HELP - I feel like my CIS/MIS degree is worthless

slangtangslangtang Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello,
A little background, I need help deciding on what to do or how to go about doing it. last summer i graduated with a bachelor's degree with a BBA in MIS (BIg name University in Texas) . I got into this program becuse i am interested in technology,comps and since the degree is from their business school i felt that the exposure to business classes would be a great help. Unfortunately for me the kind of "TECH jobs" i have ever had was being a TECH support (Phone support call center type) for a large TELCO company, which i was laid off a couple months ago due to "restructuring of departments".
So here is my dilema and also where i seem to be struggling a lot. The jobs i feel i would be qualified for or would excel in would be maybe support like a system admin or the like. Unfortunately for the few interviews i have been able to go they all say, you are "too green" in IT or you need more experience so am like WTF how am i supposed to gain experience, if i do not gain the exposure. I thought with my education i could atleast get my foot through the door and then learn as i go (Fast learner). This is becoming frustrating and if i apply for the other helpdesk type of jobs they are coming back as
1. Pay is too low ( have to pay student loans)
2. i do not really want to be in phone support
3. You are not qualified because you have no experience in a Corporate IT type enviroment, since my background is callcenter.

and even if i apply for desktop support type jobs i am not getting any responses or if i do the responses are like above.... Also whats the deal with recruiters WOW..

So fellow Board members what am i doing wrong?
how do i leverage my degree to get a job?
what other areas can i explore in order to be more marketable?
how would my IT CIS degree get me in other positions since all require some kind of experience?

Thanks for reading my post and any other advice,heads up, questions are welcome..
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Comments

  • Alif_Sadida_EkinAlif_Sadida_Ekin Posts: 341Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    slangtang wrote: »
    This is becoming frustrating and if i apply for the other helpdesk type of jobs they are coming back as
    1. Pay is too low ( have to pay student loans)
    2. i do not really want to be in phone support
    3. You are not qualified because you have no experience in a Corporate IT type enviroment, since my background is callcenter.


    Are you currently working? If not, too little pay is better than no pay.

    You're going to have to suck it up. If you look over the boards, it's been said over and over. You have to start somewhere. We've all done the crap IT jobs to gain experience. It sounds like you've had a couple opportunities but didn't take them.
    MCSA, MCTS, CIW Professional, A+, Network+, Security+, Project+

    BS, Information Technology
  • SlowhandSlowhand Questionably Benevolent Bay Area, CaliforniaPosts: 5,163Mod Mod
    The unfortunate part of your dilemma is that you are, in fact, 'green'. Even with a degree, you still need some experience and/or certs to help you get your foot in the door. The second issue you're probably facing is that your area doesn't seem to have a whole lot of opportunities. If possible, go where the work is. In my area, (the San Francisco Bay Area,) for example, you'd have plenty of opportunities to get your foot in the door and find something suitable. You'd still have to start at the bottom, we all do, but you'd move up quickly with a Bachelor's degree and some experience under your belt.

    So, the gist of my advice: keep searching for places to hire you so you can get experience, start working on certs, and go where the work is.

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  • VAHokie56VAHokie56 Posts: 783Member
    Most people starting out have to take a support position, yes the pay is not always great but use the experience as a spring board into a better one and soak up all you can. I don't know what certs you have but I don't see any listed if I was you I would start with A+ and then decide what professional path you want to take in IT wither it be server,networking and so on and gain that cert. We all (or at least most) had to bite the bullet for a year or so in support position , its just the way it works bro. Good luck
    .ιlι..ιlι.
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  • kriscamaro68kriscamaro68 Senior Member Posts: 1,185Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    It seems like you are under the impression that the degree will land that sweet job. This, for the most part is not how the i.t. world works. I would recommend a few things. First look at certs that are in line with what you want to do. (i.e os exams 70-680, 70-686) Maybe having both a degree and certs will put you a step above some others that are applying for those jobs.

    Second, your going to have to suck it up and take a crap job first and get experience. Coming right out of college doesn't mean you know how to manage a infrastructure, servers, networks and the like. I sure wouldn't let a fresh grad manage my servers.

    Now if your not getting the great paying jobs then you may have to volunteer first to get some initial experience. Also check with your local Bestbuy stores for geek squad jobs. That will atleast give you experience with desktop troubleshooting if you land one of those.

    Good luck with you search.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,597Mod Mod
    First of all welcome to the forum.

