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Old 09-15-2004, 06:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Computer jobs

Is the IT industry hard to get into? any tips to get your foot into the door with IT? ive got a diploma in IT. would that help?
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Old 09-15-2004, 06:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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IT is a big industry. It just depends on what you want to do. You can always start off in tech support and work your way up.
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Old 09-15-2004, 07:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Saying that you want to work in the IT industry is like saying you want to work in the medical industry. In the medical industry you have everything from a brain surgen to a janitor, from a surgical nurse to a drug sales men. You need to narrow your focus in a certain area. Programming, technical support, sales or any other area will have different requirments.
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Old 09-15-2004, 08:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What these guys say is quite true. If you want to get into the IT field, though, having just a degree isn't enough. You have to network. No, I'm not talking about running CAT5 or setting up a router, I'm talking about personal networking. Go to seminars, go to college-sponsored-alumni functions, job fairs, any place that can get you talking to people is a good place to start. This doesn't just apply to just IT either. With IT, you want to focus on line-of-business specifics. Most companies have IT shops. That's why IT is such a huge damn field. Hot areas right now are as follows: Networking, Security, Systems Analysis and Programming at the wayyyy bottom (due to outsourcing). This should be a good start for ya.
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Old 09-15-2004, 05:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You say you have a Diploma in IT. Well, that implies it's an area in which you have done at least some studying etc.

What interests you in IT?

Two areas that have lots of growth at the moment are networking and security. Within networking, people familiar with voice over IP (VoIP) are in demand.

You can increase your chances of getting a job by having some industry accreditation. Consider sitting some of the Cisco exams. They are excellent advantages to have when you're applying for a job; the only problem being that they cost a lot of money!


Mr Mephisto
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Old 09-15-2004, 08:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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One thing Ill say about security: It is a very selective field. Think about it--people have to trust you to let you poke around their network and make changes that could potentially bring them down. That trust comes from experience. This isnt to say that you can't get into it--but it isnt something you do just because you like computers. You really have to know your shit to get anywhere in the security field.

Also, beware straight programming jobs--programming has become a commodity profession, and will be treated as such.
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Old 09-15-2004, 08:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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take a look at 802.16 (WiMax). the 802.16 standard is supposed to be ratified in Q4 of this year. it should radically change wireless.
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Old 09-15-2004, 09:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm lucky, I think, to work as a tech. for a Fortune 100 retailer with over 58 billion in annual revenue. (and luckier me, our site is the only VOIP pilot in the corp--the man above me is right, VOIP is going to save companies a TON of cash. Being able to admin multiple sites with one "phone datacenter" is going to be sweet.)

Computer Techs are like car mechanics now. For every good one, there are 13 bad ones, 4 self proclaimed experts, 5 know it alls, and 21 "self-taught" techs who don't feel a need to take some silly test.

The best you can do is get all the paper you can saying you know what you're doing. If you have a degree and certifications galore, I'd think you'd find something. Companies are looking for someone who someone else (reputable school, etc.) has "signed off" on. They want to know that you REALLY can do what you say, and have passed the tests to prove it.

For corporate work, I'd find a specialty. You need to be really useful in one or two specific ways, with good overall IT knowledge. There are too many "computer people" when companies are looking for network people, or hardware people, or network architects. The whole field is oversaturated, and I swear I meet a person a day who's trying to get in the field. Unlike the medical area, IT is not overflowing with jobs, and they are not likely to get in. Studying how to fix a home computer is not something that's going to get you real far. Learn to install fiber instead. Sweaty work sometimes, but the contracters we paid to run our building's backbone make a pretty good living.

Pick one catagory of comp. work. Be really good at it. Be able to prove you are.

Like any other job, do whatever you can to meet someone on the inside. If someone is going to trust you with even a menial position, you'll still have the capacity to cause thousands of dollars of lost work if you screw up, or don't follow procedure. Do what you can to network, like said above.

BE WILLING TO MOVE! If you are bound and determined to stay in your local area, you will make your job hunt much more difficult. I moved, with my wonderful supportive wife, to another state to take my job. Had I been unwilling to go where the work was, I'd still be sending out resumes, and getting no offers.
I can't stress this enough. If you live in a medium sized city with a very finite number of tech jobs for the given industry/commercial developments, you must be willing to move. In larger area, there are more competitors, but at least there is job growth to fight over.
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Last edited by billege; 09-15-2004 at 10:00 PM..
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Old 09-16-2004, 12:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oiekeooiyw
take a look at 802.16 (WiMax). the 802.16 standard is supposed to be ratified in Q4 of this year. it should radically change wireless.
This is a bit of an overstatement.

It's a mobile wireless standard; basically mobile wireless broadband. It will not compete directly with 802.11. Also, you won't see much traction until 2006 at least.

If anyone is interested I can post more info.

Having said that, the wireless space IS a good area and one set for growth. Bone up on your 802.11 skills, as WLAN is set to grow and grow...



Mr Mephisto
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Old 09-16-2004, 05:24 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Location: Alexandria, VA
To threadjack, I am interested about WiMax. I've heard just a tiny bit, but didn't really feel like going to read the IEEE working group documents.

More info, Meph? You've always got plenty to say about wireless things
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Old 09-17-2004, 03:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Location: Florida
For me, having Microsoft certifications pretty much got me my current job.
I don't even have an IT degree at all.
If you're interested in programming, you might be lucky enough to land a telecommuting job (like me) and not have to move to where the jobs are.
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Old 09-17-2004, 10:40 AM   #12 (permalink)
zen_tom
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I never qualified anywhere, but always had a firm interest in solving problems. While working in a bank as a clerk, I was able to learn about programming, and (after learning some basic programming) managed to automate my own job. I used kick it off in the morning, and spend the rest of the day drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and otherwise goofing off. When my boss found out I'd replaced myself with a machine, he pointed me at more interesting problems...

Anyway, it's nearly 8 years later and I've been all over the world setting up computer systems in various banks and am currently living in a tropical island in the atlantic (no, we missed the hurricane) What am I getting at? Just that the most important thing I've found is to keep pushing for new knowledge, and also for new, real-world challenges. Programming can be enjoyable, but it's always easier to get into if you have a real problem to get your teeth stuck into. Be prepared to be bored, unhappy, and disenheartened on the way, things wont happen in an instant, but do always try and remember that only you can improve your own skills.

Anyway, good luck!
 
 

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