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64 posts

Master Geek
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# 135110 14-Nov-2013 13:32
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Hey, just wondering, how does one usually start off their IT career?
Im a soon to be graduate with no IT work experience.
Alot of the jobs i find require some sort of experience, even help desk/service desk analysts.
What do you guys suggest is the best approach to enter this industry?
Thanks in advance!

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  # 933852 14-Nov-2013 13:39
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I hired many many  Helpdesk Analysts without previous Helpdesk experience. I looked for...

Customer Service skills ...very high priority.
Organisational and attention to detail skills.
Communication skills.
Technical bent. not necessarily IT as we could tech them what they needed to know.

I regarded the helpdesk as our training school to develop staff to be promoted to Second and third level support, Applications or whatever.

So if you think you have these skills don't let a lack of experience hold you back from applying.





Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

Using empathy takes no energy and can gain so much. Try it.

 

 


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  # 933856 14-Nov-2013 13:48
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I graduated uni a couple of years ago and was lucky enough to get a graduate position working in business intelligence. Out of all the positions I looked at on Seek, Trade Me, Vic Careers, it was the only entry level, non-help desk job available. So as I said, I consider myself fairly lucky.

Everyone else I know from uni has worked there way up from help desk positions.

However, don't be afraid to apply for jobs that may seem out of your reach, you never know!


 
 
 
 


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  # 933891 14-Nov-2013 14:36
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What degree are you getting? What's your work history?

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  # 933901 14-Nov-2013 14:58
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Open source. Working on open source projects can count as work experience in the IT sector. Employers aren't looking for who can tell them the most about b-trees, they want to know how good you are at what you do. Since you have no prior employment (like me) then show off how good your grades are and how good your open source work is.
That's how I got a full time summer position and I'm only 2nd year.




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Stefan Andres Charsley

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  # 933914 14-Nov-2013 15:11
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Bit of discussion around this topic a few times in the past so be sure to search the forum and check out those threads too, there's useful info in them.

Helpdesk is generally the entry point for most people - unless you can get into some sort of graduate programme with a bigger company.

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Ultimate Geek
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  # 933918 14-Nov-2013 15:15
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Open to opinion, but in several experiences & visits to small IT businesses, some (not all) do not appear to be the "nicest" work environments.

Won't name and shame.


Have generally found corporations / enterprises provide better care for their staff, less stressful environments and better pay.



Again, this is just my experience.
Unsure what it is like in other regions.




Step 1: The approach.

Options:
1) Offer free labour to businesses which deal in your preferred area of IT.  (May lead into a job or allow you to obtain experience and references).
      - You may have to get a part time job somewhere to support yourself in this endeavour however.

2) Obtain additional certs relevant to the industry.
     - May not be direct work experience, but shows you are continuing to study and improve technical skills.

3) See if recruitment agency can help, or try to get a job through a contact in the industry.




Step 2:  When offered / in an interview.

1) Ensure to elaborate that you are a team player, reliable and looking for a friendly work environment in which you can contribute.

2) Declare intentions to continue developing technical skills, even in your own time.

3) Ask what options the business has to offer you.
- Career advancement (state you want to work your way up,  are motivated, dedicated and intend on being a long term employee).
- Opportunities for training or investment in technical skills.




Step 3:  Compare  (If applicable).

- Sum up the pros and cons of each job on offer and where you want to end up.  Then choose.





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  # 933967 14-Nov-2013 16:04
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Well what are you aiming to do?

Programming?
Database?
Network?
Support?

Lots of small IT support places will take on junior people if you are looking to go down the support path - that's where I started. Otherwise helpdesk is a good start.

If you're going programming that isn't appropriate.

IT is a big field - what do you want to do.



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  # 933974 14-Nov-2013 16:12
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EviLClouD: Hey, just wondering, how does one usually start off their IT career?
What do you guys suggest is the best approach to enter this industry?
Thanks in advance!


You're going to need to be more specific. "IT" is a very broad field. What sort of roles do you expect to target over the next, say, 5 years, what qualification(s) are you doing? Where to start can be different between, say, a network engineer and a database administrator.

A basic helpdesk is the generic start point, as long as you can answer a phone and mumble some vaguely-intelligible words you can get by.

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  # 933985 14-Nov-2013 16:25
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Do universities here not have careers departments? In my final year of studying Computer Science I just wandered over to the careers office and they had hundreds of possibilities.

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  # 933990 14-Nov-2013 16:32
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I agree with the other posts. Depending on what field in IT you want to work in, there will be different ways of doing things.
In my previous post I made the assumption that you wanted to get into the Programming field.
Programming is quite an easy field to get into if you're good at it, everyone wants programmers, even Weta. If you're an undergraduate getting into the programming field then Weta might be a good place to ask as they want programmers.




Regards
Stefan Andres Charsley

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Ultimate Geek
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  # 933997 14-Nov-2013 16:48
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NZCrusader: Open to opinion, but in several experiences & visits to small IT businesses, some (not all) do not appear to be the "nicest" work environments.

Won't name and shame.


Have generally found corporations / enterprises provide better care for their staff, less stressful environments and better pay.
...


I think that is too much of a generalisation.

I have been working in IT continuously since 1980. Most of the time as a consultant or contractor so I have seen a very large number of employers, in many countries, close up.

I have worked for companies that were so small that not even linkedin has them listed and for some of the largest and most prestigious global IT outfits.

I have seen good and bad at both ends of the scale.

Also, with two exceptions, every company for which I have worked has changed ownership multiple times and with those changes come big shifts in company culture and direction.

At least with small companies you get to see where you would be working when you go for an interview. With a large company you might never see your actual work environment until the day that you start work.


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  # 933999 14-Nov-2013 16:53
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Plenty of people here willing to help, but the OP doesn't bother answering the questions asked. Unsubscribing.



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  # 934031 14-Nov-2013 18:44
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timmmay: What degree are you getting? What's your work history?


I'm getting a BCOM with triple majors in Information Systems, Management and Human Resource.
I've had four previous jobs. 
- vehicle service agent
- customer service representative at a call centre
- data entry assistant
- front of house

charsleysa: Open source. Working on open source projects can count as work experience in the IT sector. Employers aren't looking for who can tell them the most about b-trees, they want to know how good you are at what you do. Since you have no prior employment (like me) then show off how good your grades are and how good your open source work is.
That's how I got a full time summer position and I'm only 2nd year.


These open source projects sound interesting, how do i go about finding them?
I have previous work experience, just nothing relevant to the IT industry....

wasabi2k: Well what are you aiming to do?

Programming?
Database?
Network?
Support?

Lots of small IT support places will take on junior people if you are looking to go down the support path - that's where I started. Otherwise helpdesk is a good start.

If you're going programming that isn't appropriate.

IT is a big field - what do you want to do.


Not so much programming. More in terms of consultant, analyst or project management. Coding and scripts was never really my specialty...

timmmay: Plenty of people here willing to help, but the OP doesn't bother answering the questions asked. Unsubscribing.


Sorry i apologise for the delayed response. Just thought it would be easier if I waited til i logged onto a desktop to respond....

Thank you to everyone that replied, it was all very helpful!



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  # 934061 14-Nov-2013 20:10
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EviLClouD: Hey, just wondering, how does one usually start off their IT career?
Im a soon to be graduate with no IT work experience.
Alot of the jobs i find require some sort of experience, even help desk/service desk analysts.
What do you guys suggest is the best approach to enter this industry?
Thanks in advance!


Back in the day (90's)  i think most students were hired by the end of their final year on graduate programmes. They were great, like an extension of Uni except you get paid for studying and alcohol was free :)

Not sure if that still happens.

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