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  • #2273870

    How Do I Get In The Door?


    by pawel ·

    Hi?.I’m a 24 year old 2nd year grad school student with about a semester worth of classes left before graduation. Credentials? MCSE (2000 track), CCNA, CWNA, Sec+, Net+, A+. Education wise, AS in Computer Network Administration, BS in IT, and a MS in Computer Info. Systems (well once the semester is over). I’m real thin when to comes to the “on the job experience” in the industry. Although I have several years worth of lab experience under my belt. After reading some of these postings and talking to a number of people that work in the filed it seems like things are looking pretty bleak out there for folks who are trying to get into the field. I have invested so much time and resources in my education and it just doesn’t seem like its good enough to land a legit job. So what’s my next move? Internship? Is that a credible way of building experience in the industry?

    Thanks guys

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  • Author
    • #2724729

      Worked for me

      by nd_it ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      The internships I had while attending school worked for me and weighed more into my present position as a Systems Admin. You have quite a bit of paper behind your name, but not alot of experience, which is going to be hard to find a Systems or Network administrator, or Analyst job, since most of them want at least 3-5 years experience. I would suggest finding an internship or some other entry level position, volunteer, or even I heard non-profits are good for gaining on the job experience. Good luck!

      • #2725925

        that sounds good,

        by jfipande ·

        In reply to Worked for me

        i like the idea of internships and the others that followed, but am not entirely clued in what it is or how to get into it. could anyone offer some advice as to what it is and how to get into these areas.

        • #2725797


          by nd_it ·

          In reply to that sounds good,

          Most colleges should have some kind of career center where they can assist you in finding and internship or even a job after graduation. This is how I otained the 3 internships I had (the one turned into a fulltime position). You might to just talk to people and see if there is a position available. Just because jobs aren’t posted, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. You have to advertise yourself, alot of websites have places where you can post your resume. Good Luck!

        • #2705517

          Internships / Online Resumes

          by flipmarc ·

          In reply to Info

          Internship is how I landed my first (& current) full-time job. I was on my last semester in college, and realized I don?t have any job experience in my field. I got advice from a fellow student to go to the Guidance Office and apply for internships. All I had to do was give them my resume and a contact number, and they did the rest. They setup all the interviews for me, and all I had to do was go.

          I landed an internship in a local/gov?t remote office. I guess my boss liked what I did (setup their first network) even though I?ve never done it before. It was my ?on the job self training?. Never say, ?I don?t know?. They hired me as a full time IT guy for the whole office right after I graduated.

          About online resume posting, I have accounts with,,, and for a few years now. I have never received any response from the employers that used those sites or from any of the jobs I applied for in the job listings. From my experience, it does not work.

        • #2705666

          Changing Career Paths

          by gannman ·

          In reply to that sounds good,

          How about this scenerio. I am currently a B.s. Degree holder working as a transit planner and Geographic Information Systems and have been in this capacity for 6 years (4 at current job, 2 at previous job). I am “feeling adventurous” and have gone back to school to get knowledge in Network Management, Linux, and Java programming. How do I make a career change without breaking the budget (I’m married and am a homeowner)? I currently make about 47K/year.

        • #2705637

          Think about it again

          by cfa532 ·

          In reply to Changing Career Paths

          I am 34yrs old and have 10 years of IT experience. I cannot wait to jump into another career path now. Whatever it is, it won’t be IT. If you are looking at money, you are not promised to make more than 47k, at least at the beginning.

        • #2705620

          Crying or Buying

          by tomasomaguire ·

          In reply to Changing Career Paths

          Desire or Abstinence? Maybe your problem is spiritual. You should start with SVT. Silicon Valley Tarot. Basically it is like Game Theory.

          are you risk averse,or cowardly in any way?
          are you uncertain in an uncertain world?
          are you impressed by degrees & titles?
          If you answer yes to any of these questions then you belong in IT! Or maybe if you answered yes to some and not to all? I think? You can probably have it all for about $199.00
          But You Must Act Now! Dont’ wait there are only 200k persons recently entering the UE lines ahead of you. Don’t let the fact that you have a secure job, a wonderful future, a lovely family hold you back! Go For IT!

        • #2708127

          Reply To: How Do I Get In The Door?

          by the admiral ·

          In reply to Crying or Buying

          No matter how far you go down the wrong road, turn back.

        • #2708133

          Reply To: How Do I Get In The Door?

          by the admiral ·

          In reply to Changing Career Paths

          Get online and go to and fill out a FASFA at FASFA.GOV

      • #2705749

        Get a Security Clearance

        by mkline718 ·

        In reply to Worked for me

        You are 24 and young so one approach would be to join the military full time or even the reserves and get a security clearance. Top secret is best but secret is ok too. You will not only get to serve your country but you will have the golden ticket. In the DC area and even other areas now a clearance is so important. I joined the military at 18 not knowing much and by chance I received a clearance because of my MOS(Army term for job).

        It has been the single most important thing for me. I agree with the other posters. My internships were important, College was important, getting my NT & W2K MCSE was important. The clearance beat all of them.


        • #2705742

          Re: Get a Security Clearance

          by dave shaw ·

          In reply to Get a Security Clearance

          That’s a good point. I work in one of the largest military networks there is as a design architect and see plenty of mid-twenties *kids* come through – most of them recent grads of ROTC or Acadamies. They are getting the education of a lifetime. Granted, we spend a lot of time trying to keep the kids from breaking things, but all-in-all, it’s a great way to learn.

          The security clearance is a benefit of all that. Depending upon your market (it’s not all in DC ) your security clearance does two things: 1) increases your pay over positions that don’t require it, and 2) ensures to some degree that the job won’t be out-sourced.


        • #2705693


          by toucan ·

          In reply to Re: Get a Security Clearance

          While there are still lots of opportunity out there, employers are more savvy to flash-in-the-pan technologists. Often despite industry certs, the people I have hires have been weak on real skill, extremely poor on customer service, and bleak on atitude. On the other hand, the people that came from the military have been excellent in work ethic and skill set.

          More importantly, one of my neighbors is in technology staffing. He cannot find enough of the combination of degreed and certified candidates with the security clearance. The big wave of homeland security may slow somewhat but there is always another government/military project recieving funding.

          Interesting too. I wish I could tell the stuff I have worked on.

        • #2705690

          They ARE hiring

          by talentonloan ·

          In reply to Bingo

          My brother works as a senior level IT guy (military) who has been doing campus trips for IT positions. They want quality PEOPLE – it not just letters after your name. You need to be able to communicate and cooperate. Flexibility to pick up new projects, software, etc without complaint outside your area of expertise really helps.

          Blessings on your efforts


        • #2705530

          Re:- Security Clearance

          by christopher_painter ·

          In reply to Bingo

          As regards getting a security clearance, I’ve been in the industry for about 4 years and have “got he various pieces of paper ie:- MCSE, CCNA,Novel,A+ and have cableing and building experience”, can I get a security clearance can I hell!!!, before 9/11 it used to be you’re not a US citizen, now it’s you’re not a “natural born citizen”. If someone takes the time,money and risk to emmergrate and then goes through the various security checks for citizenship and still gets this thrown in there face,it seems to me most of this comes down to jobs for the boys

        • #2707827

          Not always

          by toucan ·

          In reply to Re:- Security Clearance

          Sounds like a particular requirement of the company.

        • #2721256

          Security clearances are given according to a project’s requirements.

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to Re:- Security Clearance

          You may be working at a company which is only producing generic components for mil standard equipment and therefore does not need a clearance. Look around for companies that ask for ability to work to certain levels of DND certification. These will be the companies working directly in the aerospace field or weapons development field and will need cleared employees. You do not need a clearance to get hired but if you have one you will be selected before someone who doesn’t. When hired you will be given a regular clearance, probably to restricted level but once you are assigned to a major project you will be interviewed and given a background check the severity of which will depend on whether you are being cleared top secret or just secret. If it is a major new project you will probably be given a clearance specific to the project. The fact that you have top secret clearance does not give you carte blanche to every project but just the projects you are working on. All secret and higher clearances require review at the beginning of a new assignment and must be renewed every five years. Where you come from is not so important as the fact that you or your parents and grandparents did not originate from a country that has been an enemy of the state within the past hundred years or so.

        • #2721223

          Worse than that,

          by hampson ·

          In reply to Re:- Security Clearance

          What I ran into is that receiving a security clearance can take up to 6 months. So most employers who do work that will require clearance do not want to hire someone who does not already have an ACTIVE clearance. Many are willing to gamble on someone who has an inactive clearance, but how many people are willing tohire someone to work for them, knowing that it will be 6-12 months before that person MIGHT be able to perform the work for which you hired them?

          The end result is that it is easier to train a military file clerk to work at a help desk than it is to get clearance for an experienced network administrator who does not already have it.

        • #2721210

          Good point if you’re referring to a new clearance

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to Worse than that,

          Getting recleared on an old clearance depending on the level being sought and how long the clearance has been lapsed can be as fast as a few weeks. Most IT positions do not require much over a restricted clearance to start and those can easily be stepped up while on the job. Secret and higher clearances usually aren’t required until you get into hardware and application design and integration. If you see a DND requirement then you’ll know you are into industrial strength clearance procedures.

        • #2721209

          Good point if you’re referring to a new clearance

          by sleepin’dawg ·

          In reply to Worse than that,

          Getting recleared on an old clearance depending on the level being sought and how long the clearance has been lapsed can be as fast as a few weeks. Most IT positions do not require much over a restricted clearance to start and those can easily be stepped up while on the job. Secret and higher clearances usually aren’t required until you get into hardware and application design and integration. If you see a DND requirement then you’ll know you are into industrial strength clearance procedures.

