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  1. Junior Member
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    #26
    I think the braindump/paper-cert argument is over-used. The reality is, in any field, if there are fewer candidates, the paycheck goes up. As soon as the paycheck goes up, the lure of that field goes up, and suddenly there are more candidates, driving the paycheck back down. The $60k MCSE job, no experience required disappears as soon as an MCSE with 5 years experience becomes available.

    When I graduated highschool... the world needed engineers. By the time I got through college... there was a glut, because everyone who graduated highschool with me, went to school to be an engineer to get one of those high paying jobs... well, my buddy was one of them, and he started off at about $7/hr with an engineering firm, because that was all that was availble. Several years later, the cycle came back around and he now has a decent paying engineer job.

    Yes, there are many paper-cert knuckle-heads out there, but I have a hard time believing that they survive very long. Your cert is going to get diluted... its the nature of the beast.... if its valuable, it becomes a goal for all the hungry up-and-comers... you just have to stay hungrier than they are.

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  3. Junior Member
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    #27
    I'm not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but experience seems to be the most important attribute that organizations are looking for. It seems that every company wants someone with the average 3-5. So it is hard getting in the door when you don't have this. So what I did was volunteer at a local hospital's IT dept. This was the only way that I could gain any experience. Another thing was that many places that I have applied do not and will not accept work done in the school environment. I thought that was part of the schooling was to include hands on training so as not to enter the work field with not a clue....I don't just a suggestion....

  4. Junior Member
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    #28

    Default NE OH

    In March of this year, my job (along with 50 others) was eliminated and the manufacturing facility closed. I had 25 years seniority. I was a Production Artist / Prepress Operator / Mac Network Administrator (1995 to 2004), and *acting* Network Administrator for a Novell / Windows network - with 3 years experience - *acting, because they used me without a title or wages, because of my knowledge*

    My responsibilities included everything related to IT: LAN and WAN connectivity, hubs, switches, routers, account management, setup / repair, troubleshooting, Website administration, purchases, etc., for Mac and Windows PC's and the network.

    I returned to school in 1998 (Kent State University) to get an Associate's in Computer Technology, Networking. It went hand in hand with my job responsibilities. I completed the degree this May (just after the plant closed). Following the degree, I completed the CompTIA 2003 A+ cert., and just passed Network+, last week.

    Even with the above, I was passed over several times - when trying to get a position in a corporate structure.

    I just landed a job with a small computer repair company. The company supports other local small businesses - not corporations. It's fantastic experience. So far, I've worked for Insurance, Law, Mortgage & Loan, Auto, Real Estate and Funeral businesses - each with a different problem or need. In addition I've worked 'on the bench' fixing the average person's PC - normally full of spyware and crap - with the occasional hardware replacements / upgrades, etc.

    At the same time, between working - I'm still taking classes.
    I'm in a 6 month training program that will train and help me earn the MCSA, MCP, Server+, and Security+ certs.

    I'm 45. I've been working with Mac's and PC's since 1992. I have experience in a Networked, corporate environment, and have a couple certifications, and I have an Associate's degree.

    But it still wasn't enough to land the job I really wanted.

    So, now I'm working on my own 4 year plan (or sooner) to get (back) into a corporate environment as a Network Administrator.

    Wish me luck!
    You'll need it!

  5. Senior Member
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    #29
    Best of luck, MacSysOp!

  6. Junior Member
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    #30

    Default Great determination

    Wish I had that kind of determination. I just can allow myself to spend 50,000-100,000 for classes and college, then volunteer freely for 5 years to get a $30,000/yr job. I understand that IT is a ever changing field, so the idea of getting a job then going back to school to update my skills doesn't bother me.

  7. Senior Member
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    #31
    This thread is awesome. Although I don't look down on the IT field. I think it will definnitally help those who do or are debating if they made the right decision stepping into the field.

    Just remember, there are people out there who do get paid VERY WELL. Don't be mediocre. If you really want that good paying job. Work hard, try hard, and it will all pay off.

    That's what drives me. I tell myself almost everyday, and the fact that I want it so bad is what makes me succeed in the things I'm doing now.

  8. Senior Member
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    #32
    Quote Originally Posted by spfdz
    This thread is awesome. Although I don't look down on the IT field. I think it will definnitally help those who do or are debating if they made the right decision stepping into the field.

    Just remember, there are people out there who do get paid VERY WELL. Don't be mediocre. If you really want that good paying job. Work hard, try hard, and it will all pay off.

    That's what drives me. I tell myself almost everyday, and the fact that I want it so bad is what makes me succeed in the things I'm doing now.
    The "good" jobs are out there.....stay positive...stay focused....and don't listen to the haters...Everything will work out. We all had to start somewhere.

  9. Junior Member
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    #33
    Hi everyone, this is a great thread, one thing that I don't think people have touched on in this thread is "connections". I've been working in the IT dept for a small company for about 5 years now, and the funny thing is that every person that's been hired for the IT dept has been unqualified, and the only reason they got the job is knowing someone. I'm the only one that really loves computers, everyone else in the dept is just there for money and a stable job. Which has it's perks, hehe, i didn't have to fight anyone for that beta copy of Longhorn when it came through technet!!! muaahhahahah!!!! But seriously, if you can get in the industry, even if it's a low level position, and start creating connections with people, things happen for you, whether you're qualified or unqualified!!!

  10. Senior Member
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    #34
    Using braindump certs like A+ is common sure just so someone can get a job at best buy as a pc seller. But pretend someone gets a CCNA/CCNP cert using a braindump. If they happen to do get hired by a company due to those certs, what use is it when they face a problem that requires troubleshooting subnets ? They would just mess up and get fired.

  11. Member
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    #35

    Default hmmm

    ****....its actually very simple

    if you break down everything...BREAK IT DOWN...

    when you moved into your house it was chaos..

    when you built your education it was chaos..

    ...when we built during the late 80's until sept 11th....the whole latest and greatest IT infrastructure...now ..since its build and just being maintained...there isnt a huge need..

    wanna hear something ****** up...multi-billion dollar casinos and hotels here in vegas have a IT staff of like 5-9 people....its ******...getting into that is near impossible since all IT jobs here in Vegas people get in b.c. they know someone in the casino or its hired internally....so talk about getting a BUM rap being an IT dude....

  12. Senior Member
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    #36
    Excelent thread i must admit. I feel more energized to continue with my job search. At the moment i'm doing helpdesk and i feel like plenty of my talent is going to waste since i'm only using about 20% of the skills and knowledge that i've acquired.

  13. Senior Member
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    #37

    Default Why not call a spade a spade.

    The reality is that there really are no jobs out there. I.T is no longer a shortcut to riches. Its become some sort of cult for I.T lovers, who love I.T for the sake of it. There are very misleading adverts out there like the one with some guy sitting on top of a ferrari because he got an MCSE . At the moment chances of landing a good job in I.T is almost like winning a lotto. Unfortunately there isn't much i can offer the jobless. You are simply bound to your fate untill the Almighty touches the heart of some dude up at the HR. So keep prayin.

  14. Senior Member
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    #38

    Default Re: hmmm

    Quote Originally Posted by sharpescalade

    wanna hear something ****** up...multi-billion dollar casinos and hotels here in vegas have a IT staff of like 5-9 people....its ******...getting into that is near impossible since all IT jobs here in Vegas people get in b.c. they know someone in the casino or its hired internally....so talk about getting a BUM rap being an IT dude....
    Yeah, and you know whats funny, just this past summer, I was at Vegas in the Tropicana... watching TV stations one night, and they were doing some TV scheduling maintenence... what did I see? WINDOWS 3.1 Oh my f--cking god.

    If I hadn't caught that on that day, I probably would have taken your statement as a give or take, but I think I have confirmed it myself.

  15. Junior Member
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    #39
    Getting an IT job also seems to be highly dependent on your geographical area. Here in Dallas/Ft. Worth there are a ton of IT jobs, although it seems more and more they are temporary or contract positions.

    Hell, if you really can't find a job, start your own consulting business and do it better than anyone else does.

  16. Senior Member
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    #40

    Default Jobs

    I don't know if this is the right place, but it seems like it:

    Is there any particular person or department to send a resume to? I know it would most likely be "Human Resources", but I guess if you don't know who is in charge, then how should a cover letter be addressed? I've read you should avoid the "Dear Sir or Madam" opener also...

    I always have trouble deciding what to write in a cover letter anyway without it being repeated when they read the actual resume...

    Thanks for any help, and Webmaster, if this is in the wrong place, please do what you need to...

  17. Senior Member
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    #41
    I like to use

    Dear Hiring Manager,

  18. Member
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    #42
    I just want to tell a quick story about my entrance into the IT field.

    I've always done computer work on the side - simple computer fixes or even rebuilding fried PCs, so I had somewhere to start. During this time, I went to college and tried to get into C.S. I got really sick of just coding all the time (which I half-expected), so I switched from the engineering college to the business college to major in DIS, which is a lot different from CS, IMO. There's a crap-ton more emphasis on the business side of IT, more statistics, but still some basic programming fundamentals (CS = C++, DIS = VB, for example). This didn't teach me too much about computers and networking, aside from some overlaps into A+ and Net+, but it was a nice stepping stone. Plus, having a 4-year degree instead of a 2-year technical college degree to start out with says something different about you. A benefit from the DIS degree is it emphasises the business end of things, which starts to put you in the mindset of an administrator, rather than a technician.

