General discussion



By Menace65 ·
This has been my career to date:

Administrative Assistant (who also did desktop support and training)
Systems Analyst (how I got this job I'll never know!)
MIS Support & Training Specialist

I am currently unemployed because I moved from one state to another (because of my fiance). I am finding it very difficult to find a position here and I'm in a quandry over how to proceed. I don't have a degree, and while I have certificates in various (Windows NT, Relational DBs, Networking), I am not an MCSE. I feel as if I've just "fallen" into the jobs I've had, done well in them, and worked for high-profile, well-established companies. Now I'm wondering if what I should be doing is getting a job that is not 24/7, and go back to school (or at least get certified!). Has anyone been in this situation? Any advice you can give? Are there usually state run programs that help pay for people to go back to school? I will start calling around and finding out myself but whatwondering if anyone has been in a similar situation. Thanks!

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three things that may help

by mmrozek In reply to Quandry

I'm not in a similar situation right now but I do know a few things that may help.
1. The fact is you have experience - from what I've seen lately, employers are more concerned with experience than certifications. I will have my MSCE in a month or two but when I was hired a year ago, I was hired for a position that four MSCE's applied to. However, an employer may be concerned that you have not taken the time and/or initiative to begin or finish a commitment such as a degree or certification. But if you stress that you do well in most of the jobs you've fallen into, you can carefully exploit that as being adaptive and flexible.
2. Perform informational interviews. Find people who are in similar positions you might be interested in, take them out to lunch and interview them. This is typically very successful but you have to know what you're doing.
3. I'm positive there is money available for you to go back to school. Check on every level - local/state/federal. I've found that librarians (public/university) can be extremely helpful in searches such as these.

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financial aid for school

by tracarts In reply to Quandry

You can go to to find grants and scholarships for school. If you go to an accredited 2 or 4 year school there are pell grants and stafford loans. If you are looking into just getting certification and or training through some place like New Horizons there are 2 websites, provided you have a good credit history.,
Hope this helps, I am on the other end, Masters degree from University of Phoenix, but not tons of experience, and finding it just as hard.

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The ability to adapt

by rick_b In reply to Quandry

When I am interviewing and/or hiring a candidate, I look for their ability to adapt.
It appears from your job history that you have the abilty to adapt. I am impressed that you took the challenge of relocation which tells me in an interview that you are not intimidated by change. These two qualitys will get you a lot farther in IT, then any certification will.

If you are looking for certifications and/or experience, I find it very difficult to find candidates that have routing experience.
Take Care

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One possibility

by O/Siris In reply to Quandry

Microsoft has had a loan program available for those seeking I.T. training for some time. You can investigate it at the link below. Whatever you decide, best of luck.

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Deja vu

by wooderson In reply to Quandry

I went back to school after finding myself in the almost the same situation about 14 years ago. I had no idea there was money for near mid-aged people to go to school, but I found out differently. Go to the nearest community college. The average student age at our school is about 34.

I am now a community college professor having completed my Ph.D. in May 2000. I suggest one class to get your feet wet and hone your learning skills...with your background you WILL succeed. Accredited distance ed programs work fine after you develop good study skills. I had lots of work experience and found I could get some work-experience credit in a Trades and Industrial Education program through a local university. That was the most expedient way for me to complete a BS.

I earned my masters and doctorate while teaching full time. I am not making as much money as a certified IT, but the pay is a bunch more that what I was making without a degree when I was doing the work and not getting the credit. Hang in there and go for it.

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Thank You!

by Menace65 In reply to Deja vu

I just wanted to thank all who took the time to write in reference to my initial posting. I have decided to seek my certification as I know it will fill in those gaps missing from my education. I can put off seeking a full time job for now, and I know the money will come through as well. I feel I'm making a turning point in my life, which is both exciting and scary. This, to me, is a no lose situation and ultimately, I will have gained a lot more confidence in myself and my abilities. Thanks again, everyone!

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