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  • #2257038

    Am I wasting my time, should I quit?


    by kj7gs ·

    I’m an AF retiree, trying to make a career change. I have an Associate’s in IM, and a Bachelor’s in Business Info Systems.
    I’m currently working on a Master’s in Info Systems through UoP, interning with a Technical Support section at the local college, and studying for my CCNA.
    This is all very expensive and time-consuming for me, but I’m looking for — and counting on — some renumeration in future for all of my efforts.

    Or am I wasting my time? What are the hiring prospects for what I’m doing & the way I’m doing it?

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3228603

      Education is never a bas investment

      by jmgarvin ·

      In reply to Am I wasting my time, should I quit?

      I think the main question is, what did you do in the Air Force?

      To get into IT you’ll need 3 things
      1) Certs
      2) Experience
      3) Education

      Sometimes a masters degree will count for certs or experience, but don’t count on it. However, keep in mind, education can NEVER hinder your progress.

    • #3228570

      You have three things going against you …

      by too old for it ·

      In reply to Am I wasting my time, should I quit?

      1. Age. You are over 30, so you are over the hill.

      2. Military. You think that Islamic fascist hate the US military, you haven’t been in front of a HR manager recently.

      3. IT is a niche market. Try something with a future. Coffee shop owner. Suttler at civil war reenactments. Ferrier. You get my drift here.

      • #3228473


        by jmgarvin ·

        In reply to You have three things going against you …

        Oh man…I’m glad I’m not the only one that is cynical about the IT mess.

        1) Ya, if you are over 30, not only are you going to die any day, but it is possible you’ll give the “old” to the other folks at the office

        2) Military can work against you..or it can work for you. Apply at the national labs (Sandia and LANL are in New Mexico and quite good about dealing with ex-military)

        3) IT seems to have no place in the corporate world any more. Things just magically work…isn’t that what MS and IBM tell us?

        • #3228392

          On the other hand …

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to rotlmao

          … since he doesn’t have any real experience the HR managers will put him at the head of the line. I think that the real problem with age is the expectation of having experience in the field. Managers hate to hire people who know what they are doing so an old newbie might be almost as appealing as a young newbie.

          I think that the master’s degree has some potential for providing new opportunities. If you think in terms of management then any master’s degree qualifies anyone to be the manager of any department. Well, that’s the corporate thinking anyway.

          Edited for spelling correction only.

        • #3228135


          by too old for it ·

          In reply to On the other hand …

          Those who can, do.
          Those who can’t, teach.
          Those who don’t have a clue, manage.

        • #3228117


          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to Management

          I’ve met many managers who fit that rule.

        • #3227927

          It’s even sinking to the fast food level.

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Indeed

          Saw someone at the local Wendy’s who had only been withthe franchise for a month. Was promoted to assistnat manager only because she was a language major at the local university and spoke about 4.

          OTOH, my buddy in Boston has a degree form a artsy college in stage management, and keeps getting calls from firms in virtually any other business tocome in and manage … generally the IT department. I guess they see the skills in web page development, and figure that is enough expertise.

      • #3227514

        Can work around age

        by rob_o ·

        In reply to You have three things going against you …

        I changed into IT at the tender age of 34 – from psychology of all things. Yes, it was tough getting recruiters to take me seriously, but I kept at it – and I had done courses proving I knew which end of a computer the smoke comes out. Eventually somebody who understood that ‘with age comes maturity’ gave me a job and I haven’t looked back.

        But it might take a while… I don’t honestly think a masters degree would have made much difference – I needed to get hands-on real quick to prove myself.

        • #3227402

          I agree – get a Cert or two before any post-grad degree.

          by absolutely ·

          In reply to Can work around age

          If you want to teach about theory of information processing and never touch a computer, get post-grad IT degrees. If you want to [i]work[/i] in the field, spend a few hundred dollars and a few months on some CompTIA tests.

        • #3227960


          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to I agree – get a Cert or two before any post-grad degree.

          A masters degree will push you into management and a PhD relegates you to the universities or national labs.

          However, a masters degree is sometimes taken as experience, so it’s a tightrope walk.

