Author Topic: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?  (Read 6542 times)

Ricky

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Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« on: January 26, 2016, 09:46:14 AM »
So I've been interviewed by a company that contracts IT work to schools in my area. They seem to be a MSP from the research I've done and are a fairly big company.

Heres my background:

- Worked in wireless retail
- Some house to house service calls as a side hustle
- General "go-to" computer guy
- MIS degree

Where I want to end up:

- Management with technical expertise
- Remote/work from anywhere opportunities

The company I interviewed for require their candidates to have an A+ certification. They say they will pay for it if hired, which is fine, but I still think the idea of an A+ is antiquated and says nothing about how capable one is at troubleshooting or problem solving. It only demonstrates initiative and willingness to learn. Ok, whatever, I can deal with that since they did ask me a technical question that I couldn't exactly answer completely. But, that doesn't mean that I can't learn it very quickly with an already decent breadth of knowledge and an alert mind. Plus, they're wanting to pay me $14/hr and reimburse me for travel, which is honestly not that great of an offer. I've read in general that positions with an MSP company are more stressful and pay less than internal positions within a specific organization. I'm fine with this to start out with as I obviously don't have the experience required to demand better initially.

They also want me to pay for my own background check. I find this a bit comical as I've never had any employer request that I retrieve my own criminal records. Maybe the claims that MSP's are notorious for being cheapasses really are true.

I guess I'm wanting to know if this sounds worthwhile and if it could potentially lead to where I want to end up? I'm not going to get any sort of management job or analyst position until I start somewhere, especially since I'm in a small mountain city with tech opportunities that are few and far between.

MsSindy

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2016, 10:05:02 AM »
I don't know what an MSP is, so can't really comment there.  But $14/hour for an MIS degree??  My local lingerie shop that I drive by everyday pays $15/hour...and I'm sure they have some interesting benefits, too!  :)   Hell, I pay the guy that comes and helps me out around my yard $15/hour cash + lunch!

Only you can determine what the potential is in your marketplace, but $14/hour sounds like crap pay...and therefore crap work?

When evaluating a new position, always determine what you're going to get out of it:
1) is it better than nothing, or the best that you've been offered for now and you'll still continue to look
2) you take it because it's a resume builder or a stepping stone to where you want to be
3) you truly enjoy the atmosphere / work
4) the pay is awesome
5) the short commute is worth it
6) etc, etc.

You have to be getting SOMETHING out of it to make it worthwhile.

windypig

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2016, 10:08:03 AM »
It really depends on your skill level and the area you live in and whatever other offers, jobs you may be able to obain.

Sounds like you dont have any official IT work to put on your resume so you are both in need of that and also not a sure bet from the companies perspective (little experience).

Is the low pay something you would be willing to accept in exchange for something to put on your resume?

Will you be an employee or a 1099 contractor? There is a big difference.

Ricky

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2016, 10:13:32 AM »
It really depends on your skill level and the area you live in and whatever other offers, jobs you may be able to obain.

Sounds like you dont have any official IT work to put on your resume so you are both in need of that and also not a sure bet from the companies perspective (little experience).

Is the low pay something you would be willing to accept in exchange for something to put on your resume?

Will you be an employee or a 1099 contractor? There is a big difference.

Full time. There's not a lot of other options around here. That's what I don't know: would it be worth it to put on my resume? I'm thinking maybe, but at $14/hr I don't want to waste my time either. It's just such a catch 22 that you need the specific experience of what they're wanting you to do yet they don't want to just go ahead and give you the opportunity to do it. Then someone else comes along desperate for a job but with years of experience and they give it to them. I don't need or care if I get this job, but I just thought it might be a good way to start out. There's no better way to find out what you truly want to do than working at something you truly don't want to do. But the position itself doesn't sound like a total waste of time since it's working in schools and shouldn't get too monotonous.

They were asking me my salary requirements so I just said $14 not really knowing.

