IT job advice for a college student

By endisbegun ·
So I'm a "Computer Networking and Information Systems" major at a school in Boston

Either next January or August I'm going to be going on Co-op...but to be perfectly honest I'm not sure what I'm going to be able to do with my degree

So far I've been inundated with programming classes in C++, and theres VI, Java, and C sharp this semester. Being a networking major, this stuff all gives me a tremendous headache, I'm not so good at it, and it's kind of making me lose focus on the networking side of my major

I visit this site often and I know how many IT specialists come here, I was hoping for some advice then on what kind of job I'd be able to look for with a degree in networking...I'm paying about 35k a year for this 4 year program so I'm hoping I can find something with good earnings and job security

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my recommendation

by jck In reply to IT job advice for a colle ...

Go into a network security job, or an entry position that will give you opportunity to move into that somewhere.

Focus on learning security. There's never a shortage of people in the world trying to hack servers and what not. Plus, you can make good money after a number of years.

Good luck

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by Fregeus In reply to IT job advice for a colle ...

"I visit this site often and I know how many IT specialists come here, I was hoping for some advice then on what kind of job I'd be able to look for with a degree in networking...I'm paying about 35k a year for this 4 year program so I'm hoping I can find something with good earnings and job security"

If the trend continues, these two things (good earnings and job security) will no longer exist soon. IT is all about money. Its not about technologies or software or tools. Its about making money for IT companies and about not making money for IT workers.

If you want a good wage and job security, become a nurse. Healthcare is about the only job security in the world today. No matter what, people will get sick.

Sorry to burst your bubble, but better now than later.


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no, healthcare is not the way to go

by Snuffy09 In reply to Unfortunately

if the reform gets passed doctors wont even want to be in healthcare.

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Whatever U Like!

by cfrond In reply to IT job advice for a colle ...

The great thing about the IT industry is that there are plenty of disciplines to go into. It used to be that you picked a specialized area and focused on it and that?s how you made your money, by having a specialized skill in a certain area. Those days are gone however, it is not and employee market anymore it's an employer market.

Most companies have IT people because they have to not because they want to; a company that is IT based being the exception. So you need to find a spot where you will shine and show whatever company that you work for that you are an asset instead of an overhead revenue consumer.

My suggestion to you is to choose a company that is trying to grow and then use your skills to help them to do so in a technical fashion. Meaning when they get to where they want to be they will see you as a person that helped them get there and not just someone who changes the passwords when they forget them.

35k a year for an IT degree? I would go ahead and get your masters in MIS as well then because you will make more money in IT Management as well.

Just remember to do what you like to do and what you will be able to do for a long time without getting burned out. Good Luck :)

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follow up question

by endisbegun In reply to Whatever U Like!

so then my follow up question would be as far as networking is concerned, how much should i worry about my failing java/c++/programming in general skills?

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RE: follow up question

by kpwood In reply to follow up question

I'd be more concerned about how those grades will look when your prospective employer asks to review your transcript during your interview. From what I've gleaned off most sites and from the IT pros I know, scripting is going to be your biggest piece of programming. Most of my friends use batch files, vbscript, and are starting to use Powershell.

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Do as good as you can...

by cfrond In reply to follow up question

You always want to make the best grades possible however you will hardly ever use java/C++ in a network admin position.

That being said you will probably make use of scripting especially as more companies get around to deploying Windows Server 2008. The fundamentals of programming will apply to scripting. Meaning understanding routines/functions, arrays, if-thens and other conditionals, string manipulations and just your basic programming skills and more importantly the logic, you will get from those classes will help you in whatever scripting you may need to do in a net admin position.

I have never in 16 years of IT had any company review my transcript in an interview and I've worked for more then one fortune 500 company. At the most they might ask what your GPA was so doing your best will still count.

Knowledge goes a long way in the IT industry so the more you can get the better off you will be.

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Work Hard For It

by kpwood In reply to IT job advice for a colle ...

Biggest advice I can give you having just gotten into the IT field is to work hard for whatever job you go for. Do every interview like it's your last, study up on who you're interviewing for (company I mean), and **** their socks off. It's not fool proof by any means, but a company is more likely to hire someone who is confident in their ability even if they lack "experience." As to what type of job, seems that most IT get their start in help desk. I'm looking to be a security admin at some point, but I'm starting out as a plain old Computer Support Technician. Basically, get your foot in the door and move on from there.

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You can make good money in IT

by AV . In reply to IT job advice for a colle ...

But, there is no such thing as job security anymore in any field, except maybe nursing.

The best way to start out is working on a help desk to get some experience. My first IT job was working a help desk at a college for very little pay. After a couple of years I landed a help desk job in a big pharmaceutical company. I was promoted into networking about a year or so later.

Today, I know its hard to get your foot in the door at any company, but the way I did it was to become very knowledgeable about the company I was applying to and to be enthusiastic about the job being offered. Soft skills go a long way.

If I was just starting out, I'd look at data security and computer forensics. Also hot right now is anything involving VMWare and virtualization technologies.

IT jobs in networking pay very well, but you have to work your way up. Tough, but worth it.

Something else to consider is what industry you want to work in. Pharmaceutical, financial, healthcare, legal, insurance etc. They all have their own specialized, critical applications. Experience with any industry-specific application will move your resume to the top of the list.

I work in legal tech as a Net Admin and support applications like Summation or Casemap in addition to Windows Server and SQL. I also support Voip and smartphones (unfortunately).


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Make even better money in PRINT ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to You can make good money i ...

It's not even counterfeit.

Unfortunately it IS still fiduciary, therefore totally illegal.

But it looks really nice!

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