Got my BS in IT and jobless need some direction on what to do?

eLseLs Member Posts: 74 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hi just wanted to say hi and I'm glad I found this place it has so much helpful information laid out and feel I will get some help here on what to do.

Now information about me to give you an idea on what can I do and if I'm going about it all right. I recently graduated with a Bachelors degree in IT. Don't have any real big company it work experience except for volunteer work for 3 years straight in a small car company doing pc support/ maintenance and hardware/ software installation. Also build many computers and such for family members and friends plus always troubleshooted when they got issues. Non it work experience I worked for the census bureau for 7 months as a recruiting assistant and got promoted to crew leader. Obviously that was a temp job and all this while in school getting my degree. Gained a lot of experience with the census but IT wise not really have anything.

Now I graduated and can't find nothing and to be honest felt so out of place seeing what these companies want besides the obvious 3-5 year or more experience which blows. Same age old question how can I get experience if they won't give it to me. I live in new york city so the pay rates are good for IT jobs just I can't get squat. Hell I had a hard time getting an non paying internship while in college since there wasn't many or I was too late. In school besides the basics I did a bit of database and networking.

Now I love networking so after a couple of months of nothing I decided to look around and found this website and professor messor website. Decided getting certifications is the way to go and this is where I need help. I'm studying for the A+ exam using the messor videos and hopefully take it in 2 weeks from now. Now I figured I should go for the cisco tests since they pay well and I like networking. Now they offer the cisco academy by me thru Lehman college and was wondering is it worth it?

Should I go thru it or study by myself and get myself the routers/switches myself and go at it? Even if I go to the academy I will still get the lab stuff myself to practice at home. Now is this worth it at all this route or should I do something else or worse nothing is going to change and nobody will hire me because of no real experience?

That being said I'm looking for entry IT jobs or internships but since I graduated already internships is out of the questions from what I see since they want students only. So anyone knowing this area or not can lead me to something. Maybe I'm not looking at the right sites while looking for work.

Help guys I really appreciate on what to do...

P.S. I own a car and not working now but saved up a lot of money when I was working so have lots of free time and money to spend on equipment or crap that I need to help me study anything. icon_study.gif
Bachelor of Science: Computer Information Systems
2014 Goals: Solarwinds Certified Professional (SCP), Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT) and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).


  • alxxalxx Member Posts: 755
    maybe your going for the wrong positions ?
    Look at level 1 help desk positions to get your foot in the door

    Its never to late to do an intership.
    Or volunteer somewhere a couple of days a week to get experience - a charity or a non profit ?

    you'll still need experience with cisco certs

    You don't need to buy routers to get started.
    packet tracer and gsn3 and a few switches
    CBT Nuggets Player

    If you are similar to be and find you go better with physical hardware ,
    make sure to have a good read of the recent thhreads in the cisco ccna forum on this site
    and read certskills
    CCNA Topologies
    CCNA Build Lists

    Also Wendel Odoms ccna and ccnp lab series
    (just note his pricing is way off(much to high))

    There are a few free labs
    Free CCNA Workbook

    If you do look at hardware
    1721/1751/1760 or 2600xm's for routers
    Can get 1721/1751 from $10, $2600 from $30

    2950 switches and 1x 3550 switch(L3)
    2950's from $20 and 3550 from around $120

    2010 ccnp series

    For videos you have the choice of a few
    cbt nuggets , train signal and ine

    Then you need a few good lab work books and get stucking into study and labbing

    Just do not buy premade lab kits from ebay - over priced/premium prices for out of date equipment

    I'd start with freeccna workbook and configure the network.

    Free CCNA Workbook
    Router Alley - Guides
    CCNA Guides | Providing tools for your success!

    these guys spammed the forum so their links get blocked, but the labs seem good (101 labs for ccna how to network)
    Goals CCNA by dec 2013, CCNP by end of 2014
  • MrRyteMrRyte Member Posts: 347 ■■■■□□□□□□
    alxx wrote: »
    maybe your going for the wrong positions ?
    Look at level 1 help desk positions to get your foot in the door
    +1. That's how I finally got my big break into IT. I feel a little awkward since I'm doing something that I'm practically a noob at; but it's a stepping stone to my ultimate goal. Sometimes you have to take a detour to reach your goals....icon_wink.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.
  • NTinsideNTinside Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    First, I know exactly how you feel, before I found my job, I was like "so now what?" And then I stumbled upon this I.T. volunteer program with AmeriCorps in Philadelphia. The pay was awful (370.00 every two weeks) but, It was a way to get my foot in the door which led to me getting a job as a computer support specialist and a nice pay jump. That was three years ago. Now I have my associates, still shopping around for a good school to complete my bachelors.

    I'm not sure what you really want to specialize in but these are the best places to look for I.T. jobs that will for the most part, train you.
    -School Districts/Schools/Colleges
    -Apple Retail Stores
    I really hope you find something, i'm still looking for that perfect job and everytime I do find something, they ask for a Bachelors. I also recommend getting some sort of I.T. certifications like the CompTIA A+ or Microsoft Certified Professional.

