Overqualified and lowballed into Help Desk Position

Two of my friends have been downsized during the Great Recession. Both of them have over 10 years of experience in IT as sys admin/managers, 4 year degrees, however no certs.

They have been getting interviewers for positions, however it is being pointed out to them that they don't have any certs. And it seems that they are only getting job offers for help desk type positions, even though they have experience outside of this type of position. Plus, their pay is going to be way lower then what they were making. On top of being very overqualified for the position.

My question is, has anyone else experienced being lowballed liked this? This seems to happen often in my part of the US.
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  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAPosts: 5,735Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    JockVSJock wrote: »
    Two of my friends have been downsized during the Great Recession. Both of them have over 10 years of experience in IT as sys admin/managers, 4 year degrees, however no certs.

    They have been getting interviewers for positions, however it is being pointed out to them that they don't have any certs. And it seems that they are only getting job offers for help desk type positions, even though they have experience outside of this type of position. Plus, their pay is going to be way lower then what they were making. On top of being very overqualified for the position.

    My question is, has anyone else experienced being lowballed liked this? This seems to happen often in my part of the US.

    icon_eek.gif WOW! What region of the country do you live in?
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  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    Nothing like that has ever happened to me personally. Maybe you are just in a bad area for IT?
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • remyforbes777remyforbes777 Posts: 499Member
    I don't see how you can have experience with no certs and get low balled. Experience outweighs certs in my book. That would be like me hiring a Linux admin who just received his RHCE with no experience, over a Linux admin with no certs and 10 years experience. Doesn't make sense to me. When I got my current job, they told me right then and there they didn't care about my certs.
  • JockVSJockJockVSJock Posts: 1,118Member
    icon_eek.gif Wow, what region of the country do you live in?

    Omaha, Neb.
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  • JockVSJockJockVSJock Posts: 1,118Member
    I don't see how you can have experience with no certs and get low balled. Experience outweighs certs in my book. That would be like me hiring a Linux admin who just received his RHCE with no experience, over a Linux admin with no certs and 10 years experience. Doesn't make sense to me. When I got my current job, they told me right then and there they didn't care about my certs.

    That's funny you say that.

    One of my friends is doing a SANS mentor training with a guy who is an IT hiring manager for a company in Omaha. He said he didn't give one damn about certs (which is funny because he is a mentor for SANS training).
    ***Freedom of Speech, Just Watch What You Say*** Example, Beware of CompTIA Certs (Deleted From Google Cached)

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  • 4XJunkie4XJunkie Posts: 22Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    You know, a family member of mine has ~20 yrs experience. Mostly in development. He also does a little bit of hardware SA and networking. And he has no certs, never gotten a cert. And he makes ~90k a year as a project manager\team manager etc.

    Not sure why they are having a problem if they have a ton of experience.
  • Big JizayBig Jizay Posts: 269Member
    JockVSJock wrote: »
    Two of my friends have been downsized during the Great Recession. Both of them have over 10 years of experience in IT as sys admin/managers, 4 year degrees, however no certs.

    They have been getting interviewers for positions, however it is being pointed out to them that they don't have any certs. And it seems that they are only getting job offers for help desk type positions, even though they have experience outside of this type of position. Plus, their pay is going to be way lower then what they were making. On top of being very overqualified for the position.

    My question is, has anyone else experienced being lowballed liked this? This seems to happen often in my part of the US.

    I'm wondering what type of people are giving them the interviews, IT managers or recruiters/HR? Recruiters and HR people have no idea what good qualifications are. They just read qualifications from a list that an IT manager gave them, and if the person doesn't meet nearly all of these qualifications, the candidate doesn't make it to a second interview with the IT manager.