    The guys said it. In IT experience is king. There's a very slim chance you can land the job you are looking for right now based solely on your degree. I agree that you will need to start at Help Desk. Instead of a call center type of job you may want to look into a desktop gig or something more hands on.

    Also, don't forget that the market is just picking up and there's still a lot of qualified talent (with education and experience) out there without a job.
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas Posts: 5,727Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    cyberguypr wrote: »
    First of all welcome to the forum.

    The guys said it. In IT experience is king. There's a very slim chance you can land the job you are looking for right now based solely on your degree. I agree that you will need to start at Help Desk. Instead of a call center type of job you may want to look into a desktop gig or something more hands on.

    Also, don't forget that the market is just picking up and there's still a lot of qualified talent (with education and experience) out there without a job.

    /\
    ::
    All this is very true::::

    In addition to what has been said, a degree is never a waste! Long term they will only help you. Who knows, maybe in ten years you might find yourself managing one of us... icon_lol.gif

    IT is a strange animal and it infuriates me that Professors/Instructors tell their students that an IT degree equals an instant well paying job. That is simply a lie, and it's not unusual for an IT graduate fresh out of college to make ten or fifteen dollars an hour starting out.

    Well I'm on this rant, does anyone think the numerous different flavors of IT degrees confuses employers?

    *CIS (Computer Information Systems)
    *MIS (Management Information Systems)
    *IT (Information Technology)
    *CS (Computer Science)
    *Informatics
    *BS wi/emphasis in IT
    *AAS degrees with numerous different names.
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • rsuttonrsutton Posts: 1,029Member
    slangtang wrote: »
    The jobs i feel i would be qualified for or would excel in would be maybe support like a system admin or the like.

    There are not many companies that will trust their servers in to the hands of someone who has no real world experience doing so. You get experience by spending a few years in the help desk and hopefully getting some projects where you get some server side experience. You then might be able to land a junior admin position.
    This is becoming frustrating and if i apply for the other helpdesk type of jobs they are coming back as
    1. Pay is too low ( have to pay student loans)

    You can't expect to make lots of money without having the experience to back it up. A college degree will make you shine verses the many candidates who do not have one, but it does not mean you will instantly start making lots of money.
    2. i do not really want to be in phone support

    When you do not have experience, you do not have much to bargain with. Take what you can get and learn everything you can. Before I became a Systems Admin I spent a few years on the phone doing tech support for a large ISP, that was some of the best experience I ever gained.
  • DragonrangerDragonranger Posts: 101Member

    Well I'm on this rant, does anyone think the numerous different flavors of IT degrees confuses employers?

    *CIS (Computer Information Systems)
    *MIS (Management Information Systems)
    *IT (Information Technology)
    *CS (Computer Science)
    *Informatics
    *BS wi/emphasis in IT
    *AAS degrees with numerous different names.

    I agree with the numerous IT degree confusion. Example - My community college offers an A.S in CIS with an emphasis as PC Support Specialist and another in Electronics with an emphasis as a Computer technician. I recently switched from CIS to Electronics.
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    slangtang wrote: »
    Hello,
    A little background, I need help deciding on what to do or how to go about doing it. last summer i graduated with a bachelor's degree with a BBA in MIS (BIg name University in Texas) . I got into this program becuse i am interested in technology,comps and since the degree is from their business school i felt that the exposure to business classes would be a great help. Unfortunately for me the kind of "TECH jobs" i have ever had was being a TECH support (Phone support call center type) for a large TELCO company, which i was laid off a couple months ago due to "restructuring of departments".
    So here is my dilema and also where i seem to be struggling a lot. The jobs i feel i would be qualified for or would excel in would be maybe support like a system admin or the like. Unfortunately for the few interviews i have been able to go they all say, you are "too green" in IT or you need more experience so am like WTF how am i supposed to gain experience, if i do not gain the exposure. I thought with my education i could atleast get my foot through the door and then learn as i go (Fast learner). This is becoming frustrating and if i apply for the other helpdesk type of jobs they are coming back as
    1. Pay is too low ( have to pay student loans)
    2. i do not really want to be in phone support
    3. You are not qualified because you have no experience in a Corporate IT type enviroment, since my background is callcenter.

    and even if i apply for desktop support type jobs i am not getting any responses or if i do the responses are like above.... Also whats the deal with recruiters WOW..

    So fellow Board members what am i doing wrong?
    how do i leverage my degree to get a job?
    what other areas can i explore in order to be more marketable?
    how would my IT CIS degree get me in other positions since all require some kind of experience?

