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How Will Recent Financial Downturns Affect IT Jobs?

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the queue-management-gets-new-significance dept.

The Almighty Buck 372

An anonymous reader writes "So, with the financial crisis and loss of jobs everywhere, what are the chances of getting a good IT job? I'm going to graduate this year with a BS in Software Engineering majoring in Network Security. I'll be looking for a job as a penetration tester eventually, but I hear that is hard to get right out of college so I'll be looking for a job as a Junior Network Admin or similar type of job to start off in. Is there a lack of jobs in this field? I figure computers always need fixing so they have to have some sort of IT personnel on staff to maintain the core of their business. Anyone have a good insight on this issue?"

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372 comments

Best Advice is to Stand Out (5, Informative)

alain94040 (785132) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409935)

I was a new grad once. It was horrible: it took me 10 months to find my first job.

I'm sorry to have to be the one to break the bad news to you, but your grades in school don't matter anymore. What recruiters look at is your experience. Which, by definition, you don't have. So your resume ends up at the bottom of the pile.

As soon as you have some kind of job, then companies are much more willing to take you seriously. It's stupid but it's true. I make the same mistake now when I am the one hiring.

Now I'm happy to also give you some good news. You're probably not graduating until the summer. That's great. First of all, the economy will be just about to turn around (the media won't tell you, but they also didn't tell you one year ago that we were in a recession). Second, it gives you some time to add experience to your resume: internships matter a lot, volunteer for an open source project, etc.

Don't have the time? You really have two options: play by university rules and be a bland student, or stand out and go the extra mile. Guess which ones gets the job?

--
FairSoftware.net [fairsoftware.net] -- the community where software developers start fair businesses

Re:Best Advice is to Stand Out (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26409963)

Agreed. The best time to get experience is while you're in school. If you have none when you graduate you'll have a BS and an internship earning very little. Even if you have to stay in school another semester consider getting a good internship (perhaps full-time) to get some experience under your belt. If your resume shows a full-time internship, it will definitely stand out amongst the others who had a part-time one.

Around blacks... (-1, Troll)

bigblacknigger (1440657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410053)

Never relax!

How a life can change in an instant. Everything one thought and believed can be shattered on the rocks of an uncharted coast of a new experience. Here I was, a happy English teacher, twenty-five years old with a lovely wife and a five-year old daughter. I was teaching in a good urban school, considered something of a boy-genius by my colleagues, respected by parents, and loved by most of my students. And then one fateful day, everything changed because of Jesse Coulter.

It was right after school, and I was seated at my desk correcting some papers when I noticed his lanky sixteen year old form standing before me. Jesse and I had not gotten along, did not get along well at all. That's because he was a very lazy teenage boy. He got through high school thus far on his basketball skills, and most other teachers seemed to turn a blind eye on the fact that he was charming them with his skill on the court and his million dollar smile. He didn't like English Class. I guess it clashed with his "street jargon."

Hell, he didn't like schoolwork of any kind. What he did like was fucking every girl he could get his large black hands on. And from what I heard around school, it wasn't just large black hands that won the young white girls over. Talk was he was endowed like a horse.

I mean, I knew several teachers who visited the boys' locker room just to verify the rumor. These were straight teachers. And the report they gave was that the rumor was correct. The handsome black boy got on well with other students, but they all treated him with some kind of special respect, like he was untouchable, above them in some way. In the lunch room for example, when he came to a table, other kids would move aside, or even leave if he told them to.

Now, handsome, black, Jesse Coulter stood before my desk. He should have been playing basketball, and I was the reason he wasn't.

"You get me benched?" He asked with a thick, husky, masculine voice.

"No Jesse, you got yourself benched. You didn't hand in the last two homework assignments, and you failed the last three tests."

He stood up talker, straightening his shoulders which usually slouched. "I been busy."

I looked uip at him. He was handsome, I had to say that for him. So dark with flashing teeth.

"Too busy to do your schoolwork? Then maybe you need a break from basketball."

"You know the school never go for that. I the star of the school."

"Not this week. Not until you get those assignments in and do better on the check tests."

"Fuck that."

I snapped up. I could feel the heat of anger rising from my reddening face.

"Don't you speak that way to me!"

Suddenly I was standing in front of him. I could smell his musk. He was about my height, but only sixteen. His strong face had an arrogance about it that was intimidating.

"Look, teach, how the fuck can I take time out to study, when I got to play basketball and fuck half the white pussy in the school?"

I was speechless. I just stood there.

"An, then there's all them female teachers in the school like Miss Mortenson who need my big black dick. And all them faggot teachers too."

"That is enough. I want you out of here and down to the office. Now!"

His eyes burned cold, the white around the cornea clear and ivory.

"Listen, Asswipe. You think I gonna let one cocksucking teacher fuck up my position here at the school? Shit, I already offered two scholarships to good colleges, and I only a sophomore. You the one who is gonna get on board here and learn some respect for a black star like me!"

And with that, he slapped me. He drew back one large black hand and slapped my face, hard. My head spun. I had never experienced anything like it in my life. I grant you, I am not a very physical person, although I do swim at the gym to keep a fairly good body. I am not into sports, and prefer Faulkner to Football. And this teenage black boy had just slapped me. I reached out to grab a fistful of his t-shirt, but he slapped my hands away as easily as swatting a fly. Then he grabbed my jaw in one large hand.

