No job offers, even with certication and a degree

Well, I have a B.A. (for what it's worth - liberal arts) and I had been told, "You need at least a CCNA if you want to get a job in networking." So I completed the classes at a Cisco Networking Academy (which I thought was status to help with the job hunt), and I obtained my CCNA certification. I'm working at Comcast as tier 2 technical support for Internet; it's not networking per se, but I'm also not merely waiting tables either. So I've put my resume "out there" and been applying all over, and I've only gotten a few nibbles, and no one has offered me anything in the two months I've been available. Lots of rejection letters - no problem. Seems that now a CCNA isn't enough on its own. I have a feeling I could get my CCVP or CCNP and go out applying and be in the same situation without experience (a CCIE might be a different story).

Can't get a job without experience, but you can't get experience without a job. You know how it goes. It would seem that employers nowadays value experience much more than certifications if my job hunt is any indication. I hope that the people who are starting the certification path see this and divert their path to perhaps work to get that helpdesk job or related first; then when they're actually working in the field and getting real-world experience, go ahead at that point and start certifcations, which would be of value then.
"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." - Popular Mechanics, 1949

Comments

  • sir_creamy_sir_creamy_ Inactive Imported Users Posts: 298
    1999 called, it wants its idea of the job market back. I agree with you. A CCNA alone is not enough. Have you considered pursuing a degree in a technical discipline?
    Bachelor of Computer Science

    [Forum moderators are my friends]
  • larkspurlarkspur Member Posts: 235
    I'm working at Comcast as tier 2 technical support for Internet

    try moving up from within. Comcast has a very large network!!
    just trying to keep it all in perspective!
  • CrunchyhippoCrunchyhippo Member Posts: 389
    1999 called, it wants its idea of the job market back. I agree with you. A CCNA alone is not enough. Have you considered pursuing a degree in a technical discipline?

    Perhaps. Problem is, my current salary is so low (with a wife and two small children looking to me) that I simply can't afford the extra time it would take to get it. I may have to switch to an insurance adjuster job that I've been considering (which I'm qualified for now) if something doesn't turn up soon, I'm afraid. It's not what I want to do, but practical needs and being able to pay one's bills are the ultimate driving force, y'know?
    "Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." - Popular Mechanics, 1949
  • paintb4707paintb4707 Member Posts: 420
    I'm in the same boat man. I've had several interviews this month but only a single job offer, one that I had to turn down because it was a 40 minute commute on-site position which I just couldn't make being a full-time student at the same time. I could never drive 40 minutes out and make it back in time for class that starts at 5pm.

    I recently had an interview for a Network Admin position just two weeks ago. The interviewer actually went as far as to tell me "I have another interview later today but I think you're the one and you're very well suitable for our company". To make a long story short, I was supposed to hear back from him last Monday. I left a voicemail and I haven't heard since. This is with 2 certs and 7 months of help desk experience. Also considering that they were purposely pursuing an entry level employee that was still in school so that they could pay less and reward you with on-the-job learning.

    It's very discouraging but all you can really do is keep trying I guess. icon_confused.gif
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I'd suggest that you both try finding jobs at small businesses where the IT work isn't your primary responsibility, but they let you manage it. I started working at a 4-person sign company 5 years ago. I did various fabrication, painting, etc. They were also running everything around on floppy disks. I networked the whole place, and took over all the IT responsibilities.

    A little over two years ago, I went to another sign company. A lot of my time is still spent doing design work in Illustrator and Photoshop, but I also run a Windows Server 2003 domain with over 25 users. I'm currently building two new servers and will be implementing Exchange within a month. I figure I'm getting paid about $20k less per year than I'm worth, but I think the experience I'm gaining is going to pay off significantly in the near future.
  • SmallguySmallguy Member Posts: 597
    it is not an easy field to get into

    My suggestion is keep trying and round out your skill set... I know you want to do networking but if you have some solid Microsoft certs behind you it will help you get your foot in a door easier IMO.