        • #2723974

          How Do You Get a Clearance Renewed?

          by jthomson60016 ·

          In reply to Re: Get a Security Clearance

          I had a TS clearance back in the mid-70’s, which of course is expired, when I was in the Navy PRP program and had nuclear weapon access. I’m in my 50’s now and would be delighted to get a federal IT position, or one with a contractor.

          However, you need an active clearance to be considered for most of those positions; a dormant clearance is worthless. Hence my question: how does one get a clearance renewed in order to obtain a job which requires a clearance?

      • #2721315

        If not IT…then what?

        by jerry ·

        In reply to Worked for me

        You are at the crossroad and catch22 that we all reached in our career.

        Do you have ‘experiance’ with another profession? If so, how did you gain it?

        If you really want to be an IT pro… JUMP in and start ‘doing’ the job in the area of interest. When I was in college I discovered that several students wanted to be computer specialist but did not own a computer! {PS I would not hire them today… no real experiance}.

        I highly suggest that you look at “What have you done and where do you want to go.” Make a list of real-world skills you’ve already got. You may be surprized. Get yourself two or three computers and make them do everything a business would do. Build tour own network and rub realworld apps. You can get 120 day evaluation copies of most software. Experiment!!!

        When asked what can you do for us? Tell them what you did for yourself to learn how computers really work and not just tell them how the books say it should.
        Just because you are in school does not mean you can’t work in the IT field…start a part-time business and see what people want you to do.
        Good luck.

    • #2724635

      Different kinds of openings

      by prefbid ii ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      I rarely see this explained, but there are different types of companies out there and they all have different issues. The way you get a job directly out of graduate school is the same way you’ll get a job 10 years from now when you have 10 years of experience. You have to line up your skills with the needs of the employer.

      Where most people go wrong is in thinking that the employer’s needs are “technical.” They rarely are. For example: take a company that is on the verge of bankruptcy. The company needs an IT staff, but may find it hard to retain good people. In steps you — fresh out of college and with more credentials than they could hope for. They are going to jump at you. You are going to accept because (1) you need a starter job real bad, (2) at this stage in your life you can accept some risk that the company may only last a short time, and (3) desperate companies pay well.

      The funny thing in my scenario is that the “skill” match for both sides was “desperation.”

      • #2705611

        stay in IT

        by david ·

        In reply to Different kinds of openings

        The IT field is not dead, in fact it is starting to thrieve again. The past 3 years have taken a toll on the IT resources in the U.S. When times were tough some IT professionals left the field to find work in other areas. The number of IT degrees have decreased dramatically in the past 3 years also. All this leads to shortage of qualified candidates for positions. Which in turn is going to increase salries again in the next couple of years. History will repeat itself and the IT field will be the place to work.

        I place IT professionals across the country and I am having a tougher time finding qualified candates today than I did 5 years ago. So do not believe all the hype that IT is dead, and definitely do not believe the HR managers that say they get hundreds of resumes/applications for open positions. They very well do get hundreds of resumes, but only 2-5 of those applicants actually qualify for the position. Get as many internships as possible and the security clearance is also a great idea. So get your education and some exp. and you will be a head of the curve in the near future.

    • #2726536

      I understand where you’re coming from

      by pooksmin ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      Hi, I was in the same position as you at the end of last year – graduated with a good qualification but NO experience in the field I was interested in. Have you tried looking at organisations that offer “graduate placement programmes”? Then at least they expect that you have little to no experience and are willing to introduce you to the working world gently :-)They tend to be the “big” name companies as well. Also, I ‘ve found that potential employers tend to be quite confident in your technical skills when you have qualifications behind your name – they do however want you to prove that you have a bit of business sense as well. Just my experience.

    • #2726512

      Lately It has been – Experience over Education

      by skipperusn ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      The market changes on what companies look for every so many years – Back in the 70’s it was education – over experience, then it was experience over education in the 80’s – then it was the Certification crazy in the 90’s – now we are back to experience again.

      I was told early in my career – get you Bx – then work a few years and get your MB at night. If you get a BA – go for the MBS – if you got a BS go for the MBA – balance your education between technical and business.

      But – to get your foot in the door, as the other posters say – tailor your cover letter to the business – how can you help them resolve their business problems and issues.

      Right now you maybe over qualified in their eyes – and once you get some experience you will go on to greener pastures. So how work into the letter loyality – and deadication to organizations.

      A hint – any way of landing a job with the college? Are there Government jobs in the area? School districts? How about contractors? They aren’t the greatest pay or benefits but a good starting point for some experience.

      Best of luck … The Skipper

      • #2705674

        Alternative Start!!!

        by jlocker ·

        In reply to Lately It has been – Experience over Education

        In my area there are no government jobs and not very many easy to get nonprofit gigs. I began to give up in my career path and started to take any jobs that would show up just to make ends-meat. This was great, because beyond any helpful startup advice, I’ve found that many small companies share positions. They won’t pay the best, but if you get a job in a small company using a computer, odds are, given your experience, you’ll be doing tech support in no time. My boss found me doing this and upgraded my position to the Network Administrator when the old one left! Just something to think about. It beats going to the military, lol.

      • #2705672

        You’ll need experience, experience, experience.

        by angelgrl ·

        In reply to Lately It has been – Experience over Education

        Experience is the name of the game here. With the 90’s IT training boom we have now more people trained as IT than jobs. There so employers looks for everything. A title and a bunch of certifications won’t work unless you have experience, we are talking at least 2-3 years working on a real IT world.
        One way of getting this is either way, internship or volunteer work. Taking another job that relates little for the time being do not work. It has to be experience in the actual field you are trained and you’re looking for. That’s why it is so important that you start this “experience gathering” while in school.
        I wish you good luck in your search.
        God Bless

        • #2705667


          by jlocker ·

          In reply to You’ll need experience, experience, experience.

          Many of the promotions that you’ll find in the IT field will lead you on paths that you haven’t OFFICIALLY trained for. You have to be open to change, and open to what you can get in an overflowing IT world. I know for a fact that getting experience WILL get you a better job and give you more options. I’m not that sure a month at the SPCA will help as much as 3 years as the company’s tech support. I also have friends and family that went to the army for a better future. Currently they are ALL umemployed! YOU NEED EXPERIENCE!

        • #2722096

          Professional organizations

          by pjnyusa ·

          In reply to You’ll need experience, experience, experience.

          I have always been an advocate for professional contacts through associations & organizations that speak to your profession. It won’t happen overnite but the more you get involved, the more you will be likely to hear about the opportunities out there. It won’t make up for the lack of experience but will add some value & introduce you to those who may be able to help out.

    • #2726386

      Getting some experience

      by blueknight ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      After graduating if you find that your search for an IT job isn’t getting anywhere after looking for a reasonable period of time, try to find an internship or maybe volunteer for a non-profit that needs some IT support.

      We have hired a couple of guys who came in as interns. One, a former iron worker who was injured on the job and had to find a new career, turned out to become one of our best desktop/server support staff. You might be able to find a company (or even local/county government) that has internships. You can work anywhere during that period to make a living, and inter to gain the experience.

      Non-profits frequently need IT help and would most likely welcome your help. That adds something to your resume for the future and gives you a reference to boot.

      Good luck!

    • #2725783

      Help Desk

      by jamesrl ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      At some organizations, they use help desk as an entry point into the company.

      Its a good place to learn how a large organization works – you get familiar with who does what in an organization.

      As a HD person, you will get to know people in other parts of the IT org, and making those connections will help when those people post jobs you are qualified for.

      You may face a challenge that many people will judge you are overqualified by your certs and education – and you are. But you need to answer honestly that you are looking to get into an interesting company and work your way up.

      I started at a multinational doing desktop support and some help desk duties, and made a lot of great contacts – I was in demand and became a project leader within a couple of years. It was a great way to start out.


      • #2705546

        Keep your expectations realistic

        by bluegiant ·

        In reply to Help Desk

        I agree with James. The help desk or other support roles are a great place to start, especially with a small to mid-sized company. In this role you will have many opportunities to meet people through out the organization and show your capabilities. You also gain exposure to all aspects of the business – manufacturing, sales, finance, purchasing, etc. Use this time to learn the business and people skills needed to advance to more senior positions.

        Your advanced degree and certifications probably will not be enough to get you directly into the position you desire without some experience to back it up. This is probably for the best anyway. You may find yourself in a position that you’re not ready for without business experience. You’ll need some time to be able to recognize when things are theoretically right, but practically wrong. Take this time to learn how to identify what the business needs are and how to lever the information technology to meet these needs. You’ll learn quickly that many times your customers within the company don’t know what they need and you have to ask the right questions to determine their true needs (often quite different from what they ask for).

        Keep your salary expectations realistic. You will probably start at a much lower salary than you may expect for someone with a masters degree because you don’t have the experience to go with it. However, once you get some experience under your belt, your education will allow you to rise farther faster.

    • #2720464

      Same Boat

      by kratos7 ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      I’m having the same challenge. I have my MSCIS and only one cert (Certified Information Assurance Profesional). I posted a similar discussion myself. I’m actually switching careers, so all of my experience is in a non IT field. I’ve submitted resumes for positions that start at the bottom, at the top, and everything in between. It does appear that experience is driving everything.

      • #2718752

        Try contracting

        by chuckyg ·

        In reply to Same Boat

        You can try a temp type firm/s to start. They might have deployment contracts and looking for bodies to do the upgrades of software and/or hardware. If you get noticed, the client company may offer a position. Happened to me.

    • #2718088

      Everyone wants to know the same thing!

      by mlayton ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      Must be graduation time :-). The answers are the same: paper alone won’t get you in the door. First, find a professional association in your area that will put you in contact with others in your field. IEEE is a good place to start. Second, think about doing some volunteering at a non-profit or a campaign HQ, giving you solid experience AND an opportunity to interface with people from other orgs that may be looking for someone like you (my first non-profit experience, I lucked out – a large percentage of the board worked for IBM.) Internships are also a good place to start. Your school (or even alumni associations if your degrees are from different schools) may be able to help with that. And don’t forget to attend the conferences that come through your area to find out what is going on in the industry. And get a couple systems, build a network, install a firewall, and do it for a friend or two – this gives you some “real world experience.”

