Re: [vox] School Choices
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Re: [vox] School Choices
No matter what you decide, trying nearly any approach will not be easy
under the present economy for the dot-com industry and the tech sector.
Some things I have noted:
A large company will frequently rely upon a tech-know-nothing HR
department that is told to hire a body to fill a position, but not know
what qualities or prerequisites are really useful as a meter for each
candidate and the position to be filled.
This is not entirely their fault as the CIO (assuming one exists, and
is qualified) is asked to bring down to simple boolean filters, what to
look for in a potential new hire. They rely upon certificates, and pass
this requirement to the HR department. (Finding an adaquate gauge for any
person's ability to solve problems is as difficult and controversial as
If you wish to work for a bigger company and have the advantages of better
stability, and the whole corporate lifestyle, going the route of
certificates is the way to go. (This includes a CS/MIS degree if you
choose that route instead.)
Working for a state agency that is directly involved with supporting state
services is sometimes possible. To be hired, you must take a test for
placement. They offer standardized tests for you to take, and based on the
score as well as other things, they rate your priority for positions. They
drill down the list until all positions are filled. Some positions also
require a degree, but I have not seen many that require certificates.
Working for the UC system or the CSU system is a different matter. They
have more control over hiring practices, and you can get jobs with many
universities or support labs without a degree or certificate. (In this
market, you may not find it as easy as it was during the dot-com feast. We
have People with Masters degrees in technical studies (Comp Sci,
Engineering, etc.) applying for jobs as desktop support managers! )
If you wish to not take any exams, or work for any certificates, then you
can try "social engineering" but without the lack of ethics and seek out
a small company and make sure they know your talents. (In this case, you
will be talking with people (or a person) who is often very technically
adept, and will be able to tell who is skilled and who is not based on a
quick 5-minute interview.) These people can take a chance on hiring a
person without certificates, or papers. Very skilled people without
"papers" can find experience, and the small company can gain access to
seriously talented people.
As far as certs go, I know our Uni has not hired any Linux-only people
*ever*. They have hired Operating Systems Analysts who have had to know
Linux as well as other OS, but no Linux only positions.
Things to focus upon when you study linux:
apache configurations and settings (with modules and how they work, what
they do etc.) be able to compile and optimize a web server based on a list
samba and windows 95/98/ME & NT/2000/XP integration with this
netatalk-asun (Much much weaker then samba or apache web server above.)
Macs are not nearly as common for businesses, but if your target company
has and uses 'em, it will be a plus. If you learn this, then learn
integration of netatalk and samba with the whole netatalk
Side note from me:
From previous experience and experience of others. I have found people
who only have MCSE are not well informed or really that good even with
MS products. I have found the people who actually seem to understand
how MS windows products work have a background in other *nix OS.
(Linux for example.) If you seek to get an MCSE, make sure you get one
in Linux or somewhere else.
I have read MS approved Questions and answers for the MCSE and many of
the "approved" questions and answers are just plain wrong. Some conflict
with internet standards, RFC, IEEE spec, and even with other MS papers.
Their education, educates people with invalid information.
Just ask a MS person the difference between a Policy and a Profile and
how they work/what they do, where they are stored and dont be
surprised if they dont know. (They may be willing to look them up
for you though. ;-)
I work at a Uni, so my opinion on this next part will likely be biased,
but here goes:
If I were a hiring manager, and had before me a person with a BS degree
in Comp-Sci, and at least 1 year experience with a *nix OS, I would hire
them over a person with nearly any Certs and 1 year of *nix exp. if the
position was for a Linux/*nix Admin.
(This includes trade schools and places that offer BS degrees
in IT support.) Why? The core parts for problem solving and code
optimization as well as computer security models and cryptography (to name
a few) are often more rigorously included in a 4-year degree when compare
to a trade school or short-cut 2-3 year IT based BS degree.
I *would* hire someone from one of these trade schools as desktop support
(a non-server-admin job) and would probably hire someone to a networking
group with the Cisco certs over a BS degree programmer.
As for Security certification, SANS is good. However, though securty is
very SEXY, it is not considered to be "profitable" to many
businesses. Some prefer to claim security, and dont worry about it until
there is a problem. Then they focus on just the individual problem) often
not the root of the problem) and when it is "over" security takes a back
seat to profits. I would guess that a security cert would be much like
detailing a used car; it does not increase the value so much, but can help
you sell it faster. (My own opinion on security is quite different, but
I do not own a business.)
This message could have been shorter, but I wanted to offer some reasons
for the conclusions instead of just the conclusions.
Any Q's, want more clarification, let me know on or off list.
P.S. (I am not a hiring manager.)
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On Mon, 18 Feb 2002, Roland (Rusty) Minden wrote:
> I have been looking for a new position (Job) and keep getting told I need
> credentials (CCNA, MCSE, A+) and training. I am looking into going back to
> school full time for a little while, but really need some direction. I have a
> good background in IT and really like working in it. I am stuck on several
> points and I am looking for some advise from those of you that are in the
> workforce and know what direction will be good, bad or a waste of time.
> 1 Trade school to get the credential faster or College?
> 2 I was thinking of getting my CCNA and A+ along with getting a Linux Cert.
> on the side. Should I go for an MCSE even though I detest working on it?
> 3 I would like to do Networking and Security, but I do enjoy programming
> (though I wonder if I can do it professionally).
> I am not looking for any of you to hold my hand and make these decisions for
> me, but some direction from those of you who are in the trenches would be
> much appreciated.
> vox mailing list
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