Career Change

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# 1  
Old 10-05-2001
Question Career Change

Hi, all!

I'm a 37 year-old Electrical Engineer with a BSEE and 12 years of experience. I was laid off last week, and have been considering a career change (I've had enough of electrical design). I've used computers for the past 20 years as a hobby (building computers, playing games, information resource, personal work), but have never programmed. I'm the guy to whom my family and friends come with all their computer problems. Smilie

I'd like to break into the UNIX field (interested in HP UX), but I'm not sure what education I would need to do so. Do I merely need to be certified to apply for HP UX positions? Do I need to attend a university?

Also, based on my passion for working with computers (especially gaming), what other career paths would you recommend?

I currently reside in Mesa (part of Phoenix metro), Arizona.

Any guidance would be GREATLY appreciated! You guys are the experts, so I know I've come to the right place. Smilie


- Dan
# 2  
Old 10-05-2001
First the bad news: After 12 years as an engineer, you were probably making a pretty decent salary. Since you have limited Unix experience, you might only be able to find an entry level position, so you would probably end up taking a pay cut.

Since you are asking this question I assume you are willing to live with that. The good news is that you do not have to be certified to land a decent Unix job. Of course many employers will be happy if you are certified, but I have yet to find any that require it. Certification has been discussed several times here in the past, and the general consensus has been that certification is only one step in the career process, with experience generally being a much more important factor to your overall marketability.

If you are serious about this career path, I would suggest learning all you can. Check the forums for some good book recommendations. Install some version of Unix on a spare home machine if you haven't already. Try to become familiar with some of the details of the system. Many community colleges offer classes in Unix Basics and/or System Administration -- they are often a good inexpensive way to get some hands-on exposure.

It sounds as though your knowledge of computers in general is reasonably high -- I would guess that you could step into a Junior Sys Admin position pretty easily if you spend the time to learn some of the basics, and the company is willing to offer you some training. Maybe try to leverage your strengths by looking for a job in which you would be supporting systems for an engineering firm/department.

Just my 2 cents...

Good luck
# 3  
Old 10-09-2001
HP-UX is a good choice, although not the easiest on the wallet to master Smilie .

Check out:

I've never taken any of the courses, but I do have a copy of the Fundamentals Of Unix workbook. I think it's a pretty good learning tool, takes you from the beginning, all the way to basic administration. If you're willing to commit to HP-UX, you can get one of the lower-end Visualize workstations loaded with HP-UX 11.0 for the price of a mid-to-higher end PC. Lot's more power though Smilie
# 4  
Old 10-10-2001
I would think about learning Solaris first

First, you can pick up a learning platform for $1,000. Second, there are countless number of manuals and Pubs that can be downloaded for free on Sun's sight. After you have a grasp on things port over to the HP. It's easier on the wallet and to get started. I to found my self out of a job about a year ago. now I'm making decent money as a SparC farm keeper. Assistant System Adminstrator for UBS in Switzerland and I'm American. Unix is the way to go : )
# 5  
Old 10-20-2001
I was once just like you. I was a restaurant manager. and landed a job at a university, doing hardware support. while i was there i spent most of the time playing around with the system that the hardware ran off of.. i never really understood what i was doing..
it was an HP-UX system. I was never trained and just figured things out as i needed to....

a couple of years later I figured that i could do this unix stuff for a living so i got a job with the people we had gotten the hp system from.... after a week of real unix work i realized that i wasted 2 years doing nothing...

I have never liked another OS since.. at my job we call unix DOS for adults.....

go and get some books. and start messing around.. the key is to have a direction to what you want to learn.... after a year of hard core unix support i have started into scripting........ I have had no formal unix traning of any kind and i can manage to pull it off..

if you want to spend the $$ there is a place in town called

GE - Access. they are downtown i believe. take the sysnet 1 & 2 classes... once you get used to HP-UX.. dont spend the $$ on the fundimental can learn that on your own...

GE access is who HP sends you to if you sign up for training.

hope this helps

# 6  
Old 10-22-2001
I just finished HPUX SysNet I training, and
am taking SysNet II this week.

The place mentioned by Jerzey is in Phoenix.
(44st & 202).

But is can be very expensive for an individual
to take. It can be about $2000 -$3000 depending
on what you take. I concur, you can learn Fundamentals
on your own. Load Linux on a machine, and learn to move
around in the system. RedHat for Dummies, (which comes witha copy of RedHat) is an excellent start.

Once you think you got a grip on the basics, you have 3 choices:

1) Find a job that will pay to send you to HP training.
2) Pay for the classes, then pay for the test.
3) By a book on HP-UX Sytem Admin & Networking, pay for the
test, and become certified.

My suggestion if for a combination of 2 & 3

Take SysNet 1, then buy a book, refresh what you learned,
and learn the rest. Then take the test. I took the practice test
near the end of SysNet1 and passed, so if you think logically, you won't have a problem.

Good Luck,
For contact information for GE Access, email me...

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