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Need some tech advice from Net Admins, HR's and folks in the tech industry

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by jjlaughner, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    Need some tech advice from Net Admins, HR\'s and folks in the tech industry

    I went to checkout a tech school to get some certifications. I want to get into the wed design, internet, databases, building applications and working with .Net. Eventually I would like to complete other certifications and move into a network security position.
    I'm not going toward the IT Engineering side, yet, so I don’t think I'm going to go for my MCSE. To build my Core Skills I'm thinking A+ and Network+, then move to the CIW Master Designer certification and then move to the big development sets of MCAD and MCSD.Net /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
    I have a chance to do school on a semi fulltime basis (about 20 hours a week). So I could complete all of the above certifications within 14 months. Beyond that I hope to get a full time job and continue with other certifications.

    Certifications would be:
    A+ Basic computer competency
    Network+ Entry-level networking
    CIW Master Certified Internet Webmaster - implement and maintain web sites
    MCAD - Microsoft Certified Applications Developer
    MCSD.net - Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer for .Net

    Right now I have a Bachelors Degree in Graphic Arts Management, Minor in Business Administration and then I took most of the course work for the computer science minor and some of the information technology courses.

    I'm no stranger to a computer, or hard work. I averaged 19 credit hours per semester, worked 20 hours a week and use usually bored. Three of my semesters I took 21 credit hours.



    So here are the questions for the HR folks

    1. What certifications do you look for; and, for what positions?
    2. Do you substitute certifications for experience, or expect both?
    3. What do look for in Applicants (IE spelling, grammar, build/style of resume, experience, certifications, college or educational back ground and what do you put the most emphasis on?)
    4. Would I be better off, from an employment standpoint, going back to school and getting a Masters Degree in Computer Science or Stick with Certifications specific to the positions I'm looking for?

    Now Questions for the Techies
    1. What certifications do you have, or want to get; and how, or do, they help you in the positions you have taken.
    2. Is it your experience that a certification got you an interview or a job? Either in place of, or in addition to, work experience?
    3. What certifications are you seeing a lot of people getting (other than A+ and Net+) and what do you think the growing trend in the market place is or will be?



    /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif
     
  2. NerdBoy

    NerdBoy 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Need some tech advice from Net Admins, HR\'s and folks in the tech industry

    1. What certifications do you look for; and, for what positions?

    I prefer to look for experience. Certifications generally mean that the person only understands the concept, and without any work experience, they are pretty worthless, as education and experience are on opposite ends of the spectrum, computerwise.

    2. Do you substitute certifications for experience, or expect both?

    Most places do that. I have 8 years in the tech field, with 5 years as management. Most of the places I have gone to look for a job equate my 5 years in management to a 4 year degree. The places that don't give any points for experience, IMHO, are not worth going to.

    3. What do look for in Applicants (IE spelling, grammar, build/style of resume, experience, certifications, college or educational back ground and what do you put the most emphasis on?)

    I look for an ability to fix broken stuff (analytical thinking) and something more than just a piece of paper (certification)

    4. Would I be better off, from an employment standpoint, going back to school and getting a Masters Degree in Computer Science or Stick with Certifications specific to the positions I'm looking for?

    I would suggest working at least part time in the field, while getting certification. My experience has been that certification is a better measurement of ability than a degree.


    Now Questions for the Techies
    1. What certifications do you have, or want to get; and how, or do, they help you in the positions you have taken.

    I have A+, working on a CNA and a CCNA (possibly an MCSE, too). As stated above, I got my jobs through mostly experience.

    2. Is it your experience that a certification got you an interview or a job? Either in place of, or in addition to, work experience?

    What has got me an interview, in most cases, is that I knew someone. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
    Oh, and my experience with Novell.

    3. What certifications are you seeing a lot of people getting (other than A+ and Net+) and what do you think the growing trend in the market place is or will be?

    The trend that I have seen is that MCSE and CCNA are flooding the market. As much as having one of those certifications would be helpful, it might be good to have something a little more rare. Novell certifications are becoming rare, and the Novell shops out there do pay good money for those that have the qualifications.

    Best of luck to ya! I hope this helps.
     
  3. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    Re: Need some tech advice from Net Admins, HR\'s and folks in the tech industry

    With as many server companies (IE IBM) moving to Linux based servers should I also shoot for a Linux certification?

