I'd take any IT-related job. What is my best bet?

NumberRehabNumberRehab Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi everyone!icon_cheers.gif I'm so glad to have found this site!

I'm a newbie to I.T. and have fallen in love with many different aspects of this field, but it is all quite overwhelming. I'm taking it all one step at a time--so here is my "dilemma"...

Education
I am 9 credit hours away from having a B.S. in Mathematics (Pure). In fact, all of my math coursework is completed, I just have some non-math upper-division electives to finish. I regret it because the only opportunities where I live for this degree are H.S. Math Teacher. There do not seem to be many tech jobs here in Memphis, and the ones I've come across all require a degree and years of experience which I do not have.

Experience
I have no IT experience. In college I held the typical "girl" type jobs (I'm female) of working in a clothing store or at a makeup counter. The closest I came to anything tech related was when I worked PRN for a small non-profit. The Executive Director would send me to training sessions for a software they use and I would train her on how to use the software (as well as using it myself). I was also responsible for calling tech support or using the manual to resolve any issues with the software. However, a majority of the work I did there was administrative. I've been troubleshooting for friends and family for a while now, but I want something more.

I am ready to work now, and it has been hard enough to trying to find ANY job, so a tech-related job seems so out of reach. I've considered GeekSquad, but would like to have a few other options. I'm working on obtaining A+ Certification now.

Questions
1. Aside from Geek Squad, where else should I be looking? I don't think I'm searching in the right areas. It seems like some people dread call-center or help desk type jobs but I would welcome that with open arms, low pay and all! It is more challenging than folding t-shirts and picking out lipstick shades.

2. In the meantime, would it be beneficial to get my foot in the door of companies that have a sizable I.T. department just working anywhere? For example, taking a job as a package handler for FedEx or working at FedEx Office, etc... over somewhere that pays more but could not possibly lead to a tech position?

3. Would a Math degree with certs be enough to start somewhere or would I need to consider a second bachelor's in I.T. or graduate school to get my foot in the door?

I apologize for the long first post but my mind has been racing with questions all day! Thanks in advance!

Comments

  • Asif DaslAsif Dasl Member Posts: 2,116 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I don't know where you can focus your job hunt. But after the A+ I would go with Cisco CCENT - i'm sure you would find IP subnetting a cinch with your math background. Maybe Cisco could be your niche, if you don't like it then you could go with the Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Support Technician exams (70-680 & 70-685) but a GeekSquad type job would probably where you'll start off with. Good Luck with the job hunt!
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Member Posts: 1,407 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Hi everyone!icon_cheers.gif I'm so glad to have found this site!

    I'm a newbie to I.T. and have fallen in love with many different aspects of this field, but it is all quite overwhelming. I'm taking it all one step at a time--so here is my "dilemma"...

    Education
    I am 9 credit hours away from having a B.S. in Mathematics (Pure). In fact, all of my math coursework is completed, I just have some non-math upper-division electives to finish. I regret it because the only opportunities where I live for this degree are H.S. Math Teacher. There do not seem to be many tech jobs here in Memphis, and the ones I've come across all require a degree and years of experience which I do not have.

    Experience
    I have no IT experience. In college I held the typical "girl" type jobs (I'm female) of working in a clothing store or at a makeup counter. The closest I came to anything tech related was when I worked PRN for a small non-profit. The Executive Director would send me to training sessions for a software they use and I would train her on how to use the software (as well as using it myself). I was also responsible for calling tech support or using the manual to resolve any issues with the software. However, a majority of the work I did there was administrative. I've been troubleshooting for friends and family for a while now, but I want something more.

    I am ready to work now, and it has been hard enough to trying to find ANY job, so a tech-related job seems so out of reach. I've considered GeekSquad, but would like to have a few other options. I'm working on obtaining A+ Certification now.

    Questions
    1. Aside from Geek Squad, where else should I be looking? I don't think I'm searching in the right areas. It seems like some people dread call-center or help desk type jobs but I would welcome that with open arms, low pay and all! It is more challenging than folding t-shirts and picking out lipstick shades.

    2. In the meantime, would it be beneficial to get my foot in the door of companies that have a sizable I.T. department just working anywhere? For example, taking a job as a package handler for FedEx or working at FedEx Office, etc... over somewhere that pays more but could not possibly lead to a tech position?

    3. Would a Math degree with certs be enough to start somewhere or would I need to consider a second bachelor's in I.T. or graduate school to get my foot in the door?

    I apologize for the long first post but my mind has been racing with questions all day! Thanks in advance!

