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How is it that four year college educated people are better technicians?

By ctsmain ·
I have spent 16 years working in the computer industry in one year or another and while I agree that college education can be a good thing, typically in the tech support end of things i've personally found that the people have attended classes and done just enough to pass the classes yet do not have enough practical knowledge from the classes to actually know how to do the job.

A prime example of this is I got a temporary job at a Company in knoxville back in 1999 making $9.00 an hour and couldn't go permanent because they hired 2 people directly out of the local university that had associates degrees in computer sciences who walked in, sat down on either side of me and began asking things like "where's the hard drive in these things" "what does the memory look like and where is it". Now at that time i had only been working in computers for about 6 years and this was day one stuff here they were asking me. I was so flabergasted by the fact that these people were asking me these questions that I asked them the following: "you both went to {local un-named college} for two years now right" [response] "yes" [me agian] "and what did you do in those classes that you don't already know the things you are asking me about" [response] " well we played games mostly, Occasionally we would actually work on computer stuff but for the most part just played games" [me again] "and they give you a degree for that?" [no response]. so every since then I have no confidence and am not at all impressed with people that tell me that they have a college degree, Because I have found this to be a common thing with the people that have completed those courses.

I gained all my knowlege the old school way, by trial and error and I messed up my share of operating system loads and lost more than my share of data before I learned how to do things the proper way. The thing is I learned from all that and never again after that had to ask any one such a question as "where is the hard drive" or "what does memory look like".

Working for one of the worlds largest computer companies as a Senior Technical Support Technician I also got to speak with quite a few technicians and "IT or Network administrators" that claimed to know their stuff and had supposedly done all the proper troubleshooting before calling me.

The thing that was a resounding commonality is that a lot of them may have done some of the troubleshooting but neglected to do the simple first year type troubleshooting that any shade tree tech would have known to do, yet these people had degrees and in some cases were fully Microsoft certified yet they were on my phone having missed some of the most simple steps.

This has been a hot topic with other industry professionals that I have dealt with in my tenure as a support technician. It's like the certification means nothing actually, neither does the schooling. all it means is that those people know how to take and pass tests on the subject of computers. But when it comes time to actually have to practice or use the knowlege they are sadly lacking, yet the requirement of the certifications and college training is still a requirement for so many positions being offered these days. I even put off getting even the industry standard certification until I had to have it to keep my job because I didn't want to be someone that was thought to have just taken a test and gotten a piece of paper that says I know what I am doing. I was counting on my 16 years of experience to speak more for my abilities than any piece of paper ever could. It's just sad to me that the actual hands on experience isn't enough for people any more and they go for that false sense of security that they get with someone that has one of those expensive pieces of paper.

That's just my opinion, what's yours?

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I agree

by wanttocancel In reply to Nothing beats experience

I have a degree in English and I'm working toward to be a novelist but to pay the bills I use my IT skills to repair computers. I've run across many job opportunties where the employer wanted a IT grad and not me because even though I have the experience I don't have that particular degree.

As AV said you have to sell yourself and your experience because employers are only going to see you at face value, and that face value is your resume.

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And a ham sandwich is better than nothing

by jdclyde In reply to Nothing beats experience

so a ham sandwich is better than experience!


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Unless, of course

by neilb@uk In reply to And a ham sandwich is bet ...

you're Muslim or a Jew

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:^0 {nt}

by AV . In reply to Unless, of course
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hold the mayo?

by jdclyde In reply to Unless, of course
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Too bad....a company could have filet mignon

by AV . In reply to And a ham sandwich is bet ...

IF, they can think outside the box and realize that a degree doesn't mean someone can automatically handle the job.


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i feel your pain

by LazloHollyfeld In reply to How is it that four year ...

been there. it is not a fun thing.

i once had a worker that had listed specific experience working on dell pc hardware even to the point of listing models (optiplex gx1, etc), but yet when it came to it he did not even know how to crack the case open on it.

i called his bluff. he didn't make it past his probation. i got another tech later that knew what he was doing.

first guy had a masters in cis

second guy had a a.s. in info systems and about 5 years experience.

we started looking at job specs and the phrase "...or equivalent experience" very carefully. seems that a degree alone did not make someone qualified to do the work.

of course, i can say the same thing about management too. most of them with mbas are about qualified to run a drive-thru at mcdonalds. lmbo

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This brings up another point

by ctsmain In reply to i feel your pain

seeing you mention the Dell experience brings up another sore point. I worked at Dell as a Senior Technical support and for 2 years since leaving there have worked in Dell only shops i've repaired everything from the smallest of their portables (laptops) all the way up to repairing servers and switches. I still have a current and up to date DCSE but when dealing with HR people and managers on the phones they act like that's just something that is expected or not really significant at all.

It only bothers me because I honestly expected that to be a more significant accomplishment and experience. Some people require that you have Dell experience but will still hire someone who has been to college over even the Dell experience that they require you to have. it's not the interviews I am failing on so I can only assume it's that I don't have college or that something on my resume doesn't properly convey my actual dell experience.

I didn't mean to make this at all about me personally but on this point there's no other way I could convey it properly and still get my point across.

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Depends on the job I guess

by The 'G-Man.' In reply to This brings up another po ...

If I wanted a DELL technician then I would go for you. Other job, well depends on what else you have to offer.

Tech is getting cheaper, it may be more cost effective to use your salary as a fund for broken equipement as it happens. Not all the equipement will break.

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We could all stand and point out...

by The 'G-Man.' In reply to i feel your pain

that you use i instead of I when writing, but then what would be the point?

Guess you just lack experience in writing.

We could say you are not qualified enough or perhaps just lack experience in the writing departement.

Which is it, you decide?

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