      Good luck.

      • #2717893


        by obiwaynekenobi ·

        In reply to Everyone wants to know the same thing!

        But what happens when having that still doesn’t help? I’m gonna be a graduate myself in about a month and a half.. I have 6 months “legit” IT experience and around a year and a half volunteering and helping out at my college, but I still have no luck even when applying for entry-level jobs. It’s very depressing. Maybe it’s just the area I live in (Tampa bay area)

      • #2705728

        The importance of “Networking”

        by wwwdomains ·

        In reply to Everyone wants to know the same thing!

        Further to mlaytons response, I don’t think I could possibly emphasize enough the value of building a contact list when working in the IT field. Several factors have combined over the last few years to take away the “gloss” and prestige of working in IT:

        1 – The multitude of courses avaliable in high school, etc, have de-valued the industry somewhat.
        2 – Because IT courses are now standard fare for most schools, there is an over-supply of certified but unskilled people.
        3 – A lot of companies are happier now to hire 2 or 3 juniors at minimum wages, instead of people with proven skills and expertise, (the barrel-of-monkeys for peanuts concept), you know, 1000 monkeys typing away for 1000 days can code an entire OS from scratch!
        4 – Companies are finding it increasingly dificult to sift through the avalanche of “certified” (and I say that loosely!) job applicants, so they raise the minimum requirements to ease their own responsibility and pressure, where a few years ago if you were applying for a job in a Windows shop, you were expected to have a Leaving School cert, plus MCSE or similar, now though, for the same job you need a UNI degree, Cisco, and MS certs (not to mention coffee and sandwich making skills) to just separate you from the riff-raff as the people hiring quite invariably have no technical skills and therefore judge you by the weight of your certificate’s. (usually in grams by the way over in OZ)
        5 – The starting salaries are quite often below what you would get in (union-shop)a company as a forklift driver with no skills other than a forklift license. (I know, I have a bus, truck and forklift license having done all three jobs!)

        The good news is that as suggested by many other’s, by doing volunteer work, mixing at conferences, events, etc, you are giving yourself a tremendous boost and exposure, as you will find that invariably in IT, jobs aren’t gotten by applying to ads, a lot are gotten by word-of-mouth from “someone who knows a person who does that kind-of-thing”, and by developing associations with people at event’s, etc, you will find that over the years, (esp as your skills and diversity – diversity being the key – grow, people will be confident to put forward the name of a person they know as opposed to a bunch of unknowns.

        Hope this helps somewhat, it’s not all doom and gloom, but I really couldn’t stress the value of creating friendships with other’s in the IT field, and by that I don’t mean sucking up, as those that do will always fall hard at some point, but these associations are what WILL help get your foot in the door. And you’ll also find you can make some very good friendships that allow you to build a community of fellow IT advice givers when needed.

    • #2705746

      Changing Thymes – Make a Niche

      by bucky kaufman (mcsd) ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      I wouldn’t count too much on internships and apprenticeships in the IT field for a way in the door of a company with your advanced education. Better to sign on with one of the temp services – Manpower, Dice, etc – to get some real world expeirience.

      The “boom” industry in the Bush Economy is in military and police. There’s *plenty* of tech work for defense contractors.

    • #2705745

      Its a job, not a career

      by chaz chance# ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?


      I think that you should review your choice of career. You only need to take a look at the past, to see what the future holds for IT.

      Ask you parents if they remember when the only people who had telephones were the rich, or senior business people. My grandmother, bless her, never got over her fear of telephones.

      When I was in school 30 years ago, the only people who worked with computers were scientists. Since then IT has moved steadily downwards in status. When I used to teach applications like spreadsheets 15 years ago, (people used sign up for a 6 week course to learn a single application) computers were programmed by elite specialists. Today every person in a non-manual labour job is expected to know how to use a computer, and almost anybody can write a program.

      The status of Tech Support personnel has changed in the users eyes from being a miracle worker to that of neccessary evil, suspected of causing more problems than they solve.

      I believe that we are fast approaching the time when IT qualifications will equip you to be the IT equivalent of the person in the office who takes round the mail. Its a job, but not what you would call a career.

      • #2705723

        If your serious about it, it’s a career

        by wwwdomains ·

        In reply to Its a job, not a career

        To a certain extent I agree wholeheartedly with the general concept of your points, but there will always be exceptions in the IT field, and what stands a lot of people apart from the huge, unwashed masses, is the degree of commitment, and the realisation that if you REALLY want to succeed in IT and have a rewarding career, IT is not a job, it’s your career, your hobby, the thing that gives you satisfaction when a tricky problem has been solved, you’ve discovered a new way achieving a goal, or when you’ve been of help to other’s who may have been stuck with some minor or major impediment to their work.

        I have a pretty serious setup at home (to the point that I can simulate my works entire network!!) because I ENJOY the constant learning cycle, and the ability to acquire knowledge essential in maintaining my IT career. I worked extremely hard to get in IT, (10 years working and selling computers, plus electronics/computer cert’s all helped). But I find some night’s i’m working till 2am trying to solve a problem. And therefore it does pay to have a genuine interest, as anyone who get’s into IT that doesn’t have a genuine desire to learn, grow, and adapt, will be in for a VERY trying, long, and thankless job.

        Probably the most important aspect of IT is the ability to adapt in a constantly changing environment, to be able to set goals, place a value on your expertise, and in turn get value out of your job.

        A lot of companies don’t hold IT in high esteem anymore, but if your serious about IT, you can always redefine your job by proving to management that your role is not only essential, but can also be of great benefit and worth. Nothing makes the bean-counters as deliriously happy, as when someone in the IT dept shows management a way to save some money!

        • #2705663

          Having a Life

          by kevin.thomas ·

          In reply to If your serious about it, it’s a career

          You are either single or have little time to spend with your family. I do not have the money or the time to build an entire network at home to duplicate my workplace. I put in 8 hours a day, some times more, and 2 hours commute. To keep up with things you have to constantly spend $80 to $100 per book for several books every six months, read for 2 to 4 hours a night ( no time for family after 10 hours work and commute), or take extra classes for a much larger expense. After all this and 6 years experience to have a company offer you 30 to $35,000 a year is rediculous ( current salary not much more). It is not worth the sacrifice to my family and quality of life for so little compensation. I am not sure $80,000 would be enough to ingnore my family. Mechanics and Machinists are starting to out pace the salaries for IT because no one wants to go to school for this. I am thinking of going back into this field. At least the salary will be a little better than $35,000 and keep going up due to a shortage and I will have time to spend with my family instead of hours of reading and $chooling.

      • #2705657

        Not in complete agreement.

        by lkf1 ·

        In reply to Its a job, not a career

        I am an IS security analyst for a healthcare organization. I used to deal with doctors and clinicians all the time when I was a network engineer for the same company. None of those people know a thing about a computer. If it’s not a shortcut on their desktop they could be bothered to learn anything about it. These are intelligent people who save lives every day. They just don’t have the hard drive space or RAM to keep all the medical and computer facts in their heads.

        There are always going to be people like that. Heck, the IT people of today may end up in nich jobs handling old OS for critical systems that are out of date but cant be brought down for upgrades. But IT is putting stuff out all the time that changes the environment we work in. Routing Switching Firewalls IDS IPS VPN and etc., have all changed dramatically technologically speaking and in how we use them. Their are IT people who don’t have the RAM and hard drive space in their heads to handle all IT stuff.

        When it comes down to it people who depend on computers to complete their job will always pay people to maintain update and troubleshoot their computers, servers, and networks for them. Their too busy doing their own work to worry about that stuff.

        If you treat it like a job then thats what it will be. However, their are career opportunities given the right education, experience, and drive. I mean someone has to manage me…and that is a career in and of itself 🙂

      • #3307550

        I have to agree

        by itfan ·

        In reply to Its a job, not a career

        IT techs now have a reputation of being “grunts” and as such, get paid the salary of “grunts”. We’re about on the same levels as orderlies in a hospital… and I’ve worked IT in a hospital. You can’t really argue with that when you see so many of us coming straight of of high-school, skipping college and earning a handful of certs then working entry-level jobs for an IT company.

        Unless you’re pretty far up the management ladder, there isn’t much of a way around that and those who are up there climbed the ladder years ago when IT was an elite profession. Now, for those new to the field, there’s little opportunity to advance very far or earn all that much.

    • #2705743

      Are not the Course advertisers wrong

      by syzygy services ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      Based in the UK, I?m appalled at the advertisements in the media that state that it easy to train for IT and that there are plenty of high paid jobs available for any person that re-trains to IT. With 25% of graduate students in IT still un-employed after six months, surely this advertising is mis-representation.
      I understand that the student has been suckered in this situation, but it is a result of a oversupplied IT training market. It would be nice to find an organisation that not only trained but partnered with industry to provide that internship or work experience as part of the course. Stats in the UK support the fact that those students that have a year out for industrial experience do far better in find a job that those that don?t.
      In essence the point is
      1. Get honesty in the course advertisers, not only at the start of the course but all the way through the course, but also
      2. to provide a course that has a built in element of on-site in industry training for the student.

    • #2705725

      Don’t worry it is not the subject its you.

      by cratem ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      The world has always a place for everyone including you. Yes you are right that many jump into IT band waggon without thinking what career they want to be in future and the availability of that job. If you have the love and passion for IT than you will survive in IT. Bill Gates did not finish his studies and did very well in IT. So with your mastere you are not that bad. In IT there are several jobs available. Chose one which you would love to do. Equip yourself with knowledge and learnings. Be an opportunist. Go for it. Take a career where other fail or fear. Some to mention are Vision, AI & Simulation where you will have lesser challenges. Chose an Admin job and end up working long hours. Worst is working in a company that runs 24 hours with extensive use of IT.