They've also left a bad taste in my mouth by asking me to obtain my own background check. I mean, really? You're that cheap?

Helvegen

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2016, 10:19:00 AM »
$14-$16 bucks an hour seems pretty normal to me for entry level help desk. It isn't exactly a seller's market at your level...at all. But after 1-2 years, you can make a lot more than doing help desk level II-III for mid-sized to large corporations. My husband is a level III and makes quite a bit more than $15 an hour and recruiters call him.

You could consider moving. It was the probably the best thing that my husband could have done for his career because there just weren't that many opportunities back where we came from.


jeromedawg

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2016, 10:42:15 AM »
It really depends on your skill level and the area you live in and whatever other offers, jobs you may be able to obain.

Sounds like you dont have any official IT work to put on your resume so you are both in need of that and also not a sure bet from the companies perspective (little experience).

Is the low pay something you would be willing to accept in exchange for something to put on your resume?

Will you be an employee or a 1099 contractor? There is a big difference.

Full time. There's not a lot of other options around here. That's what I don't know: would it be worth it to put on my resume? I'm thinking maybe, but at $14/hr I don't want to waste my time either. It's just such a catch 22 that you need the specific experience of what they're wanting you to do yet they don't want to just go ahead and give you the opportunity to do it. Then someone else comes along desperate for a job but with years of experience and they give it to them. I don't need or care if I get this job, but I just thought it might be a good way to start out. There's no better way to find out what you truly want to do than working at something you truly don't want to do. But the position itself doesn't sound like a total waste of time since it's working in schools and shouldn't get too monotonous.

They were asking me my salary requirements so I just said $14 not really knowing.

They've also left a bad taste in my mouth by asking me to obtain my own background check. I mean, really? You're that cheap?

Can you negotiate with them further? If they need someone fast, then I would think they'd be willing to just do the background check for you - I agree that is pretty strange and uncommon for a company to ask this of you. Especially if they are a pretty well-known or prevalent company in your area. I would go back and ask them if the background check is something they can take care of instead. As far as salary requirements, it seems you gave them a number first, and therefore kind of painted yourself into a corner. If the company seems 'cheap' during the interview process, then how do you think things will be once you actually start working? There are certainly red flags popping up all over with this one IMHO.

If you're absolutely desperate to get your foot in the door, then I guess you could take it for the experience. Otherwise, I'd strongly consider, as some others have suggested, and think about moving to another locale where there is a larger abundance of IT jobs.

Ricky

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2016, 12:17:47 PM »
I asked them if they would pay for and conduct the search themselves and I got this reply:

"For any service position, it is mandatory that we receive a background check from your local police station before we make any employment offers. This is due to the nature of the position, which takes place in school districts."

Well no shit. I understand that. That wasn't what I was asking.

I think I can already tell that this is a waste of time.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2016, 12:21:41 PM »
I asked them if they would pay for and conduct the search themselves and I got this reply:

"For any service position, it is mandatory that we receive a background check from your local police station before we make any employment offers. This is due to the nature of the position, which takes place in school districts."

Well no shit. I understand that. That wasn't what I was asking.

I think I can already tell that this is a waste of time.

I would run for the hills!


Uturn

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2016, 12:33:02 PM »
You don't have corporate experience, therefore you will probably need to take a low paying job or two.  It's paying your dues.  The good thing is no one looks down on someone job hopping early in their IT career.

Certs do two things.  1.  they get you past the HR folks who don't know IT.  2.  They allow your manager to save face if you don't work out.  "But he had XXX certs!"

That being said, the employer needs to pay for the background check.  I've never heard of the potential employee paying up front. 


jeromedawg

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2016, 12:58:48 PM »
I asked them if they would pay for and conduct the search themselves and I got this reply:

"For any service position, it is mandatory that we receive a background check from your local police station before we make any employment offers. This is due to the nature of the position, which takes place in school districts."

Well no shit. I understand that. That wasn't what I was asking.

I think I can already tell that this is a waste of time.

