What to do? I'm Lost... (recent grad)

opaqueopaque Posts: 6Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey all,

I'm greatful that I'll be graduating this spring with a degree in CIS. However, this alone bothers me a bit when considering career or job prospects because all I have is a B.S. in CIS and about 1-year of experience as an Intern (desktop support) and no certs, none.

Nowadays, or considering today's state of economy, my relatively small exposure to the IT world isn't even enough to land a support position (I can possibly understand the choices employers might have to face when selecting a more experienced candidate over a less experience one...). I search monster.com, dice, craigslist, etc very often and notice that the majority of offers require potential candidates to have at least 5+ years of experience. Im 25 at the moment and I don't want to land a job when Im in my late twenties (I'm embarrassed to admit this..)

Nevertheless, what directions should I take to make myself a more desirable candidate and what positions should I apply for considering my relatively little experience? Please share with me your experience (if any) and I would greatly appreciate a point in the right direction. Thanks

My goal is to be a Network or Systems Admin.

(p.s Im currently working on my MCITP 70-640, I'll probably, probably, take N+, Sec+, or A+, when I have the money...)

Comments

  • PaperclipPaperclip Posts: 59Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    The CompTIA exams don't give credit toward the MCITP:EA or MCITP:SA tracks, if that makes a difference.

    You might actually consider a 2003 track. A lot of companies are still using 2003, and there's an upgrade path to the 2008 track for later of only three exams, or two if you did Vista as the client for the 2003 track. And if you want to do the CompTIA exams they will count as the elective for the 2003 track.

    I'm no career advice expert, but I like my job so I will tell you what I like about it. I'm a help desk technician at a small to medium sized company. Our IT department is small enough that we get to do things that a big company might consider strictly junior sysadmin or whatever. Yet still big enough that there is some turnover once in a while, so it's not like there's no hope of any upward mobility ever.
  • opaqueopaque Posts: 6Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Paperclip wrote: »
    The CompTIA exams don't give credit toward the MCITP:EA or MCITP:SA tracks, if that makes a difference.

    You might actually consider a 2003 track. A lot of companies are still using 2003, and there's an upgrade path to the 2008 track for later of only three exams, or two if you did Vista as the client for the 2003 track. And if you want to do the CompTIA exams they will count as the elective for the 2003 track.

    I'm no career advice expert, but I like my job so I will tell you what I like about it. I'm a help desk technician at a small to medium sized company. Our IT department is small enough that we get to do things that a big company might consider strictly junior sysadmin or whatever. Yet still big enough that there is some turnover once in a while, so it's not like there's no hope of any upward mobility ever.

    Thanks for the insightful advice, I never thought of considering the 2003 track. I wouldn't mind working in a similar mid-sized company as yours, you get to tinker around..
  • BradleyHUBradleyHU Posts: 918Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    yo, just keep applyin to positions. I had a ton of interviews with companies that listed they wanted 2-5 years experience supporting X amount of users, and i was doing at that point was proprietary software support.
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  • Daniel333Daniel333 Posts: 2,077Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Degree or not the starting point is desktop support, then server then network. Very few get to skip this. And more and more in this economy you are going to need to take on many, many hats.

    A network person is also a voice person, who is often network security as well. Your server support often fills in as application and desktop support. The lines are much greyer now between jobs than they have ever been it seem.

    For anyone starting out spend a few weeks learning the finer options of Microsoft Office (Access, Groove, Expressions, FrontPage too) then snag MCDST and CCENT while working a help desk/desktop support.

    After you complete that start pushing for additional responsibility from your job and snag your CCNA/MCSA.
    -Daniel
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,158Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I feel your pain buddy! College degree, one year of verifiable experience as a field tech, and couple certs. Graduated in Dec and have yet to find a job, just keep chugging you will find something.
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  • opaqueopaque Posts: 6Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    BradleyHU wrote: »
    yo, just keep applyin to positions. I had a ton of interviews with companies that listed they wanted 2-5 years experience supporting X amount of users, and i was doing at that point was proprietary software support.

    I'll do that, I'll take that advice seriously.

    Daniel333 wrote: »
    Degree or not the starting point is desktop support, then server then network. Very few get to skip this. And more and more in this economy you are going to need to take on many, many hats.

    A network person is also a voice person, who is often network security as well. Your server support often fills in as application and desktop support. The lines are much greyer now between jobs than they have ever been it seem.