    Some companies have recruiters or HR do the first interview, and some have a IT manager do the first interview. In my experience, whenever I had a phone interview with the HR guy, I never made to the face-to-face interview, but whenever I had a phone interview with the IT manager, most of the time I'd at least make it to the face-to-face interview. If your friends find a company that lets the IT manager do all of the interviewing, I'm sure that he'll see the potential in your friends and hire them. This is just my two cents icon_smile.gif
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  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Posts: 4,134Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I'd say it's the economy that is getting them. Companies know they can offer less and get more. Friend of my family just hired two former VP's at a huge computer company with 10 years of experience each for $60k per year per guy. If they aren't desperate for work, keep searching, but they need it something is better then nothing.
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  • crrussell3crrussell3 Posts: 561Member
    That seems to be this area right now. I am from West Des Moines, IA and am in the same situation. I have four years of member server/ ad administration /desktop support and am currently sitting in a contract job making 11.5/hr as help desk. Didn't finish my degree, only cert I have now is 70-620 (working on MCITP:SA), so hopefully that will change for me.
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  • qwertyiopqwertyiop Posts: 725Member
    I know what you mean, im a network admin making a little more then $20/hr and I keep getting calls and emails for help desk positions that pay about $9/hr. This really pisses me off.
  • Big JizayBig Jizay Posts: 269Member
    Qwertyiop and crrussell3 <
    icon_eek.gif
    The only thing that can stop you is you

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  • KaminskyKaminsky Posts: 1,235Member
    the_Grinch wrote: »
    I'd say it's the economy that is getting them. Companies know they can offer less and get more. Friend of my family just hired two former VP's at a huge computer company with 10 years of experience each for $60k per year per guy. If they aren't desperate for work, keep searching, but they need it something is better then nothing.

    I agree. It's the recession.

    So many IT folks are out of work now that recruiters can pick and choose and offer less money in the process. If the resumes are being filtered by HR then it is highly likely THEY will think the cert has the precedent and select candidates accordingly.

    There is also the argument (I am sure this doesn't count for your friends) that just because someone has been in IT for 10 years they are automatically technically better and more experienced than someone who only has 2-3 years and has the degree and all the certs. That's just not reality, especially in sys admin where work gets repetitive very quickly. Years ago I was a Novell & Win sys admin manager for 8500 user site. I had no MCSE and had tremendous gaps in my knowledge but what I could do was keep the day to day ticking over with ease. The 5% of time when something came up that was out of the ordinary mundane work, I could simply read up on it there and then.

    I think one thing this recession will do is make it a lot harder to get into senior roles in IT in the future and it will become similar to accountancy where, without certain qualifications, you simply won't be able to get certain jobs.
    Kam.
  • rwwest7rwwest7 Posts: 300Member
    My 2 cents.....Just because you've been doing something for 10 years doesn't make you good at it. After all that time and zero certs, I'd be questioning the persons drive a little myself too. It's called sitting on your loins.
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    Kaminsky wrote: »
    I agree. It's the recession.

    So many IT folks are out of work now that recruiters can pick and choose and offer less money in the process. If the resumes are being filtered by HR then it is highly likely THEY will think the cert has the precedent and select candidates accordingly.

    There is also the argument (I am sure this doesn't count for your friends) that just because someone has been in IT for 10 years they are automatically technically better and more experienced than someone who only has 2-3 years and has the degree and all the certs. That's just not reality, especially in sys admin where work gets repetitive very quickly. Years ago I was a Novell & Win sys admin manager for 8500 user site. I had no MCSE and had tremendous gaps in my knowledge but what I could do was keep the day to day ticking over with ease. The 5% of time when something came up that was out of the ordinary mundane work, I could simply read up on it there and then.

    I think one thing this recession will do is make it a lot harder to get into senior roles in IT in the future and it will become similar to accountancy where, without certain qualifications, you simply won't be able to get certain jobs.

    Experience is a variable and to be honest a lot of admin is still carried on today in the way you describe. There is also all the processes, change control and general rationalisation of IT support and delivery in place today which slows things down and dumbs things down. All these things combined are driving salaries down as well as many other factors. It's been hard to get into senior roles for a while now. There are fewer for the uber technical. Across corporations project management has been pushing in chasing the dollars for a few years along with the TCO drones, auditors and bean counters. Even with a strong and savvy CIO I still see salaries falling and that glass ceiling getting thicker for marginalised techs. Without a strong and savvy CIO the future is even more bleak Im afraid.
  • SRTMCSESRTMCSE Posts: 249Member
    Turgon wrote: »
    Experience is a variable and to be honest a lot of admin is still carried on today in the way you describe. There is also all the processes, change control and general rationalisation of IT support and delivery in place today which slows things down and dumbs things down. All these things combined are driving salaries down as well as many other factors. It's been hard to get into senior roles for a while now. There are fewer for the uber technical. Across corporations project management has been pushing in chasing the dollars for a few years along with the TCO drones, auditors and bean counters. Even with a strong and savvy CIO I still see salaries falling and that glass ceiling getting thicker for marginalised techs. Without a strong and savvy CIO the future is even more bleak Im afraid.