        • #3227837

          Recent Education

          by w2ktechman ·

          In reply to Can work around age

          is a good thing in this field. A masters should help, certs are great as well. Usually the age thing seems to be mostly for people who have done the work, but do not have any ‘recent’ training.
          Also, to help get a foot in the door for me, I found a local computer recycling center and volunteered 2 days a week. It seemed to help a bit.

      • #3227833


        by dawgit ·

        In reply to You have three things going against you …

        100% right, but 100% ouch too. I found out the hard way just how true you are about that. A whole lot of folks talk like they support the Mil. but when one retires, they find a different reality. (even worse for one with a disability) Sad, yes, too true. Reality is the Mil. is staring from scratch, competing with 20-somethings, (they’re now your peer-group), constantly trying to catch up. (with: well, while you out playing ‘Army’ we were……. ) Education is certainly one way to leverage yourself, but at your age (& experiance) people expect MA/MS or Dr. paper. One’s best bet is to go straight for the management slots, then your Experiance will count. (NO, not little stuff management either) just my 2 euro cents. I still like your coffee shop idea.-d

      • #3227687

        Wake up call

        by cely ·

        In reply to You have three things going against you …

        It seems to me that employers need a wakeup call. Demographics are changing and the workforce is getting older. What happens when you run out of 20 – 30 year old pipsqueaks?

      • #3228976

        Not too old

        by roger99a ·

        In reply to You have three things going against you …

        One third of the people in my department started in IT after age 30. One was an MP in the Army before. I think the age thing is a myth, or at least it no longer applies now that computers have been common for 25 years.

    • #3228310

      From one to another

      by nicknielsen ·

      In reply to Am I wasting my time, should I quit?

      As a USAF retiree myself, let me state up front that none of your plans will work out the way you think they will. That said, you may be surprised at where they take you.

      None of what you are doing will hurt. If you can get more experience or already have some, that’s even better. The paper (degrees and certifications) says you know something, but experience shows you can do it.

      Unless you are applying for a management position, DO NOT mention your management experience from the AF on your resume. You may use subsets of that experience (prioritizes well, organizes work, etc.), but anything more will probably not apply to an entry-level position. (You did say career change, so I’m assuming your AF job was not direct IT.)

      If you wish to work for a larger employer, you may be better off applying to one of the government facilities there. Although the comments tongue-in-cheek, age does seem to have a bearing on the hiring decisions at the “hot” IT companies.

      It’s late & I’m tired, so this is all I can think of right now. If you have questions or would like more help, go ahead and PM me.

    • #3228170

      Where do you WANT to work?

      by maevinn ·

      In reply to Am I wasting my time, should I quit?

      Most IT on base is handled by civilians now–either DoD employees or contractors. So, get the degrees, get some experience, and shop the military bases. They LOVE hiring former military–you already know so much about how a base functions, you already have security clearance, etc. Check into Northrop Grummon, bd Systems, and Indyne (parent co to NG). All have job listings on their web pages, though sometimes NG lags behind and you’ll get more current info by calling them directly at the base you are interested in working at.

    • #3228103


      by ericl_w199 ·

      In reply to Am I wasting my time, should I quit?

      why do people in the millitary think that because they were in the service they are entitled to a job “just because”.

      • #3228087


        by ed woychowsky ·

        In reply to job

        While I?m not ex-military I can guess that maybe it has something to do with their giving us the opportunity to stay home. There are also other possibilities as well, like the ability to remain cool in a crisis because once you?ve been shot at everything else is a minor problem. There is also the fact that in the military the Pointy-Haired-Boss can have you shot, which makes the civilian PHB a breeze to deal with.

        • #3228083


          by ericl_w199 ·

          In reply to Because

          Considering our millitary is voluntary.If you want to stay home then dont join.My cousin is a marine,he fixes generators why should he be given special treatment when he didnt even carry a gun much less get shot at.

        • #3228066


          by ed woychowsky ·

          In reply to but

          Your cousin has experience fixing generators, that can be applicable in a number of non-military positions. Or, should it be ignored in favor of somebody that just took a six-month course in fixing generators?

