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  • #2190790

    Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?


    by brainxpansion ·

    I graduated November 2004 from a well-known and established private university. I worked four long years in order to obtain my Bachelor of Science degree in (IT) Information Technology. I was exposed to theory, concept, and procedure in a myriad of fields in the IT sector. Not to “hip” on programming, but I realize I should know at least two languages. The difficulty I am having is landing that “entry-level” position. Sure! The ads in the newspaper state entry-level, but when you read them, they ask for 3-5 years experience. Are there no entry-level IT jobs out there that are actually entry-level as I remembered what entry-level used to be? You know, a “green horn,” “Wet behind the ears,” and a “newbee.”

    For example: I went to an interview the other day for IT Help Desk. Some questions they asked me consisted of VPN’s, Active Directory, DNS, and even if a node was down on a WAN from Texas to my location, how could I tell what was wrong? I knew what these things where, but to answer them with fixes, I was baffled. I have never been in an IT position before, so I how do I make that transition in order to obtain the hands-on experience? I would like to build Websites, but I only have a basic understanding from school. I have no peers in my circle of friends involved with IT, so it is difficult for me to turn to someone who is knowledgeable. None of my friends understand the things I talk about. All I have are my books, but sometimes even when you read, you reach sticky points in all the techno-babble.

    Another thing, my wife says I am too old, they want younger men. I am 42 and interested in making my families life better. I am not afraid of hard work. I am a people person, I have integrity, and I am an amiable guy willing to learn.

All Comments

  • Author
    • #3054640

      HR Hoops

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      That’s what they want, it’s not what they are going to get in 99.999% of cases. If you feel you can do the job as described apply, HR will ask you whether you think you can do the job, say yes and hopefully you’ll get judged by someone who knows something about IT.
      What was you’re earlier career, your best bet for a foot in is to use your previous experience/contacts and look for a job in that industry with an IT angle.

      • #3047042

        Earlier position

        by brainxpansion ·

        In reply to HR Hoops

        I was Administrative Support for a meat manufacturing company. They had no IT people and the CEO had a PC behind him that just collected dust. In fact, we would borrow parts from his PC when he was not there. 🙂

        So what you are saying is all this experience they want is not what it seems? They want to shoot for the moon, but may settle for less?

        • #3047035

          Sort Of

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Earlier position

          ‘cept they really thing we are daft enough to gain 3 years experience and then take their entry level job. After all if we were clever we’d have got a degree in advanced flower arranging and competed with them.

          You might be thinking about your previous experience a bit narrowly, look for IT in related areas, food processing etc. Manufacturing puts a different slant on IT as it’s much more support oriented and reactive.
          I’ve see a lot of office type IT people really struggle with it as they think they should have twenty-two and half meetings studying the impact of changing a variable name, whereas us production types, just change the bugger if it doesn’t fix the problem we change it back again and try something else.

        • #3055810

          1st line helpdesk agent

          by r e p h l e x ·

          In reply to Sort Of

          I’ve been working in the IT industry for 3 years now; I had no experience, so i decided to study part time I.T at Teesside uni (UK). After 1 year of study and working as a painter and decorator I got a full time job as a 1st line helpdesk agent, learnt and understood how to react to network and software problems quite quickly as the in house training was spot on. After 9 months I got promoted to a software tool set administrator. 6 months ago I left that company for a slightly smaller company employed as network admin earning twice as much money with a full carrier path in front. I have to say the helpdesk really shapes you to work in the I.T industry.

        • #3055792

          IT Help Desk – Tier One

          by brainxpansion ·

          In reply to 1st line helpdesk agent

          Hi Rephlex,

          Last Friday I went to an interview for a Tier One Help Desk Rep. Tuesday, I found out by the staffing agent that they really liked me, but I did not have enough experience. Experience, whatever happened to entry-level? I went to school, but I did not get any real hands-on training. Maybe I should have gone to a tech school instead of college.


        • #3055696

          do not get discouraged

          by avid ·

          In reply to IT Help Desk – Tier One

          try a tech support position for an ISP. they will hire people with no experience. it is a great place to learn. classroom is different from real world. as a tech for an ISP you will deal with a broad spectrum of operating systems. after a short stay you could add the experience portion to your resume. that is where i started.
          and it was very useful.
          and, not to start a different topic, but, a few certs would not hurt if you do not have any.

        • #3055647

          I got into IT Support without the degree!

          by mark ·

          In reply to do not get discouraged

          I have a degree in teaching (Design and Technology) but not in computers.I am now working for the NHS (UK) in IT Desktop Support doing 1st Line, 2nd Line, etc. I used to teach, but enjoyed the computer side more. I gave up teaching, set up my own business building PC’s installing networks etc and got my current job based on 20 years experience with PC’s from DOS, Novell and all versions of windows. I believe it was experience they wanted rather than just IT qualifications (which I still don’t have. I would advise concentrating on practical hands on to apply your knowledge. Having sat on a panel before employing IT tech’s I know that not one person satisfies all criteria for the job. Just keep applying and don’t give up! I am now 45 and work with other lads in their 20’s – age shouldn’t be a factor!

        • #3055171

          Its hard in any field.. Not just IT

          by johns ·

          In reply to IT Help Desk – Tier One

          Keep your spirits up.

          I spent several years in the US Army as a truck driver. I drove all different types of trucks from pick ups to semis. I drove in Vietnam, Europe, Korea, and the US. I drove during monsoon season in axle deep mud, during the winter in snow up to the doors on a semi, and during the summer when the non air conditioned cabs roasted you alive. In Europe I drove across national borders and had to deal with all the customs stuff involved. Not to mention driving through an ambush while being shot at by the enemy.

          When I left the military and looked for civilian work I was told over and over by the bigger companies that I had no experience! It took 6 years of driving anything that I could find before I got hired by a really good company.

          I also left that career much as you have done and went to college in my late 30’s. After 4 years of hard work to earn the degree I was back at square one being told I had no experience. Once again it took 5 years of doing anything that the head hunters and leasing companies could find for me before I landed a good job in IT.

          The morale is… if you want it bad enough, and you are willing to do anything and everything it takes to get in, the door will open.

          My approach was to send my resume to all the ads in the paper, and to all the staffing companies. You’d be surprised… sometimes those lousey looking 6 month contracts turn into the job of your dreams.

        • #3054178

          You might be wasting your time.

          by sfrost5604 ·

          In reply to IT Help Desk – Tier One

          I initally went to a tech school, and could not find a job, even tho I graduated with a 3.5-4.0 GPA so I decided to finish my degree, which I will proudly have in 5 months-But, I still do not have a job. Entry-level or otherwise. Before all of the schooling, I was a waitress-and at this point, I feel I may have to return to it in order to pay off all of my student loans-which are very steep by now.

        • #3054165


          by macghee ·

          In reply to You might be wasting your time.

          Don’t let it get to you. At least, as a waitress you can work nights while you hunt for the job during the day. You may find that you also need certifications. You probably will. I’m working on mine. Don’t let it get to you, just keep on plugging away. The advice given on government jobs was good. One thing that wasn’t emphasised was that the governemnt cannot discriminate based on sex or age. Well, at least not in non-combat related jobs.

        • #3065202

          Near everybody has a stint at helpdesk

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to 1st line helpdesk agent

          if they go the operations route.
          Support was a big part(over 50%) of my first two jobs in IT, before that I was one of the supported. I think all developers should do some time there it’s gives you a good appreciation for the sorts of problems developers without that experience tend to consider unimportant in their job and therefore cause, instead of cope with / prevent.

        • #3059378

          Helpdesk positions

          by cake ·

          In reply to Near everybody has a stint at helpdesk

          I used to work in Customer Service for Anthem and went back to get my Associates Degree in CS. I had several people tell me when I first started looking that they liked my personality and thought I was a real go-getter but still didn’t have enough experience.

          I went back to my Advisor and spoke to her about my experience and they actually had a work study program. I got my foot in the door at a local business as a 2nd level support person where I got some great experience in both hardware and software and found I had a nack for working with software.

          That ended and after about 18 months – still just shy of the 2 years most places want you to have when applying for an IT job. It was still hard to land my first job with a company where I could really dig in to the job and get benefits, vacation, etc.

          What I recommend is this –
          1. See if your institution has a placement program. Many times they have a career office where they can work with local businesses that are looking for college students for internships, and other entry-level positions.

          2. I agree with Tony’s comments on using your past experience to put a spin on what you can offer to a company. I used my customer service experience to help land my helpdesk job. One of the things that I love about IT is that you don’t always have to have the answers right away. As long as you can find an answer or give an action plan to resolve the issue, this is what they are looking for.

          3. Don’t be afraid to network. Look in your area for a Windows User Group and attend their meetings and functions. Create business cards and pass them out. It is a great way to get a feel for different companies and people will remember you from the event.

          4. When applying for a position, research the company and try to cater your responses to how you can be an asset to the company for what they are in business for. Most companies have a website – look them over, use a demo of their software if they have it available on line(that is a plus too and they know you mean business).

          Hope this helps too!

          Good Luck and keep your chin up! It can take awhile to land that first job, but once you do, the sky is the limit.

          I had a rough start myself and now have been working in the industry for 7+ years now. Keep your perseverance, it will pay off.

        • #3055307

          First few years are always tough

          by rolf gitt ·

          In reply to Earlier position

          I remember the first few years I was trying to get work experience back in 1982. I recall interviews where they would say “if you can fix this problem, I’ll hire you”. Trouble was nobody had ANY knowledge of the technology (as an example: there was an automated display system that was showing interference – likely an electrical issue more than an IT issue!) – anyway, I could not solve the problem, so their response was “oh well”!
          If you have a family, working as a volunteer can be a tough choice. Going back to school to get a higher degree (M.Sc.) can also be tough financially, especially after the 4-year grind of getting the B.Sc.
          What worked for me back in ’82, and which hopefully exists in some form where you live, was a “career kickstart program” – the one I was in lined up employers willing to provide experience to newbees in exchange for paying them a relatively low salary. In additon, the employer only paid 50% of my salary, with the rest coming from Goverment. The employer got a dirt cheap worker, and I got the experience I so desperately needed.
          I made crappy money for 2 years, but then got into a better paying position, and haven’t looked back since then.
          Another approach you could try, is if you have a hobby or skill, and try to get into It indirectly. I remember calling every drum manuacturer in my city (since I’m a drummer) hoping to get in the IT shops of drum manufacturers based on my knowledge of drums (i.e. at least I could contribute SOME knowledge on SOME topic!). It wasn’t really successful for me since most responded with “we don’t even have a calculator around here, never mind a computer”. But I think you get the concept…try thinking in that regard as well to find employment.
          Best of luck in your search for IT employment. I’m sure you’ll find something in the end….

        • #3055848

          Ability to do the job

          by joe.canuck ·

          In reply to First few years are always tough

          I agree with your points. The fact is, the ONLY thing that matters to the company hiring you is the ability to do the job. And the only way to demostrate you can do the job is a track record. I don’t have a degree, just tons of industry experience and vendor certifications. I beat out several people with newly minted degrees because I had a demonstrated track record and ability to do the job. None of the IT jobs posted here require a degree, they all say “degree + 2 years experience, or Diploma + 3 years experience, or No formal education and 5+ years experience”. The experience is more valuable than the degree, I would suggest people forgo the formal education and instead spend that time and money doing as much volunteer and entry level work as possible, in the end it’s worth more. Degrees don’t fix things, people do.

        • #3055816

          Keep a positive outlook

          by msrossinmn ·

          In reply to Ability to do the job

          There is a lot of good advice in these postings. This is a hard market to make a change in. Moving from your previous background to IT was not an overnight decision. It shows that you evaluated where you were, and where you want to be. That shows that you can make tough decisions. You can play on that because in IT, you have to make tough decisions based on time, priorities and resources. Your otherwise lack of technical “on-the-job” skills, or proficiency is what they are questioning. Find a way to get some “hands-on” time and take that argument away from them. Play up your sound judgement, your willingness to change things for the better will put a positive spin on things.

          I too made a similar change in 91, stepping out from Telco into WAN/LAN. I went to night school at UW-Milw. for a start. You may want to Google for clubs, organization local to you that can help you along the way. You have to cast a wide net to catch the right position when making the change. Good Luck to you!

        • #3055772

          Thank you!

          by brainxpansion ·

          In reply to Keep a positive outlook

          When I am feeling like I may have wasted my time going to college, it is people like you that make me push on with your positive comments and suggestions. Thank you!


        • #3054208

          How about the obvious…?

          by icubub ·

          In reply to Thank you!

          I’ve been skimming the advice, but I haven’t seen anyone state the obvious…

          Why doesn’t the school help you find a job? Every college has a career office, where the goal is to help you find a job. Some colleges even offer these services to alumni whenever they have been let go, or are looking to change positions.

          The reason… they want the alumni to be in good successful jobs, where they might be able to give back to the university. Simply put, they want you to do well, so you will give back to the alma mater.

          Check with your university. Find out what they can do to help you with lining up companies, the interview process, whatever. Look back and see what kind of companies have interviewed people with your degree in the past. Colleges keep good records of all the people who have come out to interview on campus. Contact some of these companies, ask them about any available positions. “I’ve noticed you have hired people with my degree from this university before, I was wondering if you might have any positions matching my degree, or if I might be able to talk with one of your IT managers about positions with your company”.

          The main thing is make the university work for you. You’ve paid a lot of money to earn that degree, get them to help you out!

          Another thing many people don’t think about is using the alumni association to look up people from earlier graduating classes, and contact them about positions as well. The main thing is to network, and you’ll find something eventually. But don’t just count on the online job boards, or the want ads in the paper. And headhunters are looking for those with years and years expereince, because they are the ones that will bring in the most commission, not the entry-level position.

          Hope this helps!!!!!

        • #3055746

          Do not over look goverment jobs

          by kjwynne ·

          In reply to Keep a positive outlook

          When I graduate from college in 2001 the technology bubble had popped and I quickly found myself competing against applicants with 10, 15, or 20 years of experience. In most cases, these more experienced applicants were being rewarded with the jobs. Realizing that I may be with out a job in the industry that I had just spent years studying, I quickly turned to the federal government job pools. Many government agencies, in my case the DoD, are willing to hire and train applicants with little or no experience. This may be an avenue for you to start your career. Working for the government (federal) has many benefits and with the new pay grades the pay is really good. Just make sure that you are in the IT pay scale not the general pay scale. A good place to start is:

          Further more, do not feel discourage about the time spent to get your degree. I firmly believe that your degree will pay off. It is true that experience is important to show a track record. However, it has been my experience that the theory you have been taught will allow you to have a fundamental understanding of many facets of this industry. In a few years, you will be an applicant with 3 to 5 years of experience and a degree!

          If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact me or reply to this post. Good luck with your search.

        • #3055685

          I never reply to these, but his is personal

          by jagostisi ·

          In reply to Keep a positive outlook

          I was once in the exact same situation you’re in now, or I was thirty years ago. As yourself, IT was a career change for me and I trained to enter a new field. I won’t bore you with my background and experience, but suffice to say it’s varied. I?ve continuously had IT responsibility, but for a number of years, I also ran a very highly respected IT training institute that produced over 10,000 graduates. With that in mind, I can tell you there have always been entry level jobs. Likewise, many employers have always wanted three to five years experience at an entry level salary, although they seldom get it. That problem is the employer?s as much as it is yours. In my experience, few interviewers/employers rarely know what they really need. Many of the responses here are offering good advice. In light of your age I would agree that you?re far more likely to be successful in your job search if you focus on smaller companies, particularly where IT supports the business rather than ?is? the business. Yes, age discrimination is illegal but it?s also rampant, especially in IT. Be observant when on an interview. If you don?t see people in your age range don?t expect or hope for a job offer. What?s most important is that you maintain a positive attitude. Without it you?ll sabotage every interview as you walk in the door. Also maintain confidence in your ability without being cocky or acting like a know it all. Self confidence is something you wear on your sleeve; if an interviewer doesn?t see it, you?ll seldom get a job offer. With respect to those technical questions you can?t answer, I say this. I?ve never met anyone in the field, coming out of school, or walking on the street for that matter, who didn?t know more about at least one thing than I do. Technical questions should be designed to test the depth and breathe of your knowledge; personally, I?ve always used these questions to try to determine whether an applicant was a student as well as a practitioner. Understand that every position has a technical threshold that must be satisfied, if you don?t meet it you?re rejected immediately. That does not necessarily mean you have be an expert. Are you as ?expert? in IT as you?ll ever be or hope to be? Certainly not at this stage. Beyond that it?s the intangibles that make the difference in the selection of an applicant. A job interview is a sales pitch. Pick up a good book on interview technique. It will identify those intangibles and explain how to sell them. You would be surprised at how many companies don?t realize that those intangibles are as important to them, and sometimes more important than present technical knowledge. Most people changing careers have skills and experience that are universally applicable. What are yours? Identify them and don?t be afraid to emphasize them (note, I didn?t say to grossly exaggerate). Lastly, you went to school (or back to school) for a reason. Has that changed? You?ve had the determination to complete your degree. You put in the time and the effort and I commend you for it; I did it myself and, as I said earlier, I saw 10,000 other people do it. Are you any less determined to start a career in IT? Don?t be. And don?t just accept rejection. After a rejection letter, don?t be afraid to call back and ask why. You?ll be surprised at the number of honest answers that you get. Learn from each rejection and put it to work for you on the next interview.

        • #3058978

          Excellent Reply

          by aaron a baker ·

          In reply to I never reply to these, but his is personal

          Dear Sir;
          Just had to take a minute to state that I couldn’t agree with you more.
          This is the kind of article that should also be sent out to some of the people hiring these days. Might give them a better idea of what to look for and what questions to ask. Very astute of you to notice this lack on both sides of the issue.
          But, I digress. My intent was only to tell you that I thought your article excellent well done, succinct and hit the nail right on the head.
          Aaron A Baker

        • #3055773

          To Mr. Canuck

          by brainxpansion ·

          In reply to Ability to do the job

          Very well put! So how do you go about finding volunteer work or people that will take you in for lower pay? What kind of low pay? The lowest I can afford to go in ID, is $10.00 hour. I still have to make a living, and not to mention my student loan is on one year deferment. I have been here almost two-months and to no avail…with the job search.

          Do you have any suggestions?


        • #3055687

          Temp agencies

          by cindypsych ·

          In reply to To Mr. Canuck

          Have you thought about contacting temp agencies? I’m the Dir. of MIS for a temp agency and our IT department often has entry-level support jobs. Here in New York City those jobs may pay $15 and up.

