Pc Pro Schools?

Mekanic01

Gawd
Joined
Jul 11, 2002
Messages
925
Anybody have any experience with them? They're in the Wisconsin area and they offer a 6-month course, 5 hrs a night, 2 nights a week. They're a Microsoft IT Academy Platinum member, and they offer these certs.

Microsoft Systems Administrator, Desktop Support Technician, and Professional
HDI Support Center Analist
PC Pro Schools Hands-On Technician

www.pcproschools.com

I really need to get out of my current profession and I wanted to know if anybody else in the area has had any experience with them.
 

xtox

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 8, 2004
Messages
242
What is your current profression, and what are you looking to get into? Also, how old are you?
 

Mekanic01

Gawd
Joined
Jul 11, 2002
Messages
925
I'm a mechanic, 32 years old. I have a bit of computer experience fixing things for family and friends. I went the the seminar, and they say I know quite a bit for somebody who's never had schooling. As far as what do I want to get into? Money. I like to work with computers, and I need to make more money.
 

StarTrek4U

Gawd
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Jan 8, 2003
Messages
1,011
I'm in WI and in IT and I can tell you with certainty: avoid them like the plague! All they are is a boot-camp style business that throws a bunch of stuff at you in a short time to give you a "cert" then send you off. I can honestly say that if I saw that on a resume you would only be given consideration for the lowest entry-level job available, provided there wasn't a college grad in the mix either.

You're probably better off going to a tech school and getting an associate degree or something of that nature. At least you'll have something to show for your money.

As far as why you're switching you may not understand quite how the "money" side of IT works. To begin with, while I don't know what you make it's my understanding that mechanics make fairly decent money, especially after a few years, but I digress...

Should you decide to switch you'll inevitably end up working some sort of help desk type job, chances are good you'll make in the low $30's (that's 30,000, not 30/hr). Since you're essentially starting over at this point you'll need to spend 3-5 years in this role learning about systems and administration, etc at which point you can start thinking about promotions, etc and more money. If your only reason to switch is more money I would seriously consider where you are in your life and if you can afford to essentially "start over" and work your way back up the pay scale for the next 5-10 years.

Can you not combine your computer savvy with your current field? I know nowdays cars are practically run by computers anyway, is there not some sort of specialization you can get into that will bring you in a more tech-like role but not require you to basically start over?
 

the-one1

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 16, 2003
Messages
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One more thing you might want to consider. Do you want to fix computers or maintain systems? Fixing computers is more work for less pay, and maintaining systems (networks, infrastucture) is "less" work for more pay yet takes longer and more learning to get into.

Another thing is dedication. You just gotta love what your doing or else you're just taking the courses to get the certs/degree and then know nothing.
 

Mekanic01

Gawd
Joined
Jul 11, 2002
Messages
925
I'm in WI and in IT and I can tell you with certainty: avoid them like the plague! All they are is a boot-camp style business that throws a bunch of stuff at you in a short time to give you a "cert" then send you off. I can honestly say that if I saw that on a resume you would only be given consideration for the lowest entry-level job available, provided there wasn't a college grad in the mix either.

You're probably better off going to a tech school and getting an associate degree or something of that nature. At least you'll have something to show for your money.

As far as why you're switching you may not understand quite how the "money" side of IT works. To begin with, while I don't know what you make it's my understanding that mechanics make fairly decent money, especially after a few years, but I digress...

Should you decide to switch you'll inevitably end up working some sort of help desk type job, chances are good you'll make in the low $30's (that's 30,000, not 30/hr). Since you're essentially starting over at this point you'll need to spend 3-5 years in this role learning about systems and administration, etc at which point you can start thinking about promotions, etc and more money. If your only reason to switch is more money I would seriously consider where you are in your life and if you can afford to essentially "start over" and work your way back up the pay scale for the next 5-10 years.

Can you not combine your computer savvy with your current field? I know nowdays cars are practically run by computers anyway, is there not some sort of specialization you can get into that will bring you in a more tech-like role but not require you to basically start over?

