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Careers in I.T around D.C.
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Knee Draggin!
 
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Careers in I.T around D.C. - September 25, 2011, 12:03 PM

So I am a sophomore in college pursuing a 4 year degree in Information Technology, though I am not exactly sure what I want to do as far as a specialization (hardware installation, cloud networking, etc). I know that one big advantage to landing a job is connections, which I don't really have right now (except my mother that works in the Housing and Urban Development building in D.C). Right now I work for minimum wage retail at Office Depot but I want to start expanding my opportunities in the IT career field now.

So I'm asking for advice, what should I do to start now? Look for internships? Start applying for entry level I.T jobs? What kind of entry level stuff is there? How can I both learn more about the field and develop relationships and connection to employers in D.C. at the same time?

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it's "Leave," you idiot.
 
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September 25, 2011, 12:36 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayshon
So I am a sophomore in college pursuing a 4 year degree in Information Technology, though I am not exactly sure what I want to do as far as a specialization (hardware installation, cloud networking, etc). I know that one big advantage to landing a job is connections, which I don't really have right now (except my mother that works in the Housing and Urban Development building in D.C). Right now I work for minimum wage retail at Office Depot but I want to start expanding my opportunities in the IT career field now.

So I'm asking for advice, what should I do to start now? Look for internships? Start applying for entry level I.T jobs? What kind of entry level stuff is there? How can I both learn more about the field and develop relationships and connection to employers in D.C. at the same time?

Thanks
-Ray
Start getting certifications and spend some time on a helpdesk
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The last urrbendah
 
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September 25, 2011, 01:18 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BiffTannen View Post
Start getting certifications and spend some time on a helpdesk
This. A+ is an excellent start as well as the MCITP Support certs. Combine those with a part time help desk gig until you finish your degree and figure out what you really want to do along the way.


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September 25, 2011, 01:28 PM

Don't look any further into 'hardware installation' as a career.

Look into network security, it will be only be getting hotter
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September 25, 2011, 01:29 PM

Check with KAYUS. He knows helpdesk monkeys.

But yes, since you effectively know nothing right now, that's a good place to start. And once you graduate you would already have several years worth of experience in the IT field.

Take any IT job that somebody offers you. Once you have skills you can pick and choose.


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September 25, 2011, 02:41 PM

work overseas!


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September 25, 2011, 03:50 PM

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Originally Posted by noobstick86 View Post
Don't look any further into 'hardware installation' as a career.

Look into network security, it will be only be getting hotter
This and learn how to code. This is where the $$$ is, but it really all depends what you want to do.


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September 25, 2011, 06:31 PM

I majored in IT and became a programmer. Great profession if you enjoy it. Whatever you do, try your best to get a clearance. Once you have that, you will be guaranteed jobs.
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September 25, 2011, 07:23 PM

thanks for the replies guys

@Biftannen and Stillie and Doubt

I'll definately look into those certs, also what is a good way to find an entry level helpdesk job? craigslist? newspapers?

@noob & mud

Network security interests me..i did a research paper on it and there is some pretty fascinating stuff going on in that field. Also any language for programming in specific? I doubt visual basic would be that hot lmao

@zx6r

overseas? really? o:

@sas

Clearance? what's that?
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September 25, 2011, 07:43 PM

Don't laugh at Visual Basic. It's still a serious language with good capabities running on the Microsloth CLR. The downside to it is that it's expensive to keep current with the latest MS technologies if you aren't a student. (MSDN subscription is like $2k.)

On the upside, the .net architecture is similar enough to Java to give you a bit of a jumpstart. Plus the java open source communities are great for learning the latest technologies.

Security? That takes time and focus. Get a support job, read any systems tech book you can get your hands on.

Just a note. This is a field where you will be learning constantly. New technologies come out all the time. IT is a broad field. If you don't like having your nose in a book and studying something new regularly....then run away now.



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September 25, 2011, 09:25 PM

get an internship with government or large defense contractor. best way to set up a job post graduation.
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September 25, 2011, 09:49 PM

Craigslist is very popular in this area. Both my former and my current positions came from CL postings. Dice.com is another excellent resource as is LinkedIn. Also keep your eye on the big contractors' homepages too.

AR mentioned doing intern work and that is another great way to get your foot in the door. It also gives you the chance to pick a specialty as well.

My background is help/service desk management which isn't a field for everyone. I stay in it because I like interacting with users but like the higher pay that comes with the job title. There are days when I miss just being able to pick up the phone, reset a password, and then go back to trying to reach the end of the Internet.

My recommendation is pretty straight forward, fly the desk in college then move on if it's not for you. At least you'll know what those guys are going through in case you move to sysadmin or any other speciality that interfaces with the desk.

Shoot me a PM with an email address. I may hire an intern for my desk at some point. No pay but its a unique experience.


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September 25, 2011, 10:39 PM

Dice = decent job listings. Not usually too stale.

Monster = Stale postings

Careerbuilder = Those job listings have dust.

Monster = Careerbuilder.

Craigslist job postings = Just fucking run away.

But hey, that's just my opinion.

Somebody suggested trying for a paid intern position with a government contractor. Good idea. If you can get a clearance, even better.


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September 26, 2011, 07:34 AM

So you say you want to start a career in IT. Hmm..

Steps to get in the door, work a helpdesk.

If you can do this oversees, as stated above. Bonus (in more ways than just $$)

Certifications are good, they basically just get your resume looking better. Just make sure you have the ability to backup the skills 'learned'

When I have more openings, (read: my staff took another higher skilled job) I normally post them here.


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September 26, 2011, 08:38 AM

In this area, cyber security, IA...well anything security IT related and you will have lots of opportunities..


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