        • #3228058

          Further to Ed’s point

          by tig2 ·

          In reply to Experience

          Where is the poster stating that he deserves preferential treatment? I don’t see that- I see that he is asking current professionals their professional opinion.

          Also- retired from the Air Force… Isn’t it possible that in a 20 year (minimum) career he might have gained 20 years of training? Should that be ignored? How about the education he has already gained?

          Or is civilian experience somehow better than military experience? If so, why?

          You can speak to one example, I can speak to a wider number. Show me your citations that validate that a man with 20 years of active service is somehow LESS qualified than others in his range.

        • #3227488

          Much, much further..

          by jsharsky-3 ·

          In reply to Further to Ed’s point

          The military teaches teamwork, responsibility, and self-discipline. And anybody who undercuts the huge personal and professional advantages gained from 4 years in the military doesn’t have any idea what they are talking about.

          Ex-military should get the job first!

        • #3227951

          You answered you own question

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to but

          Military service is hard. Lemme walk you through it.

          1) Basic Training: 8-13 weeks of 100% physical activity on 2-4 hours of sleep a night (sometimes no sleep). If you can get through basic training you are not only in good physical condition, but you are mentally prepared for a ton of stuff.

          2) Advanced training: You get indepth training on whatever your job will be. Schools typically last anywhere between 4-52 weeks. You know whatever you are doing inside and out.

          3) Duty Station: You have to deal with your job along with various equipment that is assigned to you. You have to stay in top physical shape and continue to get educated. You have to maintain logs, equipment, contacts, and your reports (people under you). At most duty stations you will be required to drop everything and move out with little notice.

          This isn’t even getting into the amount of cross training that you have to do. In todays military, you typically have a laundry list of job duties that are unrelated.

          So why should military people be given special treatment? Because they volunteered to get shot at. They can multitask very effectively. And the best part is you know they work well under pressure.

        • #3227912

          Boot Camp

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to You answered you own question

          At least in the Marines, everyone is trained to be a combat infantryman.

          This means you have learned to shoot your rifle, and hit your target, have a nodding familiarity with handguns, mortars, flame throwers, land mines, hand grenades.

          Heck, learn all that and the corporate battlefield is a cake walk.

        • #3227885

          Too bad…

          by jellimonsta ·

          In reply to Boot Camp

          you can’t use a flame thrower in the ‘Corporate Battelfield’ :p

        • #3227756

          Only a verbal flamethrower

          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to Too bad…

          Darn. 😀

        • #3227868

          military experience

          by colonel panijk ·

          In reply to but

          As has been pointed out by others, these people volunteered to get into a position where they might be shot at, [i]so that [b]you[/b] would be free to stay at home and not join[/i]. As has been pointed out, most have learned teamwork, discipline, and at least some basic skills. That’s better than most high school grads (or dropouts).

          If I were in a position to make hiring decisions, all other things being more or less equal I would lean towards someone with military experience. At least, I’d hire retired officers (commissioned or non-com). They’ve had to prove themselves as leaders and that they can get things done. I’m not so sure about enlisted personnel. Just because some of them have been in the military doesn’t mean they’re qualified for anything beyond pushing a broom. Unfortunately, the military has its share of doofuses and slackers, too. Anything less than an honorable discharge is right out.

          Some posters have talked about skills and advanced training that military personnel pick up. I’d be careful to find out [i]exactly[/i] what those skills are before hiring. Replacing vacuum tubes in a 50 year old B-52’s avionics isn’t exactly good preparation for working with digital electronics. Working with an electromechanical targeting “computer” designed back in WWII isn’t exactly programming experience. Beyond knowing which end of a soldering iron to pick up, they [i]may[/i] have no skills useful in civilian life. Knowing how to waste a crowd with a machine gun isn’t something I’d consider vital for employment (except, perhaps, for police and related fields). With luck, they have picked up skills that would be useful to my business, but check out those skills carefully!

