Experience vs Certifications v.11tybillion

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by dVs, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. dVs

    dVs New Member

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    I've decided on a major career change and was wondering how employers tend to look at the two components.

    Going back to school isn't really an option at this point in time but it's something I would like to do when possible.
     
  2. Chaotic Reality

    Chaotic Reality New Member

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    If you lived in a small town you might be able to pull it off, but not in a big city. To find a good job anymore you have to have a degree AND experience and to get experience you usually have to not be picky, find an ok paying job, and work your way up through the company.

    At least that's what I've experienced. :)
     
  3. dVs

    dVs New Member

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    I live in one of the biggest cities in the world...New York.

    I also have a good network of friends in the field. And I'm not really picky at this point. I know I'm starting over but I don't want to start out at a job that only pays 35K. That's just bullshit.
     
  4. EvilSS

    EvilSS New Member

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    Experience is much, much more important than certs. Most certs are more of an entry level filter (if you can't get an A+ cert, you are in the wrong field, for example) or are marketing tools for experienced people. Where I work, certs are driven (read: forced on us) by our sales departments and our vendors. Some certs are taken more seriously though, like the high-end Cisco certs.

    You are going to need to get the base certs in the field you want to go into and blast your resume all over the place. Try to find a headhunter who handles noobs (that's how I got my first job). Recruiters have contact you don't, and know about opening that are not advertised.

    Most important though, you are going to need a natural talent for what you want to do. If you strugle with the certifications, rething your career. IT is like any other field, you need a certain set of skills to be good. I've delt with a number of consultants, and for a while managed a support call center. To be honest, from my experience, career changers who go to the cert "bootcamps" are the worst. It's not the career changing so much as the going to the classes. All of our entry level consultants who turned out to be good self-studied for their certs before they where hired. Many of us when to classes AFTER we where working, but those where company sponsored and we didn't seek them out (usually we spent more time goofing off and still murdered the exams).

    We even had one guy who not only had every certification under the sun, he was a Microsoft Certified Trainer. Problem was, all he knew was how to pass the tests. When he was put in a real situation, he didn't know crap. He lasted about a month.

    Note that this all assumes you want to go into networking or Wintel (or *nix or Novell). I you are looking to go into development, you are going to need a degree, period. I don't know of anyone who hires developers without a BS in computer science.
     
  5. Joe_Cool

    Joe_Cool Never trust a woman or a government. Moderator

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    The fact is, in NYC the paper is an absolute necessity. I spent a long time trying to find a good job in NYC/NNJ based on my work experience, which is extensive. Without fail, I was passed over in favor of people who had the certs and degrees.

    Unless you can get one of your insider friends to hook you up, you'll probably get nothing without the paper.

    What EvilSS said has a lot of merit too, but your experience doesn't come into play until you land the job. New Yorkers a lot of the time won't even interview you if you don't have the certs, and most of the time will hire the cert, regardless of experience.
     
  6. Slid.

    Slid. I'm a guy.

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    I have no certs/degree but I got my current job, I know for a fact that another applicant for the job just finished his 2-year degree. I guess it depends on where you live and what sized business you are applying at. Larger businesses probably have more strict requirements, smaller ones don't.

    You can make the same money working for a small company as you can working for a larger one.
     
  7. cmsurfer

    cmsurfer ºllllllº

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    I didn't read all the posts, but it depends on the company. I would say most are looking for experience. Certs may be a plus when deciding who to hire but there are also companies that want you to have certain certs to be considered.
     
  8. DatacomGuy

    DatacomGuy is moving to Canada

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  9. bilmind

    bilmind Licka' Licka' High

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    When I lived in NYC, my experience got me everywhere. I made good money at 19, this was back in 99-01...
    I had no certs, still don't. I have worked for some pretty big companies and made good money.
    Great resume and knowing what you're doing will get you far, but anymore a cert will get you in the door.
     

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