Most major companies use background check companies to run reports. It's really odd that they're telling you to DIY this one with the PD. Seems kinda unprofessional to me. At this point, it seems like it's not worth the trouble. On that note, and just an idea, but is there a chance that any of the schools or school district has a *small* IT dept or someone working there that does IT-stuff (besides the contracting company)? If so, perhaps that might be a way to get your foot in the door? Or maybe call the district or a school nearby and see if they could use any help. I'm thinking freelancing or volunteering might be another option if you're willing to forego pay for experience for the time being. Or are there other small businesses nearby that might be looking for a help desk person?

Axecleaver

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2016, 01:24:49 PM »
I've seen companies require that you pay for the background check, they're usually rock bottom body shops that will be a nightmare to work for. What you're trying to do is make a good impression on the school staff, and find a way to work for them directly or through a different vendor. Once the people you work with like you, you'll have more negotiating power. Carefully look over your non-compete.

How much did they ask for to cover the background check? Call the police station and ask them what the procedure and fee is for a background check. We use a service for this and pay around $100 for a variety of searches, including local police station fees.


mountainstache7

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2016, 01:34:36 PM »
Often you need to take what you can get in the beginning to get real experience on your resume. After you get a year of experience opportunities will open up. After 3 years of experience you shouldn't have any problems finding work in IT. The first job is often the hardest to get. If you have no other options it may be worth it to suck it up for awhile for experience sake.

mountainstache7

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2016, 01:47:01 PM »
Also I agree that certifications generally don't mean much, but if they're going to pay for it and you get experience it will be worth it. Great resume builder. I did a bootcamp 12 years ago to get a certification my company paid for and it got me my next job. Whether or not people think they're worth it, employers do search for those.

jeromedawg

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2016, 01:48:42 PM »
I agree with mountainstache and axecleaver... and for a foot in the door, this might be the only option if you're not set on moving elsewhere. As someone above mentioned, to get into the IT field, is not uncommon to have to "pay your dues", so I think this could mean anything from working as a temp in help desk, to freelancing/volunteering, to working at a company that treats their employees pretty crappily etc.

For me, paying my dues (because I didn't major in comp sci in college) was working as a phone support tech (via a temp agency) at Linksys before they were bought out by Cisco ages ago. It was one of the worst jobs ever... we were all stationed in a bullpen-type environment at quarter-cubes with a phone and computer. It was a business casual environment (you'd think, for being on the phone all day, they'd cut you some slack... nope). I had some weird shifts too, like 12-8pm etc but that gave time to go on interviews in the morning lol. So it sucked having to get dressed up for a low-paying and crappy job where half the time there's an angry customer yelling at you. I'm pretty sure I ran into those calls from competitors (D-Link, Netgear, etc) where they'd call to screen the competition and basically put you through endless-loop scenarios where troubleshooting did nothing. I was there for just under half a year before finding an entry-level QA job and much relief. I remember my team lead at Linksys too - dude was an ex-convict and I have no idea what he's doing these days (nor do I care). Oh, and as far as holidays are concerned - there was no such thing. We had to work through Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc... I think I ended up quitting just before Christmas so it was all good. But I was about to just not show up to shift if I was still working there.

JLee

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2016, 04:01:49 PM »
If you get your foot in the door at the right place (and don't end up dead-ending yourself), it can work out well. Here's my story.

jeromedawg

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2016, 04:16:59 PM »
If you get your foot in the door at the right place (and don't end up dead-ending yourself), it can work out well. Here's my story.

