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What counts as "entry level" in IT?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Mikeyboy, Oct 29, 2007.

  1. Mikeyboy

    Mikeyboy Kilobyte Poster

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    I'm sure it's been asked a hundred times on here before, but as I mentioned in my n00b post, I really want to get into IT, so obviously I need an entry level position - just wondering what sort of roles and companies are the best places to look for?

    ie. There is a PC World opposite me and I see they are hiring... Is this the sort of job which could realistically get my foot in the door so to speak, or am I better off trying to find a helpdesk role?
    Also I have searched the web for helpdesk jobs, on many pages, and job centre etc, is it also worth speaking to employment agencies?

    :)
     
    Certifications: VCP,MCSA, MCP, MCDST, MCITP, MCTS, A+, N+
  2. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I posted the answer to this in a thread once but it would take me too long to search for it and with my post count, I might never find it. :oops:

    Basically, an "entry-level" job is a level of employment with a company or within an industry that exists at its lowest level and has few or no experiential requirements. In the restaurant business (not fast food), this would probably be positions like dishwasher or bus boy. For motels, it's probably something like housecleaner (maid or janitor).

    The term "entry-level" also implies that it's a doorway into the company or the industry that provides the possibility of moving up to higher level positions, once sufficient experience and training has been acquired.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  3. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    As Trip says entry level is a position that requires no experience.

    So you willl get training on the areas you are working in.

    So if its a entry level helpdesk role, you may be just working on support of one certain system or application. What I mean by this is you may be working on a support role for MS Word, so you could get lots of calls from the people who need that to get on with their jobs (so expect stupid calls from people who say "how do I make my typing bold" etc.

    or it could be providing support for the email system etc.
     
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  4. Mikeyboy

    Mikeyboy Kilobyte Poster

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    Thanks both for your replies - to be honest, I haven't seen all that many helpdesk jobs advertised, where's the best place to find these little hidden gems?

    Also, how long would one expect to have to work in a role such as this, while gaining the usual certificates, before realistically looking to get a better job in support etc?

    I don't mind working from the bottom as such, my current job is going nowhere anyway so no real great loss!
     
    Certifications: VCP,MCSA, MCP, MCDST, MCITP, MCTS, A+, N+
  5. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Working to get the experience can be a while, like a year but you don't have to get a help desk job, you could go for entry level support in a small support team for a small to mid size company.

    Helpdesk support/support role = same thing.

    Remember lots of companies can have different names for the same role.

    good luck in your search.
     
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  6. Ozzie

    Ozzie Nibble Poster

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    While we are on the topic of entry level jobs, is 1st line support considered entry level? And what is the difference between 1st line & 2nd line support? How many lines are there?
     
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  7. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    1st Line can be entry level, it would normally say entry level 1st line support in my opinion.

    there are generally 3 lines

    1st line is where the support person tries to resolve the problem usually over the phone, if he/she can't or it needs someone with higher skills then it is passed onto 2nd line who will generally resolve the issue if it requires a person to visit a customer then its passed onto 3rd line.

    3rd line is normally the guys who fix/replace hardware and have the most knowledge
     
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  8. Ozzie

    Ozzie Nibble Poster

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    that clarifies it nicely, cheers mate.:thumbleft
     
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  9. Arron

    Arron Bit Poster

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    Im glad you asked this question as im in the same boat as you. I live near Cardiff as well, about 20 mins drive away and so far i havent found much on the internet for "entry level" positions in the south wales area. I have used the recommended job websites found on this forum and had no luck yet :( .

    My next step is signing up with as many agencies as i can that provide IT jobs. As you should know Cardiff has loads of agencies so im gonna give them a try. Im not sure whether to send my CV to local companies that provide support for small to medium sized businesses but hey its worth a try right?

    Good luck to both your studies and job hunting!
     
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  10. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Some companies use the term Junior as opposed to entry level but as I said some companies use different terms and meanings.

    I knew someone who went for a junior position at a blue chip company but the job was really for an admin on server 2k3.

    I have known someone go for an entry level but it was a higher position than that.
     