    The way it was explained to me the CCNP and MCSE are engineering certifications, the three big ones I'm looking at (CIW, MCSD.net and MCAD) are design and development certifications.

    Here's a table I got
    [​IMG]
    (time wise: A+ and network+, 2 months; CIW, 3months; then MCAD, 5months; and MCSD.Net 3months. Thats 13months and 12 tests (of which I will have pay extra for 5 of them, I get 7 with the years course work, they said the 1year IT membership can be extended to 15months if needed[so I could toss a linux certification in there too. The course work would be within the 15months I would just have to pay for the actual test]).


    here's list of the certifications and job types
     
  4. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    Re: Need some tech advice from Net Admins, HR\'s and folks in the tech industry

    PS - Thanks for the reply! /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  5. NerdBoy

    NerdBoy 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Need some tech advice from Net Admins, HR\'s and folks in the tech industry

    Novell is going to offer a Linux Certification, soon, as Netware 7 will be Linux based. For Linux Certs, I would look into that.
     
  6. Goober

    Goober 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Need some tech advice from Net Admins, HR\'s and folks in the tech industry

    Keep in mind that certifications are useless if you can't back it up in the real-world. Experience will get you farther than ANY certification you may want to have.

    I have worked with (and currently work with) people who have every certification in the book and some who have none. The ones without certifications are generally the folks who have a solid understanding of technology and will dive head-first into a problem and take care of it. These folks get paid accordingly. In my experience, the people with the long lists of IT certifications turn out to be the folks who like to think they are good but never really step up to the plate. They are the ones who wonder why they are still making $30K/year with their advanced degrees and certifications.

    Certifications are good for getting your foot in the door, don't rely on them to get you anywhere.


    If you have zero experience working in a technology field then the A+ Certificate proves that you can find your way around a computer. If you have a few years experience forget it, it won't do you any good. You would be better off spending your money on some self study course. The A+ certification is only good for a newbe who wants to get a foot in the door.

    One step up from that would be the MCSE certification. It will get your foot in the door if you don't have alot of documented experience but that's about all it's good for.



    [ QUOTE ]
    Now Questions for the Techies
    1. What certifications do you have, or want to get; and how, or do, they help you in the positions you have taken.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC).

    The certifications don't really help on a day-to-day basis but the knowledge I gained by studying and applying the information to complete them has been invaluable. Keep in mind, each of those certs took 2 or more years to complete (after I mastered the technology part) and they all need to be renewed regularly.


    [ QUOTE ]
    2. Is it your experience that a certification got you an interview or a job? Either in place of, or in addition to, work experience?


    [/ QUOTE ]


    Actually, I never even put MCSE on my resume when I got it. I figured if they wanted to know they would ask. Some did, most didn't care.

    When I review a resume I don't really care if there are any certifications there or not. But if you have little or no experience then a certification would at least show initiative. /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif



    [ QUOTE ]
    3. What certifications are you seeing a lot of people getting (other than A+ and Net+) and what do you think the growing trend in the market place is or will be?


    [/ QUOTE ]


    In my line of work CISSP is a very desirable certification to have mainly because of the knowledge needed to pass it. If you know what you are doing and understand IT security then it's really not hard to get. If you havent done it before then it's next to impossible to fake your way through the test. A+, Net+ and MCSE are good examples of certifications that CAN be passed by someone with very little real knowledge.



    Work hard, learn how to study on your own and do the best you can and you will do great.

    /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  7. fjleiter

    fjleiter 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Need some tech advice from Net Admins, HR\'s and folks in the tech industry

    Thats easy... Linux admin/Oracle or DBA certs/Security

    The rest of the IT field is pretty much dead anymore
    too many people and not enough jobs (speaking from experience.
    I have over ten years experience doing
    Network Admin, Systems Admin, Deployments etc... and
    after a layoff a year ago, I can't find work in the IT
    field if my life depended on it. Last interview I had
    the HR person told me they had over 1200 resumes in two
    days! I was one of 60 they called back for interviews
    (still didn't get the job, stated I was over-qualified
    because it was a desktop support job. I GLADLY would
    have taken the job) Going back to school after 16 years
    to take Commercial/Industrial Electricity.
     
