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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.

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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.

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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!!).

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Very True

by Hermit47 In reply to sorry for your misinforma ...

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.

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by BrainXpansion In reply to Very True

Thanks Hermit!

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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.

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Look for smaller companies

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.

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by BrainXpansion In reply to Look for smaller companie ...

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.

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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.

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So am I, my brothern..

by lano7759 In reply to Whatever happened to entr ...

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...

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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.

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