    I couldn't agree more w/ this post, I see it all the time in NYC.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Posts: 3,920Mod Mod
    Turgon wrote: »
    Experience is a variable and to be honest a lot of admin is still carried on today in the way you describe. There is also all the processes, change control and general rationalisation of IT support and delivery in place today which slows things down and dumbs things down. All these things combined are driving salaries down as well as many other factors. It's been hard to get into senior roles for a while now. There are fewer for the uber technical. Across corporations project management has been pushing in chasing the dollars for a few years along with the TCO drones, auditors and bean counters. Even with a strong and savvy CIO I still see salaries falling and that glass ceiling getting thicker for marginalised techs. Without a strong and savvy CIO the future is even more bleak Im afraid.

    +1 ! I agree
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  • tpatt100tpatt100 Posts: 2,989Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    rwwest7 wrote: »
    My 2 cents.....Just because you've been doing something for 10 years doesn't make you good at it. After all that time and zero certs, I'd be questioning the persons drive a little myself too. It's called sitting on your loins.

    I know several people like this and in some ways I also fit into this category. I got my CISSP and Security+ while working as a Security Analyst but I really let my Windows Admin skills deteriorate and I regret it now because the security positions are slim but Windows admin jobs are pretty plentiful.
  • jmanrtajmanrta Posts: 66Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Turgon wrote: »
    Experience is a variable and to be honest a lot of admin is still carried on today in the way you describe. There is also all the processes, change control and general rationalisation of IT support and delivery in place today which slows things down and dumbs things down. All these things combined are driving salaries down as well as many other factors. It's been hard to get into senior roles for a while now. There are fewer for the uber technical. Across corporations project management has been pushing in chasing the dollars for a few years along with the TCO drones, auditors and bean counters. Even with a strong and savvy CIO I still see salaries falling and that glass ceiling getting thicker for marginalised techs. Without a strong and savvy CIO the future is even more bleak Im afraid.

    Question for those who agree with this..

    If this is the case then why are you staying in IT? Why not move into a field that is more stable?
  • blargoeblargoe Posts: 4,165Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    Because we like IT!
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  • JavonRJavonR Posts: 245Member
    blargoe wrote: »
    Because we like IT!

    +1, do what you enjoy!
  • human151human151 Posts: 208Member
    So you guys are completely satisfied with the never ending study time on your own personal time(without compensation) and being in a career field where the skilled workers are not respected?

    im just saying...
    Welcome to the desert of the real.

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  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    human151 wrote: »
    So you guys are completely satisfied with the never ending study time on your own personal time(without compensation) and being in a career field where the skilled workers are not respected?

    im just saying...


    I'm completely satisfied, but I don't have to deal with anything you are describing here. I study on my personal time, but am compensated for it with raises and new opportunities. My current position even lets me take time off to study. I have a couple days off coming up to finish some training videos the company bought for me.

    I am also well respected in my current position and every other one I have held.

    I think you are being a little too broad and general here. I'm sure there are crappy IT jobs out there, but there also good ones. Just like any other career field.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • undomielundomiel Posts: 2,818Member
    It depends upon how you approach it. It isn't all about the stability. Evaluate what is most important to you. If job stability is more important to you, and you don't believe you can achieve that in IT, then perhaps you should evaluate where you would find that. If it is all about getting the biggest buck for your time and you don't believe you can achieve that in IT, then perhaps you should evaluate where you would find that. If job satisfaction is more important to you, and you are not finding that in IT, then perhaps you should evaluate where you would find that.

    Not everyone has the same set of requirements. Not everyone will invest the same amount of time and diligence into their job either. If they don't want to, then that is their prerogative and there may be results to reap later, but not always. Personally I would put enjoying my job over stability or growth. Since a major chunk of your valuable time is spent on it then you better make sure you're getting some enjoyment out of it.
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  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAPosts: 5,735Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    I'm completely satisfied, but I don't have to deal with anything you are describing here. I study on my personal time, but am compensated for it with raises and new opportunities. My current position even lets me take time off to study. I have a couple days off coming up to finish some training videos the company bought for me.