    • #2705718

      How to Get Experience and a Job

      by emailjk ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      Internships are the way to go if you want to get into corporate America. I started in the IT industry when you were able to have only one qualification to get hired (Education or Experience or Certification)and not all three. I am currently at a fortune 100 company as a Senior IT Analyst and am also the Technology Mentor at a local college. I see kids and young adults every day that are trying to get into the IT field and below are my observations and thoughts from what I have seen:

      First of all, the IT field is not bleek however, companies are not going to send limo’s to the schools looking for IT staff. There are millions of job openings however, unless you want to work for a small company (which usually translates to small pay/benefits)you need to get experience. That is where internships come into play. In most cases if you get an internship at a major corporation, you will have a good chance of being offered a position once the internship is over (depending on your performance). If you do not get offered a position then you can walk away with some real world experience. In todays corporate world you will find that the interviews are not always highly technical for technical jobs. The interviewers are using standardized “soft skill” interviews that measure you on your ability to communicate about your experiences. Once again, we are talking about experience. The vast majority of individuals that do not make it through the interview process are college grads that have no experience to use for examples in their interview.

    • #2705715

      Cunning, guile and knowing the markets

      by pbt ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      The days of churning out code, designs and documentation for top dollar are gone and won’t be back for the vast majority. IT = business infrastructure -> cost management in a maturing market. If you’re a dead keen to stay in IT you have to take a mature approach to slotting yourself into a changing market and differentiating yourself to land a career. Experience is only one way to do this but a valuable one.

      You really have to think from a company’s point of view to structure your education, experience and pitch. What types of work are best done in-house? What jobs offer the highest value return for salary paid? Where are the emerging markets and areas of expertise? What can I do differently or better than anyone else?

      You need to look at your talents and wants and structure your burgeoning career. Easy huh? Just remember that it’ll change next year and its process, not a result 😉

    • #2705714

      New Horizons

      by te-konsult ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      Well, how about looking in an alternative region?? I’d say that 90% or more of the people looking at and posting to this are based in the ‘affluent west’ and commenting on the situation in these highly developed countries. There are however some fantastic opportunities for career and life experience if you’re willing to set foot in the developing world. There are numerous top level organisations who are seting up businesses in the developing world who need just as many skilled employees, and the chances of promotions straight off are higher.
      Simply put, stop looking for a job/career in the same place as everyone else!

      • #2721507


        by truthiness ·

        In reply to New Horizons

        I am very interested in IT work outside the U.S. Can you give me any pointers on where to start searching for this work? Thanks!

    • #2705710

      Just do it…

      by consultant-1 ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      It sounds like you have the certs, so get a PT job in IT while you are finishing school. There are plenty of jobs out there for entry level folks, and you will pay your dues salary wise for the first year or so…but when you finish, you will be where you need to be. If your areas job market doesn’t have these entry level jobs available, then think about moving when you finish school. The industry is sound, strong, and viable, so look for any open door, and take it!

    • #2705702

      What worked for me

      by kwhite ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      In 2002 I found myself in a similar position, I was graduating with a CIS degree. The difference is I had no certs but did have some experience as a contract programmer and freelance web designer. I had some interviews and came close to landing one position. But in the end had no luck.
      I then took a different approach; I volunteered as a VISTA member at a non-profit. I spent a year working hard and being paid just a small stipend and ended up being rewarded with a full-time position. During that year I learned more and did more than I think all of my fellow grads.
      My advice to any grad is to get your foot in a door, any IT door. If you enjoy the work and do it well you will very often have a chance to stay.
      If I was to hire someone now for my department I would go with real-world experience over education every time. Credentials are nice but they don’t replace experience.

    • #2705687

      Make yourself stand out

      by twobordercollies ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      Good Morning,

      An internship is one of the best things you can do to make yourself stand out from the rest of the applicants. Any internship in your field will work but I would try to be selective at first and land an internship with a well know company in your field. You might have to take it with no pay but weigh your options and decided on the one that will help you out most after graduation. When you are looking be sure to ask what projects they will have you working on. If they are projects that won’t help your career, move on. Example – The company I worked for hired an IT intern to pull reports from a database. He wanted to be a programer not a database administrator.

      I hate to make this next statement but it’s true….There are IT jobs out there but you have to be willing to move. My husband and I had to leave Texas and move to Michigan. Very far from home but it was worth it! He loves his job and gets paid well.

      I too am in the IT field and when we moved from Iowa to Texas it took me 7 months to find a job. I moved from Texas to Michigan and had a job within the first month.

      The midwest is full of IT jobs!!

      Good Luck!

    • #2705683

      My advice….

      by ponderworks ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      Change careers now or get into bioinformatics or similar field that centers on computer systems as an enabler of some other work being done. Not pure IT. Good luck!

    • #2705680


      by abuttery ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      Does your university offer a co-op program. This is one that allows you to continue your course work and work a few hours a week at a local business. The business benefits by getting cheap labor and you benefit by getting the experience you will need to get a better job (or stay on with the company) after graduation. This gives the employer and you the opportunity to “try before you buy”. If the company sees that you are a hard worker and benefit their business, they are very likely to make you an offer when you graduate and want to work full time. It worked for me; I stayed on with the company for 6 years after graduation and I got experience that I never would have gotten without the co-op program.

      Good luck.

      • #2702014


        by gary.crispens ·

        In reply to Co-op

        I also was a CO OP student in college that gave me excellent experience that I used in class.
        Almost 100% of CO OP students get offers from their employer since they already know their operations better than someone new off of the street.
        CO OP WORKS !!!

    • #2705678

      IT is bleak indeed

      by pagemaster ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      I have been working for the last 20+ years for one of the top telecommunications companies in the US. The last fresh out of college hire in our building was about 10 years ago. The current trend in our industry is to hire consultants to staff projects that need quick turnaround and to hire offshore for projects that need longer development times. 99% of the consultants are foreign nationals and our offshoreing is in India. As a humorous aside one of our consultants from India is trying to get hit green card. He is concerned that he may lose his job in the US due to the offshoreing of IT work.

      So yes with the current trend in hiring I would say that IT is bleak.

    • #2705677

      Consider your career path

      by creed ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      Often times IT professionals get TOO caught up in technology. Not a popular opinion, I am sure, but in my experience it is true. We have a tendency to look for a job that looks like the most fun or that has the coolest toys to play with.

      I suggest that, in today?s market, you try to look at more conventional career planning. Focus on the long-term. Every industry uses technology, therefore companies of all industries need IT personnel.

      Some industries however may be more suited to long-term careers than others. For example Finance Companies, Banks, and Health Care are steadily growing markets. Technology companies are on the rebound, but not necessarily thriving.

      Usually finance and consulting companies will be more impressed with advanced level degrees that IT firms, in my experience. So you will have an upper hand in that marketplace.

      Internships are great for learning, but in my opinion if you step out of school with a Masters, there is no reason that you should have to work for little or nothing.

      Just my .02

    • #2705664

      US Military

      by lkf1 ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      I never got a degree but I have been doing IT work for 11+ years. I’m sure if I had the degree or even more certs than a CCNA (working on that),I’d be making 6 figures.

      I got my start in the Army working Satellite Communications. A friend of mine got me an internship as a junior network engineer. I did real well and they hired me on permanently back in 99. I’ve left that company since then and been laid off by some big E-business companies but I’ve always been able to find work.

      With your degree’s if you were to join the military and get into communications, you’d be an officer. That would get you 6 years of experience in both IS and management. Plus you’d make all the contacts you’ll ever need from people who get out of service before you, as well as all the contractors that do work for the military services.

      I would recommend Air Force or Army, (Army guarantees training in the field you pick I don’t think any other service does that)

    • #2705662

      May not like this But

      by peterschwartz ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      Internships are always great for gaining experience, but if you really want to get into IT in a big way, learn Hindi. Combine that with some PMI certs and you will be set.

      • #2705656

        Reply To: How Do I Get In The Door?

        by montgomery gator ·

        In reply to May not like this But

        I don’t think you need to learn Hindi, just move to India. The people in India getting the jobs are getting them because they know English and have IT skills. English will get you farther in Bangalore than Hindi, which is more prevalent in northern India than in Bangalore. I have a coworker from Bangalore, and his English is better than his Hindi.

    • #2705661

      Keep at it

      by stinphilly ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      First of all, if this is something that you want to do, then keep pursuing it. Jobs in the IT industry will morph into various forms in years to come, but the fundamentals will remain the same. You have invested too much to start changing your direction at this moment. An internship is a great way to gain experience and get an inside track on positions within most organizations. Be patient, opportunities usually do not appear at the exact moment you want them to, but they do appear so be ready. If you have the talent and work hard, it will be recognized and you will be successful.

    • #2705653

      You need it all

      by unhappyuser ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      Over the past (almost) 20 years I’ve found that Education alone just doesn’t cut it, especially today. I see so many people go to school and/or take tech classes and these mean nothing. The main reason? Too many of these people study to “pass the test” or are in school too long and their knowledge is outdated ot of little value.

      Employers want someone that can come in and fix things now, not next week. I’m sure your Education is top notch but without some experience it means little. Do work on the side and get as many part-time jobs as you can find. One of these may get you a full-time job. Once you’re foot is in the door, and you’ve proven yourself, YOU can get what you want and ‘write the check’. IT had changed – no longer is it a few people looking for many jobs. The market had flipped and may never go back.

      Good luck in your ventures and I hope you find what makes you happy on all fronts (mentally, emotionally and fiscally).


