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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Looking for advice from the IT guys(or anyone)

I've spent the last 15 as a hardware technician(mostly field)repairing/building PCs, repairing laptops, repairing/installing wide-format digital printers, and repairing MFPs/copiers(Sharp, Minolta, etc). I've been laid-off from the copier repair gig for about a year now, basically working short term brainless contract assignments(workstaion setup, etc).

I can easily pickup another copier repair job, but the thought of getting back into the field service grind makes me sick to my stomach.

I think IT would be my next logical migration. I have no college education(long story), and only hold an A+ certificate and a shit load of vendor specific certs(Sharp, etc). After giving it some thought, I'm going to take some time to to change that. The question is an Associates(Computer Science) through a community college, or Certs.? I've almost ruled out the degree option. Way to much time and $$ for a piece of paper everyone else on unemployment has. So now I'm thinking certificates.

So whats relevant, but not over saturated? Wheres the best "bang for the buck"? What would get me in door entry level? I'm not looking for $60k walking in the door. Off the bat, I'm thinking CCNA? Maybe MCITP? Too specialized? Part of me is also toying with the idea of getting into web development/design. Definitely growth there, no? Fuck me, I dont know, I'm lost. I've sat around complacent in the same stagnant field waaay too long. ANY and ALL comments welcome. Help unfuck me.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 12:11 PM
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I'm not in the field, so take my 0.02 as what it is. However, I have a friend living in my basement who has an Associates in Computer Science. Didn't get a job in the field when he graduated........ still doesn't have a job in the field two years later.

He also saw that Certs. were the way to get in the door and started working on them about a year back. I don't think he has any yet, and he's been working at the local Cable company on the phones instead.

I'm not sure the degree will get you in the door alone, with certs, probably. But on the focus area I have no clue.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not in the field, so take my 0.02 as what it is. However, I have a friend living in my basement who has an Associates in Computer Science. Didn't get a job in the field when he graduated........ still doesn't have a job in the field two years later.

He also saw that Certs. were the way to get in the door and started working on them about a year back. I don't think he has any yet, and he's been working at the local Cable company on the phones instead.

I'm not sure the degree will get you in the door alone, with certs, probably. But on the focus area I have no clue.
Yeah, I've run into alot of people who hold degrees and aren't doing shit with them. Such an incredible waste of time and money. Both of which are very precious to me ATM, which is why I've all but ruled out college.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 01:00 PM
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I started in my current field in 08, mostly as a salesman, in the last couple years I have watched nearly every customer struggle, large and small, we used to sell a lot of 20-30K$ equipment, with each passing year it is harder and harder to get them to buy, we allways had an old unit or 2 that we would loan out when the customer would have a problem with the new 30K toy, and with my mechanical and electrical experience I would try to fix before sending unit back to warranty service, spent some quality time on the phone w the service guys going through whatever problems we had, eventually I got halfway competent at fixing this stuff and then that company got sold to a competitor who kicked us to the curb, I thought we were fuked, but we started searching e-bay and other sources for used/non working units , bought some as low as 2K$ and I fixed them up and we now rent them for 1,500-2K a month , word got out, we never advertised this service, but now rental/repair brings in almost as much revenue as sales of new equipment where 3 years ago it was zero, now I cant keep a rental here for a week, they are allways out, or broken, and old customers of ours call us when theirs go down and i'm doing more and more repairs partly due to the high cost of crating up a 30K machine and sending it to the east coast for repair. I can PM you some more detail, its a niche business that a suprising amount of industry relies upon
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 01:37 PM
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Once again proof that college degrees mean absolutely nothing yet people are constantly brain washed into thinking that having it will get you in the door when in fact its tends to be the opposite.

College degree = just another way for jobs to weed people out of applying. Not what you know but WHO you know now a days

go time traveler style and go back in time, fuck his grandma, then shoot forward in time and then fuck his mom. Then return back to present state and call him a the product of two incest whores and hes your son and show video of you plowing the both members of his family. .

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 01:51 PM
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If you want a job in IT - why not start applying to them when we post them?