"We gonna do some extra-curricular work here with me as the teacher and you as the student. We gonna teach you how to respect the black man!" He almost lifted me off the floor by the one hand on my face. Then with his other hand he grabbed my crotch. He grabbed my balls.

"Shit, don't feel like you got much down here. Like most white boys, all talk and no fuck! How the fuck do you please your wife? Suck pussy all the time?" He squeezed harder and harder, until I was sure I was ruined for life and the room began to spin around me. Then he dropped me to the floor. I heard it before I saw anything. I heard him lower the zipper on his baggy jeans.

This could not be happening. There had been something in between I missed. Some gap in events that explained all of this. I was on the floor, my necktie twisted around my shoulder, my trousers wrinkled, and my balls throbbing and sending shooting pain up through my body.

I was looking up at a tall, lanky, punk of a nigger who was unzipping his pants. I use that word carefully. I know its full destructive power. To me, at that moment, Jesse Coulter descended from an African American to a Nigger. But I didn't have time to feel proud of my linguistic decision. I tried to scramble away, but he placed one large size thirteen tennis shoe on my body to hold me still.

"You know my record here at the school?" He asked, smiling and fishing in his open fly. "You know I already fucked six little white sluts pregnant?" I couldn't believe that was trueÃffÃÃfæsurly the school wouldn't hide such a thing just to keep us number one in basketball? Would they? "I gonna show you what they all love. Why they keep coming back for more. Why Mr. Hample and Mr. Louis drool every time I walk past.

He grew frustrated trying to fish his prick out of his baggy pants, so he cursed and ripped open the waist button and let pants and boxer shorts drop to the floor.

I have to say, I have never seen anything like it on man or boy. I've heard that there are photos of such things on the internet, but I don't go to those places. Jesse Coulter stood there with his pants puddle around his feet, and my lying between his spread legs. Over me hung the largest dick I have ever seen in my life. Mine is six inches hard, and I have been told that is average, for a white guy anyway. This dick wasn't even hard and must have hung eight inches. It was as thick as a beer can. And under it hung two low slung balls, each one the size of a hard boiled egg. It was freakish. No woman could ever even take such a prick, I felt certain.

"You gonna like this dick, Mr. Sutton. You gonna learn to love it a whole lot. When I finish with you, you gonna give me an A in English, just because you love this dick so much. You gonna want my dick more than your wife's pussy. You gonna want it like a heroin addict needs a fix. You gonna be nigger dick crazy!"

His talk was crazy! But I was in no position to argue. I had always been completely straight, never ever entertaining gay or bisexual thoughts. I was open minded about gays and believed in gay rights, but I was not gay.

He sat down on my chest, and his fat prick dragged across my shirtfront, leaking something from the puckered foreskin onto me. The shaft of the nigger prick was thick and wrinkled and the foreskin long completely closing over the cockhead. The puckered foreskin flesh at the tip looked like an asshole or something. The he pumped the gigantic hunk of fuckmeat and the foreskin drew back over the huge purple cockhead. It looked the size of a plum with a wide pisshole leaking pre cum. I was in shock.

The nigger cock grew to almost a foot in length. It was the most awesome thing I have ever seen in my life. He started to rub the leaking dickhead all over my face. I tried to turn my head away, but he slapped the fuck out of me, until I lay still and just let him play with my face.

"I gonna mark you, like an animal marks his territory. You never gonna get the smell of my dick off yo face. You gonna smell my cocksnot all the time, even when you fucking that bitch of yo's." He covered my entire face with pre cum! My nose and eyes and lips. I started to gag and he slapped me again. Hard.

"You never show disrespect to a black man's cock. You always welcome it, no matter who the black man is. You got that, Cuntface?" He made a fist and would have punched me right in the face if I hadn't agreed. Then he told me to open my mouth. I knew what was coming and that it would change my life forever. I opened my mouth. He yelled for me to open it wider. I did and he rested his enormous purple dickhead on my lower lip. It dribbled cockslop into my mouth like a leaking faucet. "I gonna fuck yo ass of course, but not till later in the week. You my bitch now, and you keep your asspussy and mouth available for me any time, night or day. But I ain't got time today, cause I gots to go to basketball practice. And I going, ain't I? He lifted his huge dick and started to slap my face with it. Pre- fuck sprayed the area around my face. My lips were sticky with his pre-cum. His dick was like a giant club and it hurt badly when it thunked into my face.

"Yes! Yes!" I cried. "You can go, just leave me alone."

"Leave you alone? No way, girlyboy. You is my ho now. I gots lots of fun stuff planned fo you and me. But fo now, I just gonna blow some nice nigger sperm into your mouth and you gonna swallow like a nice cockhog." I was crying pretty heavily now and trying to tell him I wasn't gay, and please don't do this to me, but it was already too late. He had his dick in my mouth and was fucking my face like it was a young white virgin cunt.

He humped my face, leaning his body up and over my head, slamming balls deep so his big nuts thumped on me. His legs stretched and I raised one hand to his large muscular tight globular ass. His ass skin was smooth and I felt the deep ass crack. He grunted and pushed more and more dick into my face. Now it was lodged in my throat, stretching and ripping at my throat muscles. I could not breath. I was sure I would die. The cock was down twelve inches into my gullet.

How could any girl take this? I wondered. The pain was horrible, but the humiliation worse. The prick expanded and throbbed and I felt it moving in my neck. I put one hand to my neck and actually felt the big nigger dick from the outside of my neck. His pubic hair was thick and stank of sweat and black boy sexual smell. I was being face fucked by a sixteen year old nigger and couldn't do anything about it. Jesus, what was happening to me and what would become of my life?

