promoted somewhat recently and now I work with my original core team and IT directly and I don’t have any formal IT experience or education. Sounds a bit crazy but… the opportunity came up internally and I jumped at it. My only “IT” experience is my personal PC building and spending time on forums like this 😛

 

I personally love going into my job now and seeing all things that happen behind the scenes in game development. 

 

So my point is, if there is something that your passionate about or a career path you’re genuinely interested in, find a way and don’t give up 🙂 Obviously I won’t understand the pain you go through but I sincerely hope the surgery helps mitigate or avoid the pain. Just remember that skills can learned a long the way. Don’t let yourself hold you back. I know, cheesey AF.

 

Hope this motivates you in some capacity to keep moving towards your goals 🙂

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Hi slaughtahouse, I really appreciate the time you took to make that reply and describe your own success, and how it was achieved.

 

Unfortunately, the "inter-personal skills" thing is something I lack, I was even told this (the teacher said it out loud in front of the class) when I went to school for IT in 2012.

 

I also lack political correctness, I mean I generally know what's acceptable and what's not nowadays. I can also be pretty negative or pessimistic which is a result of my life experiences though I won't go into that here.

 

Those and a few other reasons were why I was fired as staff for this site, I was a Staff Content Creator and graphic designer but only for a month and a half or so.

 

Since then, I have been doing my best to be positive on the site and on Discord.

 

I also dislike or wouldn't want to "white lie" or fudge my way into a job I'm not prepared to handle. And with a helpdesk position being so forward facing and requiring people skills, I might find myself unprepared for it.

 

Also please see this post in this thread for what I will have to go through for my hips over the next few months. Then, I will have to probably do physical therapy for 6 weeks for my neck to be able to get an MRI of the neck and see what my treatment options are.

 

It doubly doesn't help that I'm a 2-pack a day smoker and I would probably need to quit outright to be able to do that job as I can't walk away from the PC every half hour to smoke. Also, I take fairly high amounts of multiple pain meds as well as a blood pressure med (helps anxiety) so my memory is poor from one of them, and I'm always relatively stoned, but life without these medications is hell (whole body throbbing all day long). Those may interfere with my ability to work.

 

Apologies if this all sounds like excuses, but I do appreciate the encouragement and your personal story. I'll definitely keep it in mind when I get to a place where I can apply for a job.

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1 hour ago, neurotix said:

Hi slaughtahouse, I really appreciate the time you took to make that reply and describe your own success, and how it was achieved.

 

Unfortunately, the "inter-personal skills" thing is something I lack, I was even told this (the teacher said it out loud in front of the class) when I went to school for IT in 2012.

 

I also lack political correctness, I mean I generally know what's acceptable and what's not nowadays. I can also be pretty negative or pessimistic which is a result of my life experiences though I won't go into that here.

 

Those and a few other reasons were why I was fired as staff for this site, I was a Staff Content Creator and graphic designer but only for a month and a half or so.

 

Since then, I have been doing my best to be positive on the site and on Discord.

 

I also dislike or wouldn't want to "white lie" or fudge my way into a job I'm not prepared to handle. And with a helpdesk position being so forward facing and requiring people skills, I might find myself unprepared for it.

 

Also please see this post in this thread for what I will have to go through for my hips over the next few months. Then, I will have to probably do physical therapy for 6 weeks for my neck to be able to get an MRI of the neck and see what my treatment options are.

 

It doubly doesn't help that I'm a 2-pack a day smoker and I would probably need to quit outright to be able to do that job as I can't walk away from the PC every half hour to smoke. Also, I take fairly high amounts of multiple pain meds as well as a blood pressure med (helps anxiety) so my memory is poor from one of them, and I'm always relatively stoned, but life without these medications is hell (whole body throbbing all day long). Those may interfere with my ability to work.

 

Apologies if this all sounds like excuses, but I do appreciate the encouragement and your personal story. I'll definitely keep it in mind when I get to a place where I can apply for a job.

Thank you for sharing those experiences with others here. I don't pretend to understand the physical and mental pain. Not sure if excuses but I hope any of what I have said helps you find what you need to satisfy your self and make you happy. 

