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Old 03-15-2012, 10:34 AM
 
24,503 posts, read 35,965,437 times
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I had an internship doing helpdesk years ago. $21/hr. Met some really great people, but I'll never go back to doing that kind of work again. It wasn't for me.
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:05 PM
 
3,614 posts, read 3,090,967 times
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Originally Posted by kazyn View Post
Dallas has a pretty nicely formed tech industry right now. I'm digging it
Jesus, you guys hiring? I'd move for $19 an hour.
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:47 PM
 
Location: HoCo, MD
4,591 posts, read 8,195,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonfly0428 View Post
I am a 20+ year communications specialist (communications as in marketing, internal, donor, etc., NOT radio/software) who is unable to find a job in this culture.

I've been seriously considering getting some sort of IT-based skill set, that's aligned with my communications skills. I don't want to go into network administration or hardcore programming per se, but am looking for something that is very easy to learn, doesn't take long to learn, that can take me into nearly any company, and can get me certification. I've considered Sharepoint (developer or admin?) as in communications we do a lot of document writing and storage in that environment, plus it's used for many company Intranets.

Do you feel this might be a good place to start? Any other technical jobs for a non-technical person that you could recommend? I'm willing to learn anything, but would like to become employable as soon as possible.

Thanks for any help!
No offense - but if there were such a "career", it wouldn't exactly be a huge demand given the low barrier to entry, and it'd wouldn't pay very well.

That said - Sharepoint is certainly a good skill to learn. Although a sharepoint developer is certainly not an entry level position. In general, IT typically is more about what you can do. Not what credentials you hold (there are a few exceptions). So in terms of getting a certification, avoid spending money on a boot camp or training courses that will get you certified. Without the necessary experience, that investment will rarely pay off with regards to getting a job.

Most of the time I've seen positions or responsibilities like the ones you mentioned get created due to organizational need. i..e we had a marketing analyst that gained experience in writing SQL queries because she needed to run certain reports - and the DBA didn't' have the bandwidth to provide that continuous support. So those roles were in essence "organically grown" rather than a common need. That's something that maybe hard to pickup outside of a job if that makes sense. I certainly would look into sharepoint if there's interest on your part... the easiest way is to just drop $50 or so on a book or two, seek out SharePoint admin forums, or take a begginning SharePoint class at the community college. The investments there are minimal compared to formal certification classes (a few hundred vs a few thousand).

Keep in mind though - your "niche" will still be within an IT centric communications dept. Making that jump to a full IT based position isn't likely to happen unless you have a few years of experience under your belt.

Just my .02.
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Old 03-19-2012, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Whittier
3,007 posts, read 5,204,983 times
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Yeah, from what I've found, especially in IT with these sorts of jobs is that there are a lot of catch 22s. Meaning you need a bunch of experience for the job but you need to be at a job doing that in the first place.

So, a lot of these jobs are people making lateral moves. There are rarely (at least when I look) "Junior" positions available. I don't know if it's the sign of the economy or what but companies don't seem to post IT jobs you can grow into like that, i.e. learn on the job. You have to take a help desk job and hopefully move up from there.

Thankfully I don't need a job, but I've been looking and even with 5+ years of helpdesk, repair, and networking I've found it difficult to find a job with more responsibility.
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:50 PM
 
3,614 posts, read 3,090,967 times
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Originally Posted by harhar View Post
Yeah, from what I've found, especially in IT with these sorts of jobs is that there are a lot of catch 22s. Meaning you need a bunch of experience for the job but you need to be at a job doing that in the first place.

So, a lot of these jobs are people making lateral moves. There are rarely (at least when I look) "Junior" positions available. I don't know if it's the sign of the economy or what but companies don't seem to post IT jobs you can grow into like that, i.e. learn on the job. You have to take a help desk job and hopefully move up from there.

Thankfully I don't need a job, but I've been looking and even with 5+ years of helpdesk, repair, and networking I've found it difficult to find a job with more responsibility.
That's really depressing. I'm pretty much in the same boat as you. There was a small IT Department in Chicago I applied to a few months back looking for an junior administrator\*****-work lackey. They at least bothered to do a phone interview with me, which was nice, but went with someone else with more experience.

Another company I recently interviewed with (but did not get hired by) had a rag-tag IT department comprised of people who didn't actually go to school for IT--some passionate people, but as I'm learning, when the recession is bad, the people with the least amount of experience seem to get the giant shaft.
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:12 PM
 
13,072 posts, read 11,576,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harhar View Post
Yeah, from what I've found, especially in IT with these sorts of jobs is that there are a lot of catch 22s. Meaning you need a bunch of experience for the job but you need to be at a job doing that in the first place.

So, a lot of these jobs are people making lateral moves. There are rarely (at least when I look) "Junior" positions available. I don't know if it's the sign of the economy or what but companies don't seem to post IT jobs you can grow into like that, i.e. learn on the job. You have to take a help desk job and hopefully move up from there.

