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To Work or Not To Work in the IT/MIS Industry

By comp1systems ·
Ok, so I don't have my A+ Certification. But I have what it
takes to work in the IT/MIS industry. Is not having my
certification what's crippling me from taking that plunge
into the new career I spent six months training for? Let me
tell you, as a single mother, working for very little pay in an
institute that only gives the best positions and best pay to
those of not colored (do not mean to sound racist because
I'm not), it makes it almost difficult to survive on a month-
to-month basis -- impossible to pay for the exams I need
to take. Do all computer based job require certification? I
am without doubt that the answer to that would be a
horrifying yes. It seams that even though one is qualified,
the opportunities are dismal without the necessary
credentials. And what about entry level? Where does that
leave me? Am I frustrated? **** yes because I know I can do
the job and do it well, but when you're without the
necessary tools to excel me to the top in this profession,
everyone else looks down at me and seems to snicker
because I've come acquiring information about an IT related
job. Please, can someone ease my frustration and provide
me with some advice I can go on to keep from pulling my
hair out of my head?

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What makes you qualified?

by itstech In reply to To Work or Not To Work in ...

You talk about how you have what it takes...but there are a lot people out there that has what it takes...You mentioned you have six months of training, but that is not going to cut it now a days. Anyone can go for training. You need experience to show you know how to do the job. Of course it is going to be hard to find a job if you are competing with those that have a degree, experience, and certification. When I first started I also thought I had what it takes. I had my degree and so called "what it takes", but employers were looking for people proven experience they could do the job. I started off volunteering and basically working for nothing. Try volunteering first. IT is not a job where you can expect to just step right in and work. Businesses that depend on information technology are not going to take a chance on a newcomer that might mess up their systems.

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Work Experience

by siraaj.khan In reply to What makes you qualified?

You mention work experience, I have a very important point. I too agree that experience counts but how are people going to gain experience when opportunities are not created in the work place? Time and money is needed to invest in our younger and upcoming IT professionals.

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Re: Work Experience

by itstech In reply to Work Experience

I am relatively new to the IT world. I graduated with a B.S. in Computer Engineering and it took me awhile to find an IT Job. My first IT job was an internship where I volunteered to work for no money. Most businesses do not have the time or money to train new IT Professionals. And you can bet your money that they aren't going to let an inexperience person handle their systems. You have to earn and gain your opportunities for experience on your own...even if that means volunteering and working for no money. In the long run it will pay off. Why should time and money be invested in the inexperience? When there is a lot of talent and experience out there already. Businesses rather invest that money in implementing their IT initiatives and further developing their current staff. Bottomline as a person that wants to get into the IT Field...you have to earn and gain your opportunities. You have to pay your dues. I know because that's what I did. A year ago, I was even in the IT Field yet. I was on the outside looking in...trying to break into the field.

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Yessserrreee

by bmwwaterman In reply to Re: Work Experience

The older and the more experience you get, the more you realize you don't know. When you are fresh out of training, you had the lab environment which is new and untouched basically. You get on some servers or PC's that have what I call "several million miles on them" (two or three year old) the lab more than likely won't help much. There are so many variables, I can't begin to list them here.

I worked my way up to senior PC/LAN support tech. Basically it's my job to make sure the PC get's fixed one way or another while protecting the corporate data on the PC/laptops. So basically I oversee the others work and offer/instruct them to try this or that.

There is a lot of good advise here. But the best two in my opinion are:

1. Break into the field for free if you have to. Make a name for yourself. I did and have a good reputation with it among other people and companies.

2. Pay your dues. Show the respect to those that are showing you the ropes. Don't think you are the cats meow because you have training. Without being disrespectful, you are green behind the ears. Hey, I was at one time too. But if that bothers you that you might be that way, then you might need your attitude checked. Why? Because those of us in the field know when a newbie is cocky and can't back it up. The technology is changing and being added all the time. It's hard to keep up with it.

I tell my guys this. I want one thing from you. "I WANT YOUR BEST ALL THE TIME!" I can tell when they are not giving it to me. And I tell them that when I need to. But in return, they are learning more than they thought they could ever learn. And they appreciate me and how we work. We are a team that is improving all the time!!! And I have to say it's great training my "replacements", so to speak.

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Re: Work Experience + IT Field

by a.singh In reply to Re: Work Experience

Well times were tough and hard to get in to the IT field especially with an IT degree, which fits in any area of IT, web design, programming, networking, systems administration, database systems, and the list goes on and the difficult thing is choosing the correct field for the certification, you want one but may not want to miss on the others. I remember my First interview for the IT intern, where got excited and fumbled the seven layers of the OSI model, yap easy question but gets difficult at the right moment. Worked for 3 months without pay as IT attachment developing a companies website, fourth month left and got a decent job with pay, 5 th month got a call back from the same company for a more permanent position and finish the website which i started off. Well yeah got a good offer with overseas trips, so 1 year gone with the same company now the diffcult thing is choosing the certification, web, systems or programming.

Thanks
A.Singh

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If You Think You Need Go For It

by Logos-Systems In reply to Re: Work Experience + IT ...