        • #3227828

          sooo right Colonel.!.

          by dawgit ·

          In reply to military experience

          ..managing to bring ‘home’ somebody else’s Tank does make for some good (and now funny) stories, but it sure won’t get one a job.

        • #3227746

          Equipment is newer than that!

          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to military experience

          Col P, the USAF went solid state in the B-52 in the 80s and was upgrading to ICs when I retired in 1999. :p

          Just a side note, less than 25% of the military are actual primary mission “waste a crowd” combat soldiers. Everybody else is in support roles: admin, finance, supply, communications, transporation, etc. That doesn’t mean they can’t “waste a crowd,” it just means that their primary duties are to make sure the “waste a crowd” soldiers have what they need to do the job.

        • #3229015

          Lots of high tech stuff too

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to military experience

          While I played with my share of HF radios, I did deal a LOT with UHF, FM, and microwave. Hell, when I was in Tropo was being phased out as well as all HF.

          Don’t forget that the military is usually a hodge podge of equipment for super high tech to super low tech. ‘Course I can honestly say that I have no idea how to program an electromechanical targeting “computer,” but I can say that I’ve dealt with the innards of some electronics that would make you wonder why it isn’t in the civilian world (although some it is making its way into cell phones and laptops).

          You do make a good point and even with employees you should remember caveat emptor!

      • #3228078

        Who said anything about special treatment?

        by maevinn ·

        In reply to job

        Huh? Where are you seeing anyone say they DESERVE a civilian position because they were in the military? Saying that they should get to compete for a position same as anyone who never served in the armed forces, sure. I’ve seen far more non-military think they DESERVE a job just because they can breath.

        As for them being voluntary–you know how you appreciate someone who volunteers to do something so you don’t have to? Well, then shut up and appreciate the fact that they volunteer. Nope, no one is forced to serve–but that makes it all the more valuable that so many men and women are willing to do so–even those who will never be shot at.

        • #3228057


          by ericl_w199 ·

          In reply to Who said anything about special treatment?

          the guy said i am retired AF in the first sentence.obviously he is highlighting that fact.yes im bored so keep it coming if you like.and no i dont care about your opinion.and no i dont work for free so volunteer all you

        • #3228037


          by maevinn ·

          In reply to hey

          If I say that I’m a woman looking for a sys admin job, does that mean I think I deserve preferential treatment for my gender. If it does in your tiny little embattled brain, that’s your misfortune–you’re going to miss many great opportunities.

        • #3228034


          by ericl_w199 ·

          In reply to So…

          most wemon believe they should get preferential treatment for anything.

        • #3228032

          Watch it buddy

          by tig2 ·

          In reply to heh

          That is absolutely untrue and a remark not acceptable here regardless.

          The women on this forum are IT professionals and do NOT care to have to deal with garbage like that here. We already put up with it in our day to day.

          While you may have met women that fit that category, you may do well to remember that you are speaking to a much wider audience here and globalisation is never to your credit.

          If that is all the constructive comment you can add, perhaps you would like to go play somewhere else?

          Incidentally, spelling is a great tool…

        • #3227651

          And Tig?

          by maecuff ·

          In reply to Watch it buddy

          He is also a great tool. What are the odds..

        • #3227641

          No worries

          by maevinn ·

          In reply to Watch it buddy

          Small minds always prove themselves. 😉

        • #3227947

          Beware the wrath of TiggeTwo!

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to Watch it buddy

          Wow, not only did you eat this guy up and spit him out, but you gnawed on his dead carcass.

          Good job Tigg!

        • #3227904

          Gee JM, I was trying to be nice

          by tig2 ·

          In reply to Watch it buddy

          Guess I came off a tad strong?

          I get so irritated when I get the globalised “these people” or “those people” remarks- all of them centred on the idea that people expect favouritism because of their age/gender/race/religion/past history. Nine out of ten cases it isn’t true and that 90% gets tired of being classified as the 10%.

          I must say, however that I rarly see that level of misogynist behaiviour here. In general, people treat each other well- even are protective of one another.

          I can’t see that guy being terribly successful here with that attitude.

