getting the foot in the door

110 pts.
Tags:
A+
Certifications
IT careers
MCP
MCSE
Network+
I would like to recieve some positive and resourceful responses on the best way to crack into the IT industry. I will be completing my year long college network training with the following certifications, A+, Network +, MCP, MCSE. I have no prior experience in the industry, employed in a managerial user end for 15 years. Looking forward to some expert responses in support of a rookie. Thanks
ASKED: May 9, 2008  11:51 AM
UPDATED: May 24, 2008  3:32 AM

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There is a lot of advice on this board for folks like you. Search for “certification” or “experience” or other terms from previous postings. The best advice I can think of is to get experience any way you possibly can. Volunteer to fix or manage computers at your church (if you attend) or some other non-profit organization. This can really open your eyes as to what it means to support devices and users. It will be a challenge for you to make a career change to IT from being on the “other side of the fence”. I’m not saying you won’t like the job or challenge, but that it could take some time and be frustrating to make the change.

What part of the country are you in? What does the IT job market look like there? How is the training facility staff helping you with a job search?

I wish you luck. Remember that the certifications only prove you can absorb knowledge long enough to take an exam and pass the exam. It does not prove you have the skills to do the job. IT is a “big picture” type of job. You have to understand how your actions can affect a whole range of users, systems and services. Certification does not necessarily teach you those skills.

I would also recommend that you talk to local computer resellers and consulting firms, they may know of jobs in the area that are not posted. Remember the old saying – “it’s not what you know, it’s WHO you know”.

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  • Cults14
    Having spent 9 years in IT recruitment, I agree with Labnuke99 - a bit of social networking is as likely to work for you as replying to ads in the press and on the web. I would add that you shouldn't be too fussy in the early stages of your new career in terms of what jobs you go for. If anyone says they're looking for MCSE quals for a 1st-line support job then I would avoid. Couple of examples .................................. I knew a guy who did MCSE (boot camp) - his first IT job was in Computer Ops at the local Council working on an ICL mainframe!! However, he got his foot in the door and from there he was able to move sideways and upwards. Ended up doing a 'proper' MCSE-type job and is paid accordingly. I knew another guy who had been a labourer, taxi driver etc etc. But was interested in PCs in his spare time. He took an evening class in ONE of the modules which lead to HNC (BTech equivalent in England-shire I think), spoke to someone he knew, got a trial, got a contract, got commendations for quality of service, got permanent job, is now something of a Unix guru at his workplace. Same employer all the way through! Common thread? Attitude.
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  • Pro-cert
    In my opinion I would suggest you look for opportunities to network with individuals already in the field. Also utilize the placement services available in your college. Also realize that you will most likely have to start at the bottom and work your way up. Some individuals volunteer in IT departments to gain experience. Your certifications will definitely enable you to stand out amongst other candidates. I work with individuals like yourself every day, and the best advice is to network, and keep your acquired skills sharp.
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