    • Here’s what I would do if I were you…
    • Get help from your school to develop a 100% error free resume and cover letter.
    • Also, apply for jobs that your school has on their job board. These jobs boards are tailored to students and graduates from a specific school, which means a smaller job pool.
    • Look at staples they have a position called easy tech, which is similar to geek squad.
    • Volunteer using your computer skills while looking for work. Check out volunteer match
    • Go to Job Search | one search. all jobs. Indeed.com
    • Type these words in for a job search… a
    • help desk
    • IT support
    • And PC support
    • Post your resume on Monster, career builder, and Dice.
    • Make a linked in page, if you haven’t already done so..

    • On craigs list look under jobs and check under these sections…
    • System network
    • And Technical Support.
    • Apply for IT jobs that require a 2 year degree and above.
    • Contact Teksystems and Robert Half…Sometimes these temp agencies have jobs that are short projects, and they’re often not posted on the web.
    • Above all else network, network, network. You are finishing up your degree try to add any of your classmates or teachers that you know fairly well to your linked in. Also, maybe you could talk to the head of IT at your school and ask them if they know of any opportunities.
    • Be professional in everything you say and do.
    Good Luck.. I hope this helps
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • EveryoneEveryone Member Posts: 1,661
    #1, aside from there, look on the usual job boards... Monster, CareerBuilder, Dice... Indeed is great for searching them too, and Glassdoor is a good tool. You should be able to find some entry level IT jobs in your area there. Opportunities will open up more if you're willing to relocate.

    #2. NO! Don't settle for a non-IT job at any company if IT is what you really want to do.

    #3. Your Math degree is fine, don't put yourself into debt going after an IT related degree, leverage the degree you already have.
  • crrussell3crrussell3 Member Posts: 561
    As others have already stated, getting your feet wet is the best thing you can do. Whether this is through Geek Squad, Staples, MSP Call Center, ISP Call Center, various contract work through recruiters, etc, it will help in the end.

    You most likely need to decided what you might want to do, and get some material related it to. Your best bet will most likely be to pick up a book related to A+ and Network+ to give you a good start at basic knowledge/fundamentals that you can grow on from there. If you can afford to do so, take the associated exams. They will only help you get (not guarantee you, an IT job), as it can show you have the fundamentals.

    By all means, DON'T take a job at a company just to try and get into their IT department. Try and find an IT job. If you can't and need a job, then take whatever you can get while still trying to get an IT job. Post your resume on here for critiquing (remove all personal data).

    Your math degree is fine, don't rush off to get an IT degree right now. Down the road, it may be worth looking into. Right now, focus on getting experience and studying for certifications if you can.
    MCTS: Windows Vista, Configuration
    MCTS: Windows WS08 Active Directory, Configuration
  • nhprnhpr Member Posts: 165
    Education
    I am 9 credit hours away from having a B.S. in Mathematics (Pure). In fact, all of my math coursework is completed, I just have some non-math upper-division electives to finish. I regret it because the only opportunities where I live for this degree are H.S. Math Teacher. There do not seem to be many tech jobs here in Memphis, and the ones I've come across all require a degree and years of experience which I do not have.

    Actually, not IT related, but depending on how sharp your thinker is, Wall Street and the NSA are snapping up math majors. There's definitely more out there than just teaching.
  • HypntickHypntick Member Posts: 1,451 ■■■■■■□□□□
    The IT market (and job markets in general) are quite small here in Memphis. My suggestion would be to hit up the recruiters, teksystems, RHI and Vaco. That's how I landed my first IT job here in town, with no degree, certs or experience. You're going to be limited to help desk as that's really all there is entry level here, unless you get super lucky.

    A long term plan would be considering a move to a larger, more IT-centric area. It's something i've had in the back of my head since moving here. Shoot me a message and I can give you some contacts I have with recruiters that i'm on good terms with. We've got a spot open here as well, don't think we're looking for entry level though but i'll ask.
    WGU BS:IT Completed June 30th 2012.
    WGU MS:ISA Completed October 30th 2013.
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Member Posts: 1,407 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Hi everyone!icon_cheers.gif I'm so glad to have found this site!

    I'm a newbie to I.T. and have fallen in love with many different aspects of this field, but it is all quite overwhelming. I'm taking it all one step at a time--so here is my "dilemma"...

    Education
    I am 9 credit hours away from having a B.S. in Mathematics (Pure). In fact, all of my math coursework is completed, I just have some non-math upper-division electives to finish. I regret it because the only opportunities where I live for this degree are H.S. Math Teacher. There do not seem to be many tech jobs here in Memphis, and the ones I've come across all require a degree and years of experience which I do not have.