I'm not a car mechanic, I'm a semi-trailer mechanic. And while you may have heard that mechanics make good money, you probably haven't heard that mechanics have to buy their own tools. And over time, tools break. While most hand tools carry lifetime warranties, air and power tools do not. There is no re-imbursement for tools. You buy them, you own them. That eats up a large portion of what a mechanic makes.

What I was told about pc pro, was that they would teach me, help me with my resume, and help me locate a new job, starting at about 37k per year. That's in the ballpark of what I'm making after 10 years of turning wrenches.

I'm just looking for an out. I hate my job. I come home depressed, hoping that when I wake the next morning that the nightmare will end, but it doesn't. I tried the fixing computers thing, but there's no way I can compete with stores.
 

Mekanic01

Gawd
Joined
Jul 11, 2002
Messages
925
One more thing you might want to consider. Do you want to fix computers or maintain systems? Fixing computers is more work for less pay, and maintaining systems (networks, infrastucture) is "less" work for more pay yet takes longer and more learning to get into.

Another thing is dedication. You just gotta love what your doing or else you're just taking the courses to get the certs/degree and then know nothing.

I am more than willing to learn, and I am a fast learner. Networking I think is something I can do. Everything I've done with my computer, my wife's comp, my friends', reletives, etc, I learn on my own.
 

xtox

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 8, 2004
Messages
242
Is college not an option then? I'd like to think that it would be a heck of a lot better than getting a certificate or two from a company.
 

Mekanic01

Gawd
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Jul 11, 2002
Messages
925
Is college not an option then? I'd like to think that it would be a heck of a lot better than getting a certificate or two from a company.

I'm 32, with a wife and two kids. I can't afford to get busted down to part time to go to a tech school or whatever. Not only that, but if I try to go to school and work both full-time, I'll be a wreck. I won't have time to see my wife and kids at all, and when I do I'll be so stressed out, that I'm not pleasant to be around.
 

xtox

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 8, 2004
Messages
242
I'm 32, with a wife and two kids. I can't afford to get busted down to part time to go to a tech school or whatever. Not only that, but if I try to go to school and work both full-time, I'll be a wreck. I won't have time to see my wife and kids at all, and when I do I'll be so stressed out, that I'm not pleasant to be around.

I can understand. There are some guys in my class in the same situation as you (wife, kids), but somehow managed to drop their job and enroll on a two year course!
 

aaronearles

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 31, 2006
Messages
2,016
I can't even imagine, I'm 20 - live at home, and work and go to school both full time, and I can tell you I am STRESSED, I'm so sick of it already.

If it's anything like that computertraining.com, which it sounds identical, I would suggest avoiding it. It's a lot of money to throw away for near nothing. I have heard terrible things about them, and trying to find a job after completing their course.

Some people (read Not Me) can learn on their own, with just books, it might be a good way to start if you can make the time to use them, but what I'm seeing in school is that I don't really need a teacher to read the book to me, and that's all their doing at their own pace which can be too fast or too slow for me. If you need to ask a question about something in the book, there are hundreds of people here that are usually willing to help.

I wish you goodluck, I know it's hard.
 

exstyle

n00b
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
59
I would recommend you check out a few tech schools in your area. Specifically, have a talk with the financial aid department, I've met several people in your position, who are recieving financial aid to go back to school, it may be something to at least have a look at. If you cannot get financial aid to go full time, then ask yourself how much longer you can tolerate your current job. Remember tech schools are designed for people in your position, you can always take one or two courses a semester, so your not overloaded.

Where are you located, some of us may be able to tell you more about what is available in your area.
 

StarTrek4U

Gawd
Joined
Jan 8, 2003
Messages
1,011
I'm not sure where you are in WI (I'm in Madison) and I can tell you without a doubt that you would be much better off going to any of the Technical colleges in WI and getting an associates degree in IT than going to PC Pro-Schools or anything similar. A degree is going to expose you to different technologies more in-depth than what you will learn with PC Pro's. It honestly boils down to where you want to be a few years from now. The PC Pros way will have you still sitting doing the job you were originally hired for years after you got it. A degree (of any type) will give you a leg up right out of the gate and will give you an avenue for advancement in a shorter period of time. I know many larger employers (and most employers in general) limit how far you can go based on your education level.

