Entry Level Employment...how!!

kvermillion1kvermillion1 Member Posts: 24 ■□□□□□□□□□
So I graduated from UMD in December with a BS in IT. I quickly picked up the network+ and security+ certs. I am now in month 3 of the job search and my question is how the heck do I get an entry level job in a helpdesk or related position, when all of these "entry level" jobs want 2+ years experience, numerous certs, and experience/knowledge of SO many different technologies?

I understand the need for experienced individuals but even experienced IT people had to start somewhere I'm assuming. What am I missing here? Can anyone offer some advice on how to break into this field?
:study: Certified: CompTIA Network+, Security+
Up Next: CCNA, MCITP: SA(70-640,70-642,70-646)

Comments

  • ugarnerugarner Registered Users Posts: 9 ■□□□□□□□□□
    im in the EXACT same boat, minus a cert. i mean, i dont understand how you gain experience if no one is willing to give you some experience.
  • kvermillion1kvermillion1 Member Posts: 24 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I will tell you, ugarner, that there seems to be a little light at the end of the tunnel with gov't positions, where if you have a high GPA 3.5+ and are a recent graduate, you may be able to get it. I am awaiting a few responses for a few positions as we speak. BUT outside of the gov't positions, these private sector and smaller companies have some outrageous requirements for entry level, in my opinion.
    :study: Certified: CompTIA Network+, Security+
    Up Next: CCNA, MCITP: SA(70-640,70-642,70-646)
  • geek4godgeek4god Member Posts: 187
    I will tell you, ugarner, that there seems to be a little light at the end of the tunnel with gov't positions, where if you have a high GPA 3.5+ and are a recent graduate, you may be able to get it. I am awaiting a few responses for a few positions as we speak. BUT outside of the gov't positions, these private sector and smaller companies have some outrageous requirements for entry level, in my opinion.

    Don’t let the job requirements stop you from applying! Now, obviously if they list 10 years of X and you don’t even know what X is don’t waste your time, or theirs! However, if they give a laundry list of skills and you have several of them apply!

    Often a job description is a wish list of what they would like to have not necessarily what they will hire. Also they are frequently cut and paste jobs by head hunters and or HR people so they might not actually reflect the actual job. They key is the position, if you can sit in an interview and sell them on your ability to do the job then apply!
  • mikej412mikej412 Member Posts: 10,090
    I am now in month 3 of the job search?
    Describe your job search method. Where/how are you finding the jobs you're applying to? How many resumes are you getting out there every day?
    my question is how the heck do I get an entry level job in a helpdesk or related position, when all of these "entry level" jobs want 2+ years experience, numerous certs, and experience/knowledge of SO many different technologies?
    You apply for those jobs anyway and move on to the next job until someone calls you back.
    :mike: Cisco Certifications -- Collect the Entire Set!
  • kvermillion1kvermillion1 Member Posts: 24 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the advice guys. I actually decided today that I would just apply to many job even though I didn't think I was qualified.

    Im finding/applying for jobs through sites such as careerbuilder, monster, usajobs.gov, and also researching private companies and applying directly through their sites.

    Networking is ultimately where I'd like to be, but I notice alot of these jobs are looking for some knowledge in Microsoft, some form of SQL, and also networking. Would it be advantageous to pick up a simple SQL cert like Oracle 11g SQL Fundamentals 1 and Administration 1, just to show I have a basic understanding of SQL, and then proceed to more difficult Networking (CCNA) and MS certs?
    :study: Certified: CompTIA Network+, Security+
    Up Next: CCNA, MCITP: SA(70-640,70-642,70-646)
  • cleveohcleveoh Member Posts: 38 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Anybody in the Cleveland, Ohio area? Verizon had this opening listed a few weeks back:

    Entry Level Network Engineer Job in Twinsburg 44087, Ohio US
  • Danny boyDanny boy Member Posts: 41 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Well I graduated with a MA in a non-IT subject, worked for various finance and admin jobs for a few years which I disliked. Then got a job through an agency for a 1st tier helpdesk temp role as I had worked on an accounts payable helpdesk before - so had the customer service skills.

    The job was essentially only as a password ninja job but I have used it to leap frog to a proper IT job after just over a year working there - partly through luck but also through acquiring skills and qualifications to make myself more marketable. So I have gotten into IT in a roundabout way basically. So in the UK, at least, this route is possible. Good luck with your search.
  • HypntickHypntick Member Posts: 1,451 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Thanks for the advice guys. I actually decided today that I would just apply to many job even though I didn't think I was qualified.

    Im finding/applying for jobs through sites such as careerbuilder, monster, usajobs.gov, and also researching private companies and applying directly through their sites.

    Networking is ultimately where I'd like to be, but I notice alot of these jobs are looking for some knowledge in Microsoft, some form of SQL, and also networking. Would it be advantageous to pick up a simple SQL cert like Oracle 11g SQL Fundamentals 1 and Administration 1, just to show I have a basic understanding of SQL, and then proceed to more difficult Networking (CCNA) and MS certs?