Wow, that's a very impressive story with that amount of salary movement in 3-4 years of time. Who you know and where you get in really does make the difference. My career track has been a very slow progression from QA to infosec and now sort of into a hybrid of both. But I was stuck on the same salary with little to no increase at each company I've been at with the exception of the company I just left. Pretty much all my salary increases (not including the obligatory "this is your 2% increase for inflation" ones) only really came from moving companies.  And I would say in many cases, promotions such as those you were rewarded with, are few and far between at *most* companies. That's not to discount of course that you're probably one of those rock-star employees (in which case, promotions will more than likely rain) :) It really comes down to you being king-of-the-hill among your coworkers/peers and being at a company that gives proper recognition to it's employees (more often than not "proper recognition" unfortunately ends up being more about who you're buddies with rather than your actual performance...at least from what I've seen)
« Last Edit: January 26, 2016, 04:22:41 PM by jplee3 »

onlykelsey

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2016, 04:22:58 PM »
If you get your foot in the door at the right place (and don't end up dead-ending yourself), it can work out well. Here's my story.

JLee, I never did thank you for that story!  I am showing to my (underemployed help desk) husband.

mountainstache7

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2016, 06:05:59 PM »
Great story. If you work above your pay grade and serve well, good things tend to happen. :)

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2016, 07:50:34 PM »
The pay seems absurdly low even for a low COL area. You have a MIS degree! This alone should ensure you aren't stuck with entry level jobs.

For perspective, I got an initial IT analyst job making $60,000/year in one of the worst paying markets in the country. With no experience. Seriously, none. My masters is completely unrelated. I had never worked in IT. My background is public affairs and marketing. The company simply need someone teachable with client relations skills, and, thus, I fell into IT.

This particular company sounds terrible. Even in a rural area, I think you can do better. Look into Business Analyst or Support Tech roles.

JLee

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2016, 07:54:38 PM »
The pay seems absurdly low even for a low COL area. You have a MIS degree! This alone should ensure you aren't stuck with entry level jobs.

For perspective, I got an initial IT analyst job making $60,000/year in one of the worst paying markets in the country. With no experience. Seriously, none. My masters is completely unrelated. I had never worked in IT. My background is public affairs and marketing. The company simply need someone teachable with client relations skills, and, thus, I fell into IT.

This particular company sounds terrible. Even in a rural area, I think you can do better. Look into Business Analyst or Support Tech roles.
Client relations is a different world altogether -- sounds more like you were paid to work with people, not technology?

Ricky

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2016, 06:12:55 AM »
I asked them if they would pay for and conduct the search themselves and I got this reply:

"For any service position, it is mandatory that we receive a background check from your local police station before we make any employment offers. This is due to the nature of the position, which takes place in school districts."

Well no shit. I understand that. That wasn't what I was asking.

I think I can already tell that this is a waste of time.

I replied to her email in a somewhat admittedly demanding tone saying I understand this but I'm asking if you are willing to cover it or not. I'm not concerned about $10 or $100 if I know I have the job, it's just the pettiness of making your candidates do such a thing that does make me question whether I want to work for such an anal company. At any rate, I didn't get a reply and I'm just not going to pursue it. Yes there aren't a lot of options in my area and it may be a while before I get to apply somewhere else, but it just didn't seem worth it.

A little more backstory - they're not even based here. They're based 4 hours away and just have clients here. They don't have offices here so we met at a Starbucks. I talked with the hiring manager's "assistant" and she was supposed to email me the meeting information the day before I met with the guy. She didn't and I had to remind her at like 7pm that night. I also didn't have the guy's number so I couldn't call him if I was running late or ask what he looked like so I didn't sit down with some random person. Just unprofessional all around.

The company supposedly services over 1,000 schools across the Southeast and is this petty and unprofessional. Truthfully, it just doesn't sound like anyone I want to work for.

I'm just thinking surely there are better options for me, especially if I'm willing to move. I just haven't found them yet. I've applied to out-of-area jobs but haven't received any callbacks.

Uturn

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2016, 07:12:13 AM »
The pay seems absurdly low even for a low COL area. You have a MIS degree! This alone should ensure you aren't stuck with entry level jobs.

For perspective, I got an initial IT analyst job making $60,000/year in one of the worst paying markets in the country. With no experience. Seriously, none. My masters is completely unrelated. I had never worked in IT. My background is public affairs and marketing. The company simply need someone teachable with client relations skills, and, thus, I fell into IT.