    Thanks for reading my post and any other advice,heads up, questions are welcome..

    Your degree is far from worthless. That is something you will come to appreciate later on in life when you realise that education is much more than simply turning up at school to obtain a bit of paper to tick an HR box. You were 'educated', and that is something that will help you once you have some 'experience'.

    The problem you have is legion for graduates in your position. You have failed to be picked up by a big company that cherry picks the best graduates and puts them in a fast track graduate program. Those people don't do help desk. They get exposure to projects and senior management very soon, they shadow experienced people and work as a lieutenant on important infrastructure refresh projects and before long they are tossed projects they will lead themselves.

    So your only option is to be one of the great unwashed (I was that soldier) and take a grunt job in IT and work your way up. You will find plenty of advice and support here as TE is a predomantly bluecollar forum.
  • 2E1512E151 Posts: 81Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    This is one of the reasons why a lot of IT students enrolled in 4 year schools end up putting their degrees on the back burner in favor of full time jobs that provide experience.

    When it comes to breaking into the IT experience is king. Your degree will be very valuable down the road once you've established yourself in the IT community, but until then you’re going to have to face the fact that you might have work some low paying grunt work. Even realizing you have student loans, like one poster mentioned, some pay is better than no pay. You may have to defer those loans a couple of months.

    Don’t despair though. You might be initially working a call center with guys with no degree and a handful of Comptia certs, but coupled with hard, diligent work, your degree will help elevate you past your peers when higher positions open.
  • it_consultantit_consultant Posts: 1,903Member
    Think of it this way: freshly minted MD's still aren't allowed to actually practice medicine until they go through more intensive on-the-job training. You are in that position. You have a degree which is going to be useless until you start hitting higher level management jobs. There is a big misconception in our world that degrees mean high paying jobs right out of the gate. No way, they help you down the line make the big bucks.
  • themagiconethemagicone Posts: 674Member
    I'm coming to the same thing you are - starting at the bottom. I worked in field engineering work, I fixed a lot of things and was damn good at it. I was making over $60k/year, then I hurt my back. Now I'm trying to get a desk job in IT and I'm looking at going back to $10-15/hour. It sucks, but not much you can do about it unless you know someone really high up there that will bring you in.
    Courses Completed at WGU: JIT2, LYT2, TFT2, SJT2, BFC2, TGT2, FXT2
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  • myedjo24myedjo24 Posts: 92Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    If you have a clean background, the best place to apply would be for a government contractor company. There are plent in Texas and they are always hiring. Apply to the top ten of these companies: Top 100 US Federal Contractors - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    and then do some research of who they subcontract with and apply to those companies. Another thing would go ahead and apply for some GS positions within the government.
  • brad-brad- Posts: 1,218Member
    Just FYI a degree just means you have a degree, as far as an IT manager type is concerned. You dont gain much transferrable knowledge from a degree program to a system admin - if any at all. I got my degree, and it was all programming and database.

    This is where colleges are missing it big time IMHO. Even in this day and age, they arent doing enough to train sys admins...if anything at all. The main focus is on programming and databases - and the rest of your time is spent with all the non-IT track classes. So, when you graduate, you dont have a base in cisco or server 2k3/2k8. There's so much out there they dont teach you about - in college its all theory BS. When you get out there and start working with group policies, AD, backup/recovery, virtualization, etc...thats where you learn your job.

    Unfortunately, this is where you have to accept that you either have to have a friend to get hired on somewhere, or you start doing certs for the jobskills you want to have...and they're not cheap. Cheaper compared to your college, but still a time and money hog.
  • slangtangslangtang Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    This is very good advice, all the feedback is appreciated. I never did the A+ certification because i thought, hey i have a degree that should have more weight than an a A+ cert boy was i wrong in one of my interviews they were more concerned about the A+ than the degree. I am thinking of taking these "grunt jobs" and then move on up. Also i have been meaning to study and get acquinted with the certs being offered, i was wondering what would be the best route/cert to begin with?
  • jtoastjtoast Posts: 226Member
    /\
    ::
    Well I'm on this rant, does anyone think the numerous different flavors of IT degrees confuses employers?

    I just turned my BS:IT transcripts in to my HR department a few days ago. I checked today and it shows my degree as MIS.