    For an entry level type job you have what you need to do that job. Just apply for anything and everything you might even in some way shape or form be remotely qualified for. The worst that happens is you don't get a call back. Heck the job i'm at now I don't think i'm quite qualified for, however during the interview I wowed the guy a lot, what i'm lacking I can learn. I would also include dice.com as an option, lot of decent jobs on there.
    WGU BS:IT Completed June 30th 2012.
    WGU MS:ISA Completed October 30th 2013.
  • PristonPriston Member Posts: 999 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I think some of the helpdesk jobs want 1-2 years of customer service experience. Not necessarily IT experience.
    A.A.S. in Networking Technologies
    A+, Network+, CCNA
  • kvermillion1kvermillion1 Member Posts: 24 ■□□□□□□□□□
    luckily, I have tons of management, teaming, and customer service experience....so that will help hopefully......
    :study: Certified: CompTIA Network+, Security+
    Up Next: CCNA, MCITP: SA(70-640,70-642,70-646)
  • shodownshodown Member Posts: 2,271
    If you are Bmore you need to start looking south. Defense jobs are not as easy as they use to be, but they are still around for fresh college grads. Start looking in the DC area and Fort Meade. With Cybercom, 10th fleet and DISA all setting up shop there, I'm sure you can find something if you keep digging and getting in peoples face.
    Currently Reading

    CUCM SRND 9x/10, UCCX SRND 10x, QOS SRND, SIP Trunking Guide, anything contact center related
  • BokehBokeh Member Posts: 1,636 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Dont forget indeed.com, heck even CraigsList. Know several people who have gotten jobs at both.

    Drive around your neighborhood, find companies you think you might like to work for, and research them. Sometimes you will find openings posted on their sites that are not listed with the major employment sites. See if there is a networking group in your area you can join and learn about other businesses and perhaps rub shoulders with someone who might take a chance on a fresh grad.
  • kvermillion1kvermillion1 Member Posts: 24 ■□□□□□□□□□
    What does anyone think about getting an SQL certification like Oracle, to boast a little SQL knowledge which I currently do not have. It seems to pop up in quite a few job searches so far....
    :study: Certified: CompTIA Network+, Security+
    Up Next: CCNA, MCITP: SA(70-640,70-642,70-646)
  • shodownshodown Member Posts: 2,271
    work in the are you want to be in. Picking up certs that you have no interested in only waste your time and make them longer to get. It took me a year to get my CCNP due to me having no interest.
    Currently Reading

    CUCM SRND 9x/10, UCCX SRND 10x, QOS SRND, SIP Trunking Guide, anything contact center related
  • drew726drew726 Member Posts: 237
    I did volunteer work but other people do different things. Most important thing is what you do once you get into the interview room. I tried to be really honest and told them what I wasn't good at, but at the same time, sound as enthusiastic as possible about wanting to get better at what you're not good at and the job in general.
    Completed Courses:
    SSC1, SST1, AXV1, TTV1, ABV1, TNV1, AHV1, BAC1, BBC1, LAE1, LUT1, GAC1, IWC1, INC1, HHT1, LAT1, QLT1, CLC1, IWT1 TPV1, INT1, TSV1, LET1, BOV1, AJV1, ORC1, MGC1, BRV1, AIV1, WFV1, TWA1, CPW2
    Incompleted Courses:
    nothing :)
  • JpgonzalJpgonzal Member Posts: 32 ■■□□□□□□□□
    When I graduated from college, a lot of people gave me similar advice. Building a decent resume, interview strategies, etc. Here are a few tips that seemed to be the deciding factor for a few friends.

    Pick up the local paper and look at job fairs. Large cities might have an advantage (I'm from Houston) but anything should help. While you might have to muscle your way past the teenagers and other job seekers, this gives you a chance to put a face to your resume and a little exposure. At worst your out gas money and a couple of hours. The latest one had a mailing list so if you couldn't go, you at least get an email from what companies were there.

    Make the most of when you meet people (like at the fair). The recruiter may be looking for some other position, but if a help desk position opens up and he at least has your email, it may be the difference between getting a chance and none at all.

    Good luck to ya
  • BacsiloveBacsilove Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Make sure you apply for the job. The worst they can do is say no. I've found out from experience that although most employers list ridiculous job requirements for entry level job, they'll call you in for an interview if they see cert. and degree on your resume.

    Also, try to call staffing companies around where you live. Don't just pick any random one, go for the ones that usually have help desk or IT openings. The most important part is to call them on a daily basis. This shows them that you're serious about looking for a job.
  • RycoRyco Member Posts: 5 ■□□□□□□□□□
    kvermillion1, got an email address? My company is hiring for entry level helpdesk positions (with emphasis on system administration). They tend to hire new graduates and aren't so much concerned with current experience more so than the ability to learn (at a fairly quick pace). Would rather give details in an email
  • Pratt2Pratt2 Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
    For me the key seemed to be to keep doing stuff I could put on my resume even though I didn't have a job. Certs, volunteering, Prof association memberships, etc.
  • shecoolshecool Member Posts: 33 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Like most people said, highlight what you have. When I applied for my first IT position, I highlighted my past high school job (non-IT related). You know, the communication, attention to detail, etc. You also have the advantage of having some certs vs. new grads who have no experience or certs. In addition, like most people said, apply! Apply! Apply! And also include any relevant volunteer experience.