        • #3229013

          I’m glad to see it though

          by jmgarvin ·

          In reply to Watch it buddy

          There are too many people in this world who think like he does and it really angers me…but it really took some guts to stand up to him and be CLASSY.

          I typically just ignore it, but your response was clear, strong, and dead on… 😉

        • #3227652


          by maecuff ·

          In reply to heh

          Is that so? That’s what most ‘wemon’ believe? Unless you’ve walked a few yards without that little appendage you have, you do NOT know what you’re talking about.


        • #3227625

          Oh I get it now!

          by kjell_andorsen ·

          In reply to hey

          Wow, to me it seemed the original poster had this weird idea to provide his background so we can understand his situation better and thus provide more relevant answers. Obviously this is just some front for him demanding special treatment under the guise of being informative. The next time I get a tech-support question from someone who actually takes the time to accuratly describe their problem I will accuse them of wanting special treatment too. Thank you for helping me see through this devious ruse.

        • #3226573

          Thank you

          by kj7gs ·

          In reply to Oh I get it now!

          You said it perfectly, and my uniform is at home nicely hung up in a closet, I don’t plan to wear it to work. I have a passion for the IT life now, and I thank you for your answers up to this point. It’s going to be an uphill climb and there will be some sacrifice, but I’ll keep plugging away at this.

      • #3227614

        REALLY messed up on this one.

        by aureolin ·

        In reply to job

        What part of getting an Associates, Bachelor’s and Master’s degree’s in order to qualify for a job is “just expecting to be handed a job when I get out of the military”???

        There may be people who believe that – this guy isn’t one of them.

        Steve G.

      • #3227607

        He doesn’t expect special treatment

        by nicknielsen ·

        In reply to job

        He expects [b]equal[/b] treatment in the workplace, because that’s what he has been exposed to for at least 20 years.

        Unfortunately for retired military, we all too often run into the same prejudice you display in your post.

        • #3227422

          There isn’t a hint of ENTITLEMENT…

          by dinky123 ·

          In reply to He doesn’t expect special treatment

          The poor guys is just an honest citizen trying to get a decent life by working hard towards what he thinks will help provide for him and his family! So what’s the fuss about? Only insecure people will feel intimidated. I’m actually impressed by that sense of determination and discipline. Stop lampooning the guys for trying his best!

        • #3227421

          There isn’t a hint of ENTITLEMENT…

          by dinky123 ·

          In reply to He doesn’t expect special treatment

          The poor guys is just an honest citizen trying to get a decent life by working hard towards what he thinks will help provide for him and his family! So what’s the fuss about? Only insecure people will feel intimidated. I’m actually impressed by that sense of determination and discipline. Stop lampooning the guy for trying his best!

        • #3227817


          by dawgit ·

          In reply to He doesn’t expect special treatment

          Well put. Thanks. Personally I for sure, would NOT work for or with a runt like this wanabe squirt.

      • #3227923

        Because they do.

        by too old for it ·

        In reply to job

        .. and unless you have slogged through some mis-begotten battlefield with an ill-defined enemy, a government without a plan, and a civilian population who would rather spit on you and call you “baby killer”, then just leave it alone and accept it as gospel.

        • #3227815

          Yup, that’s just about…

          by dawgit ·

          In reply to Because they do.

          …says it all. Well done. (& Thanks too.) -d

      • #3227916


        by a. g. ·

        In reply to job

        I can tell you a couple of reasons that the military hires former military.
        1. Former military know how things work in military situations. It’s not what you think about following orders and such. It goes beyond that into knowing who is influential, you can’t just tell by rank, position has a lot to do with it too.
        2. Former military people know where the bodies are buried. After 30 years or so the retirees know who to see, how much influence they have…

        Finally there is the whole regulation thing. There are regulations that cover just about every situation in the IT world. In the US Army it’s AR25-2 and in my job as a civilian contractor for a military organization I deal with it daily. Former military already know this stuff and don’t have to be taught.
        I’ve been in my present job for just over 13 months and since I’m a civilian I’m constantly finding new rules that I need to study.


