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IT and Outsourcing

Last response: in Business Computing
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February 11, 2012 4:23:48 AM

Just glancing through and saw a post last year with advice on how to get into IT. I see youngsters all the time asking me the same question. I tell every single one of them, "Run Screaming".

Most branch offices fire the IT nerd first and then the Receptionist 2nd when cutting back on money. The many VPs ringed around the window offices get ticked off when windows pops up a single error window. Oh my gosh! People sit in offices in Houston and remote in and fix the server. Someone said a bachelor's is worth 3 years experience buzzzzz wrong. Recruiters or head hunters look for a degree plus experience and certs. I have MCST, A+, net+, security+, and an air head staffing recruiter wouldn't hire me cause I haven't worked 5 days a week for 6 months using Active Directory! Pretty simple GUI to use, my 6 year old could do it. Oh wait, child labor laws! Well I can't afford any more training or cost of books + test fees for more certs. I earned a grant through Work Force Investment Act and was going to take a Cisco CCNA class or Oracle OCP DBA. Tired of working contracts without a contract. Promise me 5 days or 6 weeks you pay me for Six weeks.

Sadly I love my work, but tired of dealing with it. Career change ahead for me until the economy improves.

I usually know more than the guys I work with, or the help desk idiot on the phone, but I can't find anything more than part time work. I really suggest the IT community needs to sick out for a month. Lol companies really would go under then in this market. Adios IT. I sat on a conference with 4 guys on the phone trying to figure out why all the IPhone touches and mini Mac I installed wouldn't get an IP address. Um Cause you didn't change to a different subnetting to allow more devices at that location? Hahaha but they have the cushy office job.

Every computer store I go into has an ex-IT pro working as a salesman. That should tell you something.

Sorry for the rant, I hope all they people I've worked with present and past finally get some thanks for the work they do.

More about : outsourcing

February 13, 2012 11:30:02 AM

IT unemployment across the US is sitting around 3%. Those who aren't able to find work generally do not have the skillset required or live in an area that is not heavy in tech. Anywhere I've worked the receptionist has been let go first. Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, yeah IT was hit quick. Now people realize how important they are and IT is generally one of the last ones hit unless the department has been poised for growth in a shrinking market.

You mentioned Active Directory. It is clear you haven't used it much based on the information you mentioned about it. I live in it every single day. Creating users and groups is the basics. Dealing with DCs, Sites, replication, group policies, AD Attributes, delegation, APIs, and so much more depending on your environment.. That's one of the absolute core requirements for any person in IT who wants to do server support.

You have certs. They don't mean much unless you want to go work for a consulting company. The degree doesn't mean much because things change so quickly in IT. Experience at a job is what matters the most, then certs, and last will be a degree for those who really want to do IT. The degree will help if you want to move up into management quicker though. It depends on what you want.

Great, you have certs. But what's your experience? Years ago I knew an 18 year old kid who has his Win2k3 MCSE within a year. Never held a job in it. He somehow passed the cert but when it came to actually doing any work or troubleshooting anything, he didn't have the experience or know-how in order to do it.

What's your current skillset and maybe we can help you find a career path that will work for you or help you temper your trade.
February 13, 2012 8:27:51 PM

Well I was waiting to get training to take the Ccna or Oracle Ocp, but leaning toward getting a CDL and do that until IT market improves. I know the Atlanta Job market is terrible, can't relocate nor have the funds to do it. My fiancé just started a new job. I'm not going to make her quit.

I have an associates in networking and computer hardware, and a bachelor's in information security. 3 years of experience doing field work installing computers, network switches and cabling, migrations and laptop/desktop setup. I did help desk for nearly 2 months. Been stuck doing contract work which doesn't keep me busy, and head hunters don't like it not being 5 days a week fulltime so it's not experience to them.

I wanted to do system support, help desk, or security. I know more than most I've worked with, and less than veterans of 20 years. I should have stuck with software development/programming.