 

Whether it's interpersonal, soft, hard, those are all different groups of skills and no one will be perfect at them all. However, if you focus on all of these topics at once and the negatives, you will likely feel overwhelmed. 

 

I encourage you to break it down what you're trying to achieve into bite sized pieces. Start with a vison, and work your way down into goals, objectives, and tasks.  Focus less on what you're not good at and more on what you are good at. If you know the help desk wont suite you due to interpersonal skills or physical injuries, try to find something that works with your positives and what you know you're good at.

 

No one is going to check all the boxes in an interview and every place may value some skills over others. I still encourage you to go after a certificate or any training. That will help get you into the routine towards learning skills. 

 

 

 

 

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When I started Help Desk in 2009, it was an entry level position for $11/hr. I was 18, had no certifications or a college degree as I dropped out of college in 2010 and definitely didn't have any prior experience that was relevant to it. To this day I still do not have a degree and have a grand total of two certifications to my name (ITIL Foundations v3 and SAFe 5.0 Practitioner). All to say that the reality is that simply getting a degree or a certification won't guarantee you a non-entry level position. But at the same time, if you get your foot in the door, a lack of them won't necessarily hold you back either.

 

That said, I have a lot of admiration for anyone at any point in life saying they want to do something to improve themselves or their lives. I think you'd do well starting out in Help Desk and combined with your future treatments to help address your pain issues longer term, I think you can put your mind to small goals like @Slaughtahouse said and work towards those. Things like the interpersonal skills and others are all skills like anything else that can be worked on and developed if you are willing. As for any of the other negatives, there's not much use dwelling on those and allowing them to hold you back. Figure out what you are good at and build on that, the things you are not good at can be worked on with time as you move forward. Break everything down into small achievable nuggets or micro-goals that build towards something bigger.

 

Honestly when I started my IT career in help desk, I was extremely shy, not good with interpersonal skills, wasn't very confident in myself. As time went on and I gained experience, those were things that I was able to work on. Help desk you talk to random strangers or employees of the company you are supporting. I learned how to crack jokes, make an analogy when something didn't make sense, etc. and for most it helped wind them down a bit and humanize the interaction. When I did desktop support from 2010 to 2014, I got to talk to, get to know most everyone in an office of about 500 people which made talking to them easier and working on their issues better, especially if something wasn't a quick fix or needed something more radical or they weren't going to like the outcome. During this time I also learned how to read my audience. The average user is not tech savvy with what you are supporting so leave the highly technical lingo out. Same with executives. They want the tl;dr one liner of whatever you need from them.

 

Anyway, I later moved into software and software release where I started interfacing with many different departments and in higher level positions later on, had some authority on how things were done. I'm a release manager now for a fortune 10, but I still have 0 degree and two certs to my name lol. Why? I suck in classrooms and I learn by doing, so really looking back it was all about just getting in on the ground floor and putting in the work to gain experience. I'd be lying if I said I didn't have help along the way. I had a mentor at one of my earlier support jobs and as they moved up, thought of me for new jobs and I'd apply over there and usually get the job (not always). In other cases, I took some big risks on some contract to hire positions vs some safer full time slots that propelled me to better things later on.

 

Nowadays I'm pretty gregarious around work, confident, and pretty decent with my interpersonal and communication skills, but I do sometimes still catch myself. Sometimes in my pursuit of logical change I have to make sure I am not tearing other people down and how they do things.

 

Anyway, I say all this to say, there is always a way if you are willing and there are always ways to help manage or mitigate things you feel are holding you back. Sometimes its the mind that is the biggest thing holding one back. It was for me a lot over the years. But small incremental goals over time help build to bigger and better things and seeing what you can achieve often helps drive your attitude and want to reach higher.

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I am in a similar boat of looking for ways to expand on my resume. I have no certs, no IT degree. I did get basically a general associates degree which just means I did all the college level general ed. I would have wanted to become a scientist if I were better at math, but that didn't happen lol. Computers were always a hobby for me, got my first computer repair job when I was 19 or so and have worked a lot of computer related and computer repair jobs since.

