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A New Kind of Tech Job Emphasizes Skills, Not a College Degree

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posted on Jul, 3 2017 @ 09:23 PM
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I have been trying to get this point across for years now. I worked at a tech company that worked with Cisco products as an inventory specialist years ago. I had a wonderful opportunity to learn networking technology and get my hands a little dirty with VOIP and the LAN environment. I was able to work with people who had degrees from Berkeley and UC in computer science and networking.

You know what the first thing I noticed was?

Some of them were dumb as rocks. Not all of them of course some of my co-workers were fricken genius programmers, don't get me wrong.

NYTimes



“We desperately need to revive a second route to the middle class for people without four-year college degrees, as manufacturing once was,” said Robert Reich, a labor secretary in the Clinton administration who is now a professor at the University of California, Berkeley. “We have to move toward a system that works.”


I have made the assertion before that an education is now the largest barrier to middle class jobs in the US and it is accomplishing the opposite of what it was designed for in the first place. Either you have tons and tons of debt or you don't have a job making more than 40k a year. Factory jobs just don't have the purchasing power they used to. Trust me I know I'm a printer, what was once a respected trade job.



“We need new approaches, or we’re going to leave more and more people behind in our economy,” said Brad Smith, president of Microsoft.


After recently certifying in CompTIA Network and Security+ I am now working on the CCNA and CCNA Security certifications as a part of my plan to build a skillset for a country that is now entering the industrial age and modernizing it's technology and government, such as Ghana, where I plan to move.

It doesn't make sense to exclude people with the drive and ability to educate themselves out of the workforce, in my opinion that is even more valuable than someone who requires structured learning environments in order to skillset build. Those people will ALWAYS be surpassed by people like me in the long run who don't require the structured learning environment.

Great developments, thank you Ivanka.


edit on 3-7-2017 by toysforadults because: (no reason given)

edit on 3-7-2017 by toysforadults because: (no reason given)




posted on Jul, 3 2017 @ 09:32 PM
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Once upon a time , in the US , a degree or certification and 50 cents would get you a cup of coffee
Tech companies didnt give a rat's ass about papers, they wanted this outdated thing called EXPERIENCE . However , they realized that with that term came an increase of worth and pay . They turned cheap and realized they could hire someone with "papers" . Straight out of school , they could hire them cheap. Once they had experience and started looking for more money...Goodbye. And hired another fresh out of college even cheaper . Still going on today. Quality has suffered .
Even worse , now these same companies have outsourced to India and are using these same business practices there.
Peace.
edit on 7/3/17 by Gothmog because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 3 2017 @ 09:50 PM
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a reply to: toysforadults

I feel you.

I've got some handywork with my name on it (literally) sitting there on Mars but I haven't been able to get a traditional job for years, cause I'm "not the right fit" or "too highly qualified" (I do have degrees).

These are industry code for "we want to pay whoever gets this job a pittance".

Don't worry, I have watched many of these companies tank, not because of the ill equipped hires, but usually because of the Paramecium-brained upper management.




posted on Jul, 3 2017 @ 09:52 PM
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a reply to: chr0naut

I love watching these companies cannibalize. It's better than comedy!



posted on Jul, 3 2017 @ 09:53 PM
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a reply to: Gothmog

Then you read about how code is failing or not done right or this that and other and companies like the other poster said, end up collapsing under the weight of the idiots in C level management with their Ivy League degrees and quantitative analysis.



posted on Jul, 3 2017 @ 10:42 PM
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originally posted by: toysforadults
a reply to: Gothmog

Then you read about how code is failing or not done right or this that and other and companies like the other poster said, end up collapsing under the weight of the idiots in C level management with their Ivy League degrees and quantitative analysis.

The "code" (have no idea) is failing because that has been outsourced to somewhere like the Czech Rebublic
I LIVE the life in which I speak and have for almost 40 years now.

edit on 7/3/17 by Gothmog because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 4 2017 @ 04:52 AM
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They need to treat some tech jobs like the trades, start off in the field allow a company to take young people on and if they show potential to thrive send them off to school to get more training. If they don't wanna do school then they should not be punished let them just work and build up experience.

Once upon a time people went to college or university to hone their skills and refine their expertise to prove they can perform above everyone else, and the certification / paper / diploma, etc. was to show that. Now people do it backwards, they get the paper, but have no clue what it's like in the real world.



posted on Jul, 4 2017 @ 07:22 AM
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Experience is where its at in tech.

I see companies asking for four year degrees, certifications, and ten years experience in managing technology that had only existed for five years- but then t I've been on the other end of that table, interviewing for these jobs and the applicants don't know how any of it works.

