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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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So true

by nicolehernandezdyer In reply to

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.


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Someone with a grad degree in computer science ...

by jasonhiner Moderator In reply to

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.

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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.

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Secret of Success

by Doc Dave In reply to Your career should be som ...

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.

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What he said!

by buschman_007 In reply to Your career should be som ...

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.


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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,

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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.

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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.

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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.

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You're right

by ssangodare In reply to specialize in a field, s ...

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


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