    For anyone starting out spend a few weeks learning the finer options of Microsoft Office (Access, Groove, Expressions, FrontPage too) then snag MCDST and CCENT while working a help desk/desktop support.

    After you complete that start pushing for additional responsibility from your job and snag your CCNA/MCSA.

    Your right Daniel333 I believe you. Just to share an experience, I have a friend who had absolutely no support experience, none what so ever, except that he had taken a few CCNA courses which helped him land a job as a Network Engineer (good for him), but makes me wonder how?

    MCDST and CCENT will add these to my top 10 list of priority.

    the_Grinch wrote: »
    I feel your pain buddy! College degree, one year of verifiable experience as a field tech, and couple certs. Graduated in Dec and have yet to find a job, just keep chugging you will find something.

    Thanks Grinch, for the encouragement, I hope the best for you too.
  • shednikshednik Posts: 2,005Member
    Where are you from? If I missed it I apologize been a long day of travelicon_sad.gif. Anyway since you haven't graduated yet and depending on what school you goto I would hit up your schools career center and talk to them. I went to a private college in Pittsburgh, PA Robert Morris University. For an internship they got me an interview with CMU for an internship position, as well as the current position I have now. I came out of school working for a fortune 500 company and since I had my CCNA they let me start out in the network support center in the college new hire program. Not every company will have something like this but I highly suggest looking into what your school can hook you up with. If you can't find a good job right away I would look at schools around the area honestly and see what kind of scholarship programs they offer. I'm doing my grad degree now at the University of Pittsburgh, and if I didn't have my job and a family. I would be applying for their NSF Security scholarship program, where you have 2 years to complete the degree, they pay for all of the tuituion, and stipend you 5k a semster, and I believe even provide housing if needed. The only payback is you have to work for a gov't agency for 2-3 years after graduation. So there are plenty of opportunities all over just use EVERY resourse you have at your disposal and you will find something. :D
  • Tyrant1919Tyrant1919 Senior Member Posts: 519Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I was hired on as primarily a computer tech at my current job. I sat in the back doing just that for a few months and learning their procedures. Implemented WDS instead of Ghost for Vista. I slowly started installing switches. Then a few firewalls. Then a server or two, or three. Then an Exchange server... all in a tad over a year.
    A+/N+/S+/L+/Svr+
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  • d00dled00dle Posts: 46Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    feel your pain icon_sad.gif just keep lookin & working on certifications. BS in CIS is already half of the battle (that's 4yrs of experience right there!) Once economy starts to pick up, there'll be more jobs and demand for technicians.
    Comptia A+
    220-601: Essentials - score 685 (March, 2009)
    220-602: IT Technician - score 792 (March, 2009)

    Comptia Network+
    N10-003 - score 554 (April, 2009)

    MCTS
    70-620: Configuring Windows Vista - score 807 (May, 2009)
  • opaqueopaque Posts: 6Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    shednik wrote: »
    Where are you from? If I missed it I apologize been a long day of travelicon_sad.gif. Anyway since you haven't graduated yet and depending on what school you goto I would hit up your schools career center and talk to them. I went to a private college in Pittsburgh, PA Robert Morris University. For an internship they got me an interview with CMU for an internship position, as well as the current position I have now. I came out of school working for a fortune 500 company and since I had my CCNA they let me start out in the network support center in the college new hire program. Not every company will have something like this but I highly suggest looking into what your school can hook you up with. If you can't find a good job right away I would look at schools around the area honestly and see what kind of scholarship programs they offer. I'm doing my grad degree now at the University of Pittsburgh, and if I didn't have my job and a family. I would be applying for their NSF Security scholarship program, where you have 2 years to complete the degree, they pay for all of the tuituion, and stipend you 5k a semster, and I believe even provide housing if needed. The only payback is you have to work for a gov't agency for 2-3 years after graduation. So there are plenty of opportunities all over just use EVERY resourse you have at your disposal and you will find something. :D
    No, I didn't mention it but I'm from California but Wow, thanks for your input.
    Yeh, I'm planning on visiting the career fairs and career centers to see what they have to offer, hopefully I'll find something and apply for it.
    I don't know whether its possible but I just wanted to skip the PC support/Desktop all together since I interned at a govt agency for 1-year (I'm not sure how employers would look at that....)....Thanks, I really do appreciate your advice shednik.

    Tyrant1919 wrote: »
    I was hired on as primarily a computer tech at my current job. I sat in the back doing just that for a few months and learning their procedures. Implemented WDS instead of Ghost for Vista. I slowly started installing switches. Then a few firewalls. Then a server or two, or three. Then an Exchange server... all in a tad over a year.

