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Bachelor's.. Business Administration or IT Management?

By ObiWayneKenobi ·
Greetings all. I'm getting my Associates in Network Administration in September, but I've had absolutely no luck finding any jobs, even for entry-level. So I started thinking and it began to hit me that while I don't mind doing the hands-on computer work, I feel more comfortable directing and planning, and coming up with solutions to increase productivity.

Now I'm highly considering getting my Bachelor's, but I can't decide if I should get it in Business Administration (i.e. all business aspects) or IT Management/MIS (i.e. Directly related to IT). One of my instructors suggested the general business degree as it's more well-rounded and the fact that I would have an associates in a computer discipline helps out greatly since I would understand the tech aspects as well as the business ones.

Any thoughts on which path I should take? Many thanks in advance.

- Wayne

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by Oz_Media In reply to Bachelor's.. Business Adm ...

This may seem hard or rude but please believe me when I say I am speaking out of sheer honesty and nothing personal is implied.

It seems that you have been finding it hard to find work, and you are basing this on you current certification. Have you thought that it may be your aproach, lack of job hunting skills or interview weaknesses. Again, I know nothig about you so I cannot insinuate, but merely mean to bring your atention to some key unemployment issues.

1) Looking in the paper has less than 2% success rate. Phone books are nearly 100%, find a target company, figure our what you can do for them personally and professionally, call them out of the blue, introduce yourself find out who is in charge (don't talk to the secretary in most cases) and state your objectives wnat you are willing to provide and ask for the opportunity to BRING a resume to them NOT MAIL IT DOES NOT WORK. Once again, MAILING RESUMES DOES NOT WORK. (Sorry, I had to get that out of my system)

TAKE your resume in to the employer and try and get in for an interview, ofer to wait in the lobby if the boss is bust etc. be persisitent, too many people give up, not realizing the secretary is mainly a gatekeepeer in most cases and simply wants to protect the boss from who SHE thinks he doesn't want to see. The boss may actually be thinking about hiring someone and the secretary has no idea.

So anyway, get your resume on the desk and personal presentation should be obvious.

NOW, to address your actual question. MANY MANY people post on TR each week saying they have a BA in this or a masters in that or a PHD in whatever, and they STILL can't find work. So if you ae thinking text books and certifications/degrees will get you a job, think again. In MANY cases they help but it is YOU that gets the job.

speaking purely on a personal level, I would really think twice about getting further education if I can't find an entry level position based on my current certifications, it certainly won't be any easier with a bachelors degree as you will then be looking for higher pay and more responsibility, we will see you posting here in four years saying that you have a bachelors degree and can only find entry level IT work!

Again, I apologize perfusely if I sound like I am negative or condescending in anyway, it is really not my intent, I am just saying what I see here ALL the time.

Myself, not to brag, I got my MCNE AFTER I was em[ployed for two years in IT. When I originally took a network admin position I had NOTHING, not even grade 12, well, I was a licenced mechanic but that hardly counts.

I showed an eagerness and was offered a position by letting other people I knew that I was job hunting, someone reccomended me, my skills checked out and they took me on.

It didn't take a cert or a degree to fin work, just putting the word out and presenting myself to the employer properly.

Since then, I have gone on to be self employed, I work as a contracted admin for a couple of companies and pretty much write my own paycheck.

If I had relied on certs and degrees to get me ahead, I'd be on welfare. I created my last position, I created this line of work. It is up to YOU to actively and agreesively find work.

Sending out 30 resumes month? Complete waste of time and energy, not to mention postage.

Looking in newspapers and IT papers? Absolute waste of time.

Monster etc. online, okay START but not very effective.

Recruiters, absolute waste of time.

So what then?

Phone book, scripted and written intro speech (change it depending on how far you get before your are cut off by secretary and you will get to the owner or President in no time).

Convince the boss to see you and accept your resume, not HR if it can be avoided.

DO NOT MAIL IT IN, hand deliver it and se if you can meet the bocc (just to intorduce yourself of course). Prepare an interesting question to ask him/her and while you are dropping off the resume, ask the question directly to spr interest and perhaps have your face become recognized.

There are a million ways to get on the door and preset yourself, but unless you are doing this ALL DAY EVERY DAY until you are employed you will not succeed. Finding a full time job IS a fulltime job.

Sprry for the long winded lecture, it's just that you ae far from the first and certainly not the last who wil ask this same question.

You can spend all the time and money in the world on training but if you aren't looking for work properly, the eager kid from MacDonalds will beat you out even with a bachelors degree.

Best of luck to you and sincerely, no offense.

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No offense taken..

by ObiWayneKenobi In reply to Well,

To be honest, I have no idea what the problem is with finding jobs. I apply for jobs I'm perfectly qualified for, format my resume and cover letter appropriately etc. etc.

