reply to post by AnIntellectualRedneck
Hi, I am also an IT professional. I was lucky, I got my ITS degree (CIS major, with a split minor in psychology and comparative religious studies and
an emphasis in marketing, from Regis University) while things were still just ramping up in the industry. It took me until my mid-thirties to pay
off my student loans. I wouldn't have taken any student loans, if only I had been smart and used the $ my parents saved up to help me go to college,
wisely. Instead, I started off as an Acting major, right out of High School, then changed majors several times, dropped out, had a baby, worked as a
dog groomer, then secretary, then nurse aide, and then finally went back to school and got the ITS degree. Yes, the degree IS valuable. Most
employers will no longer accept self-taught IT personnel.
You won't be going into IT Management straight out of college, regardless of the name of your degree. You DO have a shot at a decent, entry level
position; you must get your foot in the door and work your way up. You are learning some good foundation skills, which some employers still care
about. A few (look at local government and local businesses, not the big companies) will still take on staff with broad-based foundation skills as
opposed to niche experience. Many employers for IT are looking for specific experience with their particular products, and this, interestingly, has
been recognized by the overseas market and now they are giving people "degrees" in specific products. For example, SAP or Peoplesoft.
My best advice is to talk to your advisor about getting an Internship or Work/Study program. That is your best bet for getting some practical, real
world experience, which will get your foot in the door. Plus, if a company invests some time to train you for a little while, you have a much better
shot for getting a job with the company afterwards, or at least a reference.
Be realistic about what to expect. You will need to get into an entry level IT position. You will get experience, gain confidence, and garner trust
from your employer and peers over the next 1-3 years before you start moving up, but you can probably expect merit increases or cost of living
adjustments during that time, and you will be learning a LOT, you will not be stagnant. Then you can start applying for higher positions, IT has a
definite hierarchy, you move from junior to senior, or lead, then usually move into a more specialised branch. Expect lots of challenges but lots of
satisfaction from solving problems. It is a high stress field, not so much in the lower levels, but quite a lot at the senior levels and higher. We
are often salaried with on-call duty.
As for your student loans, they will (unless it has drastically changed since I finally got my degree in 1995, which is quite possible) be deferred
until you graduate, and then you will get a payment book with a monthly payment to make, just like a car payment. The interest is very low (or used
to be) and the amount you are asked to pay is something you should be able to work with the bank on, unless you don't get a job and default. You will
have to pay it for years until it is paid off, just like a car loan. It may take longer than a car loan, to pay off, depending on how much you had to
borrow. Please do not be choosey about jobs when you first graduate. You can't afford to be. If you default, they will, and have every right to,
garnish your wages when you do get work, even if you get work at McDonalds instead of in your chosen profession.
Good luck, and feel free to PM me if you would like to talk about it more.
edit on 28-0320123-1212 by gwynnhwyfar because: