question on certifications vs. experience for job search

letsgetitonletsgetiton Member Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
im new to this and have decided to take several certs in an effort to go from a well paying construction job to a well paying IT job. First My MCDST then on to the MCSA finally an MCSE, one problem, i dont want to give up a well paying job ($32 an hour) to go start a new career at a crap level. Im planning on waiting to go job seeking when ive completed all three certs. icon_confused.gif: Q: Will I be able to find a well paying job with those three certs and no hands on experience in the field other than personal experience? icon_confused.gif: Q: Can anyone recommend a better route? icon_confused.gif


  • bighornsheepbighornsheep Member Posts: 1,506
    Do you like IT? How much experience do you have with computers at all? If the only reason you want to switch to IT is because of the potentially higher income, you're probably going a wrong route. Depending on what city you live in, I think construction will give you more money in the pocket. Especially for the early part in your IT career.

    MCDST, MCSA, and MCSE are requirements for jobs, you can have 3 or 4 MCSE and have no job. The bottom facts is still true regardless of what field you're in, if you have no experience at all, it's not going to be an easy time getting a job.

    I'm sure it's the same in construction, nobody would want to hire anyone who doesnt have experience. Regardless of how much they claim their know from their certifications.

    Jack of all trades, master of none
  • letsgetitonletsgetiton Member Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Im thinking of switching not for the money but for the sake of not busting my hump all day long the rest of my life, im a carpenter and i get payed vey well but have to work VERY hard for what I get. icon_idea.gif I'd rather work a job where i can use my mind and not wear out my body, I have NO experience working in IT professionally, icon_confused.gif: I've heard that certs are enough to get you in the door my personal experience with computers is actually pretty extensive it comes pretty naturally to me, I know I can learn the material and pass the exams, icon_confused.gif: Just wondering with no experience if I do manage to land a Job What kind of salary could I look forward to with those three certs at entry and what could i look forward to in terms of advancement in the future? icon_confused.gif: icon_confused.gif: NEED TO DECIDE IF I SHOULD INVEST MY TIME AND MONEY FOR THE CERTS, WILL IT PAY OFF?
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Where do you live?
    Check out or something similar for your local and see what certs/exp are required to get a job and what the salary is.

    I was an electrician for 12 years before I got into IT, and I was in a similar situation as you. I had a couple of years part-time and volunteer experience and an MCP before making the switch and still had to take a pay cut.

    After about 2 years I was able to surpass my previous income, but I think I was lucky. I'm glad I made the switch, but your mileage may vary.
    Good luck.
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • letsgetitonletsgetiton Member Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    thanks for your reply at least knowing someone else did it gives me the sence that it can be done with some determination. Im going to go ahead and get the certs and make a go at it, hope to be part of the MCP group soon and hopefully it'll be a good move for me I live in new york and think i shouldnt have to much of a hard time breaking in somewhere, might as well try. :)
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Good luck to you. Even if you have to keep hammering nails and cutting wood at least you will have a fall back skill in case of layoffs, injuries or the like. In addition, I think you will have lots of fun just learning new stuff. I certainly did. Maybe at some point your construction company will need a guy to run jobs from the office (like a coordinator/estimator/foreman) while wearing a second hat as the official IT guy. icon_cool.gif
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • dan87951dan87951 Member Posts: 107
    If you live in Michigan good luck finding a job! I have a Bachelors degree in Computer Science and A+ certified, currently working on MCP. I have worked at various computer jobs during my college career so I do have experience in help desk, networks, and being an all around technician and still can't find work. I have applied all over and even went to a few interviews that I thought I did well at and even got asked back on a few but never heard from them again. Good Luck!
  • plettnerplettner Member Posts: 197
    icon_confused.gif: Q: Will I be able to find a well paying job with those three certs and no hands on experience in the field other than personal experience? icon_confused.gif: Q: Can anyone recommend a better route? icon_confused.gif

    1. I would say without experience it would be difficult. The reason being you need to have a gut-feeling when things go wrong. A lot of the times you'll encounter things that only experience can help with. My experience (and I've been in the industry since 1995) is that after the bust, employers were looking more at experience alongside certifications. On the boom the situation may well be different and back then you could've walked straight into a support role virtually anywhere. Employers are much more wary about people who have all the certifications under the sun but no experience. I've spoken to the managers at my work and there this one guy who had Citrix, Cisco, Micro$soft certifications but didn't know how to eject a CD from a drive when it was not installed and had no power.

    2. The better route may be to get some weekend/part-time work at a local computer shop getting hands-on experience. Stick with your construction work for the moment and gain the experience from a service point of view.

    I apologise if this sounds harsh but you should not be disappointed if you don't land the first Network Admin position that comes along!

    I hope my experience helps you in your endeavours icon_thumright.gif
  • Danman32Danman32 Member Posts: 1,243
    plettner wrote:
    but didn't know how to eject a CD from a drive when it was not installed and had no power.

    That's sad. An experienced enduser who never did technical work should know that one.
  • PaddingtonPaddington Member Posts: 25 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Just quit as an electrician 2 weeks ago to do the same switch as u.
    Got a job thru an reqruiting agency for 2 weeks huge paycut but as it was just for 2 weeks it was ok.
    Now 2 weeks later i got another job intervju and got that one aswell a little higher salery this time closing in on the electrician salery, 2 months job with a possibility to get highered when the temp time is finished.
    I do not have any certificets yet. But will take the DST now since it`s following what my job tasks is. The company also pays for any certificets i want to take so good deal there :)
    Before this i had 1,5 years training in a school for networkadministrator (MSCE,CCNA and A+)
    Good luck but you might have to take a paycut for awhile. I hope that by 2007 i will be having the same or more then what i had.
    They say having an MCP does help but having as much as MSCE is kinda pointless since you cant get those jobs right away anyway..
    So i say get an MCP then get some experience and then move on to more certs
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