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Author Topic: Women Entering the IT Arena  (Read 6199 times)
ironbelle
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« on: March 27, 2003, 11:28:46 PM »

Hello all. Just wanted to get some opinions regarding women entering the IT field. I have always liked computers and the past year I have been tinkering around more and more on the network side of things. I just completed a Net Plus class at the local college here and in two months will be getting my Net + cert. What I am running into is the "catch 22" of having certs but no experience other than what I do with my own equipment. It's like credit, you can't get credit without credit.  Just wanted to here how some women were able to get experience. Oh, this is a career change for me. Going from and end user(customer service) to a "go to" person for other end users.
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winterwolf
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2003, 11:23:37 AM »

I kind of "lucked" into my job, I was going to college and was told by a friend about a local company that was looking for people.  I had zippo experience, no certs even, but they liked my attitude and I was able to fix a machine infront of the interviewer (floppy cable on backwards) and was hired on the spot.  I'm from a fairly small town though, about 40 000 folks, so it might be different in bigger places.

BUT, you never know if you don't try.  I would mention that you do work on pc's at home in your resume so people know you do have some exp. albeit not in a "job" environment.

BTW, I was the only female at my job for 3 years, now there are 2 of us and I have been there 6 years.
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oddduck
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2003, 06:51:59 PM »

I'm still in college, but my college keeps throwing job leads at me.  I just haven't had time to really take any of the job offers up.
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DivxGuy
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« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2003, 12:21:44 PM »

Quote
Hello all. Just wanted to get some opinions regarding women entering the IT field.
If you don't have a heavy investment in IT training, I would advise staying away from the field, period. The market is bleak right now, and globalization threatens to send countless numbers of U.S. IT jobs overseas to low-wage countries where salaries as low as $1 a day are not uncommmon.

RD
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oddduck
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« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2003, 10:53:44 PM »

Everyone woman in my college who's graduated (out of the comptuer electronics course or networking course) has graduated and found work with in 4 weeks, wearas only like 40% of the men I know in the same college are finding work.  I find this a little odd but all the better for me I guess.  I posted my resume on one small local job search board and recieved 3 phone calls with in a week.  I don't have experiance and at the time I only had A+ and Network+.  I'm hoping once I'm done my formal education the job oppertunities will still be coming in as fast as they are now.

Marianne/oddduck
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DivxGuy
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2003, 03:09:15 AM »

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What I am running into is the "catch 22" of having certs but no experience other than what I do with my own equipment.
You might be able to find something if you accepted a low starting salary, but for higher-level positions, employers usually insist on at least a couple of years of relevant paid work experience. The braindumps and cram schools have tarnished the image of certs-only wannabes in the eyes of many employers.

Don't be fooled by so-called statistics showing that the average MCSE makes $70K+ a year. Those surveyed making that kind of money likely have many years  of experience, and probably degrees as well.

RD
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DivxGuy
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2003, 04:10:03 PM »

BTW I thought I should mention that age is an important factor, as well (IT employers tend to prefer younger people, especially if the job involves development).

RD
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oddduck
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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2003, 04:51:30 PM »

I've had the whole problem where I am too young.  No one wants to hire a 19 year old that looks like shes 16.
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r0bin
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« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2003, 01:21:17 PM »

I actually was hired into the CIS department where I went to College.  I lucked into that position!  I started at Help Desk and got promoted to Desktop.  After nearly 3 years, I had to quite my job.  I got married and relocated.  It has taken me 4 months to finally find a job.  The market is not kind.  Even with my little bit of experience, I have had  many challenges.  The economy is awful.  When you have someone that has twice my experience willing to take a pay cut, where does that leave me?  Anyway, I finally found a job.  It is 10k less than what I made before, but I am back in!  My message would be just don't give up...

Robin
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Webasaurus
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« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2003, 12:37:24 PM »

I am finding that I must be too old. I wanted a career change but I am 48 (female) and am presently a casual transit driver instead of working with computers. I love computers but I guess the IT field wants to hire the younger generation because they have a longer future. I read all the replies on here and I am just wondering how everyone could afford to get all of the certifications that they have. I am pretty impressed and overwhelmed by it all. I found it pretty expensive just to get my A+ which I thoroughly enjoyed. How did everyone do it and also find the time?? and the funds?HuhCheesy
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DivxGuy
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« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2003, 12:46:33 PM »

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How did everyone do it and also find the time?? and the funds?Huh
I was unemployed, and made obtaining the certs my full-time job. As all were obtained through self-study, they weren't all that expensive to get in terms of actual dollar outlay (the MCSE was about $US 2000). The money used to pay for the certifications came from savings.

Your perception regarding age discrimination in the IT field is correct, although I think there are several reasons for it, but I don't think potential tenure is one of them (2-3 years is a long time to stay in an IT job). Amongst reasons I think employers hold for favoring younger workers are that they believe them to have higher energy levels, quicker learning curves, and fewer commitments that would get in the way of work.

RD
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JoniF
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« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2003, 08:36:19 AM »

I am 49, I have been working in this industry for about 9 years now. Even at my age I still get job offers. It has nothing to do with age , it is experience that really counts the most and the right education.
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DivxGuy
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« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2003, 12:19:12 PM »

I take it you never applied at companies like Microsoft, which have been sued for age discrimination. Wink

RD
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Webasaurus
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« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2003, 02:49:19 PM »

Maybe it is just the area that I live in. Not exactly really high tech. I have applied in a lot of different provinces for different Tech jobs so who knows. I just found a new job posting for our school district that is requiring someone with my qualifications. The unfortunate part is that I presently do not have the job experience only the training and hands-on at home. I received my A+ over a year ago now and still nothing. I would like to further my education but the costs at some our schools is too much or not exactly the training that I am looking for. Networking would be my main interest and I am looking into distant education to do Computer Science courses at home, online. Not much funding available for this type of education however.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2003, 02:53:49 PM by Webasaurus » Logged
flext
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« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2003, 02:55:18 PM »

I don't know about this age thing; it is tough to get a job just about anywhere it took me 2 years of pounding on doors and working shitty contract jobs, for peanuts and sometimes good money ..

 But it gave me the ability to hang in there till till I landed this job, now I'm the project manager of task to bring high speed internet access to this organization as well as setup and train employees for their NEW IT department, this going from the Ground Floor up...

 Yea I'm an old man in my fifties and yes I found age discrimination , but just keep kicking doors it will happen

 An Oh yes I'm also a career changer I come from a totally different field 25 years doing boiler maintanance to IT a big difference ...
 
 Don't let the nay sayers stop you , it's outthere you just have to make it happen

                   Ed
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