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 Post subject: Question about the IT field
PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:36 am 
Little Foot
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At first i wanted to do programming so i got an associates in Computer Science. Soon after that i found that programming was not "my cup of tea" so i decided to switch to CIS. I am currently on my third year at the university. My goal is to be a "generalist" and work with multiple technologies such as networking, servers, virtual and cloud computing. My question is getting certifications a good idea or should my comp science and CIS degree be enough? I have four years of experience in IT (Desktop support).


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 Post subject: Re: Question about the IT field
PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:29 pm 
Boy in Black
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I feel that if you interview well, certs don't really matter. I don't think we look at it like a game of Go Fish at all (Got this cert? Go fish...) nor look at them too deeply. Like Diplomas, they just mean you finished some school and really don't back any practical knowledge in a very variable set of fields available. Now, I'm in the industrial sector, but what we do is show you what we have and try to read if you even understand it...let alone have some cert.

I'm biased here as well. I became a localized IT with GE (15 people and one server, max) and I still hold no actual certs. It's just something that turned out during employment under another set of tasks. From my experience, well...I won't go into IT bashing too quickly.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about the IT field
PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2011 2:20 am 
TravBv2.0
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OP, you're basically asking "Should I get certs or play-up my education?" Just in your post to us, you've already downplayed your biggest asset to a potential employer: Your experience.

Experience is fucking gold in the IT world. Education is important but I put far less faith in a formal education than someone who has real seat-time doing a given job. Case-in-point: A co-worker of mine is going to University of Florida, already has her BS in CS and is going for an MS in something damn similar to CS. She brought her laptop into work one day because she got a virus. She had gotten one of those virus infections that posed as an anti-virus suite, claims that you have found problems and wants $50 or more to "resolve" the "issue". Wanna guess how that turned out? Let's just say that she now has a new bank account and ATM card. And she's got a nice degree from a good school. Wanna know who helped her fix the issue? This guy with a GED who's been messing with computers for 10 years.

Education is class-room time with a little bit of experience using current tech like enterprise networking equipment, big-name dev tools, etc. There's only so much you can learn from books, Google, and a professor.

As for certs, they're in the same boat. Most are crammable so it's feasible that you might not actually know any of that shit. Some employers like to be able to say that all of their IT guys are Cisco Certified or whatever but real IT experience will trump certs and a degree.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about the IT field
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:48 am 
Java Junkie
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that Linux guy wrote:
Experience is fucking gold in the IT world. Education is important but I put far less faith in a formal education than someone who has real seat-time doing a given job. Case-in-point: A co-worker of mine is going to University of Florida, already has her BS in CS and is going for an MS in something damn similar to CS. She brought her laptop into work one day because she got a virus. She had gotten one of those virus infections that posed as an anti-virus suite, claims that you have found problems and wants $50 or more to "resolve" the "issue". Wanna guess how that turned out? Let's just say that she now has a new bank account and ATM card. And she's got a nice degree from a good school. Wanna know who helped her fix the issue? This guy with a GED who's been messing with computers for 10 years.


... none of which has anything to do with the skills required for her career. She'll be making 6 figures when she finishes school. You don't make real money fixing virus issues.

Quote:
Some employers like to be able to say that all of their IT guys are Cisco Certified or whatever but real IT experience will trump certs and a degree.


This is true up to the 40-50k/year mark ... if you want to make more than that, 90% of jobs require a degree. Experience pushes up your salary but the degree is necessary to get in the door.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about the IT field
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 9:44 pm 
TravBv2.0
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I'm not saying that my dicking around with desktops and laptop is better than a degree. The point I was trying to get across is that early in your IT career, experience beats out only a degree or only certs. I am certainly not saying to never get a degree.

OP, get a degree but you've got to play with the cards your dealt and your "experience" is a good hand to have to break in the door someplace.

Certs are great when your company actually uses whatever products you're certified awesome for, which can kind of be a mixed bag sometimes. It's like a gift certificate to Best Buy. It's money and totally counts: but only when you're in Best Buy. Your MS Certs won't mean shit in a Linux shop, Cisco certs useless in a Nortel shop, and vice versa.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about the IT field
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2011 12:19 pm 
Java Junkie
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that Linux guy wrote:
I'm not saying that my dicking around with desktops and laptop is better than a degree. The point I was trying to get across is that early in your IT career, experience beats out only a degree or only certs. I am certainly not saying to never get a degree.



