Current MIS Student. What can I do while in school to have a better experience after?

sykxsykx Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
I am one of the many MIS students finding out that the "bridge between IT and business" is not the glory that was promised. I am 22 years old and have a year or so left of classes to graduate. I am worried because my job experience is not involved in help desk type jobs. I have experience in printing and large format printer maintenance, but that is not going to help me in IT/MIS. Trying to search for jobs online has taught me that upon graduation I will not have the credentials for much of anything. I came to this site to learn about the different certs that help get the foot in the door to an array of different IT jobs.

Here is where I seek your help, What can I do over the next year and beyond that will help me for my future? Where do I get started?

I do not have a defined direction yet for the field, I am open to all things MIS, IT, and, Business. I am looking for ways to better myself and my experience. Please help!

I am sorry if I am the millionth scared Information Systems student to come running screaming help to this forum. I just need to find a starting point and build from there.


  • Options
    Jason0352Jason0352 Member Posts: 59 ■■□□□□□□□□
    As a recent graduate of an MIS program (2011) I know exactly what you're going through. You need to figure out what your interest in IT is; what your niche will be (IE: networks, systems, DBA, programming). I knew from the start I was interested in networking and infrastructure so I pursued Cisco certs while also going to college. I graduated with a CCNA and the job offers came in pretty steadily.

    The degree is good in that it puts another check in the box when going for promotions - its another qualification that differentiates yourself between other candidates vying for the same job. You'd be surprised how many IT professionals don't have a Bachelors.

    Ultimately experience is the name of the game so if you have to settle for a $12/hour help desk job for a couple months in order to get your feet wet, then so be it. Certs + a degree will get you offers soon enough.
  • Options
    zrockstarzrockstar Member Posts: 378
    One of the best things you can do is get a good internship. Find out your niche like Jason said, and work on finding an internship in that realm. See if you school will help too. Does your school require some kind of capstone where you have to do a "senior project" more or less? If so, make it count.
  • Options
    Params7Params7 Member Posts: 254
    Sign up for an Information Systems minor from the IT school. If its too late for you, fill your free electives with as many courses from the IT school as you can. I took an introductory programming, web programming and a database course with my MIS degree and that helped me put a few skills down in my resume. MIS degree is also a good base to get networking/helpdesk internships.
  • Options
    sykxsykx Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you for the advice. I am currently researching the network and systems sides to sort of line up my interests. I think I will pursue certs soon after deciding a direction. I am going to be going for internships come next semester and summer after boosting my knowledge and qualifications in the mean time.
  • Options
    iBrokeITiBrokeIT Member Posts: 1,318 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Internship, work study at the university help desk if possible, talk to your career planning counselor, get your A+ & Network certs and go to the career fair every semester even if you aren't looking for a job - its good practice.
    2019: GPEN | GCFE | GXPN | GICSP | CySA+ 
    2020: GCIP | GCIA 
    2021: GRID | GDSA | Pentest+ 
    2022: GMON | GDAT
    2023: GREM  | GSE | GCFA

    WGU BS IT-NA | SANS Grad Cert: PT&EH | SANS Grad Cert: ICS Security | SANS Grad Cert: Cyber Defense Ops SANS Grad Cert: Incident Response
  • Options
    AkaricloudAkaricloud Member Posts: 938
    As a fairly recent MIS grad(~1.5 years out now), my advice is get some hands-on technical experience however possible. Build out your own lab, find some entry level helpdesk work and study for some certifications.

    MIS is a great base for a technical career but like you said it doesn't land you a job by itself.
  • Options
    TechGuru80TechGuru80 Member Posts: 1,539 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Although I am not technically in the market yet, I have had some internship experience and know others in the field (I am changing my career and am back in school). This industry is based a lot on experience and credentials. Credentials get your foot in the door (your degree, certifications), while the experience you build up on a career will get you higher jobs. Definitely get your baseline certifications (at minimum network+ and security+) and keep going. The route after this will have a lot to do with your interests...networking = Cisco generally, and systems = Microsoft/Linux. For the baselines you probably won't need to build a lab, maybe just a basic home router if even that, but for the higher level certs everybody suggests having a home lab. For example if you don't have a lab and go the Cisco route, you would pay $500 for a simulator that you have for X amount of days or you can have a lab for about the same with everything you should need for a while (if not less). Microsoft is probably the same...I believe server runs about $700 for the base license versus the classes which are pretty expensive.

    Companies a lot of times have funds for training employees so if you can get the baseline certifications and have a company pay for the rest you are set! If you go government for a job you will have to have at least one CompTIA certification and frankly they do a good job of laying some basic groundwork knowledge (each full certification...some have two tests but this includes that...for CompTIA run about $250-300 not including study materials). It's a good thing to know how much the tests are. A+ is required for a lot of help desk type positions but generally a lot of other positions don't require it.

    The last thing is, if you really want to have the best shot at a job, be willing to relocate.
  • Options
    sykxsykx Registered Users Posts: 3 ■□□□□□□□□□
    TechGuru80 wrote: »

    The last thing is, if you really want to have the best shot at a job, be willing to relocate.

    I am actually hoping to relocate and start somewhere new!

    I am now trying to get the certifications I need to pursue in proper order.
  • Options
    IsmaeljrpIsmaeljrp Member Posts: 480 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Willing to relocate is huge if you're in a very bad market for jobs, like I am. I do get an Internship on my final semester, so that should help me a bit. But, in all seriousness even with that if you're in a bad place for IT jobs, it won't help no matter what.

    I suggest Trying out different things like specific IT courses, like others have mentioned.
  • Options
    UniqueAgEnTUniqueAgEnT Member Posts: 102
    I also graduated with Bachelors in MIS in 2010 and internships/experience are definitely the most important aspect of recieving good job offers when you graduate. I had 2 internships prior to graduating and both offered full time, along with additional jobs. I did not have any certifications at the time since I did not know they were as valueable, but my experience helped me do well in interviews. The more experience you have, the easier it is to interview.

    Start with your A+ certification since every entry level position should know that information and then move onto more niche certifications. Your best chance of landing an IT position will be the tri-fecta (Education, Experience, and Certification)
  • Options
    Jumpman23Jumpman23 Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Once you find your niche then you can focus on the certifications you will need to pursue your career path. Start with A+ then pick your poison. Definitely CCNA if your going networking. MCSA, or MCSE if your interested in servers, exchange, databases, etc. SNIA if you would like to work in storage. VCP if you would like to work with VMware.

    Good luck
  • Options
    N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
  • Options
    goldenlightgoldenlight Member Posts: 378 ■■□□□□□□□□
    start going to employer websites and check out the College recruit section. These programs are specifically designed for college graduates with less then 3 years experience. And see what positions interest you...
    The Only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it keep looking. Don't settle - Steve Jobs
Sign In or Register to comment.