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IT job with FELONIES?

cmoningercmoninger Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
New to this forum. Probably a bad way to introduce myself. I've always been interested in IT. My dads a project manager for a pretty big e-commerce company. I'm 28 years old. We got our first computer in 1993, back when it was DOS and Windows 3.x. I started writing code that same year at age 9. QBASIC. I taught myself C++. I run Linux only and I know what I'm doing with it. I have a few semesters in at a local community college for programming. My life went out of control due to an unfortunate sequence of events and I became an alcoholic. I have 4 DUI's. I went to prison due to these charges. I really want to get into the IT field. But I'm wondering if I'm wasting my time even trying? I know IT Security is what I want to do. But I think it will be hard for me to get a job. I'm willing to do anything for this. If anyone can help me out with an HONEST answer, I'd greatly appreciate it.
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    SouthSeaPirateSouthSeaPirate Member Posts: 173
    I wouldn't say it cant happen, but I would say it will be VERY hard. A lot of companies wont hire a felon period, let alone for IT security. Not to mention the other candidates. You would be beat by any other candidate with the exact same credentials. Though I always believe if you really want it, then you will have it.

    FWIW, my last manager (the position I have now) had 3 DUI's. Not a felon, but not exactly a clean record either.
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    shodownshodown Member Posts: 2,271
    Freelancer, build up your reputation with contract work. Nobody there checks background. I have a friend who had some trouble with jobs and he was working 1099 through various agencies with no serious problems. He has had problems getting a perm positon. His solution was to create his own company and hire himself.
    Currently Reading

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    joshmadakorjoshmadakor Member Posts: 495 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Would the military take you? (I'm thinking army) The army seriously takes anyone from what I've seen.

    IT related MOS: Information Technology Specialist Jobs (25B) | GoArmy.com
    WGU B.S. Information Technology (Completed January 2013)
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    JDMurrayJDMurray Admin Posts: 13,054 Admin
    Your legal past will close off some employment opportunities for you, but not enough where you should give the IT field a pass if working in IT is really what you want to do. When you work with job recruiters, just be honest about what prospective employers will find when they do a background check on you (both legal and financial). The recruiters will then know what jobs not to apply you for. I have known people to get DoD SECRET clearances with worse than DUIs on their record. However, there is a lot of IT work out there that isn't Federal/military, so you shouldn't worry about the possibility of not getting a security clearance, because you will likely never need one.
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    ptilsenptilsen Member Posts: 2,835 ■■■■■■■■■■
    shodown wrote: »
    Freelancer, build up your reputation with contract work. Nobody there checks background. I have a friend who had some trouble with jobs and he was working 1099 through various agencies with no serious problems. He has had problems getting a perm positon. His solution was to create his own company and hire himself.
    I've had background checks for the majority of 1099 positions I've taken. Not the super-short-term gigs, but anything over a week.

    DUIs are bad, and felonies are bad, but there's nothing fundamentally different about IT than any other career in this regard. It will disqualify you from some positions, but not the field as a whole.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
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    MrkaliMrkali Member Posts: 105
    Would the military take you? (I'm thinking army) The army seriously takes anyone from what I've seen.

    IT related MOS: Information Technology Specialist Jobs (25B) | GoArmy.com

    You used to be able to with a waiver but with the economy in the crapper, even the army has their choice of recruits. I've read they're not granting felony waivers at this time. Best to check with a recruiter though.
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    AintRiteAintRite Member Posts: 84 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I posted a thread just like this when I joined. I decided to just go ahead and pursue security anyway and i will worry about the rest when that time comes. It seems like I have a way worse record than you but this was put in my thread. This is what I want to do so I'm just going to do it.
    instant000 wrote: »
    Actually, don't worry about it.

    Just be honest, if it comes up within the time period that you will be investigated for.

    Going through a phase, and then correcting yourself means that you learned from the mistakes.

    Like a previous poster said, it's not something to worry about.

    If this guy can get a job in security, so can you:

    Kevin Mitnick - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    and here is the whole thread for you to look over.

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/jobs-degrees/67670-so-i-have-been-reconsidering-my-major-wgu-need-some-advice.html
    WGU - BS: IT Security...in progress
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    Daniel333Daniel333 Member Posts: 2,077 ■■■■■■□□□□
    What area are you based in? Not really sure on your experience here.

    Smaller companies it won't matter. Laugh it off and you'll make it right through an interview. Humor is the best way to establish understanding in most cases. ( Chris Bliss: Comedy is translation | Video on TED.com ) Larger companies on the other hands might cut you off before you can even talk to a recruiter. So you might want to work through sub-contracts.

