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I'm a little late to this conversation, and like the original poster I am in central CT. I don't want to sound discouraging in pursuing an IT career but I'm getting out of mine. In the 90's It was all the rage and it was easy to get into with a few certifications. However the IT field has changed dramatically and it is not the powerhouse profession it once was. As an IT contractor I have watched my income drop by about 30% a year over the last three years and this year is the breaking point. Im getting out.

For instance in the early 90s starting pay for a desktop support technician made an average of $45k, today the same position starts in the low 20Ks.

I had an interview a year and a half ago and started introducing myself. First question was "are you willing to work for $12 an hour." I thanked them for their time and ended the meeting. Fast forward to current day and guess what, last two jobs i applied for were the same, $12.10 an hour. You know what else pays $12.10 an hour? A cashier job at Aldies (grocery store). I know the works is a lot more basic then when I did high end engineering/architecture IT work, but to go from $80/hr to $12 is sad.

Personally, I'm not committed to putting in 70 hours a week for the high paying jobs or the contracts for a 60 hour project done in 4 business days. I have a family and that is my priority. There are plenty of young ambitious people with no distractions that can put in the time and commitment. I know i was once one of them.

As mentioned the jobs are out there, and I interview often and I always ask how many resumes did they receive and how many people are the interviewing and it consistently been over 100 and under 10.

If you would like to pursue a job in IT, I would recommend learning to program in C++, some SQL/database, and some basic networking. As things become more automated, there are fewer positions for infrastructure support (hardware). As companies move to outsourced hosting of applications and data (cloud computing) custom software application will need to be rewritten to accommodate the new infrastructure change.

If you're looking for specific certifications, I would suggest the MCPD in Web Developer 4 on Visual Studio 2010

But the best advice i can give is walk on over to your local IT department and see if there is anything you can do to help out or see if anyone can mentor you.
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