Odds of employment

So, in this wretched economy of ours, what are the odds really of a person who gets a CCVP - but who has no paid, hands-on experience with voice - of getting a paid voice job?

I've trolled the job boards for a while now (you know them - Dice, Monster, Yahoo, etc), and I've yet to see a single voice job (requiring something beyond a CCNA) which didn't require 5-10 years previous voice experience. Worse, they all - without exception - really wanted a CCIE in voice (as if they'd grudgingly suffer the ignominy of just a CCVP with 5 years experience in lieu of an IE).

So - you need voice experience to get a voice job. But to get a voice job you need voice experience. Forget "volunteering" for someone, since nobody is going to let you into their environment and tinker with their stuff and risk you breaking something (not to mention the security risk of having someone not on the payroll come in and work their network).

I heard that the economy is still at least five years from recovering, and IT is being hit the hardest. I suppose if one wanted to just learn voice better and better on his own in the meantime and just wait out that five years, that's an option (while working a non-voice job in the meantime). You might get lucky and actually get a voice job in the meantime, where an employer will hire you with zero voice experience (even with a VP), but don't wait by the phone for that call.

I feel bad for those who work their butts off getting a VP, then have no one offer them a single interview, much less a job offer. It's hard to believe, when you consider how VoIP is supposedly the wave of the future when it comes to phone service. It seems the only employable folks right now who aren't already working in voice are those with a CCIE in voice. That would be the third option for getting a voice job - just get a CCIE!

Comments

  • azaghulazaghul Posts: 569Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I can't agree more.

    [RANT MODE]

    I've barely got 2 years experience since my CCNA and have just "celebrated" my 1 year anniversary of being unemployed. Most of the jobs I've seen advertised in Australia want CCNP/CCVP levels of experience with 5+ years in the job, but want to pay pre-financial crisis CCNA rates, then want Citrix, VMware, Exchange and MCSE thrown in for good measure. Worst I've seen is a CCNP role for $70K, and a CCNA role for $35K. Just to compare, my last role was doing field desktop support & Win XP SOE design for $80K, and with no formal certification just tinkering with PCs since the Commodore VIC20 (yeah, I'm showing my age).:)

    They say that the financial crisis didn't hit Australia as hard, but not from where I'm sitting. People I've spoken to that were still employed have found it tough as well. Projects deferred, staff freezes, forced to take/clear vacation time (paid at least). But at least they had a job.

    Interviews have been few and far between. With all the people with "paper" certification, its hard to compete.

    When it comes down to it, it's an employers market. They can (and do) ask prospective applicants for the impossible, because they are in a position to do so. I've seen positions advertised for 2+ months because they are not willing to compromise on their requirements.

    [RANT OVER]

    On the plus side I do have 13+ years in traditional voice administering/solution designing/delivering (at it's height) a 20,000 end national network. Just trying to make the transition from TDM to VoIP, not always easy, but it is interesting and enjoyable.

    I've spent my years down-time getting my CCNA-V, and am now 80% through my CVOICE. Can't wait to get it over with, and then start something practical in CIPT1. Hopefully once I have both of those it might be easier to get a junior VoIP role. But without the experience in Cisco VoIP to back it up to get the job I wonder from time to time if the whole process is worth it. But if nothing else the study keeps me busy during the day. That and posting questions here. :D

    Hopefully things will pick up soon.
  • pitviperpitviper CCNP:Collaboration, CCNP:R&S, CCNA:S, CCNA:V, CCNA, CCENT Posts: 1,376Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    Dr_Atomic wrote: »

    I feel bad for those who work their butts off getting a VP, then have no one offer them a single interview, much less a job offer.

    I actually feel bad for those who AREN'T working their butts off. What better way to spend the "dark" period then to invest some time in yourself? There unfortunately are no (or very few) golden tickets these days. You do it because 1) you ENJOY it, 2) you ENJOY it, and 3) it can make you more marketable, >$$.