  8. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Re: Need some tech advice from Net Admins, HR\'s and folks in the tech industry

    Some good advice there! LOTS of people are chasing a shrinking number of tech jobs these days. Some jobs are being eliminated by the computers themselves (software that automagically keeps watch over networks, servers, etc. automated software deployment, and things like that have eliminated a lot of the labor from IT costs). Other jobs are being sent overseas at an alarming rate. These days it doesn't matter much where an IT person physically sits. Thanks to the internet and dirt cheap telecom costs, most IT tasks can be performed from anywhere on the planet. If you have a good job in IT right now, do whatever it takes to keep it! Many companies have already moved a lot of IT operations, remote support, software development, sys admin, and net admin jobs outside the US, as it saves them a lot of money. As with any business, any money that you save in the costs column drops straight to the bottom line. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif

    The same things that killed millions of manufacturing jobs in the US (automation (think robotics, CNC machines, etc.) and cheap labor available elsewhere) are squeezing the life out of a large portion of the computer industry jobs in the US right now. Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, HP, Dell, and many, many others are automating tasks and moving jobs to cheaper locations as quickly as possible.

    Information security is hot right now, but you can bet that within 3-5 years there will be a glut of folks with those credentials, driving salaries down. About 10 years ago, having a Novell CNE was worth an easy $60K per year. But after everyone and their brother had a CNE then the salaries started dropping dramatically. There were just far too many "paper CNE's", folks that had the certification but didn't really have a CLUE what they were doing, and the value of the certification waned. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif I worked with one CNE in New York around 1995 that could NOT figure out how to add memory SIMMS to a system I'd asked him to work on. /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif The guy that replaced him was much sharper. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     
  9. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    Re: Need some tech advice from Net Admins, HR\'s and folks in the tech industry

    /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif so besides being a medical assistant or a doctor, what jobs are open right now /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif
    I've been job hunting for 15months (and actually about the last 3years... and it's getting REAL old /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif

    All I see in the papers are medical assistances and administrative assistances /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

    I'm hoping certifications will get me a foot in the door so I can work towards a network security position
     
  10. fjleiter

    fjleiter 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Need some tech advice from Net Admins, HR\'s and folks in the tech industry

    These days. if you want a career outside of the typical Sales/Marketing/HealthCare lines, Think service industry.
    I'm referring to jobs suchs as mechanic/plumber/electrician/construction/contractor etc.. The types of jobs that require hands on work and CAN'T be outsourced. Anything IT related is going to be limited, there are just too many people out their for an ever shrinking number of jobs. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

    [ QUOTE ]
    /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif so besides being a medical assistant or a doctor, what jobs are open right now /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif
    I've been job hunting for 15months (and actually about the last 3years... and it's getting REAL old /forums/images/graemlins/deal.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif

    All I see in the papers are medical assistances and administrative assistances /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

    I'm hoping certifications will get me a foot in the door so I can work towards a network security position

    [/ QUOTE ]
     
  11. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Re: Need some tech advice from Net Admins, HR\'s and folks in the tech industry

    Nursing pays well and I think you can get your LPN in 2 years. It ain't my cup of tea, but my wife is an operating room RN and loves it. She has NEVER looked for a job for more than one day in the last 20 years. /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif The place she works at now called and asked her to come in for an interview 45 minutes after she faxed them her resume'! /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif

    If all goes well tomorrow, I'll soon be starting this program: Financial Advisor Training Program

    I've made it through all of their interviews and written tests and am going in tomorrow to spend part of the day working with one of their people, to get a good idea of what I'm really getting myself into. /forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif If all goes well then I'll get an offer and start paid training ASAP! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif I'm psyched!!!! I've been looking for an IT job since June of 2002. /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif I decided that it's time to change direction and get a job where the harder I work, the more I can make! /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  12. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    Re: Need some tech advice from Net Admins, HR\'s and folks in the tech industry

    Well I just found out today that I can't get more money on my current student loans because the certification school is not a university type school. SO I would have to take out a second loan and I'm not up to that right now /forums/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

    Maybe I will look into an intership or something /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif
    Anyone have any jobs opens /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif
     
  13. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Re: Need some tech advice from Net Admins, HR\'s and folks in the tech industry

    Damn, that sucks! If you like to work with your hands, then you might want to check with the electricians union. The one here is looking for people to go into their apprenticeship program. You start at half of the going union wage and work 4 days per week, while getting paid for 5. On the 5th day you go to class. Each year they bump up your pay and once you are a journeyman then you will make the going union wage for your area. I think that the plumbers have a similar deal.