This particular company sounds terrible. Even in a rural area, I think you can do better. Look into Business Analyst or Support Tech roles.
Client relations is a different world altogether -- sounds more like you were paid to work with people, not technology?

Not really.  I tell my helpdesk and desktop support folks all the time that 60% of their job is customer relations, only 40% technical.  It doesn't matter how technical you are or how fast you work, if the customer is still upset when you are done, all you have is an upset customer. 

JLee

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2016, 08:27:55 AM »
The pay seems absurdly low even for a low COL area. You have a MIS degree! This alone should ensure you aren't stuck with entry level jobs.

For perspective, I got an initial IT analyst job making $60,000/year in one of the worst paying markets in the country. With no experience. Seriously, none. My masters is completely unrelated. I had never worked in IT. My background is public affairs and marketing. The company simply need someone teachable with client relations skills, and, thus, I fell into IT.

This particular company sounds terrible. Even in a rural area, I think you can do better. Look into Business Analyst or Support Tech roles.
Client relations is a different world altogether -- sounds more like you were paid to work with people, not technology?

Not really.  I tell my helpdesk and desktop support folks all the time that 60% of their job is customer relations, only 40% technical.  It doesn't matter how technical you are or how fast you work, if the customer is still upset when you are done, all you have is an upset customer.
If you don't have that 40% technical, you'll be useless as a tech. Point is that you aren't getting a $60k technical job with no experience.  That's going to be exclusively customer relations. It's a great career path if that's your thing - but implying that someone can get a $60k technical job with no technical knowledge isn't realistic.

Helvegen

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2016, 09:49:33 AM »
The pay seems absurdly low even for a low COL area. You have a MIS degree! This alone should ensure you aren't stuck with entry level jobs.

For perspective, I got an initial IT analyst job making $60,000/year in one of the worst paying markets in the country. With no experience. Seriously, none. My masters is completely unrelated. I had never worked in IT. My background is public affairs and marketing. The company simply need someone teachable with client relations skills, and, thus, I fell into IT.

This particular company sounds terrible. Even in a rural area, I think you can do better. Look into Business Analyst or Support Tech roles.

Maybe you just got lucky?

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2016, 02:04:27 PM »
The pay seems absurdly low even for a low COL area. You have a MIS degree! This alone should ensure you aren't stuck with entry level jobs.

For perspective, I got an initial IT analyst job making $60,000/year in one of the worst paying markets in the country. With no experience. Seriously, none. My masters is completely unrelated. I had never worked in IT. My background is public affairs and marketing. The company simply need someone teachable with client relations skills, and, thus, I fell into IT.

This particular company sounds terrible. Even in a rural area, I think you can do better. Look into Business Analyst or Support Tech roles.

Maybe you just got lucky?

Nope, not really. They are always trying to fill these positions because the client relations skills and travel requirements eliminate most applicants. I had to learn the IT side which turned out to be no problem at all. Unfortunately once someone has been with the company for a while, it is common to find yourself working above your job description. My soon to be former employer is not a great company to work for by any stretch, but these jobs are out there. I would think that OP would be a great candidate for positions like this having both a technical background and sales experience.

TL/DR: Don't sell yourself short, OP. Your experience is relevant and valuable to many different positions.

JLee

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2016, 03:03:23 PM »
The pay seems absurdly low even for a low COL area. You have a MIS degree! This alone should ensure you aren't stuck with entry level jobs.

For perspective, I got an initial IT analyst job making $60,000/year in one of the worst paying markets in the country. With no experience. Seriously, none. My masters is completely unrelated. I had never worked in IT. My background is public affairs and marketing. The company simply need someone teachable with client relations skills, and, thus, I fell into IT.

This particular company sounds terrible. Even in a rural area, I think you can do better. Look into Business Analyst or Support Tech roles.

Maybe you just got lucky?