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  11. Arron

    Arron Bit Poster

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    Thanks for the heads up buddy. It can get confusing when searching through hundreds of jobs online :confused3
     
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  12. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    A "junior desktop support" or "junior systems support" job IS entry level... but a "junior network administrator" position is NOT entry level.
     
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  13. BosonMichael
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    First line support can be an entry-level job in some companies... but other companies may prefer people with a year of experience. It all depends on what the company wants.

    Examples of entry-level jobs can include (but are not limited to) the following:

    - PC repair tech
    - help desk tech
    - 1st line support
    - desktop support tech
    - field service tech

    Note that not EVERY job out there with these titles will be considered as "entry-level" by some companies. Some companies will simply prefer to not hire people without experience. That doesn't (and shouldn't) stop you from applying... but do realize that company hiring requirements may prevent you from securing an interview.

    The IT field is incredibly competitive - getting your first IT job is likely the hardest thing you'll ever do. When applying for entry-level jobs, don't be disheartened when you don't get interviews or job offers. When you're applying for a job that an experienced tech is applying for, the experienced tech will usually be hired, barring any salary requirements. After all, put yourself in the hiring manager's shoes... who would you rather hire?

    All that said, it IS possible to get your start in IT. After all, we've ALL had to do it. It just takes determination and persistence. And sometimes... it depends more on WHO you know than WHAT you know... make those social networking connections... like, here, for instance!
     
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  14. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Also note that not all jobs listed as "entry-level" are entry-level jobs. I can't tell you how many classified ads I've seen for jobs that the company looking for help said was "entry-level", and then went on to "require" 2-3 years of experience from the applicant.

    Personally, I think it's done to create confusion, and to drive down the wage scale of the position the company is trying to fill. If they describe it as "entry-level" then they can "legitimately", at least in their eyes, pay an entry-level wage as the pay for that position, even though it isn't an entry-level job.
     
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  15. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Agree, completely. Entry-level, by definition, means a job in which you ENTER the career field. If you've got 2-3 years of experience... you're not "entering" the career field... you've already been there for 2-3 years. But Freddy's right: some employers mis-label their job opportunities... sometimes, deliberately.
     
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  16. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    how would you class me then as in the way would I still be entry level or what?

    I use server 2k3 and xp pro every day and monitor the 7 servers in my room.

    I sometimes have to re-map drives and re route traffick by creating new links to other network drives if for some reason I can' re-map as usual.

    During my job I have to monitor rips and make sure the servers are running and I failover the servers if for some reason they are down.

    There are two main servers using the critical software I need to function in my job.

    I am authorised to access the IT server room if I have to down the main server and fail over to the 2nd so I can carry on running.

    I also perform weekly back ups of the configurations we use on our systems, although this is just to a network drive.

    I set up customers dedicated foldersf on the ftp server so customers can upload their pages to it and I download them from. We use a company in the US called WAMNET.
     
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  17. BosonMichael
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    I'll answer your question with a question: have you entered the IT career field? If so, and you're still currently employed in IT, then you're currently building experience.

    It's quite simple, really. You either have no experience, or you have some experience, qualified by what you can do, and quantified by how long you've done it.
     
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  18. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    See thats were I get confused, I dont officially have an IT job but I do IT related tasks :blink
     
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  19. Mikeyboy

    Mikeyboy Kilobyte Poster

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    Sounds like you at least have some proper experience there anyway!

    Thanks for the advice guys, I guess I'll just have to keep looking... There's a software company in my building, perhaps they could help!
     
    Certifications: VCP,MCSA, MCP, MCDST, MCITP, MCTS, A+, N+
  20. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    That is a little of a toughie GBL. What percentage of your time on the job is taken up in IT related tasks? Since they aren't an official part of your job description, would your supervisor speak up for you and the skill set you have picked up? If so a letter of reference stating your unofficial duties and your skills might be of real help in establishing that, yes, you do have some real world experience in some areas even though they aren't included in your job description.

    What weight a future employer might give them would depend entirely on how that skill set fit into their needs.
     
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