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Do undegraduates with experience stand a chance to get hired?

By c_djraj ·
I was just wondrin to hear comments from the group based from their experiences and locales if a person who happens to be an undergraduate but with experience stands a chance in the IT industry compared to newly Grads and degree holder?

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Depends on long term career goals

by liberteabelle In reply to Do undegraduates with exp ...

If you want to be a Network Admin, or other tech job, job experience counts for more. But, consider the following:

1) Economic recession. When there are fewer jobs and more candidates, those with the degree AND experience have a higher chance of actually landing an interview. It won't be an either/or. And you never know when that will happen in your career. It happened to me. I'd missed every single layoff in my career until post 9/11 when my company folded. And nobody would even talk to me without a degree. And yes, I have a great resume. I am now back in school at 46.

2) Do you intend to become a technical manager? Any time you consider management as part of your long term goals, you really need to consider a degree. Before I lost my job, I was a Director in my company. I went much farther than most would without a degree, but would never have been considered for a VP position without it. If you want to be a manager, and want to be able to jump companies as a manager, many companies won't even talk to you based on you resume. You can ONLY make that kind of move, typically, without knowing somebody there to get you that first interview. A degree gets your resume high enough in an organization, without sponsorship, to be seriously considered as a candidate.

Bon chance!

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This is very accurate...

by mlayton In reply to Depends on long term care ...

If you have a chance to get the degree now, get it now. In addition to economic recession, remember that your own life situation can also change and maybe at 46 you will not have the opportunity to return to school, for financial, health or familial reasons.

The bottom line is that there are success stories in all camps, but few will deny that education opens more doors (gets your foot in the door to more places - gets the resume past more HR people - gets the extra money) than not having the degree. Sure, you can get through doors without a degree, but in the long run, if you have the opportunity to give yourself an edge, go ahead and take it.

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Experience or Degree?

by jdbooe In reply to Do undegraduates with exp ...

I have been in the industry for well over 10 years and have seen it go from Degree required to experience and back again under requisites, usually certs are seen as a plus, sometimes required. I personally think that someone who has the experience to get a network up or back up in the event of disaster is what? Experience! You will never learn all the network/workstation/server configurations by listening to a Professor or in a lab that has limited resources available to a student. In closing I think that the Executives and HR folks want to see a degree in order to justify paying a competitive salary, when the need arises they want someone who has the experience to get them back up as quickly as possible. No I don't have a degree or cert, but I feel I have earned every cent that I charge when I'm on a location.

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Experience leads to expertise

by Dean0 In reply to Do undegraduates with exp ...

There was a study conducted which led to the Dreyfus Scale of Skills Acquisition. In essence it showed that the only thing that can take you from Novice, through Advanced Beginner, Competent, and Proficient to Expert, is experience.

My own experiences dealing with developers and other IT professionals seem to confirm those findings. Based on that, unless I am looking for a novice I will look for the candidate with experience.

BTW, there is a very good reason why medical doctors go through internships and residencies, and don't jump right into practice after all that education.

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another form of internet biased filtering

by chasster In reply to Do undegraduates with exp ...

HR has an excellent opportunity to violate many moral and legal issues by using the internet as a form of obtaining (requiring) certain information to be provided.

The webpage provides the ultimate filter, HR does not have to face the person, for any reason that they reject them nor provide any explanation or be held liable for biased operation.

The only filter not being used is race, well I can?t say that for sure that the internet forms are clear of that bias.

If you learn whom someone is you do so over time, not 7-seconds.

Ever try to get several HR people to agree on what a resume should look like, try doing it with a resume that spans several decades, international experience and many levels of responsibility. The information will flip-flop back and forth between one HR person to the next and each will claim that they know what they are doing and that the other HR person his their own style.

You?d think that if they were interested in anything other than collecting a fee that they would look beyond the 7-second time to understand what experience is available to pass on to a hiring manager.

HR in its current state does well to pass along a non-experienced person that has worked at one or two jobs all their life, after that HR is pretty useless in ?matching? experience with a hiring manager whom can utilize talent.


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Education VS Experience

by acp2g In reply to Do undegraduates with exp ...

Regarding experience versus education, a person should be hired based on their ability to perform the job needing filled, regardless of education or experience. Hence, all aspects of the job must be considered beforehand when posting the job.