Then he came! It seemed like gallons of thick white nigger sperm. It poured down my throat like glue, then he pulled back and it filled my mouth. It felt like wallpaper paste or oatmeal. It backed up into my nasal passages and I started to snort nigger cum.

He laughed and pulled out and shot three more spurts of dicksnot all over my face. Then he milked the dick of the last drops of his cock cream and wiped his dickhead in my hair. He leaned down over me smiling and then spit three huge gobs right into my face.

"We will continue this tomorrow. Don't try to skip school, or tell anyone about us, or you will be very sorry. I got lots of friends who are a whole lot rougher than me."

He stood up and stuffed his black hose back into his pants which he pulled up and buttoned.

"I gotta go to practice now. And I bet I get an A on the quiz tomorrow, huh?"

He put one large foot on my face and pressed down, almost breaking my nose.

"Say hello to yo pretty wife for me. Oh and tomorrow, don't wear any underwear under your pants. It will save time."

And then he was gone.

But my nightmare was just starting...

Re:Around blacks... (1)

Anthony_Cargile (1336739) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410847)

Somebody typed all of that?

Re:Best Advice is to Stand Out (1)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410421)

Currently in my 5 year of school. I've been a full-time network administrator at the University where I have for 2 1/2 years and was a part time support tech before that for a year (you have to start low even if you have the skills needed). In the end, as soon as you get the first job, the rest will fall into place. Try to find one that you can stay with for a Year. Even if it pays dirt you will have show that you can maintain a job long enough. Don't expect to make 60K on you first job unless you have certs and other excellent credentials. (Aka, MIT Grad with 20 papers to your name). You might have a chance with the big IT companies which will hire people out of college and "train" them to their liking.

Re:Best Advice is to Stand Out (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26409977)

internship internship internship.
take a 3 month - 1 year break and do an internship. with a big corp. sometimes you get hired direct from the internship.

As an interviewer I agree (4, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410011)

In my last job I, and about 5 others, spent a lot of our time selecting new grads. Of the six of us, only one looked at grades much. We all realised that universities and grades are very contrived and are not good indicators of how people will perform in the real world.

Get involved in some open source project, not just as a peripheral person but **really** get engaged and make a very useful contribution. Show that you can word with others, solve problems (the fun technical stuff), help finish off documentation (shows you can also do the boring stuff that is important) and get some references from the project leads.

What most employers really look for is the "bushy tail factor": people who are flexible, practical and can learn new stuff fast.

Re:As an interviewer I agree (3, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410285)

The last time I was in a team leader position I hired an intern. He turned out to be a great worker, unusually good unix skills and very self motivated. We don't do much selection for interns. Its just a matter of sitting down with the other managers and sifting through resumes.

Later I wondered why I had selected this person and realised that he had the worst formatted resume of the lot. This guy can't format a word document. He is a terrible typist. In fact he didn't seem to care how it looked.

But where the other applicants put four types of windows then "linux". He put four types of BSD, then linux then "windows". That may have been a factor for me but the lack of interest in presentation played a part as well.

Re:As an interviewer I agree (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410545)

"Wow! This place must be hot. They don't need a big ad, or even correct spelling."

(just to point out that caring only minimally for ones resume needn't mean that they're good enough to not need to care. It could be genuine incompetence)

Re:As an interviewer I agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26410867)

This chimes with a couple of things I was going to say.

A job I got several years ago was because I was going into print publishing but I turned in a resume that used fixed font type with little formatting. I was told by an insider that I had all they were looking for and I simply had to put something in writing. I gave little more than that I had experience in almost everything they were looking for and what I didn't have experience in, I could easily acquire on my own.

A friend of mine in IT NEVER hires anyone with a college degree for anything important. The one guy he has working for him with a degree is a close friend of his but he only works tech support and won't be getting any responsibilities beyond that, but he'd hire me in a heartbeat as an admin or engineer because I have DONE THINGS.

Re:As an interviewer I agree (5, Funny)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410419)

Show that you can word with others

Word.

Re:Best Advice is to Stand Out (4, Informative)

Swizec (978239) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410017)

I've always found it incredibly stupid for a person to just go to school without doing anything on the side. First time I started working on projects on the side was in first year of high school when I played around with phpBB and later on started working on some of my own stuff. Of course during the summers I've had programming related jobs all through high school, makes sense really since there's heaps of empty time.

During last year of high school I also started working lightly during regular school months and it's really paid off. Two years into college now and I've already got a few years of real-world experience under my belt. When I get out of college ... whenever that happens ... I'll be far from an empty slate and it thus shouldn't be too difficult getting a job. If all else fails I can just continue working for the people I'm already working for since we seem to be getting along well.

Seriously, any still-schooling people otu there reading this. GET A FUCKING JOB because grades DO NOT MATTER!

Re:Best Advice is to Stand Out (3, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410395)

Seriously, any still-schooling people otu there reading this. GET A FUCKING JOB because grades DO NOT MATTER!

I can second that. I'm older than most of you here, and have up through my life held a variety of jobs -- for the last couple of decades mostly in the Unix/networking areas. And I have never been asked for my grades. Not once. Not when fresh out of school, and not later.