Thankfully I don't need a job, but I've been looking and even with 5+ years of helpdesk, repair, and networking I've found it difficult to find a job with more responsibility.
Certs can shore up some of that depending on the cert. For instance, a A+,Net+, Sec+, etc... likely won't get much attention without some experience (though it should land a help desk job pretty easily), but they are often required to progress to higher certs. The Microsoft certs MCSA/MCSE will get a bit more attention depending on the place that is looking (smaller businesses or less professional medium businesses). A CCNA is along the same lines as the MCSA/MCSE, though in network engineering there is more of a chance of stepping into a "jr" role, though often they are quickly taken by internal promotions (help desk gets his CCNA and applies internally for the Jr. position).

If he wants to obtain a higher position and not start at the bottom, well its trickey without experience, but it can be done. A CCNP (more so the new version as it is a job readiness test and would be difficult for someone to "braindump") and other professional level Cisco certs would give a fair chance, but again it all depends on the place (some people dislike certs without experience and are a bit snobby about it), but if you really know your stuff (and have practiced with either live racks or emulators like Dynamips) you should be able to hold your own in the interviews enough to be considered competent and ready for at least a mid level position.

The thing is, none of those options will meet his requirements of:

"that is very easy to learn, doesn't take long to learn,"

How long will depend on the time available. How easy is relative to them personally, but professional level certs aren't a walk in the park and have a lot of baggage that comes with them concerning the weight and amount of knowledge required. Even the programming direction of MCSD or the like will be a hard road (unless they are technically brilliant) for a new change.

It is feasible, and you can obtain a job that isn't entry phone support, but they will have to study their behind off to pass the exams (also they are expensive when you consider all the materials and test costs) and then display competence in their interviews (often of which are question based and hands on labs).

Regardless, it isn't easy, but it is doable without experience.
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Old 03-22-2012, 02:24 PM
 
13,072 posts, read 11,576,203 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Konraden View Post
That's really depressing. I'm pretty much in the same boat as you. There was a small IT Department in Chicago I applied to a few months back looking for an junior administrator\*****-work lackey. They at least bothered to do a phone interview with me, which was nice, but went with someone else with more experience.

Another company I recently interviewed with (but did not get hired by) had a rag-tag IT department comprised of people who didn't actually go to school for IT--some passionate people, but as I'm learning, when the recession is bad, the people with the least amount of experience seem to get the giant shaft.

What certs do you have?

If you are applying for IT, you should at the minimum have some of the Comptia certs (A+, Network+, Server+, etc...). For a Net Admin, I would focus on the Microsoft certs which are roughly 6 tests to obtain a MCSE/MCITP ENT admin. You could do the Cisco CCENT/CCNA then specialize or take the CCNP/CCIE routing and switching line for a base.

Then there is the Microsoft Developer line MCAD/MCSD (or whatever their new title is), as well as many other specialty lines in programming, server administration, etc..

All of those things can be done through self study and each cert will increase your chance of getting into a job, even without experience.

Don't buy into the dismissals some have towards lack of experience. Learn the topics, master them, and blow their socks off in an interview. Confidence in the interview is key (knowing your stuff, not talking out of your arse as that will get you black listed) and I guarantee you that if you know your stuff and can display that in a technical interview, they will be less concerned about your "experience".
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Old 03-22-2012, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Whittier
3,007 posts, read 5,204,983 times
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I've been debating getting certs for a while.

My point is that a lot of IT is situational and learned on the job. Certs are really meaningless (especially the comptia ones) to all but HR and they are extremely worthless without experience.

With that being said, I probably will braindump the the A+, N+ and S+, but will probably study for the MCITP tests because I'd actually like to learn it, I'm familiar with it and see it being the most useful for a sys admin. And I can see where those things will help me get my foot in the door; or more chance for an interview.

However, there still has to be jobs to get.

I'll personally wait a another year of trying it my way (with no certs) and see what happens, in the meantime I'll study and see what happens.
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Old 03-22-2012, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,210 posts, read 18,490,880 times
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Oracle DBA. Not "quick and easy," but then nothing with any value is.
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:28 PM
 
13,072 posts, read 11,576,203 times
Reputation: 2608
Quote:
Originally Posted by harhar View Post
I've been debating getting certs for a while.

My point is that a lot of IT is situational and learned on the job. Certs are really meaningless (especially the comptia ones) to all but HR and they are extremely worthless without experience.

With that being said, I probably will braindump the the A+, N+ and S+, but will probably study for the MCITP tests because I'd actually like to learn it, I'm familiar with it and see it being the most useful for a sys admin. And I can see where those things will help me get my foot in the door; or more chance for an interview.

However, there still has to be jobs to get.

I'll personally wait a another year of trying it my way (with no certs) and see what happens, in the meantime I'll study and see what happens.

Don't brain dump, it is for idiots and people who give a bad name to the process. If you can't pass it without brain-dumping it, then you don't know it. The tests for A+, Security+, Network+, etc... are easy if you know the concepts. If you don't then brain-dumping only says you don't know the content and don't deserve the cert.

I will give you fair warning now. If you dump, the tech interviews will catch you and if they catch you, some will report you as a possible dumper. The cert organizations take this seriously and go through extensive means to stop it (it is a bad name on them when they cert someone and then they look like a moron during the tech interview).

If you dump and they catch you, not only will your certs be revoked, but they pass this through the entire cert industry and you won't be able to get a cert from any of them due to black listing.

It isn't worth it and it only gives a bad name for the process.

Seriously, I fired an engineer for dumping once. If you know the content, why the hell do you have to dump? It is absurd.
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