    I am also well respected in my current position and every other one I have held.

    I think you are being a little too broad and general here. I'm sure there are crappy IT jobs out there, but there also good ones. Just like any other career field.

    Hey, stop it! Now everyone is going to be depressed or jealous over this weekend icon_lol.gif

    Seriously, that sounds like a great job.

    blargoe wrote: »
    Because we like IT!

    +1 If you are doing it for the money then you probably won't stay anyway.
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • apd123apd123 Posts: 171Member
    JockVSJock wrote: »
    over 10 years of experience in IT as sys admin/managers, 4 year degrees, however no certs.

    What type of skills do they have? I know a lot of characters that fit the above description that I wouldn't hire into a help desk and others that I would recommend for senior level positions. Experience of more than 10 years just tells me they have been employed for a length of time.
  • eMeSeMeS Posts: 1,875Member
    JockVSJock wrote: »
    Two of my friends have been downsized during the Great Recession. Both of them have over 10 years of experience in IT as sys admin/managers, 4 year degrees, however no certs.

    They have been getting interviewers for positions, however it is being pointed out to them that they don't have any certs. And it seems that they are only getting job offers for help desk type positions, even though they have experience outside of this type of position. Plus, their pay is going to be way lower then what they were making. On top of being very overqualified for the position.

    My question is, has anyone else experienced being lowballed liked this? This seems to happen often in my part of the US.

    I would argue that this is the result of a combination of several factors:

    1) They're not as (over)qualified as they think they are.
    2) Low demand in that specific market. It's not hard to believe that demand is low in Omaha.
    3) Help desk work is largely perceived as being unskilled labor. Right, wrong or indifferent, unskilled labor always earns less than skilled labor.
    JockVSJock wrote: »
    Question for those who agree with this..

    If this is the case then why are you staying in IT? Why not move into a field that is more stable?

    My entire career has been in IT because it offers high earnings, a chance to regularly change your focus, and an opportunity to solve problems.

    Generally I find myself in agreement with much of what Turgon says, but I think much of this statement is completely off the mark.
    Turgon wrote:
    There is also all the processes, change control and general rationalisation of IT support and delivery in place today which slows things down and dumbs things down. All these things combined are driving salaries down as well as many other factors.

    The point of process is to achieve a consistent result. The point of change management is to allow business to introduce change quickly, yet in a controlled manner. Neither effective and efficient process nor change management slow or dumb things down. I don't see how slowing or dumbing things down lowers salaries. For example, there is a process that's thousands of years old to deliver a baby...seems like only the opposite has occurred there in terms of salaries....

    The point of process is to produce a consistent result. Businesses do this for many reasons, one of which is so that the next round of innovation can occur.

    This statement is a lot like saying "The brakes on my car are there to make it move slowly", when in fact, the brakes on your car are there to allow you to move quickly in a controlled manner.

    Also, I'd point out that those routers and switches and other equipment that you work with are simply physical and electronic implementations of one or more processes. These devices execute those processes consistently, regularly, at high speed, and with minimal error.
    Turgon wrote:
    It's been hard to get into senior roles for a while now. There are fewer for the uber technical. Across corporations project management has been pushing in chasing the dollars for a few years along with the TCO drones, auditors and bean counters. Even with a strong and savvy CIO I still see salaries falling and that glass ceiling getting thicker for marginalised techs. Without a strong and savvy CIO the future is even more bleak Im afraid.

    I don't see anything different about today with respect to this than at any other point in my career. "Senior" is relative. Isn't it reasonable for a business to know where their money is being spent? I always hear that "bean counting is bad", but in reality, what's the alternative, to not account for expenses?


    MS
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    eMeS wrote: »
    I would argue that this is the result of a combination of several factors:

    1) They're not as (over)qualified as they think they are.
    2) Low demand in that specific market. It's not hard to believe that demand is low in Omaha.
    3) Help desk work is largely perceived as being unskilled labor. Right, wrong or indifferent, unskilled labor always earns less than skilled labor.