    I have a good friend who does the technical hiring for his firm and he has always said - I can teach someone technology all day long, but I can't teach someone to love the technology. That comes from what you wear on your sleeve to the interview regardless of resume badges.

    You also have to be realistic of expectations - A good CCVP with years of experience can make a TON of money, but that doesn't mean that all CCVPs can demand that sum.
    CCNP:Collaboration, CCNP:R&S, CCNA:S, CCNA:V, CCNA, CCENT
  • mikej412mikej412 Posts: 10,090Member
    Dr_Atomic wrote: »
    I've trolled the job boards for a while now (you know them - Dice, Monster, Yahoo, etc), and I've yet to see a single voice job (requiring something beyond a CCNA) which didn't require 5-10 years previous voice experience. Worse, they all - without exception - really wanted a CCIE in voice (as if they'd grudgingly suffer the ignominy of just a CCVP with 5 years experience in lieu of an IE).
    How many local Cisco Business Partners have you trolled?

    How many local VoIP solutions companies have you trolled? Have you looked at Asterisk and integrated it with your Cisco Voice Lab?

    If you walked into a local Cisco Business Partner to drop off your resume and someone asked you what kind contribution you'd be able to make if they offered you a job, what would you say? Could you install an 8 user UC520, PoE switch, and IP Phones at a local small law firm for them tomorrow? If they showed you the standard template they use for medium sized company Unified Communications servers, would you be able to discuss it with that company's CIO/CTO and Techie staff and verify that it meets their needs and requirements -- and tweak it to meet any of their objections/change requests?

    If you walked into a local VoIP solutions provider, would you be able to talk cheap VoIP Solutions for small and medium businesses? From your Cisco CCVP studies you should have an really good knowledge and understanding of enterprise IP Telephony -- would you be able to take that knowledge and apply it to the "cheap solutions" and give the small & medium companies the same voice capability of the MegaCorps of the world?

    Would you be able to walk into a Local Cisco Business Partner and explain why the "cheap solutions" aren't really a threat to Cisco's more expensive solutions over the long haul?
    pitviper wrote: »
    I actually feel bad for those who AREN'T working their butts off.
    Not me -- I feel bad for me that I'll never get back the time I spent sitting through interviews with people who dumped their CCNA/CCVP in 2-3 months and wouldn't even be qualified for rack 'n stack positions.

    The people who worked hard to EARN their CCVP should keep working just as hard to find that first Voice opportunity.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • mikej412mikej412 Posts: 10,090Member
    Here is another good old voice job thread: http://www.techexams.net/forums/ccvp/25407-minimum-required-voip-job.html

    Cucumber had some good points for the entry level jobs/skills (beyond just placing the phones on the desks) in that thread.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • pitviperpitviper CCNP:Collaboration, CCNP:R&S, CCNA:S, CCNA:V, CCNA, CCENT Posts: 1,376Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    mikej412 wrote: »
    Not me -- I feel bad for me that I'll never get back the time I spent sitting through interviews with people who dumped their CCNA/CCVP in 2-3 months and wouldn't even be qualified for rack 'n stack positions.

    The people who worked hard to EARN their CCVP should keep working just as hard to find that first Voice opportunity.

    I meant that as in not studying for certifications at all and complaining about it, not dumping (that doesn't count at all in my mind).

    I answered yes to all of the above points - Do I get a cookie? :)
    CCNP:Collaboration, CCNP:R&S, CCNA:S, CCNA:V, CCNA, CCENT
  • shodownshodown Posts: 2,271Member
    I don't know where you are, but I dont' have a CCVP. I only have a few exams done and I have had several job interviews about voice and just regular route/switch. A lot of it I'm starting to learn is about how you sale yourself and what type of person you are. At my most recent interview I was told that in every case they didn't hire the most technical person due to them not being well rounded in other areas. As long as they get a guy that is a well rounded person and smart. There technical skills can be fixed with training. Why I bring this up is due to the fact that in IT we have people who's soft skills are horrendous. Just read some of the post on this board and you can come to that conclusion.
    Currently Reading

    CUCM SRND 9x/10, UCCX SRND 10x, QOS SRND, SIP Trunking Guide, anything contact center related
  • FlyingputFlyingput Posts: 114Member
    OK. My turn to RANT.