    My old co-op advisor used to call the job requirements a "Dream list". So, don't let it discourage you. :). Also! If anything... Get a good person to take a look at your resume (e.g. Carrer advisors at the school, friends in IT, or HR). In the mean time, I'd say use your additional time to get some more certs. May as well enhance your IT skills in one way, right? :)
    Up Next: CCDA, CCDP
  • wootwoot Member Posts: 13 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I had no IT background, but manage to get an analyst position base on hobby alone. I think sometimes you just need someone to give you an opportunity to demonstrate your ability more than just certificates and resume. Throw your application out there and work on marketing yourself base on your personal knowledge, hobbies, volunteer, etc
  • JapFreak786JapFreak786 Member Posts: 27 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Was in a similar boat with MCP but no IT experience,though years of customer experience etc etc
    Just kept applying for jobs,and landed myself a Service Desk Analyst role for a very large outsourcing firm in the UK,it's 110mile's a day,but you can't beat the experience of working on a multi client desk covering all aspects of service desk,and some 1st line support :D

    Just keep applying,even if you think you can't get the job,that's what I did,no harm in applying for alot of jobs,worst case scenerio is that it takes up some of your time,though you can end up with a job so it makes it worthwhile then!
  • nimrod.sixty9nimrod.sixty9 Banned Posts: 125 ■□□□□□□□□□
    So I graduated from UMD in December with a BS in IT. I quickly picked up the network+ and security+ certs. I am now in month 3 of the job search and my question is how the heck do I get an entry level job in a helpdesk or related position, when all of these "entry level" jobs want 2+ years experience, numerous certs, and experience/knowledge of SO many different technologies?

    I understand the need for experienced individuals but even experienced IT people had to start somewhere I'm assuming. What am I missing here? Can anyone offer some advice on how to break into this field?

    So you have a BS and two certs and cant get an 'entry level' position!? I really hope its because your just not applying to these said postings. If your not, I need to choose another career path because I wont stand a f'n chance...
  • techlady007techlady007 Member Posts: 24 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I've gained my entry level IT experience through networking at the previous school I attended for my associates. I didn't think I would of been able to gain experience early on myself; however, my instructor recommended me because of my work ethic in class. Even though the job turned out to be pretty basic, but experience is experience at the end of the day. Just keep hope and someone will notice your hard work & give you a shot. :)
  • Repo ManRepo Man Member Posts: 300
    What does anyone think about getting an SQL certification like Oracle, to boast a little SQL knowledge which I currently do not have. It seems to pop up in quite a few job searches so far....

    After being around 4 help desk/desktop jobs you have no need to know any SQL. The average person on a help desk has very poor knowledge in IT related things IMO (this is no insult as I'm still working in one...just being honest)

    Get a few buzzwords in your resume, a related certification or two and be a good interviewer. You'll get a job soon enough.
  • HeeroHeero Member Posts: 486
    Repo Man wrote: »
    Get a few buzzwords in your resume, a related certification or two and be a good interviewer. You'll get a job soon enough.
    Just something I thought I would throw in regarding the "good interviewer" part. I used to be terrible at interviews. Here is what you do. PREPARE for the interview. Write out your answers to common questions, think out what you want to say. Write down some questions you want answered in the interview. It will help immensely.

    If you want a list of common interview questions, you could start here:

    Interview Questions: Job Interview Questions and Answers
  • baseball1988baseball1988 Member Posts: 119
    Getting the first job out of school is always difficult. Many employers expect graduates to accumulate 1-2 years of work experience while in school. Keep sending out your resume and make sure you tailor your resume to the job posting. Ask your classmates and see if they could help you out.
  • DragonrangerDragonranger Member Posts: 101
    Least you got a B.S. and certs man. Im still working my way to an A.S and an A+ while trying to find a job even remotely related to IT. The only thing i have on my resume thats even remotely helpful is 2 proficiency certificates from my Community college and 3 years of working in a LAN center but that experience is now 5 years past! icon_sad.gif
    Anyway, you keep your head up man eventually that Degree and those certs will open a door.
  • kvermillion1kvermillion1 Member Posts: 24 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Nimrod, this is correct. I actually have 2 BS degrees and the 2 certs. Most companies weigh heavily on the job experience WAY moreso than education. As is the case of my first interview yesterday, he loved my education and mentioned it a few times, but really disliked the fact that I had no experience. If you can do it, get your experience now, interns, coops, whatever you can do. It will pay off 10x better than just having a degree with 0 experience.
    :study: Certified: CompTIA Network+, Security+
    Up Next: CCNA, MCITP: SA(70-640,70-642,70-646)
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