      • #3229018

        Missed the mark.

        by quandary ·

        In reply to job

        I think that you might be over-generalizing things. Most military members that seek employment after their time-in-service is over do not feel they are entitled to a job “just because”. I served my 4 years as a medic in the Air Force. I am 1 year from my B.S. in Software Engineering. I work hard for everything I have and for everything I will have. Now, before anyone tries to put any words in my mouth, I am not saying civilians are not hard working. I also agree that some military members think they are qualified for jobs that they are not (not the majority). I do think that most people that have no prior military experience do not understand what being in the military entails. I was a medical technician. I also worked in every part of a hospital possible. I was also the Haz-mat coordinator for my clinic. I helped redesign and impliment the Physical Health Assessment program (software and training material) that is currently used Air Force wide. I was also the system administrator for 2 clinics (30+ computers) and a database administrator. I also handled insurance billing (ICD-9 coding, etc.). Yet, I was only a medical technician. My point is on average, no matter what the military member was skilled for, their range of experience, discipline, and responsibilty is greater than what you would find in a comparable civilian job.

        • #3228955

          Mistaken Civilian Thinking

          by tig2 ·

          In reply to Missed the mark.

          In a study whose citation I cannot find off hand, it was determined that most civilians consider themselves to be on equal footing with the Officer cadre, and consider themselves to be above any non-com.

          In truth, I personally know a variety of senior ranked non-coms who chose to stay non-com despite qualifying for Officer status. Reason? They wanted to continue to “work for a living”.

          Ask the average guy/gal in the service. My ex didn’t do 22 years because it was a stable job or a good job or had the best prospects for employment after retirement. He did those 22 years because of a belief in his country and a desire to train the new guys.

          We have to consider that the non-com is the “worker-bee” of military service. Does that mean that I think that Officers bring nothing to the table? No. They bring something different.

          The wealth of experience and knowledge that the retired military brings to the table far surpasses the civilian of the same age, primarily because the exposure that the former military person has is so much broader.

        • #3228773

          There’s an attitude toward career military

          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to Mistaken Civilian Thinking

          Since your ex was career mil, you have probably run into it: “He’s a lifer because he can’t handle it on the outside.” I don’t know where it started or even why (I think it has to do with disgruntled draftees), but it is still out there today and this boy has it.

          The father of one of my high school friends once asked me why I had stayed in. He knew “I could handle civilian life.” I happened to have a copy of my last performance report with me and showed him my job description (HF equipment maintenance, shop safety, maintenance control, supply, etc. His response was that at his company (one of the Fortune 50 at the time), it took four people to do that work in one shop.

    • #3227512

      Been there & Done that — Hang in there

      by old-fart-iv ·

      In reply to Am I wasting my time, should I quit?

      You appear to be in a similar circumstance that I faced a decade ago at Retirement: 20+ years Electronics Systems Technician, 6 years Supervisor/Management experience, BS Engineering degree & working on MBA

      All I can do is to pass on my experience and what I learned from others and hope that it assists you:

      I had the same doubts and frustration while looking for a post-retirement job — especially after going through the interview processs and being informed by either HR, or the Manager, that I was “over qualified” for the position currently open: 1st time I was not too concerned, but after hearing it a few more time — I got concerned. During a class on how to find a job (that included a few unemployed technical workers), an HR specialists and retired Company Manager spelled it out for us — Age and years of Experience usually works against you, you have to turn this situation around and demonstrate how your experience will benefit the company.

      Hang in there — it took 4 months, but I finally was hired at just above Engry-Level for an Engineering position. Once my foot was in the door, I used my experience and people skills, along with some long hours, to energise a small group of people to get products to market faster with higher quality. I never did finish the MBADo not get too hung-up on making the “big bucks” right away and hiring bonuses are extremely rare – unless you have a “rare” skillset in high demand, or you have a TS/SCI clearance.