          As far as your college education goes, don’t ever regret it. I’ve been the Dir. of MIS for 6+ years. I’m trying to get a job with more of a programming focus and I keep hearing “well, if you had a CS degree…”, which I don’t have. I have an M.S. in Psychology (long story).

          I really do like the suggestions that people have given you regarding contacting other companies with some similarity to your former company. Don’t be afraid to work ANY connection you have, even if you don’t think it will be a good one. You never know when a friend of a friend’s uncle will have a food processing company with a newly computerized accounting department that needs support.

          Another way to get in can be to come in at a different angle. I was an IT Recruiter first. Then I suggested to my company that they could use me more effectively as an onsite tech support person, so they gave me a try. They have never regretted giving me a chance, and I have never regretted changing careers!

          – C

        • #3055777


          by brainxpansion ·

          In reply to First few years are always tough

          Thanks for words of encouragement Rolf.


        • #3055611

          Entry Level? A Matter of Perspective.

          by jonathanpdx ·

          In reply to First few years are always tough

          Sure there’s a glut of IT people out there, but there’s also an overwhelming need for people who can not only deal with the technical aspect of support, but the human side of it, too. You can be the smartest tech in the world, but if you don’t have the ability to work with people, regardless of how they are, you really won’t get far. There may be a billion IT people in India, but they can’t help Grandma Gladys or your neighbor down the street. Start small and let word-of-mouth sell your services.

          As for the job descriptions you see, many are written by HR minions who have no concept of what a job truly entails. I’ve seen offerings of entry-level help desk (call center) positions paying $9 and hour and their first requirement was an MCSE! (Yeah, right!)

          If you can get some certs, it doesn’t hurt. A+, Net+…they show you’re serious. A degree only shows you can stick with something and finish it. A lot of people who graduate from college or university still don’t have a brain in their head, but they managed to accomplish something.

          I like the idea of either working for something like an ISP or even volunteering for the opportunity to get that experience. Once you have some practical work time under your belt, you’ll have that much more leverage to sell yourself to a potential employer.

          Good luck!

      • #3055321

        FInd the answers

        by master3bs ·

        In reply to HR Hoops

        Keep doing what you’re doing. Gain experience. Build a personal website. Knock on doors and present yourself as someone who can get the job done.

        Something I learned early on and that I recommend mentioning in an interview (if it is true of you) is this. I don’t always know what the answer is, but I know how to find the answer. Being able to do that is a must in any level or area of IT.


        • #3055768


          by brainxpansion ·

          In reply to FInd the answers

          I was an ace in researching throughout school and I taught myself to type while I was in shcool. Now, I have no problems.

          In 1998 when I purchase my first 233 Mhz PC, I did not know much and my wife was making the good money. Now, she has me doing all her research and I trouble-shoot her issues, so I know I have gained knowledge. I want to learn to build Websites on the side, but I would like to get into a Help Desk, Tier One position, so I can move into Networking.


        • #3055152

          Some more ideas

          by bluegiant ·

          In reply to Ace

          First, I think Cindy’s idea above about contacting a temp agency is a great idea. Many companies, including mine, use a temp agency to fill level 1 help desk positions. We do this because of the high turnover rate for these positions. Many of these level 1 temps are people like you that need to get their feet wet in the industry. The last guy we had was fresh out of college with a duel major in Comp Sci and Physics. He stayed with us for about 9 months until he found a permanent gig with PPG doing what he really wanted to do.

          Concerning the experience, you may have more than you think. Look back at your previous jobs, hobbies, any volunteer work, things you do at home and so forth to pull any experience that may apply to a particular position. In my case, when I left the Navy after 9 years, my experience was in operating and maintaining submarine nuclear power plants. Not much demand for this in the civilian community 🙂 . When I interviewed at my present company for a position supervising and operating a high speed coating operation, I made connections to my technical and management experience in the Navy. This got me the position.

          Draw on your experience dealing with people and your ability to research effectively. Like someone else said, often it’s more important to have the ability to research solutions. This is especially true in a field with rapidly changing technology such as ours.

          One final suggestion, check out the book ‘What Color is Your Parachute’. This is an excellent resource for career switchers and job seekers.

          Good luck in your search!


      • #3055285

        Bypass HR

        by tomaaa19 ·

        In reply to HR Hoops

        Do some research on the companies you are interested in, call the switch board and ask for the name of the IT manager and his extension if possible.

        Write the IT manager a short letter asking for 10 minutes of his/her time to discuss the industry (over the phone or face to face their choice) and how one can get started. State in your letter that you will not be asking for a job. Indicate when you will be calling.

        You likely will not get any offers right away, but you will learn a lot and possibly get pointed to someone who is looking for someone.

        Good Luck

        Tom Walker


        • #3055766


          by brainxpansion ·

          In reply to Bypass HR

          Wow! I never thought of that. That is a good suggestion. Being a member of Tech Republic is sure helping with the ideas and keeping me in the loop.

          Thanks Tom!


      • #3055035

        They want something for nothing

        by wje_jr ·

        In reply to HR Hoops

        They want a person with 30 years experience but only want to pay entry level wages. One place I worked at a the 19 year old male got hired because he swayed his hips like woman and acted like fruitbasket to managment. But thats how it is working IT in a career technical center which is a public school. You have to suck their snot right through their rectums so hard! that their heads cave in and tickles their cerebral cortex’s
        You can be really educated and experienced but I am finding out I have to “sway my hips” if I want anything from IT managment in a public school setting.

        • #3054175

          To wje_jr

          by macghee ·

          In reply to They want something for nothing

          From what you’ve described, I’d say that it’s time to polish up the resume and start looking for a new job. Fast. Good luck.

    • #3054633


      by shanghai sam ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I don’t think 42 is that old for an IT person. From my experience its more to do with the economy than anything else.

      The economy isn’t in that great of shape and companies aren’t willing to train someone fresh out of college. Where I live, most of the SE positions I see posted are 4-5+ years minimum. But I do think as the economy improves you will see companies willing to take people with less experience.

      Don’t give up looking. When I first graduated it took me 3 months to find something. It wasn’t exactly the type of IT job I wanted but it did give me a foot in the door. Which I later used to get the position I wanted at the same company.

      • #3047041

        Thanks Shanghai Sam

        by brainxpansion ·

        In reply to reply

        Thanks for the verbal support. I will continue to try.

      • #3054174

        To Shanghai Sam

        by macghee ·

        In reply to reply

        I’m glad to hear that! I’m 49. I’ve got 25 years experience as an electronic tech, have a degree (business), hold a clearance, and am working toward my CCNA. Hopefully, I’ll be able to overcome the age discrimination.

    • #3054626


      by dc guy ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Just about everyone I know who recently got jobs in IT (including myself) did so through networking–knowing someone at the target firm who put in a good word for them. It’s a tough market, with jobs steadily being siphoned offshore and the economy not being especially strong right now. No one really needs to take a chance on a new college graduate, especially (sorry but it’s true) one who is almost fifteen years older than the average college graduate and therefore is likely to be more outspoken and to demand more time with his family. I’d happily hire you because I’m twenty years older than you so I appreciate your maturity and I’m confident that I can handle you. (Sorry I’m not a hiring manager at the moment.) But how do you think the average 35-year-old manager is going to feel about you? My advice is to practice looking, talking, and acting ten years younger; that’s what I’ve been doing for years. The person who’s interviewing you can’t easily learn your age through legal means.

      • #3047040

        Thanks DC Guy

        by brainxpansion ·

        In reply to Networking

        Thanks for being upfront. Many people have said I only look between 28-30. So maybe I can pull that one off.

      • #3055725

        Good point DC Guy about why a younger manager might avoid an older worker.

        by infodat ·

        In reply to Networking

        In my case I have substantially more age as well as “impressive” educational credentials that don’t pay the bills.
        My solution so far has been to leave the date of my degrees off the resume and get training in the latest technologies. I indicated that I am undergoing training in these latest areas and I got immediate responses, whereas before no one even acknowledged my resumes.
        I look 10 to 15 years younger than I am, but based on your post, I think I will use Grecian Formula for those 5 grey hairs on my sideburns when I go for an interview ;-). I might even leave off one graduate degree which appears to be non-IT-related — even though I wanted to leverage that experience and knowledge.

        • #3055643

          I tried that trick once…

          by steve-nyeoka ·

          In reply to Good point DC Guy about why a younger manager might avoid an older worker.

          When I left the Air Force in 1990, I created several resume, one with my 2-year degree and the others with all education (incl grad credits).

          I ended up landing an “entry level” job (pay-wise) off the 2-year degree resume. They theory was to get my foot in the door….I had a job and gained valuable experience, but they were happy to keep me in that position while I was there.

          Eventually I found a job that made use of my 4-year degree, but that took time (7 years!)

      • #3056600

        Your point is right on DC Guy

        by blueknight ·

        In reply to Networking

        After 30 years in the business, and 16 at the last place of employment, I found myself forced to find a job when my position was eliminated as part of cost-cutting measures.

        I can’t tell you how many positions I applied for and didn’t get despite having worked in every area of IT. I eventually faced the reality that age discrimination was alive and well, and that it wasn’t going to be easy for a 47 year old to land a position. Most of the hiring managers were 15 years my junior on average.

        My IBM CE had been laid off and became a “head hunter” to keep food on the family table, so I worked with him in my search.

        In the end, I landed a position in County government. The IT department was being run under contract after all management had been fired (new meaning to the term “mis-management”). They recognized that I had a lot of skills and experience that could be utilized here and hired me. I’ve been here for 9 years and really enjoy it.

        To those looking to get in the door these days I would suggest looking for a place where you could work as an intern to gain skills and experience. We had an intern here who had been an iron worker. Due to an occupational injury, he needed to find another line of work. He interned here for 6-9 months and was eventually hired. Today he is, in my opinion, one of the very best desktop support /LAN Admin. guys we have… and he is “no spring chicken” as they say. Don’t get dis-heartened… keep looking and try internship if you can. It will all turn out OK, believe me.

    • #3054587

      entry level went offshore

      by systemsgod ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Unfortunately, most of the entry level positions in IT have gone offshore, or the way of the Dodo. It’s really a tough job market out there, and I wish I could say it’s going to get better, but, honestly I cant. I am not trying to discourage you, but, there are certain realities you will need to come to grip with regarding your employment opportunities.

      So, what to do? Well, competition for the few job openings out there will be tough. I would suggest (as others have) that you start networking. Join users groups, etc. in your area and talk to some people. You might find some new friends who share your love of IT, and they might know someone with a job opening. Find places where you can volunteer your services (non-profits, etc.) and get some experience that way. Whatever you do, dont give up and dont stop learning. Setup a test lab in your home and tinker away. Get your hands on all the books you can and read away. Get some certifications (Microsoft, CompTIA, etc.) as this will help elevate you over other candidates. Scour all the newspaper and internet ads you can and get that resume out there.

      Keep looking, keep trying and never give up. I bet you will find something eventually. Just be aware that it may take some time (then again, it could happen tomorrow…who knows?).

      • #3047038


        by brainxpansion ·

        In reply to entry level went offshore

        Thanks for the verbal support. I will keep at it. I have not heard anything back from an interview for IT Help Desk I went to on Friday, but at least I am learning the questions they ask.

        • #3055254

          Keep working at it

          by plexislp ·

          In reply to Systemsgod

          If it’s what you really want to do, keep learning and improving
          your troubleshooting skills on a continual basis – all while
          looking for that entry level job. A couple of years ago I changed
          careers from being a professional musician (and an unrelated
          undergrad degree) to a full-time IT guy. I had always been
          well-versed in computers and could program a little C, but had
          ZERO experience. I made cold calls, sent resumes, went to
          dozens of interviews, and finally got that call for a temp position
          at a small company to help install their first LAN. They had
          three people in the IT department. I knew nothing about
          networking, but learned quickly and worked hard. For me, if I
          wasn’t working, I was reading tech articles, books, creating
          various scenarios in my home lab, writing code, etc…all to keep
          up and improve my skills. Get involved in an Open Source
          project – even if you aren’t a programmer, you can still work on
          documentation. And communication skills are crucial and can
          separate you from the pack of applicants. Just keep your head
          up and go for it.

        • #3055760


          by brainxpansion ·

          In reply to Keep working at it

          Thanks plexislp,

          I try, but my spouse is a negative force that works against me. She does not understand about IT, but claims to. She wants me to make a great income, but when she is home, she does not like it when I am on my PC. She gives me hell…in other words.

          I know what I have to do, but have you ever had to deal with that type of negativity? It is rough on a individuals spirit.


      • #3055342

        sorry for your misinformation

        by sachin22022 ·

        In reply to entry level went offshore

        systemgod, I feel sorry for your mis information. The jobs that are being off shored are only the low wage jobs primarly the contact centre or call centre jobs. I am from India, and am in a better position to answer this query that you have. The jobs as are the so called outsourced jobs are primarly for those who can work in night or odd hours, and as such its very difficult for any person to make such jobs as their “future” career jobs. I ask you, would you prefer doing a job that starts from 9:00 in the night and goes till 5:00 in the morning, and that too when the jobs are more of telecalling stuff not going to benefit freshers in the long run moreso ruining their careers. As regards software and IT, well its been always outsourced not to blame the recent times, primarily because of good IT manpower and IT centric population in this part of the world. The companies presenting slips to their employees happens all over the world and not in West, so don’t blame outsourcing for this (not to mention the companies in this part of the world are more of “single project stay” companies who close their operations on the day before the last day of the month so as not to pay their employees with the month’s pay leave aside pink slips!!).

        • #3055754

          Rough Life

          by brainxpansion ·

          In reply to sorry for your misinformation

          I am sorry to hear that! That is why I am glad I am a citizen of the U.S.A.

          I watched a documentry about “The hole in the wall project” in India. It is where they would set up a PC in very rural areas within a wall, but allowed users (the public) to access the mouse and keyboard. It was the children that were the most curious and started to play with it and never took long until they figured out how to surf the WWW.

          The Indian people are very open to technology, but the way they treat people that work for companies, shows they have no integrity for their workers.

          I am sorry friend!


        • #3054971

          re-read my post

          by systemsgod ·

          In reply to sorry for your misinformation

          I think if you re-read my post again you will notice that I never offered any reasons for why these jobs have disappeared or placed any “blame” on anything. However, since you chose to offer some points that are way off base, I feel compelled to point out some areas where you are the one dealing in misinformation.

          These jobs I am speaking of are not just low paying or unskilled jobs for those who work odd hours (as you suggest). Companies such as Dell have moved almost all of their help desk/ support jobs overseas. Why was this done? Not because there are better quality IT workers in that part of the world (as you suggest), but because they can pay those workers less than half of what they would make here in the US. That’s not conjecture or hyperbole, that’s a fact. It’s really all about the money, and has little or nothing to do with quality. You see, the language barrier between a tech at a call center in Bangalore and someone here in the states is enormous and it severely limits the effectiveness of that technician, no matter how good their skills are. Because we are in a highly competitive time, companies are doing all they can to cut costs in order to boost their bottom line. If they can reduce their labor costs in half by offshoring to Bangalore (or, anyplace else for that matter), they will do it in a heartbeat.

          When you respond to posts like these in the future, it may help if you read them more closely before you add your comments. Also, you may want to be sure you have your facts straight too.

        • #3065166

          How about this?

          by sachin22022 ·

          In reply to re-read my post

          “most of the entry level positions in IT have gone offshore, or the way of the Dodo”
          I think its you who has to re read your own post before blaming somebody else. I am not here to start another battle about offshoring but since you started it, I would request to go through the stats of the companies that have gone into offshoring as against those that didn’t. Agreed that some compnies like DELL have outsourced much of their businesses but isn’t it a wise move on their part to save money? What if they remain admant and keep paying large sums as wages to employees in their origin countries and then have to shut their operations altogether. Regarding your point that you made for the language of Banglore guys, I need to inform you once again that most operations that are carried out in South India are for email or keyboard processes. Most of the operations for voice are outsourced by companies to North India where the language is not a big problem and guys here know how to speak good english. I agree completely with you that its a competitive world and that, more strongly justifies me saying that the companies are doing right to outsource, I mean I would hold my stance even if Dell at a later date decides to shift operations to third world countries like Phillipines or even Namibia to cut costs. Systemsgod tell me if the operations and businesses would have been outsourced to your country from another country, would you have complained?

          And for my friend BrainXpansion, I would say that you can find solace in the fact that just thinking that jobs being outsourced doesn’t automatically mean that nobody is unemployed in offshored countries. My friend everybody has to go through the times that you are going and the Mettle of the man comes out only after patience. Take this time as an opportunity to hone up your skills. Take this time as not a phase of “Unemployment” but a time “In between employment”. I think its hard times for everybody and trying hard and not losing hope is the mantra of the times.

        • #3064879

          re-read again

          by systemsgod ·

          In reply to How about this?

          If you re-read both posts once again you will see that I make no attempt to blame anyone for the current state of IT. You are the only one throwing those words around, not me.

          I also think if you take the time to examine my original post closely that you will see I made no attempt to start some kind of debate about the merits (or folly) of offshoring. If you also take the time to read the original post for this topic (“Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?”), you will see that the author is interested in an entry level help desk position. My statement that most of this type of job has been offshored (or, has went away completely) is accurate. I dont think that you actually dispute this fact, but, for some reason you choose to use it as a way to grind your ax about the merits of offshoring, and Indian nationalism.

          I also made comments about how tight the IT field is, and I went on to add some (hopefully) helpful statements about job hunting for the author. This is really what this topic was for, and not a place to start a ridiculous flame war about offshoring. That sort of thing is best left to another discussion, and another time. If you feel like having this discussion in an appropriate forum, go for it. Otherwise, this discussion is over.

          My apologies to BrainXpansion for responding to this tripe in his forum. If he is reading this, best wishes to you with your job search. I hope the suggestions I offered are helpful, and that you find work soon. Don?t give up!

        • #3064779

          Reply To: Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

          by sachin22022 ·

          In reply to re-read again

          Regarding me starting it all, well my dear friend I would like to say that it was really irritating for me to find a person teaching people, that the reason for they not getting jobs is offshoring.

