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MCSE & getting an IT job

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by onoski, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    I am not sure if this issue has been raised on this site before so if it has apologies in advance for a duplicate. My experience and observation in the IT job market is that IT recruitment agencies and consultants require a candidate for majority of the IT support 2nd and network infrastructure post to hold an MCSE.

    I for one am not too worked up about certifications as I use certs to acquire practical knowledge about a particular software or hardware depending on what is required. I think the bottom line is that certification especially a popular one like the MCSE or CCNA is used these days to filter applicants.

    Yes you might have years of experience but without a cert you are very often left in the cold. I am not employed by Microsoft or Cisco either so am not trying to market their certification in any form or the other.

    I am writting this from experience as I have been approached by several IT consultants from different agencies recently that asked if I have the full MCSE. I remember there was a time when the MCSE was almost a paper to acquire by most ITer's and it used to boost their employmentability.

    Well it might not exactly be like that nowadays but it sure would determine if you get an interview and possibly the job in most cases.

    I know what am saying as am employed in full time IT support infrastructure post with over 5 years of experience. So don't beat your chest just yet Mr or Mrs experience rules all, please get the balance.:)

    However, experience plays a major role as well as personality coupled with good customer and communication skills. So all is not doom, work hard and acquire the MCSE the right way as it would enable you in your next job search and eventually employment. I am open to any critic or comments. Cheerio and don't touch that dial, stay tuned:D
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  2. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    Maybe the tide has turned away from recruiters expecting an MCSE for the lowliest of jobs. Myself and a colleague have been looking at some jobs recently (in the local newspaper and online) and there were some quite good ones in some cases paying up to high 30k's and they seemed to be emphasising experience more so than qualifications. MCP's and experience in Server 2k3 & Exchange was mentioned, but not MCSE's.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2K3, MCTS, MOS, MTA, MCT, MCITP:EDST7, MCSA W7, Citrix CCA, ITIL Foundation
    WIP: Nada
  3. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Experience does rule all, and this comes from a guy who made his livelihood off of certification training. That said, certification *can* set you ahead of your competition. And, like you said, certification IS required for some jobs. Obviously, yes, an MCSE certification would be required for high-level Microsoft-based OS support and network infrastructure jobs... but those jobs absolutely require experience. A newbie off the street *cannot* get the MCSE and hope to start out in a IT job at that level without experience, period.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  4. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Thanks for your input Michael as I have read several of your other post replies always spot on. Yes experience cannot be substituted in either way. I am just baffled as to why almost all of a sudden MCSE in the UK for IT recruitment agencies has become the norm.:D
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  5. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    For entry-level jobs, it's ludicrous for a company to expect that. The MCSE is to validate skills for someone who already has experience in a complex Windows Server-based network environment, including a clear understanding of Group Policy. This absolutely *cannot* be simulated well in a lab environment (try making it work across dissimilar environments across a WAN with slow links, for example).

    Now, for those mid-to-upper-level support jobs, certainly the MCSE should be required. But entry-level jobs should require entry-level certifications... and no more... no MCSA, no MCSE, no experience. It's entry-level, after all - the level at which one enters the field, without experience.

    In short... if UK recruitment centers are requiring it for entry-level jobs... I'd avoid those recruitment centers; they obviously have *no* clue what is expected for IT jobs, which is a *critical* skill for a recruiter to have, is it not?
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  6. Kraven

    Kraven Kilobyte Poster

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    Totally right! I'm finding it really hard to get a job, I've applied for loads of entry level jobs to get the experience and to jump on the ladder. But I never seem to get any response back :(

    Kraven
     
    Certifications: Network+, MCSA, 70-680
    WIP: A+, 70-685
  7. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Unfortunately, majority of the IT jobs are done via IT recruitment agencies. There isn't much IT vacant post in the local papers. I still think though that the IT recruitment agencies are a bunch of sales people looking to place an individual solely for the commission and rightly so. However, the lies and indecency is not warranted. Nuff of my rantings:D

    I'd say just keep on keeping on and a break through would come one day, just like it did for me and several others as well.
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  8. mondos

    mondos Kilobyte Poster

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    I for one am finding it very hard to find entry level IT roles and yes they ask for experience, I'm just going to have to find something else and keep studying. Even customer service(trying these to get helpdesk type eperience) jobs in my area require experience.
    I must say, these last 6 weeks since I was made redundant from my previous career have certainly been an eye opener regarding getting into IT AND there aren't that many jobs going about anyway.
    Only positive is that it gives me more time to crack on with my N+ and 70-271.:eek:
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: N+, MCDST and finding a job!
  9. supag33k

    supag33k Kilobyte Poster

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    Well I went through that myself several years back when I reached 40 and the telecommunications firm I worked for closed down.

    I spent 4 months trying to break into IT after getting my MCSE, basically I got through this problem by doing what other job candidates dont do....

    1. Update your CV and state that you want an entry level IT position.
    2. Print 30 to 40 copy of your best and concise CV - keeping it below 4 pages in length with "More information will be supplied upon request" at the end of it.
    3. Pick a day when it is not too hot or cold once a week.
    4. Put on your best suit, be clean shaven and have a good haircut.
    5. Door knock the thirty or forty businesses, remaining calm professional and polite as follows....

