Have a degree and multiple certifications but no job experience! No one will hire me

CapnCrunchCapnCrunch Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
I currently have my MS in Cyber Security Technology and hold several highly respectable certifications. The only problem is that I don't have any hands on IT experience. I've been living with my parents working on my degree and obtaining certs. Never really had a real job.

So the issue is that I'm having a hard time getting a job that pays decent with no experience. I've been denied for being overqualified for help desk jobs. What do you all recommend in a situation like this?
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Comments

  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Member Posts: 2,502 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Take off your certs list only your degree and apply for help desk.

    The combo with no formal job does look strange. Just the degree looks normal, it shows you are a new grad......
  • joshuamurphy75joshuamurphy75 Senior Member Member Posts: 162 ■■■□□□□□□□
    In your situation, I'd take a job that doesn't pay well, but gives you the experience you need.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Member Posts: 3,294 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Yea, I probably wouldn't want to hire someone with those credentials for a help desk job either. Safe to assume you jump as soon as another job came along.

    Didn't do an internship in all that time you were in college?

    I guess you could dumb your resume down and remove some high level certs to get a lower level position though...
  • volfkhatvolfkhat Member Posts: 947 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Take off your certs list only your degree and apply for help desk.

    I guess you could dumb your resume down and remove some high level certs to get a lower level position though...



    These guys nailed it.

    Personally, i would keep the certifications on your resume, but REMOVE the Masters Degree;
    THAT's the biggest reason you cant land an entry job.

    I think a resume with a BAchelors, a couple of certs, and No experience is okay for an Entry position.
    I also think a 2nd resume with an Associates, a couple of certs, and No experience is also okay for an Entry position.

    Keep applying for gigs, but use the 'correct' resume.
    In your circumstance, you want to HIDE your qualifications :]

    (After a few years of working, you can put your Masters Degree back on it)
  • yoba222yoba222 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,091 ■■■■■■■■□□
    With that masters degree it's like you're walking around wearing shoes three sizes too big. You'll grow into them but you'll need that first job to do it. No one will hire you because you'll jump ship as soon as you grow into them. Which you should.

    Years ago you literally could not even be accepted into some masters degree programs without professional job experience. Schools got greedy or perhaps finance institutions got greedy. Whatever the cause, you're in a temporary and awkward career growth phase. It probably feels completely counter-intuitive to not proclaim the certs or the degree you worked so hard for. But it's very much a temporary thing.

    I agree don't list the degree today. Do it for job #2 next year.
    Edit: Don't worry about decent pay right now either. Ask for that when you start using the resume with the degree again. Approach this like you're doing a paid internship.
    2017: GCIH | LFCS
    2018: CySA+ | PenTest+ |CCNA CyberOps
    2019: VHL 20 boxes
    2020: OSCP 2020
  • Danielm7Danielm7 Member Posts: 2,279 ■■■■■■■■□□
    ++ to everything everyone else said. Also, remove your personal info and post your resume, that might be part of the problem too. People here can make suggestions to help rephrase things to be more fitting.
  • ChristineEshelmanChristineEshelman Member Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    yoba222 wrote: »
    With that masters degree it's like you're walking around wearing shoes three sizes too big. You'll grow into them but you'll need that first job to do it.

    I love this! Such a great way to put it.

    CapnCrunch- If you don't mind me asking, what certs do you have? IMO, the "highly respectable certs" all require a solid level of job experience. With all due respect, isn't that the point (to certify that you have actually done these things)?
    Within the last 18 months, I finished my BS in IT, earned my CISSP, and then just passed my CISM exam this week. But none of those things show that I could "do" what I tested on... it was the actual 5 years that I've been in my role, overlapping these accomplishments, that gave me the knowledge I needed to earn them.

    Besides the idle curiosity about the above, I agree with what everyone else is suggesting. No additional suggestions. I do wish you luck though - keep your chin up!!
  • FayzFayz Member Posts: 118 ■■■□□□□□□□
    volfkhat wrote: »
    These guys nailed it.

    Personally, i would keep the certifications on your resume, but REMOVE the Masters Degree;
    THAT's the biggest reason you cant land an entry job.