    Get your brand out there. Take some college classes and join a professional or users groups. Start networking. It's 75% who you know anyway.

    I personally hired a couple people with misc drug/alcohol issues. I know very few people who would blame a person for their faults. But I sure would blame someone who didn't learn and grow from them. Bottom line, depends on your attitude about it. Sadly something that takes years to cultivate even if you are aware of it.

    I'll recommend three certs to you while you do volunteer work and join some professional organizations.

    MCSE:Security
    CCNA:Security
    Linux+

    You can probably pass MCSE:Sec and Linux+ all on a 5 year old workstation. CCNA:Sec might require a few routers and switches. You'll learn Windows inside and out, Linux and security concepts from a few points of view.

    Small managed service providers and temp jobs are the way to go why you build up the core experience. Then sooner or later you'll see an opening for real security spot.

    Good luck!
    -Daniel
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    hackman2007hackman2007 Member Posts: 185
    cmoninger wrote: »
    New to this forum. Probably a bad way to introduce myself. I've always been interested in IT. My dads a project manager for a pretty big e-commerce company. I'm 28 years old. We got our first computer in 1993, back when it was DOS and Windows 3.x. I started writing code that same year at age 9. QBASIC. I taught myself C++. I run Linux only and I know what I'm doing with it. I have a few semesters in at a local community college for programming. My life went out of control due to an unfortunate sequence of events and I became an alcoholic. I have 4 DUI's. I went to prison due to these charges. I really want to get into the IT field. But I'm wondering if I'm wasting my time even trying? I know IT Security is what I want to do. But I think it will be hard for me to get a job. I'm willing to do anything for this. If anyone can help me out with an HONEST answer, I'd greatly appreciate it.

    Can you finish up the degree? If so, this is one thing you should be doing. With felonies and no degree, it could be difficult to get an IT job.

    So in addition to what other posters mentioned, make sure you get a degree. Even WGU could help you here. To me, as long as the felonies are not recent (past 3-4 years) and you have achieved a BS degree, I would say you have a good chance at getting your foot in the door. If I were a manager and you had a recent BS, I wouldn't care about the felonies.

    Are you currently working in any form of IT?
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    cmoningercmoninger Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Well I appreciate all the feedback I've received from you guys. Currently I'm working in a steel fabrication shop. I've never had an IT position. As far as going back to college, I wanted to see if it would even be worth my time and money. Why go if you won't be able to get a job, right? But after reading all these responses, I think I'm gonna go for it. Thanks fellas.
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    NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Member Posts: 1,407 ■■■■■■■■□□
    cmoninger wrote: »
    New to this forum. Probably a bad way to introduce myself. I've always been interested in IT. My dads a project manager for a pretty big e-commerce company. I'm 28 years old. We got our first computer in 1993, back when it was DOS and Windows 3.x. I started writing code that same year at age 9. QBASIC. I taught myself C++. I run Linux only and I know what I'm doing with it. I have a few semesters in at a local community college for programming. My life went out of control due to an unfortunate sequence of events and I became an alcoholic. I have 4 DUI's. I went to prison due to these charges. I really want to get into the IT field. But I'm wondering if I'm wasting my time even trying? I know IT Security is what I want to do. But I think it will be hard for me to get a job. I'm willing to do anything for this. If anyone can help me out with an HONEST answer, I'd greatly appreciate it.

    I used to talk to the system administrator at a volunteer IT position I used to hold, about how to find IT jobs, some of the jobs he held in the past, and his background. He told me that anything is possible, because he had a DWI and he’s a System Administrator. He told me that the person interviewing him kept asking about his DWI. He said “She wanted to see how I handled stress.” I was shocked that he got the job. I would advise you to make sure you can mention what you learned from these experiences in interveiws.
    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
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    It can happen. I have a friend who has 5 DUI's. He makes 4 times more than I do. DUI's are extremely common. 4 is quiet a bit, but don't let that discourage you.

    I knew a guy who spent 20 years in jail because he was with a kid who shot and murdered a store owner. He is a web developer making good money. He can never be a manager because of that but he is gainfully employed and doing well.

    I would make sure when you go into an interview you explain your plan in place and how long you have been off the juice. Explain you go to meetings and have this or that in your life now to help you stay away from the booze. It's important to show them you have a plan. It also important to show them how long you have been off the sauce.

    It takes a man to step up and admit their wrong. In some weird way people like the under dog. The service provider I worked at had a very high level CCIE who was down in the ****. He was literally living on the streets boozing everyday. Lost everything. The IT director caught wind of this and met the guy. The guy knew his stuff and is now employed.