    Thanks for replying Tyrant1919. I imagine you worked for a midsized company, I would preferably want to work in a midsized company since there's room to try new things...

    d00dle wrote: »
    feel your pain icon_sad.gif just keep lookin & working on certifications. BS in CIS is already half of the battle (that's 4yrs of experience right there!) Once economy starts to pick up, there'll be more jobs and demand for technicians.

    Hey d00dle. I'm definitely gonna work on a few certs this year if I can get to MCDST & MCITP: 70-640 I would be somewhat more confident....
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,800Mod Mod
    opaque wrote: »
    I don't know whether its possible but I just wanted to skip the PC support/Desktop all together since I interned at a govt agency for 1-year (I'm not sure how employers would look at that....)....Thanks, I really do appreciate your advice shednik.

    Hey opaque, for what its worth, I would highly recommend not overlooking the Desktop Support and Help Desk jobs. In this economy competition is fierce and we cant really afford to be picky. Employers are picking people with more to offer and being fresh out of college you only have a degree and 1 year experience to offer while others have degree/experience/certs or some combination of them. I have even seen Desktop Support postings asking for 2-5 years experience and some amount of certs. Just try to hang in there and if you have to, dont be above taking a DS/HD job for 1 year while you build more experience and obtain some certs. After another year of experience and some certs you should be good to go for higher jobs.

    And yes your 1 year internship counts as experiece. If you were working then it counts. Good luck with your job search :D
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  • SystoSysto Posts: 4Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    jryantech wrote: »
    Work for the government.
    That's a great idea if you don't want to get a response for several months, if at all ever. You can go to the government contractors but a good majority of those positions "require" an active TS/SCI clearance. Sure you can apply to them but chances of getting a response back are minimal unless you know someone on the inside. Even then for the original poster his resume will probably be shot down by Resumix or whatever software they use because he lacks certifications.

    I'm in a similar boat as the original poster, and this rant is the result of my job search and my friends job searches. I actually think it's funny to look at job postings on websites, in probably half there's something inherently wrong take for instance equating an A+ with an MCSA in terms of resume acceptance, or requiring 3-5 years experience for a Help Desk I position. My advice to the OP, as already stated, apply to jobs you aren't qualified for.
  • opaqueopaque Posts: 6Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    JoJoCal19 wrote: »
    Hey opaque, for what its worth, I would highly recommend not overlooking the Desktop Support and Help Desk jobs. In this economy competition is fierce and we cant really afford to be picky. Employers are picking people with more to offer and being fresh out of college you only have a degree and 1 year experience to offer while others have degree/experience/certs or some combination of them. I have even seen Desktop Support postings asking for 2-5 years experience and some amount of certs. Just try to hang in there and if you have to, dont be above taking a DS/HD job for 1 year while you build more experience and obtain some certs. After another year of experience and some certs you should be good to go for higher jobs.

    And yes your 1 year internship counts as experiece. If you were working then it counts. Good luck with your job search :D

    Thanks for pointers JoJoCal. I'll try to squeeze in a couple of certs this year, I really want to get that MCITP (70-640) and mayble an MCDST.



    jryantech wrote: »
    Work for the government.
    Yes, that was actually my first choice. In fact, I interned for an entire year but there's a 2-year waiting or selecting period after the exams and interview are done...

    Systo wrote: »
    That's a great idea if you don't want to get a response for several months, if at all ever. You can go to the government contractors but a good majority of those positions "require" an active TS/SCI clearance. Sure you can apply to them but chances of getting a response back are minimal unless you know someone on the inside. Even then for the original poster his resume will probably be shot down by Resumix or whatever software they use because he lacks certifications.

    I'm in a similar boat as the original poster, and this rant is the result of my job search and my friends job searches. I actually think it's funny to look at job postings on websites, in probably half there's something inherently wrong take for instance equating an A+ with an MCSA in terms of resume acceptance, or requiring 3-5 years experience for a Help Desk I position. My advice to the OP, as already stated, apply to jobs you aren't qualified for.

    I agree with you Systo entirely, and do share your experiences. The government is actually a great place to work in, great pay, great benefits, no micro-mangement, but getting picked out of a pool of hundreds or maybe even thousands of (qualified) candidates, you definitely need someone (i.e. friend) on the inside to 'hook you up' or get a good word in for you. I'll probably start applying for Help Desk/PC support positions religiously....Thanks for you comment.
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