    I currently work as an IT "manager" (I use manager loosely, because I manage technology, not people) for a health department, which is technically a governmental organization. However, the health department has lots of flexibility to do what they feel needs to be done instead of the government telling them. Therefore, as mentioned above, they request someone who is qualified to do aaaaalllll this stuff for a less-than-impressive salary. One of the things that they wanted was someone with experience with "servers." Now I know some things, but I honestly have not been in a situation where I work with real servers directly. But I apply anyway. Turns out that they didn't even know what they were going to use a server for anyway - they just thought they needed one (they wanted to be able to run their own e-mail, which we can't do since we're part of the state network). So you never really know. Nonetheless, I do a crazy variety of IT-related tasks for very little pay (I think), but I get health insurance and tuition assistance, so I'm comfortable for now. This is my first real job out of college and I'm making about $23k a year (post-tax).

    I'm using this time to investigate and earn some more certifications (I've got A+ and Net+ already). However if you can't walk-the-walk, certifications are nothing. Certifications just show that you are competant in a particular field (assuming your potential employer knows what that field means). What's more important is your ability to come up with clever, cost saving solutions to problems. For example, the health department here operates on a shoe-string budget, and the only time we really get to spend money on computers is if there a governmental program, like WIC, that is willing to fund money so the WIC employees can do their job better. Because of this, we have a lot of 6-year-old computers that still need to be used because there just isn't any easy way to get new ones. This leads to some pretty interesting tricks to keeping things working. I'm also faced with the interesting scenario of deciding if a new technology is something that we should try to get. As I said, my employer wanted to see about getting a server. I pretty much asked "What do you want a server for?" Often I'll tell them that the benefits of having new technology X (such as a server) are less than the benefits of replacing and upgrading Y technology (such as our workstations). I think they really like this because it shows I'm not just gung-ho about getting the newest technology, but that I take into consideration the benefits and costs for the organization as a whole. This, above all else, is important. If you can find a way to show your care for the organization and the people in it, you either get your foot in the door, or secure yourself in the job you have.

    It also is a nice net when you inevitably have a plan that doesn't work as expected. If you show that you were generally concerned for the well-being of the organization, the things that don't always work as planned aren't such a mark against you.

    /end ramble

  19. Senior Member
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    #43
    I'm talking to a friend of mine and he said "word on the street" is that Cisco isn't what it all used to be. I'm sure nothing lasts forever... but what do you guys say about the general buzz around Cisco? Will CCNA/CCNP/CCIE's still be in high demand like in the past 5 years or so? What about other competition making cheaper products that do just as good? Whats everyone's overall say about the Cisco networking world as a whole, now and in the future?

  20. Senior Member
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    #44
    Its much tougher for the fakes to braindump their way thru Cisco exams and even when they do, they wouldn't know **** about how to perform Cisco stuff

    I can't even try to imagine someone "dumping" past CCIE

  21. mikej412's caddy sprkymrk's Avatar
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    #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Jammywanks
    I'm talking to a friend of mine and he said "word on the street" is that Cisco isn't what it all used to be. I'm sure nothing lasts forever... but what do you guys say about the general buzz around Cisco? Will CCNA/CCNP/CCIE's still be in high demand like in the past 5 years or so? What about other competition making cheaper products that do just as good? Whats everyone's overall say about the Cisco networking world as a whole, now and in the future?
    Sure there is (and to some degree always has been) competition to Cisco products, and Cisco will try to adjust to the competition in order to stay on top. Presently and in the coming few years, if someone can show me certs from these other vendors that compete with Cisco then I'll tell you to go for it. Search monster.com and other IT related job boards and try to find networking jobs that ask for certs from 3Com or Extreme vs. those that want Cisco. I think that will answer your question better than I can.

  22. Junior Member
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    #46
    Thanks for the original post here. (I've not read very far down the discussion yet). I'm new to the industry, and am taking MCSA courses at a training centre, so it's good to know that this counts as experience. And I'll certainly take the advice to spread the knowledge of me as widely as possible - even to applying for jobs whose experience and qualification requirements are higher than what I can provide. It can't do any harm!

  23. Senior Member kadshah's Avatar
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    #47

    Default jimi says are you experience???