Nope, not really. They are always trying to fill these positions because the client relations skills and travel requirements eliminate most applicants. I had to learn the IT side which turned out to be no problem at all. Unfortunately once someone has been with the company for a while, it is common to find yourself working above your job description. My soon to be former employer is not a great company to work for by any stretch, but these jobs are out there. I would think that OP would be a great candidate for positions like this having both a technical background and sales experience.

TL/DR: Don't sell yourself short, OP. Your experience is relevant and valuable to many different positions.

You have me curious now, haha.  How much depth / what area did you have to learn?

AZDude

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2016, 03:09:55 PM »
Why do you want to work in a helpdesk? You have an MIS degree. Helpdesk is a career path that will lead you on a lower career trajectory than most other entry level jobs. Keep looking unless you just need *a* job that has decent pay.

Also, paying for your own background check? Tell them to fuck off.

DebtFreeBy25

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2016, 05:46:24 AM »
The pay seems absurdly low even for a low COL area. You have a MIS degree! This alone should ensure you aren't stuck with entry level jobs.

For perspective, I got an initial IT analyst job making $60,000/year in one of the worst paying markets in the country. With no experience. Seriously, none. My masters is completely unrelated. I had never worked in IT. My background is public affairs and marketing. The company simply need someone teachable with client relations skills, and, thus, I fell into IT.

This particular company sounds terrible. Even in a rural area, I think you can do better. Look into Business Analyst or Support Tech roles.

Maybe you just got lucky?

Nope, not really. They are always trying to fill these positions because the client relations skills and travel requirements eliminate most applicants. I had to learn the IT side which turned out to be no problem at all. Unfortunately once someone has been with the company for a while, it is common to find yourself working above your job description. My soon to be former employer is not a great company to work for by any stretch, but these jobs are out there. I would think that OP would be a great candidate for positions like this having both a technical background and sales experience.

TL/DR: Don't sell yourself short, OP. Your experience is relevant and valuable to many different positions.

You have me curious now, haha.  How much depth / what area did you have to learn?

Two primary areas were essential: systems analysis (translating business requirements into functional ones) and software implementation (project managing the development life cycle, conducting User Acceptance Testing, etc.).  A basic level of knowledge in other IT areas, desktop support, networking, IT infrastructure, helps with credibility, but I have had to do more than have conversations about topics outside of my scope. In other words, I need to know how to work with developers and engineers. It's not necessary for me to be a developer or engineer.

JLee

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2016, 07:34:59 AM »
The pay seems absurdly low even for a low COL area. You have a MIS degree! This alone should ensure you aren't stuck with entry level jobs.

For perspective, I got an initial IT analyst job making $60,000/year in one of the worst paying markets in the country. With no experience. Seriously, none. My masters is completely unrelated. I had never worked in IT. My background is public affairs and marketing. The company simply need someone teachable with client relations skills, and, thus, I fell into IT.

This particular company sounds terrible. Even in a rural area, I think you can do better. Look into Business Analyst or Support Tech roles.

Maybe you just got lucky?

Nope, not really. They are always trying to fill these positions because the client relations skills and travel requirements eliminate most applicants. I had to learn the IT side which turned out to be no problem at all. Unfortunately once someone has been with the company for a while, it is common to find yourself working above your job description. My soon to be former employer is not a great company to work for by any stretch, but these jobs are out there. I would think that OP would be a great candidate for positions like this having both a technical background and sales experience.

TL/DR: Don't sell yourself short, OP. Your experience is relevant and valuable to many different positions.

You have me curious now, haha.  How much depth / what area did you have to learn?

Two primary areas were essential: systems analysis (translating business requirements into functional ones) and software implementation (project managing the development life cycle, conducting User Acceptance Testing, etc.).  A basic level of knowledge in other IT areas, desktop support, networking, IT infrastructure, helps with credibility, but I have had to do more than have conversations about topics outside of my scope. In other words, I need to know how to work with developers and engineers. It's not necessary for me to be a developer or engineer.
Ahhh okay, that makes sense.

