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Two offers, need your help

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Recksaw, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. Recksaw

    Recksaw New Member

    My first post, don't be discouraged, as I have been reading the forums for a long time.

    A little about myself: I currently work, and have for the past year, as a User Support Tech as a consultant through the government. This has been great experience doing everything from troubleshooting user issues, customer service, problem solving, web development, and troubleshooting hardware/software issues, both client and server side. I plan on graduating in a couple months with my Bachelor's of Science in Computer Networking and Security. I have a few years of management experience(In a restaurant, but still management experience nonetheless). I currently have my A+, and never took my N+, as I figured my experience and knowledge was past that. In a few years, I hope to at least have my MCSE/CCNA, and be pursuing my Project+, PMP, MCITP, CCVP, CCNP. After 3-5 years, my ideal position would be some kind of project management.

    I got offered two jobs and I do not know what to do. Some people are going to hate me, sitting here with 2 job offers in hand. I have a feeling over what might be best, but I would prefer some more opinions from other people in the same place as I am, or maybe people that were in my place at some point in time. I will go over the two positions I guess, and would like you guys to pick the one you would take.


    Internship position(Not like a normal internship, the position is permanent, they call it an internship as it is more their training process than an internship) for a Network consulting company.
    The company does SAN, VoIP, and installation/planning/management/administration for networks, both routers/switches/servers.

    The position starts at $12 a hour. The position would start off doing basic bench stuff, such as workstation installs of XP and Vista, troubleshooting hardware and some software issues. Probably doing phone support, resetting passwords etc. While doing this, I would be studying for my MCSE. After I pass my first test(probably my 70-290), I would get a $1 raise. After my 2nd test, I would get another $1 raise($14). After I pass 3 tests, I would be on a salaried position at 33,000 a year. This would include full benefits.

    After I am a salaried employee, I would be doing more help desk level 2-3 stuff. Troubleshooting email and server issues etc. They call it an Inside Engineer. I would continue studying for my MCSE, and get 2k/year raises after each test passed. Once I obtain my MCSE, I would be at $43,000 a year. After a year of having my MCSE, I would be at $53,000. Obtaining my CCNA would be a $3,000/year raise as well. After this, the pay will rise with additional experience/certs. Once I obtain my MCSE, I would be a Network Engineer, assisting another Network Engineer on projects at client sites. Once I get experience working on projects, I would have a team of network engineers to assist me with projects.

    My opinion: I feel this position would be a great way to get experience working with a lot of different and new technology. Getting real world experience with routers, VoIP, SANs, etc would be awesome. The pay is great and there is always room to move up on the pay scale and it only depends on how fast I want to achieve it. This would be great experience for two-three years down the road when I want to start getting into project management stuff.


    PC Support 'technician

    Position starts at 35k/year. I would be doing almost exactly what I do now, supporting users and doing level 1 stuff. In the first and second interview, there was mention of moving up in the company into a systems admin or network administrator position. However, there is a performance based annual bonus, profit sharing, medical an dental insurance, paid vacation + paid holidays, and educational expense reimbursement. Meaning, with the educational expense reimbursement, I could probably obtain my MCSE and CCNA and have them paid for. So both positions will have paid training. A notebook PC and a BlackBerry phone will also be provided.

    There is only 1 other IT person at the company, the IT manager. I would be the 2nd person. So that means that I could probably get a lot of hands on experience and hopefully get a role doing more network tasks instead of user support.

    My opinion: It sounds like a safe job. I would not be required to have 50% of my hours be billable hours like the first position mentioned above. It is uncertain how long I would be in this position until I got promoted, it could be a year, or it could never happen. With the first job, promotion is guaranteed. It also seems raises would be every year and vary from 3-9% depending on performance. So, even at 9%, unless my position changed, it would take like 5 years to get where I could be in 1 and a half to 2 at the other. Plus, if I want to get into project management in a few years, what better experience could I get than working on projects at a consulting company?

    I would really appreciate any input you guys can share. It is a tough decision as this is where I will work for the next year or two at least. If you want me to elaborate on anything, feel free to ask.

    Thank you for your help guys.
  2. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

    My opinion (which doesn't count for a whole lot) if you have been offered both those positions (not just been put forward for them) go for the first without a doubt, far more enterprise calss experience which is what you will need under your belt for project management
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, VCP
    WIP: > 0
  3. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

    I'm with Phoenix on this - the first one is the choice I'd make.
    Keep in mind it's given you a career path to follow. So long as you want to follow it, the rewards are spelled out for you. It also sounds stressful, but then being part of a 2-man IT-show does too.

    Yep - I'd go the choice #1

    btw, Welcome to the forums... :)
  4. Neil

    Neil Byte Poster

    Welcome to CF!

    Both positions have some advantages and disadvantages.