    I've been working as a independent computer technician since 2000.
    I've had my ups and downs over the 7 years working on my own, luckly
    my night gig (not IT related) has served as a finacial safety net during this period.
    I've decided to give up my IT solo career and get a "real" job
    so I just started creating my resume. My concern is will any company
    take my 7 years of experience serioulsy since i've been working for myself?
    Also, I'm not exactly a young stud like most of you but then again i'm not ancient.
    I'm wondering if this will be a problem as well when I apply for an IT position.
    Anyone in the same boat?

  24. Senior Member
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    #48
    I agree with the flood of "blow-ins". I know brick layers who got an MCSE through a two-week wonder course and jumped onboard the IT bandwagon.

    I know a lady who worked in Khazakstan in their symphony orhcestra and she is now a DBA after doing a "wonder-course" too. She wouldn't know what a PCI card is or what boot.ini does.

    There was a former debt-collector who got an MCSE also after a course and some practical experience through the computer shop where I worked.

    It seems before 2000 every man and his dog ended up jumping onto the IT industry which saturated the market. What's sad is I've had a passion for IT my whole life. A lot of these people don't - they're here purely for the money. I think you need to be passionate about IT. You need to be able to run your own mail and e-mail server at home. You need to be able record "Prison Break" through your Media Centre PC which you rigged up yourself. You need be able to have an intellignet Mac vs Windows vs Linux discussion with a fellow IT tech.

    A lot of people on this forum will disagree with me but that's my humble opinion.

  25. Junior Member
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    #49
    I could help with the Solaris clustering gig were I not fulltime on contract network design these days. I have the t-shirt and years sounded by Sun boxes.

    I would venture they should offer much more than 75K for someone decent.

    I agree with your sentiments. Stick at your certs and get as much exposure as you can to technologies and projects. A wide range of skills and specialities is key.

    Keep learning!

    As for the newbies, well stick at it.

    All those nights and weekends with books and gear learning and you can make over 100K. Works for me

  26. Senior Member
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    #50

    Default Re: Why not call a spade a spade.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alien
    The reality is that there really are no jobs out there. I.T is no longer a shortcut to riches. Its become some sort of cult for I.T lovers, who love I.T for the sake of it.
    Seriously disagree. What is actually happening is IT is starting to grow up and get serious. People are starting to put a value on the amount of lost productivity for a PC being out of action for a day while they wait for a pc support guy to come fix it. A webserver that is not beefy enough or an internal network that is just not up to scratch anymore can have a very serious impact on a company's profits enough to be catagorised as a critical risk to the organisation.

    I am another who started very early on before most folks knew what a computer was. Only the really big companies had terminals and certainly not what we now call PCs. Just dumb terminals running off a really really expensive mainframe. I am certainly not in this cult of IT lovers you elude to. I am just simply really bad at anything else and very good at this. Believe me, I tried lots of things before I moved from a hobby to an occupation. I absolutely know that I am a really awfull mechanic, shop assistant, gardener, etc, etc.

    With IT becoming more central in the delivery of a company's business, they are starting to realise at board level that they can't just hire the co-workers nephew as he knows a bit about computers anymore. You needed dedicated professionals, a term which has only recently started being bandied around the IT professions. Imagine on the stock exchange, some little oik sitting in front of a traders desk, scratching his head whilst the trader behind him is pulling his hair out as he knows he is losing millions whilst some inexperienced wannabe techie is trying to figure out why it isn't working. You need dedicated professionals in IT now and certification is just one way of making sure you get the right person with the right level of knowledge.

    Certification and experienced professionals are what IT is all about now. It's like the difference between a paramedic and a good first aider.

    The amount of time I have been actively employed in IT support I have never certified in anything for one reason or another. Lazyness being one of those but in the last few years it has become imperative that I do certify my experience even though, except for in depth networking, I can do all the other support roles standing on my head and way better than my more junior contemperaries. However, without the certification, there are knowledge gaps and there is also no proof that I have modern up to date knowledge.

    Sure it's harder to get started in the business now as you have to show a higher level of knowledge to be able to support the more knowledgable user base. It's definately worth persuing though if you are interested in Support for the buzz it gives you getting a dead system up and running whilst all the user base is scratching their heads wondering how on earth they are going to function if the network doesn't come back up or the emial doesn't start working soon. If it's just money that drives you and you would rather just be an IT literate user then it's probably best you don't come into the profession. There are downsides in IT which would be really annoying.

    However, keep certificating whilst your working and yes you will be financially rewarded. I work around the healthcare environment and just salary alone, the average IT techie is earning the equivelent of a head of department on the clinical side. I recently saw a job posting for a cardiac service senior manager job going for a lot less than I am earning and they save peoples lives. I certainly don't unless you count me controlling myself and forcing myself not to go to the user who has just forgotton his network password for the tenth time that week and batter him over the head with his keyboard.

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