OP, get a degree but you've got to play with the cards your dealt and your "experience" is a good hand to have to break in the door someplace.


Read his post, bro.

He has a degree. He has support experience. It is now time for him to move upward.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about the IT field
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:47 pm 
Little Foot
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I dont have "work" experience with networking or servers but i do have exeperience with cisco networking, servers, VMware Vsphere and Active directory via home labs and self study.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about the IT field
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:35 am 
8086
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Look at it this way - they certainly can't hurt, and in the process of obtaining them you'll learn a lot. IT has 3 legs: experience, degree, certs. Everyone hiring has their own opinion on which one is most important.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about the IT field
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 1:24 pm 
Java Junkie
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When you're talking about entry level positions, experience doesn't have to be with the specific technologies.

Employers are interested in finding out whether you're really employable. Do you work well with others? Are you responsible? Can you learn new technologies? These questions are more important for an entry-level position than "Do you know how to foo a bar?"

They can teach you the skills required for the position but they aren't interested in teaching you to be a good employee.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about the IT field
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 3:04 am 
8086
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Would applying as an intern on the weekends help get a foot in the door and increase my chances of getting hired on once I have finished my IT degree?


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 Post subject: Re: Question about the IT field
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:09 am 
Java Junkie
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Applying, no.

Landing the internship ... yes.

;)


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 Post subject: Re: Question about the IT field
PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2011 2:22 am 
8086
8086

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Quote:
Your MS Certs won't mean shit in a Linux shop, Cisco certs useless in a Nortel shop, and vice versa.

That's kind of a close-minded approach.

A lot of implementations will utilize overlapping technologies. Once you learn how the fundamentals work, it's trivial to implement them on other platforms. OSPF content on the CCNP Route is extremely similar to OSPF content on the JNCIS-ENT outside of obvious syntax differences, for example. Having a few certs then becomes valuable as you have something that indicates you (theoretically) have a base competency in a foundational skill set.

There are plenty of IT shops that will shred your resume if you don't match a particular cert within their requirements.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about the IT field
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2011 9:07 am 
8086
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good discussion!

i have about 10 years as a network admin and interview candidates frequently. entry-level techs aren't expected to know too much, but a basic cert (ccna, network+) at least shows they have some interest and an assumed level of knowledge (on which you can quiz them). as we all know, certifications can lie, so they are no guarantee.

as for more senior candidates, certs matter less (although the hr folks seem to like them and look for them just to get you a resume) and real knowledge with actual experience is key.

my humble advice: actually study, actually know the material/technologies, then get some certs, and never stop learning.

best of luck! :|


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 Post subject: Re: Question about the IT field
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 11:32 am 
Willamette
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I look at it this way. Good Education gets your foot in the door. Experience is what gets you the job you want long term. Certs are the icing on he cake that gets you more money in a good economy. As of now, a cert might help you a little bit if it comes down to you and someone else with the same number years of exp as yourself.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about the IT field
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 2:01 am 
8086
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You should focus on the knowledge that you have and also keep believe on you that what you are and what you can do.


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 Post subject: Re: Question about the IT field
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:55 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000
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Lot of good advice but there's a thread missing here: you need three things to be successful.

Experience
Education
Certification

It's a little three part item. Some will say "All you need is experience"...but most people are in marginalized jobs doing that. Just because someone is really good at writing down what they did, there's no way of PROVING their competency. I know people who have been in the IT field for 25 years have great experience, are simply not competent.

Education is really important, but without experience, well...no one really wants you in meaningful jobs. So combine education...which puts you on a even playing field, with experience, makes you employable...what do you do to distinguish yourself?

Certification. You don't have to go Super Certified...but having some level of certification shows and immediately verifies your competencies.

If you're worried about getting a job, I still have better advice:

The fun part about hiring is not everyone, even the best candidates work out. It's a crap shoot really...so every employer has metrics and things they find important. Finding out what those things that are important and making sure you meet them is probably the best way to secure a job.


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