      Having been on both sides of the job seeking experience (as the interviewee and hiring decision maker), here is some advice. Get to know the company’s needs for the position advertised besides the obvious qualifications stated — what are the “traits” desired in the person selected for this position: must be a good fit within existing team; skilled communicator, especialy inter-personnel communication skills; demonstrated ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines while appearing calm; ability to work with little/no supervision while completing tasks in a timely manner; and how does the person deal with ambiguity in work assignments. Want to get hired into a position where your experiences, knowledge, and skills will be used? During the interview demonstrate to the employer the value of your knowledge, skill set, and judgement; and how hiring you will help them to meet the companies needs.

      Best of luck to you with the job search. 🙂

      • #3227393

        Don’t be fooled by over exaggerated claims

        by au-man ·

        In reply to Been there & Done that — Hang in there

        Many people are fooled by the exaggerated claims of certification/training schools who lead you to believe you will get out of school and people are out there ready to pay you the big bucks. Many well-off IT departments in large companies have several employees waiting in line for the next sys admin or top dog position paying the big bucks. You will find it very hard to obtain the better positions until you have some experience or have done some hard time with a company. I’d recommend you look into system sales -$$- with those qualifications. Or even teaching at the college or higher level. I am 40+ and a full time computer hardware engineer and teach free lance part time at local colleges. You may be very suprised how much those teachers “who can’t do” get paid.
        Good luck!

      • #3227811

        Good point rthere

        by dawgit ·

        In reply to Been there & Done that — Hang in there

        You have to spell it out to the company you’re interested in. Get to know them inside and out, just like you did in the mil. Then sell them on how your particular experiance / training WILL benefit them. (it’s just like a mil. mission) Get’s ’em every time. (they’re usually off guard with that approach)-d

    • #3227484

      Military years count toward retirement

      by problemsolversolutionseeker ·

      In reply to Am I wasting my time, should I quit?

      If you work for most governments.
      I, personally, could never do that. Government agencies are full of lazy people, and the work is boring.
      And the salaries are low.

      • #3227906

        But the benefits are good

        by too old for it ·

        In reply to Military years count toward retirement

        Generally 100% paid medical, and retirement.

        And union as well as civil service protection.

        All paid for on the taxpayers dime. So you don’t have to produce a thing.

        • #3227706

          Pls tell me you’re being facetious!

          by cmcfarla ·

          In reply to But the benefits are good

          I’ve spent most of my 35 working years in public service: military, federal, state, education. While I have to agree with you about the pay, I have always had to pay a share of my medical and retirement.

          Despite having a union, I went 5 years without a COLA. When we finally got one, it was completely wiped out by an increase in medical premiums, retirement contributions and even parking costs. It was more a Cost of Working Adjustment.

          Granted the vacation and sick leave accruals are good but as I’m in a job with no back-up, my vacations generally involve taking long weekends and then working weekends (without pay) to make sure the work gets done. For that matter I am usually at my desk for 10 hours a day and several hours on most weekends.

          Why do I do it? Well I spent a couple of years in the private sector but found that the focus on the almighty dollar was too demeaning. It isn’t about the money to me (fortunately). I want to feel as if I’m contributing, somehow, to something bigger than a buck.

          Every field, public or private sector, has its slackers. But in my experience, most people do their best.

        • #3228863


          by redgranite ·

          In reply to But the benefits are good

          I work for the federal gov’t and pay considerable premiums for health care. I also have to contribute for retirement (as I think it should be).

          As for union protection, psha! The unions are impotent. Where are they on the issue of negative salary growth being caused by illegal aliens?

          As for producing. . . everyone I work with works hard and produces much with little resources; and the resources keep shrinking.

    • #3227395

      Narrow your focus and specialize

      by bsj63 ·

      In reply to Am I wasting my time, should I quit?

      Given the ubiquity of information technology in today’s world, I think you would be well advised to increasingly narrow your focus and specialize in whatever area of IT you choose to work. Areas that currently seem to be in demand these days include security specialties and technical people skilled in IT project management.

      If you’re interested in working with networking technologies, for example, then you might consider focusing specifically on network and router security as a sub-specialty. Or you might consider project management, as a number of Federal agencies in particular currently are under a mandate to move to IPv6. For larger agencies, this will be a tremendous undertaking requiring management and people skills, as well as technical knowledge

      You might also consider working as a contract employee with a consulting company in order to break into a particular area. While the job security and the benefits may not be as attractive as permanent employment, it provides a way to gain exposure and build social networks at larger companies or agencies to which you might later want to jump.