    Let me know if you need help with anything at all.
  • eLseLs Member Posts: 74 ■■□□□□□□□□
    OMG talk about good advice lol...

    Thanks everybody for the quick replies and started searching for level 1 positions and more jobs popped up that might help me out hopefully something comes of it. I guess needed the right words when inputting it in the search bar of Does anyone have any recommendations on good ones to search thru especially for someone like me in the NYC area (don't mind the driving to NJ and such if its worth it of course) and more suited for getting more experience?

    Thanks for the advice on not needing hardware to study for the Cisco stuff and I found the threads talking about the right hardware to get and those were ones I was looking into it if I go the hardware route. I have the cisco books (official study ones from Odoms) and took classes on it so probably similar to the first semester if one would take the cisco networking academy. So I have those to help me in and those links you gave me are great thanks plenty of stuff here.

    I will be taking the CompTia A+ in like 2 weeks or so hopefully and go for the ccent next. I might be going into the cisco networking academy in a few weeks and see how the first semester is and study at home with the hardware at the same time. If after the one semester I feel I don't need them to help me learn the stuff then I won't go for the other semesters and just finish working on the labs and study by myself at home. If I go to the Cisco Networking Academy (Starts in Feb 25) I'll study for the network+ first while in the beginning phase of the academy to get that over with. Is this alright to do in the mean time while looking for work still? Thankfully the academy is Saturdays only so it won't interfere if work comes by.

    Btw what I meant by the internships is that the ones I seen while searching for one usually require college students and I already graduated so that kind of threw me off but I will keep searching. Now whats up with the Microsoft Certs I read what they are but I see a lot of people here usually get the Cisco and Comptia Certs over the Microsoft ones or take preference over the first two then Microsoft?

    I seem to like networking but I will go where the jobs are at and I love technology in general and any subject will have something I like and something that I don't so big deal which way I go to. Just took the networking approach because of the cisco certs and what I see around here for jobs.

    NTinside thanks for the help I'll try to see those places as well and I know what you mean on the degree part. I searched here for jobs by my area and the pay is really good here in NYC but they all want 3-5 year experience and the requirements are now bachelors degree minimum so just having experience ain't enough. These companies want Super IT Men that can do everything instead of just the job title that they posted.

    I have supervised 20-25 employees in the field and had to setup a lesson plan and train over 70 people at once on the job and got my first experience in a big government job and did crap that didn't have anything to do with my job entails. Sadly none of it was IT related so it sucks to see those job ads about having customer support skills and knowing how to deal within a stressful environment and I just laugh since I saw hell in my last job but in the end of the ad it states has to be from IT related environment which sucks.

    I need to hit up the resume thread here and see if I can combine it to take care of those aspects of the job so I look more worthy of the job.

    Thanks for the help everybody I'll update when something happens

    Also good luck on getting that Bachelors degree and of course that 'perfect job' we all want to eventually get :)
    Bachelor of Science: Computer Information Systems
    2014 Goals: Solarwinds Certified Professional (SCP), Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT) and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).
  • NTinsideNTinside Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Yeah tell me about it. I actually just found a really good paying job at Miles Technology paying 39 a year. I'm not sure how far you are willing to commute but Jersey has great I.T. Jobs.
  • korbaskorbas Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
    More often than not, it's not so much what you know as who you know.

    Go for the lower-end helpdesk and/or volunteer positions. Solve some problems, work on some projects beyond your position level and most of all, make friends. If you have potential and the people farther up are any good, they'll see it and start recommending you for something more. Before you know it, that 3-5 year requirement will mean nothing.
  • AldurAldur Member Posts: 1,460
    As other have noted, volunteer work is a great place to start, and also, any entry level support positions are great. Don't be too scared off by the experience requirements employers post. I applied for a job that required a minimum of 5-7 years experience when I only had about 1 1/2 yrs exp. I ended up getting the job despite the "minimum experience" requirement. Although I do interview really well and I had my first JNCIE at the time too. So there are other factors that came into play. But my point is, apply anyway, all they can do is turn you down. :)

    Also, I don't mean to sound rude, but I am assuming that English is not your first language. This can hamper a candidate, I would recommended working on your grammar skills.
    "Bribe is such an ugly word. I prefer extortion. The X makes it sound cool."

  • ChadaeChadae Member Posts: 65 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hi, I think you got some very good advice. When I got my Bachelors- it was very hard to get any IT related job paying anything decent where I live. I ended up with a data entry job paying like--$10.75 p/h (how sad is that). I eventually finally got a more official IT job paying a bit more- but I must agree EXPERIENCE so vital. I used that opportunity to learn as much as I could. When I was laid off of that job couple years later and unemployed I picked up and started my own biz fixing pc's (thank goodness for fellow job contacts). So hey spread the word around to your friends/family/ex-coworkers...a side gig is better than nothing. I also totally agree with the poster who said 'its who you know'- this is how I got my current job as a web administrator. Because of all the jobs I was doing - I pretty much networked myself...and someone mentioned me to an employer.
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    NTinside wrote: »
    Yeah tell me about it. I actually just found a really good paying job at Miles Technology paying 39 a year. I'm not sure how far you are willing to commute but Jersey has great I.T. Jobs.

