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rbnels
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« on: December 28, 2006, 06:29:46 PM »

I finally went back to uni and finished November 2005 (B of Applied IT) and was lucky enough to get a government job within 2 months of graduation (admittedly I was already sending out resumes while I was still taking finals instead of waiting until it was over). I'd had a 2-year tech college degree in Network Engineering before that and 18 months experience at 1st level support. Now working at 2nd level and earning 40k ($US) and have received 2 pay raises during these first 12 months so consider myself fortunate to now be off and running. There's a huge IT shortage on now in Australia and unemployment is at a 30-year low. My employer doesn't care about certs though. Found that the hardest thing was initially cracking in to getting the first IT job and gaining "experience" for future resumes as well as good job references. After that, laughing. I'd highly recommend for anyone doing studies to at least do volunteer work (yeah, unpaid)in an IT section somewhere if they can't get paid part-time work. Don't wait until graduation and THEN look for first job. If it means having to go to uni for an extra year to balance it all, it's worth it - at least you're bringing some experience and some kind of track record to an employer instead of just another grad with a head full of theories and no practical experience or people skills.

BTW, this was a total career change for me after the age of 35 years. To anyone considering the annoyances of certing up (or going back to school although uni is a LOT more expensive in the US than Oz) and studying to retrain in IT, I'd encourage you to do it. There is a shortage everywhere in IT and if you're good with people and IT and enjoy the work, it's a great field. Also, I'd recommend going the route of cert training or tech college and get into the field instead of bothering with uni (far cheaper and more useful). Also, if you're young and willing to come to Australia on a student visa and determined to go through university, you can do it in Australia even on the full overseas student rate for far cheaper than in America and in a year less time. It's beyond me why more Americans never look outside the US for education (no offense, I used to live there). Get on some of the websites (Uni of Newcastle is a good one) and check out the prices and don't forget to then convert them via the exchange rate to see what I mean. Hope that helps!!
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namrak
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2007, 06:23:10 PM »

Thanks for sharing your thoughts rbnels on the market down in Australia. I have cousins over there, but its been awhile since I spoke to them.

In anycase, you sound off what seems to be more and more the current state of information technology. It is just better to have all your bases covered (college degree, certifications) and have some practice experience even if it means volunteering.

There will be people who disagree that you do not need to have a college degree and they are right. There are companies out there who do not emphasize it. There are also companies out there who do not care about IT certifications. I am finally taking care of loose ends...something I left unfinished a few years back. I am finishing up my Bachelors in Information Technology. I already have been working professionally for a few years as a network administrator for a Fortune 500 company, but sometimes having that degree may open up future doors in terms of upper management positions and that can't be bad in my book.
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