    I think a resume with a BAchelors, a couple of certs, and No experience is okay for an Entry position.
    I also think a 2nd resume with an Associates, a couple of certs, and No experience is also okay for an Entry position.

    Keep applying for gigs, but use the 'correct' resume.
    In your circumstance, you want to HIDE your qualifications :]

    (After a few years of working, you can put your Masters Degree back on it)


    You have to be careful because some jobs conduct background checks and omitting information like a Master's degree could result in you being disqualified as a candidate. Read everything thoroughly while applying.
  • UncleBUncleB Member Posts: 417
    Fayz wrote: »
    You have to be careful because some jobs conduct background checks and omitting information like a Master's degree could result in you being disqualified as a candidate. Read everything thoroughly while applying.

    I highly doubt you would be disqualified for a positive thing being omitted - if you missed out that you are the head of your local KKK chapter then it is likely to come back to bite you.

    Applying for jobs on your current achievements makes you look like a paper tiger - you can pass exams easily but have no idea how it is applied out there in the real world (which is truly a major gap). Drop the masters degree for now and get your hands dirty while building up the experience then get applying for other posts when you are already employed.

    A lot of employers won't employ unemployed people (one the basis that they are unemployed because they are not worth hiring - unfair but one way to reduce the applicats you interview for), so get yourself employed and take it from there.
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,132 Mod
    I wouldn't probably jump right to nuking my MS off my resume right away. A lot of other things haven't been asked or taken into account first:

    - Where do you live? If he's not in an IT hub, it might not make any difference to change anything on his resume.

    - What does your resume look like? I would recommend omitting personal info and put it on here for review. You can have the best credentials in the world but if your resume is poorly formatted, it will be quick to be overlooked.

    - How are you preparing for job interviews? Mock interviews with friends?

    - What are you wearing?

    - How is your hygiene (not only showering, but haircut, facial hair, etc)?

    I wrote this a while back so I would recommend giving it a good read: http://www.techexams.net/forums/jobs-degrees/119817-career-job-advice-observations.html

    A good friend of mine made this awhile back and I believe his "interview battlecard" system has gotten quite a few people in our little group a job: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0XMnN1c1V0
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • stryder144stryder144 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,606 ■■■■■■■■□□
    A good friend of mine made this awhile back and I believe his "interview battlecard" system has gotten quite a few people in our little group a job: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0XMnN1c1V0

    Holy crap...into it less than two minutes and I realized I don't have the brain power for this one right now. I just subscribed to the channel and plan to watch this one several times through.
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

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  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,132 Mod
    One other thing: You have an MS. This is not like an advanced certification that requires a metric ton of labbing. It's ok to leave it on your resume.

    Also, I would recommend not just limiting your search to help desk jobs. You have an MS degree in Cybersecurity. Expand your job searchs to SOCs, NOCs, etc. I know for a fact that several government organizations (DoD, CIA, FBI, etc) are practically BEGGING kids fresh out of school to come work for them and they'll train you up since they have a large amount of cybersecurity job openings and not enough bodies. CDW, WWT, etc had also had cybersecurity programs for training people fresh out of college or grad school for the fields of cybersecurity to grow their practice and they'll be great places to get hands on experience wth security. Cisco also has a program for people who just graduated college or grad school in the last two years to get them moved to a training hub and they train you in the technology, certifications, presales, etc for 2 years and from there, you can decide where you want to move in the company

    Some other good resources:
    - [FONT=OpenSans, sans-serif] [/FONT]https://www.fbijobs.gov/students/grad-students
    - http://blog.online.saintleo.edu/degree-programs/put-your-cybersecurity-degree-to-work-for-the-fbi
    - https://www.cia.gov/careers/student-opportunities/graduate-students.html
    - http://www.disa.mil/careers/pathways-program/other-recruitment-programs#recent
    - https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en_us/about/ac40/univ/docs/csap/ASE_JobDesc_US.pdf
    - http://godefense.cpms.osd.mil/entry_level.aspx
    - https://www.dhs.gov/homeland-security-careers/dhs-cybersecurity
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • EANxEANx Member Posts: 1,078 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Making the assumption the OP is in the US ...