          This was the sole reason for me to respond to your comment in this topic, otherwise I have no time to waste in replying to your posts. I think in a topic like this it was not I who was off- topic, but they are the people like you who subtly try to maneuvour guys into thinking that offshoring is the culprit of their miseries. And regarding Indian Nationalism, thanks for finding in me Nationalism for my country, I am proud of it, At least how many guys these days are really Man enough for standing up to the defamation that people are resorting to against their countries. Regarding me starting a new forum well Thanks but no Thanks. I would rather be happy spending my time with my work rather than answering those baseless one sided remarks from “you-like” guys. I feel its the sheer frustration in you that you are not able to make the other person succumb to your views that is irritating to you. I pray to God to give you brains.

        • #3064536

          re-read…again (and likely again and again and…)

          by systemsgod ·

          In reply to Reply To: Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

          Honestly, I am not teaching anybody anything. All I did was state the obvious about the decline of entry level jobs (there aren?t as many and most have moved offshore). I never once suggested that this was why anyone couldn?t find a job. So, read my original post once more, and you might see what’s really there this time.

          This is not the appropriate forum for your prattle and flames about offshoring, which is why I will not comment on that subject any further. This is a forum for people who wish to offer suggestions to the author who is looking at an entry level IT position.

          Lastly, I can see that you would argue with a fencepost. What I don?t understand is why you won?t start your own discussion on the merits of offshoring, and why you insist upon having it out here (where it is so clearly off topic). My guess is that you lack the fortitude, or, more likely the grapes to do so.

        • #3065271

          Resons Why

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to re-read my post

          Ok, I’ll offer you a few reasons.

          First, American business “leaders” haven’t had a new idea for how to make a profit in years. They move from one C*O position to the next every couple of years with the same tired old “reduce employee expense” mantra, forgetting that “employee expense” is what keeps the rest of the economy moving. The whole of corporate America has no more strategic thinking than this coming Friday’s “earnings guidance”.

          Not for one second would they consider moving to Bangalore, and taking their trophy wife and daughters with them, I might add.

          (I would dearly love to be there to see the local populace react when some Britney-Spears-wannabe sashays her hip huggers down the average Hindu or Islamic street, but I digress.)

          This is why the true innovation is done in the SMB space, by IT pros who have been kicked to the curb, or just plain abused, by the corporate IT hiring process. They know what people they need, they know how to find and hire them, and they don’t need some HR gatekeeper/demi-god to get that task done.

          I find it laughable that corporations delegate the most important task … finding and retaining the best possible people … to the department which can’t find a better deal on health care, and can barely get the ID badges out in 3 weeks.

      • #3055340

        sorry for your misinformation

        by sachin22022 ·

        In reply to entry level went offshore

        systemgod, I feel sorry for your mis information. The jobs that are being off shored are only the low wage jobs primarly the contact centre or call centre jobs. I am from India, and am in a better position to answer this query that you have. The jobs as are the so called outsourced jobs are primarly for those who can work in night or odd hours, and as such its very difficult for any person to make such jobs as their “future” career jobs. I ask you, would you prefer doing a job that starts from 9:00 in the night and goes till 5:00 in the morning, and that too when the jobs are more of telecalling stuff not going to benefit freshers in the long run moreso ruining their careers. As regards software and IT, well its been always outsourced not to blame the recent times, primarily because of good IT manpower and IT centric population in this part of the world. The companies presenting slips to their employees happens all over the world and not in West, so don’t blame outsourcing for this (not to mention the companies in this part of the world are more of “single project stay” companies who close their operations on the day before the last day of the month so as not to pay their employees with the month’s pay leave aside pink slips!!).

        • #3055241

          Very True

          by hermit47 ·

          In reply to sorry for your misinformation

          Being a past US couterpart to Concerned Earthling’s position, I used to do customer support for a well known computer sales company. It is true that tech support and customer support is being outsourced overseas, but there are American outsourcers directly competing with the companies in India and China. Where I am located in the US is economically depressed, and IT has not taken the foothold it has in other parts of the country. The northern part of the state I live in has very few IT jobs, but many call centers for hire to various companies that need phone support. Call centers, of course have IT departments, but are staffed by three or four people to service facilities of 50 to 250 employees taking calls. Consider that half of the people answering phones are also qualified for entry level positions in the IT dept. Patience, perseverance, and imagination are the best ways to break into a field that is filling fast. Don’t give up, jobs are out there, it’s a matter of being at the right place at the right time.

        • #3055753

          Reply To: Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

          by brainxpansion ·

          In reply to Very True

          Thanks Hermit!

      • #3055842

        Unfortunately, this is all too true

        by blarman ·

        In reply to entry level went offshore

        I got a couple of entry-level positions, but only after I had been playing with computers for 5+ years on my own. The first I got through a temp-to-hire posting where they were looking for rock-bottom dollar and were willing to train someone who was willing to put in long hours and travel a lot. I was single at the time and it worked ok for a year or so. Then I got a job at a call center, which only lasted a few months because of the way the place was run. But with this experience behind me, it became much easier to get the next job, and the next one.

        I agree with other posters that the market right now is really full. There are a lot of skilled people with experience that are taking entry-level positions with the hope of moving up after proving their mettle. Unfortunately, it means that companies can set their standards unusually high for entry-level IT positions and still fill them – bad news for you.

        Good luck, but you’re in a tough position.

    • #3054580

      Look for smaller companies

      by billbohlen@hallmarkchannl ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Back in the mid-90’s I clawed my way to an entry-level IT position without BS in Computer Science by working as the in-store Computer Tech at a Best Buy and in the tech support phone queues for AT&T Internet Service….the whole time reading as much about Netware as possible. That gave me enough “experience” to get a help desk position at a small oil & gas firm.
      Your best bet is a small company <1000 employees. Too many of those companies have one "IT Guy" that does it all and need a helpdesk person.

      • #3047036


        by brainxpansion ·

        In reply to Look for smaller companies

        I was just at an interview for IT Help Desk on Friday, and that is exactly what they were doing. I had three guys interview me at once, not the manager. They were in the market for a Tier 1 support person, so the other two could move to Tier 2. I have not heard anything back, but I am bugging them.

        • #3046807

          Keep bugging them!

          by billbohlen@hallmarkchannl ·

          In reply to Billbohlen

          Definitely keep after them. You may be “up against” people with more OTJ experience, but that experience comes with a price. Smaller companies in particular are usually looking for lots of skills for less than market pay. If you are willing to take a smaller salary you will have a distinct advantage over your competition.

          But often you will have to wait until after an offer has been made to someone else, and they begin salary negotations. Then the hiring manager finds out that their new hire with tons of experience wants too much money.

          I think that a lot of times, your “experience” comes down to making a “connection” with your interviewers. Where you and the interviewer(s) share your IT “war stories” from the “trenches”. This kind of connection makes them remember you, and start picturing you as a fellow employee. In my experience, this counts much more than your “book smarts”. People want someone they are comfortable with and can see themselves working with.

    • #3047043

      So am I, my brothern..

      by lano7759 ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I too, worked four long years in order to obtain my Bachelor of Science degree in (IT) Information Technology, while I work full time. And yes, when those ads in the newspaper state entry-level, they want more than entry level, they ask for 3-5 years experience.

      The example you posted was exactly like I had a couple of times. I had the answer to the fixes but my situation was, They were looking for someone that was certified in any of the microsoft discipline. I am now but I cant find anything now.

      your damn if u do and your damn if ur not. and I 40 years old…

      • #3047033

        I will keep faith

        by brainxpansion ·

        In reply to So am I, my brothern..

        I know if I keep trying and learning at the same time, something will come my way. Yea right!!

        I am working P/T for a start-up, but it is not IT. Can you believe Marketing of all things. I am utilizing my resources just like we learned in school. Basically, that is all what school was…being on your own.

      • #3055365

        I’m an older IT guy, too

        by Anonymous ·

        In reply to So am I, my brothern..

        I retired from the Army in ’89 at the age of 42 — no degree, but ten years of working with PC’s in the Army. I didn’t know what a network was, and the Internet didn’t exist. I got with a temp hire outfit, and spent about a month as a word processor. Then I got hired by a real estate company with an IBM 360, about which I know zip. I learned quickly. After they downsized, I wound up working as a carpenter’s helper, furniture mover, and cab driver until I found a position with a state government agency. It’s not the best salary in the world, but they pay regularly. It’s also a pretty secure job.
        Check the city, county, and state web sites for job openings. Looking at some of the people they’ve hired here, I don’t think they’re too picky.

    • #3047034

      I’m not sure entry level ever existed.

      by shawn_w ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I graduated from college with my IT degree in May 1992. I didn’t get my first IT job until April 1994. I plastered my walls with rejection slips. The company that finally hired me as a programmer hired me because they wrote financial software and I had worked in a brokerage firm for two years while in college. The combination of my tech and none tech skills won the position. Can you find any connection between your new goals and your former career(s?. If you worked in health care try to get a job in the IT dept. of a health care organization. Worked retail? Look for a job in the IT dept. of a retail organization. Just keep trying. Don’t let your wife discourage you. What does she know about what IT Managers in corporate america are looking for?

      • #3047032

        Wife – Key word

        by brainxpansion ·

        In reply to I’m not sure entry level ever existed.

        I feel a lot of negativity comes from my wife because she did not go to college and she had this”dream” that I was going to be making 70k right off the bat. She hastles me everytime I get on my computer. She does not understand what IT professionals have to do. I tell her life long learning, and she thinks it is an excuse just to be on the computer. I have to become stronger and to not let her be a “dream stealer.”

        • #3046786

          Ignore the naysayers

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Wife – Key word

          You may have hit the nail on the head here. It doesn’t matter if you want a careeer in IT, novel writing, painting, corporate management … you simply have to quit listening to naysayers, even if it means advising them that it is a drain on your efforts to have to listen to their constant gratuitous (and worthless) “advice”.

          My wife is convinced that I really need the benefit of her opinion when I am between contracts, and really hates being told “shut your piehole”. She also is starting to realize that there are non-verbal clues that her negativity is unwanted, so she doesn’t have to hear it. Takes time.

          But do ignore the naysayers. I’m sure that J. K. Rowling had her share of “just some advice” to ignore unprocessed before her first book was published.

        • #3047145

          Admire you for understanding that

          by dc guy ·

          In reply to Wife – Key word

          The dynamics of a marriage have baffled and doomed many people. Her scenario of IT pros quickly getting fabulous salaries was true 35-40 years ago when you had to have the IQ of a nuclear physicist to make anything work in the programming languages of the era, and there was a colossal push to automate absolutely everything for the first time. IT hasn’t been like that for a long time, and it has so NOT been like that for about fifteen years now, if you recognize the flim-flam for what it was.

          My wife has an English degree, raises dogs, and has never been involved with IT from a career standpoint, yet she also spends a good portion of her day on the computer. As do almost all of the non-IT people I know of all ages. How can your wife live without it? Whether you’re working, playing, learning, gossiping, or looking at pictures of grandchildren, that’s where the world is today.

          I suspect your missus is living in the past in a number of ways judging from what you’ve said. Perhaps that includes expecting you to be the hero who brings home the rhinoceros meat while she gathers the herbs with which to cook it. There’s nothing wrong with that lifestyle–if it works. If it doesn’t, having one partner who didn’t get the memo announcing the end of the era (much less the entire Industrial Era) will make for a real disaster.

          You’ve got a tremendous advantage because you seem to understand this stuff. Your (other) job is to figure out how to impart that understanding to your wife so you’re both in this together.

          Good luck!

        • #3055329

          I empathize with you…

          by unixdude ·

          In reply to Admire you for understanding that

          I also have a wife who does not agree with the lifestyle that IT professions sometimes require. For example, I have had to call her several times and tell her I will not be home tonight until I get a server restored and back up… once on our anniversary. Only a wife who is also in IT with some perceived responsibilities will understand that. Jobs such as travelling field service with overnight stays, etc will definitely strain a marriage. 42 is not too old for an IT job.. there are several of us here (including some recent hires) who are older than that, and there are times the younger “generation” of IT people come to us for answers… successfully.

        • #3055866

          Partners and computers.

          by fuzzylezz ·

          In reply to Wife – Key word

          Take that as a warning sign from your wife. I know i did. There is the term ‘computer widow’, for some of my tech friends, out of 9 males, only 2 have long term partners, me being one of them. I recomend that you gift her with her own PC if u can, something that is atractive to a female, like a colorful laptop, something stylish. then you tie it in with her interests, and show her how to use it. It can become common ground. Traditionally im not a “geek” and when i did go geek, and started spending hours on the computer, my relationship suffered, however once my partner who is a very active person, got involved in building them from the case up, and with assistance built her own high end game machine (more powerful than mine at the time), complete with enough colored lighting, fans, and reactive UV paint for a main street(one of her interests is art), and proceeded to get involved in LAN parties, and gaming others, she even went back to TAFE and did a 6 month course on hardware and basic software. Now she is skilled in computer repairs, reinstalls, and can snipe the best of us in lan games, all this and her original skill base. It opened up a new world for her, and now we have 6 pc’s between us. I.T. can bring people together, rather than being a source or friction, besides sometimes its fun to both go to a chat rooms and talk, when your in the same room at home. Give it a try. no one really likes to be left out of things with those they love.


        • #3055745

          Already have that!

          by brainxpansion ·

          In reply to Partners and computers.

          Right now, I am unemployed because I just relocated to this state. I did my research and found a large percentage of the population did not have degrees, so I “assumed” this would be a better opportunity for mua. Well, come to find out, it seems as if they shun others with degrees because there are managers and supervisors without degrees in this state. I do not want to take anyones job. I just want to work and learn.

          As for the Ol’Lady, she already has a Sony notebook and I have a desktop and a notebook,plus I installed my wireless network. Ok, it is not networked, but we can connect via PCMCIA cards. The funny thing is that she does not like to bother with finding things and registering on Websites of interest, so I do it. I look at it as more education.


        • #3059349

          Some spouses are not always understanding

          by cake ·

          In reply to Wife – Key word

          I have that problem from time to time with my husband. He means well, but doesn’t always understand the IT process and problems that come up with it.

          I didn’t start out with much pay and was hourly and worked about 30 hours a week.

          Once you get the experience in, you can get the higher paying positions. It depends upon what you want to go for. There are also several sides to IT – software, hardware, security, infrastructure, db-oriented positions, etc.

          It is also true that smaller companies often can pay a higher salary than larger companies with many on the payroll.

          I haven’t looked back myself. The technology is constantly changing as new gadgets come out and people become more mobile.

          You need to be on the computer looking, gaining knowledge, keeping all options open.

      • #3055847

        sure it did and still does

        by mek804 ·

        In reply to I’m not sure entry level ever existed.

        I was a help desk administrator at a truck mfg. plant. I hired
        contractors, and other than the network, MS-Windows OS on PCs
        with MS-Office, everything there was proprietary. What
        difference did an MCSE or some such make? None–we had to
        train, anyway. Customer service skills beat tech skills most of
        the time. One of the best techs I ever snagged for my team had
        worked as a bartender and at a Sears customer service desk
        first, but knew Windows from owning her own PC. After working
        for me for a few months, she got herself some formal training
        and was hired on permanently by the organization, and is still
        there and doing well to this day.

        So to all newbies, I say: don’t give up. There IS opportunity out
        there. Just don’t let “tech” stuff be your only selling point–make
        sure you’ve got people skills, too!


    • #3047007

      Keep the faith…and increase experience

      by mlayton ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      There are two things here: first, don’t be discouraged by the questions. I often ask those types of questions to find out whether the person I am dealing with is honest in what they do and don’t know. The appropriate answer would be “I don’t have an answer off the top of my head, but give me a computer and a phone, and I could have an answer in xxx amount of time.” I am looking for the person who knows they don’t know everything, but is willing to admit it AND find out the answer. That’s crucial in my team. Also, to increase experience I recommend volunteering. Even a couple of hours a week or a month could help – I worked in a museum and we were desperate for anyone who knew anything about IT. I have also supported a homeless shelter in configuring their firewall. Oftentimes, they are willing to work alongside your schedule – the downside being they seldom have the latest and greatest unless a benefactor has supplied it.

    • #3046970

      Have you tried any government agencies?

      by ni70 ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?


      Have you tried local, state, or federal government for work? I am currently working for a federal government agency as an IT specialist. I started in the IT field in 1998 as a computer assistant and progressively worked my way up. I don’t have a degree (of any kind) and don’t have any certifications. Although I am slowly working towards an AAS in IT and half way towards my A+. I showed an aptitude to learn and was given the opportunity.

      I’m always the first to admit that I don’t know everything, but I do know how to find a solution, be it with my peers, colleagues, vendor tech support and of course my favorite – Google.

      Just hang in there kgoesele. By the way, here’s a link you may find helpful You can narrow your search to specific job category to specific locations across the country. Good luck and I commend you for attaining your goal of a degree in IT! Maybe some day I can at least attain mine of an AAS (possibly a BS).

      • #3055367

        Excellent Idea from experience

        by Anonymous ·

        In reply to Have you tried any government agencies?

        Five years ago I was exactly in your shoes. No IT experience, but had my CISQ degree. Age was high 40’s. And everyone wanted some experience. I got it with the Federal Gov. Right from the address given above. Now my wife and I are living in Europe, with a great income, and time to visit places we only dreamed of. We took a gamble, and quit looking for the job down the road, and took a job that had to be filled in the Middle east. Survived the war, and applied for this position that was quickly accepted. Many jobs are going unfilled because no one wants the hard ones. Come on in the water if fine.

    • #3046883

      Employers Settle

      by wayne m. ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Do not be put off by the 3-5 years experience listed in the newspapers. Employers often state high expectations, but then reality hits and they accept less. Send in a resume, it doesn’t cost much and the company may also have some unadvertised entry-level positions as well.

      Don’t restrict yourself to just searching the newspaper ads. Try and They do not cost you anything. You may also want to look at using an employment agency (“headhunter”). You can usually find a couple listed with the rest of the want ads.

      Finally, don’t get frustrated by the questions in an interview. The purpose of the interview is to guage your level of knowledge and the interviewers will ask both questions you know the answer to and ones that you do not. Prior to the interview, think of a good generic answer on how you would identify the answer to a question you do not know. Then you could answer with “Good question. I do not know the answer to that one, but if it came up then I would do the following …”

      There are entry-level positions out there and do not be put off by high expectations. Get your resume in front of people and then you can use the interview to convince them that you can learn to do the job.

    • #3046790

      Made the same mistake

      by too old for it ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I made the same mistake, tried to get into IT late in life (45). I should have stuck it out in the paralegal trade or sold insurance. Opened a coffee shop. ANYTHING except a field obsessed with youth and 10 Rupee an hour offshore labor.