    Just keep battling and you will see results. Our society is quick to blame, but we also forgive.
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    DevilsbaneDevilsbane Member Posts: 4,214 ■■■■■■■■□□
    N2IT wrote: »
    It can happen. I have a friend who has 5 DUI's. He makes 4 times more than I do. DUI's are extremely common. 4 is quiet a bit, but don't let that discourage you.

    I have a buddy with 3 and he does just fine. People understand that $%@# happens and as long as you disclose it you should be alright. Some people won't like it, so you might have to apply more places and go to more interviews but eventually you'll get where you need to be.
    Decide what to be and go be it.
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    SteveLordSteveLord Member Posts: 1,717
    Would the military take you? (I'm thinking army) The army seriously takes anyone from what I've seen.

    IT related MOS: Information Technology Specialist Jobs (25B) | GoArmy.com

    Totally inaccurate...and I am talking at least a few years worth by now. The military has been overstrength and budget reductions make getting in and even rejoining, a lot harder. Primarily for those who do not have clean bills of health and are free of legal issues. Waivers are far and few. And waivers are approved/denied at the federal level, which means if you even got that far, it wouldn't be a fast process by any means.

    Contrary to what some may believe, military enlistment is NOT a civil right. There's a lot out there who are that dumb.
    WGU B.S.IT - 9/1/2015 >>> ???
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    joshmadakorjoshmadakor Member Posts: 495 ■■■■□□□□□□
    SteveLord wrote: »
    Totally inaccurate...and I am talking at least a few years worth by now. The military has been overstrength and budget reductions make getting in and even rejoining, a lot harder. Primarily for those who do not have clean bills of health and are free of legal issues. Waivers are far and few. And waivers are approved/denied at the federal level, which means if you even got that far, it wouldn't be a fast process by any means.

    Contrary to what some may believe, military enlistment is NOT a civil right.
    Gotcha, sorry about that :)
    WGU B.S. Information Technology (Completed January 2013)
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    SteveLordSteveLord Member Posts: 1,717
    Gotcha, sorry about that :)

    No problem. Not pouncing on you. Its just that stigma is no longer around and there's a lot of old information on the net which would make some believe that it is.

    I've also had my share of people with heavy criminal records whine about how they are being ignored by recruiters.
    WGU B.S.IT - 9/1/2015 >>> ???
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    WafflesAndRootbeerWafflesAndRootbeer Member Posts: 555
    Speaking from personal experience having had to look into these sorts of things, there are plenty of people working in IT with far worse things on their records. Child molesters, rapists, people convicted of possession of child pornography, and violent offenders can all be found in abundance in the IT workforce if you look carefully. Most companies, especially outsourcers and contractors, don't give a damn who they hire so long as they have the requisites for the job. Often, the higher up you go in the food chain or more complex the job role, the more likely you are to find someone with something hideous on their record. A few DUIs is pretty small by comparison to those things and let me tell you that even those are not uncommon, in fact they are probably average at the worst among entry level folks, so don't get all worked up about it. It's really the financial and drug related stuff that can get you in the end though a pattern of chronic DUIs might raise some eyebrows if you try to get a job in certain areas or if they are really recent as far as your record goes.
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Steve:

    I think he meant the Navy ;)

    JK

    Waffles and I am led to believe that it's becoming more and more financial constraint preventing employment.
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    gosh1976gosh1976 Member Posts: 441
    I have a few nicks on my record and they have definitely disqualified me from some jobs. However, it certainly hasn't made it impossible to get an IT job. Just be honest if asked about it. The last thing you want is to get hired and then lose the job before you even start because they do a background check.
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    TheCudderTheCudder Member Posts: 147 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I would say you would have a tough time going IT Security. And as mentioned before, the military isn't an option with a felony no matter what condition the economy is if you're looking to do IT related work as they all require a security clearance. A waiver for a felony only opens up certain jobs.
    B.S. Information Technology Management | CompTIA A+ | CompTIA Security+ | Graduate Certificate in Information Assurance (In Progress)
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    cxzar20cxzar20 Member Posts: 168
    You have a chance at something in the private sector, but unfortunately it is highly improbable that you could get a position in the government or as a contractor. These positions typically require a security clearance which most of the time are denied for DUI or bad credit.
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    techinthewoodstechinthewoods Member Posts: 96 ■■□□□□□□□□
    cmoninger wrote: »
    New to this forum. Probably a bad way to introduce myself. I've always been interested in IT. My dads a project manager for a pretty big e-commerce company. I'm 28 years old. We got our first computer in 1993, back when it was DOS and Windows 3.x. I started writing code that same year at age 9. QBASIC. I taught myself C++. I run Linux only and I know what I'm doing with it. I have a few semesters in at a local community college for programming. My life went out of control due to an unfortunate sequence of events and I became an alcoholic. I have 4 DUI's. I went to prison due to these charges. I really want to get into the IT field. But I'm wondering if I'm wasting my time even trying? I know IT Security is what I want to do. But I think it will be hard for me to get a job. I'm willing to do anything for this. If anyone can help me out with an HONEST answer, I'd greatly appreciate it.