    Everything on a resume should 1) make you seem more valuable and 2) not detract from your value. There are certain parts of IT that find a masters degree to be valuable and those where there is little perceived extra value. Cyber and programming are the two that immediately come to mind where a masters degree would give you an edge, I see little benefit to advertising a masters for a help-desk or NOC role. So if a line in the resume doesn't provide value, make sure it doesn't detract. In some areas, lots of people have advanced degrees and having one doesn't necessarily stand out as good or bad, unless it's directly related to the job. In my experience, you'll find this more in major metro areas and areas where there's a lot of government jobs. This advice goes out the window in the middle of Iowa or Mississippi where hiring managers are more likely to think "overqualified". Ultimately, you need to know your market.
  • IristheangelIristheangel CCIEx2 (Sec + DC), CCNP RS, CCNA V/S/R/DC, CISSP, CEH, MCSE 2003, A+/L+/N+/S+, and a lot more from m Pasadena, CAMod Posts: 4,132 Mod
    EANx wrote: »
    Making the assumption the OP is in the US ...

    Yeah, I made the same assumption that he lives in the US. It's possible he could be in the UK or somewhere similar but figured it was more likely to be US since most of my European-based friend abbreviate their MS degree as "MSc" not "MS" like we do in the US. Could be wrong but that's why I made the assumption.
    BS, MS, and CCIE #50931
    Blog: www.network-node.com
  • TechGuru80TechGuru80 Member Posts: 1,539 ■■■■■□□□□□
    What is decent pay to you? Are you putting a salary requirement when you apply? Do you actually get to the interview step? How long ago did you get your degree? What certifications do you have? How many applications have you submitted? The answer to those questions can help with giving you recommendations.

    Basic Tips:
    1. Apply ALOT...it's a numbers game.
    2. Review your resume and cover letter (if you have one)...make sure you didn't overload it with terms that you have basic experience with because you will either look very savvy or like a total noob.
    3. Since you don't have a job, put certifications on hold and put all of your effort into job searching. Being unemployed for several years because you were trying to get a top level certification will be worthless...you need the experience along with the certifications.
    4. Apply to anything that lists experience of 0-2 years.
  • koz24koz24 Member Posts: 766 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I strongly disagree with leaving certs/degrees off your resume and applying to help desk. Nothing wrong with help desk--many people start there--but it should not be be blindly followed as some kind of de facto standard where all entry level IT must suffer through a few years of nightmare desktop/printer support in order to break into IT. If you are desperate for work it's understandable but being deceptive and lying(playing dumb even) about your knowledge, imo, is foolish. Because say you do lie and deceive in order to get a help desk job, that experience will do what exactly towards a security job which is what you really want? Not much right?

    Personally I'd follow Iris' recommendations and start with your resume. You can't change where you currently live but there is a A TON you could do with your resume. Did a pro craft your resume? Did you? Has anyone reviewed it? It's the first thing employers look at and it could be making the trash bin if it's poorly formatted. It's no secret that employers really don't spend much time on any given resume because of the volumes of resumes they get. That's why yours needs to be tailored to the job/market you are applying for or you won't even get a call back.

    Too many variables to guess the problem here but you have to take it one step at a time.
  • thomas_thomas_ CompTIA N+/S+/L+; CCNA R&S; CCNP R&S Member Posts: 936 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Jobs with decent pay that require no experience might be hard to come by especially depending on your definition of decent pay. I would get whatever job you can that will get your foot in the door. Leverage the experience that you gain at that job to get a better paying job that will get you more experience and then rinse and repeat. If you can find a job that pays decent and requires no experience then great, but getting paid less than you may want and building work history/experience at the end of the day beats not having a job.
  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 1,977 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Fayz wrote: »
    You have to be careful because some jobs conduct background checks and omitting information like a Master's degree could result in you being disqualified as a candidate. Read everything thoroughly while applying.