    • #3046770

      You can do entry-level….

      by yipp ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      They don’t know you, so they don’t trust you. Find an IT recruiting company through your friends who are already in the industry. Actually, find more than one, because each company will have its “stable” of good accounts that they have a really good relationship with and that trusts them. If that recruiting firm says to a client you are a good “risk”, then you are much more likely to get the interview and the job. Also, if the recruiter/hiring company relationship is good, then the recruiter can coach you on what kinds of things they are looking for. This helps immensely. The reason I say to find more than one recruiting firm is that each one will have only a certain number of accounts that they really have great relationships with, and you are right, there are limited placements out there for people with no real industry experience. You need to increase your odds, because once each firm gets your resume they will compare you to what requisitions are on their desk. If nothing fits you yet, they will file your resume. Here is where it helps if you really sell yourself to the IT recruiting firm (representative) and don’t just take them for granted. If they really think you are capable of great things if given the opportunity, they will keep you in mind as job orders come through. This only happens if they have a lot of confidence in you. Smaller firms are more likely to do this for you, because it is a much more personal relationship. Remember, if a firm places you and you don’t work out, they could lose a client….and a lot of money, potentially. They are very motivated to put good people at their companies in order to foster the relationship. That is why you need to give them confidence that you are good at taking direction, a team player, and will constantly strive to improve your skills. Having said that, get a recruiter that recruits in IT and knows IT. Otherwise, you will be put up for jobs that are not suited to you, and you don’t want. You won’t stay long, and everybody loses. – Good luck.


      • #3055269

        Great Idea

        by perryashford ·

        In reply to You can do entry-level….

        This is the most comprehensive advice I have seen. I know this to be true because I did this exact path for 9 years. This built a very comprehensive resume, which gets noticed. Be careful of the positions you receive from some of the agencies. The longer-term (3mos +) position reaps the best benefit this way you build your resume with great experience. After about two or three years of this, you should have the experience of receiving the offers you are looking for. Also keep in mind that many of the long-term assignments may go temporary to perm. This is also a good way of you checking out the employer and the employer checking you out too.

        • #3055825

          Interview skills and resume are the key

          by mmealy ·

          In reply to Great Idea

          You are getting some interviews so there are entry-level jobs. You need help keeping your foot in the door.

          ? Make sure that you are upbeat at the interview. Do not talk about your former company in negative terms.

          ? Don?t mention your family and don?t wear your wedding ring. So that they don?t ask you questions about your family.

          ? Revise your resume to no more than 10 years of experience (unless the position requires more). Make sure that you mention any past or current projects that you worked on that can be used as a reference. A lot of people have informal project management skills and organization skills.

          ? Take some of your successful projects from school with you to the interview, to show them your work.

          ? Practice stating your negatives in a positive manner. What you learned from them, etc.

          ? Make sure that you get the names and e-mail addresses of the interviewers so that you can follow-up with a ?thank you? e-mail. In addition, you can include information to clarify a statement or answer to a question. You know the one that you should have answered differently, or you did not know the answer until you left the interview. Also, you can explain how your qualifications match their position.

          ? See if the college that you received your degree from has a job placement center or job fairs. In addition, they may have interviewing workshops.

          I am also the same age and I had to interview for a new opportunity last year and the above tips helped me. Hopefully, they will help you.

    • #3047344

      I was 39 when

      by zlitocook ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I landed my first gig as an IT person, it was just dumb luck. But being a person who is over 40 is not a bad thing at all! You will have to start at the contractor level, because if you schooling will not land you a job. You will have to get training, and the best way is contracting or do free lance. But get a few jobs under your belt. And be sure to learn and remember what you picked up. I am 46 now and I work with 19 to 30 year olds, but with my life experenices and helping others I find that I am asked for more then the guys who fix things faster. And I still type with two fingers.) The contract that I am now on will be contract to hire, and the company has already said they want me to be hired and the younger person who is my second is still being thought about. Let me know if I can help you in any way? I am a big fan of any one who wants to get into the IT field, I do not like out sourcing or letting any of or jobs leave the US.

      • #3055234

        2 finger typers . . .

        by aaron ·

        In reply to I was 39 when

        I just had to add my 2cents . . . I have been in or around IT (and typing correctly) since my grandfather’s company gave me first computer in the early 80’s and I was in grammer school. I know more than a few “old school programmers” who type with 2 fingers and are still faster than me. I have never understood how . . .

    • #3047124

      Have an answer!!

      by pcpapa ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Make sure you have an answer to the interviewer’s question. When I interview I don’t want to hear, “I don’t know”. If you don’t know the answer tell me how you would go about finding the answer. No intelligent manager expects you to know everything off the top of your head, we don’t either. But you have to know where to look and how to find it. Good luck.

      • #3055354


        by ou jipi je ·

        In reply to Have an answer!!

        You wrote: “When I interview I don’t want to hear, “I don’t know”.”

        IMHO, this might be one the problems facing IT today. I prefer people telling me “I don’t know” instead of a lots of blablabla that just shows that “you don’t know and you are incompetent as well”.

        Person answering a question honestly “I don’t know” (obviously there are things that person answers also honestly “I do know”) has more chance to get an IT job in my world.

        The key aspect of hiring someone for entry level position is being able to establish whether a person in question has a capability to learn and grow and fullfill the position he/she is solicitating for. (todays experts did not grew on trees)

        The problem however is that in current economic situation companies are forced to “save”. That results in problems person in question is facing.

        The correct answer from my experience is DON’T GIVE UP. Sollicitate, and keep on solliciting until you find yourself at an interview where they understand where you are coming from and where you want to go. Usually this results in best job out there for you as it will permit you to grow from the day one.

        Secondly you’ve got science degree in IT. Permit me to add the remark: “Stop whining and show what you have learned” in other words you might not have right hands-on experience — apply the theory you have learned.

        Remember: “No one got ever fired for picking IBM”

        • #3055228

          I don’t know

          by aaron ·

          In reply to PCPapa

          Frankly, those are 3 of the best words I have ever heard from my employees. In my little Island, I prefer to run a tight ship, and I respect ignorance. Ignorance is simply not knowing – and if you can admit to me you don’t know how to do something, than I will either teach you myself, or find someone else who can. Too many *other departments* have fallen victim of prideful employees and managers who refuse to admit they don’t know how to complete a project. The only thing they end up doing is breaking something and making more work for themselves and at least doubling their timeline.

    • #3055498

      Temp Work? LTE?

      by kmwi ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I admire your perseverance: don’t quit yet!! Have you given thought to a Temp Service or an LTE position? My place of work often hires people who have worked here on that basis. It gives them an advantage in many ways: they hear of a job before its posted externally, they have a distinct advantage during the interview and a they have a chance to scope out what the work environment is like.

    • #3055370

      Don’t Think That’s the Case

      by nick watts ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I speak from an Australian perspective, but would have to say I didn’t find your problem rang true from my recent experience. We have recently hired a graduate “newbie”, and this person is not the first. There are some roles that require previous experience (network engineers, administrators, etc.) and some that actually benefit from somebody “newer” who isn’t too far developed down one particular avenue.

      For example, first level support is a great place for new players to get to know the business and gain experience without needing great levels of detailed knowledge. Another example is an IT junior who does some of the “grunt” IT work that (without sounding condescending) is lower skilled and lower priority than the experienced IT professionals have time to do… but it still needs doing. Managing file shares, backups, web content management, documentation, training, things like that. A third example might be something more along the lines of a project coordinator, particularly if you have transferrable skills from another area. In this case, your time management and people skills are more important than technical experience. The latter you will build as you go. Age, if it comes with maturity, reliability and common sense, is possibly an advantage.

      The current state of the industry, if anything, is a shortage of skills. Graduate numbers are on the decline as IT becomes commoditised.

      My advice? Focus on your skills, choose your positions carefully and select for growth potential, not for immediate placement. And good luck.


      • #3055356

        british Newbies

        by sherry320 ·

        In reply to Don’t Think That’s the Case

        Many positions in England too require a year or twos experience in IT, but I agree with Nick, maybe you’re looking at the wrong position. Many of the support or network jobs aren’t really suited for newbies. You may want to focus on the junior positions. I changed careers to go into IT fairly late (mid thirties) and was often questioned about whether I could stick a basic job! My reply was always it isn’t basic unless you let it be, the job doesn’t stop you developing!!

        Good luck on the job hunt


    • #3055369

      Book Chapter Download – here at TR…

      by matthew moran ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I address this precise issue in a chapter of my book, The IT Career Builder’s Toolkit (Cisco Press).

      It is titled, Breaking into IT: The Entry-level Dilemma

      TechRepublic has it as a download right here:


      Personally, I would start with a less centralized type of organization – a small company 40-200 employees – in a non-IT role. Take existing skills if possible and then help them with their technology.

      Create a strong peer network for throwing questions at (and also providing answers as your knowledge grows) and get the much desired experience without the title.

      The career path that says: IT degree/cert – help desk – level 2 help desk – network support – level 2 network support – network admin – network engineer, etc.

      Or a similar path for programming is largely mythical and TAKES TOO LONG plus it does not expose you to many aspects of technology in a business context.

      If you must work for a larger company, work in a user department and help them in a localized sense with their technology. Make their existing technology automate key user tasks and you will be valuable beyond measure. You will work hand in hand with the people using your solutions and will gain exposure with management.

      It is better than being hidden behind a headset and a computer terminal.

      Hope this helps.

      • #3055358


        by meubank ·

        In reply to Book Chapter Download – here at TR…

        I would say I agree 100% with Mr. Moran.. I AM a hiring manager and what I would do (if I were you) is to draw as many paralles between old job and new position. For example if you used to be a plumber, you could draw upon the following in an interview.(Keep in mind these may seem like a strech at first, but people constantly undervalue themselves). So you were a plumber so you were used to working against deadlines, you were involved in projects of all sizes and held multiple project roles (i.e you designed the system, installed it, repaired it, maintained it etc)In addition you have years or direct customer support experience, etc… If you are looking at a help desk, (again not the best place to start) customer service and personality are much more important than a strict skill set.
        Keep at it, it can be daunting but I would absolutley exploit my age and not try to hide it, while you may lack the hands on in terms of tech you have most other candidates beat in real world work experience.

        • #3055251


          by realvannewkirk ·

          In reply to AMEN

          I work in a non related field as my main position, but I am responsible for interviewing and hiring. I generally look for people with less related experience and more positive life experience. As far as IT, I have been running my own tech service for 4 years now on a part time basis. It is very difficult to convince someone that doesn’t know you that you are capable of repairing their system. I did some small jobs for people in their homes and ended up getting bigger and better calls from them regarding their business computers. I am in my early thirties, but I have no degree, no certifications. I use my management skills from the food service industry to be my own boss and convince prospective clients to take a risk with me. Good luck and don’t give up.

      • #3055771

        Exactly!!! – This Matthew Moran guy is good!

        by telcoit ·

        In reply to Book Chapter Download – here at TR…

        I posted another response tittled Apply for Non-IT Job Related to IT, but I just read this post. This guy is right, I think I’m gonna get his book.

        The helpdesk is not the best place to be! Sure you’ll get really good at fixing simple PC problems, but you’ll have no real experiencing when it comes to meat and potatoes of IT. In fact, our help desk was just outsourced so stability for that position is always there.

        Working for the client community first is an excellent way to get that “entry level” experience

        • #3064901

          Hey, Thanks…

          by matthew moran ·

          In reply to Exactly!!! – This Matthew Moran guy is good!

          I work with quite a few technolgy departments to help them break that myopic – single skill – focus. The problem, however, is often with the employee who, when faced with a new challenge, will start with a sentence like, “But I haven’t had any training in that area…”

          The nature of IT was driven first by innovation and discovery, then training followed. It is not that I am against training, however, self-study and knowledge transfer is the most important study you can undertake.

          Knowledge transfer is the ability to see similarities in diverse technologies – allowing you to more quickly adopt new technologies. Symantic differences are not as important as conceptual similarities.

          In any case, thanks for the kind words and to the original posters or those who are reading, follow a path that drives you. You must enjoy discovery and problem-solving to excel.

          Good luck!

          Matthew Moran
          The IT Career Builder’s Toolkit

          Healthy perspectives on ADHD

    • #3055361

      Consider Government Employment

      by catherder_finleyd ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I would advise you to consider working for the Government, either directly or through a Contractor. The jobs are there, especially on the Federal level, as the Baby Boomers start to retire. Also, I have found Government IT to be more accepting of older workers.

    • #3055360

      Took me a year…

      by andrew.burns ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      …when I was straight out of Uni, aged 22, with a Masters.

      Stick with it. Keep learning – it improves your qualification and looks good. And if you can’t talk to your peers – well, find some. Open source projects, social networks, newsgroups – they’re all ways to talk to other techies!

      Remember, the adds are a wish-list. I might wish I was going out with Sandra Bullock, but I’d accept the cute girl next door. Companies are the same about jobs.

    • #3055352

      Scale Gone Too

      by bronzemouse2003 ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Don’t be surprised by the pay scale. Lot’s of places looking for Enterprise service at Mom’n’Pop pay.

      • #3055347

        Get experience…as a temp or go to school

        by cberding ·

        In reply to Scale Gone Too

        If you want to get an entry-level job at a mom & pop or small government (try a local municipality), you have to demonstrate that you have the necessary skills. Everyone is going to ask you scenario-based questions. If your classes did not cover hands on server installs, PC repair, etc., I’d go back to the community college and do some classes on this.

        I’m speaking from experience. I went and got 2 degrees (business and another lib. arts one) in 1992. I liked tech and took some classes. Decided to do my major first (internat’l bus.) and it took me 13 months to find a job. While working, I did comm. college at night and got my AAS in three years. A big part of that networking degree required an internship. I did mine at school (it was a class). I did everything–PC rebuilds, cabling, fiber, you name it. It was the reason I got my first job. That job lead to the others, including the one I have today.

        IT requires constant learning and certs in order to get ahead. Unfortunately, the days of $70K just out of school are over. You will be lucky if you can get $30K for an entry level job nowadays (and I’m in the midwest). Keep plugging and keep your eye on what’s ahead. Train yourself for it and you will get there.

    • #3055349

      build an app on a laptop and bring it to the interview!!!!

      by tjc_tek ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Take this time to build an application in the technology of your choice. The leading ‘shops’ are (not in any order, however I’m a .net guy, so I can’t offer ‘other’ solutions):

      1. Microsoft .Net (VB.Net, C# (pronounced ‘C Sharp’) for winforms or ASP.Net along with Microsoft SQL Server (my bias…) and web services.
      2. Java, web services, Oracle
      3. Embedded applications (phone, pda software/drivers. Google for ‘Symbian’)

      It wouldn’t hurt to also know Access, because most companies are still building applications and reporting with it. However, the top 2 are most popular. Build an N-Tier application:
      1. user interface as either a windows forms app or web-based. Web-based is most popular now.

      2. DAL (Data Access Layer). This is where all the database I/O and transaction process will occur and is usually compiled as a dynamic link library (Microsoft) or maybe a ‘bean’ (java).

      3. Stored procedures. Pre-built queries that exist in the database server that the DAL calls. So, you’ll need to know SQL (Structured Query Language) fairly well.Application:

      1. Build a database driven login (to a tblUsers table). It wouldn’t hurt to figure out encrypting the password. In .net you’d use the DPAPI.

      2. Build a Main screen with a menu offering user features. I’d use the Northwind Database.

      3. Build forms to do data entry and retrieval.

      Microsoft offers Visual Web Developer Express (2005) (msdn.Microsoft.Com ) which is still beta 2 and ‘FREE’. Or Web Matrix ( for building web driven apps (ASP.Net). You’ll need to know a .Net language. VB.Net and C# are the fore-running languages. C# gets more $$ in the market place right now. Both are very similar capability languages so choosing either dosen’t make a difference. Although, VB.Net is a friendlier language and a little easier to learn. Things like case-sensativity and the IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is more friendly than C#.

      Visual Studio.Net 2005(beta 2) is still available for download but may time out. I’d also consider this. You can build the ‘dll’ for data IO.

      If you choose Microsoft, you can download MSDE (MicroSoft Desktop Engine). See: http://www.Microsoft.Com/SQL and follow the links for MSDE. make sure you install the most recent service pack due to viruses.
      It IS SQL Server for the most part but has no user interface. Install is tricky though. (NOTE: make sure you set DISABLENETWORKPROTOCOLS=0 switch in the setup command.) You can also download the script for the Northwind database.

      Use these tools, build an app, and take a laptop with you to the interview. Do a show-n-tell. This is a MUCH stronger sell to the interview. The rest will be your perceived comfort and how you’ll fit in their organization.

      I did this technique and it worked.

      Good luck and keep plugging.

      • #3055632

        Fantastic idea, how about a web-based database search?

        by ssampier ·

        In reply to build an app on a laptop and bring it to the interview!!!!

        In my current position one of my many duties is maintaining an Access database. I wrote most of the SQL queries through scratch and designed many user-friendly forms. I am currently building a Visual Basic search box that I will test with my local department (whom have Access phobia).

        Your advice gave me inspiration to show this skill to potential interviewers. I like to take this type of search, integrate into a webpage, and have it search a local database. I assume ASP is this the way to do this?

      • #3055542

        You are so right on the money!

        by infodat ·

        In reply to build an app on a laptop and bring it to the interview!!!!

        I’ve been looking for work and didn’t even seriously apply for IT and programming jobs, even though I have the background, since I didn’t think I had a chance. I tried Admin Assistant- with-PC-skill type jobs. My resume spoke of my IT background which includes an MS in Information Systems from a top notch Graduate Business School, as well as another graduate degree, recent college level training in computer science, including courses in C++, VB and SQL. Oh, and I was a computer programmer many years ago — before I moved on educationally and career wise to supposed higher level fields.

        Didn’t get so much as an acknowledgement to my resumes and cover letters.

        I also targeted software companies that sought IT backgrounds, but not specifically programming jobs, but which indicated entry level openings.

        NOT A BITE! I never even got an acknowledgement that my resume was received.

        My age, reflected on the graduation dates on my resume, was the problem.

        I then decided to go straight for database jobs, as databases are central. I decided to stay away, for now, from the Oracle and Unix world although I live in NYC and that seems a natural for Wall Street jobs.