    I called our support line and spoke with an HR rep who said "Oh, all IT degrees are the same. We just randomly pick one when we put it in the system." I was actually so shocked at that answer I said "umm...ok" and hung up. I'm still debating on whether or not its a battle worth fighting.
  • HypntickHypntick Posts: 1,451Member
    slangtang wrote: »
    This is very good advice, all the feedback is appreciated. I never did the A+ certification because i thought, hey i have a degree that should have more weight than an a A+ cert boy was i wrong in one of my interviews they were more concerned about the A+ than the degree. I am thinking of taking these "grunt jobs" and then move on up. Also i have been meaning to study and get acquinted with the certs being offered, i was wondering what would be the best route/cert to begin with?

    Depends on what you want to go into. Chances are you will start out on the help desk or desk-side support in some fashion. If that is the case A+ and Network+ will put you into a pretty good spot to be picked up for that type of job. Now I did see you mention that you wanted to do server type work, after your initial certs you can branch into the MS side of things.

    Also after you've done your couple of years on a desk, look to try and move up into a role that'll expose you to more things. If that isn't available at the present company start to look elsewhere. A lot of folks on here have touted the much desired "small shop" as a means of getting exposure to a ton of information very quickly. I'm headed into this role myself after spending 3 years doing network help desk so it is possible to get there.

    You just have to apply yourself and always try and grow more. I've seen folks who have spent 10+ years on help desk because that was as far as they were prepared to take it. Nothing wrong with that, just not my particular cup of tea and it doesn't sound to be yours either. Once you're in that initial role you can always come back here for advice or support, great community with a ton of folks at all ranges of their career.
    WGU BS:IT Completed June 30th 2012.
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  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas Posts: 5,727Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    jtoast wrote: »
    I just turned my BS:IT transcripts in to my HR department a few days ago. I checked today and it shows my degree as MIS.

    I called our support line and spoke with an HR rep who said "Oh, all IT degrees are the same. We just randomly pick one when we put it in the system." I was actually so shocked at that answer I said "umm...ok" and hung up. I'm still debating on whether or not its a battle worth fighting.

    Priceless. I guess that depends on which would be more respected icon_rolleyes.gif
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • shecklersheckler Posts: 201Member
    I can't even find any help desk/support job listings that don't require years of experience and experience using Server 2k8. I'll still apply anyway, but finding that first real job is proving pretty damn hard. Might be a good idea to move to a bigger city.

  • brad-brad- Posts: 1,218Member
    slangtang wrote: »
    I am thinking of taking these "grunt jobs" and then move on up. Also i have been meaning to study and get acquinted with the certs being offered, i was wondering what would be the best route/cert to begin with?
    The first big decision you have to make is Networking(cisco) or Server admin(MS).

    Once you pick one of those, you'll have a better understanding of what to do. In either case, unless a job specifically wants you to have it, IMHO the comptia certs arent worth the time and effort. If you pick networking - start with CCENT/ICND1. If you pick Server admin, go with the Server 2k8 AD/GPMC material. If you specifically go after a helpdesk spot, look into the Windows 7 exam(s).

    I'll probably get some heat here for steering you away from A+/N+, but I dont see the ROI anymore. A+ will cost you $340 just for the 2 tests - not including books, and expire in the same timeframe.

    Be prepared to lab something up, so you wont just be studying a book, you should plan to do what you study. Try the MS virtual HD's:
    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/bb738372

    If you do cisco, spend a few hundred dollars on some gear to work with.

    Good luck.
  • 2E1512E151 Posts: 81Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    jtoast wrote: »
    "Oh, all IT degrees are the same. We just randomly pick one when we put it in the system.

    My company is the same and for the most part I think all the contracting companies in my office have a similar attitude. My company just considers it another hash mark to check off in a folder; they're much more concerned about certifications and DOD 8570 compliance.
  • edzyedzy Posts: 54Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Dude..i would KILL to be in your shoes right now.
  • HeeroHeero Posts: 486Member
    I always felt that I needed to do something to differentiate myself from others in my major. I ended up getting my CCNA and CCNP while doing my Telecomunications Management degree at school. Turned out really well for me, and I know that in the long run I will come to realize the true benifit of spending 3.5 years on this degree.
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    All I can say is experience is king. Everything else falls way below, and I mean way below.

    Do your best to gain experience.