    I find that highly doubtful. Lying about claiming to have a Master degree you don't have would be one thing, but not including a master degree on an application is another.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,544 Admin
    Willfully omitting a major detail, such as a previous place of employment or an educational degree or a criminal record, can be looked upon as an indication of untrustworthyness. Certainly not something you would want to do when filling out paperwork for a background investigation or a security clearance.
  • higherhohigherho Member Posts: 882
    Never remove your achievements. If you are applying for help desk jobs but your knowledge is vastly superior, then your doing something wrong. I have friends with B.S. degrees and with high quality certifications and they get high paying jobs right out of college (with no experience). Our industry sucks when it comes to people with no job exp. They think that people only in school cannot possibly be better than individuals with experience. Those people are not worth your time.
  • UncleBUncleB Member Posts: 417
    To those who say it is deceitful to remove the Masters degree from the resume - that is simply rubbish. Do you include every qualification? How about all your lower school qualifications? If you passed your motorbike driving test, do you include to too? Maybe the results of the last pub trivia quiz? The point is that you only declare what is truthful, but there is no requirement or obligation to declare qualifications and I cannot imagine anyone holding it against you if you chose to be humble and leave some of it off your resume.

    To look back at the original request for help:
    CapnCrunch wrote: »
    I've been denied for being overqualified for help desk jobs.

    There is your problem - without experience it is hard to get a job and if you come in as a rocket scientist then the employers will assume you are not going to be interested in the work for long. While this may be true, you are not obliged to declare that you are in fact a Sheldon Cooper so long as you can answer the interview questions and are not nearly as socially inept as Sheldon.

    It is a bit like being asked to help a 12 year old with their homework - far below your capabilities but sometimes you need to do it and do it well.

    The other thing posters here need to remember is:
    CapnCrunch wrote: »
    The only problem is that I don't have any hands on IT experience. I've been living with my parents working on my degree and obtaining certs.

    There are other threads on here about how to get some experience so it is worth checking them out and once you are actually either working (paid) or helping (unpaid) / doing charity work then you become more desirable to other employers.

    It is nice if you can sit back and wait for a great gig to land in your lap, but back in the real world this is more like winning the lottery so you will have a better chance if you go down the tried and tested routes.

    At the end of the day it is your choice to make - good luck in whatever you choose.
  • EANxEANx Member Posts: 1,078 ■■■■■■■■□□
    JDMurray wrote: »
    Willfully omitting a major detail, such as a previous place of employment or an educational degree or a criminal record, can be looked upon as an indication of untrustworthyness. Certainly not something you would want to do when filling out paperwork for a background investigation or a security clearance.

    Nope. BIs are for the purpose of establishing trustworthiness so omitting something bad (like a bankruptcy) or exaggerating accomplishments are both looked on poorly. However, leaving off an accomplishment like a certification or degree gets no such penalty.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,102 Mod
    OP what certs do you hold?

    If they're good certs and you show initiative, call employers and offer to volunteer and ask them for meetings...you'd be surprised
    Goal: MBA, Jan 2021
  • volfkhatvolfkhat Member Posts: 947 ■■■■■■■□□□
    JDMurray wrote: »
    Willfully omitting a major detail, such as a previous place of employment or an educational degree or a criminal record, can be looked upon as an indication of untrustworthyness. Certainly not something you would want to do when filling out paperwork for a background investigation or a security clearance.


    You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but....
    LOL

    Iris, has a point;
    Maybe OP should search-for/apply for jobs that are looking for people with MASTERS but Zero Experience.
    Maybe that does involves moving.


    My earlier post was simply:
    Tailor your resume for the job you are applying for.

    If the job says "Minimum: High School Diploma. Preferred: Associates"; that tells you something about the position.
    If the job says "Minimum: Associates degree. Preferred: Bachelors degree"; that tells you something else.

