May 15th, 2008, 04:12 PM #1
For those interesting in breaking into the IT Careers
What could be easier than filling an entry-level job opening? You just match the skills you need, narrow the candidates down to those you click with in the interview and then go with a youngster ? someone who might stick around for years. After all, you have real work to do.
Easy, yes, but wrong on just about every count.
Take this to heart speaking from someone in the "biz" without any degrees or certifications.
May 15th, 2008, 04:19 PM #2
But if your a hot female and suck some good dick you got the job!
May 15th, 2008, 04:44 PM #3
- Join Date
- Feb 2006
- Gville, FL
- Blog Entries
I think the article could go either way. I work closely with people 19-50years old. Both have their pro's and con's. But for the most part, IMO IT employees around the age of 30 do the best work.
They are updated on most current generation apps/procedures/etc because they went to college not too long ago, but have the necessary work experience.
The older employees hate change, always think they are right, and have a hard time listening to anything someone new/younger says.
May 15th, 2008, 05:44 PM #4
Continueing with the articles online about educational backgrounds, here is a snippet from CIO.com (Chief Information Officer). This article covers some of the differences in degrees and how they can effect your career choices:
The real problem underlying the IT business alignment conundrum is that we're not hiring the right people in IT. The right people need strong backgrounds in both business and technology. Most IT hiring managers place too much emphasis on strong technology backgrounds.
May 20th, 2008, 04:00 PM #5
- Join Date
- Jan 2003
- Outside the box
- Blog Entries
The biggest problem I see in this area is the one covered in the second article. The IT label has taken on such a broad range of areas that, at least IMO, its not about what I traditionally think of as IT anymore. I think the keyword in the article is "alignment ", instead of focusing on traditional IT roles companies are trying to merge a bunch of areas into one.
As per example a job posting I was just looking at.
IT Reporting Analyst I
The IT Reporting Analyst I is responsible for creating and analyzing various reports and complex data sets and for collecting and researching medical expense, utilization and billing & accounts receivable data. Report preparation and analysis includes the areas of managed care, billing, accounts receivable, reimbursement, and scheduling. Incumbent is also responsible for completing various ad hoc requests and special projects as assigned.
Requires a Bachelor's Degree in Business/Healthcare/or IT field, or equivalent combination of education and health care/technical experience. Requires at least 2 years experience in health care administration environment, preferably analyzing data as a principal function. Incumbent must posses in depth knowledge of either managed care or billing & accounts receivable. IDX a plus. Strong computer proficiency in the areas of spreadsheets, graphics, database, and word-processing software in a Windows environment required, preferably with significant MS Access/query writing experience. Cognos or other cube based technology and/or SQL is a plus. Incumbent must possess strong analytical skills, the ability to structure client and individual physician performance reports with limited direction and supervision, ability to organize and work independently, establish and manage multiple priorities, meet deadlines and effectively interact with internal staff and clients.
May 20th, 2008, 05:12 PM #6
Excellent analysis Richeem. It seems like many companies or bulking IT/MIS jobs into one bin even though they should potentially fall under different departments because they are asking for someone with "Strong computer skills" with an idea of how the entire system works from client/front end to the server/back end. Something that the articles touch on is the difference from the classic Computer Science and Information Technology degree; Programming Appplications vs. Applications Use.
I think that one of the current down falls of the education system is that it hasnt been rethought for the last decade or two and it has been since the dot com boom and bust that things have really changed. IT isnt about building computers anymore but giving a technology approach to solving a businesses problems. Most 'Classic' IT personal wouldnt know were to start on how to solve a business problem with technology. The modern IT person needs to be not only tech-savvy but also business minded and know how to save the company a few dollars outside of ordering online instead of through a local vendor.
An example, my company has many satellite offices. We are responcibile for not only ensuring they have an internet connection to the main office but also that should they have poor wiring that we fix it. Structured wiring may be the education front for Telco technicians installing the DSL but ive learned how to rewire and troubleshoot all sorts of problems. I've even hooked up jacks and punchdowns for an office. This is not your typical IT related work but its something that saves my company money and time because I can do the same job a contractor might do in less time and for cheaper.
May 20th, 2008, 05:28 PM #7
- Join Date
- Oct 2001
I sit in on a lot of interviews as we hire people
I also have zero certs (do have a degree, but I didn't learn much of anything JOB useful from it) but most important to me is 6 years in a high stress enterprise environment.
That is what would sell my resume
I personally hold zero value for MCSE's these days, I know far too many people that have paper mcse's but dumb as a brick and have no idea what they're doing on a real server.
When I'm looking at people, I look for attitude .. not just technical
I've seen super smart people that may know everything but work ethic is terrible.. and I've seen people that have hardly had much experience on a server but they'd saw off their left arm to get a shot.
In our group we tend to hire the guy that will saw off their arm (ok, maybe a leg.. we need arms in our jobs) because they'll bust their ass to learn and try to do a good job
Ambition is a big score in our book
Sometimes reality strikes and we NEED a senior person that can hit the ground running
They are VERY hard to find, a good senior person that has the right motivation and doesn't want boatloads of money (DC is a high salary area for IT).. not to mention capable of getting a secret clearance.