Isn't much entry level here without a thousand resumes sent in.

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February 13, 2012 8:42:13 PM

Most Career's ive seen start with help desk level 0.

help people realise caps is on and thats y the password wont work.
but while ur there and any slow periods you get shadow the network and server admins. you will learn things and start to get noticed.

No-one will let you near their active directory enviroment unless you have had a vast experience with it before. u need to get in to somewhere that they do AD work but its not part of your job to start. then you have your foot in the door.

its alot easier to move up & around in a company your already a part of than it is to step in at a higher level from scratch.
February 13, 2012 8:44:53 PM

Atlanta's market is doing pretty good actually. What headhunter firms are you working with? I'm not far away from Atlanta and I get questioned if I know anyone who wants to relocate there.

Being that you've been doing field work/support, doesn't do much for information security or networking jobs. IT unemployment is low, that's the problem you're facing because everyone is working and few people are changing jobs unless you're in the top of the market. With the economy bad, most people are the entry level aren't really looking to move.

Your degrees really mean squat without the experience wrapped around them. You mentioned you had certs, so go look at consulting companies for a job. They want people with certs because they get perks. That'll be your best chance to get exposed to your field. If you stay out of IT for more than 1 year, you will get stuck starting over at entry level when you decide to get back into it (if you do).
February 13, 2012 8:52:05 PM

riser said:
IT unemployment across the US is sitting around 3%. Those who aren't able to find work generally do not have the skillset required or live in an area that is not heavy in tech. Anywhere I've worked the receptionist has been let go first. Back in the late 90s and early 2000s, yeah IT was hit quick. Now people realize how important they are and IT is generally one of the last ones hit unless the department has been poised for growth in a shrinking market.

You mentioned Active Directory. It is clear you haven't used it much based on the information you mentioned about it. I live in it every single day. Creating users and groups is the basics. Dealing with DCs, Sites, replication, group policies, AD Attributes, delegation, APIs, and so much more depending on your environment.. That's one of the absolute core requirements for any person in IT who wants to do server support.

You have certs. They don't mean much unless you want to go work for a consulting company. The degree doesn't mean much because things change so quickly in IT. Experience at a job is what matters the most, then certs, and last will be a degree for those who really want to do IT. The degree will help if you want to move up into management quicker though. It depends on what you want.

Great, you have certs. But what's your experience? Years ago I knew an 18 year old kid who has his Win2k3 MCSE within a year. Never held a job in it. He somehow passed the cert but when it came to actually doing any work or troubleshooting anything, he didn't have the experience or know-how in order to do it.

What's your current skillset and maybe we can help you find a career path that will work for you or help you temper your trade.


I was in a position to hire IT staff from 1989 to 2010 and I must agree with Riser. I've had too many bad experiences with certified employees who used the cert to hide the fact that they lacked practical application of the knowledge. Experience has always been the best screening criteria. Most IT employers will seek out experience to also reduce training time. My company was no Microsoft but we were developing software and had revenues just under $200m/year.
February 13, 2012 8:57:54 PM

Quote:
Isn't much entry level here without a thousand resumes sent in.


Very true.

I actually have the same degrees as you, and that right there is your main issue. The amount of people now that are computer literate (can use google) and have a degree in IT is HUGE. Everyone and their mother are IT people now. This is why companies don't/won't settle for people that do not have years of experience and certifications for basic IT positions. Lower level IT positions (like helpdesk, system support, admins) are no longer positions that are hard to fill.

You need to choose an area in IT where there is demand. If you can use google you can do helpdesk, there is no demand for this. Getting a knowledge base in Cloud Computing, Virtualization, and ERP solutions would be your best bet. Not only would you have a more secure position, the pay is immensely better.

I was having the same woes as you until I chose a more specific specialty.

(SAP Business Analyst)
February 14, 2012 11:36:58 AM

IT is all about specialization today. The days of broad knowledge is over because there is too much for a single person to handle.

