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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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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 <g&gt 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.

-ds

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Bingo

by Toucan In reply to Re: Get a Security Clear ...

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.

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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

tol

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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 ****!!!, 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

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Not always

by Toucan In reply to Re:- Security Clearance

Sounds like a particular requirement of the company.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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How Do You Get a Clearance Renewed?

by jthomson60016 In reply to Re: Get a Security Clear ...

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?

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