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Does this sound like a good deal?

Moon ChildMoon Child Member Posts: 198 ■■■□□□□□□□
I recently visited a local college in my area known for technology and inquired about the masters program. I explained to the department chair of the IT program my job frustrations in IT and that I really need more help desk experience to get a help desk job, even though I have previous experience working as a programmer. I talked about attending a masters program part-time in the evenings since I couldn't do it in the day due to my current job in the education field. I gave him my resume, showed him my undergrad & grad transcripts and asked for his advice. He gave me a deal. He said if I took classes toward the masters program he would make sure I got hired by the college in the computer lab doing help desk work in the evenings that would fit into my schedule. He said I could get 2-3 years of experience working in a help desk role at the university while I took classes toward the masters in IT. The college has a special deal if you take so many credit hours a semester you can be eligible to work part-time or full time at the help desk in the computer lab. The catch is I really am "paying" for that experience, without being a student there and paying the university loads of money each semester your not even considered for the position. What do you think good idea or scam?
... the world seems full of good men--even if there are monsters in it. - Bram Stoker, Dracula

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    lamha88lamha88 Member Posts: 19 ■□□□□□□□□□
    That sounds oddly familiar to some of the programs offered around my area. However, the pay was barely above the state minimum. This position sounds like it might be similar. For me, it really depends on the experience you'll be getting. Will it be a the type of gig where you'll primarily help users reset their passwords and navigate the student portal? Or will it be the type of gig where they'll let you do some network and desktop support? If you are really desperate for the IT experience and can deal with what I assume will be a drastic pay cut, it might be worth it. Just my two cents.
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    poguepogue Member Posts: 213
    I am going to be as honest as I can be, but keep in mind, this is the opinion of one guy.

    The reason you are not getting hired is not because you don't have enough education..

    The reason you are not getting hired is not because you don't have enough "job" experience, per se.

    It's simply that you don't have enough experience, period... I understand your desire to get a help desk job to "break into" IT, but by simply increasing your knowledge in an immediate, efficient manner, the "breaking in" will take care of itself..

    So, to begin... A+ and Network+ are of little practical value to any IT employer... Most intelligent 12 year olds have A+ level knowledge in this day and age, or are good enough at Google to have access to th relevant information in 5 minutes.

    Pick a path... MS Server..Linux....or Networking.. For MS Server path, get a copy of VMWare, and finish up an MCITP:Server Administrator 2012 cert track. For Linux, use VMWare to achieve a RedHat cert... For Networking, first get your CCNA, and then specialize in either Routing and Switching, Voice, or Security. For Wireless, get a CWNA certification...

    Forget security for now, because frankly, without a fairly strong basis in at least one of the above concentrations, you won't be able to "talk the talk" enough to convince any technical interviewer you know what you are doing.

    Personally, I would almost always suggest networking first, and suggest the CCNA certification first. Understand it will take you about $600-$1000 worth of "real" certifications to get you some recognition in the job market and enable you to get someone to take a chance on you.

    Spend 1 year with a blind focus (2-3 hours of study per day, with a weekly break), and at the end of that year, you will have an extremely solid start.

    A Bachelor's degree, (ANY Bachelors degree, really) is enough in the IT world, and past that Bachelor's degree, you need certifications to even get an interview. Once you are in that interview, however, your personal commitment to increasing specific core IT knowledge will be self evident to a technical interviewer.

    It looks like you are trying to take the "easy" way out and have someone hold you by the hand in the educational system, and that just doesn't work in IT. You are going to have to pick a path, and commit to be obsessive-compulsive about learning for a year. Some of us in IT have that obsessive-compulsive streak already..So that is why it seems to come "easy" to us.

    A lot of young people self study and come out out of college with a CCNA and something like an MCITP:Enterprise Administrator cert. That is who you are competing against for jobs in the market.

    If you chase a Master's degree before you have a good job to pay for it, you are just going to saddle yourself with more debt, and that college help desk job is going to keep you busy enough to prevent you from studying for certs, when considering the time you will also have to study your Master's level curriculum.

    My suggestion? Get any job you can find, reduce your bills as much as you can, and take that dollar amount you save and funnel it into studying for higher level certs and above all, increase your IT knowledge whilst you do so.

    Just my two cents.. For the record.. I have lost my job twice in the past 4 years or so... That pushed me to get my CCNP and CISSP in less than a year. I see every one of you guys on here as a direct competitor in this hostile job market, and for at least the next 3 1/2 years (Obama's term), I expect to be studying 2 hours a day to try to beat you guys out for that next job while the economy still stinks.. (Which it will, under Obama..)