Experience, flexibility (bendability, really -- in many cases the ability to grab your ankles is considered a plus, but I digress...), experience, problem solving skills, experience, likability, and, did I mention experience?

Re:Best Advice is to Stand Out (1)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410445)

Well... really it depends on who you want to get a job from. Major IT companies ask for your GPA on your resume and will Filter using that. Heck Google won't hire without it listed. For everyone else, the paper degree is all they care for and HR depts only look if you meet the minimum requirements.

Re:Best Advice is to Stand Out (2, Informative)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410097)

Don't have the time? You really have two options: play by university rules and be a bland student, or stand out and go the extra mile. Guess which ones gets the job?

I think it depends on your career aspirations. GPA matters quite a bit for some internships, and is very important for getting into a good graduate program.

Which means that indirectly, GPA can matter quite a bit for getting your first job, as you yourself said that internships matter. If you had two otherwise equal candidates just out of school, but one had a successful internship at Google, while the other had a successful internship at the local library's IT department, whom would you likely hire?

Re:Best Advice is to Stand Out (1)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410161)

Now I'm happy to also give you some good news. You're probably not graduating until the summer. That's great. First of all, the economy will be just about to turn around (the media won't tell you, but they also didn't tell you one year ago that we were in a recession).

The government has to be the entity that says we are in a recession after 2 consecutive quarters of economic shrinkage. There is nothing for the media to report if the gov't economists don't say anything. There is still the issue of why it took so long for them to say something though but it wasn't the media's fault in my opinion.

Re:Best Advice is to Stand Out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26410339)

I disagree. The media shouldn't wait for the government to do/say anything. It is one thing for the media to predict a recession, and another thing altogether for the media to say that a recession is official. For instance, the media in New Zealand were going on about a recession for a full 2 quarters before the government half heartedly accepted it as "fact".

Re:Best Advice is to Stand Out (1)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410463)

While that might be true in New Zealand. In the US, the "2 consecutive quaters of negative activity" is not the official measure used by Government economists to declare a recession. It's a generally accepted definition by most economists but the gov looks at a broader range of indicators to make their decision.

Re:Best Advice is to Stand Out (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410597)

Usually the definition is "Whenever we can't hide it anymore and even the best excuse won't even impress the most government-friendly network", IIRC.

Re:Best Advice is to Stand Out (3, Informative)

linhares (1241614) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410193)

You don't have any experience only if you don't want to. You can code for the iPhone and Android and facebook and opensocial and adobe air, all of which are hot markets. As some habitats contract, other expand.

Re:Best Advice is to Stand Out (4, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410455)

Unless you have had an employer who works in those fields, your experience will be considered "hobby" and won't count for much, if anything. Every other applicant claims that they run linux servers and advanced networking at home, and have done so for a long time, but very few of them tell the truth. Some claim to have done so for an employer, but won't state references. An interviewer will generally disregard claims like these, unless they can be backed up.

And yes, these days, interviewers /will/ call your references and check. Saying that you were responsible for X or contributed to Y if you weren't will be a bad move. If it just can't be verified, it's likely a waste of good CV paper.

To recap, experience will in most cases mean having been employed for doing, and with references to back this up.

Re:Best Advice is to Stand Out (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410629)

Depends entirely on who's hiring.

If you're dealing with standard HR drones, you have quite nice "hobbies" but that's where they'll put that info. What's Android? Some sort of computer game? We don't do games here, we do serious things with COMputERS. And you're slacking off on facebook and other internet stuff, eh? Next!

Know who's hiring before you add something like this to your resume. It can be a benefit but it can also be a curse.

Re:Best Advice is to Stand Out (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410211)

Not only experience, but experience with specific products. If a company uses, say, Cisco PIX firewalls, and one applicant has a bachelor's degree, CCNP and 5 years of networking experience, but none with PIX, and the other has an associate's degree, CCNA, and 3 years of PIX experience, my bet would be on the latter getting the job. Experience with the exact Cisco IOS level that the company currently uses would be even better.

Speaking of CCNA, CCNP and CCISP, these certifications are not just a good idea, for some companies they are a must to even be considered.

But I'm sorry to say, if you come straight from college with no experience or certifications, the best you can reasonably hope for right now is a help desk job, reading from scripts. A junior network admin job will be out of reach, unless you have contacts with clout who can strongly recommend you. Otherwise you have to work as an associate network admin or tech support for at least a couple of years before you can expect promotion to (or jumping to) a junior job.

Re:Best Advice is to Stand Out (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410777)

Experience with the exact Cisco IOS level that the company currently uses would be even better.

To a degree, but if you think the HR drone is going to have any idea what version of Cisco IOS you're using, you're laughing. Even if you tell him, I'd still place even money on it never being considered.

Re:Best Advice is to Stand Out (3, Informative)

pyite (140350) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410803)

Speaking of CCNA, CCNP and CCISP, these certifications are not just a good idea, for some companies they are a must to even be considered.

Their value is marginal at best. I would never want to work at a place which demands the certification, because it shows they don't know what makes a good engineer.

Re:Best Advice is to Stand Out (4, Informative)

kaiidth (104315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410225)

I'm going to have to third/fourth/fifth (depending on comment lag) the 'Get a job whilst you're still in school, experience counts' viewpoint. It really does help. And if you find yourself jobless even temporarily, make sure you do something with the time. Ideally, that would be the internship that has been mentioned here, but sometimes it'll have to be even less formal than that - this is where networking comes in. Unpaid/very minimally paid work on something isn't as great a CV bullet as an actual job but it is a lot easier to come by. Any connections that you have may come in useful; any college professors/researchers you might know from your university career may be able to provide you with something, although they're less likely to be able to pay you.

