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Question for the IT guys here

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by w30olds, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. w30olds

    w30olds My cats breath smells like cat food

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    Basically was looking at finishing an associate degree in computer networking at the local tech college. Question for those working in the IT fields....will an associates degree help me get a job? I'm looking at doing the cisco side of the program if that matters. Maybe getting. CCNA cert. in the near future. Thanks in advance for any input and advice!


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  2. HoBoJoe

    HoBoJoe

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    Yes, it will help you get a job.

    Finish your associate, focus on certs, and find a company willing to give you an entry level position that pays for training. If you get a good job with tuition reimbursement in the future you can extend your associate to a bachelors.
     

  3. Jack_Pine

    Jack_Pine CLM

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    Get certs. Experience helps a lot. Any chance of finding an internship? That goes a along for us if we are looking at someone just out of school...............
     
  4. w30olds

    w30olds My cats breath smells like cat food

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    Thanks for the replies. I've got registration coming up Aug. 16. I'm gonna go for it and finish up my networking degree.


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    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  5. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

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    Certs. Cisco. Degrees are nice but I'll hire someone with multiple Cisco certs over someone with a Master's without any certs.
     
  6. w30olds

    w30olds My cats breath smells like cat food

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    So certs. are a good way to get my foot on the door? The tech school I attend is a cisco network academy which is nice. Think I'm going the cisco route anyway as there seems to be a big demand for cisco folks. Thanks again for the input.


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  7. HoBoJoe

    HoBoJoe

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    Yes certs are a MUST in the industry. Even getting something easy like an A+/Net+ is good for a beginner.
     
  8. w30olds

    w30olds My cats breath smells like cat food

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    I thought about the Net+ cert. first and then doing Cisco CCNA after that while doing the tech school thing


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  9. 9mmNJ

    9mmNJ

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    Certs may look good on a resume, but if you don't know your stuff on the tech interview you're done. I've been in IT for 15 yrs....interviewed plenty of people and could care less about certs. I want to find out what they know.

    I let my CCNA expire years ago and never bothered to renew, never had a MCSE and I can do as much Microsoft & Cisco design or troubleshooting as anyone i've met in the industry.

    More often than not real world solutions are not found in the book, they are drawn from past experience.

    In short:

    Experience > Certs All.Day.Long.
     
  10. HerrGlock

    HerrGlock Scouts Out CLM

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    I agree with that as well but this is a person who doesn't have a working resume, only a classroom one.

    Without certs, the resume isn't getting past HR to even get into an interview.
     
  11. HoBoJoe

    HoBoJoe

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    +1

    My last company was a recruiting company as well as an MSP. Clients and management wanted to hire someone with experience for entry level. How do you get experience if it's required for entry level??? Internship, mom/pop companies, and knowing someone.
     
  12. Tackle

    Tackle

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    I started with just an associates in networking. It will take a company willing to take a chance on a new grad. They may not pay much, but it's a start. I started 2 years ago at 25k. Now I'm at 35k in the same position. If I jump ship for a diff company I wouldn't take anything less than 40k. I passed 70-642 last year.

    If you want to go the Cisco route, take the Cisco academy course then study and take the CCENT or CCNA. You might have to start in help desk, but it won't take much experience to get into a NOC.

    Edit: The Net+ and A+ are easy to obtain, but they're spendy, require CE credits and not highly sought after. You will go further with even just the ccent. Sec+ would be nice to have ESP if you want to get into DOD or gvt jobs...less they have to pay for you to get clearance.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  13. tarpleyg

    tarpleyg

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    Get a CCIE and you won't have a problem getting a job anywhere. ;-)

    That said, anything will help but real world experience is what really counts. Also, who you know helps a lot too.

    Greg
     
  14. jtmac

    jtmac Señor Member

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    There are a lot of doors closed to you without a degree, and an associates degree will not open many of them.

    However, the certification path and the practice using your skills that a good associates program in this field gives you will open a lot of doors. Not all the doors a bachelor's degree would, but many of those and several others. The places that look at your skills rather than an irrelevant degree often may not pay quite as much but may be healthier places to work (if you're lucky, though, you can still get both).

    The program will probably do you good... just not for the associates degree it gives you. If you're not lucky or a networking rock star with the ability to do business networking, go ahead and continue working on getting your bachelor's once you're done, even if it's part time as you're working. If you can be smart and do it cheap, it will be worth it just to be safe.

    If you do go the road of getting hired with your actual skills (or with certs), don't ever stop picking up new things. If you stop, you stagnate, and without a degree to wave under an HR drone's nose that's a more dangerous game.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  15. John Rambo

    John Rambo Raven

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    As far as IT is concerned

    Experience > Certs > Degree

    I know guys with a GED who are holding down 100k/year right now, and people with 4 and 6 year degrees who can barely break 40k. IT is a meat and potatoes industry. Sure, you'll find a mindless HR drone for some gigantic company who will hire you based off a degree, but you'll never make it past the tech interviews unless you have the experience and knowledge. With no degree, I've never had a problem finding good work with excellent pay. Nor has any IT guy I know worth their salt.

    I've also got 0 certs, but wouldn't mind getting up to a CCNP and whatever the new version of the MCSE is. Just remember, certwhores raise suspicions and skepticism in this field - don't get and list every mindless cert under the sun.


    My advice? Start the same way the rest of us did. Get yourself in on the ground level in a helpdesk position. Build up from there.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  16. jpa

    jpa CLM

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    Do the cisco certs. At a minimum get A+ and Network +. Security + too if you want to do any kind of networking. If you search for certificate coupons online you can find a few sites where you can get a discounted testing coupon (usually has to be used within a limited time frame).

    I've worked in help desks in the past and I can tell you from experience that without a degree or lots of certs you won't be moving much past that help desk.
     
  17. w30olds

    w30olds My cats breath smells like cat food

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    Wow. Lots of useful input. Honestly I'm kinda scared. While in school before I tried for months to find a entry level job and had zero luck. It discouraged me and I went into the HVAC program. Been doing that for many years now. I've been considering a different career and thought about going back to IT school. Still not decided 100% if the computer route is the way to go. So gotta think it over a bit. I make good money right now and really don't want to start off with half the salary I'm use to making. Something I gotta think about, but thanks for the input from all that's replied. Any input will be appreciated. Thanks again


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  18. .264 magnum

    .264 magnum CLM

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    I'm an IT ignoramus. My wife is CIO of a big company - regardless of all the dullards who think boss types are idiots she's not and she's got the paychecks to prove my point.

    Back on topic. IMO your best course of action is to, in any order get your associates, some certs, and a job as mentioned PC help desk is a start. Then get a BS and then get as far away from hardware as you can over time get an MBA or MS in finance/accounting etc. business acumen plus some IT skills will get you farther than impressive IT skills almost every time. Move into coding/project management and up from there.

    When my wife plots out a project the hard IT goods are usually 5-25% of the project cost - sometimes 0% marginally. The rest is software purchases plus internal software development, that means hardware guys are not a big part of the discussion and business needs through software requirements always dictate what hardware types can and can't do or pay for via budgets.

    Best of luck you will do well.
     
  19. 9mmNJ

    9mmNJ

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    This. Once the manager leaves and the tech team (whom you may potentially work with) comes in with a barrage of questions and scenarios, it separates the men from the boys. The decision is easy after this.
     
  20. Altaris

    Altaris

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    I hate cisco and all of their products, but I would still say Certs first. You will most likely need a degree to advance in the company, but Certs will get you a job faster/easier than a degree.