IT Employment

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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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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.

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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."

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stay in IT

by david In reply to Different kinds of openin ...

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.

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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.

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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

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Alternative Start!!!

by jlocker In reply to Lately It has been - Expe ...

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.

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You'll need experience, experience, experience.

by angelgrl In reply to Lately It has been - Expe ...

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

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by jlocker In reply to You'll need experience, e ...

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!

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Professional organizations

by pjnyusa In reply to You'll need experience, e ...

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.

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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!

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