    If the job says "Minimum: Bachelors Degree. Preferred: MASTERS degree"; that also tells you something about the position.

    my 2 cents.
  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,544 Admin
    volfkhat wrote: »
    My earlier post was simply:
    Tailor your resume for the job you are applying for.
    Yes, I wasn't referring to a resume or a CV. If you lie/omit on those docs you don't necessarily get a persistent penalty that follows you the remainder of your career. If you are discovered to have misrepresented yourself on a background information (SF-86), that will be noted in a database for follow you literally forever.
  • someperson49someperson49 MCSE:CP&I, MCSA:CP, O365, W7, VCP5, CCENT, ITIL-F, A+, N+, Server+, Cloud+, Storage+ Member Posts: 82 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I wonder if the employers are ever truthful when they tell you about the work and hours you will be doing.
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead CSM, ITIL x3, Teradata Assc, MS SQL Server, Project +, Server +, A+, N+, MS Project, CAPM, RMP Member Posts: 2,502 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I wonder if the employers are ever truthful when they tell you about the work and hours you will be doing.

    icon_lol.gif

    This goes without saying.....
  • koz24koz24 Member Posts: 766 ■■■■□□□□□□
    UncleB wrote: »
    To those who say it is deceitful to remove the Masters degree from the resume - that is simply rubbish. Do you include every qualification? How about all your lower school qualifications? If you passed your motorbike driving test, do you include to too? Maybe the results of the last pub trivia quiz? The point is that you only declare what is truthful, but there is no requirement or obligation to declare qualifications and I cannot imagine anyone holding it against you if you chose to be humble and leave some of it off your resume.

    There is a big difference between a Masters degree and the counter examples you listed like a driving test, bar quiz, etc. Because listing a bunch of irrelevant details on a resume is only something beginners do. A Masters degree is actually relevant to the candidate and position at hand.

    By omitting important and relevant information you are in fact being deceitful, you are only justifying it because it's something you have earned that you are leaving off, not adding on what you don't have.

    Not to mention, the OP did his Masters degree full-time. That means he has nothing else to fill those 2 years on his resume with. You haven't fully thought out your position because what would you do if they ask what you were doing in those 2 years and you now have a gap? You are now forced to say you were deceitful and found it strategic to leave your Masters degree off the resume. Personally I would find it silly but like JDMurray said it would make you appear untrustworthy.
  • UncleBUncleB Member Posts: 417
    koz24 wrote: »
    By omitting important and relevant information you are in fact being deceitful

    You are wrong. Omitting something positive is not lying (the act of deceit you refer to). Claiming something you do not have is a lie, omitting it does not even come close to this.
    koz24 wrote: »
    Not to mention, the OP did his Masters degree full-time. That means he has nothing else to fill those 2 years on his resume with. You haven't fully thought out your position because what would you do if they ask what you were doing in those 2 years and you now have a gap?

    He could say he was studying (no need to specify the masters degree if he thinks it will hurt his chances) and he has the certs to back it up. He had no work prior to this so he does not need to justify the gap further than this, but if pushed he could say he has found it a challenge to find positions without experience - all perfectly viable and without one word of deceit.

    Is that enough thinking it through for you or am I being deceitful for thinking you may be unhelpful to the OP but didn’t write it? Oops, maybe I shouldn’t have written that down ;)

    Do you see the difference between omission and lying now?
  • koz24koz24 Member Posts: 766 ■■■■□□□□□□
    UncleB wrote: »
    You are wrong. Omitting something positive is not lying (the act of deceit you refer to). Claiming something you do not have is a lie, omitting it does not even come close to this.



    He could say he was studying (no need to specify the masters degree if he thinks it will hurt his chances) and he has the certs to back it up. He had no work prior to this so he does not need to justify the gap further than this, but if pushed he could say he has found it a challenge to find positions without experience - all perfectly viable and without one word of deceit.

    Is that enough thinking it through for you or am I being deceitful for thinking you may be unhelpful to the OP but didn’t write it? Oops, maybe I shouldn’t have written that down ;)

    Do you see the difference between omission and lying now?

    Do I really need to play the definition card? I'll save myself the time and let you look up the definition of 'deceitful' for yourself. Now you're just moving the goal posts by switching to lying and lies.

    He could say whatever BS story you can dream of, but you are recommending he purposefully omit 2 years of full-time study and are suggesting he lie that he was doing certs instead. Do you need to move the goalposts again?

    Personally I think you are hurting the OP by suggesting that he be deceitful, but to each his own.

    P.S. Try not to start an argument with "you are wrong"-- and then go on to prove me right, it makes you look silly.
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