I realize that your job sucks but I truly believe that without taking some time to switch careers the "right" way will leave you in the same position you are now a few years down the road, just sitting at a desk instead of under a truck.
 

Mak

Limp Gawd
Joined
Oct 14, 2005
Messages
150
Community college might still be an option for you. The place where I go has both night classes designed for the working professional and the morning classes for the typical college aged kid. They offer networking/computer classes at night. Usually the classes run for about two months, two days a week, for two and a half hours a night.

For example, Cisco Routing/Routers is 6pm to 835pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. After those two months are finished you can sign up for another course and repeat the process. Once you get all of your technical learning down, finish out the AA degree with english, science, math, history, etc by taking an online course, taking it once a week at night, etc. It certainly won't hurt to consider this an option and I think it will lead you to a better position in IT.
 

Mekanic01

Gawd
Joined
Jul 11, 2002
Messages
925
Thanks for the advice everybody. With your comments, and some research I did, I decided that I'm not ready to spend the next fifteen years of my life paying off a $25k loan for what could more than likely turn out to be nothing.
 

bob

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Joined
Feb 13, 2002
Messages
2,971
I'm not a car mechanic, I'm a semi-trailer mechanic. And while you may have heard that mechanics make good money, you probably haven't heard that mechanics have to buy their own tools. And over time, tools break.
Not to mention your body ends up breaking, one way or another. Back, hips, knees, shoulders, hands... it all starts to go to shit after decades of handling heavy parts, chemicals, breathing in the junk that is always in the air... Asbestoes from brakes, benzene from fuels and exaust... Lots of fun. It makes me nervous seeing those "This is known to the state of california to cause causer" on everything I have to handle.

What I was told about pc pro, was that they would teach me, help me with my resume, and help me locate a new job, starting at about 37k per year. That's in the ballpark of what I'm making after 10 years of turning wrenches.
I cant really comment much on the pay, but if it were myself... Ignore any pay/wage-numbers anyone says, unless they are actually naming several past students "These students went to work for company x, started out at xx, and are now making xxx". Some of the college recruiters ive listened to, gave out some fairly laughable numbers. The best ive heard so far was $30.00hr starting out, for an auto mechanic. And by best, I mean "best one that nearly made me literally roll on the floor and laugh my ass off".

Where I live right now, some of the heavy equipment/truck shops pay less than what retail stores pay, for someone who even has a college degree. Bag groceries for $10/hr, or repair/replace parts that weigh 5x as much as you do, for $10/hr. Hmm... Tough choice...one is easy (mentally and physically), and gives me a discount on every-day stuff I buy, the other doesn't. Its all dependant on where you live, what company you work for, how bad they want an employee, and what they will have you do.

I'm just looking for an out. I hate my job. I come home depressed, hoping that when I wake the next morning that the nightmare will end, but it doesn't. I tried the fixing computers thing, but there's no way I can compete with stores.
Sure you know what you are getting into, when you go to chose a new school/career path. Also be sure that you know why you hate your job. I cant give any examples on this, but Im not quite sure if computer-related jobs are any more promising when you consider the bitching/wining/moaning (customers/managers, etc). At least with mechanical things, you can beat the shit out of a transmission while taking it out/putting it back in, and feel slightly better. If I honestly thought I could sit for 40+ hours a week and deal with computers/people complaining about computers, without being on drugs, I would definatley be at a university right now for a masters/bachelors degree. Its not that drugs are bad, but its just that they are too expensive to consider it as a worthwhile option. But, for me, computers/electronics type stuff... its the stuff (even worse than retail), that makes me want to go home and drink half a bottle of whiskey. Maybe its just me... but there are things I can do, and do rather well, occasionaly as a hobby... and those are usually the same things that would make me insane if I had to do it every day, forever. Ive somewhat done things with electronics and computers as a job, it really is debatable whether it is more of a will-to-live vacuum than retail. Again, just me... but, consider what you hate about your job, and consider what your future job might have.

There is quite a bit out there for jobs, from best-buy computer repair service, up to engineering. And, don't overlook community-colleges. Some are good, some arnt... But it is probably the cheapest way to go, assuming you can magically free up about 10 hours a day, from morning to afternoon.
 
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