Author Topic: Graduated college. MIS degree. How to score a "Real" job in IT?  (Read 1044 times)

zoochadookdook

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Graduated college. MIS degree. How to score a "Real" job in IT?
« on: January 15, 2019, 09:38:09 PM »
Hey all, so aside from being self employed to pay my way through college and my first house the past 4 years I have not held formal employment. It's not bad-I flip laptops and such-but I have no 401k match, no health insurance, never going to make over 40k etc etc.

I take it back-there was a 3 month Data Scientist internship I completed summer 2018. I worked on our schools erp, came up with a project (SIC code fix) and implemented it.

I graduated college last month and have finally started looking for a entry level job. I have a decent grasp on DB work/relational rules, queries, sql and some admin stuff using VMs with MS server/kali pen testing. I also have project management experience in MS project. I'm a self starter, if I don't know something I do some research and get it done (did my roof via youtube and working side jobs to learn, Helpdesk my entire gyms network including all the members laptops etc).

I have no idea what job I should look for/apply to. I have been applying to local government IT support jobs and have gotten shut down several times due to lack of experience. My only real stipulation is that I need to make at least 50k/have room to move up in the future with healthcare and (hopefully) a 401k match. I've been using handshake to sort applications but there seems to be internships and jobs that require 3+ years in the field. No real in between.

Any advice? I'm interested in pretty much open to anything business related with IT.

Gone_Hiking

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Re: Graduated college. MIS degree. How to score a "Real" job in IT?
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2019, 10:26:19 PM »
Not every IT organization can take in new graduates.  Sometimes the team is so small and so busy that it can not afford to spend time to train or mentor a person right out of school.  Seems to me that the larger IT organizations might have openings for people like you, but they might be hiring contractors for those positions.  Have you looked at TEKSystems or another company that supplies IT contractors?  That might be your door to an organization and the experience you need.   I would suggest starting at desktop support, and once you spend some time doing that and observe what else happens in IT, you will probably find areas where you would like to move.   Good luck!

stashing_it

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Re: Graduated college. MIS degree. How to score a "Real" job in IT?
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2019, 11:48:41 PM »
I'd recommend finding any job where you can predominantly work in the cloud,   AWS, Azure or GCP.   Spend 6-12 months doing that with whatever company will hire you for the 40-50K that you need, then trade up to a larger / higher paying company.

Feel free to apply for jobs that require 3+ years experience.   There are seats that need to be filled, and job reqs always show the desired qualifications, not really the minimum that they will accept.

What you really, really need is some recommendations / referrals from people working at the companies you want to apply to.  That will cut your application out from the background, and helps you at least get to the interview stage.    Do you have classmates who have landed tech jobs that you can reach out to ?   Or do you have former teachers / professors with industry connections who might help ?

Also be aware that a lot of the IT roles at the big tech companies are in certain geographic locations, so you might need to consider if you are open to moving.    You'll have an easier time finding a higher paying tech job in Boulder, or Austin, or D.C. Suburbs, or Seattle, etc.  than in Cheyenne or Sioux Falls, etc.


My experience,  I got an aerospace engineering degree, spent 12 years as a mechanical engineer at an aerospace company, and then 1 year ago switched over to an entry level software engineering role at one of the big tech companies.    Feel free to PM me and I can give more details  (though i'm not on this site every day)

brute

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Re: Graduated college. MIS degree. How to score a "Real" job in IT?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2019, 10:26:07 AM »
You may have to start as helpdesk support and make under 30k, but at least you should have health insurance. MIS isn't looked at as highly as CS for most of the places I know, but if you aren't trying to be a software engineer, actual data scientist, or something like that, it shouldn't matter much. Is there an area of the country you're targeting? I know a lot of people who could use a jr engineer / intermediate IT guy.

Proud Foot

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Re: Graduated college. MIS degree. How to score a "Real" job in IT?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2019, 10:35:35 AM »
I graduated college last month and have finally started looking for a entry level job. I have a decent grasp on DB work/relational rules, queries, sql and some admin stuff using VMs with MS server/kali pen testing. I also have project management experience in MS project. I'm a self starter, if I don't know something I do some research and get it done (did my roof via youtube and working side jobs to learn, Helpdesk my entire gyms network including all the members laptops etc).