    Just wondering, have you dealt with the alcoholism and addiction problems, and are you now sober? If so, how long have you been sober? Do you have an active plan in place to prevent relapse? I would think being able to demonstrate to a potential employer that you are managing your alcoholism and that you have a lengthy stretch of sobriety would go a long ways towards getting your foot in the door.
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    keenonkeenon Member Posts: 1,922 ■■■■□□□□□□
    its doable. as mentioned work any project/freelance job that comes your way and get your rep up.

    you will be surprised once you prove yourself and also be honest with any of them that ask. explain the situation there are always a chance someone will let you prove yourself.
    Become the stainless steel sharp knife in a drawer full of rusty spoons
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    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    cxzar20 wrote: »
    You have a chance at something in the private sector, but unfortunately it is highly improbable that you could get a position in the government or as a contractor. These positions typically require a security clearance which most of the time are denied for DUI or bad credit.

    Credit will hurt you way more than 1 DWI/DUI. 4 on the other hand I agree highly unlikely even to get a public trust clearance.

    I know you can get a S and TS clearance with a DUI.
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    it_consultantit_consultant Member Posts: 1,903
    I have noticed that the last background check only went back 7 years. Obviously this was not an security clearance kind of thing. I think it is something like 1 in 15 males have a criminal record. At some point you have to stop looking because you will probably find something you don't like. I agree with a previous poster, you would be surprised how many people have fairly serious records who are working in professional jobs. Even people with criminal records need jobs. It is certainly an impediment, but my take is that if you were busted more than 7 years ago, I won't automatically DQ you for a job.
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    BigD5XBigD5X Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hello every one, I'm a newbee to this form to with a similar problem. I mess up in 2005 went to prison for 2 years. Now I have a Theft on my record. (Non violent offense). I've been in IT for 16 years. I'm A+, Network+ MCP win XP and MCP NT server 4.0. Since I've got out in 2009, I continued my education with obtaining Cisco certs. I battle with myself inside my head, Why ? Knowing a background check is going to kill any chance of getting a job just as it has 4 times already. Studying for Cisco certs keeps me going because these test are very challenging. and it also keeps me from throwing myself a pity party and going into a depression. I got married in 2011. My wife knows my situation and is very supportive. I am now CCNA, CCNA Voice, just completed CCNP switch and currently studying for CCNP route. I knew this was going to be a tough road but I won't give up. I too I'm looking at small companies and contracts just so I can get some work.
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    typfromdacotypfromdaco Member Posts: 96 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I actually have to correct a few of you in regards to qualifications for enlistment, at least for the Army. It is possible to join the Army with a felony right now, but only if it is one isolated incident and was committed as a juvenile. The charge can't be any form of sexual crime, but something like a theft is possible. The budget cuts that the military is facing right now had pretty much no effect on the enlistment side of the house, because our missions have barely decreased since I became a recruiter in 2010. The numbers at the bottom are averaging out by the increased number of people that are being forced to retire or being booted because of various reasons. With that being said, 4 DUI's would never be approved, at least not for the foreseeable future.
    2015 certification goals: [ X] ICND2
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    blueberriesblueberries Banned Posts: 138
    You should get a job from home coding C++. That way, when you get plastered you won't have to step behind a motor vehicle.
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    W StewartW Stewart Member Posts: 794 ■■■■□□□□□□
    So it seems on one hand the general consensus is that DUIs and felonies have disqualified people from certain jobs and on the other hand the general consensus is that the IT field is full of child molesters, rapists and child pornography and a couple of DUIs shouldn't hurt you. I think your best bet starting out is to get a job at small company. Getting a decent paying job in security is probably going to require a little experience and knowledge in various areas of IT and chances are you'd have to start off somewhere else and try to work your way into the security field even without any DUIs. Right now, I'd just focus on getting an IT job period so that you can gain some experience and once you've gained a little experience, those DUIs will be so far back that they won't matter as much when looking for a security job.
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    blueberriesblueberries Banned Posts: 138
    If I were hiring and my applicants were drunks, pedophiles, and rapists, I would take the drunks any day of the week.
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