    You: " Hi my name is ....., and I would like to leave my details with your HR department if I may please."
    Response: "So what is this about and we are busy here..."
    You: "I am just going door to door placing my CV and details directly with companies, and I would like to leave this information with your HR person please."
    [A statement NOT a question - Polite but assertive]
    Response; "Yes,Yes..." [brusque but wanting to help]
    You: "Thank you very much for this, also who is your HR person please? - so I can follow up with a quick phone call next week?"
    [admittedly a question but shows you are keen]
    Response: You can try calling Mr P Smith on nnnn, next week if he is interested." [for example]
    You: "Great! - thanks again for your time."

    ..
    6. Effectively you are ready to start immediately, so if you end up meeting anyone apart from the receptionist and start talking keep it brief, thank them for their time, and say that you are basically capable of starting right away...[shows you are confident but not arrogant and have people skills as well]

    Basically everything to gain and nothing to lose by going through this process.

    Also a 50% or even 60% refusal to take your CV is quite normal - but you have a lot of businesses in the UK dont you?

    Of course then there is the usual online application methods so well commented elsewhere in this forum which is what everyone is doing anyway - the point is that you go the extra yards and you get the better results. This has been my own experience...

    After 4 months I ended up with a couple of contracts and suddenly a few years later the headhunters are ringing me all the time :biggrin

    Keep at it and good luck with the study!

    supag33k
     
    Certifications: MCSE (NT4/2000/2003/Messaging), MCDBA
    WIP: CCNA, MCTS SQL, Exchange & Security stuff
  10. mondos

    mondos Kilobyte Poster

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    Thanks for the advice, I started e-mailing cv's out last week, figured I'd cover more ground faster that way.
    I've already had some replies which is more than I can Say for actual jobs I've applied for but nothing posistive as yet.Still hundreds more to try yet though .
    Like I said thanks for your advice and support.
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: N+, MCDST and finding a job!
  11. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    That's the way to go Mondos, just keep applying for jobs and your break through would come.:biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  12. mondos

    mondos Kilobyte Poster

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    Thanks mate, just getting ready for the usual hour and half daily trawl through my job sites.
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: N+, MCDST and finding a job!
  13. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Brilliant Supag33k, and thanks for sharing your experience. Cheerio:D as am a firm believer in working hard and hustling till I prevail.:D
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  14. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    No, the majority of IT jobs come through word-of-mouth and informal inquiries (like Supag33k did). They're never listed... the so-called "hidden IT jobs". They exist. That's how we hired our last IT person.

    And yes, you're right that IT recruitment agencies are basically salespeople... they place the product (you) into the hands of a buyer (the employer) for a price.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  15. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    My current job I landed by word-of-mouth. I mentioned to a friend at this company that my contract at another company had been terminated, and he went to one of the directors and told him I was available.

    I was hired practicaly immediately.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  16. NickyYates

    NickyYates Bit Poster

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    You want an MCSE? - that'll be £1500.

    Experience? that's another £750.

    Why is lying about the massive responsibilities you had in your last job better than a "paper" MCSE gained on exam cram sites? What makes people think that "experience" is something objective, hard-earned, relevant, or even "real" whereas "training" is away with the fairies? There is an increasing trend for companies to refuse to provide references, other than the most bland statements imaginable, because they don't want litigation if someone messes up big-time ("No one actually died as a direct result of his actions whilst he was in the employ of this company...") What's so "objective" about a work history that is so constrained as to be useless for the purpose of establishing who is the best candidate? Apart from this, how many people do you know that have about a hundred years under their belts but are total dicks - i.e. his previous boss said he was the mutts nuts in order to get rid of him?

    Here's the really bad news. The best jobs will always go to the guy with the best communications skills. You need something to back this up with, but if you can't string a sentence together - you're not going to make it onto the long list - let alone the short-list. The agencies that dish out the jobs like to make out that this is what their clients want. The actual reason is that they are in a rat race to get their guy into the job before some other agency gets there first. A guy wiping his nose on his sleeve and grunting isn't going to do it for them. You also need to know your place. No heroics - if it's officially above your level of competence - pass it on to the next level. Even if you get the thing working again and save the day, the only thing they'll remember is that you went against the protocols (otherwise known as... "that f****g p***k's trying to steal my job!!!") Then again, you might down the network until 4:00pm tomorrow!! Actually... & thinking about it - that's the sort of "experience" that's going to get you an absolutely fabulous reference for your next job interview!

    Sorry if I sound rude. People who are good at their jobs because they have extensive experience, and they have learned from this, have a right to be exasperated about people with pieces of paper who think they know it all. But there are two sides to any story - and this is the other one.





     
  17. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Welcome back Nicky, always good to read your 'tell 'em like it is' posts 8)
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  18. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Nick Yates,

    I believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion. It really does not matter what you think is right as at the end of the day if agencies in the UK are requiring MCSE from a potential candidate before being put forward for a job then that's that. I don't think there is a need for your foul language.

    Have a good day Mr experience with lots of years of experience under he's or her belt wins all the time. Please, I am not advocating paper MCSE's either just relaying an experience that I have found with the IT agencies here in the UK. Get the balance.
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  19. Vendetta

    Vendetta Nibble Poster

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    Well said onoski, and keep on doing what you're doing mate, you'll get there, I did. :thumbleft
     

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