 

Before COVID, I had a REALLY great job. I could set my own hours, I was making great money for the number of hours I was working, and I didn't have to work full time or even close. I was easily paying my bills and stacking my saving without breaking a sweat. 

 

And it was the only job I ever had that I got because of a special piece of paper, but it wasn't from a cert or degree, it was my business license. 

 

The job was; Amazon in home Assembly/installation technician, and I needed the business license to get this job. I had the license from doing computer repair on my own via my Google listing. Basically, Amazon used to have this thing where you could order something like treadmill or a trampoline that needed assembly and pay extra to have Amazon schedule an in-home assembly appointment for you, and I would be the assembly guy. It paid 80% of what the customer was charged, and that was a lot of pay for the time it took to do the work. Typical jobs would be something like a treadmill that takes an hour to assemble from start to finish and I would make about $100 for the job. Do 2-3 of those in a day, work a few hours, go home with plenty of time to relax. It was really the best of times. I had signed up for the Amazon thing because they offered computer stuff like hard drive replacement as some of their in-home services, and that was what I signed up to do, but they had no restrictions on what else I could sign up for, so I signed up for everything I could. At one point I was doing faucet and garbage disposal replacements which were great because they paid a lot more, but didn't take any longer, when things went well... Some faucets were a lot of work, but it was a good to gain that experience. At some point they did put limits on the plumbing related jobs, which was probably a good thing since people like me who had literally no experience, training or oversight could do those jobs, haha. I did a lot of research and started slow with the plumbing stuff, and I never had and major issues. The job did allow for you to just walk away if you got there and figured the job was too hard, so I did walk from some faucet jobs because I know I would only make a mess if it wasn't a very straight forward thing. I did get as far as buying a Dremel and learning how to deal with stuck bolts and faucets covered in rust and grime. Beyond that, you would need a real plumber. 😆

 

I did that for about 4+ years. When COVID hit, Amazon put in-home services on hold. When they finally resumed, instead of letting individual contractors like me do the job, they only allowed big business to take over and act as a middle-man. Despite that Amazon had created a great system with a simple app for contractors like me to use, they just decided to have another company step in and take over, and take all the profits with it while paying the assembly workers a typical hourly wage instead. I have to admit, this job was so perfect for me that it's made it hard for me to accept certain types of more traditional work. They say, it's easy to get used to something better; hard to get used to something worse. But I'm getting less and less choosy as my saving gets a little smaller and smaller. 🙃

 

I always had my own PC repair listing on google and that has always been a side gig for me. I have never paid for reviews or advertising. After COVID, I noticed I started getting more calls from PC gamers and I've tried to cater to that more, but this has only ever been a side gig for me and does not pay my bills. Just started a google ads campaign and hoping this will boost my business to the point where I can at least use it to keep up with my bills, but I will probably just have to find a regular job. 

 

I've been applying and I haven't had much luck. I think I have a fairly good resume, but no certs or relevant IT degrees. I do get some interviews but I'm sure I'm never the best candidate for the job on paper since I don't have any certs and I have never worked an IT job that was focused at all on networking, so I don't have that on my list of experience. I've been thinking it's time for me to get the CompTIA A+ cert at least, which I think I could probably just pass right now, but I'm sure after doing practice tests it will be a slam dunk. I think that will make a difference for me, because I do have enough experience to get my foot in the door, but a cert or two would really help seal the deal. 

 

 

Little side rant, I did not come from a loving or supportive home. I've noticed throughout life that people with rich parents have it easy, which is obvious, but people with poor but loving and supportive parents are often just as well off, if not more so. I had neither of these things, I mean actually my family is fairly wealthy but they are also extremely selfish and jaded people with lots of alcohol and anger issues among the lot of them. They were extremely unsupportive to say the least. I am definitely the most well rounded down to earth person in my immediate family by far, which speaks very poorly on them because I'm not that well rounded. 😅

I basically grew up poor and unloved. I fell into a group of similar friends in high school that I would just call "uncared for kids". I had two best friends back then that both died, one committed suicide after he got really addicted to drugs. The other got hit by a bus in San Francisco, and knowing him he was probably pretty high at the time. I've had several other not so close friends who have died from drugs or suicide. Those events were a big set back for me, as I was not prepared to deal with double whammy emotional blows like that in my early adult life when I was just trying to figure out how to leave the nest without failing at life. I didn't feel like things were ever going very well for me until I got that Amazon job that died with COVID. Now, I'm just trying to figure out how to feel like things are going well for me again. 

 

 

When you spend a lot of time working for yourself, you end up with some weird resume attributes: 

 

Random Stats:

I have 20 5-star Google reviews currently for a perfect 100% 5-star rating, all from real customers. 

I have 200+ reviews on my Amazon account and a 4.9/98% rating.

I have a 100% ebay seller rating with plenty of traction.

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Sir Beregond and Ultra, thanks for your personal experiences. And slaughtahouse, thank you for reading what I linked in the other thread and your kind words.

 

If I could "mark as solution" in this subforum, it would probably be The Pook's post saying no one has ever heard of the Coursera/Google IT Professional cert.

 

If I had no pain, I'd jump at the chance for the Corsair position that Fluxmaven linked.

 

Unfortunately, working on interpersonal skills or really any skill is sort of not doable right now for me. Though I suppose I've been making a big effort to be more mature and more positive on the forums and Discord. As well as PC.

 

The road to employment for me is going to take quite some time, here's where I'm at now:

 

I had a CAT scan recently and have a hip cam and pincer impingement, osteoarthritis, bone spurs, and a femoralacetabular impingement, and that's just the left side (the one that hurts worse). Currently, I am waiting for a call from my hip doctor's office saying they have a 3D model of the left hip which is done by Stryker in Germany, and made from my imaging. It was supposed to take two weeks after the CAT but it's been almost 3. Then I will get scheduled to see my doctor and find out if he can do surgery or not.  Then I will have to wait for surgery, I will be surprised if it will be before Autumn. Next, after surgery I will have to do physical therapy for 6-12 weeks until my left hip recovers (since it's a bone thing, and I smoke, it might take 12). Then my doctor will put in a request for a CAT of the right hip, and then again lots of waiting, surgery and 6-12 weeks of physical therapy for the right side. With a lot of waiting while my pain is still poorly controlled.

 

After all that, there is still the issue of my neck pain and messed up neck. It is basically a long standing whiplash injury from electroconvulsive therapy gone wrong. Anyway, on the left side of my neck the vertebrae at C3-C7 are crushing the discs slightly on my left side. So I will have to get a referral from my hip doctor to a pain specialist at the same place who can do something for my neck. Oh, and of course there's the prerequisite physical therapy before anything else can be done because insurance requires it.

 

My back doctor who did my microdiscotomy had also gotten my neck imaged, and unlike my low back where the discs were being crushed and sticking out, the same thing is not happening in my neck, so he told me he can't help me because he can't go in and remove the squeezed out discs that are putting pressure on nerves and causing pain.

 

I still have Degenerative Disc Disease and 3 decaying vertebrae and 2 crushed discs in the low back too, and it's somewhat arguable how much the back procedure has helped. On top of all this, I still have Chronic Pain Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, which aren't curable and are treatable but the meds I take leave me in a daze all day every day.

 

So this is the mountain I have to climb before I can even think about getting certs or getting a remote support job at a hardware company. It may be a year or more with how slow the health care system is before my hips and neck are addressed, and there's nothing they can do other than what they did already for my low back. I hate to bring all this up in a different thread from the pain thread, but it's what's limiting me from working right now. Since everyone else is sharing personal experiences and histories, I figured I should explain where I'm at.

 

I sincerely appreciate all the advice and encouragement, as well as personal experiences, and the realization that I may not actually need any certs for an IT job.

 

Thanks guys.

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Definitely interesting hearing about some of your IT backgrounds from this thread. Sounds like the overall take away is that experience definitely trumps certs, but get them if you can if you're still trying to boost your resume. 

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