    After I joined this current company to support their Cisco CUCM 4.x & several SRST, CUCME 7.x, Nortel PBX, Adomo VM, Octel VM... 1,500 IP phones & 1,500 TDM ports, I kept myself sitting down almost EVERY NIGHT to learn 1 fvcking hour in all related fields, making notes, practicing troubleshooting solutions on our production system (wink wink)....

    I got my CCVP and a call center certificate (Interaction VP). Our director sent an awesome congratulation group emails to a lot of people including out big boss VP. Yesterday I received my salary raise: $1,490. And they even asked me "Is that OK"? I said: "good".

    I will read all threads in Mike's post and polish my resume this weekend.
  • mikej412mikej412 Posts: 10,090Member
    Flyingput wrote: »
    Yesterday I received my salary raise: $1,490
    If you're already getting paid 6 figures, then I guess it's okay.....

    Was that per week or month or paycheck?
    Flyingput wrote: »
    polish my resume this weekend.
    or per year? icon_eek.gif
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • FlyingputFlyingput Posts: 114Member
    Come on. I am not a ***** or want to show off something. $1,490 raise is per YEAR. And my salary is far from 6-digit, zero bonus, nothing, nada.

    OK. After speaking it out, I feel a little better. Back to my CUCM/DSP study now. Have to wait till late June or early July to test water in the job market due to some family issues. Enjoy your weekend, folks!
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    Dr_Atomic wrote: »
    So, in this wretched economy of ours, what are the odds really of a person who gets a CCVP - but who has no paid, hands-on experience with voice - of getting a paid voice job?

    I've trolled the job boards for a while now (you know them - Dice, Monster, Yahoo, etc), and I've yet to see a single voice job (requiring something beyond a CCNA) which didn't require 5-10 years previous voice experience. Worse, they all - without exception - really wanted a CCIE in voice (as if they'd grudgingly suffer the ignominy of just a CCVP with 5 years experience in lieu of an IE).

    So - you need voice experience to get a voice job. But to get a voice job you need voice experience. Forget "volunteering" for someone, since nobody is going to let you into their environment and tinker with their stuff and risk you breaking something (not to mention the security risk of having someone not on the payroll come in and work their network).

    I heard that the economy is still at least five years from recovering, and IT is being hit the hardest. I suppose if one wanted to just learn voice better and better on his own in the meantime and just wait out that five years, that's an option (while working a non-voice job in the meantime). You might get lucky and actually get a voice job in the meantime, where an employer will hire you with zero voice experience (even with a VP), but don't wait by the phone for that call.

    I feel bad for those who work their butts off getting a VP, then have no one offer them a single interview, much less a job offer. It's hard to believe, when you consider how VoIP is supposedly the wave of the future when it comes to phone service. It seems the only employable folks right now who aren't already working in voice are those with a CCIE in voice. That would be the third option for getting a voice job - just get a CCIE!

    There is potentially *boatloads* of opportunity for anyone with voice knowledge let alone a little experience, but its latent opportunity at the moment for two reasons..

    1. Companies are greedy and asking the earth due to perception that there are a million experienced/qualified Voice people available for work.

    2. No budget for new projects or expensive new hires.

    Now some reality..

    1. Solid Voice pros are entrenched in decent gigs, not prepared to jump ship in this economy without serious incentives. Too big a risk and the incentives are not on offer.