I have no idea what job I should look for/apply to. I have been applying to local government IT support jobs and have gotten shut down several times due to lack of experience. My only real stipulation is that I need to make at least 50k/have room to move up in the future with healthcare and (hopefully) a 401k match. I've been using handshake to sort applications but there seems to be internships and jobs that require 3+ years in the field. No real in between.

Any advice? I'm interested in pretty much open to anything business related with IT.

Are you open to all aspects of IT or is there a specific area within IT that you are interested in.  I work in the corporate office of a hospital and physician network and our second largest department is our IT department. Within that department we have three main areas:
Help Desk - setting up workstations, administrative capabilities to update software, etc
Infrastructure - maintain our network and servers to make sure our three facilities and multiple office buildings maintain secure network access to our servers and backup servers.
Applications Analysts - this group works within our EHR system to pull monthly data out of the system for reporting purposes and for analysis as needed for other departments. This would use more of your Database and SQL knowledge. In my opinion a MIS degree is more suited to this than the other two areas of IT.


zoochadookdook

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Re: Graduated college. MIS degree. How to score a "Real" job in IT?
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2019, 11:44:32 AM »
Wow! A lot of good info here.

I'm currently in Michigan and would prefer to stay here (mortgage and such). The big 3 are major players all in driving distance.

As far as what I actually want to do-no idea. Ford has a rotational program that I'm attempting to get into (3 years worth of rotations) in IT. I didn't have a lot of friends in school (commuted) and my friends right now either work in Texas for Argo Group or at gyms up here. My father keeps telling me to apply to GM as "back in his day" they were hiring entry marketing positions for 60k+ starting. I don't think it works like that hah. I'll have to look into these options presented.

partdopy

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Re: Graduated college. MIS degree. How to score a "Real" job in IT?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2019, 12:00:10 PM »
Hey all, so aside from being self employed to pay my way through college and my first house the past 4 years I have not held formal employment. It's not bad-I flip laptops and such-but I have no 401k match, no health insurance, never going to make over 40k etc etc.

I take it back-there was a 3 month Data Scientist internship I completed summer 2018. I worked on our schools erp, came up with a project (SIC code fix) and implemented it.

I graduated college last month and have finally started looking for a entry level job. I have a decent grasp on DB work/relational rules, queries, sql and some admin stuff using VMs with MS server/kali pen testing. I also have project management experience in MS project. I'm a self starter, if I don't know something I do some research and get it done (did my roof via youtube and working side jobs to learn, Helpdesk my entire gyms network including all the members laptops etc).

I have no idea what job I should look for/apply to. I have been applying to local government IT support jobs and have gotten shut down several times due to lack of experience. My only real stipulation is that I need to make at least 50k/have room to move up in the future with healthcare and (hopefully) a 401k match. I've been using handshake to sort applications but there seems to be internships and jobs that require 3+ years in the field. No real in between.

Any advice? I'm interested in pretty much open to anything business related with IT.

I was able to land a low level sys admin/programmer slot with an undergrad MIS degree.  What helped was making coding projects I could bring to my interview to show that, while I'm new and not comp sci, I can program, learn, and do it on my own.

Learn python, AWS, VMWare, and some Windows/Linux skills and you should have no problem landing an entry or slightly above entry level position similar to the one I did.  I've since been in IT for 10 years and am now a cloud systems engineer so it has paid off.

Try looking at University/College job postings.  I think the website is HigherEdJobs.com or somethings.  I've been in higher ed my whole career and we ALWAYS have a hard time filling slots.  Pay is usually 10-20% low, but my benefits are amazing and I get to laugh at the corporate drones going into work while I'm using some of my 25 vacation days or off on a holiday, or when I head out at 4:30 on a Friday and they are still working until 7PM.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 12:02:11 PM by partdopy »

brute

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Re: Graduated college. MIS degree. How to score a "Real" job in IT?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2019, 12:40:57 PM »
Check into the local area tech council (if you have one). They usually meet at least monthly and it's a great place for networking between the people who own companies, job seekers, and recruiting agencies.