If you need a person with technical abilities who will need to interact with management, then those are the qualities you look for, regardless of education or experience. I believe you get what you look for, therefore, be careful what job qualifications you post for a position you want to fill.

A thought to consider?.. Did you realize that the majority of replies to this discussion in favor of hiring persons with degrees over experience were unable to write their thoughts with directness and without misspelled words? Interesting.

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Experience vs. Degree

by leonard_aj In reply to Do undegraduates with exp ...

I have been working with computers and networks since early 1985. After retiring from the Navy mid 1997, I got a job with a marine electronics manufacturing company as a Senior Assembler/PC Support Specialist. The PC Support was secondary. I proved myself by examining thier current system setup and making some quick minor changes that instantly improved operations. I have no certifications or degrees. This is where my problems lie. Everyone requires some type of paper showing training and certification of some type. I still do side jobs but, had to make a fast career change in order to support my family; I'm now a truck driver. I love working with computers but the industry keeps me away. My perspective is simple; the paper provides theoretical background while the experience enables rapid solutions. The ideal IT team should have a balance of both certified and experienced support personnel. The degree/certifications will open the door for you but it will be a tough road to travel getting the experience to increase your "employability."

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Logic vs. H.R/Recruiters

by luvwknd In reply to Do undegraduates with exp ...

A perfect synopsis:

You are going on an airplane trip and you have two choices for a pilot, one pilot has never flown an airplane but has passed every book-given test and scored high on all the achieving indicator marks. The other pilot has never taken a class or read a book but instead has been flying airplanes for 20 years and thousands of logged hours.
Who would you select as your pilot?

Thus the logical answer would be the pilot with the actual experience, however it has been my findings that United or AA would be more interested in the ?book smart? pilot, as well I have seen this in the IT industry over the last 5 years or so. I have actually worked side-by-side with MCSE?s who couldn?t change a hard disk drive in a computer and have CNE?s drop networks like a bad habit, but hey, they are getting the jobs because they can simply read, retain and test ? not because they can and have done the work!


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RE: Logic Vs. HR Recruiters

by Robotech In reply to Logic vs. H.R/Recruiters

Just had a recruiter call me who couldn't tell the difference between a phrase on my r?sum? indicating my work experience, and the company that I last worked for.
Pathetic, how do they evaluate people? In 2002, I saw a job posted on that said, "Six Years Experience on Windows 2000 Active Directory", as well as degree etc.
Unless one is a time traveler, that would certainly not have been possible.
People get silly over degrees and certs, instead of considering someone's real world experience. When new technologies are introduced, they are taught to telecom/data employees in 5-day courses.
A university lecturer reads the white paper and then teaches it as if he invented it. I know, because in college I used to help some of my lecturers explain things that I already knew from real world experience.
Nevertheless, many recruiters continue to call for interviews people who have degrees and certs but no real ?in the trenches? experience, then the companies say that certifications are useless. That's not the problem; the problem is with the recruiters!
I've realized that when companies do their own interviewing/hiring instead of outsourcing to a recruiting company, they tend to put more emphasis on how quickly a future employee can be of immediate benefit to the company. With that in mind, they tend to focus more on experience and certs, rather than a degree (which is usually obsolete in IT by the time you graduate).
There are some people who say that the degree shows that one is disciplined enough to study, blaah, blah, blaah. But that only applies in the case of a kid who just left college.
I will hire anyone over 30 years old who has tons of experience, rather than a 22 year old with a college degree. The 22 year old knows how to study and retain, while having his expenses covered by Mom and Dad; but the 30 year old knows how to juggle a full time job, certs, family, bills, new technologies etc.
Who do you think will adapt more easily to a new job?

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... maybe

by tcube_0 In reply to Do undegraduates with exp ...

One thing everybody realised: graduated or not certifyed or not you have to do the job and you have to do it fast, that's the only thing they are now interested into, efficiency. If you're efficient and profficient at what you're doing you'll allways get a job nomather what, even if you have been a babysitter if you have played arround with networks and are really passiond about that subject you *will* get a job even if it's 2000, before or after. It is true you will face some stiff resistance from all HR departments but you will find your entry at those companyes who don't have one and who really have to evaluate every single candidate. Problem with graduated developers is that they have learned a certain way of thinking and find it very hard to see the forest because of all those trees. It's very easy to pick a graduated engeneer but it's much harder to find someone to actually solve your problems.

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