    #1 sounds excellent, but it requires alot of studying and it also takes you along the path you plan to go. However, you need to evaluate the study time involved to get those certs which will in turn trigger a pay raise. You certainly won't get such a high payraise before this year ends........unless you're a 24/7 studyholic! It does sound more stressfull/busy than #2, but it has its benefits. It all depends on what you're looking at. If money is not a big issue, then go with #1. If you need the extra cash in a small amount of time, then #2 would be better.

    I prefer #1. The company sounds prestigious in the fact that its a consulting company -- which will look really good on future CVs. It also gives a vast amount of experience which will not only spice up your CV, but greatly assist in studying and passing your exams. It also sounds like its moving with a pace, so there won't be any time to slack off studying!!!

    Hope this helps! Let us know what's your final decision and Best of Luck to you!
    Certifications: CompTIA A+ & Network+
    WIP: MCSA: 70-270
  5. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Certification isn't to enable you to get more knowledge; it's to show potential employers that you already have that knowledge. With that in mind, don't overlook a certification like that just because you think it's "beneath you". If you truly are "past that", you should be able to pass it without studying... and if you aren't able to pass it without studying, then that's all the more reason you should do it!

    If you've truly been offered both jobs, with offer letters in hand, then I'd take the first one. Not simply because of the salary opportunities, but because of the chance to work with that sort of technology at some point in your employment.

    Some questions - are you *sure* they said the pay raises and promotions are guaranteed? Or that they are simply possible?

    I have yet to find a company these days that will guarantee a promotion based solely on passing exams. After you build a certain amount of experience, sure... but not just after passing exams. After all, the exams don't qualify you to work with the technology, and most employers understand that.

    What's to stop you from banging out three exams and grabbing a quick $9K salary upgrade? or banging out seven exams and grabbing a quick $19K salary upgrade? Rewarding passed exams with salary increases leads to unethical behavior, such as braindumping. Not saying you'd use braindumps... but that's why most companies DON'T offer these sorts of guarantees.

    But hey, if they're offering, by all means, take them up on their offers! :thumbleft

    It certainly would. Experience is what helps you to advance in an IT career... and not everyone gets to work with VoIP and SANs. Just keep in mind that it's not a race... and they won't likely let you start touching the "good stuff" until later on. That said... just the opportunity to work with it at some point is enough to get me to choose this position.

    Sounds a lot like the position I had as a systems admin. We had two people - a systems admin and a network admin, plus a CIO (basically, the IT manager). And I *did* get a lot of hands-on experience there. If this were the only job offered to you, I'd say take it - it sounds like a wonderful opportunity as well. Perhaps not with such technologies as VoIP and SANs... but I tell ya, I built a fine career working in jobs just like this... and I didn't get any exposure to VoIP, and minimal exposure to SANs.

    I speak from experience when I say that ensuring that you are 50% billable can be a stressful experience. Usually, ensuring you stay billable is outside of your control. Companies that are less-than-honorable will even ask you to "find stuff that you can bill them for", and I was uncomfortable doing so. Certainly if something was required or highly recommended, I'd advise the customer and let them make the decision... but I wouldn't do what I consider "unnecessary network maintenance" just for the sake of billing more hours. I'd rather save the company money so they're more inclined to call me back in the future - simply because they know I'm not gonna be upfront with them and not screw them on billing them for what they really don't need.

    Unfortunately, some employers don't feel the same way. I'd often get done with something in 15 minutes that my employer had hoped would take me three or four hours. Sorry to disappoint them... but I'm all about making the customer happy. And they always called back... which ultimately, was profitable for the company.

    At the end of the day, only you can truly assess the vibe of both places. Getting to work with cutting-edge technologies and getting larger salaries is great... but if the boss is unreasonable, or the workplace environment is stressful (or worse, hostile), or the job responsibilities are too demanding, it can quickly become not worth it. Not saying that's the case here... I simply mention it just so you won't overlook a potential problem or dismiss something you noticed, but are sweeping under the rug because of the stars in your eyes.

    I could get a job configuring, installing, and administering routers all day long for much more money than I'm making now... but would I be happy, working on routers ALL the time, travelling much more than I am now, missing my family? No... I'm far happier doing what I'm doing. I have great coworkers, a great boss, I rarely travel (haven't in the past year!), I'm not on call 24/7, and I enjoy what I do. It's worth the tradeoff. :)

    That said, on the surface, it sounds like either of these jobs would be great. Hope this advice gives you the perspective you need to make the right decision!
    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. Recksaw

    Recksaw New Member

    I appreciate all of your comments. Your insight and answers have helped set my mind at ease. It is a great environment on these forums, and they are quite active too!

    I will be taking the 1st position. Any tips for declining a job offer? I plan to be as polite and respectful as possible, you never know what positions might open up in the company in the future.

    I agree, I could probably pass it without studying, but I felt the cost outweighed the benefits. But maybe my new employer would reimburse me for my N+, which would be awesome, as I figure I could pass it without studying(Maybe go over some wireless stuff before hand).