Also, call some recruiting companies, they should be able to find you a few interviews.

formerlydivorcedmom

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Re: Graduated college. MIS degree. How to score a "Real" job in IT?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2019, 03:10:41 PM »
Make sure you polish your resume as much as possible to highlight your skills.  My husband was a mechanic before he went back to school to get an IT degree, and his resume trumpeted the troubleshooting and customer service/requirements gathering skills he had gained in that job.  He also had a section for "projects" which listed things he had done at home - networking, setting up his own server, etc.

If you have extensive experience repairing laptops, you should be able to qualify for an entry-level helpdesk job.  Try your local school districts, too, although they probably won't be hiring until late spring for the next school year.

Research the tech user groups in your area.  There might be some for specific technologies or for specific hardware or software.  Go to these groups and network like crazy.  Have your own personal business cards, with your LinkedIn information on them (and create a LinkedIn account, if you don't already have one, and connect to everyone you know).    You might also want to go to some of the Project Management user groups.

Tell everyone you know that you're looking for a job doing X,Y, or Z.  (Be somewhat specific.)  Tell the cashier at the grocery store, your best friend's neighbor that you pass on the street, anyone where you can work it into a conversation.  People like to help people.

Go to your college's career center and see if they offer help.  See where the local hiring fairs are, and go to those. 

In my area, a lot of companies only seem to advertise open jobs on their own websites, so I have a list of all the companies in the area that I'd want to work for and checked their websites every day for job postings.  Being one of the first to apply does help.

You do need to set your expectations at a reasonable level.  In Michigan, I would think it is highly unlikely you are going to start out at $50k with no experience and an an MIS degree.  You can work your way there and beyond. 

robartsd

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Re: Graduated college. MIS degree. How to score a "Real" job in IT?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2019, 04:14:43 PM »
Hey all, so aside from being self employed to pay my way through college and my first house the past 4 years I have not held formal employment. It's not bad-I flip laptops and such-but I have no 401k match, no health insurance, never going to make over 40k etc etc.

I take it back-there was a 3 month Data Scientist internship I completed summer 2018. I worked on our schools erp, came up with a project (SIC code fix) and implemented it.

I graduated college last month and have finally started looking for a entry level job. I have a decent grasp on DB work/relational rules, queries, sql and some admin stuff using VMs with MS server/kali pen testing. I also have project management experience in MS project. I'm a self starter, if I don't know something I do some research and get it done (did my roof via youtube and working side jobs to learn, Helpdesk my entire gyms network including all the members laptops etc).

I have no idea what job I should look for/apply to. I have been applying to local government IT support jobs and have gotten shut down several times due to lack of experience. My only real stipulation is that I need to make at least 50k/have room to move up in the future with healthcare and (hopefully) a 401k match. I've been using handshake to sort applications but there seems to be internships and jobs that require 3+ years in the field. No real in between.

Any advice? I'm interested in pretty much open to anything business related with IT.
Any government job is going to be filled by following fairly strict procedures to screen candidates (at least to the formal interview step)

Does your school have any job seeking resources? They should know the kinds of companies that typically hire recent grads with your degree. Even if you want to expand beyond the firms that are in contact with your school, that might give you a better idea of where to look.

zoochadookdook

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Re: Graduated college. MIS degree. How to score a "Real" job in IT?
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2019, 06:45:42 PM »
Make sure you polish your resume as much as possible to highlight your skills.  My husband was a mechanic before he went back to school to get an IT degree, and his resume trumpeted the troubleshooting and customer service/requirements gathering skills he had gained in that job.  He also had a section for "projects" which listed things he had done at home - networking, setting up his own server, etc.

If you have extensive experience repairing laptops, you should be able to qualify for an entry-level helpdesk job.  Try your local school districts, too, although they probably won't be hiring until late spring for the next school year.