    If you don't have a hyper-aggressive attitude about learning "real stuff" in this economy, it's gonna be real rough on yah..

    Russ
    Currently working on: CCNA:Security
    Up next: CCNA:Voice
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    Moon ChildMoon Child Member Posts: 198 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Wow you have all those certs and you say lost your job twice in the last 4 years ... I really am starting to have my reservations about the IT field then I can't stand job instability like that. I might just stay in the education field then and just do IT jobs on the side. At least in the education field if they don't want you they keep you employed still for a full school year, just don't invite you back the next year. I also minored in business when I got my IT degree years ago and was only like 15 credit hours away from a bachelors in accounting. They offer post bachelor's certificates in accounting at my college, maybe I will do that instead since I know for sure I can get a part-time accounting job with that. I have several friends who are accountants who say accounting jobs are all over the place.
    ... the world seems full of good men--even if there are monsters in it. - Bram Stoker, Dracula
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    PolynomialPolynomial Member Posts: 365
    Moon Child wrote: »
    Wow you have all those certs and you say lost your job twice in the last 4 years ... I really am starting to have my reservations about the IT field then I can't stand job instability like that.

    This is an egregious misconception. Certifications =/= jobs. Millions of other factors, a lot even more important than certifications.

    And respectfully, I think pogue's attitude is far too disgruntled to be considered constructive.
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    tpatt100tpatt100 Member Posts: 2,991 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Yeah more certs isn't the answer and too simplistic of an approach but President = Economy is just as simplistic as well.

    You are probably going to notice less people retiring due to financial insecurity when the recession hit hard back in 2003-4 so those seniors are preventing some positions from opening and upward progression. Or you will notice less replacing of people and just making employees work harder. I know at my wife's work they lost four people and only replaced one in the past several years and if your employer doesn't see you fail then why spend more money?

    Getting more certs without experience is just a cheaper version of getting more college without experience. Without real world experience the reality is you just have a lot of empty book knowledge without real experience. Get all those Microsoft/Cisco certs and find out the real world isn't just Microsoft and Cisco networks.
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    poguepogue Member Posts: 213
    The statement itself may be simplisitic, but it is backed up by knowledge of what makes our economy run.

    America runs on cheap energy. if energy is not cheap, then prices on everything goes up. If prices on everything goes up (are you debating the reality of this statement??) then there is less disposable income amongst the populace. Less disposable income means fewer businesses making high profits. Less profit means scaling back of the number 1 cost for most businesses.. Labor. Less labor means more competition for jobs.

    So, expensive energy is the main issue. The president started day 1 of his first term attacking the coal and oil industries. Therefore.. YES... President = Economy is a simplistic, but accurate characterization.

    Perhaps I am not the one with the "simplistic" view?

    And to address your second point.. If the Op does not have the knowledge through lack of personal study, then he does not necessarily have to get the actual certification, but he DOES need to get that knowledge.

    And all things being equal, if you have no verifiable experience, certifications are better than nothing..

    I am giving him an actual course of action... I noticed you did nothing but say my answers are too simplistic. Are you going to give the OP any suggestions on action he can actually take?

    And for the record, the solution you told him was too simplistic actually increased my salary 33% in a year and I am fairly confident that I will not be unemployed any time in the near future. icon_smile.gif Mmmmmkayyyyyy?

    Russ
    Currently working on: CCNA:Security
    Up next: CCNA:Voice
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    poguepogue Member Posts: 213
    Polynomial wrote: »
    And respectfully, I think pogue's attitude is far too disgruntled to be considered constructive.

    In a competitive environment when there is a scarcity of resources, often the most aggressive predator will survive. icon_smile.gif

    Russ
    Currently working on: CCNA:Security
    Up next: CCNA:Voice
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    PolynomialPolynomial Member Posts: 365
    We'll have to agree to disagree. While I understand what you're saying its poor way to approach a career in a field where teamwork is valued above just about everything.
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    tpatt100tpatt100 Member Posts: 2,991 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Yeah that explanation is simplistic, mostly wrong but seriously simplistic. Lets ignore the effects of manufacturing jobs moving overseas since NAFTA and more so in recent years. It's cyclical: jobs leave, wages drop less money circulating, wealth concentrates, less competition, etc. We are a global economy now and will always be.

    Report
    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. manufacturing employment grew from13.2 million in 1950 to 19.5 million in 1979 before falling back to 13.8 million in 2007.
    Surprisingly, two-thirds of this decline occurred in the years following the relatively mild
    2001 recession. In fact, the 1.5 million jobs lost in the rst year of that downturn is
    almost twice the 900 thousand jobs lost during the rst year of the Great Recession.
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