I've never had luck cold-calling places since 99% of the time they aren't hiring, and the ones that advertise typically only have a fax number or e-mail address (it's highly difficult to even find out who the heck I'm writing to because none of these companies list anything!).

Honestly the reason I'm contemplating the Bachelor's is because I have a knack for the business end of things moreso than the hands-on work. Not to say I can't do that and that I don't enjoy doing it, but the more I think about it the more I'd rather be the one making the decisions (yes, I realize it takes years of experience and success at managing to get to that point).

Thanks for the advice, though. I'll keep it in mind (both for my actual question and the job advice you generously provided).

- Wayne

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Best of luck then

by Oz_Media In reply to No offense taken..

I honestly meant it in the nicest way.

I am the same way, I can work for someone for MAYBE a year at max before I want to steer the ship and get frustreted with thos who are.

That's why I have always done my own thing and hate to rely on others for employment and a paycheck.

Good luck


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Good advice...

by Sherlock Bones In reply to Well,

I agree with you dude ... we ALL need a dose of reality sometimes...even with experience. We can sometimes start feeling sorry for ourselves and start sinking into negative thinking.

Start thinking positvely and maybe if the jobhunting is going nowhere ...then you could probably look at becoming self-employed. It has it's struggles but can be very fulfilling. I'm actually considering it myself. Even with self-employment, the start is seeking employment but from a different angle.

Go for it dude ... I know I am!

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by Sherlock Bones In reply to Good advice...

Sorry part of my post was mixed up {multitasking here :)} but I wish you the best of luck ...

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Degree Options

by eyoung In reply to Bachelor's.. Business Adm ...


I'll start upfront by stating that I'm a Program Director at a College in New England. I spend a good deal of my time advising students at the Bachelor's level about degrees, where to go next and careers.

It seems to me by your post that you are looking to expand your knowledge in business operations, strategy and planning so you can better apply your AS degree in the business space. It also sounds like you are interested in being that "go-between" person who understands the language of IT as well as the language of business.

The advice you received on getting a business degree is sound. However, I'm not clear if you would go back full-time or part-time (I assume part-time)? You'll not want to loose your networking skills and will want to apply them as well so make sure whatever you do you keep those skills solid. You may want to look at a hybrid degree. One of the programs I administer and teach in is in e-Business Management. It's that hybrid mix between business strategy AND techy. We are not the only ones out there with this type of degree.

Do some research on the web under e-Business or e-Commerce or Managing Information Technology and see what you come up with. You may find that this is the degree that calls to you.

Good luck!

Elaine Young
Program Director Marketing
Assistant Program Director e-Business Management
Champlain College

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More Options & Some Advice

by rawick In reply to Degree Options

Along the lines mentioned by Elaine, you may also consider Business Analyst or Project Management...

I've been in the IT field for 27 years and am currently a PMP certified project manager. I've lead all types and sizes of projects over the years. I recently interviewed with IBM for a high level PM job in the insurance industry. They originally told me they were looking for strong PM skills vs. business knowledge. When they turned me down they told me I did not have enough business experience... I'm now considering going back for a BA. My advice, go back and get the business degree. More and more companies are tired of the rift between IT and the business and their solution is to place IT PMs from their business ranks.

Good Luck! (Wish me luck too)

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by ObiWayneKenobi In reply to More Options & Some Advic ...

Thanks for the replies.. I think that's what I'm going to do.. but I'm going to wait a little bit to (hopefully) find some IT work and have a source of income.. then I'm going to get a B.S. in Business Administration, and with luck the school I go to will allow me to take some of its IT-management type courses as electives so I would essentially have a major in business administration and a minor in management info. systems.

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Business Degree, of course!

by malikimran.ijaz In reply to More Options & Some Advic ...

No one wishes to under rate the IT Certifications and degrees but whenever the word 'Manager' creeps into the discussion, Technical resources are now 'expected' to have a formal business 'understanding' if not business 'grounding'.
More & more clients now wish the technical consultants address their business problems (through technicalk solutions) rather than suggest equipment or software. It would help if you could talk their lingo.

Malik Imran Ijaz
HR & Business Manager, TechAccess

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Well, here's the thing of it...

by mlayton In reply to Bachelor's.. Business Adm ... the long term, the advice you have regarding the general business degree is sound. If you're more comfortable with planning and the management type roles, the business degree that will give an overall feel for the pain points of an IT Departments "customers" is a sound pursuit. And what you need to do is think about the future. What is the stage of your life you are at? Because take it from me, while not impossible, it is much harder to pursue your degree after taking time off later. So if you have the time, the interests, and the perserverence to finish your BA now, go for it. If you can get one with a minor in technology, providing you internship possibilities in the field of interest, even better. And as always, think about volunteer opportunities in your spare time - the experience builds your resume, and the people you meet may have the very job opening that you are interested in.

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