        I was able to secure a grant for training toward obtaining MCDBA certs, but had to change the grant when the proprietary school kind of disintegrated. That led me to what I wanted all the time. I have started classes for MCDBA, VB.NET, C#.NET, the whole .NET platform.

        To obtain the grant I had to show there was a market, so I sent a resume including the fact that I am training for VB.NET and C#.NET. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! I got hits overnite. Although I didn’t get interviews, –I am not ready yet — it was gratifying that an interest was shown. So you are right, .net guy. I will follow your advice. Thank you!

      • #3058727

        Tried this

        by mark miller ·

        In reply to build an app on a laptop and bring it to the interview!!!!

        I found it helped me be able to speak to some experience during an interview. I became familiar with the terminology of the technology (in my case, .Net as well), and how it basically worked. However, every time, the interview was filled with Q&A, and after that the interviewer needed to move on to the next candidate. I never got the opportunity to demonstrate what I had created.

        Nevertheless, I got a job working on contract for a small IT consulting/outsourcing company about a year ago. They considered my background to be valuable, and were willing to have me do on-the-job training to become more skilled in .Net, SQL Server, and IIS. Receiving payment for my work has been a bit frustrating. I eventually get paid, but it hasn’t been like the contract or full-time work I used to do several years ago. Sometimes I have to wait some months before getting paid for work I got done previously (having savings is essential for this, or a credit card), but I have been gaining valuable experience on the technical side of things. It’s definitely something I can put on my resume.

    • #3055344

      And I thought it was me …

      by carterdn ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I know the feeling, I’m in the same predicament except I made the first bad choice by spending five years worth of nights at a Junior College because then an AAS was suposedly all that was required. When I graduated from the JC I was told, “We want four year degrees.” So back I went with less than 30% credits transferring and five years later I’m in the same boat with a four year degree. So I decided to my own business and then two days ago I’m receiving a proposition from somebody in India that will do my development work for 17 – 22 per hour. Man … while I’m out digging holes and stretching barbed wire for half that to make ends meet until things get rolling, I just couldn’t muster a positive response to this guy. I don’t want you to do my work for me and the dollar hasn’t lost that much value. Yes, keep the jobs here and yes entry level seems to mean something besides entry level.

    • #3055339

      I agree

      by newitguy ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      It took me 12 months to find a job. I am a little older than the traditional graduate myself. I put out 750 resumes and finally got one offer for very low pay. I would recommend just keep plugging away.

    • #3055338

      temp agency

      by fitzmark ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      A lot of larger companies are using temp agencies to weed through employees. If you don’t work out, no harm no foul, they just replace you with someone else. Sometimes, if they really like you, they will hire you away from the temp firm. I worked for a company that did that all the time.

    • #3055332

      It is a buyers market right now

      by brummett ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      As a CTO, over the years, I have hired an great number of people from entry level to advanced skill sets. Unless the organization is open a truly new position or has significant turnover in its “entry level” or “lower” positions. The organization is generally replacing a worker who could perform the skills needed. The manager is looking to replace those skills as fast as possible; and will hire specific experience and capability whenever possible. Failing to find exactly what they are looking for, the manager will hire the experienced person that they believe will bring that capability online quickest.
      In today?s very tight job market, experience is often the difference. There are more ?entry level? IT people than there are entry level jobs. Those with proven experience will have an easier time. Nevertheless, you have some experience; hopefully you learned some theory and some practical hands-on in school. Many IT schools and university programs do not provide real world experience, but this is critical to getting a job. So, what to do?
      I would look for a technical support job at a call center, just don?t get trapped there. Use the job as a chance to gain real world experience on a helpdesk with a product. The pay is not really high, but you will see many time the number of problems in a single day that most entry level jobs will see in a month. If that is not available, get some experience, try an internship or just plain volunteer at you local school distinct, City/County IT department, local senior center with a computer lab. This being said, don?t just grab something anyplace, do it with a plan; you have some ability and time you are offering — make sure the organization is offering you some real experience in return.
      As for being over 40, alas, some short sighted people seem to think that ?older? workers are not value hires. Stress you knowledge learned in school, but also your knowledge learned in the school of hard knocks, which the younger kids just out of school simple can not yet have gained. At 42, you made a choice to go back to school, good for you!…BUT do not discount that choice as being experience based. You know how to show up and put in 8+ hours of work value in an 8 hour day. You need to sell yourself, not the degree. I have never hired a degree nor a resume, I hire people. The resume and the degree simple get you a ticket to an opportunity to sell me on you at an interview. I suspect that working the interview skills will also do a lot.
      As others have said: don?t give up, and this may take a while, but if you made the effort to successfully go back to school, you can make a place for you in our profession.

    • #3055331

      That’s the norm…

      by unixdude ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Seems that is the norm for job descriptions these days. Almost every IT job description I see wants someone with BS degree in IT OR equivalent experience… key word being OR here. Just because someone has the IT degree doesn’t mean they know anything except terminology. I would rather hire someone anyday who has his feet wet from IT experiences and / or really demonstrates that he is interested in this line enough to learn over someone with no a degree alone. And no matter how experienced someone is, no two environments are alike and will take a few months to fit into. You need to convince the hiring people that you CAN fit into their environment, you CAN learn the way things work, and you ARE very interested in learning. Bug them endlessly. 95% of the time they are going to hire someone like this.

      • #3055260

        I agree with UnixDude

        by dawn ·

        In reply to That’s the norm…

        I am an IT Dept Manager and I agree with UnixDude. I would much rather hire someone that has some experience hands on rather than being “book smart”. You have some that can read a book, take a test and ace it. But, when presented with a problem of why a workstation is having a problem, will look at you and have absolutely no clue. I know one person that if it isn’t written down, he doesn’t know how to solve the problem.

        I just had what I call an “entry level” position open. I wasn’t looking for someone that had been to school for years. I was looking for someone that had the DESIRE to learn computers, that loved working & playing with them.

        I also read a post about pay your dues. That is true, you must. I started out as a receptionist right out of high school, when computers were just coming out. I went to a data entry postion for 11 1/2 years and moved to help desk from there. I transferred to a Computer Operator postion and was given the best opportunity of my life. The man that I worked for, since I mentioned I’d like to build a computer, gave me the chance. I then progressed to building a server. This did not happen overnight by any means! I started in 1983 and now, over 20 years later, am the IT Manager. Don’t be afraid to also say “I don’t know the answer but I WILL find it for you!” It shows you’re not afraid to admit you don’t know everything (how anyone in IT these days is beyond me) but more importantly it shows that you’re not afraid to do whatever it takes and use your resources to find the answer!

        Good Luck!

    • #3055328

      For those still in school

      by thunderfoot ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I have always highly recommended getting at least one internship while still in college. Theory and standard practice knowledge are important, but experience is the key to providing immediate benefit to a business. I came out of college with 2 1/2 years of experience and got offers from every job I applied for. I also already felt more comfortable in a business environment and understood the politics more than I would have had I not been an intern at a corporation. Good luck to all who are in the market!

    • #3055324

      Try volunteering?

      by givemejava ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      If you are interested in web technologies you might want to try building or working on a site for a not for profit or a politican. They always need stuff done fast and it will build a protfolio. You might turn it to good networking too.

    • #3055323

      Pay your dues

      by soul_bro ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Just like any other industry, you need to pay your dues. The IT job market in Texas isn’t as hot as Washington DC.
      I would suggest doing some consulting work in the Washington, DC area. Stay there for about a year, pay your dues, then move back to Texas.
      I am sure by then, things will be much easier for you.
      Good luck!

    • #3055295

      Entry Level is a perspective

      by ed80015 ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Your 4 years are not wasted. You know many people have gotten degrees in one field just to work in another, regard it as fate, destiny or God’s will. Entry level IT is a simple user turning on the computer for the first time. Remember every problem you have had with computers, there are other that will experience the same.

      If you want to find an IT job, go where the market is. Obviously with the current disasters in LA, MI and AL, there will be ample opportunity to find a job, whether re-cabling an office, setting up a home, replacing computers or data recovery. Are you willing to travel, that is normal for IT unless you are looking to stay in a 2 horse town with one public phone and a gas station and no internet services.

      You must understand, the IT field has been depressed recently as well, and is slowly coming around. The days of IT pillaging from the Y2k scare are over, and only the hardened professionals stayed in business. Your age is not a hindrance, but you are competing with people in your age bracket that have 20 years of experience or more.

      Your interviewer asked you conceptual questions regarding VPN, AD and other standard thinking questions which you may not have the experience to answer conclusively. It is a simple method to find out what makes you think, don?t get scared. IT is not a static science; we must continually strive for knowledge and sort the truth from fiction. Ten years ago, AD never existed in the MS NT4 domain, but it grew from there. Prior to NT4.0, Novell was not even concerned with the baby Microsoft Company. I hope that the next interview, you will have at least read the basics to know what the technology behind VPN is, as well as the largest market OS providers core AD structure is.

      Now that you have your BS degree, don?t forget that the MCSE is a great certification. All you need is to go to the local computer store, buy the books and software, and to become a MCP, take a $125 test. That will distinguish you from other similar candidates and force you to learn some basics. Don?t let the interview scare you, remember, Microsoft will solve any software problem for $245. You want experience, go to the next interview and tell them what you know, how you would learn to solve problems you don?t know how and emphasis that you are a stable 42 years young.

    • #3055290

      Getting Experience

      by bpennstsi ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Getting experience is always a challenge, but there are some ways to get it if you are willing to put in the effort. One is to find a non-profit organization that needs IT help and volunteer. You can become a troubleshooter, build or update their website, help them set up databases, etc. While you don’t earn money doing this, you gain experience.

      For experience building websites, which is something you indicate you would like to do, there is nothing stopping you. You may need to buy/rent space on a server that will allow you to set up server-side databases and scripts, but many of the tools you need to get started can be gotten for free from the Internet if you are willing to work with open source ( and are good places to start). If you are willing to sell yourself, once you have an example or two that you can show, you may be able to pick up consulting assignments for small businesses in your area. I’m too old to have started by building web sites, but this is how I started my career–as a consultant doing programming for small businesses and university departments. You’ll have to factor your experience level into your rates, and you will need to invest in your own training as technology changes.

      Finally, regarding the age question, it is true that IT is a youth-obsessed industry, but this is primarily because many managers assume that kids coming out of school have been trained on the latest technologies while older pros’ skills are obsolete. Once you are in it, the industry tends to be meritocratic. If you can demonstrate, verbally, on paper, and, especially, in the trenches, that you are skilled with the current technology, your age should not be an issue. One of my colleagues is in his second career, having retired from the first, because he found retirement to be too boring. As a man in his 60s, he trained himself in Java and systems and landed a job. He’s considered one of the sharpest techs in the company.

      While you need to be realistic and understand that getting an IT job will be tough, ask your wife to give you positive support rather than identifying problems that you can’t do anything about.

    • #3055287

      Look for a front line Help Desk position

      by jdarrow ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Look for a help desk position. This gives you hands on training in a hurry because usually the low guy gets all of the first line calls. The level 2 and level 3 techs that don’t mind sharing the knowledge so that you can answer more customer calls without transferring them to the techs.

    • #3055280

      Do you fix Friends/Family “IT” problems?

      by bargod101 ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      If so, you have experience. Along with my salaried employer experience, I have a section that is my consulting company. This company started out “training and troubleshooting residential computer systems and networks” and “providing onsite computer skills training”. You don’t need to tell them you hooked up your dad’s cable modem or should your mom how to use ebay to sell antiques. But it is experience, and you are providing customer service. As my friends/family network grew, I began to get business clients from referrals.

      I now teach technology at a Technical School. I tell all my students one of the most important skills many IT professional w/ years of experience lack is Customer Service and the ability to work as a team. These are critical in today’s business models.

      Good Luck!


    • #3055279

      Website sales and development

      by gary.hoffmann ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I’ve been around the job world in IT a couple of times myself. I am 41. However, my solution was to start my own company doing website sales and development. I would be interested in interviewing anyone interested. Maybe I can help you. Since location doesn’t really mean anything, everything can be done over the internet and the phone.

      Please keep in mind, while there is a great technical component to this, there is also a sales component, so you’d have to be willing to do both. The development only comes after the sale.

      Contact me personally if you want more information.

    • #3055270

      Always been like this

      by bonniebeth ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I entered the IT field 25 years ago and had the exact same problem. I was offered a job by the college I graduated from but then they said I couldn’t have it because I didn’t have any experience. My first job was through a family friend (spread the word to everyone you know and have your family do the same). My second job was at the most entry level. Ive worked my way literally from the bottom up. From a night shift computer printer person at a bank to manager of MIS at the small company I work for. Sometimes you have to settle for less than you wanted in the beginning so that you can get some experience under your belt. My current company hired me not because I had any experience in what the job entailed but because they could see how my past experience and some training would benefit them in the end.

    • #3055267

      try and re-try to open that door!…

      by theforce ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I agree with you…I had the same problem immediately after completing my studies (electronic engineering)…I made many interviews since I found my first job…
      I suggest you to address big IT companies because they often have a training program in which they hire new young engineers, they train them on a technology (for example with a MCSE or CCNA or else certification path) and let you them start to work on the field…2 years later you’ll use your experience to find another job for example in a little company but with more annual revenues or bigger role…
      The unique problem is to wait the right opportunity because now the IT market is quite least in Europe…Keep in mind that also experienced IT professional now have some problems to change their job with a better opportunity…
      Best regards…

    • #3055262

      Here’s a couple of things to think about.

      by afhavemann9 ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Sniff around the state and federal areas. Those positions are usually much less concerned with age than with how well you fit into the office culture, which is usually an older mix.

      They look for stability, self confidence, and social competence. Ability to relate and deal with a lot of older staff is important. Many of the people working in those offices are upwards in age and can?t appreciate an aggressive younger person who is technically competent but socially out of touch with them.

      At 42 most IT people in the corporate world are placed or have moved on. Most corporate IT managers will pass on you for an entry position not so much because of your age, but more because their well aware you?ve been around long enough to become politically astute in the corporate environment.

      It?s one thing to control a younger man or woman; they’re young and have time to move up and can usually be managed. However you?re much closer to the edge, time and career wise and unlikely to be impressed by managerial pressure and skill. You may not see it that way, but the person who?s going to manage you will.

      As I can personally testify, that can become an issue. I hired an older woman several years ago (44) as an assistant. She was to move around, fix machines, trouble shoot software and so on. While she was quite competent, she was also very ambitious and the only upward career path for her was my job.

      I was careful to make her aware of those facts before she started, but deaf ears and all that.

      It quickly became a real pain, to the point that we had a long conversation about her remarks to users concerning my abilities and policies. Eventually she resigned when it became clear I wasn?t going anywhere anytime soon and we were unable to come to a stable position.
      Another assistant hired shortly after that who was 43 worked out just fine.

      In a corporate interview you?re going to have to counter that perception somehow and the best way is to address it up front, even if it?s not an issue brought up during the interview. Try to find a middle ground position where you can indicate that while you?re interested in your career path, you won?t be a thorn about it. I think I?d find a way to introduce it into the initial interview since its possible there won?t be a second one otherwise.

      There?s no getting around it, like it or not, age is an issue. I think, if you keep on it, you?ll find that after some time you?ll get the hang of presenting the strengths your age brings to the job (organization skills, technical ability, etc.).

      If you need to, dye your hair, pay attention to your clothes (sharp, current style).

    • #3055255

      unlearning and entry level

      by sr10 ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Last time I looked at it, an undergraduate tech degree did an excellent job of preparing you … to be a graduate student. This was especially true of CS, but even the MIS programs tended to be about what the academics wished went on in Corporate America, as opposed to what really does go on.

      The historical economic model was that some Fortune 1000 corporation would hire you because they could afford to carry you for the 12-24 months it would take for you to unlearn what you learned in school so you could then learn how things were really done. Economically, this meant that the F1000 were being used as acadamies that finished off the education of tech pros so that smaller companies could then hire them away. It was only a matter of time before this free ride came to an end.

      Now, everyone has the same perspective the smaller companies used to have: I can’t afford to have you learning to be effective on my dime. This is compounded by the fact that most interviewers can’t measure traits like adapability and initiative, but can measure encyclopedic knowledge of a particular programming language or brand of router.

      Here are a couple of tools for your box:
      1. Make sure you’ve made the transition from being taught to learning; there’s no one to teach you most of the time. Last week I taught my vendor how to set up the soft phone product they sold us.
      2. From your previous 20 or so working years, what transferrable skills can you point to? What experiences do you have putting process in place, making it better?
      3. In the interview, make sure your story comes out. Have your own agenda, so you aren’t stuck with someone else’s.

      A fascinating question for the industry is: where are we going to get the people with 3-5 years of experience 3-5 years from now?

    • #3055252

      There is a glut of IT talent out there….

      by tim hutzler ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?


      Having been looking for work since 2002, I can tell you that it has been this way for some time. Part of the problem is the cheap supply of offshore of IT talent. This has reduced the demand in entry level and professional level jobs substantially.

      While companies will swear their denial, I believe that age discrimination is alive and well, just as race discrimination was 50 years ago. It is a reality that we will have to deal with.

      I am 49. I have pretty much given up on looking to companies for employment. For this reason my wife has divorced me, and I am basically beginning a new chapter in my life.

      If companies will not hire me for my valuable skills, screw them. I will hire myself. I know it will not be easy, but I believe in the long run I will better off. I am currently developing software that I hope to market someday soon.

      My suggestion to you is to play your strengths. If it is networking, contact small firms like real estate offices and introduce yourself as a more cost effective alternative to what they are not using. Your miliage may vary, but if you want to get there, you are going to have to drive there yourself.

      Good luck.

