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Old 02-18-2010, 12:18 PM
 
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2 year degrees (Devry, ITT, etc) are worthless because the barriers to entry are too low. Employers don't know anything about the rigor of the program or the quality of students that enter and exit.

If someone wants to work in the IT industry and make good money, the best route is to study EE or CS at a reputable university (MIT, CalTech, CMU, Berkeley, Stanford). How can you tell if a school is reputable? Look at the companies that recruit there and the positions that they recruit for. I went to CMU and I can think of a number of companies that recruited at our job fairs: Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Yahoo, IBM, Intel, AMD, HP, Seagate, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, UBS, Mozilla, Northrop Gruman, Booz Allen Hamilton, Blackrock, Dell, CIA, FBI, US Department of Defense, Deloitte, Apple, Red Hat, etc. How many of these companies are willing to spend $3000+ on airfare and lodging to come recruit at Devry? I'm pretty sure that a large number of weapons that are currently (or will be) in Iraq right now were designed by a Carnegie Mellon grad. We built cars that drive themselves (don't need a human driver), this technology will definitely be used in the future for war / defense purposes. If we can kill the enemy and minimize our own casualties, hell yes. If Skynet happens, it will be because of the technologies developed at CMU / Stanford / MIT...

Last edited by NYCAnalyst; 02-18-2010 at 12:33 PM..
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Old 02-18-2010, 01:29 PM
 
Location: The DMV
6,223 posts, read 10,263,010 times
Reputation: 7847
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderlust76 View Post
I would prefer working with networks, routers, or databases I'm not really interested in software development or sales. If I wanted to get into development I would probably try to get into game design that's the only way I would do it. I don't really care about the setting and I'm quite content with just an average salary and benefits I don't think you can expect too much when you just enter a field. I live near Pittsburgh I probably would not have to relocate Pittsburgh has a growing technology sector.

I appreciate all the info you gave about your husband and so on and will take note of it. Yeah I remember back when I graduated from high school back in the 90's MIS degrees were the thing to get, well, one of the things to get.

The only thing is he entered the field back in the 80's so it's a lot different now as far as just starting out and what companies look for. My best friend works in the IT field he works in a backoffice setting working with servers. I know the IT field changes constantly and you have to keep up on new technology. That's one thing I would like about it because I get bored easy and like constantly learning new things.

NeilVA Ahh I see.
just my .02. But in technical operations, skill is king. You can have a gazillion certifications, but if you come in for an interview and can't give me explicit examples of how you've designed networks or DR sites... you'll be facing some stiff competition; especially in this economic climate. For the most part, sys/network admin. is more of an experienced area - not exactly entry level. You're gonna need two years of experience just to be a Jr. sys admin or network engineer (depending on who you're working for of course).

And there's the rub - how are you going to get those 2 years of experience when you'll be competing with former sys admins with > 5 years of experience who's position was outsourced?

Not trying to discourage you - but it may be a long road.

But getting in is like any other job - network and make contacts. And hope one (or more) of those contacts will lead you to the opportunity you're looking for.

I'm a proponent of education - but as a way to provide knowledge, not as a employment tool. I've heard too many stories of multi-cert holders that have no job and a debt to suggest that.
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Old 02-18-2010, 02:02 PM
 
5,721 posts, read 5,513,416 times
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Devry is harder to get into than ITT from what I remember. I had orientations and examinations at them both throughout the years. Between the two I would have chosen Devry but ultimately chose neither. Devry claims you get a 4 year degree in 3 years or something like that. They still call my house and try to give me their sales pitch sometimes. I wasn't sold on either one of their programs at all especially the way the IT industry as unfolded over the years. They were more viable back in the 90's imo. Devry claims they do have a lot of agreements with big companies to hire their graduates such as some of the airline companies but I don't trust any of these for-profit private tech schools.

I just like researching them since I have quite a few near me. I know some guys that did graduate from a public 2 year tech school and they're doing very well now but this was back in the early 90's. Which again was the best time to get into the IT field.

macroy - There must be a lot of freshly graduated 20somethings having a tough time then. Because all these schools are still selling the kool-ade that says IT jobs are a dime a dozen and easy to get with a little bit of education and some certs. Again the career path in this field is not clear which is why I see it as a volatile industry right now with a lot of people spending a lot of money and receiving some $9.00/hr job. The big universities are pumping out thousands of kids a year with degrees in computer science or some form of computers not to mention all the smaller technical schools. You're almost better off getting into healthcare imo. I don't know one nurse that can't get a job tomorrow, and make good money.
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:34 PM
JL
 