    • #2705651

      welcome to the real world

      by mlkiely ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      No amount of schooling will assure you a job these days, however if you need to find work simply create a need and then fill it. We are always looking for IT and Developers for projects and the reality is we commission our associates. If you know your craft and trust in your worth then get any job to keep the wolfs at bay and invest your talent into what it is you really excel at find technologie companies that are needing your talents and offer to contract as a consultant and take a commission for your contribution you will be surprised to know most business men like moxy when it comes to getting the job done and being creative is the key.

    • #2705650

      Depends on your ‘specialty’…

      by mdpetrel ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?


      If you are a developer, then what we are looking for here in the U.S. is someone w/ strong skills in planning / modelling / design… *NOT* coding.

      Coding has become ‘commoditized’, even if the language of choice is Java: U.S. mgmt believes that the Java IDE has eliminated the need for good programmers, that the IDE will “correct all errors”, so there is no need for programmers that can write defect-free code.

      To you, this means: re-immerse yourself in Object Oriented Design & Development, and master Modelling languages and tools.

      Best of luck…


    • #2705648

      Decide on what and where

      by prahalski ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      I agree that internships certainly help. I think that two things will also help you. First, become aware of what skills are in demand and second, be willing to go(move) where the opportunities are. I work as a database administrator, specializing in data warehousing and business intelligence in a relatively small city. While there are few opportunities such specialized skills in the city I live in, there are lots of jobs available in other areas of the country. So I would recommend deciding what area of IT you want to work in, then where you would be willing to move to. Having a masters degree makes colleges good choices as they seem to want educational credentials almost as much as experience.

    • #2705647

      Words of Advise From An Old Sage

      by logos-systems ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      I have been in this field for over 30 years now, and I can tell you a couple of things I have seen.

      1. In 30 years I have seen 3 major down turns in the industry. Times when even those that were qualified senior level personnel would be battling for entry level positions. The good news is that It Has Always Bounced Back.

      2. Companies always like to find a person that has had the inititive to take an intern position to gain experence. Many times it leads to your first position, either at that company or one that is in the same sector.

      3. I agree that you have invested many years in learning your trade, but not as much as you will by the time you retire. With the technology constantly changing you are always going back to school. Either teaching yourself, which you appear qualified to do; taking a class on new technology, so you can pickup the fine points; or through one of the continuing number of ways that are constantly becoming available to IT Professionals.

      4. The market is starting to pick up from this last major down turn. Keep Trying! Keep Flexible! Be willing to go and do whatever it takes to get started. There are many out there that have some experience, but lack your background, both educationally and with your certifications. Once you get started you should find that many doors will open to you, that are closed to others.

      • #2705533

        Well said

        by blueknight ·

        In reply to Words of Advise From An Old Sage

        Very good points to keep in mind. I agree with you completely. Once you get some good experience, you should be able to go where you want. This is my 38th year in IT, and I’ve
        gotten every job I’ve had because of my experience… I was a college drop-out, but returned after 15 years to get a dual AA.

      • #2705439


        by mikefromco ·

        In reply to Words of Advise From An Old Sage

        Can’t really put it much better than the old sage. I guess I’m one of those also with 20yrs experience.

        I’ve worked with many interns who have gone on to become successful in the IT field. I’d also add that I see a lot of internships in non-IT companies or agencies. They typically don’t have massive IT budgets so they may be looking for a good intern. And you can get massive experience out of one of those as well as a real impressive recommendation putting you ahead of those students who did not do an internship.

    • #2705633


      by orbancc ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      Look. If you have any experience with computers, and you can’t think of at least 10 million ways that they can and should be “fixed” (that is, made to work BETTER) then you better get out of the IT business. IT is hard work. But at the same time it has been one of the most rewarding experiences I can possibly image – this after almost 40 years in the field. There are no limits. Go for IT.

      • #2707861

        Reply To: How Do I Get In The Door?

        by ssangodare ·

        In reply to INNOVATE!

        fixing computer is not the only branch of IT. The guy may have skills in other areas of IT. I undersatnd that he’s got to be determined to want to succeed. By the content of his message, he is. My recommendation is for all of us in the IT field give him a lead and suggestions about networking with peers already in the IT field and willing to accept entry level positions.
        Sam S.

    • #2705619

      Same old story

      by rascal1981 ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      I have to admit that my post is going to be a bit negative and it?s because of my experiences in the IT field and getting in due to the new found nature of IT.

      I think your best bet right here is to ask yourself if it’s worth it to you to keep pursuing this because if you are looking for a big paycheck right off the back because you have a string of degrees, carts, papers, etc… think again. Those jobs dried up during the dot com boom (thanks paper cert guys) and if you missed it, oh well go find the next “hot trend” and jump aboard QUICK (if this is about the money). If you don’t have the experience then it?s a safe bet that your ability to act is going to be limited in a working environment (come to grip with this, EVERYONE must adhere to it, no exceptions), hence you bring nothing to the plate that no one hasn’t already when compared to experience.

      Your best bet is to find a specialized area (don’t try to be super tech guy and know EVERYTHING because that goes nowhere unless you want to work as a one man IT shop for a 30-100 employee firm) and focus on it and get a entry job at a company with plenty of potential movement and WORK for it. That can be done by temp contracting houses, volunteer work, internships, etc… you get the idea.

      Bottom line, ask yourself if you are in it for the money or the enjoyment; obviously everyone needs a paycheck but if that is your sole driving factor then pick a different career, the dot com dried that well up a long time ago and it only gets tougher when people try to get high level positions and then fail at them. If it?s the fact that you love IT, stick it out and hit the internships followed by contract houses as these are the new stepping stones to IT.

    • #2705571

      Internships do work

      by blueknight ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      I was very fortunate to have gotten into the field way back when companies had the time and willingness to provide on-the-job training.
      The closest thing we see to that these days are internships, and they do work.

      A bit over 5 years ago, we had a former iron worker begin as an intern in our shop. He had suffered an indestrial, career-ending injury to his shoulder. After mending physically, he received IT training so he could begin a new career. I don’t even think he had as much papaer behind him as you do, and certainly didn’t have
      the education you do.

      During his internship, he learned a lot, and our managers could see that he was good at it, and was a dedicated, hard worker. He was subsequently hired as a full-time employee and today he is one of the top 3 or 4 people in our Network Services/Desktop Support Group. He supports around 80+ desktop machines (Windows 2000 Pro on a Novell network) and is responsible for nearly 40 servers (Win NT & 2000).

      As mentioned by others, work experience in a non-profit organization also would be a good way to gain experience. Don’t let the doom and gloom you read discourage you, jobs are out there… you just have to keep looking.

      In your job search, cultivate contacts, keep in touch with friends in the industry. If you find that a company you’d like to work for is hiring, get your resume polished and ask for an informational interview with the hiring manager. When you go for the interview (they are rarely denied) dress like you’re an applicant for the job. This informational interview will give you an opportunity to have them look at your background and provide you with tips on what to work on so you’d make a top-rate candidate. It also gives them a chance to see what your have done and that you’re motivated, and want to do a good job. Sometimes that is enough to land the job. There are some managers that can spot raw talent, hopefully you fall into that category and can get hired quickly.

      I fell into the IT field purely by accident, and it has been so much fun (and a lot of hard work), I can’t imagine retiring.

      Best of luck to you.


    • #2705567

      i understand

      by jolve001 ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      that happen to me when i graudate. The thing that the college professor did not tell you. That major of the good pay jobs in the IT required a security clearance. Major of the company will not take the time or money do a background chack. My advice to you is two things. Join a army or air force national guard unit and make sure they put you in a position of a IT position. That will give you experience and get you a secuirty clearance. I bet your chance of go int the IT field will increase greatly.
      Second., Finish up your degree and look for a second career choice but do not waste money on going back to college again. You threw away thousand of dollar for a worthless paper.. Tried going to company that will trade you and can give you a chance for a career. For example me personally, I want to go back to finacial sector. I work for HRBlock. They train me to do taxes and now I bend accept to the LRTP program.
      In conclusion, I know about your problem because I am living it myself. If you wrote this message on TECHREPUBLIC hoping to get a internship I do not believe the world is not that kind. I hope my advice help you.

      John Olverson

      • #2721464

        But at least you are literate…..

        by is girl ·

        In reply to i understand

        I have to disagree… education is never a waste. Having a Master’s Degree will qualify you to climb higher on the career ladder than those who don’t. Think CTO or CIO in the long run – if that’s what you want.

        For now, you have to take whatever you can find that will get you some experience. Temp agencies that have short term contracts would jump at the chance to place a fresh MBA who is ready, willing and able to learn on the job. You will start out in entry level positions or in small companies, but in a couple of years you will have experience and education.

        I agree with the old timers about IT…the market will fluctuate. The late 90’s brought Y2k projects and the dot.coms brought an IT frenzy. That was an unnatural rise in IT employement that a lot of people took advantage of. The current market has leveled out, but highly skilled, well educated employees will always be able to find work.

    • #2705542

      Worried about ROI for education

      by wallowamichael ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      In my experience only about half of the IT professionals I know have a technology degree. I myself started in Electrical Engineering before jumping over to technical services and consulting. One of the best programmers I know has a Master’s degree in Music Education!
      You must have a love of what you are working with or you will not be happy. It doesn’t matter how much you spend on education or training, if you love (not like) working with technology keep it up! You will find a way to get your ‘legit’ position.
      If you don’t love it, any job you have will become a burden. If you’re in technology to make money, switch to a business or law career. If you’re in technology because you love it, the jobs and money will show up for you.

    • #2705536

      MS Degree may work against you…

      by blarman ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      Without the experience to go with your Masters Degree, it may actually drag down your chances of getting a job. Most employers don’t want to pay the wages a Masters Degree usually wants for someone with as little experience as you are indicating. Same with the certifications. They are a great start, but don’t get your hopes set on an admin position out of the chute.