Open source code may arguably count in this, but it's very dependent on what the project is. If I'm hiring I generally look for something that I can find, download and see working. If, like so many projects, it turns out to be an itch that got scratched and then immediately placed on line with no testing or docs, I'd be impressed that it was placed online at all but wouldn't rank it very highly as experience. If on the other hand I can see evidence of what you did during your work on the project I might rank it somewhat higher, assuming HR ever let me see the CV (they have their own viewpoint on what 'experience' means).

I know this sounds obvious but it's very important to actually get around to applying, to do a little research before the interview, and to turn up to job interviews when the date has been agreed. Last hiring session I went on, only half of the people I invited for interview turned up. One of those who didn't emailed and apologised, so I sent him another interview date that he failed to meet either, which was facepalm-worthy and rather sad... two of those that I did interview hadn't bothered to look up the software packages mentioned by name in the original advert. And that was in the midst of the credit crunch.

Good luck to the OP and to all in their position, and if you do end up medium to long-term unemployed my advice to you is to keep busy and make sure you keep using your skills and abilities, find something you want to work on - I went back to studying when jobless after the dot-com boom, and one friend of mine wrote a book whilst unemployed! Also, get out of the house on a regular basis, even if it's only to yoga class or something. Unemployment is a nasty state if you let it get you down and is very likely to leave you feeling depressed and worthless (for no good reason - unemployment can happen to anybody), so keep your eyes open for that and find strategies to keep your spirits up.

Re:Best Advice is to Stand Out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26410321)

>volunteer for an open source project, etc.

Yeah, this makes sure your prospective employer has it in his head that you are willing to work for free. They love that.

Re:Best Advice is to Stand Out (1)

durdur (252098) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410351)

On the contrary, many companies, especially larger ones, actively recruit from university engineering schools (especially local ones) and have openings that are intended for recent grads. Having work experience will help, but experience isn't actually required.

That's in normal times, though. The current hiring environment is truly awful and has gotten worse in the past 1-2 months - at least from what I hear and have experienced. Expect delays. Expect to get one foot in the door and then have the door closed (ouch). I'd expect some betterment later in the year.

Re:Best Advice is to Stand Out (3, Informative)

Tyr_7BE (461429) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410447)

I'm sorry to have to be the one to break the bad news to you, but your grades in school don't matter anymore. What recruiters look at is your experience. Which, by definition, you don't have. So your resume ends up at the bottom of the pile.

Agreed 100%. That's why wherever you go, make sure it has a good co-op/internship program. My degree was half co-op terms - 4 months of school, 4 months of work - right up until graduation. By the time I graduated I had already signed a contract to start working full time. It basically gives you 2 years or so of industry experience before you hit graduation. If you're looking at going into a technical field and want an easy time getting a job when you're finished, a good co-op program is by far the most important factor.

The media called recession first. (2, Interesting)

FatSean (18753) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410879)

Don't you remember? Our government was BSing about "ooooohhh...we can't know yet, etc...", while all the "oh shit! recession!" stories were popping up.

You think the economy is going to turn around mid-2009? OK, I'll stick my neck out, you're fucking insane. You sound like a conservative talk radio pundit.

I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure this one's gonna stretch into 2010.

Oh, and for the submitter, you've got an OK chance...you're young and cheap. Salary and healthcare-wise. Don't feel so glum.

Good luck! (1)

drew_92123 (213321) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409961)

Depending on where you live finding an IT job isn't going to be easy...

I'm up in Redmond and am witness to Microsoft laying off 15,000 people, just imagine how other companies are handling the bad times...

Re:Good luck! (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410817)

I'm up in Redmond and am witness to Microsoft laying off 15,000 people, just imagine how other companies are handling the bad times...

You're what? MSFT employs 80,000 people worldwide. If you're looking at the rumors being posted, most layoffs will occur in EMEA, not the US, and are slated to not be anywhere near 15,000 employees, but rather at most, 15% of MSN staff.

Sorry but... (4, Informative)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409965)

The economy globally has tanked. My firm has just shed *another* 400 IT jobs. I know many people who got made redundant just before Christmas. Firms are collapsing left right and centre and those left are cutting right back to keep afloat.
Personally,I'd take pretty much any job you can get right now,IT or otherwise. It's not a time to be picky.

Experience over education, 7 times out of 10 (5, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 5 years ago | (#26409991)

As the CEO of a small IT company in the US (mostly Midwest-focused), I'd say we hire more out of experience than education. We're consultants, though, but we have helped hire full timers for our customers who want someone there manning the stations all the time.

For those in college now, GO INTERN. It doesn't matter how much you make, but how much you can mark up that portfolio. If you're graduating and can't find work, then WORK SOMEWHERE. I can't begin to tell you how many people I've interviewed who are 5-6 months out of college but aren't working anywhere, even Starbucks. The lack of showing responsibility by not doing something is a turn-off.

For us, business is way up. Clients are keeping their hardware longer, which means more maintenance work. They're getting more focused on information security (external and internal), as well as keeping what they have in tip-top shape. We're turning away work.