    I also just ran across this: Printing Job In Denver and thought of you and your background. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
     
  14. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    Re: Need some tech advice from Net Admins, HR\'s and folks in the tech industry

    /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif sweet - but "Manpower on a temp to hire basis" /forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif those are iffy, I worked at a company making $17 hr doing GUI's, they had my name on their fulltime listing 5months into my 6 month temp they came in and gave me boot /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif


    Those are cool want ads, I wish I knew of some around here /forums/images/graemlins/ears.gif
     
  15. jjlaughner

    jjlaughner 3/4 ton status

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    Re: Need some tech advice from Net Admins, HR\'s and folks in the tech industry

    [ QUOTE ]
    Nursing pays well and I think you can get your LPN in 2 years. It ain't my cup of tea,

    [/ QUOTE ]


    Mine either /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
     
  16. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Need some tech advice from Net Admins, HR\'s and folks in the tech industry

    Im still waiting for novell to get there act together, I havent touched novell since ver 5 (green river). Damn, I still miss 3.11 sometimes....

    [ QUOTE ]
    Novell is going to offer a Linux Certification, soon, as Netware 7 will be Linux based. For Linux Certs, I would look into that.

    [/ QUOTE ]
     
  17. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Re: Need some tech advice from Net Admins, HR\'s and folks in the tech industry

    Novell will have to pull a really big rabbit out of the hat to become a relevant player again. Their market share has shrunk away to nearly nothing. /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif
     
  18. jac6695

    jac6695 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Need some tech advice from Net Admins, HR\'s and folks in the tech industry

    [ QUOTE ]
    If you like to work with your hands, then you might want to check with the electricians union. The one here is looking for people to go into their apprenticeship program. You start at half of the going union wage and work 4 days per week, while getting paid for 5. On the 5th day you go to class. Each year they bump up your pay and once you are a journeyman then you will make the going union wage for your area. I think that the plumbers have a similar deal.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I agree with Harry and fjleiter. The service industry is the best way to go right now. The best area to get into right now is controls, building automation, and energy management. With a good computer background and mechanical skills, you can go a long way in this field. I am an HVAC service tech, and won't be replaced any time soon by computer automation, but control work is appealing. You stay clean for the most part. I would suggest a union apprenticeship program because of the free training, but unions are not for everybody (and I don't think we need to debate that). My 2 cents.
     
  19. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

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    Re: Need some tech advice from Net Admins, HR\'s and folks in the tech industry

    I've been trying to reply to this for 2 days! The replies keep ending up too long...

    I'm an MCSE, and have been toying with the idea of recertifying for 2003 server. Hard to justify it, thoguh, sometimes I think the tests are such a waste of time and money for the small gains I see to being certified.
    Being certified got me a foot in the door when I had no full-time IT experience, and it definately helped elevate me over other candidates for jobs in the last 5 years. But, 99% of those opportunities came by reputation and knowing someone that got my resume on the right persons desk, then when I was equalled to others without certification, the certification probably got me hired. Although, in one job I turned down last year, the buddy I passed the job-lead to got hired, and he isn't certified.

    With a huge availability of boot camps and 1 week courses with garauntees that you'll pass the test, there are plenty of certified engineers that have zero experience or real problem solving abilities. But, it wouldn't be right to classify certifications that way, as they do genuinely demonstrate that you're capable.

    Overall, if the question were "Should I become certified?", I would say get experience and familiarity with a field first, then certify. If you can avoid it, don't let certification courses be your teacher.

    What to certify in? Who can predict the IT market? 5 years ago when I was going to certify, I was seriously looking at Novell. Within a year of considering it, I touched my last novell server (now I have 4, and a dozen engineers that know them backward and forward, so it's still useless knowledge to me). On the other hand, I went with MCSE right around when it was the trend, and it's actually been helpful.
    Linux is gaining, so I'd seriously consider that. Cisco products are unlikely to lose market share anytime soon (as many said about Novell years ago).

    Personally, I'm thinking about re-certifying with Win2003, and maybe red hat Linux, as I get to know it more.

    I wouldn't really consider A+ a good investment. I took a couple of the tests and thought they were a little too easy, so I wouldn't really place any value on A+ certified if a resume came across my desk with that on it. I haven't looked at or can't remember network+, so no comment...

    Good luck!
     

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