At a conference I was just at - the biggest bitch we all had was finding people that know how to work. All I see are people that worked in the Geek Squad for 2 years and want $75K/year or idiots that went to DeVry and don't know how to service a client.

You'll learn a helluva lot more hands on than you will in a classroom...and you'll have resume fodder and beer money to show for it. From what I gathered pretty much everyone in IT support is growing again, and everyone is hiring.



.02

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 05:02 PM
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I would research the larger companies in your area and see which ones have help desks. That would be a start to the IT department. Once you identify a few companies, send out an email to your Facebook and Linkedin friends asking if they have any connection to those companies. You can also post a note here. Someone may have an in for you.

Take care and ride safe,
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 05:21 PM
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More and More of my clients are outsourcing a lot of "Office Management" to 3rd Party Staffing Firms - My Co for one - We have (2) guys on site that fix our shit locally so we do not have to fly techs around the globe or even put a local resource on the payroll - Cheaper for us to outsource that

Where I am going with this is that it is not uncommon for an "office" to take a liking to guy and make him an offer for perm work on staff - It goes against the contract the 3rd Party has in place but it happens every day and no one is going to court over it - If the 3rd party is smart, they use it as leverage for work elsewhere or extension of existing contacts

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by C2M View Post
Once again proof that college degrees mean absolutely nothing yet people are constantly brain washed into thinking that having it will get you in the door when in fact its tends to be the opposite.

College degree = just another way for jobs to weed people out of applying. Not what you know but WHO you know now a days
Agreed 100% I come across ads on a regular basis that say things as vague as "some college" required. OK, WTF?? How is that relevant to the position? So unless your dumb enough to put yourself in student loan debt for the next 20yrs for a generic degree of some sort, you dont qualify??
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Underdog View Post
If you want a job in IT - why not start applying to them when we post them?

At a conference I was just at - the biggest bitch we all had was finding people that know how to work. All I see are people that worked in the Geek Squad for 2 years and want $75K/year or idiots that went to DeVry and don't know how to service a client.

You'll learn a helluva lot more hands on than you will in a classroom...and you'll have resume fodder and beer money to show for it. From what I gathered pretty much everyone in IT support is growing again, and everyone is hiring.



.02
I agree big time about experience trumping anything having to do with a classroom. Unfortunately,(it seems anyway), gone are the days of landing a job that way. Very well qualified candidates dont even make it in the door because they are so ridiculously vetted by HR personnel.

Regarding not applying to IT positions posted, I have yet to see one that I realistically qualify for. Outside of hardware repair, I have zero network/IT experience. If I'm missing them, please, by all means let me know.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bug View Post
More and More of my clients are outsourcing a lot of "Office Management" to 3rd Party Staffing Firms - My Co for one - We have (2) guys on site that fix our shit locally so we do not have to fly techs around the globe or even put a local resource on the payroll - Cheaper for us to outsource that

Where I am going with this is that it is not uncommon for an "office" to take a liking to guy and make him an offer for perm work on staff - It goes against the contract the 3rd Party has in place but it happens every day and no one is going to court over it - If the 3rd party is smart, they use it as leverage for work elsewhere or extension of existing contacts
I'd have wrapped all these quotes up in one reply, but for some reason, none of the icons work(including the quote button)for me. (??)

My wife actually landed a pretty sweet gig at the BMO corporate office in Downer Grove like that. She was hired on a week before her contract was to end.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
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I agree big time about experience trumping anything having to do with a classroom. Unfortunately,(it seems anyway), gone are the days of landing a job that way. Very well qualified candidates dont even make it in the door because they are so ridiculously vetted by HR personnel.

Regarding not applying to IT positions posted, I have yet to see one that I realistically qualify for. Outside of hardware repair, I have zero network/IT experience. If I'm missing them, please, by all means let me know.
When it's a completely random job posting, yes, you'll have a very difficult time getting in. However, when it's a possible acquaintence (like another CLSB member), ALWAYS try. Why? Because there's a greater chance that they'll be willing to listen to you pitch your strengths.