Here's a big part of being a successful IT employee: be mobile. Fully, if possible. Try not to sign any long term leases, and DO NOT BUY property even if mom and dad or the grandfolk offer to get you something. I took on work in LA in 2008 because they couldn't find a decent consultant locally, even paying for my flights and hotel stays. If you're mobile, your chance of getting work goes way up. Once you move, stay mobile-capable if other jobs pop up. Don't just look close to home or close to school, look everywhere.

One area that is seeing rapid growth is in health care clinics (not big hospitals). I think we field a few calls a month from possible clients who have to maintain a large infrastructure and are sick of high priced consultants. That's when we usually try to place full timers rather than work a contract out in an environment that really needs full time management of IT.

I personally would stay out of software development if you don't have any real portfolio of work done, but in terms of maintenance, the job market looks pretty reasonable in the 4 markets I monitor. It's just a matter of that dreaded experience that most college graduates have none of. It would be very hard for me to hire someone on degree alone. My last 3 hires didn't even graduate college, but are phenomenal at showing up on time, doing their job right, and giving our clients 150% of themselves when needed.

Re:Experience over education, 7 times out of 10 (4, Insightful)

entrigant (233266) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410199)

The lack of showing responsibility by not doing something is a turn-off.

I'd be interested to hear the reasoning behind this. How does not working show a lack of responsibility? We work to provide for ourselves. If I have the means to provide for myself without needing a job for an extended period and I choose to take advantage of it to take my time making sure when I do need employment I find some place where I am happy, how does that equate to being irresponsible?

If I had the means I've never work again. I'd use my time persuing my interests and hobbies. I'd take the time to enjoy life and contribute to society in ways that I enjoy doing.

Yet I'm irresponsible?

If I must work under someone else then I might as well make sure I will enjoy what I do, and that will benefit my employer as much as it does me. I don't care if it takes 5 days or 5 months to find such a position.

Re:Experience over education, 7 times out of 10 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26410301)

I don't care

You could have saved yourself some time and just said those three words.

Re:Experience over education, 7 times out of 10 (2, Insightful)

kaiidth (104315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410397)

The lack of showing responsibility by not doing something is a turn-off.

I'd be interested to hear the reasoning behind this. How does not working show a lack of responsibility?

If I must work under someone else then I might as well make sure I will enjoy what I do, and that will benefit my employer as much as it does me. I don't care if it takes 5 days or 5 months to find such a position.

Not answering for the GP, but I have the same reaction as him/her about the 'not working', and so maybe this is somewhat useful.

It doesn't bother me if you're working and being paid for something or whether you're doing it for the love of it, but either way you should be able to explain what you have spent the last five months doing. If you've been doing something that makes you money and yet has nothing to do with the job you're applying for it tells me that you're able to get out of bed and go in to work even though you don't especially love the job that you're doing. If you can be somewhat civil about the job that you're doing - perhaps you don't love it, but if you can say anything positive about the experience - then that tells me that you won't be pitching a fit as soon as I first ask you to do something that, for whatever reason, isn't your heart's desire.

Somebody has to do the boring bits, and a person with mediocre talent but great timekeeping and sufficient application to do them is going to be more useful to me than a person who could do the best job that I've ever seen, but has decided not to bother because he/she thinks it's not worth doing.

If, on the other hand, a person can explain to me what other productive things he or she has been doing when jobless it isn't going to be a problem to me that there was no money involved. I see all of 'volunteer work', 'completed my butterfly collection', 'I trained, got sponsorship and ran a marathon' and 'I've been working in Starbucks' as fine. Just not 'I did nothing and lived off the state/my GF/my parents, because I don't have to do anything and I didn't fancy any of the options'... it makes the job applicant sound passive.

Re:Experience over education, 7 times out of 10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26410791)

Well you see, it's easy to work at a job that brings you money, prestige. But it takes balls to start by doing something casual that doesn't fully reward you.

Re:Experience over education, 7 times out of 10 (4, Insightful)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410299)

"Here's a big part of being a successful IT employee: be mobile. Fully, if possible."

Don't buy a house. Don't be active in a local community. Don't make friends. Don't develop local business relationships. Don't get married. Don't have kids. Don't even get pets.

I don't know how you measure "success."

On one hand, I *am* willing to do "100%" travel if the compensation is good. (But my travel rate is several times my normal rate.)

I had to be very harsh with a persistent recruiter who could not understand why I wasn't motivated to relocate to Salt Lake City Utah (from San Diego California). Sometimes "Being mobile" has a cost that I mark very high.

Re:Experience over education, 7 times out of 10 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26410323)

"My last 3 hires didn't even graduate college, but are phenomenal at showing up on time, doing their job right, and giving our clients 150% of themselves when needed."

Absolutely... College provides a lot to some folks, but doesn't tell the full story. I have been in IT for 12 years now and am a Sr. Sys Admin. 3 years of college. I want to finish that degree for my own sake, however feel great about my decision to abandon college for that first "high" paying IT job.

Re:Experience over education, 7 times out of 10 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26410387)

It's all very well to refuse to buy property and remain mobile, but as soon as one plans to have a spouse and kids, then mobility usually removes itself as an option. As a kid whose parent(s) were almost never at home, I might as well have had completely different parents. One day you'll return from your mobile job, and wonder why your kid only ever tries to speak to you in Spanish, then you know you've done something wrong.

Bullshit (5, Insightful)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410479)

I can't begin to tell you how many people I've interviewed who are 5-6 months out of college but aren't working anywhere, even Starbucks. The lack of showing responsibility by not doing something is a turn-off.