    • #3055248

      temp to hire

      by jshaw ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      start temping, this is a great way for you to get valuable experience, lets each side try the other out, and can lead to full time work

    • #3055245

      Same exact situation

      by xt john ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      You didn’t describe your previous employment situation, and I’m wondering if it’s anything like mine. I was what they would label a displaced worker. I am 40 years old, and was a printer for 19 years, from straight out of high school until 2 years ago. I saw the handwriting on the wall, shop after shop closing with no new ones opening to replace them. I started attending community college at night while working full time to obtain an AAS in Computer Information Systems. All my co-workers said I was crazy, that I was throwing away a trade for nothing.(they are all unemployed or scrambling at the moment, unfortunately). What helped me land experience and get a foot in the door was to take on several part time IT jobs. The job I have just celebrated my second anniversary with was a part time position that had a full time slot open up. I had to take a cut in pay when I left the printing trade 2 years ago, but am now up to what I was making then. I have to say, that your age can work to your advantage, also. your maturity, being responsible, a team player, all can be assets that aren’t learned in school but acquired through life experience. Of the three solid IT offers I’ve had over the last 2 years, 2 were from part time jobs, and one was an immediate position at the county government office. Check with your school if they have any placement services, check your county’s web site for employment services and openings. Check the web sites of companies in your area for employment listings, alot of times they’ll post there but not in the paper. Make up dozens of resumes and send them cold. I’ve nailed printing jobs that way in the past. Don’t be discouraged, most places today don’t even send an acknowledgement that they’ve received a resume or application. You’re not alone. Practice at home, keep your mind fresh. Get Dummies books, or borrow several from the library covering a topic and see which one you feel comfortable with. Try web design on the side, do a few for friends, small businesses and build a client base. Good Luck, you’re not alone 🙂

    • #3055244


      by nvt476 ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I have those exact same feeling about entry-level positions, I have tried to apply for entry-level positions and have not had any luck, I went one step further and got a Masters Degree and still either I’m over qualified or I don’t get any replies at all, what are we to do. Jobless in Georgia.

    • #3055243

      Never too old…..

      by ybed ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I didn’t even enter college until I was almost 44. I graduated in Dec of 2001 with a BS in MIS and now am back in school pursuing a Masters in Computer Information Technology. I was working full time before I graduated because I leveraged the Career Services dept at the university I attended. My advice to you is to contact your career placement office at the university you attended. I can’t speak for what they offer but my experience is they are there to help with anything from setting up interviews to reviewing your resume. I worked as an intern at the firm I am employed by the summer between my Junior and Senior years – took a part time position while I completed a final semester going to school full time and then finished my degree going to school part time. Don’t sell yourself short. We “nontraditional” students, (never could figure that one out…I took the same exams the traditional students took) have a lot to offer when we enter the workplace, things you don’t learn and can’t appreciate until you are older. I have found that my enthusiasm for being a “geek” and my willingness to learn has gone a long way. Good luck….

      • #3054948


        by sully213 ·

        In reply to Never too old…..

        There was a 50-something in my IT courses at college. He worked/owned a construction company for 25 years before he decided he couldn’t do it that the rest of his life, so he sold the company and went to school full-time.

        Not long after graduation he had a job as a network admin for a magnet school in the area, which I believe was where he interned.

        Changing course a bit, there is another angle to consider, internships. I had a brief stay at a small startup business that did network consulting and the owner planned on using interns as cheap labor for his immediate needs, but also as a way to groom new employees for the future.

    • #3055242


      by jross ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I, too went back to school almost 10 years ago, to get into IT. I was fortunate enough to find a small, family-owned, consulting company that took the risk in hiring me while I was still in school. I do not have the largest salary and I do not have the company stock benefits package that you might find at a larger company, but I do have security, a salary that I can live on and because we are small, I have had opportunities that I never would have dreamed of if I worked for a larger company.

      I would recommend checking out local SIGs for whatever you are wanting to do professionally, ie websites. They provide a good opportunity to learn a bit more about your field of interest, meet others who are working in the field and members often are the presenters at the meetings, giving opportunities to show what you know. It is a good place to hear about openings at companies (big and small) that might be of interest in addition to providing a contact person and maybe even an inside reference. I used to attend a SIG for PowerBuilder and another for MS Access databases and it was very common to hear about openings at various companies from either a small IT business owner or a member of a team at a larger company.

      And finally, talk to your instructors. Many of them likely have contacts in the field or are still working there themselves. They can make excellent references and be a good source for contact information. My age seemed to benefit me since I was about the same age as many of my instructors.

      Good luck in your search.

    • #3055240

      this is what woked for me

      by aaron ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I had half a degree in Criminal Justice / Pre-Law when I decided IT would be a more suitable future for myself. I attained a few basic certs (A+, Network+, MCSE+I, etc.). I had a gig working at a software store (retail) and had previous jobs selling hardware (retail). It was a tough process, but I networked a lot from my customers (I found a surprising majority of the “older gamers” were IT managers in disguise – they offered tons of advice), and eventually was headhunted to go work for a commercial ISP. The 3 1/2 years I spent there I learned everything I could about building and maintaining Telco Level WANs. Today I run a small IS department for a software development house.

      I wish you all the luck possible,
      (cheers to never having to be present for another platform launch . . . like PS2 or Dreamcast)

    • #3055237

      Show Some Initiative!

      by chandrasueolson ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I read your post and was concerned with the sense of entitlement it portrayed. You state you would like to build a basic website but only received a basic understanding from school and that none of your friends understand IT. Employers are not looking for excuses. They are looking for individuals who demonstrative initiative. If the book doesn?t make sense then seek out alternative literature or do a search to find websites that provide additional information. You can also go to a website in your browser and view source.

      You mentioned you went to a well known and private University and worked four years to obtain an IT degree. During that time did you co-op, intern, or hold part-time IT related employment? Employers are looking for individuals who have sought out opportunities to gain experience in the field and can multi-task. Consider replacing the emphasis from which University you attended to how you preformed in your coursework (GPA) while balancing multiple priorities and significant workloads.

      My recommendation is to get evaluation versions of software and experiment with them. Develop websites and applications. Network your home computers together. Add IT certifications that demonstrate your ability to your resume. These things demonstrate your willingness to learn. When an employer asks a question you do not have an exact answer to you can leverage the hands on experience you have gained.

      You mentioned you were baffled by the questions the employer asked. Did you consider the employer asked the question to test your reasoning process and reaction expecting that you probably didn?t know the answer to the question? They may also have been testing your oral communication skills.

      There are entry-level jobs in IT that do not require 3-5 years of experience. They do require motivation, resourcefulness, and strong oral-written communication skills.

      • #3055232

        Better situation, but familiar still…

        by demf ·

        In reply to Show Some Initiative!

        What about someone with a similar situation, but slightly better off?

        I work and live in Puerto Rico. I’m 38. The local economy is in shambles, because it depends a lot on government jobs and the government is broke. I joined the PR Dept. of Education and served as web project manager for close to two years. At the time, my IT skills were merely basic, after veering away from day-to-day IT jobs for close to seven years. I did have the basics, and SOME experience, but always hit the ceiling head-first because I couldn’t go beyond entry level. The web manager job did wonders for me, but I reached another plateau: the place was unionized and I, as a manager, couldn’t write a single line of code, reset a single server or do anything beyond giving orders. The political game was also murderous (no meritocracy here), so I left for a private sector job.

        I’ve freelanced ever since. I’m currently the data architect for a data warehousing development firm, but the position won’t (again) let me write much code, document, analyze, interface with clients, etc. It pays much better but feels like a demotion, since no private company will breed a freelancer enough to let him leave after getting courses, training and experience. I’m pigeonholed in the job, as opposed to the government job (where I was the boss, so to speak!). The only alternative I think is to take less hours, earn less money, pay myself the certs and training, while staying at the pigeon hole, and then moving up. My family cannot afford not to have me jobless, but they will afford a 60/40 deal (time- and moneywise), I think. But the whole issue sounds very familiar.

        Any response to this is welcome…

      • #3055833

        Instead, apply for a non-IT job that involves IT!

        by telcoit ·

        In reply to Show Some Initiative!

        Get into IT through the backdoor. Applying for a straight IT position puts you in a pool of thousands of others that most likely have more IT experience than you do. The good news is pure IT experience isn’t enough in today’s IT world. You’ll need to repackage yourself, not as an IT guy but as a business solutions guy. Positions to look for would be some kind of project management or technical business management position. You’ll want to sell yourself as a person that creates process improvements by leveraging technology. You can show you have this experience by spreadsheets you’ve created in the past, sample documents (memos to you coworkers with instructions how to do something).

        Just by repackaging simple tasks that you’ve done in your past that shows how you improved a process and combined it with your IT degree will make you immediately marketable for some kind of project management or Business management related to technology position. This is pretty much where the industry is going, anyway.

        One secret about IT or business managers that want to hire for a IT or IT related job is that they are estatic to find someone with 50% of the skills listed for the job. What this really means is that there is no training in IT! You’ll be lucky to get 2 weeks of IT training from any company large or small. IT is all OJT. IT is mostly learn while you burn. So convey on your interview that you’re a self-starter with excellent people skills that gives you the ability to work with and learn from your coworkers.

        Getting a pure IT job is though, but if you leverage your previous knowledge to show you’re a self-starting, process improving, people skills person that leverages technology, that will set you apart from others.

    • #3055235

      Entry Level Positions

      by gluterek ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      As a hiring manager at our firm, I do hire graduating students that show 2 things: a serious interest and demonstarted commitment to learning the technology, and initiative. The applicant needs to show experiences at school and away from school (Hodidays and breaks) and excitement about the technology and what it can do for business users. A techno purist is not a good hire. The value of the techology is in it’s application to solve real world problems.

      Once hired (at a modest salary) the employee can move up the scale based on performance and acceptance of additional responsibities not years of service.

    • #3055233

      beden said already, but…

      by ljgizinski ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Most of this has already been said, but for purposes of confirmation:

      Regarding too old: I used to instruct a 16-week Network+ cert course for adult work rehab programs. In my very first class there was a guy who was in his mid-fifties who had almost written himself off as unemployable before our class’s job fair. You know the feelings involved – “young person’s game, etc.” We talked with him a little bit. Turns outr he was the most popular guy there. He worked his well-established work ethic, how his background enabled him to understand the business perspectives of potential clients, and basically told them, “Look – I don’t know everything, but show me how you want it done and I’m open and grateful to learn.” He was one of the first ones hired. Encouragingly, interviewers don’t waste their time with people they are not interested in, so don’t let your age discourage you here. Heck, if you really want to work there, call them back and see if they have another position coming up, discuss your interview, and ask them what they’re looking for.

      Gaining Experience: I broke into IT fairly late in my game as well. My early resume entries were volunteer work I had for some non-profit organizations I was involved in, personal work I had done for friends, etc.

      Answers to Stumpers: You can always fall back to something like, “I haven’t yet had the chance to run against something like that before. I’d want to research it for a short time and check with my trainer/mentor/supervisor to see if there already was a pre-determined procedure for this.” Or something like that.
      Hope it works out for you!

    • #3055856


      by al ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      start fixing pc’s on the side. start with your friends pc or your relatives. those things count as experience in the it field. then you can claim it in your resume that you’re a freelance pc technician

    • #3055844

      Make Your Own Position

      by absolutezero ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I think I know the University you attended. I also have a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. So, I feel safe in saying I believe the degree you earned prepared you for a role in IT Management. With a broad (brief) exposure to many technologies, you are well poised to know the big picture with IT and the inner workings of networking and programming units. Also, while attending college, you honed your analytical skills, time management skills, team development, conflict resolution, and many more. Use these skills to your advantage.

      The Software development life cycle, programming and networking concepts, and operating systems should be old hat. Don?t go for the entry level position in IT doing programming. Use previous experience in your NON IT related job, and sell your management abilities and the fact that you understand the above concepts and others. Let those skills land you the job.

      Or, you can do what I am doing. Form an S-Corporation and while you are pounding the pavement looking for that J.O.B. sell other services. Every large company needs data entry. You have family and friends. Enlist their help and support with projects and go for broke. Think Out Of The Box.

      Good Luck

    • #3055838

      Think Bigger!

      by dholloway1 ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      You need to think bigger!!! Are you living to work or working to live? Yes, this is a plug for my company but more importantly to try to get some you to think past just getting a job, especially the way IT jobs are going with outsourcing. (JOB = Just Over Broke) I expect and plan on retiring next summer at the ripe old age of 42. While I plan to still freelance IT (databases) for something to do, it will be because I want to….not because I have to.

      I retired from the military in 2001 at the age of 37 with a blown out back. I had spent 14 years in Special Forces and another 6 1/2 years working in intelligence, and some IT. While working for the Defense Intelligence Agency I did some programming as well as created several databases for them, although most of my stuff was in Access. When I retired I went to work as an Intelligence Analyst. I had some college I went back to school to finish. I completed a BS MIS, last May. I worked my way out of intelligence into the IT side of the house, but I realized I wanted more. During that time I started reading Robert Allen “Multiple Streams of Income”, Robert Kiyosaki “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”, Cashflow Quardrant”, Sandy Botkin “Lower your taxes Big Time” (Saves $3K – $9K a year on taxes), and many others figuring out that rich people think of money in totally different terms, that’s why they’re rich. I didn’t want to work for another 30 years for social security, if its there. In several of the books, they discussed real estate, investing, tax lien certificates etc as well as network marketing, although I was VERY sceptical at first. I also learned the concept of residual income which is getting paid whether you work or not. Robert Kiyosaki call network marketing “The perfect business” if you have the right company. I took their advice and knowledge and started investing in several things. Also, after doing 8 months of research I became a distributor for a company called USANA. It is #3 on Business week’s Hot Growth Companies…up from #9 last year. Their stock went up 550% over 5 years. It has been around since 1992 and is publically traded (USNA). It’s products are in the physician’s desk reference and are ranked #1 according to the Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements (study done by the Canadian Government). Also network marketing allows you to do it part-time until it supports you which usually takes approximately 2-3 years working part-time although many do it faster it depends on the person and whether they treat it like a business or a hobby.
      I guess the bottom line is each of us are in charge of our own destiny and you can work if you want, but there are other ways, but it takes work in all of them.
      Create a map for your life and a dream list whether it is an IT job or making $500,000 a year. Dare to dream!!! Then map out what is required to achieve those dreams and set intermediate goals. Then get to work. Personally, at this point in my life I want to spend more time with my family than working 9-5 and while none of the methods in the books are get rich quick schemes, they do work.
      If you are interested in checking out the company I am in you can check out the presentation at

      Whatever you do, I wish you the best of luck.

    • #3055835

      You know what you should do….

      by korst.micha ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Hi there,

      About seven years ago i was confronted with the same problem. Starting a new career in IT from scratch. This is not that easy and would cost lots of hours/days/months even years…

      If you want my advice… If you have a good job at the moment, keep it. Start doing some IT work next to your current job. Creating small ‘simple’ websites for local companies, some IT service to smaller offices. Doing this you get some field experiance. It makes you some extra cash and gets you arround in the IT world.

      This is what i did and today (seven years later) i got a good IT job as Manager Information Systems in a global company.

      Understanding the basics and being interrested in the technology of soft- and hardware, willing to learn and being a reliable person gets you further than you might think.

      Most difficult stuff is found on the internet. Lots of help to be found there when needed.

      Don’t hesitate and just do it. And there is absolutely a market for smaller companies in need of help on their IT infastructure. This is not a heavy workload and might be an ‘in-between’ solution.

      Whenever i can be of any help, just mail me.

      Good luck!


    • #3055829

      Temp Agencies

      by wdewey ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I got hired throught a temp agency for my current position and they can get people experience by doing short term contract work. It’s not much money or benifits, but it can get you much needed experience, a reputation and contacts. Most places that I know of hire through temp agencies and then later hire full time.

      I don’t know if anyone already posted something simular, but I wasn’t seeing anything.

      Bill Dewey

    • #3055822

      Use the knowledge gained from your previous career

      by john_a_parsons ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Hello kgoesele.

      I was 30+-year-old Research Lab Technician in a Pharmaceutical company before I moved into IT (Scientific based Systems Analysis, Programming & Network Support) in 1986.

      You will find that your experience and knowledge gained from your previous career is of more use than your IT knowledge to an employer. We always found that it’s easier to teach someone the IT (Programming & Systems Analysis) than to teach him or her the required business knowledge (Biological Sciences) gained from years of experience. Don’t forget that you will need to be able to talking to your customer and understand what he wants at his level.

      So use your previous knowledge and experiences and approach previous employers or employer requiring similar business knowledge. You might find that there are opportunities in local government, national government or their agencies that want your knowledge.

      Many charities societies/clubs & community groups? want people to work for free creating web sites and supporting their PCs. Do this in your spare time and it will give you more hand-on experience and it looks good on your CV. I keep my hands-on and knowledge up to scratch by doing PC support work/repairs/upgrades for people in my local community and a ‘Special Needs School’s’. I don?t do this work for a financial gain but on a cost only basis & the odd bottle of wine. You will be surprised what sort of network connections you can get from this. So don’t forget that even hard-bitten Businessmen have relatives with PC problems.

      The last but importantly be prepared to be flexible and learn.

    • #3055818

      Look at Non-profits

      by jfields ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I was in a similar situation in 2003, I had recently graduated, and I had experience, but from the mid 80’s. I found a posting for a datbase job, at first I didn’t think I had a chance and deleted it. Then I thought about it and decided what the hell. I sent in my resume and got the job. It is with a non-profit, so the pay is a bit lower than it would be in a for profit, but I am getting a boat load of experience.
      I am now in charge of IT here, have an assistant and several good sized projects I am working on. I do everything from Network Admin, DBA and programmer analyst. I love my job and the company I work for, and that goes along way to making up for the lower pay.

      • #3055633


        by rouschkateer ·

        In reply to Look at Non-profits

        I agree 100%. Pay isn’t what always makes the job. A good team with good knowledge and solidarity is way better than any high-end corporate position. I started Interning (paid) a year ago in a Non-Profit Senior Care Facility at the Help Desk, and my knowledge has grown exponentially since! I was hired on full time with beautiful benefits just this June. Smaller companies are much better. Good luck!

      • #3054274

        This goes for churches, synagogs, etc. too!

        by mc68000 ·

        In reply to Look at Non-profits

        I earned my current IT position “seat-of-the-pants” style like Mr. Moran was referring to and he is right, it takes a looooooong time. For me, nearly 20 years. However, a co-worker of mine is the IT Admin for a local church. He’s literally a “god-send” to them and talk about experience! And they pay! Probably not enough to make a living, but enough that the experience he gains supporting their entire network, and the stippend he earns, makes it well worth his while.

    • #3055815

      you have IT

      by ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      If you really studied in schoolk for four years of computer science you allready have four years of experience in IT.

      • #3055764

        That’s bull

        by mike ·

        In reply to you have IT

        A computer science degree is all about learning how to solve problems. Having experience is all about getting compensated for working in the field.

        Tell me, if you were a baseball player who got promoted to the big leagues, would you go around saying that you have 2 years experience because you did 2 years in the minors? Of course that’s a rhetorical question, you’re a rookie, get over it. Everyone is a rookie in the beginning. The important question for this topic is how you go about getting called up to the dance!

