Long time lurker; First time poster.
Got a couple questions I'm hoping someone can answer for me... Currently I'm 26 and work in the field IT. I'm looking to make a career move into Data/Telecom but I'm not sure if I'm going in the correct direction:
For the longest time I've wanted to work for a union in the field of telecommunications / construction but my skill set is in routers, switches, nodes, operating systems, hardware, frame, TCP/IP, etc. I don't have any formal training as many of you do and my Bachelors is not a applied science type degree... however everything that I have learned about networks, routing and computers was self taught and has paid off thus far.
Currently I'm employed by a large corporation in downtown Chicago and I'm getting deathly bored with my daily cubical life. I'm afraid that much like other IT areas, mine will be outsourced and I would love to make a break for it before this happens.
It's funny; when I walk past the AT&T CO downtown I always see guys outside eating lunch so I stop by and ask: "How can I get in the door with AT&T?" and the answer is always the same: "Ummm not too sure these days... check the website." So I've been checking the website and never see a damn thing.
I would love to work anywhere where I can use my hands and brain especially behind the scenes at a CO, NOC or with Data/Telecom out in the field, but I know 0 people who can give me insight as to how to start. Everything I have learned is by asking workers and observing work crews in DuPage county. I know you guys exist cause I see you all the time working at the PEDs with laptops and flukes. A while back when I was contacting I knew the AT&T guy in Local 21 briefly; he told me never to try for the C-Card in Chicago because I'll "be on the bench for a long time." Then again he was the PBX dude and he metioned that not even his kids would be encuraged to attempt what I'm doing.
So far I have applied to be an C-Card apprentice for Local 701 and have my test November 3rd - But I'm not sure if this is the correct union to enter especailly since AT&T is Local 21.
Is this C-Card different from the unions which work with the large Telecom's? How can I work for a AT&T, Verizon, etc on the backend of things where I can do new construction installs, config, testing, etc? Do I need another Bachelors?
Any info you guys can provide me will be much appreciated - Thank you.