That's YOUR opinion.

There are folks who worked their asses off in school and decided to take a break. Which is a good thing because, I don't know about you, I wouldn't want someone who hasn't relaxed a bit; otherwise, they have a tendency to burn out.

Many of those places won't have anything to do with someone with a BS or higher because they're "over qualified".

There could be family issues that is none of your business. Just because you're an employer doesn't mean you need to know every little thing about their life.

That's the trouble with employers these days, they have all of these "shoulds" and "oughts" about what makes a good hire that's based on nothing or worse, experience based on a previous hire or two.

And the trouble is, if there's the slightest non conforming aspect of someone's work history, they're marked for life. And yet, American business wants folks who "think outside the box". No they don't. Because folks who really do are rejected out of hand because "they're irresponsible" or some other asinine label.

Experience... (2, Insightful)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410785)

FAs the CEO of a small IT company in the US (mostly Midwest-focused), I'd say we hire more out of experience than education. We're consultants, though, but we have helped hire full timers for our customers who want someone there manning the stations all the time.

For those in college now, GO INTERN. It doesn't matter how much you make, but how much you can mark up that portfolio. If you're graduating and can't find work, then WORK SOMEWHERE. I can't begin to tell you how many people I've interviewed who are 5-6 months out of college but aren't working anywhere, even Starbucks. The lack of showing responsibility by not doing something is a turn-off.

I did the Internship thing. Back when I was looking for my first job I was lucky, the .com bubble was still inflating so the internship helped me get a job. In this climate I don't think it will get you very far. By the time the .com bubble burst I had over 2 years of experience as a developer. It still took me months to find a crappy new job as a system administrator since the market was flooded with developers who had much more experience than I did. Every advert for developer jobs specified at least 4-5 years of experience, specified a list of MS, Cisco, SAP etc... certificates as a must-have and half of those adverts specified that people without University degrees need not apply. Everywhere in the region companies had gone belly up, others had started massive layoffs which were aggravated by a string of mergers with the resultant extra layoffs. In an economic climate like the current one, I wouldn't want to be an engineering graduate with only a diploma and an internship; even if I had a little OSS contribution to my name. Thankfully, I now have 10 years of experience which means that my CV stands a good chance of getting me to an interview even in the current economic blood bath. I do agree with you that it is better to work at even Starbucks or McDonalds than to sit around doing nothing and collecting unemployment benefits. As for experience, it is easy to harp on about business realities, how they force one to only hire experienced people. The problem with everybody only hiring only experienced people is that graduates still have to get experience somewhere, somebody has to offer entry level jobs, that's where experience begins. It is a bit farcical that governments (at least in Europe) have begun to legislate and offer tax breaks to encourage companies to offer entry level positions for the engineering graduates that the local universities are producing.

not specific to "network admin" (3, Informative)

pavera (320634) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410019)

I have a couple friends graduating this year, they are in a bad way... Last year graduates from the same school, with the same degree all had 3-4 offers and could basically pick where they wanted to live and what company they wanted to work for...

This year students are lucky if they've got 1 offer, and the offers are 30-40% below last year's offers. All the big companies have hiring freezes or are outright laying people off.

Just read an article on CNBC about how graduating in a recession will hurt your earnings potential for as much as 20 years... I'd recommend staying in school til things recover.

Re:not specific to "network admin" (1)

pavera (320634) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410055)

sorry to reply to self... these are CS and Information Systems grads from a majory private US university... They are in the tech field... just not specifically "network security" jobs.

Re:not specific to "network admin" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26410141)

Wow - you're an idiot.

Re:not specific to "network admin" (4, Informative)

pavera (320634) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410289)

Uh... how so? The article cited studies by Standford and Harvard economists who studied the lives of graduates during the 80-82 recession the 90-91 recession and the 87 market crash... In all 3 cases graduates of those years significantly under earned graduates with similar degrees from the years immediately surrounding the recession years for example the graduating classes of 78,79, and 83 all earned significantly more over the next 20 years than their peers who graduated during the recession. Same for the market crash in 87, classes of 86 and 88 earned much more over the next 20 years... obviously 20 years haven't elapsed yet on the 91 recession, but the trend is still in place through 15 years graduates of the classes surrounding the recession are much better off.

Re:not specific to "network admin" (1)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410835)

So, stay in school, do some postgrad / masters / phd etc, and come out in 2 or 3 years looking a shinier in a better job market. Do some opensource concurrently, and some intern or similar during the holidays.

Has this not already been asked? (1)

perlhacker14 (1056902) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410029)

Not to be rude, but, if you were to click on the link to the section titled 'Developers' or the section titled 'Ask Slashdot' and read the various posts, and I mean actually read every post, your questions probably should be answered.
Topics of notice are: ('getting started with part-time development work' and 'balancing performance and convention' and 'software development predictions for 2009' and 'interesting computer science jobs' and 'study abroad for computer science majors' and 'are my ideas being stolen? if so, what then?' and the one about MS letting people go and the one about abused IT people).

To actually answer, yes.

Re:Has this not already been asked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26410287)

Not to be rude, but, if you were to click on the link to the section titled 'Developers' or the section titled 'Ask Slashdot' and read the various posts, and I mean actually read every post, your questions probably should be answered. Topics of notice are: ('getting started with part-time development work' and 'balancing performance and convention' and 'software development predictions for 2009' and 'interesting computer science jobs' and 'study abroad for computer science majors' and 'are my ideas being stolen? if so, what then?' and the one about MS letting people go and the one about abused IT people). To actually answer, yes.