My home-away-from-home is a datacenter. We're in completely different worlds. :)

jeromedawg

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2016, 09:39:03 AM »
The pay seems absurdly low even for a low COL area. You have a MIS degree! This alone should ensure you aren't stuck with entry level jobs.

For perspective, I got an initial IT analyst job making $60,000/year in one of the worst paying markets in the country. With no experience. Seriously, none. My masters is completely unrelated. I had never worked in IT. My background is public affairs and marketing. The company simply need someone teachable with client relations skills, and, thus, I fell into IT.

This particular company sounds terrible. Even in a rural area, I think you can do better. Look into Business Analyst or Support Tech roles.

Maybe you just got lucky?

Nope, not really. They are always trying to fill these positions because the client relations skills and travel requirements eliminate most applicants. I had to learn the IT side which turned out to be no problem at all. Unfortunately once someone has been with the company for a while, it is common to find yourself working above your job description. My soon to be former employer is not a great company to work for by any stretch, but these jobs are out there. I would think that OP would be a great candidate for positions like this having both a technical background and sales experience.

TL/DR: Don't sell yourself short, OP. Your experience is relevant and valuable to many different positions.

You have me curious now, haha.  How much depth / what area did you have to learn?

Two primary areas were essential: systems analysis (translating business requirements into functional ones) and software implementation (project managing the development life cycle, conducting User Acceptance Testing, etc.).  A basic level of knowledge in other IT areas, desktop support, networking, IT infrastructure, helps with credibility, but I have had to do more than have conversations about topics outside of my scope. In other words, I need to know how to work with developers and engineers. It's not necessary for me to be a developer or engineer.
Ahhh okay, that makes sense.

My home-away-from-home is a datacenter. We're in completely different worlds. :)

It is kinda true now that I think about it... there are some "analysts" I know in IT didn't start out that way and have little to no real background in IT. But I would also say that there are a good number of analysts that also come from a desktop/support background as well. In fact, if a company had to choose between someone with no experience and someone who had prior desktop/support experience (assuming both people are decent at what they do regardless and both have "client relation" skills), they'll *almost* always go with the one with prior experience just because they've got the upper-hand. I guess that's true of any job though - can't discount experience. But I see what he's saying in that a lot of companies out there need people who can help with 'translation' and 'communication' (that's often what it comes down to)

HipGnosis

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #30 on: January 28, 2016, 10:07:28 AM »
Not really.  I tell my helpdesk and desktop support folks all the time that 60% of their job is customer relations, only 40% technical.  It doesn't matter how technical you are or how fast you work, if the customer is still upset when you are done, all you have is an upset customer.
I'll vouch for that!  My first IT job was field service.  My first solo call was a laser printer.  I disassembled it and trouble-shot it.  I didn't have the part it needed so I put it back together as I called to order the part.  The customer complained that I was 'padding their bill' by 'wasting time' putting it back together. 

onlykelsey

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Re: Is this entry level IT job worth pursuing?
« Reply #31 on: January 28, 2016, 10:13:53 AM »
Quote
It is kinda true now that I think about it... there are some "analysts" I know in IT didn't start out that way and have little to no real background in IT. But I would also say that there are a good number of analysts that also come from a desktop/support background as well. In fact, if a company had to choose between someone with no experience and someone who had prior desktop/support experience (assuming both people are decent at what they do regardless and both have "client relation" skills), they'll *almost* always go with the one with prior experience just because they've got the upper-hand. I guess that's true of any job though - can't discount experience. But I see what he's saying in that a lot of companies out there need people who can help with 'translation' and 'communication' (that's often what it comes down to)

Those sorts of jobs are so undersold, and I think they can actually be immensely satisfying.   I have never been an engineer or pilot, but I got through multi-variable calc and linear algebra, and I worked for a while as a sort of technical writer and editor for flight engineers studying flight upsets. I basically had to understand enough science to make them take me seriously, and then write it in actual English.