    alot of companies are not looking for a specialist really (unless your very experienced) but want someone they can have to do a bit of everything like a jack of all trades

    I got my first real IT job (non-help desk) a bout 18 months ago I started in a shop that was supporting an office of about 40 users. and about 20 users at 2 other remote offices

    things were a bit of a mess but after removing a few unreliable pieces and alot of overtime i've moved up to the sister company and took supporting the smaller companies with me. there are 3 windows people in my IT dept 2 at our office which is the main data center and on in central Canada . We have probably close to 1000 users we support all over Canada between the 3 of us and we have 1 networking guy with over 10 years of experience. There used ot be 5 of us but 2 of thme quit and we kept chugging along (luckily they were kindda useless)

    but my point in all of this is companies want to do more with less and them ore you can offer them the better your chances are till you get the experience to pick and choose
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Smallguy wrote:
    it is not an easy field to get into

    My suggestion is keep trying and round out your skill set... I know you want to do networking but if you have some solid Microsoft certs behind you it will help you get your foot in a door easier IMO.

    alot of companies are not looking for a specialist really (unless your very experienced) but want someone they can have to do a bit of everything like a jack of all trades

    but my point in all of this is companies want to do more with less and them ore you can offer them the better your chances are till you get the experience to pick and choose

    I completely agree. You're going to have a tough time finding a place where you do nothing but Cisco work 40-50 hours per week. On the other hand, there's always going to be a bunch of dumb users that can't figure out how to print or open files :D
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,090
    I completed the classes at a Cisco Networking Academy (which I thought was status to help with the job hunt), and I obtained my CCNA certification.
    Were you the top student in your class? One of the top students? Did you have an A average (without redoing exams, since that is an option at some academies)? Did the Instructor recommend you for any jobs?

    You've got a CCNA Certification -- but did you CRUSH the exam? Can you impress people with your CCNA knowledge and skills? Or did you use "practice exams" to get by the CCNA exam?
    I'm working at Comcast as tier 2 technical support for Internet
    Were you hired directly into tier 2, or did you work your way up? How long have you been there? Have any of your co-workers "moved up" to other positions from the help desk?
    it's not networking per se, but I'm also not merely waiting tables either. So I've put my resume "out there" and been applying all over, and I've only gotten a few nibbles, and no one has offered me anything in the two months I've been available.
    It's funny you should mention waiting tables..... I was handed a stack of resumes and told to pick out 10 people for phone interviews (looking for a CCNA for a Lab environment). It was pretty easy to decide. I basically selected the people who took the time to tailor their resume to the position and stated their objective was an entry-level networking position.

    A lot of of the other resumes listed a summary of their qualifications at the top, rather than their objective -- and if you're a "people person" and "excellent customer service" is one of your strong points, it sounds like you're either applying for a help desk position or a job as a waiter/waitress.

    If you're not getting hits on your resume, you may want to find someone who writes resumes for a living (or side business) and get a resume extreme makeover.

    But even if you start getting the calls, you have to be able to impress the person on the other side of the phone call with your knowledge, skills, desire, and personality.

    Then you have to convince them on a real interview that you are "good enough" for the job and will work cheaper than the guy who was better in the interview but thinks (s)he's worth a lot more money than the job is offering. Or, if you are the guy who does better on the interview than everyone else but still doesn't get the job, you may be asking for too much money.
    I have a feeling I could get my CCVP or CCNP and go out applying and be in the same situation without experience (a CCIE might be a different story).
    Right, since a CCVP or CCNP without any experience probably couldn't do a CCVP or CCNP level job.

    I will agree with the CCIE comment -- there's probably a Cisco Business Partner out there willing to pay a low end CCIE wage for a lab rat CCIE -- the discount they get makes it worth it if they are short a CCIE.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • KasorKasor Member Posts: 919 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Education, Experience and Certification are the baseline of a IT job. However, experience mean alot to networking background job.

    Helpdesk and Support role are much more easy to fill, but we already max out the Desktop/Helpdesk support.
    Kill All Suffer T "o" ReBorn
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