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19 Years experience but no degree

By jw ·
I have 19 years experience in IT but I have no degrees. I am the sole IT person for a company w/4 locations and 60 users. I have no formal education but have kept systems up for 6 years at my current employer with only 1 day of down time. I am trying to find a new job but no one wants someone with no formal education or degree. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to better improve my odds? I do not have time for classes as I work 12-14 hrs a day in various locations.

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I agree

by ian In reply to Stop

46 Years of age and I've decided to go back into full time education to get my degree. Not knowing where you live, is there an open university, somewhere you can work from home and get the qualifications you need.

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Enroll in a degree program

by ITIL consultant In reply to I agree

I was in the same quandry last year. I started back to school and listed it on my resume. I listed some of the cert courses I had attended, too, even though I didn't have the cert. Together, it made the phone ring.

There are many online universities now and it provides the flexibility to get your degree while still meeting your current time demands.

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Work on interview skills

by birthdaycake In reply to Stop

I recently applied for a job after 15 years at the same place. I went to work there straight out of college and didn't have to interview. So when I got this interview, I was about to go in there and wing it. My wife, who helps interview at her job, asked me a few questions, and it was obvious my approach wasn't going to work. I found all of the popular interview questions and wrote out answers. Then when I was asked those questions, I had an answer. I got the job.

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Referrals & Networking

by onbliss In reply to 19 Years experience but n ...

Few days ago, I caught a bit of a radio program. What I gathered was that the number of jobs that get filled in via referrals is high. (Was it 50%?) The "expert" suggested to improve networking and contacts.

There is a chance that you might be able squeeze in your resume to the right person via your contacts.

I would recommend you to make a list of all your contacts and then start touching base with them.

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Maybe a bit hard answer but...

by Ou Jipi je In reply to 19 Years experience but n ...

you say you got 19 years of experience. By posting of this question however, sorry I would not hire you either, even if you would have a number of degrees.

With 19 years of experience in IT you _know_ what you need to do.

"I am trying to find a new job but no one wants someone with no formal education or degree." - well if this is the case get a f*^&ing degree or some kind of a certification at the level of 19 years of experience. Or is this not an answer you were expecting?

That said, I have _never_ met an IT person with 19 years of experience who has ever asked a question like this or more, a person with 19 years of experience who has a trouble of finding of a job.

I know a few IT guys with years of experience who got quite far in this business who did not even finished a high school. Many of those (99%) however don't need to look for a new job, they can pick one.

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Hard answer

by jdclyde In reply to Maybe a bit hard answer b ...

bottom line, you give the employer what they want.

If you don't have what they want, you either get it, or stop crying and find a different employer that wants what you DO have to offer.

The sob story about not having time to get the training is just an excuse. Get the training or get a job that does not require it. simple really.

Yes, I go to school at night (six cretits) and work about 50 hours. (more with travel time added in)

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Job Hunt..

by dennis In reply to Maybe a bit hard answer b ...

The formal education with Certs is the only way to go. Some companies require you to have a Bachelor's Degree for certain positions because it is considered management. May not have the Manager's title but it is still considered Management. Now sometimes an Associates Degree with many years of experience will qualify you for the job, but in today's climate, it's all about who employers can disqualify... No degree, No Job. I am not currently looking myself, but I do keep up with what is being looked for. They start out with a B.S. in a Technology field. A lot of companies ask for it to be in Computer Science or Equivalent. CIS, MIS, CIT, Ecommerce and Information Systems are what companies are looking for. As for the other posts a well rounded person is not always the best fit for large companies, but smaller companies will take you over a person who just knows Microsoft...

That's my two cents worth.

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Hard answer is right!

by Gabby22 In reply to Maybe a bit hard answer b ...

Right on. If you've got the experience, and the employer needs that experience, you'll get hired, but only if you can express this experience well in your application and interview.

I've got 2 degrees, from 35 years ago. Big deal. No-one important cares about degrees for job in IT when you're over 30, 40, 50. Not a problem when you've got what they want and can show them that.

I've known employers to use an excuse like this because they didn't like something else, like your age, your presentation, your attitude, whatever.

Don't waste your time getting paperwork unless it's directly related to what you want to do, ie you genuinely learn new skills, otherwise it's money down the drain.

Spend the effort on getting your resume right first, and then work on your interview skills.

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lardo, give him a break

by jcgonzalez In reply to Maybe a bit hard answer b ...

WTF this guy Lardo is nuts, yeah i agree Certs and a Degree are the way to go, but dont forget to polish up your interview skills.


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Take a stand

by alfa_male In reply to 19 Years experience but n ...

I was in a similar situation: long hours, experience but no formal IT qualification (degree in French and Italian ..!). If lack of a degree is stopping you getting interviews there is no remedy but to get degree - with your experience you could skip straight to a Masters degree which is what I have done; these courses are good:

Be warned though: THERE IS NO WAY YOU WILL GET ANY DEGREE WORKING 12 - 14 HOURS A DAY. You will have to cut back to 8 hours; it sounds like you're pretty important to your employer so hopefully you can do this. Whilst your working 12 - 14 hours / day for them you're losing your opportunity to improve your skills and get a better job.

Another option is to get certification - if you know your stuff you can do this quite quickly. I quit the job I didn't like and got MCAD certification within 4 weeks. Hard work but worth it and I got a job within another 2 weeks and now work for a much better company which is actually paying for my MSc.

Tell them you need certification and show them how it will benefit them. Ask for study leave and for them to pay for the course. They may not do so but it is worth a try.

I was stuck with a s**t employer for 5 years until I did something about it; bad employers will just suck you dry. There are jobs out there, you just have to make yourself as employable as possible and you should be able to take your pick.

Good luck

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