Well, on the subject which certification, well the way I see it after 35 years in the field is this. If there is a particular speciality or area of the field you are interested in, then get the certification! In this field if you are not learning, then you are losing. This does not only apply to certifications, but any method of learning. This field is not like anient history, once you learn it you know all as much as everyone else with the same educational level. In this field you are constantly going back to school, in one way or another. To make a point. When I entered this field 80% of all programmers need to know one or more assembly languages. Now I'm will to bet that less then 0.01% of all programmers are required to know even one assembly language. The technology is constantly changing, and if you not willing to study and learn the new technology you will shortly find that there is little if any need for your skills.

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Work Experience

by mike_patburgess In reply to Work Experience

Sorry all, but I have met a number of "certified" people and they had not a clue on what to do in their profession. Certification does not mean you are qualified. Certification just means that you have read a bunch of material, memorized a lot of content and then passed a test. Nothing more nothing less.

I would rather give someone a chance that is willing to learn, has a fairly good knowledge of the technology, and is a self starter.. etc..

Someone that you can culture in an environment typically will get you a loyal employee and not someone who is looking for the next biggest buck.

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What Is Your Track Record

by Logos-Systems In reply to Work Experience

I would agree, if certain market conditions were true. But currently that is not the economic situation.

I would like to know the following:
1. How many of these self-starters you have hired
2. How long have they stayed "Loyal" to the company that hired them.
3. How many have not worked out.

Answer if you will!

I will tell you that after 35 years in the industry that I have made the hiring decisions on over 100 people. Some had professional track records, some did not. The one that had previous experience were had the highest percentage of completing a project, while only a few, that had less then 3 years experience or less, were willing to stay and finish their project they were hired for. Of those that had 1 year or less, the next offer they got that either had better pay, or a better title and off they went with little or no notice to their current employer and how it would impact that company.

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Finishing a project and years of Experience...

by larrybell_2000 In reply to What Is Your Track Record

I don't know if Michael.Burgess will answer your questions, but I ask YOU this...

Of the professionals that had 'track records' and completed their projects, what percentage were older workers? Conversly, what percentage of workers that didn't complete their projects were younger workers?

Being a middle aged IT worker myself, I don't think the business world in general is where it was even 20 years ago. Global competition is forcing businesses into positions where they cannot afford to take time to train workers. And businesses are quick to eliminate the weak or underperforming worker, all in the name of 'the competitive edge'. Thus there no longer is the idea of loyalty for the employee on the part of the company. And if there is no loyalty for the employee by the company, why would the employee have any loyalty for the company?
Older employees, ones I suspect are more likely to have 'a track record', are more likely to be employees with the older sense of loyalty to the company, and complete the project. Younger employees (I feel) are less likely to feel any loyalty for a given company, and are more likely to 'jump ship' if a better offer comes along. I would say it is a generational problem.

I myself am in the same position as Comp1systems (original post). I had been a mainframe computer operator for 15 years. But as it seems that mainframes are becoming extinct (for smaller businesses anyway), I feel the need to switch careers to a Desktop Support/PC Support type of position. I have been building and configuring my own machines for about the same 15 years, and yes, I feel I know a fair amount too. I took the CompTIA A+ Certification class, but have not taken the test to actually get the certification. And like Comp1systems, I too am having a hard time finding a business to take an interest in me.

It is a situation like credit: You can't get credit without already having credit. You can't get a job without experience, but you have to have a job to GET the experience.

I have had a couple of breaks. Somewhat out of the blue, I have had staffing agencies contact me about a contract position they have had doing PC support work. The first one lasted 6 weeks, and the other I just started. While working the first, I added it to my resume, and immediately got other calls for other contract work. But I opted to wait for the current one to end before accepting another contract position. My own ethics of 'seeing a project through' kept me from jumping ship. Plus it wouldn't look good to switch from one short term project to another before it was done.

It is hard to have patience when you need to feed your family, pay the rent, whatever. But like everyone has said so far, you have to pay your dues to succeed. Even if it means short term, low pay/no pay positions. I'm there, trying to be patient, trying to find someone willing to give me a shot.

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Loyalty -vs- The Bottom Line

by JonathanPDX In reply to Finishing a project and y ...

I wonder how long it will take for businesses to realize that loyalty to their employees and the loyalty of their employees to them is just as important to the so called "bottom line" as shareholder dividends? It seems that the greed of not only upper echelon executives but shareholders as well are creating not stable, steady, functional organizations, but rather cutthroat businesses that exist for a brief moment, create a flash in the pan, and die out just as quickly.

I for one would love to work for a company where the employee was more than simply a means to an end, and that the good name of the company and the importance of each person who contributed to the overall success of that company is more important than the luzury yachts and vacation homes of the executives or the piddley extra .02 increase in dividends.

Unfortunately, I'm beginning to think that company loyalty is nothing more than a commodity to be relegated to the highest bidder for only as long as there isn't a more lucrative offer in the wings.

Sometimes I feel like a dinosaur by thinking that a company should take care of its employees and vice-versa. Seems that the main focus is on feeding the sharks and forgetting the very people who put the company in a position to make those kind of payments possible.

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