    • #3055808

      Use what you know.. Learn what you can..

      by calson ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Apply for IT jobs in what ever industry you used to work in. A lot of smaller companies want someone who knows not just IT, but also their how their business works. Customize you resume for each job, prominently displaying any experience you have in that industry. In your cover letters, explain that you know the business from both sides of the coin. IT is not about programming or networks. It’s about making business’ function better.

      Another things to do, is to join various user groups. You will meet a lot of contacts that way, and you will learn some practical IT application. Even if you don’t get a job out of them, you will learn to speak ‘tech speak’, which will increase your confidence when asked technical questions in an interview.

      It can be hard to get that first job, but perseverance will pay off.

    • #3055804

      Is IT a dead field?

      by bg6638 ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I am 55, and have worked in IT for the past 35 years. I progressed from wiring unit record machines, to assembler on mini-computers, to COBOL on Data General and IBM S36 machines. Being the only “IT” person in the shop, I also was responsible to lead the company in the Microsoft progression from dos 1.x thru 6.0, Win3.1, NT 3.5, 4.0, Win2k, WinXP, Exchange, etc.
      I managed 75 pcs, 5 Wintel servers, 10 Macs, and 1 OSX server. Unfortunately, the company went bankrupt last year. Since then, I’ve only had but two interviews.

      I only have an AAB degree, and thought now would be the time to finish a bachelors degree. I was informed by several area colleges, that since the AAB degree is 30 years old, that they could not transfer a single credit hour.

      Shortly afterward, an “entry level” help desk ad was listed. When I went to fill out an application, the receptionist asked if I had a masters degree in C.S. When I said no, I was told *NOT* to apply! Puzzled by the request, I asked to see the job description. It was for a Help Desk Tech I. However, besides the masters
      degree, they wanted 3-5 years exp on a help desk,
      the following mandatory certs: A+, Network+, Dell certified technician, CCNA, CCNP, CCDP, CCIE, CCSP, CCIP, CCVP, MOUS, MCDST, MCSE 2K & 2K3 with messaging & security, RHCT, and RHCE. They also wanted experience with AS400 websphere, HP3000 MPE/IX Manman ERP, Citrix, and Lotus Notes. All this for a 2 to 6 month temp assignment paying $9/hr!!! I know the IT job market is tight, but their requirements seem overkill!!

      I am at a complete loss as to how to ressurect my career.

      • #3055688

        IT isn’t a dead field yet anyway

        by maldain ·

        In reply to Is IT a dead field?

        The problem with IT these days is the specialization. Basically, you have to have the right specialty to get a head. I went through a recent 5 year period where I was caring for terminally ill parents and couldn’t work. Getting back into the market place was a bear but I took a help desk position and kept applying and interviewing. The help desk position wasn’t really computer related it was for an appliance manufacturer. But that did get my foot back in the door and I just kept applying and interviewing. Now, I have a job with a stable company that’s on the large end of small or the small end of medium. They appreciate the dept of experience I’ve brought with me and it’s a solid good place to work. You just have to keep plugging away.

      • #3055663

        Right behind you

        by crawk ·

        In reply to Is IT a dead field?

        I’m 53 and when they boot me outta here, I’m gonna be a piano tuner, or push my investing skills to the max, or probably both.

        Not long ago, somebody on these boards said he left the field and opened up a dry-cleaning shop, and doesn’t regret it for an instant.

        Clearly the place you describe hasn’t a clue what they want, much less need, so are just throwing all the spaghetti they can think of up against the wall. Do you really want to work for a place run by idiots?

        Were I you, I’d figure out something to do that I love, go borrow some “Ask Lesko” books from the library and find a way to finance it, and reboot my life to a much happier interface!

        And brush up on my investing skills. The market only seems complicated to people who don’t know that it’s all simple arithmetic and no longer a buy-and-hold game. Go online, take the free online courses, follow some guides on paper for awhile, decide who or what I want to follow, and go for it.

        • #3059661

          Path Outta IT

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Right behind you

          I had passed some email back and forth with the guy in the drycleaning business.

          My plan is a coffee shop.

          The reason why the economy is the US in general and IT in particular sucks so bad is that corporate CEOs haven’t had a new idea since they gutted the steel industry back a few decades ago.

          1. Shitcan the American worker at all cost. Quality, cost, security be damned .. the American worker can NOT share in wealth creation with a decent paycheck.

          2. Do so in a manner that makes him believe that he truly is the scum you think he is. Watching wave after wave of blank faced depressed out-of-work workers must give these types narcotic gratification. Especially so if they are war-era veterans.

          3. The only stratigic planning that matters is the earnings guidance you give the analysts next Friday.

          4. The only metric that matters is IBITDA (Income Before I Trick Dumb Auditors).

          I don’t see this changing much before the economy and tha social infrastructure is laid waste by an economic downturn that makes the great depression look like the golden age.

          See you at the coffee shop.

        • #3059265

          Turn the “tables”

          by crawk ·

          In reply to Path Outta IT

          So turn the tables on the buggers: invest smartly, make your money, and get the flock back out. Bulls and Bears both make money so the particular state of the economy is irrelevant. That’s how the bad guys do it, and we’re way smarter than they.

          (Speaking of tables, let me know when you get your coffee shop going. I’d love to stop by. Uptown? Maxtown? Columbus?)

      • #3055036

        brain dead, maybe

        by sr10 ·

        In reply to Is IT a dead field?

        In any market you will find the psycho company that “only wants to pay a nickel and get a dollar song.”

        If this is an assignment, as in consulting, I suspect what happened is the sales rep got the requirement from the hiring manager, who can’t sort out the essential from the fluff, and the sales rep was either too green or too lazy to explain the facts of life to the hiring manager.

        You’re going to see all kinds of insane hiring prevention out there. As dispiriting as it is, you have to develop the attitude control skills not to let it get to you.

        I wish I had something better to tell you…

      • #3058688

        That’s insane

        by mark miller ·

        In reply to Is IT a dead field?

        I don’t work in the hardware/admin field, but that particular place is shooting for the moon, and they’re not doing it realistically. I would be surprised if they found anyone for that job, especially at $9/hr. A masters degree, with all of the technologies and certs demands more than that.

        You might be able to pay a programmer with a bachelors degree right out of college that much per hour ($9/hr is the pay rate I started at 11 years ago), but if you shot for the moon like that and were only offering that rate, I’d be real surprised if you found anyone. I don’t care if they’ve been out of the job market for two years. To be that desparate and succumb to that kind of insult just kills one’s soul.

    • #3055801

      42 isn’t old for IT

      by maldain ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      It’s not really the economy it’s more the economics of IT. If you look at what’s been happening the past few years with IBM laying off 15,000 techs and HP laying off a few thousand and so on the entry level positions are being treated as entry level to get into a particular company rather than entry level of a guy fresh out of school. The primary reason is they can get some guy who has 5 years of experience to take an entry level job because the industry is changing and it’s gone from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market. When that happened the skill requirements go up. That being said it’s still possible to break in to the industry. Some of the suggestions above are great ones. The way I broke in when something similar was happening back in the late ’70s I took a job as a clerk and then applied internally to an entry level programming position.

    • #3055794

      What is it they want?

      by jon_lee ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      You have to ask yourself what they want. This is the research part of looking for a job – what do they want you do do in this job.

      Another thing, you have to figure out how to do that job. Now you have an education, what do you do with it – how do you apply it. Sure if you had the job you could ask someone to show you, but seriously you have the brain power to jump start the process. Don’t assume there is something unknown that is stopping you, try to solve the problem and if there is something you don’t know figure out how to get it. In an interview you can ask them some of these questions, in real life you have to do things to discover what you don’t know. This is a test of your ability to figure things out. Do it, you can you know.

      Good luck.

    • #3055774

      Ask yourself, What’s in it for them?

      by mike ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      You’re asking for a company to hire you because you achieved a BS in computer science with no experience. Ask yourself what’s in it for them? The way I see it, the only thing in it for them is a person with a BS in computer science. Having worked in the field 10+ years myself, I’ve come to realize that there are few companies the recruit straight out of college for IT and those that do are looking for top applicants. Big consulting companies hire college grads, e.g. Accenture or consulting divisions of companies like Oracle. Smaller consulting companies might want to hire recent college grads for QA as well.

      But I think the best chance was for you to have done what most other college grads do; they get internships and then parlay them into jobs. It sounds like you didn’t exactly seek out a volunteer or low-paying internship so you can’t leverage this for a job now. So why don’t you volunteer your time to do computer work for a non-profit agency for a while and then learn on that job. You can use that experience as leverage to then get a job.

      But I think the best chance is for you to have done what most other college grads do; they get an internship and then parlay that into a job. It sounds like you didn’t seek out a volunteer or low-paying internship so you can’t leverage this for a job now. So why don’t you volunteer your time to do computer work for a non-profit agency for a while and then learn on the job. You can use that experience as leverage to then get a job.

    • #3055729

      Entry Level Jobs & Career Changers

      by rogerd ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      As a partner in a networking & IT support company for ten years, I interviewed hundreds of applicants for tech jobs.

      Like most employers, we preferred candidates with a strong employment history in the field. Of course, we also interviewed candidates without much work experience. Of those, a significant share were attempting a career change. It may be overgeneralizing, but these individuals fell into two categories – people who had gone to school (college or certification classes) because they felt IT offered better career prospects, and those that played with technology all the time and figured they might as well get paid for it.

      The former group rarely had marketable skills at the completion of their education; even those with certifications tended to have marginal real-world problem-solving ability. The latter group often had complex home networks they set up using computers they built from parts; they used the network to learn new technology and experiment with what they learned in class.

      As potential employees, those individuals who lived for technology were far stronger candidates. They might still require some training and experience, but were far more likely to hit the ground running.

      Entry-level jobs ARE harder to find. Ten years ago, we employed “PC support” staff who mainly handled low-level hardware and software problems, and dealt with inept users. Today, hardware reliability, self-configuring software, and a greater percentage of computer-literate users has reduced the need for entry-level staffers.

      As many others have suggested, get some hands-on experience, even if it means volunteering or taking a low-paying job for a while.

      There are still some entry level positions, of course – work with your college’s placement office. While college IT degrees don’t convey much practical knowledge, some firms value the grounding in concepts and architecture that comes with a rigorous IT degree. Good luck!

    • #3055707

      In the same shoes….

      by it toast ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I’m going to take the liberty of showing this thread to my detractors… I’ve endured lots of criticism for the low salary and long hours of my IT position for a small (50 employee) company. 4 years ago I was given the opportunity to “work into” my current job as a one-man-band IT department without certs or a degree. I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to demonstrate a bit of knowledge when the right people were watching. The rub was a half-of-market-rate salary and endless spending on study materials, hardware and software, and hours upon hours of reading and labwork to bring myself up to speed on a myriad of subjects. I’ve made a pest of myself picking every brain I came in contact with to learn as much as I can. I used vendors where I needed to, but not without scrutinizing everything in detail. We have 99% weaned ourselves from outside support.

      I know I won’t be here forever, and sooner or later I’ll get a chance to make better money somewhere else. Dumb luck isn’t dumb when you take advantage of an opportunity when it presents itself. I know I did the right thing for me.
      I’ve been told by a recruiter that a substantial percent of younger people in this field lack the work ethic and people skills of some of us 40ish “old buzzards”. Sooner or later you’ll find a company that values what you can bring to the table, and not focus entirely on certs, degrees, or what ever their inaccurate personality or profiling tests indicate. Keep plugging along, it will happen.

      • #3055638

        Been there

        by brian158 ·

        In reply to In the same shoes….

        I know how you are feeling. I was in the right place at the right time. That is how I came around into the IT field. I have learned a lot and have done alot since I had came into the field. I still continuing to learn. Insha’Allah I shall continue to work in this field. I have even started to take on sides jobs from other companies to go work on their equipment and network. Certs are good to have but are they really needed? In some aspects yes. But with the way everything changes daily those certs can be useless. Insha’Allah I may continue to work with in this field even with as much it changes.

    • #3055700


      by dan_roche ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I know a guy who just graduated from college and was having a hard time finding a IT job in a corporation. He had no “real world” experience just what he had learned in College. He eventually got a job working for Geek Squad at Best Buy. Try checking out Geek Squad, geeks on call, or even Staples. You might have to get certified(A+) but that shouldnt take too long. These may not be high paying jobs but they will get you the experience that you need.

    • #3055686


      by wwalford ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Send me your resume and I’ll see what I can do for you as I’m a recruitment consultant!
      Together who knows what we might be able to do?

    • #3055678

      Long term solution

      by fmfaulkner ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      In the short term it’s going to be tough. There are probably a million or more specialied “guest” workers here already taking American jobs, and the immigration bill being worked on will probably make this worse. I’m not guessing on this, I’ve worked for several clients that use Indian workers here. The long term solution is to eliminate these guest visas and get companies back to developing their own people. Let your representatives know your thoughts.

      For you I can only offer this advice. You stand your best chance of getting a job by letting everyone you know you are looking and following each lead to your next contact.

      Good luck.

    • #3055640

      Do not give up!

      by brian158 ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Have been working in the IT field for over 10 years. I did not go to college or anything. I learned something from the military. After that I taught myself. I learn a lot over the years. I have learned alot about Win NT, Win 2k Pro, Win Xp, Server 2000, Server 2003. everything I have done was self taught. I had started many years with a company just a data entry person. I gotten bored one day while working there and I start hacking around on the network. When the IT Director saw it was me. He Hired me for Desktop support. Since then I just went up the ladder with them. But I left them and went to work for a small business. Company started out with 3 computers on a bad network design. It took me a few months to get the owners to allow me to make the changes. I have created a fiber ring by myself just using a book. I have installed a network threw out there new offices and connected new office and old office via fiber. I now have a 70 year old owner whom does not like computers from the begining. When I sat down with him and showed him a few things. We can not get him away from it. I have upgraded this offices to now having Server 2003 and 15 new desktops. 3 having win 2k and the rest all Xp Pro. So It does at times pay to say with small companies. My suggestion is. Do not shoot for the larger companies. Go for the small mom and pop companies. Get your experience then shoot for the larger companies. I have certs to back up my knowledge and skills now. So when I feel the time is right I will move on. But until then. This company takes great care of me now. I do not see me leaving unless it turns bad. It is at times that the small companies that will value your knowledge and schooling and take better care of you than these bigger companies where you are just a name and number. Keep trying. You will find the work you are looking for.

    • #3055618

      Buyers Market

      by jsteel1380 ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      It is still a buyers market. When an employer lists all of the skills needed and years of experience and then list entry level, they do not want to pay what they did prior to 2000.

    • #3055613

      My personal solution to combat the qualification/experience delema.

      by jnosc ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I am currently doing my diploma in Network Engineering in the attempt to improve my family’s lifestyle also. I am a single Mum with two children so I have opted for the TAFE option as it fits in much better with everything I do. I have to agree with what you say about the experience people expect you to have. Many jobs I have seen ask for experience and qualifications, so It makes you wonder after you have done all the head meddling mind bending theoretical scenarios in class, whats in store for you when you get out into the real world?
      Well my answer to this has been to build my own small IT business while I study. It seems to me that it is the only solution as employers are after so much more than I can give them at this point (at least on paper anyway). My business gives me an opportunity to implement what I learn from TAFE and get some kind of income for it. Coupled with a few months here and there in a few network admin work experience jobs, I find it provides me with a good hands on solution. I refuse to settle for something as mundane as a help desk as I have far more knowledge in my head that I feel a position like that would just frustrate the hell out of me as I am sure it would you. I plan to continue to study through TAFE and run my business with the understanding that as my knowledge and customer base grow, opportunities will present themselves more and more. To seek employment at this stage would just be a waist of of time, it will not only put me in a boring position, but also will not generate me enough income to support my family the way I would like. I don’t know about you guys in the US but in Australia no bank will look at you as a good candidate for a home loan if you are a single mum unless you have the sufficient bank balance or income to support it. So one of two things may happen in the meantime: I will grow my business to the best of my ability, or generate enough experience through it along side my studies to obtain the quailifications so I will indeed land the Job that will cater for our needs long term. This is my solution anyways, I hope you got either a bit of a laugh out of it, or at least some good feedback.

    • #3055609


      by jwkolman ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Since the change in our economy alot of these areas have become,Industrial, Commercial and IT boneyards. Even IF the economy improves nationally these areas will have along struggle to come back because the companies that would normally hire you are closed, offshore or bankrupt. Per my search on there are very few IT job openings in my area, however a quick check of Redmond Washington reveals over 420 jobs.( not with microsoft either)
      I live in one of these boneyard areas in Beloit, Wisconsin and I have started my own service from an extra room/lab at home. Although this is a very tough track to follow also, if successful will free me from the tyranical management that haunts this employment market. A change in location may improve your chances greatly if it is practical in your financial and family situation. For me right now it is not, but if it was, I would be sending resumes to the hotbed areas such as Redmond. Good Luck!!

    • #3055588

      1st lvl HD job

      by techsupport79 ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I graduated last year in computer science and got a job at a 1st lvl help desk for a Fortune 100 company. It’s definately “entry-level”, some of my coworker doesn’t even know how to change a file attribute!!

      Most of times we deal with desktop/office/network issues but for server side issues you escalate it to the server team, therefore you don’t learn much.

      It’s killing my brain cells and I am look to move on ASAP. In IT if you don’t learn continously you are done (I’ve been studying some certs on my own time)

      Good Luck!

    • #3055149

      I feel your pain!

      by jordan1 ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I have a degree in BSBIS and I have taken computer classes since High School. I have a great understanding of the Technology that is out there as well as different programming languages but I too do not have the 3-5 years of hands on experience. It is sad to say but I have tried over and over again applying for IT positions and have heard again and again that I do not have the work experience they are needing. One experience that I would like to tell you about is I applied for an IT position within an organization I was working at and of course I did not get the position. The fella that did get the position had quite a bit more experience then myself but he only lasted a week because it was too stressful for him and there were a lot of applications within the organization that were used that he was not familiar with. In turn the position was posted again. I refused to apply for the position again. I was informed by a fellow from the IT department that the position was now open again and that I may apply again. I informed him that I was not going to try again that it really was a waste of my time and do not want to be stressed out again. He insisted try again I really think you have a chance. Well stupid me set myself up for failure again. I went through all the same nervousness and sleepless nights of waiting to find out if I got the job. The really frustrating part is the fellow that told me to apply again was on the interview team. Then again the response was “You do not have enough work experience.” My decision from now on is “I give up.” The entry level positions are not out there anymore. I hope your luck will improve but I feel that I am at the end of good luck when it comes to finding an IT position.