      If you plan to work for the long term in the IT field, plan on continuing to learn. The field is ever-evolving. Those who continue to learn and adapt can do well and whereas those who don’t increasingly find themselves marginalized. Very few of us in IT can expect to end our careers doing the same type of work we were doing when we started, but with change comes opportunity to learn, to grow, and to advance.

    • #3227386

      Finish that Masters!

      by poordirtfarmer ·

      In reply to Am I wasting my time, should I quit?

      Nah. You?re not too old! And stress junkie is right ? a Masters in almost anything puts you name near the top of the stack. Just be enthusiastic, people-friendly, and ADAPTABLE.

      We recently hired a middle aged ex-school teacher with a fresh MBA, and a gung ho retired mail carrier with just a Bachelors. Both had familiarity with computer technology on paper, but were hired for the IT department?s business office. Both are working out fine.

    • #3228022

      UofP could be a problem

      by jhogue1 ·

      In reply to Am I wasting my time, should I quit?

      There is an interesting thread also going about the value and employability of U of Phoenix degrees. You might want to read that one also.

      Depending on the individual HR person doing the screening UofP can be a liability.

      • #3226567


        by kj7gs ·

        In reply to UofP could be a problem

        That’s kind of what drove this post. It’s tough getting through this Master’s, and if the employers have assumptions about UoP and the military, sometimes I wonder if all this effort is just spinning my wheels.

    • #3227965

      It would depend

      by officetrouble ·

      In reply to Am I wasting my time, should I quit?

      Well I have my degree in IT and I have a great job in a small office. I love my job, yea it is very frustrating but I always have to tell myself that they did not go to school for IT so they don?t know. Users can be very stubborn about that fact that they did not do a thing to get there computer to mess up, but 95% of the problems with computer are the users and the other thing is that not every time you know what the problem is and you need t do research on it. I would not let it frustrate you out of getting your degree but I would recommend maybe getting something that you can mix with your IT degree for instance I am an accountant and IT person in my office so I get to mix it up and it breaks the monotony. E-commerce employee if what they call that. Jack of all trades, master of one, however you want to put it.

    • #3227920

      Be realistic

      by spook0 ·

      In reply to Am I wasting my time, should I quit?

      I depends are where you want to go with your training. When all is said and done, without some “in the trenches” experience, you’re not likely to start very high on the ladder on the operational side. That said, if you have been honing your people skills during your AF experience to go along with your technical knowlege, you should have a chance to advance rather quickly past the trenches. It depends a lot on how broad your exposure and understanding to the ideas of effective management is and your ability to communicate them.

    • #3227902

      Do whats right for you

      by mseaman ·

      In reply to Am I wasting my time, should I quit?

      I had a career change also and chose the IT field. I recieved my AS in Networking technologies and received my A+ and Network+ certifications. Could not find a job. I started my bachlors degree and took on an internship trying to gain experience. I now finally started working in the field as a Desktop Support Tech. What I found that is most important to employers is experience and Certifications. I have taken a break from optaining my BS and started on my CCNA and MCP Certs working toward my MCSA. I have seen some employers wanting the BA or BS but mostly experience and certs is what is wanted. Stay with the internship and gain the experience and get those Certs. That is my opinion.


    • #3227804

      Practical advice

      by tinashields ·

      In reply to Am I wasting my time, should I quit?

      Get a cert. Any cert. The CCNA is good. Take one test and get an MCP.

      Then find out what consulting agencies supply the local military bases. Sign up with those agencies. They will place you as a consultant back into the military environment. Get two years of experience while finishing your Masters. You’ll be set to get a job in the private sector with your education, certs and experience. There are plenty of employers that would value the skills you could bring to the table.

      Good luck and keep on track!

      • #3226564

        Well now…

        by kj7gs ·

        In reply to Practical advice

        That’s a plan! Will keep hammering away at the CCNA then.

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