It's near impossible to hire good IT these days. I know this because that's what I am- and my skill has landed me a short work week with great pay...
A little experience and the ability to reason is all it takes to make great money in this field. Too many people lack the latter.



posted on Jul, 4 2017 @ 07:38 AM
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a reply to: lordcomac

Why is it so hard to find good it



posted on Jul, 4 2017 @ 07:48 AM
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I work in IT, and got all my training in the military. I don't have a 4 year degree and that has never once been an issue to me landing a high paying job. If you have experience, and you actually know what you are doing, a college degree is no barrier to getting a nice job.



posted on Jul, 4 2017 @ 10:17 AM
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a reply to: lordcomac

It used to be that a certification was enough or experience was enough now neither are enough. You need to have both or you're not going to get anywhere. I know I'm an IT director for a company with over 850 employees.

Although I just quit and went to a company that is going to pay for my school to do that specific job and pay me more than what I'm making now all because I have education more specifically I have two bachelor's degrees and an MBA.

I have no experience in the job that I was hired for.

Jaden
edit on 4-7-2017 by Masterjaden because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 4 2017 @ 10:44 AM
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My career has always been in IT specifically around Telecom or Collaboration.
Currently I work in a large IT dept which has around 500 total people.
As a Principal Engineer the biggest issue I see with interns or new people starting out is not a lack of certs, college degrees or ability but rather attitude.

The belief that when you are just starting out that the company that just hired you owes you something either in the form of your being able to disregard the established dress code, working hours you dictate or other ridiculous requests. Things from asking to have all the desks around you switched to complaining that you sometimes have to put in more effort than you are paid for.

Add to this the other thing that I have stated on ATS in a few different threads are people that have the antiquated and naive thought of "work smarter and not harder" . Two years ago at Cisco Live , MIke Rowe from Dirty Jobs gave the closing keynote and made the following statement which I truly believe is the key to success. This is not verbatim at the start but he basically said "in whatever you are doing, no matter how small or big it is, if you want to succeed then work smarter and harder than everyone else" .

In my opinion if you really want to succeed outworking everyone else coupled with a good attitude and the right certs or degree in your chosen field really helps with being successful.


To the OP Feel free if you want any advice as you move towards your CCNA. I have a CCNA Wireless, CCNP Collab and Im prepping to take my CCIE Collab Lab in the Fall (1200 - 1400 hours of study time is the best way to spend your Summer) plus having been to CLUS the last 4 years so Im always willing to talk about what my experiences in the CIsco world have been.



posted on Jul, 4 2017 @ 04:59 PM
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originally posted by: toysforadults
a reply to: lordcomac

Why is it so hard to find good it


Around here, anyone worth their job is paid whatever it takes to retain them.
I work closely with IT in most of the banks around here, and less than half of the staff know enough about their jobs to even be considered for their roles... But they know enough that they can dumbfound your typical ceo, so they get the jobs.

Find a small IT consulting firm, though, and that's where you'll find good IT employees. They'll be ever worked, but generally well paid for it. Their Co workers wouldn't put up with anyone who isn't any good. This is what I did until recently, and I was involved in many, many interviews.

It's hard to find good help.



posted on Jul, 6 2017 @ 11:24 AM
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I have a question how does one get higher education? My buddy graduated high school and went straight to work. He's working 70 hours a week and after bills he's broke. He can't even afford a car. He walks a mile to and from work every day. The guy has never had anything in life. He says he'd like to go to school but don't know how. He's not a dummy but he feels hopeless. I have no answers for him because I didn't make it past 11th grade. I dropped out do to an illness. I got sick when I was 17. His parents can't help him. His mom has cancer and his dad is barely getting by. So what does one do in a situation like that?



posted on Jul, 13 2017 @ 08:18 PM
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originally posted by: toysforadults
I have made the assertion before that an education is now the largest barrier to middle class jobs in the US and it is accomplishing the opposite of what it was designed for in the first place. Either you have tons and tons of debt or you don't have a job making more than 40k a year. Factory jobs just don't have the purchasing power they used to. Trust me I know I'm a printer, what was once a respected trade job.


13 years of college so far, about to go into my 14th and final year. I have zero student loan debt. You can always lower your standard of living to get tuition paid.


originally posted by: strongfp
They need to treat some tech jobs like the trades, start off in the field allow a company to take young people on and if they show potential to thrive send them off to school to get more training. If they don't wanna do school then they should not be punished let them just work and build up experience.


Why? Why does the company owe you training at their expense? Why should they take the risk on you? Wouldn't it make more sense for the employee to risk their own time and money instead of relying on a hand out from the company?



posted on Jul, 13 2017 @ 08:20 PM
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originally posted by: lordcomac
Experience is where its at in tech.

