Entry level

Now I don’t consider myself entry level, I’d consider myself Junior, but not entry level. I have around 5 years experience in IT. 1.5 years Helpdesk, 3 years Desktop Support and Network Admin.

Am I just completely off here, or can someone explain to me what ENTRY LEVEL is? I’ve always had this, I guess naive assumption, that entry level means NO experience and maybe some schooling. But I keep seeing positions that say entry level and then say 1 year experience, 1 – 2 years exp, I swear, even though I can’t remember where, that I saw one that said 3 - 5 years exp.

WTF?

Anyone out there, maybe those of you that run your own business, want to expand on this for me?

This is the post I most recently noticed.
http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/tch/814100655.html

Comments

  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    IMO entry level is less to do with time worked and more to do with skill set. If you work entry level work for 20 years and never grow professionally you are still entry level.

    Usually someones skill set grows with time but not always.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • supertechCETmasupertechCETma Member Posts: 377
    entry-level = bottom of the food chain icon_cool.gif
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  • Daniel333Daniel333 Member Posts: 2,077 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I guess there is no good definition, but I would say a job in a field that requires no previousl experience that offers a chance to grow.


    en·try-lev·el Audio Help /ˈɛntriˌlɛvəl/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[en-tree-lev-uhl] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
    –adjective
    of, pertaining to, or filling a low-level job in which an employee may gain experience or skills: This year's college graduates have a limited choice of entry-level jobs.

    -relatively simple in design, limited in capability, and low in cost: entry-level home computers and word processors.
    -Daniel
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    relatively simple in design, limited in capability, and low in cost

    This sounds more like entry level IT than the first one icon_lol.gif
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure / Core Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016 Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    In most cases I've seen, "entry-level" refers to someone with either no experience, or limited experience in a particular field. Basically, someone fresh out of college or with a brand-spankin'-new cert in their hands would be considered at the entry-level stage, as would someone with maybe limited experience, such as a year or two, in one field.

    Keep in mind that, while helpdesk and network administration are related, they're not the same job. You were entry-level when you did helpdesk, and spent 1.5 years there, then you could probably have considered yourself mid-to-senior level. Once you stepped up to network admin, you're practically back to square one. You have the tech skills you learned as a helpdesk tech, as well as the experience working with end-users and vendors, but the job of network admin has different requirements and that prior experience will only be so much help.

    Looking at your certs, looking at the time you've spent as a network admin, I'd say you're probably in the mid-range of experience, not necessarily a junior and not quite a senior. If you feel comfortable in your knowledge of the job, and you come to work without the fear of "oh god, what will I do if. . ." kinds of thoughts in your head, you can safely say that you're no longer an entry-level admin, but an experienced one.

    Here's the breakdown, as I see it (in an ideal world, mind you):

    Entry-level: No experience, limited or "canned" skills. (Certs and/or degree.)

    Junior: Some experience, say 1 or 2 years, qualified for work that may be challenging, but not ready to fly solo on big projects. Still falls under the "technician" category, more focused on the equipment and less on the business of IT.

    Mid-Level: Somewhere between 3 and 5 years experience, comfortable with the work, knows how to get things done without having to be supervised. Not necessarily a full-time projects type of person, but can handle integrating new technologies and performing tasks like rolling out new servers, routers, software, etc. Mentors, if not supervises, junior and entry-level IT staff, as well as has some involment with the business-aspects of IT, (recommending purchases, going to management meetings, etc).

    Senior-level: This is the big guy, the expert, usually the boss. Heads up major projects, handles management responsibilities, supervises other admins and techs, and is usually the one that gets handed the newest, most untested equipment, and is told to "make it work". Gets paid in heaps, but the trade-off is that this admin has to KNOW EVERYTHING. Can often times be quite jaded, hidden behind a mountain of O'Reilly or Cisco Press books on his desk.

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  • undomielundomiel Member Posts: 2,818
    Slowhand wrote:
    If you feel comfortable in your knowledge of the job, and you come to work without the fear of "oh god, what will I do if. . ." kinds of thoughts in your head, you can safely say that you're no longer an entry-level admin, but an experienced one.