    My entire career has been in IT because it offers high earnings, a chance to regularly change your focus, and an opportunity to solve problems.

    Generally I find myself in agreement with much of what Turgon says, but I think much of this statement is completely off the mark.



    The point of process is to achieve a consistent result. The point of change management is to allow business to introduce change quickly, yet in a controlled manner. Neither effective and efficient process nor change management slow or dumb things down. I don't see how slowing or dumbing things down lowers salaries. For example, there is a process that's thousands of years old to deliver a baby...seems like only the opposite has occurred there in terms of salaries....

    The point of process is to produce a consistent result. Businesses do this for many reasons, one of which is so that the next round of innovation can occur.

    This statement is a lot like saying "The brakes on my car are there to make it move slowly", when in fact, the brakes on your car are there to allow you to move quickly in a controlled manner.

    Also, I'd point out that those routers and switches and other equipment that you work with are simply physical and electronic implementations of one or more processes. These devices execute those processes consistently, regularly, at high speed, and with minimal error.



    I don't see anything different about today with respect to this than at any other point in my career. "Senior" is relative. Isn't it reasonable for a business to know where their money is being spent? I always hear that "bean counting is bad", but in reality, what's the alternative, to not account for expenses?


    MS

    There's room for the good stuff. Im talking about ineffective process, auditing or bean counting. I have seen a lot of it about and it certainly drives technical salaries down.
  • Hyper-MeHyper-Me Posts: 2,059Banned
    Apparently you guys dont work anyone like a few of the guys i work with....they claim their 30 years of "experience" is paramount and that certs hold no value....yet me with ~3 years experience and a pile of certs can run rings around them on my job AND theirs. Some of them are such a joke they cant even begin to do helpdesk, much less be a network admin.

    Personally...i dont have many years experience (3, as stated), but I do have a nice mound of certs that is ever growing and I also just designed (and now rolling out) one of if not THE largest AD domain in the metropolitan area. So if any other potential employer offered me helpdesk I would likely punch them in the face (figuratively)
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  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaPosts: 5,163Mod Mod
    human151 wrote: »
    So you guys are completely satisfied with the never ending study time on your own personal time(without compensation) and being in a career field where the skilled workers are not respected?

    im just saying...
    You just described every professional career worth having that doesn't involve running out to get coffee for your boss, working behind a register, or manufacturing something on an assembly line.

    If you were a mechanic or a body shop technician, you'd have to stay on top of new advancements in automotive technology throughout your career, (as my father did for well over 30 years); if you are a lawyer, you have to stay current on laws and changes in regulations and court procedures; if you were a CPA you'd have to butt heads with the IRS every year and read thick, THICK stacks of paper outlining the current year's tax-codes. Every career can be challenging, every career can require you to update your skills regularly, (doctors, anyone?) and all careers have piles and piles of negatives for all the positives they bring to the worker.

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  • msteinhilbermsteinhilber Posts: 1,480Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Slowhand wrote: »
    If you were a mechanic or a body shop technician, you'd have to stay on top of new advancements in automotive technology throughout your career, (as my father did for well over 30 years)...

    AND there is a good probability you would buy your own tools.

    I work with an individual who vehemently disagrees with any notion of studying off the clock to keep his skills even current, much less advance them to further his career. He's been working what is effectively level 1 helpdesk for over 9 years. He nags and complains about his job daily, and expects to be in a more administrator/engineering role simply because "he's been working with servers and stuff for over 9 years". How he still has a job is beyond me, because his genuine feelings that he is owed the world even though he hasn't worked for it have started to cause him to give up and not put in his fair share of effort.

    I can't help but fault some people for assuming that the IT industry is a magical industry that is easy going once you manage to break into it. That couldn't be farther from the truth, and if you keep it nice and easy going then you are very likely only hurting your career potential. It's easy to see how some can think this though, marketing has really pitched IT as one of those fields you can pass a bunch of exams to get into the field and get rich quick. We see that daily on TV, on ad's on websites, over the radio, on billboards, etc - everywhere you look there is some college or training company promising placement in a lucrative career. Perhaps that wouldn't be so bad, if they included in their curriculum something like "btw, expect to be doing a lot of self study if you plan in making it in this career for the long term".
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