    Experience
    I have no IT experience. In college I held the typical "girl" type jobs (I'm female) of working in a clothing store or at a makeup counter. The closest I came to anything tech related was when I worked PRN for a small non-profit. The Executive Director would send me to training sessions for a software they use and I would train her on how to use the software (as well as using it myself). I was also responsible for calling tech support or using the manual to resolve any issues with the software. However, a majority of the work I did there was administrative. I've been troubleshooting for friends and family for a while now, but I want something more.

    I am ready to work now, and it has been hard enough to trying to find ANY job, so a tech-related job seems so out of reach. I've considered GeekSquad, but would like to have a few other options. I'm working on obtaining A+ Certification now.

    Questions
    1. Aside from Geek Squad, where else should I be looking? I don't think I'm searching in the right areas. It seems like some people dread call-center or help desk type jobs but I would welcome that with open arms, low pay and all! It is more challenging than folding t-shirts and picking out lipstick shades.

    2. In the meantime, would it be beneficial to get my foot in the door of companies that have a sizable I.T. department just working anywhere? For example, taking a job as a package handler for FedEx or working at FedEx Office, etc... over somewhere that pays more but could not possibly lead to a tech position?

    3. Would a Math degree with certs be enough to start somewhere or would I need to consider a second bachelor's in I.T. or graduate school to get my foot in the door?

    I apologize for the long first post but my mind has been racing with questions all day! Thanks in advance!

    You should work on your elevator pitch…..
    3 Ways to Pitch Yourself in 30 Seconds - Jodi Glickman - Harvard Business Review
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • CodeBloxCodeBlox Member Posts: 1,363 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Hypntick wrote: »
    The IT market (and job markets in general) are quite small here in Memphis. My suggestion would be to hit up the recruiters, teksystems, RHI and Vaco. That's how I landed my first IT job here in town, with no degree, certs or experience. You're going to be limited to help desk as that's really all there is entry level here, unless you get super lucky.

    A long term plan would be considering a move to a larger, more IT-centric area. It's something i've had in the back of my head since moving here. Shoot me a message and I can give you some contacts I have with recruiters that i'm on good terms with. We've got a spot open here as well, don't think we're looking for entry level though but i'll ask.
    Negative on that "shooting of the messages". She has only one post, so she can't.
    Currently reading: Network Warrior, Unix Network Programming by Richard Stevens
  • HypntickHypntick Member Posts: 1,451 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Sent you a message NumberRehab. Just a FYI.
    WGU BS:IT Completed June 30th 2012.
    WGU MS:ISA Completed October 30th 2013.
  • MrRyteMrRyte Member Posts: 347 ■■■■□□□□□□
    You may have to drive a few miles or relocate if need be.icon_sad.gif
    NEXT UP: CompTIA Security+ :study:

    Life is a matter of choice not chance. The path to your destiny will be paved by the decisions that you make every day.
  • NumberRehabNumberRehab Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Asif Dasl wrote: »
    I don't know where you can focus your job hunt. But after the A+ I would go with Cisco CCENT - i'm sure you would find IP subnetting a cinch with your math background. Maybe Cisco could be your niche, if you don't like it then you could go with the Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Support Technician exams (70-680 & 70-685) but a GeekSquad type job would probably where you'll start off with. Good Luck with the job hunt!

    That is exactly my plan! Thanks! I did enjoy many of the IT-related problems I came across in my upper-division math courses. I am in the process of applying for GeekSquad as we speak.
    crrussell3 wrote: »
    As others have already stated, getting your feet wet is the best thing you can do. Whether this is through Geek Squad, Staples, MSP Call Center, ISP Call Center, various contract work through recruiters, etc, it will help in the end.

    You most likely need to decided what you might want to do, and get some material related it to. Your best bet will most likely be to pick up a book related to A+ and Network+ to give you a good start at basic knowledge/fundamentals that you can grow on from there. If you can afford to do so, take the associated exams. They will only help you get (not guarantee you, an IT job), as it can show you have the fundamentals.

    By all means, DON'T take a job at a company just to try and get into their IT department. Try and find an IT job. If you can't and need a job, then take whatever you can get while still trying to get an IT job. Post your resume on here for critiquing (remove all personal data).

    Your math degree is fine, don't rush off to get an IT degree right now. Down the road, it may be worth looking into. Right now, focus on getting experience and studying for certifications if you can.