8,479 posts, read 13,805,682 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderlust76 View Post
This field has always been a bit of a mystery to me back in the 90's it was common for guys with just a 2 year degree from a technical school and maybe one certification to get a good paying job at some Fortune 500 company. What is the best way to enter the field now though in 2010? It seems like noone has a clear cut answer to this question and you will get a lot of different opinions. The IT field seems more complex than let's say healthcare, in healthcare if you want to become a nurse there is a clear cut career path and it's really obvious. If you want to enter the IT field what is better a technical college or a regular university? How many certifications should you get and are they more important than a regular college degree? What is better technical college and certifications or a 4 year degree from let's say a public 4 year school w/ certifications?
For a field like IT, get that experience first by applying for Help Desk positions. If it means non-paid volunteering work in this field, then do it. You can always attend college at nights while working or get that degree later down the road. You can get certifications later too. It will serve you well to work in the corporate world first. Experience is the most important factor in all of this. Trust me on this.
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:57 PM
 
8,518 posts, read 15,069,564 times
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I haven't read through this entire thread, but I thought I'd toss in my opinion seeing as how I've been working in IT for a decade now. First thing you have to understand about IT is that experience matters more than anything else. I have a 4-year degree from a prestigious school, but not in a technical field. Rarely am I even asked about my degree when I go to interviews. I've worked with people who have similarly unrelated degrees and some who never finished college. They're all thriving because they have a wealth of experience. In terms of education, a 4-year degree in CS or MIS is your best bet. If that's not possible, then go for an associate's degree. But like I said, nothing trumps experience. I had to do an unpaid internship to break into the field. But the experience I gained was more valuable than my degree.

As far as certifications are concerned, it depends on what area of IT you're in. But IMO, they really only matter if you're starting out and need to prove to potential employers your skill set. The more experience you get, the less people will care what certs you have. I only got one back when I was an intern. Let the job market decide it for you. Unless you see a lot of jobs asking for them, don't bother.

Lastly, be open-minded about what types of jobs or companies you're willing to work for. I got into IT just when the dotcom bubble was bursting. But I found work because I was willing to go to a city that wasn't a cool place for a single 20something and I went to a company that a lot of other IT people would consider beneath them.

If you want to discuss this further, feel free to DM me.
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Old 02-23-2010, 02:14 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
3,556 posts, read 10,211,403 times
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I'm curious about something. As I responded on the other similar topic, I've been in IT for about 25 years now. Back then, we got in by taking a really low-level position and slowly proving ourselves and showing our worth. We'd start out as tape librarians, printer operators, stock room supply clerks, sorter operators, help desk operators, and form processing clerks. I remember when secretaries, accountants, and your basic clerical staff were asked if they wanted to join IT at an entry-level position. It used to be rare for someone to stay in one of these entry-level positions. They either "got it" and advanced through the ranks, or they were let go or re-assigned as their value stagnated.

What sort of positions exist today that allow someone to get their foot in the door, or are these sorts of opportunities extremely rare?
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:37 AM
 
Location: The DMV
6,223 posts, read 10,263,010 times
Reputation: 7847
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanderlust76 View Post
Devry is harder to get into than ITT from what I remember. I had orientations and examinations at them both throughout the years. Between the two I would have chosen Devry but ultimately chose neither. Devry claims you get a 4 year degree in 3 years or something like that. They still call my house and try to give me their sales pitch sometimes. I wasn't sold on either one of their programs at all especially the way the IT industry as unfolded over the years. They were more viable back in the 90's imo. Devry claims they do have a lot of agreements with big companies to hire their graduates such as some of the airline companies but I don't trust any of these for-profit private tech schools.

I just like researching them since I have quite a few near me. I know some guys that did graduate from a public 2 year tech school and they're doing very well now but this was back in the early 90's. Which again was the best time to get into the IT field.

macroy - There must be a lot of freshly graduated 20somethings having a tough time then. Because all these schools are still selling the kool-ade that says IT jobs are a dime a dozen and easy to get with a little bit of education and some certs. Again the career path in this field is not clear which is why I see it as a volatile industry right now with a lot of people spending a lot of money and receiving some $9.00/hr job. The big universities are pumping out thousands of kids a year with degrees in computer science or some form of computers not to mention all the smaller technical schools. You're almost better off getting into healthcare imo. I don't know one nurse that can't get a job tomorrow, and make good money.
these "certification mills" cropped up in the 1990's.... when certifications were a craze. But that was also helped by the .com boom. Yea, having few letters behind your name gets you a 80k job... but you're also working for a company that had no viable business plan but had tens to hundred of millions of dollars from angel investors who were looking to cash in on extremely bloated stock prices.

However - you are partially right in that IT is a very dynamic area - so it may be hard to pin down a career path compared to other disciplines. But it also provide more opportunities. The caveat is that the lifespan of an IT discipline is much shorter than others. That's why experience is such a key..
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