      I would get a job – anything really – and do so PRONTO. Your certs and education indicate that you are willing to work hard. But the lack of experience means that you should prepare yourself for working a support position for a few years.

      I also might echo the comments of those suggesting security. It’s a great field to get into right now, and your lack of experience won’t count against you quite as heavily there.

    • #2705528

      Your IT degree

      by harperwill ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      I have taught IT at a private college for over 8 years.

      It’s a bit late for this advice for you, but maybe someone else who is reading this thread will benefit. Your IT degree will get you into the interview (somewhere) – but – there will be several in the line with a degree AND a handful of certifications. Guess who will get the position?

      Colleges (and mine was no exception), place NO EMPHASIS on getting certifications. It doesn’t make any sense to spend a couple of semesters working in a hands-on Cisco lab, learning from the same materials that Cisco uses – and not put in a few more hours studying for and taking the matching cert. (As an incentive, I gave my students the option of taking my exams – and take the grade they got – or taking the cert exam. I gave an automatic “C” for taking the exam and making any serious showing on it. I gave an automatic “A” to anybody who passed the cert. I also resubmitted an “A” for people who passed the cert within two weeks (even if they failed the first try).

      Short story, I have a email list of HUNDREDS of certified AND EMPLOYED graduates.

      My credentials:
      AAS (IT and Networking), BSEE (Computers), MBA,
      MCT, CTT+, MCSE, CCNA, MCSA, Security+, A+, N+ (etc). Guess which ones get me the best job offers….(The combination of certs AND degrees)

    • #2705500

      Could you go it alone?

      by the_biochemist ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      I was in a much worse position than you (i.e. I was lacking all of those fancy letters behind my name) but had years of real experience.

      I was looking at IT jobs but found that the certifications speak louder than experience and was rejected from all but the most tedious jobs going, so I went it alone .

      Stared up an IT consultancy firm on my own dealing in all aspects of networking, software development and hardware etc… and now am the director/owner of my own my own large IT firm with profits expected to be nearly 7 figures in this financial year.

      That’s not too bad for someone with no formal qualifications… Think what you could do with your experience.

    • #2705493

      You’ll Be Alright

      by poverway ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      With all those Certs after your name, you shouldnt have a problem getting in the door. I have an AAS in Computer Network Systems, BA in CIS and and A+ and NET+, and I havent had a extremely hard time finding work. Just be persistent. I now have my own Consulting firm, and business couldnt be better. Its actually pretty easy when you have Corporate Giants like Best Buy and Circuit City raping the general public. The Public is Sick of getting thrown over a barrel by these clowns, in order to just fix their machine etc…..Hang in there man, you’ll be alright.

    • #2705490

      don’t give up….

      by ajohnson ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      IT is a huge field. I was reading in the paper today and there are 3 IT positions posted in there, usually there is always 1. Your experience will come, internship may be the way to get your foot in the door, just don’t give up. There is a lot of room for you, trust me. Technology is just getting started.

    • #2705483

      There is a future in IT

      by gritacco ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?


      First of all, if you enjoy computers, software and IT, then stay with it. There are jobs in the industry, it’s just that the industry is making a shift like all established engineering industries have in the past. Computer Programming jobs are now a commodity, at one time just being a programmer was enough, but now you need to specialize and understand the needs of a business. You should think about suring up your education with an MBA or focus your computer studies on a particular industry, even if it is gaming and graphics which takes an artistic view in the use of computers. I am in the communications sector, and it isn’t looking good, but, communications is not going away, it is shifting towards VOIP, Wireless, Fixed Wireless, bottom line is people will always be talking to other people, but it will be different. Look beyond your Comp. Sci major and see where it fits. My view is there are lots of new companies looking for new grads with new qualifications, you are probably in a better position than I.

      Good Luck,
      If you enjoy it go for it.

    • #2705481

      Some options

      by 1buttercup ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      Depending on your availability, you should look into joining several specific industry organizations to network with the professionals. For example, if you are interested in Information Security, you should look at joining ISSA, ISACA (, or others. You may also do some research to find free seminars or conferences to attend. Networking is key to finding your next job. You will have to be proactive, work hard, and be persistence. The market is still very open. The only limitation is your motivation and desire. I’m just saying there are many ways to jumpstart your career. As long as you know what you like to do, it’s only a matter of how badly do you want it. :0)

    • #2705480

      Get Certified

      by kaptkos ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      Not only a degree will potential employers be looking for. If you want to add some more study
      time into your college career, get your certification in either MCSD, MCSE, A++, or other
      specifically targeted certification.
      Many potential employers overlooked me with a B.S. in Information Technology an 8 years of
      experience just because I wasn’t certified. Now
      that I am, I get pounded by offers; however, I am
      happy where I am for the time being.

      Best of luck;

    • #2705466

      Best opportunities are overseas

      by daniel.wroblewski ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      My firm does a great deal of development work – in fact most of it – overseas, especially in India. Other emerging markets are in China (Mainland) and Phillipines in that order. For a new IT professional, you need to understand a few things. First of all, there are a lot of diploma mills out there, which are cranking out a bunch of people with IT certifications. Examples in the Milwaukee Wisconsin are are Techskills and a few others. These people will often take a job cheaply, and the prevailing attitude in business right now seems to be a combination of “get them cheap”, “outsource if you can to India (or other places” and “the technology changes so fast that you might as well get new grads since they are cheap and will work longer hours than more seasoned workers – and are more flexible in learning new technologies which turn around every 18 months or so”. Which of these attitudes prevails depends on what area of IT, programming vs support vs other areas, you are targeting. A lot of support jobs CAN be outsourced to India, and thanks to Accenture and a number of India-based IT consultancies, in my area theres a ton of that going on right now – with seasoned IT pros losing their jobs as their parent firms do just that. Those jobs are primarily going to India, but China is right behind to catch part of this overflow. This will also serve to depress IT salaries in the US (and less so in Canada, as the Canadians seem to be much less willing to outsource outside of Canada) for a long time to come. So my suggestion is, diversify and work towards other interests, as the long term opportunities given the above are in my opinion pretty bleak for USA-based IT workers, and the economic laws of supply and demand will dictate what happens in the marketplace and what kind of salaries IT pros will be able to command in the future. Remember, the India-based workers are making the equivalent of $5-$6 per hour or less, while seasoned US software developers are often seeking in the $27-$35 range. If you owned a business that was trying to be competitive and you could get the job done with this kind of differential, what would YOU do?

      Remember also with international telecomm/datacom capabilites being what they are, firms can often get their DBA, software development, and support needs – anything that can be done on over a wire – done by these foreign workers. And while the English language skills are not 100%, the ones I work with are often proficient enough to work in a US business environment over the phone. So these are considerations to take into account.

      In sum the opportunities are likely to be overseas for the forseeable future, not in the US, for any support that can be done via high speed digital networks.

    • #2705455

      My theory…

      by elf555 ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      I went to college, and I went to the Army.

      college = much theory, very little hands on.
      Army = much hands on, very little theory.
      = balance.
      I did IT for both. You have to come to an “understanding” with computers, and then the answers will come to you.

    • #2705452

      How challenging do you want your life to be??

      by jjlov ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      If you want to relearn your professional skills every 3 years (while handling a full time job) then have a 90% chance of get forcibly retired by the cost pressure of younger, cheaper, don’t mine working 80 hour week new graduates, then stick with it. Otherwise, best to look for another line of work.

    • #2705450

      The Right Reasons

      by spanr ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      Sounds like you are at a crossroad, but the wrong choice to make right now would be to not finish what you started. Whether you end up using your IT education or not, you have come so far that to give it up when the finishing post is wihtin sight would be a decision you would come to regret. It is important you have something you have finished behind you as you move forward into your life. Besides you may never know when you may want to return to it.

      Aside from that you have to make the decision as to whether you continue in the industry after you graduate. For that answer you must first turn to the question of what made you choose IT in the first place. If those reasons are as valid today as when you first signed up, then I think you will find your decision easy. If not, and you have to question your original motives, then your decision is that much harder.

      My advice, if you are not sure (and you can’t think of anything else you can be more passionate about) is to give it a try. Even if you have to get office work rather than direct IT, it is more experience (experience working in business, in the real world, with real people).

      I started my working life working as an Accounts Clerk, implemented two systems and at the end of the second deicided there was more fun and excitement in IT. I’ve been at it for twenty years now and not regretted a day. While work has sometimes been difficult to find, it has been an industry which has supported my family and I fairly well over those years (and a good few to come!!).

      But it is important to have some passion about what you do. Its like a relationship with a girl or boy, if there is no passion, may be it is time to move on (although that oversimplifies human relations and I don’t I would counsel someone having marriage difficulties along quite that line).

      In summary, get your degree finished then take a holiday and come to New Zealand where I live. Have a great time, see a beautiful country, meet some great people and check out the job scene here. The IT industry is reasonably bouyant and we are short of staff. But don’t give up and not finish your degree.

      I wish you a happy life.



    • #2705438

      IT employment statistics for U.S. workers

      by saveourjobsblog ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      I am a former network administrator, tech support specialist, and trainer. After 11 years of working in IT, I lost my job to someone who was half my age who was working for half of what I was getting paid. The person who took my job was fresh out of college with no experience. I, on the other hand, had over 15 years of experience. You may have a shot at getting your foot in the door somewhere, unfortunately you might not like your starting pay. Companies right now are outsourcing jobs to workers who will take a lower pay. They are also offshoring jobs to IT workers in India and elsewhere. I wish you the best of luck in finding a job that will provide you with a secure future. The current trend of outsourcing and offshoring makes the prospects of secure employment bleak though. If you’d like more information about what’s happening regarding outsourcing and offshoring, please see my discussion blog at You might think about starting your own business…at least you’ll know the boss and how long your job is going to last. Good luck to you!