    I have an A+ and Network+ book and have been studying. I've put funds back to take the exams. It's been a lot of fun and the more applied subject matter is a nice change from the purely theoretical material I focused on in college. I am going to apply to work at my university's technical help desk so I can make the most of my final semester. It is mostly just helping people setup their internet connections but something is better than nothing!
  • NumberRehabNumberRehab Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    • Here’s what I would do if I were you…
    • Get help from your school to develop a 100% error free resume and cover letter.
    • Also, apply for jobs that your school has on their job board. These jobs boards are tailored to students and graduates from a specific school, which means a smaller job pool.
    • Look at staples they have a position called easy tech, which is similar to geek squad.
    • Volunteer using your computer skills while looking for work. Check out volunteer match
    • Go to Job Search | one search. all jobs. Indeed.com
    • Type these words in for a job search… a
    • help desk
    • IT support
    • And PC support
    • Post your resume on Monster, career builder, and Dice.
    • Make a linked in page, if you haven’t already done so..

    • On craigs list look under jobs and check under these sections…
    • System network
    • And Technical Support.
    • Apply for IT jobs that require a 2 year degree and above.
    • Contact Teksystems and Robert Half…Sometimes these temp agencies have jobs that are short projects, and they’re often not posted on the web.
    • Above all else network, network, network. You are finishing up your degree try to add any of your classmates or teachers that you know fairly well to your linked in. Also, maybe you could talk to the head of IT at your school and ask them if they know of any opportunities.
    • Be professional in everything you say and do.
    Good Luck.. I hope this helps

    Great information! I wish we had a Staples here icon_sad.gif. I have been checking CL daily to see if something comes up. I am also going to post my resume on the job search sites as you suggested. I just signed up for linkedin and will be putting my profile together. I'm not sure what took me so long to join the site. I will start targeting the temp agencies as well. Thanks so much!
  • NumberRehabNumberRehab Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Everyone wrote: »
    #1, aside from there, look on the usual job boards... Monster, CareerBuilder, Dice... Indeed is great for searching them too, and Glassdoor is a good tool. You should be able to find some entry level IT jobs in your area there. Opportunities will open up more if you're willing to relocate.

    #2. NO! Don't settle for a non-IT job at any company if IT is what you really want to do.

    #3. Your Math degree is fine, don't put yourself into debt going after an IT related degree, leverage the degree you already have.

    I forgot that Glassdoor has a job search section, and I am on there all of the time! Thanks for the reminder.
    MrRyte wrote: »
    You may have to drive a few miles or relocate if need be.icon_sad.gif

    Once I receive my degree, relocation is my next goal.
    Hypntick wrote: »
    The IT market (and job markets in general) are quite small here in Memphis. My suggestion would be to hit up the recruiters, teksystems, RHI and Vaco. That's how I landed my first IT job here in town, with no degree, certs or experience. You're going to be limited to help desk as that's really all there is entry level here, unless you get super lucky.

    A long term plan would be considering a move to a larger, more IT-centric area. It's something i've had in the back of my head since moving here. Shoot me a message and I can give you some contacts I have with recruiters that i'm on good terms with. We've got a spot open here as well, don't think we're looking for entry level though but i'll ask.

    Hi fellow "Memphian"! I am about to respond to your message now! Thanks for the advice!

    Thank you! Putting it down on my to-do list!



    Whew, I hope I was able to respond to everyone! Thank you all for sharing your tips with me. I have quite a few things to work on now but I will keep you all updated!
  • ZzBloopzZZzBloopzZ Member Posts: 192
    I would also look on careerbuilder and Dice. I have been on the job hunt for the past month and have gotten a few great leads on careerbuilder. However, CB is a bit full of spam, and some crappy employers.

    I started using Dice few days ago and already have 3 interviews on the way, and have made some great contacts in general. Dice is the place to be!
  • kiki162kiki162 Member Posts: 635 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Questions
    1.
    Aside from Geek Squad, where else should I be looking? I don't think I'm searching in the right areas. It seems like some people dread call-center or help desk type jobs but I would welcome that with open arms, low pay and all! It is more challenging than folding t-shirts and picking out lipstick shades.

    Geek Squad is always a start, but you need to know a lot of the basics to really get yourself a job there. Personally, I would say to finish your BS degree. You will have to start at the bottom like everyone else. You can take a look at getting a 2nd degree in IT, or you can look at getting into certs. First thing is to decide on where you want to go, and what path you want to take. For example, do you want to be a help desk person, or sys admin , or network admin...etc...etc.


    2. In the meantime, would it be beneficial to get my foot in the door of companies that have a sizable I.T. department just working anywhere? For example, taking a job as a package handler for FedEx or working at FedEx Office, etc... over somewhere that pays more but could not possibly lead to a tech position?