And that's what you need to learn how to do - pitch your strengths & accomplishments. So maybe you don't have the exact experience in the specific tech someone is looking for. But on the other hand, you've been working with hardware for many years, meaning you have at least a foundation to start from. Additionally, you can talk about your work experiences, maybe customer experience, etc. Talk about how you're willing to learn, can learn fast, blah, blah, blah.

In the end, when you have a key person's ear and attention, take advantage of it. This is why networking events also work really well for finding a job. You're not a name on a sheet of paper, you're a person who now has 30 seconds to pitch themselves.

In the tech world, many places are willing to hire someone who may be entry-level, if they show characteristics of being trainable, motivated, etc., especially if they've had a difficult time finding someone more experienced who is also a good fit. It allows them to mold you how they please, pay you a bit less than someone who is senior, etc.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 10:13 PM
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OP, that's a tough spot to be in. I bet a lot of people here would hire a talented non college graduate, but very like HR won't allow em. Sadly that's how the game is played now a days.
I know a guy on these forums who has never graduated college, but he's one of the most talented and successful people I've come across.

Good luck

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-04-2013, 11:34 PM
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Ironic tho how women that look good with no experience land the jobs with out a issue.

End game bro

Who you BLOW start perfecting that trade

IMO hiring one with no experience and spending the money to teach and mold them into the way the company does things makes life easier once you take the time and teach

For instance a career that IMO does not take a overpriced peace of paper law enforcement. Nothing they teach you there will apply to the job. Everything applying to the job is taught in the academy and thru the on the job training.

And we all know people who get degrees in law or have taken legal classes are usually the ones who think they are right and everyone with decades of experience is wrong yet they fail at it because with every law there is a law to contradict that law. They only see the white and black NEVER the grey

go time traveler style and go back in time, fuck his grandma, then shoot forward in time and then fuck his mom. Then return back to present state and call him a the product of two incest whores and hes your son and show video of you plowing the both members of his family. .

Last edited by C2M; 12-04-2013 at 11:38 PM.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 08:15 AM
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Bek said it perfectly. I've hired all sorts of misfits off this site over the years. Most have been very positive experiences for all involved. Helpdesk work is 75% customer service and 25% skills (and "skill" usually means you can google an answer in a reasonable amount of time).

As someone that has been unemployed a lot over the years - I'm a firm believer that it's always good to apply for shit. Worst thing that can happen is they say no.

Now then - go find my thread and send me a resume so I can tell you to fuckoff!


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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 08:49 AM
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Bek said it perfectly. I've hired all sorts of misfits off this site over the years. Most have been very positive experiences for all involved. Helpdesk work is 75% customer service and 25% skills (and "skill" usually means you can google an answer in a reasonable amount of time).

As someone that has been unemployed a lot over the years - I'm a firm believer that it's always good to apply for shit. Worst thing that can happen is they say no.

Now then - go find my thread and send me a resume so I can tell you to fuckoff!

you are such an ass. Listen to Patrick as I worked for him for a while and he is good people.
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 09:11 AM
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so I can tell you to fuckoff!

Not sure if you want to work for a guy who cannot separate words as i think "fuckoff" is two words - Hate to see what he does to your paycheck with a decimal point and no, it never swings in your favor

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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 09:12 AM
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See how reckless my hiring decisions can be? I even put Uncle Steve on the payroll!

(and if I could afford him he'd still be on there - dude knows his way around a wiring closet - and has the most adorable pair of tiny scissors)

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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 09:27 AM
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Hop over to Lifehacker.com, and start searching some of their job-hunting related articles. They often link to other fantastic articles, short and long, about a variety of topics that will also help you. One such topic that comes to mind, is learning how to perfect your "elevator pitch."

As Underdog pointed out, it isn't always about what tech knowledge and skill that you HAVE. I value candidates that having enough strong character to admit that they're not quite sure, who can then be fast and resourceful to find the answer that they need.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-05-2013, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Now then - go find my thread and send me a resume so I can tell you to fuckoff!

Sweet. Resume is on its way.

Oh and thanks for the advice guys.
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