My main areas of expertise:
All aspects of Active Directory, Multi-domain/Multi-Forest Domains, DNS, Group Policy
System Center Configuration Manager
System Center Operations Manager

Those are my main job functions. Pretty limited but if you scale it, that's a huge amount of work. I also work in VMWare and some Citrix, and take on side projects that are limited in scope and timeframe.

Server hardware, minus a SAN, should be a basic foundation for any server oriented eprson. Learning about physical servers, virtual (Blades or UCS) is almost required to some degree.

Now, getting there is the hard part. Find what you want to do and create a path to get there. Saying you want to work in IT Security.. doesn't mean much. What do you want to focus on? Network hardening, server hardening, penetration testing, auditing, monitoring, policies, procedures, etc?

I got a guy who strictly does anti-virus. Another to strictly to windows updates. Another to handle backups. Another person who manages VMWare. Another who handles Citrix. Yet another to handle software updates through SCCM. Another who focuses on client side operating system distribution with my guidance in SCCM. Another guy who does group polcies.

That's in a mid to large company. If you go into a small company with a few hundred employees, you might have to wear mutliple hats. If you go into a large company with thousands of employees and/or multiple locations, you'll get far more specialized.

It all depends on what you want to do and what opportunities you can sell yourself on.
February 14, 2012 2:00:08 PM

My advice would be to try to get a job with a small company, that will give you more varied experience because you will have to do pretty much everything IT releated.

If you join a large company you risk getting stuck in a service desk role and never get your hands dirty with servers/infrastructure.

Once you have gained experience in a small company you will have the experience to apply for higher level jobs in larger companies.

Hope that helps
February 15, 2012 11:46:39 AM

Getting "into IT" (real IT, not helpdesk) is hard, and will probably require you to work your way up. I'm a full fledged systems admin and god of all IT now, but it took me many years of humping helpdesk-type positions to get here, and I got my "big break" when, about 6 years out of college, I accepted a 20-hour/week internship at a tech company in the area for what was really an "IT-bitch" job. I busted ass, and showed the company that my certs and degree did, in fact, translate into useful, practical knowledge, and have been a systems administrator ever since.

So, since it worked for me, (and that seems to be the only way to get the experience everyone seems to require from a new IT hire these days) that's what I'd recommend. Suck it up, and start looking for a position that's "beneath you" with a company where you can prove yourself and move up. Soak up all the knowledge and skills you can while you're being the IT-bitch, and then move up (or move on once you've learned all you can).
February 15, 2012 12:03:51 PM

Oh, and I should add that more so in IT than most careers, especially these days, who you know matters, and your reputation is all you have.

Don't burn any bridges, and always go the extra mile, and until you've found that job where you realize you want to be at "long-term," be willing and even eager to do contract work on the cheap. That's useful for getting your name around the community as a quality person who knows his ***. If you can get enough relevant experience to have the tech consulting companies (like Robert Half for a national one, and any of the local ones in your area) use you or offer you to their clients as a contractor, that's another great path you can use to procure permanent employment. Around here, most everyone is pretty hesitant about hiring an IT guy off the street, and uses contract-to-hire positions to hire their IT guys.

Hell, for that matter, I have my current job because I took a piece of project contract work that was suppose to only last 3 months, but my current employers were so impressed with the quality of my work as a contractor/consultant that they replaced their old sys admin with me once I'd wrapped off the project.
February 24, 2012 4:52:12 AM

IT really sells nowadays especially with the numerous social enterprises that are coming up. Just that I’m not good at programming and the many calculations involved in it, I would have tried it. I have promised my only daughter that I will do all it takes to make sure she become an IT tech.
October 17, 2013 8:39:54 PM

I welcome your views buddy, but the thing is in this modern age experience is the main power of a person which is right as for me at least. People have degrees but do not know what to do, on the other hand there are many people who have the expertise but they rejected just because they don't have degrees. http://outsource-buddy.weebly.com/outsourcing-desktop-p...
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