    Yes, I have both offers in hand.

    Yea, the pay raises are in the offer letter, which was read through during the orientation. I do not agree with using braindumps at all, and I don't expect that you are accusing me. I believe they offer these pay raises based on certifications knowing that I will be receiving training while on the job adding onto the experience they know I have already. I have had a role working with servers and have had many courses through school that were based on MCSE/MCSA tests. I got a technet plus subscription a couple weeks ago(Non-expiring licenses for pretty much any Microsoft software product I would need), so I am getting my home lab set up for some hardcore studying.

    I feel as if I could pass my 70-290 exam with about a week or two of studying, and about a week or so for a client exam. I will probably do XP, but I am thinking about doing Vista for the upgrade possibilities for MCITP, which will save me in the long run.

    Yea, I wont be working on projects for awhile, and when I do start, it will be assisting another engineer.

    I certainly agree. Both positions sound excellent, a few weeks ago I had no idea I would be in this situation. That is why it was such a hard decision deciding which one was better.

    I suppose if my biggest worry is about the 50% billable hours, then it truly does seem like the best position for me. If I solve a problem in under 5 minutes, is that a good or a bad thing? Revenue is not being generated, but the client is happy. I suppose I could spend 30 minutes explaining how I fixed the problem, but I wouldn't be comfortable doing that. :P

    I suppose I forgot to add a few awesome points to the first position. I have a couple friends that work there, and they enjoy it. They never mentioned to me the 50% billable hours thing, so it sounds like it is not strictly enforced. The couple friends I have that work there say they like it, and it would be cool getting to work with them on projects in the future. To add to that, out of 50 applicants, a friend and I got hired for the position. So getting to work with 3 of my close friends from college would be neat.

    I had my orientation for the first job, and got the offer for the 2nd job yesterday, so I suppose I am going to have to decline the 2nd offer. I told them of my pending job offer on my 2nd interview for the 2nd position, so they were well aware before producing their offer.
  7. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Non-expiring, yes... but to legally continue using it, you must renew your subscription annually. Consider it an investment in your career! :)

    Many companies bill in increments of 15 or 30 minutes, with a 30 minute or one hour minimum. So if you get done in 5 minutes, it's off to the next location! :)

    Unfortunately, when your employer wanted you to stay for 3 hours... well, I'm sorry to disappoint the company... but it makes the customer REALLY happy when you exceed expectations. And isn't that what good service is all about? Some companies actually realize this... the trick is to find one who shares your mindset and integrity.

    Aw, dude, if you've got friends who work there... friends who would tell you if it sucked or not... then what's not to like? Working with people you already know you'll like... that's an instant benefit.

    And, for the rest of you out there... THIS is why it's good to know people already in IT. You get "in" far quicker than if you don't know people in IT.

    Just tell them that you've already accepted another job offer, but you thank them for the opportunity! You never know... as you have surmised, there could come a day that your path may cross theirs again! And you will have respectfully bowed out. No harm, no foul, in my book!
    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!
  8. Neil

    Neil Byte Poster

    Its great to hear you got hired! Better yet, you won't feel like a stranger there since you have your buddies there. And its good that all of their opinions of the company are positive ones........that's the best first-hand info you'd ever need. Well, best of luck to you on that. Be sure to give us an update AFTER the first few days and let us know what its like and how its going!
    Certifications: CompTIA A+ & Network+
    WIP: MCSA: 70-270
  9. Crito

    Crito Banned

    I guess I'm the only one appaled by those salaries. You could make $20/hr delivering mail and all you have to know is how to read and drive. Granted, the dot-com bubble is over and all the $50,000/year jobs for A+ techs are gone but still, that's barely a living wage in some parts of the country (any major metro area.) Factor in inflation cutting the purchasing power of the dollar in half since ~2001 and $12/hr becomes the new poverty level.

    People entering IT these days must really enjoy the work... I hope they're not doing it for the money anyways. :x
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: none
  10. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Must be the area you're living in, Crito... doesn't cost anywhere near $50K to live well in Nashville. Though, Chattaboogie's not much different, if you're still there...
    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!
  11. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    The first option looks good in terms of the the experience level you'd gain as well exposure. Best wishes:) but ultimately the choice is yours.
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  12. dales

    dales Terabyte Poster

    $12 an hour would be rather low in the UK I think that converts to about £6 an hour which is very close to our national minimum wage but again as BM says its seems a decent salary for his neck of the woods,but then I suppose we are the mugs who pay for the nose for everything, filling my car up is about £60 at the mo $120 for a 1.8 litre car.
    Certifications: vExpert 2014+2015+2016,VCP-DT,CCE-V, CCE-AD, CCP-AD, CCEE, CCAA XenApp, CCA Netscaler, XenApp 6.5, XenDesktop 5 & Xenserver 6,VCP3+5,VTSP,MCSA MCDST MCP A+ ITIL F
    WIP: Nothing

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