If we tried to get somebody with IT and business mind.. we'd probably still be looking for jobs we needed to fill 6 months ago.
We also (as the article also suggests) come in to the interview with several people (sometimes as much as 6 ) with guns a blazing
Helps determine how well they will deal with stress, and being put under pressure.
Sometimes they're a little too nervous and blank out.. but we joke around a lot to help with that
DO NOT put crap on your resume you dont know anything about
We smell blood and we will bite
We had a guy put blackberry server experience on his resume, so we asked him a few generic questions (not even overly technical) ... complete zero on that, he'd worked with blackberries at the desktop level only
So we started asking him MORE technical questions on blackberry server and stating its on your resume why dont you know it?
Relax, be yourself but be confident.. sit up straight!! I hate it when somebody comes into the interview and just kinda lackadaisacal about the whole thing
Look them in the eye to show you are talking to them.. not the wall.. its also a sign of weakness if you can't look them in the eye.
If you dont know something admit it, but be interested
"No sorry, I've never worked with blackberries but I've always been interested in working with them and trying to get into the wireless side" etc etc (don't bs too much, it grows transparent)
Give them the attitude if they asked you to scoop up a pile of crap that you'd do it with a smile and a thank you.
July 28th, 2008, 11:05 PM #8
- Join Date
- Jul 2008
- Bronx, New York
My view on getting in...
Well personally, I would have to agree with Vas. I think work ethic, a willingness to learn(along with an aptitude, naturally), and good demeanor are all factors into landing an entry level job. I just got out of the military recently where I was an Electronic Technician(with a specialization in Electronic Test Equipment). To be honest, it didn't have so much to do with IT or Printer repair. Immediately upon getting out, I went on 2 interviews for field tech positions in Manhattan(which are extremely hard to get, considering they're usually a 1 man deal) and was chosen for both. Not too shabby. I have no certifications, only 2 years worth of vocational(military) school. Of course, I'll have my A+ next month ^_^ A lot of people say it's not worth it, but that's just because they're too lazy and refuse to adapt. It actually does help(along with experience) to know the terminology and be able to show that you can keep up with things. I'd recommend the military or an internship and certifications personally. I get paid almost as much as somebody with a 4 year degree starting, not that it's much : / I'll have my degree in about 8 years though to back up my experience lol.
July 29th, 2008, 12:45 PM #9
If say, you know near nothing about computers and need to learn the basics then it is applicable but i have been using a computer for over 20 yeras. Building them for about 15 and I keep on top of the technology as it develops. Getting the A+ would not have done much for me because my experience already trumps it.
July 30th, 2008, 12:18 AM #10
- Join Date
- Jul 2008
- Bronx, New York
Well, this is where I see something a bit funny. I am *in no means* trying to downplay what you do, but why on earth wouldn't you just grab a few certifications if you claim to be "way beyond" it. It only makes sense. You shouldn't need to study, since you have so much experience. I mean yeah there are probably is a lot of fluff to know, but there is also a lot of important material you would know from your extensive experience working. Aside from that, a lot of companies fund your certifications(Unless you work for yourself). Even if you pay the fee yourself, though(as in my case), it's cheap. I'm just a relatively new tech and I don't have much trouble shelling out 200 to make my resume look better. Just on a side note though, it's more of an integrity factor. Anyone can become a technician and do their job, maybe a lot of OT learning or with a natural talent for the stuff, but how many people care to go a bit extra? And then once you do become just a technician, do you expect to learn *everything* hands on?
I think nowadays(and this is my opinion), with all of the information available(it is the information age, afterall) it only makes sense to learn new things via self study once in a while. Hands-on experience will get you far, but it won't put you further than somebody who studies and works hard. Aside from that, well... there's a ceiling pay to being just a PC technician. If you're satisfied with that, by all means to each his own, but certifications are valuable. But then again, I try to remain unbiased. I see that employers(and this is NOT only for Entry level positions) value certifications such as A+, N+ & Cisco as it usually is "preffered"... so I don't see why it's a bad idea to show what you know while you gain experience working hands-on. And if you're offended... well, I feel sorry for you because if I come to the point where I've been a technician for 20 years(if I'm actually a technician at that point, who's to say), I wouldn't feel like I'm too good to take a test. Pride can be respectable but egotism to those extents aren't good for your career.
July 30th, 2008, 01:02 PM #11
I have researched my certifications and know what is and is not valuable to me. Should I have gotten a job in a small repair shop, my view would be different. My ego has nothing to do with me not taking certification tests either, its the fact that my employer keeps me busy and relies on me to do the work when ever. In fact, I am flying out to Seattle tomorrow morning because my boss knows I am well suited for the job.
Now then, lets not squabble over personal views on certifications and which have value and keep this on topic. If you have some articles, links, or sites that are informative for those wanting to enter the field, post them.
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