    In that case I turned from newbie entry level administrator to season pro in the span of two weeks in this job. (Almost everything that could go wrong did go wrong in those 1st two weeks and almost sent me packing.) :D

    I would agree with the concensus that entry level is more about the skill sets that you will be needing to acquire than the general IT experience you have. 10 years experience in help desk related activies and 0 years experience in administration duties = entry level administrator. I generally think that within 1 year though that a person breaks the entry level requirements. Depends upon the duties assigned. If the focus is too limited and narrow then even if the title is network administrator if all you ever do is create/delete user accounts and reset passwords then you're still entry level.
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  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure / Core Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016 Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    undomiel wrote:
    In that case I turned from newbie entry level administrator to season pro in the span of two weeks in this job. (Almost everything that could go wrong did go wrong in those 1st two weeks and almost sent me packing.) :D
    Hey, don't knock it. While 80% - 90% of us have to study, work, and basically knock ourselves out to get ahead. Others, though, have a natural gift for the field, and take to their job practically instantaneously. These are the 20-year old CCIEs (that actually deserve it), the young IT managers, and the prodigies that blaze through the field to set new standards in how we all work. Then, of course, there's the bottom 10%, that has no business being in IT to begin with, that either can't work or won't. . .
    undomiel wrote:
    I generally think that within 1 year though that a person breaks the entry level requirements. Depends upon the duties assigned. If the focus is too limited and narrow then even if the title is network administrator if all you ever do is create/delete user accounts and reset passwords then you're still entry level.
    Very true, getting pigeon-holed is almost as bad as not working at all. If you're at a place that runs old NT4 servers for 10 years, you won't be capable of going out and touting yourself as a Sr. Systems Administrator now that Windows Server 2008 is out. Part of what makes this industry so difficult, is staying on top of the latest technology and best-practices.

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  • undomielundomiel Member Posts: 2,818
    Nope, not knocking it at all, it was the best experience I ever picked up on the job hands down. I probably would still be stuck around the 291 right now if it wasn't for this place being the disaster that it was. :) If I could I would put every entry level administrator through the same experience. It would do them good.
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  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure / Core Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016 Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    undomiel wrote:
    Nope, not knocking it at all, it was the best experience I ever picked up on the job hands down. I probably would still be stuck around the 291 right now if it wasn't for this place being the disaster that it was. :) If I could I would put every entry level administrator through the same experience. It would do them good.
    Aww, you'd put me through the nightmare of rescuring a sinking-ship network, tearing my hair out at every cataclysmic disaster that should be a minor issue, and driving me to drink (and certs), out of the goodness of your heart. You're a real pal. icon_lol.gif

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  • undomielundomiel Member Posts: 2,818
    What can I say? I'm here for you man.
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  • bjaxxbjaxx Member Posts: 217
    undomiel wrote:
    What can I say? I'm here for you man.


    I'd agree with undomiel,

    I have broken and fixed more **** than I could ever imagine. Nothing like being thrown to the wolves.
    "You have to hate to lose more than you love to win"
  • motherwolfmotherwolf Member Posts: 117
    Don't really have anything to add except to say U-Dub is in the house, right bjaxx? Go Huskies!!
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure / Core Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016 Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    undomiel wrote:
    What can I say? I'm here for you man.
    As I say to my usual cohorts: with friends like you, who needs enemas? icon_lol.gif

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  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    One man's Jr. admin might be another man's Sr. Support. One man's Sr. Admin might be another man's Jr. DBA. Depends on what the focus of the job is and where you fit.
    IT guy since 12/00

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  • aidan80aidan80 Member Posts: 147
    entry-level = bottom of the food chain icon_cool.gif
    Hi.. I'm not even on this food chain lol !.. I'm on a whole other food chain I don't want to be on!! I'd be happy to be at the bottom of the IT food chain right now.. and being paid at least what I make now! icon_lol.gif
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