    • #2708134

      Reply To: How Do I Get In The Door?

      by the admiral ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      I think going back into college for a new major is in your future. MSCE’s are a dime a dozen, and more often than not I have to pick up where they left off and clean up a big mess, A+ means that you have 6 months experience with repairing computers, CCNA will get you farther, CWNA might be needed, SEC+ definately, but here is what you have to understand.

      Your 24.
      You have to compete with India.
      They will take a yearly pay rate of $4,000.
      You can’t.

      What you should do, is do some freelance work to build a network. If your good, you will be recommended, if your bad, you’ll be bankrupt.

      There are no longer Legit jobs in IT, since most if not all of them outside of consulting is done at the SMB level or India level.

      • #2708104

        Integrity, hard work, opportunity…

        by gaijinit ·

        In reply to Reply To: How Do I Get In The Door?

        There is no fixed formula for success, but I berlieve flexibility, experience and the reputation it gives you is very important. Add to that the certs and the degrees and you’re ready. To start.

        The Admiral is right about facing realities of overseas competition, but wrong about IT being dead. If you’re willing to work for a few years and establish your reputation, then you will be able to depend on the people you have worked with when you need them (like when you need or want to change jobs).

        Don’t expect to get in at the top, IT is like anything else, time will tell others what you’re worth. I’ve been in the IT sector since 1969, and have seen several shake-ups (shake-outs?), but the jobs are always still there for peole who stay current and stand by their work.

        What I see in the present round of RIFs is companies desperately trying to cut costs to survive, and getting rid of the ‘fat’ in their companies, i.e. the people who just go along for the ride. Be an innovator, keep an open mind to new ideas from others (even if you’re sure they are stupid), and always do the best you can for the pay you receive.

        You’re young at 24, and you may have to wait for a couple of years to get your first Porsche, but if you work hard and continue educating yourself (as someone posted earlier, in IT you NEVER stop studying and learning new skills), you’ll get there.

        Most important of all, if you don’t enjoy your work, get out of it and into something else – you won’t do outstanding work if you don’t like what you’re doing – and people will notice a ‘don’t give a s*it’ attitude as quickly as they will someone who does the best he can because he likes what he is doing.

        Your paper credentials will help get you started, but experience and the respect of others will serve you best in the long run. You can only blame or thank yourself for what you get out of your career. It’s a cop-out to consider yourself the victim – business is business, and it can’t take time to worry about your personal needs or expectations.

        I lost my last job 1 year ago after 19 years with the same Japanese telecom provider. 1 month later I was contacted by another ex-employee of the same company I had done some work with who was now working as the operations director for a smaller, more aggressive telecom company and they wanted me to head up their their new business venture(designing short/medium-haul optical submarine cable telecom systems).

        At 54 years old, I am starting in a new job, my salary is a bit less but will grow, and in the meantime, I am excited over heading my own division, a chance to learn new skills and proud that someone hired me because they knew I had the practical experience and would do my best for them.

        Good luck to you, examine the advice posted in this discussion, filter it through your own needs and goals, and make your own decision. But IT is NOT dead – it’s like any other big industry, it has its up and down cycles.

      • #2708086

        So true

        by nicolehernandezdyer ·

        In reply to Reply To: How Do I Get In The Door?

        That is right on the mark Admiral. I couldn’t have possibly said that better. I’ve been hit by that particular aspect hard, as I was primarily a consultant.


      • #2707916

        Someone with a grad degree in computer science …

        by jasonhiner ·

        In reply to Reply To: How Do I Get In The Door?

        is not competing with workers in India. The jobs that are going to India are entry-level tech support and commodity programming. A BS or MS in computer science will put someone on the track to become a project manager, IT consultant, or other advanced IT position. The biggest challenge may be getting the foot in the door and getting started. But someone with a strong academic background in technology, a good work ethic, and solid business skills should still be able to find a good job in the U.S. economy. However, the person may need to be willing to take a job in a different part of the country than they are originally from.

    • #2708102

      Your career should be something you enjoy!

      by randalbin ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      A wise man once told me that to be truly happy in your chosen vocation it should be something that you would do for free. At the time I thought he was nuts (I was only 19 at the time) but have since come to realize that he was right. I have had terrible jobs that paid very well and nearly drove me insane. I entered the IT field in 1996 with zero formal education and zero experience and through hard work and lots of reading I have become a successful programmer and back-up Net Admin. Positions are now harder to find and the pay is not as good as it once was (especially in my rural area) but I am doing something that I enjoy. That means that I enjoy my life and I don’t come home angry and yell at my family anymore.

      I guess what I am saying is that if you are getting into IT because you like it, then stick with it, pick a specialty, and become really good at it. If you are good at what you do the positions will come. If you are only doing it for the money and your heart isn’t in it, then you won’t be happy in any case, so find a different career.

      • #2708071

        Secret of Success

        by doc dave ·

        In reply to Your career should be something you enjoy!

        The best advice I ever got was “Find something that you love to do and are good at. Do it to the best of your ability. Someone will pay you for it.”

        If that happens to be in IT then Great, go for it, you’re just the type I hire. If you’re just interested in it for the money, I for one wouldn’t hire you and I don’t think I’d be alone in that.

      • #2721247

        What he said!

        by buschman_007 ·

        In reply to Your career should be something you enjoy!

        The market is saturated right now so money and jobs are tight. But it really boils down to you loving IT work. If you are in it for the money, then the wave has passed. But if you enjoy the work then do what you love and the money will come.


    • #2708087

      My two cents…

      by nicolehernandezdyer ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      I can give you my honest opinion on this, because its something that I’ve worked through myself. I will wholeheartedly agree with everyone else who has suggested that you consider joining the military.

      If you go in the military with a bachelors degree, you can go in as an officer (and if I remember correctly, the starting pay for a fresh out of school officer is around 40k plus housing costs.). Another option would be to join whatever ROTC your college has. Basically, you can get a guaranteed commission as an officer if you go through ROTC in college. Its just more of a safety net than applying for Officer Training School with a bachelors and no ROTC.

      I can’t take that path, mainly because of medical reasons, but I wish I could. Before the major market downswing, I was an experienced IT contractor making $80/hr, holding two degrees, and had the ground fall out from under me when the IT market died. Losing nearly everything that I had, mostly because I was spending too long trying to find another job in IT, was a major eye opening experience. I learned to never lock myself completely into one area, nor to depend completely on one industry.

      The military is a stable job, it will give you experience and discipline, and being able to add years of experience and an officer rank will certainly enhance your resume if you decide to leave the military.

      Hope it works out for you,

    • #2708077

      Jump on in….the waters fine

      by pc_kahuna ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      The ideas posted here all are sound. Internships, Military and Non-profit are indeed great ways to get in the door. I think the big picture is how much IT blood do you have in your veins. As with any position be it Engineering, Geology, IT or goat farming you need to have a passion for it. Some of the naysayers do paint a bleak picture of the IT industry but if IT your passion, I would say go for it. HR types are always on the lookout for someone who loves the work they do. I would also venture to say that enthusiasm would get you in the door with any endeavor you want bad enough. I found my last IT job by way of but enthusiasm as well as knowledge of the company and knowledge of my craft got me the job.

    • #2708072

      An Idea

      by jason ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      An idea you may not have thought of is to travel.
      I have no degree, only one MCP and limited technical experience, but I’m working in Japan/Tokyo in a high paid ‘IT Related’ job having the time of my life, funneling money back to my home and slowly but surely building a solid block of experience in a job I enjoy and excel in. Send me a mail and I’ll let you know more about the opportunities.

    • #2708050

      specialize in a field, say Telecomms

      by beebee ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      Hi Pawel,
      IT is still very relevant in today’s world, cutting across all aspects of the society. You may narrow your search and specialize in an industry like Telecoms, which is fast developing. Then, you can develop your skills in a relevant and growing industry.

      • #2707834

        You’re right

        by ssangodare ·

        In reply to specialize in a field, say Telecomms

        Good point bolawole. I work in a Telecomm industry but the industry, like any other, is experiencing its own downtrend in job plcement.


      • #3297231

        communication technology will be the cutting edge in the generation to come

        by tazubike ·

        In reply to specialize in a field, say Telecomms

        communication will enhance the required development in all aspect of our life, and will last as long as the world remains

    • #2721483

      Need to be tested.

      by chris029 ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      I have seen good, and bad come from college. If you are good– swallow your pride and intern with someone. Work cheap or free. Its hard but if your good the word will get around and you will be home free. It is not easy to make a name for yourself in IT (always seem to run into people who know more than I) but it is worth it to keep trying. Nothing in life is handed out on a silver platter unless you are born rich. And remember every time microsoft burps up a new release you have to learn some new tricks all over again.

    • #2721383

      Finish and you’ll be glad you did!

      by mdfloyd1 ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      There is a trending back towards the education course you have chosen. Soon there will be opportunities within civil service (computer scientist) with pay to match based on the aging work force. The other main area you can explore is working for city, state or public schools. I think you will be surprised once you finish the MS.

    • #2721246

      Pick a new door….

      by rb_itprofessional ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      If you are in it for the long haul, and truly love IT, then by all means do what it takes to get your foot in the door. Volunteer, go to conferences and network, and be willing to work for little pay up front, the rewards can be huge in terms of personal satisfaction. As most have already pointed out, the IT industry has changed. Less jobs available, less pay, more stringent entry requirements, etc. are all things that you would have to consider for yourself if it’s worth the struggle. Personally, I have stopped recommending IT as a career field to my friends. It’s just not stable enough or welcoming enough to newcomers at this point. I wish it were different, because I got my start with minimal experience and received on the job training. Those early “learning” years were some of my best memories of working in the field. Unfortunately, those who aren’t already a part of the field will find it very difficult to get in.
      Perhaps my best advice would be to evaluate what you truly want, for the short term and the long term. Ask yourself if IT fits in the picture, and go from there.