    2. Many companies are committed to voice now, its what they offer to customers who pay the bills.

    Now even if money is *really* tight, Reality 1 + 2 should sink in sooner or later and if the hiring companies cant fess up the money for the *right* guy they should realise that they have to get at least *someone* in who has potential before they are snapped up by some other organisation and they default on their SLAs. That presents opportunities for the new people. So learn what you can!

    For the more proactive organisations, if they want SIP migration skills to come in they will either have to pay expensive contractors or offer realistic wages and expectations to people to intice them to leave what they have and take the risk of going perm with them.

    We will have to wait and see what happens but keep plugging away!

    Many companies dependent on Voice or with voice at the heart of what they sell to customers will sink over the next couple of years as C level executives constantly change and then cling to their jobs by cutting costs and not spending money on decent new hires and training. A dynamic market so opportunities will arise. Eventually somebody somewhere will want to stay in business for the long term and have the vision to either take a chance on some people or put up the money for the people they need.

    We will see a lot of jobs fold the next few years but hang on in there!
  • EzliteEzlite Posts: 27Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I have to marvel at recruiters at times ... "must have CCIE-Voice" ... umm ... reality check plz! ... there are ~1200 in the world. The chance that you are actually in competition with one when interviewing is very slim at best.

    Regarding employability in the current market, it’s VERY regional from what I see and hear from others in the field. East coast US (MD to NY) it’s actually decent and for those with a significant amount of meaningful experience its actually very good, although salaries are static.. Not up.. Not down.. Just holding their own.

    I live and stay in the Wash Metro aera for just this reason. Its not my favorite place to be but there always seems to be intersting work that pays well.

    Right now I am working on QoS/CoS core implementations across 80Gb links ... its crazy .. but fun.
    TB

    JNCIP-M: Late June 2010
  • drkatdrkat Posts: 703Banned
    You can start looking at your ISP's - a lot of ISP's are moving into the hosted PBX stuff. You may be able to land a job as a NOC Engineer working on their SIP stuff.

    That's where I am now; no CCVP yet however.
    Married to the game but she broke her vows. That's why my bars are full of broken bottles And my night stands are full of open bibles
  • pitviperpitviper CCNP:Collaboration, CCNP:R&S, CCNA:S, CCNA:V, CCNA, CCENT Posts: 1,376Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    necroposting.jpg

    :)

    I'm sure that Dr_Atomic has since moved on. Good advice for others though - I'm seeing a TON of ISP managed offerings around here.
    CCNP:Collaboration, CCNP:R&S, CCNA:S, CCNA:V, CCNA, CCENT
  • tokhsstokhss Posts: 473Member
    Well, the interesting thing here is .. things havent changed much.. I get about 3 offers daily with MUST have 3-8 yrs sometimes, 10 yrs of experience + CCCIE + perfect looking hair! i mean wtf.. thank god i have a engineering job but jeezzzuz the same positions a few months ago are still up there b/c of such strict hiring requirements.

    prog experience, linux experience, voice and video experience, MS AD experience.. all in one? lol anyhow.. I Told myself that as much as i love my industry and passion for voice, if **** hits the fan, im moving to Colombia and becoming a narco.
  • WestnorthWestnorth Posts: 1Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    I sympathize with the agony of job seekers. Practically one must cover the whole IT field to be qualified for these new requirements. And not just that, one must be proficient above average, not just knowledgeable. This, of course, is impossible; after all we're just humans.
  • dead_p00ldead_p00l Posts: 136Member
    Just my opinion here but the telecom industry (ie. telco's, Cable companies, MSO's) are actually doing pretty well overall in the current economy. Another driver is that all of these are trying to out do each other. Now you get all services under one roof and they're constantly trying to add more, whether it's video, voice, data, mobile backhaul, or whatever. The demand in this industry at least is for experienced engineers. Not saying that they're going to pay what you may be or think you're worth but for a lot of people it's a foot in the door doing what they love.
    This is our world now... the world of the electron and the switch, the
    beauty of the baud.
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