    Because you are starting fresh, I would start going back to school, network yourself in any IT clubs or organizations. Also working on getting your basic certs like A+ or Sec+ will help you. Remember that you NEVER ever stop learning in IT, the more you do the fastest you will move up the ladder.


    3. Would a Math degree with certs be enough to start somewhere or would I need to consider a second bachelor's in I.T. or graduate school to get my foot in the door?

    Yes a math degree would help you, getting a 2nd degree would help even more. Look at the different IT degrees in your area and see if it's feasible to you to get that. Your starting at the bottom so a 2nd BS degree would be the way to go on that...mainly so you get the fundamentals of IT down.
  • cxzar20cxzar20 Member Posts: 168
    Your undergraduate degree in Mathematics would be great for an MS in Computer Science or IT. Nobody I knew in my graduating class had problems finding good IT jobs, but make sure you pick a known tech school. This way you can get hands on experience with Linux, C++, Cisco, etc. My undergrad GPA was good so I received a substantial merit scholarship, if you decide to go to grad school it is extremely important that you pick the right school AND get significant financial assistance.

    Rensselaer / Carnegie Mellon != Generic State University
  • afcyungafcyung Member Posts: 212
    I think you should check out the NSA. The largest employers of Mathematicians in the country.

    Career Paths at the National Security Agency (NSA) - Mathmatics

    If you want something more technical check out these jobs.

    http://www.nsa.gov/careers/career_fields/cryptsiganalysis.shtml
  • powerfoolpowerfool Senior Member Member Posts: 1,658 ■■■■■■■■□□
    In the meantime, would it be beneficial to get my foot in the door of companies that have a sizable I.T. department just working anywhere? For example, taking a job as a package handler for FedEx or working at FedEx Office, etc... over somewhere that pays more but could not possibly lead to a tech position?

    Why couldn't you move into IT at FedEx after being a package handler? I know of two people that did that in Memphis, and I have witnessed similar things at UPS. Memphis is the HQ... if anyone had a chance of doing it, it would be in Memphis.
    2021 Goals: [X] Terraform Associate [X] AZ-204 [X] AZ-400 [X] AWS Cloud Practitioner [X] Terraform CHiP
  • HypntickHypntick Member Posts: 1,451 ■■■■■■□□□□
    powerfool wrote: »
    Why couldn't you move into IT at FedEx after being a package handler? I know of two people that did that in Memphis, and I have witnessed similar things at UPS. Memphis is the HQ... if anyone had a chance of doing it, it would be in Memphis.

    Throwing packages at Fedex isn't for the faint of heart. It's a really rough job from what I understand. Very hot, heavy work for about 14 bucks an hour and at most 20 hours a week. My wife worked there when we met and she would come home covered in some type of residue that would drive my allergies up a wall. Couldn't have been healthy.

    Also, you can bypass throwing boxes and get hired on direct into IT. It's just really rare and you have to be really good at what you do. They tend to hire contract work and let them go after a certain period, I know a handful of people i've worked with have had that happen to them in the past.
    WGU BS:IT Completed June 30th 2012.
    WGU MS:ISA Completed October 30th 2013.
  • ddojewddojew Member Posts: 6 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Hypntick wrote: »
    Throwing packages at Fedex isn't for the faint of heart. It's a really rough job from what I understand. Very hot, heavy work for about 14 bucks an hour and at most 20 hours a week. My wife worked there when we met and she would come home covered in some type of residue that would drive my allergies up a wall. Couldn't have been healthy.

    Also, you can bypass throwing boxes and get hired on direct into IT. It's just really rare and you have to be really good at what you do. They tend to hire contract work and let them go after a certain period, I know a handful of people i've worked with have had that happen to them in the past.


    Yeah I understand that I currently work at fed ex in Maryland for four years. They only way you can move up is to work in the Q/A position or to be an outbound/inbound manager. Never heard or any IT positions available in MD. The work is tough. I would never recommend a friend to work there.
  • SteveLordSteveLord Member Posts: 1,717
    ZzBloopzZ wrote: »
    I would also look on careerbuilder and Dice. I have been on the job hunt for the past month and have gotten a few great leads on careerbuilder. However, CB is a bit full of spam, and some crappy employers.

    I started using Dice few days ago and already have 3 interviews on the way, and have made some great contacts in general. Dice is the place to be!

    Headhunters/recruiting firms infect all of them. And email anyone that makes a profile.
    WGU B.S.IT - 9/1/2015 >>> ???
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