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

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

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

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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.

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Finish and you'll be glad you did!

by mdfloyd 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.

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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.

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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!

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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!!

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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?

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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.

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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!

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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)

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