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  #1597643 24-Jul-2016 10:55
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nunz: Absolutely - look at the bottom of the barrel crap we get for support from the ISPs. No offence to the people on the phones but they are seriously under skilled nad under trained most of the time. We have a lack of good quality IPS support line people in NZ. also unless spark thinks peeving off its clients with 2 hour waits is good business, then they either dont give a toss or there is a lack of staff they can hire.


To be fair, they would only be following flowcharts.


I had only heard recently that some ISPs turn down experienced IT Support people for call centre roles as they would spend time helping customers with problems rather that following the flowcharts.  Was initially a bit disappointed with that position, but not surprised as the call centre people need to turn over calls as quickly as possible.

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  #1597770 24-Jul-2016 16:42
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The company that I work for (Intergen) hires graduates every year. We are not a huge company (<500) , but large enough to do be able to do this. This year I was interviewing the graduates and I was quite impressed with the number of high calibre people applying. 


I do think there is a skills shortage in regards to people that are competent, particularly in more senior roles. A lot of people seem to have somehow survived for a long time in the industry off the successes of others and don't have any skills for themselves. Unfortunately it is quite hard to get rid of people after you realise they are incompetent. 


I'm not sure that I can give any useful advice for those looking for jobs, apart from the normal things like having a good cv, having recommendations on LinkedIn, being well prepared and well presented at the interview. I find that when I interview people, their attitude or passion for their work is pretty easy to detect, particularly if it is missing. 

All comments are my own opinion, and not that of my employer unless explicitly stated.

  #1597836 24-Jul-2016 19:38
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I loved computers and programming growing up so when I left school in 2004 I decided to study Information Systems at UOA. I now look back at that being a bad choice as I spent the decade after graduating trying to get into the industry with no success at all getting even an interview (despite professors proclaiming skill shortage in the very areas I was studying in).


I needed to have work so I ended up working in non-IT roles for various organisations and everywhere I went I became the unofficial IT guy for the workplace doing everything from training staff as well as being the unofficial 1st Level IT support person since most people found it difficult dealing with the "IT guys" so I would talk with people and figure out the best/quickest way to get their problem solved (e.g. I would directly contact the specific engineer I know would be able to fix that problem giving him the exact details that they would need, resulting in quick problem resolution). For a period of time I was even given this role officially for an internal CRM-like application doing all sort of support tasks on top of my usual workload.


My last role (before I pivoted out of my IT 'career') was doing video editing work. I had never done it before and I was offered this role and jumped in and learnt everything on the job. I was lucky because the people that offered me the opportunity knew I was a very fast learner and would pick up all the important stuff quickly and independently. This particular aspect of my personality is something I found difficult to present in my CV and cover letters. Which is probably why I may have been passed over for opportunities that might have been great opportunities to prove myself.


Last year I did some soul-searching and decided to give up on IT (despite it being a huge passion of mine) and enrolled into a Primary Teacher training course as that was my 'second option' in case IT didn't work out for me. I quickly found that the education sector have a very different approach to recruitment. Because I had a couple of months before I could start the course, last year I applied for a non-teaching job at a school (explaining that I was interested in becoming a teacher so I wanted to see what it was like working at a school) and I was quickly snapped up and I am still working for the school part-time while I do my teacher training.


During my training I have worked at schools as a student teacher and it has been a great opportunity for me to showcase my skills. I have already had people head-hunt me and suggest I apply for various roles at the schools I worked at. This has made me wonder if the lack of practical opportunities to do IT work as part of IT training is one of the reasons why many IT graduates find it difficult to get jobs. But at the end of the day I find the education sector accepts that new teachers will learn on the job whereas IT employers seem to have this expectation that people create a high level of skill out of thin air given there are very few on-the-job opportunities where these skills can be developed.


I am sure at some point children will ask me if IT is a worthwhile career. I dare say I don't need to articulate what I would say given my experience and what I have observed in other people's experiences with the IT sector. There are other career options where people are given far more opportunities at lower levels to learn on the job and develop the skills required to become experts (e.g. trades, teaching, medicine, government, etc). Whoever is involved in recruitment in the IT industry IMHO need to reflect on their own recruitment practices—I suspect much of the problem is on the recruiting company side rather than prospective employees. I suspect there are many great people out there that have pivoted to other industries out of sheer frustration getting what seems to be a non-existent job in IT.


- James

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