    • #2706782

      Selling Yourself

      by briandesu ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      I am going through the same thing you are. I graduated with high honors in Chemistry, as well as have all of the popular certs, including the hands-on RHCE. I also have an extensive home lab with cisco routers/switches, PIX, line simulators, and VMWare. I have friends that got me into this field that admit that I know more than they do, because of my hard work.

      Get some consultant work under your belt. I have done some projects for free. One person let me migrate his Windows workgroup to AD, and his email systems. Now I have something worth talking about on an interview. I tell the person interviewing that the lab I have was instrumental to the success of the project, b/c many of the same issues cropped up.

      I tell interviewers that experience is relative to what you put into something, and what you get out of it. Give examples of how you ran into a situation where you did not know a product, but figured it out due to your ability to troubleshoot, or how it was similar to something you already know.

      I feel your frustration because the lack of experience on my resume does not show who I am. However, the people that I have interviewed with immediately recognized my drive and my intelligence.

      Stay strong. Your hard work shows that you have the iniative that many people lack. Anybody who says that experience is the only factor lacks intelligence. People with higher IQs learn faster, and are able to solve problems faster. Some people take years to learn what takes others months or days.

      Good Luck!

    • #2706064

      Internship track that might help

      by don.haldeman ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      I recently was told of this program. I am unable to take advantage of it myself, but it might help others that are looking to get into an internship. Check out this web site:

      Good Luck!!

    • #2722690

      Pawel, include your email address

      by grant@rb ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      I haven’t seen any responses from Pawel. That makes me think that Pawel is not even reading this, so I’ll make it short.

      -Talk to the college advisors and see if they have any job placement services.
      -Talk to friends and family to see if they can help you find a job.
      -Find a couple recruiters you like and have them look for jobs for you.
      -Include your email address in your next TechRepublic posting so TR members can contact you. Who knows, maybe one of them will want to offer you a job?

    • #2721573

      What next??

      by yelesom ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      Hi I am in a similar situation a Pawel.. i have a BSc in COmputer science and Accounting followed by a MBA in Information management. Additionally i have about 2 and a half years of work experience, this comprises of some programming, database and network administration. So before I answer Pawl’s question I wold like to ask what’s the next possible step for me?? I was thinking of getting into project management and analysis… any thoughts

      Pawl, my advise to you is get as much work experience as possible, from what you say you seem to be a very technically oriented person so some work experience would so yo good, and not just lab work, I mean industrial placements and an actualy job.

    • #3307385

      Rocket Science

      by briandesu ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      I feel your pain. I graduated with honors in chemistry, have all the big certs, and have spent the last few years working in my extensive home lab, consisting of multiple servers running different platforms, Cisco routers/switches, PIX, etc.

      I gained real world experience by consulting. The person(s) who allowed me to do the work, say their networks run better after my work.

      IT is not rocket science, yet many admins would try to convince you otherwise, which is likely the reason you hear the experience word. Whoever says that experience is the defining factor manifests severely limited thinking. Experience is proportional to intensity and effort. I have met many people with more experience that I can run circles around.

      IT is easy. If you can read, then you can succeed. I encountered way more difficult problems in chemistry. I like chemistry, but love computers. Hence, why I am changing careers.

      Go through a recruiting agency. They will help you get you the interviews. Everybody I interviewed with wants to hire me, because they realize that intelligence is far more powerful than experience.

      Good Luck!

    • #3308304

      Talk to one of the owners like me – we are looking for motivated people!!!

      by rswanson ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      Greetings fellow Technicians,

      I am the owner of a small business in Charleston, South Carolina. I have been in business since 1998 and have seen many technicians come and go.

      The grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence. I think that highly skilled service engineers are still in great demand. We are turning work away because we have a shortage of skilled engineers that can and are willing to do the work required to resolve complex site issues.

      The problem is that there are a lot of engineers that have had cushy jobs at the big fancy buildings and have forgot what a real hard (but rewarding $) days work consists of. There are no quick jumps to the senior engineer position. It takes lots of hard work and the stuff you learn at 3am means more than any instructor, exam, college or university can teach you.

      I am constantly looking for good feild engineers so if anyone is trying to find work please come visit our beautiful town and talk with me to get started.

      Roger Swanson – CTO & President
      Computer Network Enterprises, Inc.
      Charleston, SC
      843-8210-4356 (for comments)

    • #3310178

      Is Help Desk and Tech Support really IT?

      by georgep922 ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      I am in a similar situation as the poster. I only have a BS in Comp Info Systems (grad may 2004). I couldnt even find an internship last year, and from what I hear most companies wont give you one after graduation. If I had gotten the MS and certs and was in this sitution I would be more suicidal. I am already depressed and humiliated as it is. At least every one including recruiters are fully aware of the job market, well bush isnt but thats another post.

      So on my resume, I have some experience, but no hard IT experience. I am a very energetic person and love working with computers and people. Programming was never my strong point, I was always more better with fixing problems, research, troubleshooting.
      Unfortunatly with my school, we didnt get almost any real world experience, in 2 classes Project Management and usability testing. Many times we would tell the teachers : “I havent learned anything, What am I going to do when I graduate, what is IT?” My family and friends have a hard time beleiving me when I say this.

      I am willing to get into any part of the industry but I need to be trained. I have been through all of this and heard most of what has been posted.

      So now to the subject of my post, I have found that the only likely field I will get in at this point is tech support and help desk positions. Pretty much supporting systems of a business helping customers on the phone etc.

      Some of these postions say Associates required BS prefered, and some have said high school required, I am hoping by shooting low I can get in.

      Now will the experience I get be significant enough to move higher. I like systems analysis and testing, and I really like project management.

      I just got a call back for interview, I pray that I get it, I hope my interview is good, I already feel I have brainrot and the longer I am not in work or school. my last interviews I notice that I do really good at last min improvs, I did some good pointers in this thread about showing personality and ability to work with others. In my past interviews I was trying real hard to make it look like I really knew IT lingo. It always seemed that if I didnt know how to perform a certain task that is done at their business, that was a minus on me.

      so I will just mention some of the names of positions I am pursuing right now: PC Technician, Technical SupportRep at Kodak, User Support Analyst, Help Desk (medical system, group of hospitals) Computer Field Engineer(realy techsupport/help desk)

      I have called all temp agencies that are computer oriented, Every time I ask for Junior Level IT, I get a very polite “no” also a pointer to you, ask for JUNIOR level, not ENTRY! a recruiter told me they are the same thing, when I asked her for advice after she said the beautifull no.

      Ironically I live in Baltimore County, MD We have MANY companies here like Kodak, UPS, BlackNDecker(global HQ) TRowe Price, Morgan Stanley, Johns Hopkins. And being within 50 miles of DC, N Virginia, and the rest of Maryland we have lots of military contrators like northrop grumman, Computer Science Corporation.

      I know this is quite a ramble, but any comments would be greatly appreciated, and any tips for interviewing for help desk/tech support jobs would be lovely.

      • #3310129

        In a similar boat

        by obiwaynekenobi ·

        In reply to Is Help Desk and Tech Support really IT?

        I have almost the same problem.. I have:

        – A.S. degree in Network Administration
        – A+ certification
        – 1 year helping the IT staff at school maintain the network
        – 6 mo. doing PC repair/web design for home users.

        And I can’t find a single damn thing. Everything either wants 5+ years experience, requires programming (which I can’t really understand) or is some kind of friggin’ call center (which, I’m sorry, but I don’t consider to be a real IT position). It’s very depressing, because I love technology and I enjoy troubleshooting/repairing computers.

        How the HELL are you supposed to get anywhere when most companies won’t even give you a chance to prove yourself? Even the little two-bit computer shops around here aren’t hiring, and most of the larger companies won’t even contact me despite my meeting/exceeding their requirements. And don’t even get me started on IT recruiters. Do I have to self-study and have an MCSE for them to even look at me? Unfortunatly it seems that’s the current trend… It makes me regret spending $25,000 on a seemingly worthless degree.

    • #3309901

      try government

      by unomas ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      There are still plenty of unfilled jobs out there. Try local city and county postings for any potential IT jobs. I still see them posted here and there. See who is doing a start up company and try hooking up with them. Try specializing in Oracle or some other major industry packag.

    • #3309779

      The door is locked

      by pioneering ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      My advice:

      Stay out of the IT business.
      The IT business is nothing but pain and misery.
      You don’t want that. Choose another career.
      Become a musician or something.

      (I’m just trying to eliminate the competition.)

    • #3326338

      Deside what City you would like to work in and call me!

      by rswanson ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      Hello Pawel,

      I am a CTO of a company in Charleston, SC. We are always looking for qualified reponsible young entergetic techs. The problem is many come to our interviews unprepaired for what we are seeing in the feild. We have an intership program here in Charleston I would be happy to discuss with you.

      Email me at for more details.

      Trust me you can work in any City it the world with the proper training and guidance. The only thing that separates you from anyone else is your willingness to work at it…lots of techs will sit in an interview and not present themselves correctly. Remember you are always selling yourself to your customers or your boss.

      Good Luck,

      Roger Swanson
      Computer Network Enterprises, Inc. – CTO
      Charleston, SC

    • #3250427

      Just a thought if your $ situation is stable

      by cbglenn ·

      In reply to How Do I Get In The Door?

      If you do not need lost of dough to stay alive at the moment, I would suggest a voluntary stint working for a local school or college. I have a friend who was a CCIE, but he knew it was tough to get in. He volunteered at a school while making ends meet at another job and some small paying projects. This gave him verifiable experience in both government and private work in his field. He worked for years at HP making big time $$$ and now runs his own operation with at partner setting up large LAN and Campus networks for other State facilities because he was able to show his work.

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