    Miles huh? Use to work for one of their competitors....actually right down the street in Mt. Laurel.
    Intro to Discrete Math
    Programming Languages
    Work stuff
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    To the OP, have you had your resume reviewed? First line helpdesk, customer service is the biggest thing needed and I think you have that. I'd imagine your resume just needs a little polish and then you'll start hearing from people. As for the CCNA studies, really look at the self study route as you can save yourself some cash. Most companies won't have you jumping right onto the routers or switches, so self study is a good route for entry-level work. Good luck!
    Intro to Discrete Math
    Programming Languages
    Work stuff
  • nosoup4unosoup4u Member Posts: 365
    What worked for me was IT Staffing firms (sore subject for some) while often the jobs are entry level or timed contract jobs, they give you the experience you want and will need, not to mention the contacts go longer then the suggested time. I had a few pay for a few training classes and had several "on the job trainings" early in my career all of which helped me land my first non contract IT Jobs.
  • YuckTheFankeesYuckTheFankees Member Posts: 1,281 ■■■■■□□□□□
    #1 Post your resume so we can give you our thoughts.
    #2 Try,,, and craigslist (technical support section, and I believe there are 2 other IT subjects)..Craigslist has worked for me, I'm surprised how many quality jobs are actually on there..espcecially in my area. **Just be cautious when applying
    --- search for helpdesk, help desk, NOC, technical support
    --- then search for key certs for entry level positions (A+, Network+, Linux+, LPIC-1, CCNET..etc) even if you dont have the certs I would apply..because if they are asking for CompTIA certs, most of the time it's an entry level gig(I dont want to offend anyone with CompTia certs).
    --- Apply for a job even if you dont meet their requirements. The job I currently have was asking for everything underneath the sun ( I didnt have about 70% of the requirements) but I had a great interview and they decided to hire me.
    #3 look for IT companies around your area and see if they are hiring....I would ask smaller companies if they are looking for or interested in an internship type role.
    #4 keep studying material you fine interesting
    #5 dont give up the job search, some manager or company is bound to give you a chance! ( I only had a customer service background, and my current manager took a chance on me)

    **I forgot about's your first IT job..dont expect the money to roll in right away.
  • Michael.J.PalmerMichael.J.Palmer Member Posts: 407 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Some people hate them but I like to think it helps in the long run but check out IT staffing agencies like Experis (Manpower formerly known as Comsys as well), Insight Global, or Robert Half.

    I did mostly contract work in 2010 and it gave me some resume fodder that helped me get a long term contract through Manpower (later renamed twice while I was under contract), and as of November 2011 I was hired on directly by the company I was contracting for. It works and can help get you in the door a lot faster then just searching for direct hires. Most companies are in the process of going with contractors instead of direct hires these days so you'll likely have better luck starting out as a contractor.
    -Michael Palmer
    WGU Networks BS in IT - Design & Managment (2nd Term)
    Required Courses: EWB2, WFV1, BOV1, ORC1, LET1, GAC1, HHT1, TSV1, IWC1, IWT1, MGC1, TPV1, TWA1, CPW3.
    Key: Completed, WIP, Still to come
  • eLseLs Member Posts: 74 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks everyone for the help I appreciate the time you all are taking in helping me thank you!

    I believe my resume could use some polishing and will post it up here to see what you guys say about it. I have applied to a lot of jobs in the past 2 weeks that require more than what I have on resume and hoping for the best. I will try the other sites with the other key words hopefully more will pop up.

    I am noticing all the jobs around here and what they are looking for even for entry level jobs and when I sort them all out I will post it up here to give you an example of what is available here in New York City. So far the pay is great here even for entry level but there are some job duties that puzzle me. I will post it up tomorrow when I have the chance.

    The staffing agency I heard good stories and bad but I'm not in a position to be picky so I will check those out as well. Now thinking long and hard about the CCNA studies I'm going to go for the first semester of the Cisco Networking Academy offered here by my area. The money is not the issue and I'm still going to buy all the routers and switches to do the labs and study better in my home as well. I'll try the gsn3 first and see how it is but I like having the hardware to tinker with as well. If I see the academy is alright but I'm doing fine self studying then I won't go for the other 3 semesters.

    I should have the A+ done by this month and my goal is to also have the network+ by next month as well while studying/attending the cisco academy and hopefully get the CCENT by the summer the latest. I will update you guys and girls when new information pops up. Thanks again for the advice appreciate it greatly.
    Bachelor of Science: Computer Information Systems
    2014 Goals: Solarwinds Certified Professional (SCP), Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician (CCENT) and Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA).
  • charlesc09charlesc09 Member Posts: 89 ■■□□□□□□□□
    start with recruiters. They prob could help you out better than you applying directly to companies itself.
Sign In or Register to comment.