I see companies asking for four year degrees, certifications, and ten years experience in managing technology that had only existed for five years- but then t I've been on the other end of that table, interviewing for these jobs and the applicants don't know how any of it works.

It's near impossible to hire good IT these days. I know this because that's what I am- and my skill has landed me a short work week with great pay...
A little experience and the ability to reason is all it takes to make great money in this field. Too many people lack the latter.


There's some serious issues with the hiring process for anything CS related. IT has it a little better because they actually use certificiations. Lots of the issue though is that companies don't know what they need/want. That's an issue that's only going to grow over time. As fields become more specialized, the level of general knowledge a person has goes a shorter and shorter distance in trying to figure out issues like business needs.



posted on Jul, 13 2017 @ 08:29 PM
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originally posted by: wantsome
I have a question how does one get higher education? My buddy graduated high school and went straight to work. He's working 70 hours a week and after bills he's broke. He can't even afford a car. He walks a mile to and from work every day. The guy has never had anything in life. He says he'd like to go to school but don't know how. He's not a dummy but he feels hopeless. I have no answers for him because I didn't make it past 11th grade. I dropped out do to an illness. I got sick when I was 17. His parents can't help him. His mom has cancer and his dad is barely getting by. So what does one do in a situation like that?



Start looking at in state universities, don't go out of state due to tuition. Keep the list of potential universities to ones that are in low cost of living areas. Narrow down the list to schools which don't require enterance exams (unless you can pass one) Figure out which of those have programs you would like to try, and make a list. Then look them up to see if they're reputable. The list should be small at this point. Take those programs and ask around on appropriate forums (Reddit has a lot of career forums to ask on) if the program teaches what you need to know.

Once you've picked something fill out the FAFSA for student aid, and apply to the university. The FAFSA will open up loans, and maybe some scholarships and grants. If your income is low enough you can get Pell Grants which help a lot.

I would suggest Community College to start. If the academic environment doesn't work out, you won't be out much that way.

When it comes to school, keep in mind that tuition isn't that much of your living expenses. If you pay $10k in tuition but $20k to live, tuition is still only 33% of what you're spending. Make sure you can keep the cost of living down no matter where you go.

If you live in Ohio (or your buddy does to be more specific) I could name some schools for you.



posted on Jul, 13 2017 @ 08:57 PM
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a reply to: Aazadan

IT is actually becoming less specialized as they implement IPV6, Cisco just purchased an SD WAN company and AWS and Azure cloud platforms are consuming more of the market by the day.

That and security is now a basic necessity.



posted on Jul, 13 2017 @ 08:58 PM
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I could not agree with you more.

The majority of my career has been in R&D. I am not degreed, but I carried the title of Applications Engineer/Mechanical Engineer/Senior Designer for many years and performed the duties admirably. At least according to my employers anyway...

Being firmly entrenched in the Engineering community and highly specialized in my field put me in contact with professionals of all levels on a regular basis. I worked on projects with NASA, the US NAVY, world wide heavy industries, and so on. I cant tell you what a thrill it was to receive communications directly from high level officials at places like NASA asking for my assistance on a project specifically in my area of expertise.

I also had the misfortune of meeting, and often having to work with, degreed Engineers with whom I would not trust a sponge, a bucket of water, and the instructions, "Wash my car." I remember one phone conversation in particular with an Engineer from a major US defense contractor who shall remain nameless. Now I admit, the geometry and performance characteristics of this particular device were indeed confusing. But this poor guy was so far off it was worrisome. It was the Engineering equivalent of a US history teacher not knowing there was a civil war. He missed it that badly. When I finally explained it to him in a way he could understand he was so embarrassed he hung up. I think we lost the contract because he didn't want to have to talk to me again. I felt bad about losing the contract but I told my superior about it and he had the best response I could have hoped for. "Good job avoiding the headaches we would have had to deal with on that one..."

The bottom line is: that degree is a nice piece of art for your wall. Show me skills and I will be happy to work with you. Show me a piece of paper that proves you are obedient and learned to pass tests and I will politely excuse myself from the conversation and look elsewhere. Fortunately, I am no longer in the work force. The newest generation of Engineers was truly disappointing to me. I felt more like a babysitter than anything else. I was disgusted at how many times I had to tell people you cant put a hard hat on a man-bun. And so ended the career of an old fashioned git-r-done kind of guy. Those kind of opportunities just don't exist any more.



posted on Jul, 14 2017 @ 05:45 PM
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originally posted by: toysforadults
a reply to: Aazadan

IT is actually becoming less specialized as they implement IPV6, Cisco just purchased an SD WAN company and AWS and Azure cloud platforms are consuming more of the market by the day.

That and security is now a basic necessity.


Less specialization has a different problem. The barrier to entry continues to go down.




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