    Your degree is not wasted it is far superior to any certification. (In my opinion)

    Unless you have a close personal familiy member or friend who you can leverage to get you in the door, you are going to have to put your time in just like most of us.
  • jhatto1jhatto1 Posts: 6Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    myedjo24 wrote: »
    If you have a clean background, the best place to apply would be for a government contractor company. There are plent in Texas and they are always hiring. Apply to the top ten of these companies: Top 100 US Federal Contractors - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    and then do some research of who they subcontract with and apply to those companies. Another thing would go ahead and apply for some GS positions within the government.


    This is a good start. I was in the same position you're in about a year ago and this is what I did, and I got very lucky. Look for positions where you think they might be trying to 'groom' someone. If you're ok with that and can find it, you're set.
  • it_consultantit_consultant Posts: 1,903Member
    There is a bit of reality that I think people face when they graduate college. No matter what degree you get, you will still start out at the bottom. That doesn't make the degree useless per se, because its going to be nice when you are in my position and aren't facing the task of picking up school again when you are 27.

    Straight talk is necessary on these forums. Certifications are a fact of life in IT, A+ or Microsoft desktop certs, it almost doesn't matter, are a must to get entry level jobs. You have to do at least one of them. Microsoft or Cisco, in this world you have to do both. There are very few Cisco only jobs out there and Microsoft admins that aren't able to TEACH CCNA networking are practically useless. Unless you have a degree in straight computer science from a brick and mortar school, you won't be hired on out of college as a programmer.

    This is a great field to work in with really good earning potential. It is rapidly getting very white collar with a lot of emphasis on project management, customer service, and technical skills all wrapped up in one person. There are very few fields that you can get that level of responsibility and pay without a bachelor's degree or in some cases a master's degree. Don't get discouraged because its hard to find a job right now, its hard for everyone.
  • slangtangslangtang Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you guys for your feedback am taking it all in...really positive !!!
  • pinkydapimppinkydapimp Posts: 732Member
    brad- wrote: »
    Just FYI a degree just means you have a degree, as far as an IT manager type is concerned. You dont gain much transferrable knowledge from a degree program to a system admin - if any at all. I got my degree, and it was all programming and database.

    This is where colleges are missing it big time IMHO. Even in this day and age, they arent doing enough to train sys admins...if anything at all. The main focus is on programming and databases - and the rest of your time is spent with all the non-IT track classes. So, when you graduate, you dont have a base in cisco or server 2k3/2k8. There's so much out there they dont teach you about - in college its all theory BS. When you get out there and start working with group policies, AD, backup/recovery, virtualization, etc...thats where you learn your job.

    Unfortunately, this is where you have to accept that you either have to have a friend to get hired on somewhere, or you start doing certs for the jobskills you want to have...and they're not cheap. Cheaper compared to your college, but still a time and money hog.

    I think it depends on the degree and the program. My computer science program was alot of programming. However, the process of programming teachers you logic which is a huge help in IT. I see so many people in IT that are book smart, but have difficulty troubleshooting issues they have had no prior exposure to. A good computer science program should teach that. In addition, in my program at least, we learned about all facets of computers. All they way down to assembly language. I know while in the program i had no interest in programming as a career. However, at least in my experience, the program was beneficial to my overall computer knowledge. However, the program itself will not give you experience. I also had toe foresight to get IT experience while in school so that when i graduated i wouldn't just have a degree.

    To the OP, Your degree will help you. Trust me its not a waste. But as many others have said, in IT, you will need to get your foot in the door. Even if its a low paying job, sometimes you have to do that to get to where you want to go.

    Good luck!
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    N2IT wrote: »
    All I can say is experience is king. Everything else falls way below, and I mean way below.

    Do your best to gain experience.

    Your degree is not wasted it is far superior to any certification. (In my opinion)

    Unless you have a close personal familiy member or friend who you can leverage to get you in the door, you are going to have to put your time in just like most of us.

    It really depends on what you are measuring. A mission critical service provider will take a timeserved CCIE in operations with no degree to be technical lead over a degreed
    CCNA or even CCNP In some situations there does come a point when classical education is less important that practical and technical qualifications and proven ability.

    Generally though we do see degrees being a requirement for entry level and higher roles in the larger companies.
  • afcyungafcyung Posts: 212Member
    A degree shows that you have the ability to complete a long term goal. Something a lot of people aren't capable of doing. A+ is an absolute breeze to get and if you have a degree then getting A+ shouldn't take you more then a month to get. Also as long as 8570 is around A+ is going to be a valuable cert to contractors who are tasked to fill the Enterprise Service Desks for the DOD. If you get your A+ you should have no problem starting at a helpdesk for the DOD. Also check out USAJOBS.gov.
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