    • #3055141

      You will get a job in IT

      by timmycb ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Just keep at it. Don’t let that interview get under your skin. You have a four-year degree in computer science. That is all you need. You will be able to find a company willing to hire on that basis alone – experience or not. I have been in IT for 24 years. Never stored up enough night school credits to get a Batchelor’s degree. I’d like to change companies but I can’t even get an interview, regardless of my qualifications for the job. If the ad says “Batchelor’s Degree Required”, they won’t even talk to me. You can bank on the 4 year degree getting you in somewhere. Just keep at it.

      • #3055039

        Other side of the Experience Coin

        by pweegar1 ·

        In reply to You will get a job in IT

        I have a friend that’s on the other side of the coin. Too much experience, plus age. He’s a Phillipino with 20+ years as a mainframe program, mostly COBOL, SAp or SAS, and DB2. He’s worked on some very large projects converting data.

        He was working as a contractor for American Express in Texas. Completed one project successfully. Was hired for another. AE then shipped the job overseas. That was 6 months ago. He’s still looking for another job. Thankfully he and his wife have 4 grow kids, all of which are doing very well and can afford to support mom and dad for a while.

        However, because of his age, number of years of exp. (world wide exp) and salary expectations, it’s very difficult for him to find a job in IT.

        Just my thought about the other side of the coin.

    • #3054918

      Craft System

      by techrepublic ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I think IT has become again more of a “craft” system where you almost have to know someone on the inside, to get you properly placed in those entry-level roles, and from there of course you have to not let the team down.

      Personally I like it better this way. More enthusiasts and not just people who were out of work and “heard IT was hot right now”. Because to do this technology thing right, you have to be somewhat of a natural hacker.

      I realize there is a lot of muscle trying to pull IT into the corporate structure more and more, but I think that the costs of this are starting to create a reverse trend where smaller teams of smarter people using more varied equipment will have another chance to shine. If they do a bit better documentation they might keep it going longer this time.


    • #3054241

      Find a specialty

      by poobah ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I was 52 when I came out of school, trying to transform a career of banking and self-employment into an IT career. I achieved that, then the bust and laid off in 2002. Learn something singular at home: PHP, JAVA, whatever. Use your life experience, don’t be used by it. You may have common business sence which many 25 year olds don’t have. My first IT job paid $7.50/hr.; I was laid off at $27.50/hr. I’m going back to work at $30/hr. IT is not the most stable of fields, but keep learning, keep the edge.

      • #3054156

        TO Poobah

        by brian158 ·

        In reply to Find a specialty

        I know what you mean. I have also had an experience where I was working for a company from start up. It was a internet based company. I built servers done all IT work with this company from the start. Making good money. But when they was bought out by a larger company then came the red tape. They came up to me and pretty much stated why should they pay me this amount when they could get someone out of college and pay them less. I had no response to this. I have no college. I have my M$ certs for many different areas. But no college. I learn on my own and have been working in the IT field from the Win 95 times. I have built and taken care of many Win NT server at local level and at a web farm. I have learn and built server of Win 2000 and Win 2k3. All this has been hands on and I have become very good with it all. I am currently working for a company where I am making more than I would of ever made at the other one. It is best said that great things come to those whom are willing to work and wait for it.
        So this person or persons whom are having a hard time finding what they want. Do not give up. Keep trying and great things will come to you. Insha’Allah!

    • #3054059

      Network and stay positive

      by joyb ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      You’ve received some excellent advice here. And I’d like to add a few things. As a Career & Life Coach I’ve helped many IT people to develop a career path. One of the most important things you can do is develop a good network. People can and will open doors for you when you learn how to develop personal and professional relationships. Here’s some practical things you can do:
      1) Write down your goals about where you want to be in your career 5 years from now. In interviews you’ll be asked that question, and you’ll have an answer if your prepared.
      2) Start doing informational interviews with MIS Directors and other IT Professionals. (See success story at end) This does 2 things: A) You’ll build a powerful network of people in influencial places, and B) You’ll gain ideas about how to structure your own career path by listening to how other’s did it. Then, stay in touch with these people and let them know how you’re doing. Make sure you thank them for their time, send them a person note, and ask them for more names to talk to. Don’t hesitate to ask for what you want. Be gracious. This is how effective networks are built.
      3) Sign up with temp agencies. I recommend 10 +. For years I was an IT recruiter, and many of my client companies used our agency to find entry level people.
      4) Make a goal of joining a professional club or organization where you will meet more people who can open doors for you. You may want to visit 3 or 4 before you decide which one to join. Each time you visit, take advantage of the time and meet new people. Ask the people you’ve done informational interviews with what organizations they belong to, and ask if you can attend as their guest.
      5) Be assertive but not pushy. Remember, it’s the squeeky wheel that gets the grease. Go after what you want and be crystal clear about what that is.
      6) Write down what kind of work environment you want. What kind of people do you want to work with. So many people don’t have clear goals, and that comes across in the interview. So, GET CLEAR!

      Here’s a success story: One of my entry level programmer clients and I spent a morning on the phone. I taught her how to have relaxed and friendly conversations with people. We had a list of companies, MIS manager’s name, company size, and phone numbers. We just stayed on the phone for 2 hours. We had a blast. She made appointments with many of the people she talked to do informational interviews. The MIS people we talked with were very willing to help. Even the ones who had no openings were very gracious. Within 3 weeks she had a job. Even though it was scary for her to do this (basically making cold calls) it built her self confidence, helped her build a network of peole, and go her a job. It’s important for you to stay very focused on what you want. You do this and you’ll get it.

      One last comments: A network of people is a living breathing thing. Learn how to build it, treat it like gold, and keep it going. It will serve you well.

    • #3054036


      by barkleyc ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I didn’t read your entire message but I can relate and here’s what I did. I started my own company, got a resale tax ID, put ads in the paper and got a few jobs in home PC suppport, repair, network consults etc.
      The first company like mine that I walked in to, handed my card to the owner and he immediately hired the competition. Me!
      Barkley Coggin

    • #3054008

      You poor bastard!

      by jkameleon ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Wasted four years of your life only to compete with the whole world, from India to Somalia in who’s gonna work cheaper… Well, what can I say… Now that you’ve done it, you might as well keep trying to find a job. Good luck, hope for the best, but prepare for the worst, because odds & numbers are against you.

      If you determinedon staying in IT profession, you could consider emigrating to Egypt or Nigeria– no, I’m not kidding:

    • #3065133

      I know what happend to Entry Level Jobs

      by karl ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      The poor old employers got sick of young guys coming on board, getting all trained up, and then buggering off after 12-18 months!

      Bill Gates has propogated the false view that IT life involves sitting on the beach with your wireless notebook, sipping a cappuccino. As a result, many graduates have no idea of what hard work actually means, and after starting with a company, decide they can do better elsewhere after they are just starting to produce results. When they leave, employers decide that it is far better to get hold of people with 2-3 years experience, who actually recognize that work means work.

      Having said all of that, I employ graduates, and undergraduates. We take the risk, because we retain hope that we can find people who have not been totally sucked in by the advertising of a greedy world – the “me” generation. We have many here who appreciate their workmates more than their iPods and modern toys, but it wasn’t easy to find them.

      • #3058681

        Doing some person-to-person research can help

        by mark miller ·

        In reply to I know what happend to Entry Level Jobs

        When I got laid off from a full-time software development position in 2001, the company offered a free two-day outplacement seminar to us, to help us find new work. It wasn’t a job fair, but a presentation by a career counselor talking about how to network, how to sell your best qualities, and how to interview.

        A lot of the advice turned out to be useless to me, but one piece of advice helped me out some: doing “research”. The counselor suggested that one way to get contacts is to do “research” in your industry. The reason I put quotes around it, is she suggested using it as a way for a manager at a company to get to know you a little bit, and vice-versa, and possibly develop an “inside” contact, someone you could buzz every now and again to see if they have any new openings, which was supposed to be your true goal, not so much the “research”.

        I was never good at schmoozing, which is basically what this technique requires, best I can tell. However, I was curious what was going on out there. I decided to use my curiousity as an incentive to go ahead and do this.

        I researched a few companies in my area, and found one I was really interested in. All I did was bring up their website, and take a look at what they had on it. I called them up and asked to speak to their hiring manager. They connected me to her. I gave her my pitch, that I was a developer in the area and was doing research on the IT field, and would she be interested in joining me for lunch, where I could ask her some questions. She suggested I talk with someone else there for that, one of the founding partners of the company. I contacted him, and gave him the same pitch. To my surprise, without hesitation he said yes. We arranged to meet for lunch at a resteraunt close to him.

        It turned out he was kind of interested in talking to a local since he had moved here just a week before, and was unfamiliar with the area. So of course I offered to answer any questions he had.

        We ordered lunch, we had a little smalltalk, and then I asked him my questions, stuff I was genuinely curious about. I did learn some things.

        At the job I had been laid off from I was primarily working on MFC applications for the Windows platform. I really liked it and wanted to continue doing it. I had heard a lot about web application technologies and turned up my nose at it. It seemed like a Rube Goldberg contraption to me. The thing was I had heard about .Net, dabbled some in it, and I was very interested in working with it further. I had only gotten into WinForms though. The guy I met with suggested I give ASP.Net a chance, the web part of .Net. He said, “It’s about as easy as developing a VB 6 application.” That was news to me, and it encouraged me to try something I would’ve otherwise passed up. Shortly thereafter I downloaded Web Matrix and did a couple projects in it. I was glad I did, because about 1-1/2 years later it turned out learning this was my ticket to finding a job I enjoy. It’s the job I have today. I didn’t get a job at this guy’s company, but the information he gave me helped with my career.

        That was a positive networking experience. I had a sort of negative one as well. I tried using the same technique at another company, shortly after I met with the first guy. It didn’t go so well. I got ahold of the hiring manager for a division of a company that sounded interesting. I give him my pitch about my research, and he sounded suspicious. I tried to assuage those suspicions, but the guy refused to go any further with our dialog. Bummer.

        Anyway, I’m doing okay now.

    • #3065032

      Temp Agencies

      by jgrimble ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Try temp agencies to gain experience.

    • #3064798

      Nothing has changed

      by livedthere ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I graduated in Dec. 97 with a MIS degree and had the same challenge back then. The problem is companies don’t foster the lower end IT learning curve. They want a newbie that knows everything. My hint….go to work for an outsourcer for 1 or 2 years to get the resume padding you need.

    • #3064578

      Hey I’m 40ish and it took me a while

      by frankflanigan ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Hang in there!!

      I was in the military for 20 years(retired) I worked as a Network Manager. When I got out no one would touch me. I was either too qualified or under qualified. (And I have A BA and MSCE) Right now the current regime in the IT world are looking to do things with less money and with young educated but unexperienced people.

      I worked temp and contract for a year before I found a steady 9 to 5. Don’t be afraid to use your other skills you may have. Show them that what you may lack in skills is offset by your what you know about managing a process. I work as a Software Aplication Analyst. Which is not exactly entry level

    • #3064412

      Try the government

      by countrytechie ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it? They have many entry level (intern) positions and they really to comply with anti age descrimination laws. I met one Intern who was 55 when he started the program.

    • #3064145

      Re: Entry Level Job

      by grobi43 ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Dear Sir, The IT field does indeed belong to the younger folk (don’t have to pay huge salaries to young folk). This is why I stayed on the “mainframe” (they aren’t going away). You should check out or they have a host of job openings you could qualify for. Good Luck, Glenn.

    • #3065777

      More for less

      by mike ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      When I see job listing like that I know that what they are really saying is that they want the experience but aren’t willing to pay you what you’re worth. Every company wants to hire the most qualified person they can find but 3-5yrs is not even close to entry level.

    • #3058230

      think outside the norm

      by jki659 ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Like you I was a career changer but I was 40 and had a family to support. When I was in school we were lucky to have electric typewriters lol anyway I studied some and on a bet took and passed the A+ test and found I liked the IT field. I send resume’s out for almost a year with no luck. Then a friend told me that a local private school was looking for and IT person I checked into it and applied seems I was the only one to apply that had any training at all.They hired me as a sys admin so I had to learn more on the fly. After their grant ran out they couldn’t afford a full time person anymore but I had 2 yrs experience by then and was able to network into my present job where I’m doing better money wise than I have ever done so think about working for the local schools as well

    • #3059611

      A few thoughts….

      by conunigma ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Don’t give up BrainXpansion. I graduated in May 2004 at the age of 43 from a Tech College. I was fortunate I already had my foot in the door though because I was working for a so-called IT department processing mainframe data. I finally landed an IT job over a year later even though I had to move 350 miles to take the job. A couple of things that will make you a more desirable:

      Certifications – Start with a basic cert like A+. I had a few prospective employers that called me in for an interview just because of that little cert. You can buy a book and study on your own. If you learned anything in college then you’ll notice the info is very familiar. The cert test is also tax deductible.

      Resume writing – Find a local college with a job placement office and have them look over your resume. Write a few different versions and send them to employers depending on what they’re looking for. BUT, keep them straight so you don’t stick your foot in your mouth. Be creative in your writing also. Don’t lie but embellish instead.

      Keep up with technology. Don’t fall behind what’s new and exciting. Although most companies don’t seem to keep up with technology it doesn’t mean you have to. Keep your head up. Some employers are looking for IT people with real world life experience. Us old IT guys do belong in the business. Good luck.

    • #3058993

      Management with NO REAL EXPERIENCE

      by darbyweaver ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      The problem my friend is not your experience level for you are entry-level.

      The problem is that your interviewers really either:

      a. Want to pay a lower salary that they should to obtain a qualified candidate, or

      b. They simply do not have the experience to know the difference between entry-level and experienced.

      They probably just lost someone who was more knowledeable than they guessed and are now finding out what it costs to get a replacement.

      The truth is that we as a community probably need a union of some sort to help “management” learn the difference.

      They think they can lose one person and then just go to the gumball machine and another knowledgeable person will just pop out.

      If expereinced people would be willing to hold out for say 2-3 months vs. 2-3 weeks, then management would be forced to pay say $65.00 per hour from the contracting company for that $38,000.00 exployee they just let walk out the door who had 3+ years of experience in the company.

      Sounds personal, well it is. I’ve just watched a company let two young talented, bright people go and a simple 5% raise could have made the difference.

      I firmly believe the company should pay for a manager’s inability to keep skilled people on the job. The company has nothing to gain by constant re-hiring.

      Trying to advertise for an entry-level position when the reality is they probably just let an experienced person go is really depressing, but it is the norm. Sad but true.

      You cannot expect management to say “I screwed up and I really don’t know how to manage my people and keep them happy so that the business would actually run better and thereby be subject to less downtime and higher stakeholder satisfaction, and ultimately higher profits”. No that is not how Corporate America works. No today.

      Good Luck!

    • #3054525

      Never give up

      by aussieit ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      After finishing college at the age of 51 I have finally got a job aged 55. I found it extremely difficult to make the interviewers understand my position and ‘life experiences’ in management other than IT and my ‘sea change’ in careers. But after 93 interviews I finally made the grade in my interviewers eyes and landed the type of job I was after. I manage the network for 23 hospitals which is critical in modern day surgeries and information supply to health professionals.
      I am enjoying my new, much more rewarding career, along with the knowledge that my retirement is much more secure.

    • #3061554


      by ron.est ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      When seeking an entry level position, it is good practice to research the company prior to the interview process. Understanding the expected roles and responsibiltites on a detailed level is also important. Building a portfolio of example websites is another method of generating exposure and a demonstration vehicle for your skills. While age is certainly a factor and a important part of some employers selection criteria, be positive, age can work in your favor as well. I am 42 and in my second year of law school, this is my first career change and certianly not the last.

    • #3062219

      Entry Level Pay

      by methos7997 ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Entry level jobs are out there. The pay is entry level, however, the expectation of experience is much more than entry level. Whether your looking for an IT or engineer position, more is expected from you.

    • #3062136

      Ever think of moving to Canada, Eh?

      by monte-carlo ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      Read all of the posts on the threads, and from what I can tell things are better in Canada, especially oil rich Alberta, where I live. I came across the following article about the government of Canada saying there is a extreme worker shortage all over the country, in both trades and tech jobs, but again, especially in oil rich Alberta.

      A little about Canada:

      Our politicians are inept criminals who couldn’t manage their own check books, and even when caught frauding the people out of millions, they get a slap on the wrist.

      Our taxes are much higher, but we have alot of social programs free to everybody.

      Our winters are cold, but it’s not like that 12 months out of the year, and we don’t have hurricanes.

      From what I can tell the standard of living on the whole is better/higher than in the US.

      Like I mentioned, we value our social safety net/social programs, which I think are fairly good and important.

      Like the article says, we’re looking for qualified immigrants.

      I’ve lived in Canada all my life, and though it’s not perfect, I don’t think I’d want to live anywhere else.

      Just my 2 cents worth.

    • #3045805

      Not alone

      by dvdbglw ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I am glad to hear I am not the only one experiencing this. I am in a similar boat. I am 36 with a family and just graduated with a bachelor’s in IT. I was exposed to many languages and technologies, but didn’t specialize in any one thing. The four-year degree and my passion shows I am willing to start most anywhere, but it is difficult to express that in an interview without sounding desperate.

    • #3097823

      did you get a job?

      by wallacevincentrose ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I was wondering how your life was going? Did you get a job or what? I tried to email you but the link wasnt working. Good luck. Vince

    • #2484058

      same prob different side

      by paulmeadows9 ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      I know exactly how you feel. But instead of going for a B.S. Degree, I took IT Academy courses and started getting certs. I’ve got MCP,MCDST, MCSA, and just got MCSE a few days ago. I’ve been doing tech support on the side for 3 years with a web design company -whenever they need something. I’ve been sending out resumes for about 3 months, ever since I got MCSA. I’ve had a couple phone calls but not a single offer yet. But, I’m feeling a lot less discouraged after reading some of the advice in here though. Good luck. BTW I am also 42.

    • #2564732

      Try being fifty-ish…

      by karenml ·

      In reply to Whatever happened to entry-level as I remembered it?

      …been in the field for years and finding without realizing it, you’ve become too specialized. Now you’re about to be outsourced… on the hoof and oh btw, what happened to IT when you weren’t looking? It went off in all different directions and now it’s catch-up time.

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