Research the tech user groups in your area.  There might be some for specific technologies or for specific hardware or software.  Go to these groups and network like crazy.  Have your own personal business cards, with your LinkedIn information on them (and create a LinkedIn account, if you don't already have one, and connect to everyone you know).    You might also want to go to some of the Project Management user groups.

Tell everyone you know that you're looking for a job doing X,Y, or Z.  (Be somewhat specific.)  Tell the cashier at the grocery store, your best friend's neighbor that you pass on the street, anyone where you can work it into a conversation.  People like to help people.

Go to your college's career center and see if they offer help.  See where the local hiring fairs are, and go to those. 

In my area, a lot of companies only seem to advertise open jobs on their own websites, so I have a list of all the companies in the area that I'd want to work for and checked their websites every day for job postings.  Being one of the first to apply does help.

You do need to set your expectations at a reasonable level.  In Michigan, I would think it is highly unlikely you are going to start out at $50k with no experience and an an MIS degree.  You can work your way there and beyond.

There's a career fair the 30th with lots of employers at my University I'll be attending. Also heading to the career center there tomorrow to see if they have any leads.

The projects section is a good idea. I roofed my own house/framed the basement/did the timing belt on my car all based on self research but I have a 80+ page database project and a 50+ page project management project I put together during school I'd like to showcase as well.

I say 50k because currently I make around 40-this is working maybe  5-6 hours a week (although a lot of time checking social platforms). While I'm sure I could get any job opening at 30k-I don't necessarily know if that would make sense to take that pay cut/loss in time to that degree (would cut down on my ability to be first cash in hand in a lot of situations)

zoochadookdook

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Re: Graduated college. MIS degree. How to score a "Real" job in IT?
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2019, 06:48:51 PM »
Hey all, so aside from being self employed to pay my way through college and my first house the past 4 years I have not held formal employment. It's not bad-I flip laptops and such-but I have no 401k match, no health insurance, never going to make over 40k etc etc.

I take it back-there was a 3 month Data Scientist internship I completed summer 2018. I worked on our schools erp, came up with a project (SIC code fix) and implemented it.

I graduated college last month and have finally started looking for a entry level job. I have a decent grasp on DB work/relational rules, queries, sql and some admin stuff using VMs with MS server/kali pen testing. I also have project management experience in MS project. I'm a self starter, if I don't know something I do some research and get it done (did my roof via youtube and working side jobs to learn, Helpdesk my entire gyms network including all the members laptops etc).

I have no idea what job I should look for/apply to. I have been applying to local government IT support jobs and have gotten shut down several times due to lack of experience. My only real stipulation is that I need to make at least 50k/have room to move up in the future with healthcare and (hopefully) a 401k match. I've been using handshake to sort applications but there seems to be internships and jobs that require 3+ years in the field. No real in between.

Any advice? I'm interested in pretty much open to anything business related with IT.

I was able to land a low level sys admin/programmer slot with an undergrad MIS degree.  What helped was making coding projects I could bring to my interview to show that, while I'm new and not comp sci, I can program, learn, and do it on my own.

Learn python, AWS, VMWare, and some Windows/Linux skills and you should have no problem landing an entry or slightly above entry level position similar to the one I did.  I've since been in IT for 10 years and am now a cloud systems engineer so it has paid off.

Try looking at University/College job postings.  I think the website is HigherEdJobs.com or somethings.  I've been in higher ed my whole career and we ALWAYS have a hard time filling slots.  Pay is usually 10-20% low, but my benefits are amazing and I get to laugh at the corporate drones going into work while I'm using some of my 25 vacation days or off on a holiday, or when I head out at 4:30 on a Friday and they are still working until 7PM.

I know SQL and have a 80+ page report I completed full of queries, self taught asp.net implementation, all various use cases and db design diagrams etc-but that's about it. We did use kali linux for some pen testing and vwmware fusion for running server 8/win 7 and kali linux in cohesion. I'm definitely not a hard core developer but that work freedom sounds amazing. I'd love the ability to work remote as it would possibly allow me to continue my self employment and pull in another 20k or so on the side.