/. is a form of masturbation without any pleasing end in sight.

Experience (1)

chadenright (1344231) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410033)

My advice is to volunteer for stuff. Something. Anything, even if it's not directly related to your major. Take an internship course even if *that's* not directly related to your major. Get help making your resume -- the same person, with a good resume, will stand out a lot more than the same person with a bad resume. Work part-time in school. Better yet, start your own business. As you said, computers pretty much always need fixing, and 95% of the population can't fix them when they break. Having been laid off for Christmas, of course, I'm looking at doing the same things. Best of luck!

It's going to suck hard. (1)

aurispector (530273) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410045)

Life without real world experience is a bitch. In the near future Wal-mart jobs might be looking really great compared to starving and I'm not kidding. You may be surprised at the kinds of valuable experience you can gain from a shitty job.

Re:It's going to suck hard. (1)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410471)

McDonald will get you into management.

Yo-yo effect? (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410047)

Maybe it will go down like this in some places:

1. IT seen as an expense of questionable benefit. So it gets greatly cut back (e.g., layoffs).

2. Company discovers that some (probably not all) of those cut-backs caused very painful results. Those people are hired back. (Hopefully the managers/executives involved don't bitch about the cost of IT for a while afterward.)

3. Economy recovers. Company gets deeper pockets, and stops being so lean on IT again. Projects with speculative payoff are once again funded. IT department gets back to point where it has more staff than needed for skeleton operation. So next economic downturn, go to Step 1 above.

Obviously, there are some nastier possible outcomes as well, from the IT worker perspective. Company dies, or discovers it can get by with skeleton crew, or finds that some stuff like web hosting or email can be trusted to cheaper providers in "the cloud".

Re:Yo-yo effect? (2, Informative)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410819)

I agree that many of the positions that have been eliminated will be refilled - they have to be. But those positions will be refilled by younger, and cheaper, workers - in many cases: guest workers.

Long term, I firmly believe that the trend is down for US IT workers. Simply put: US workers are being priced out of the market. Offshore workers are much cheaper, and the jobs that can not be done offshore, will be done by guest workers, which is still significantly cheaper. Also, hiring guest workers makes it easier to offshore even more jobs.

BTW: since the positions would be re-filled anyway, Obama's $3000 per employee stimulus package is just another handout to US corporations. Obama will be praised for creating jobs.

Penetration Tester (4, Funny)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410051)

The good news is that there are some companies who'll see "penetration tester" on your resume and immediately hire you.

The bad news is that many of those jobs will involve creepy bosses and excessive amounts of astroglide.

Re:Penetration Tester (1)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410435)

We've all had creepy bosses. What really matters is that you and your colleagues put in a hard day's work.

Re:Penetration Tester (3, Interesting)

VoidEngineer (633446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410483)

While parent post was obviously meant to be funny, there's a grain of truth in his post in so far as the term 'penetration tester' is a rather unfortunate term to use, and one you probably want to avoid using.

Yes, it might be common jargon in the industry, but you need to really think about how you're marketing yourself. Talking about "penetration testing" at work could reasonably be viewed as creating a hostile or harassing work environment at any corporation that takes it's sexual harassment policies seriously. Moreover, if a woman in human resources scans "penetration testing" in your resume, how quick do you think it's going to take her to click 'delete' and toss your resume in the garbage? I'm guessing between 2 and 3 seconds.

"Security Auditor" is probably a much better term to use.

Re:Penetration Tester (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410537)

Relevant advice to the article submitter: get a fucking job.

In all fairness... (1)

Muckluck (759718) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410073)

I work at a company that uses IT jobs as the "slush fund" for layoffs. Not always the right thing to do, but that's how they do it. Nice thing is, they tend to offer early retirement packages first to the people closest to retirement age so "voluntary attrition" usually takes care of solving most of the problem. Then we hire younger, less experienced people because they are cheaper and train them to do what we need to get done. The people who retire have already trained the next wave and they in turn train the next and so on. Long story, short... Things aren't bad everywhere you just need to be sure your resume stands out for the right reason.

Stay in school! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26410085)

For now, your best bet is to stay in school and ride out this downturn. Expect the market to be soft for the next 2-3 years. Even if you can find a job now, it is likely to not be a very good experience. With the number of people out of work now, and the number of potential employers small, those that are hiring are paying low wages for very long hours. Don't expect any on the job training these days either. Most IT departments are shrinking instead of expanding. If you get a job, you will be expected to hit the ground running.

This happens every few years - last time was in 2001 - 2003 or so. The market was down for a couple of years and grads couldn't get jobs. The smart ones stuck with school and got better or additional degrees so when the market turned they ended up with better starting salaries that will allow them to pay off their student loans sooner.

Hang in there, there will be plenty of jobs again soon enough.

Re:Stay in school! (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410849)

I expect the long-term trend to continue down for US IT workers. I agree that there was an upturn in 2003, but it did not nearly compensate for the devastation that occurred in 2001/2002.

US workers are being priced out of STEM jobs, that is all there is to it.

Paying your dues (3, Insightful)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410113)

IT, because it's generally had it so good over the last couple decades, has never developed the notion that you have to "pay your dues" at the beginning, meaning working crappy jobs to build experience to get a better job. Other, more competitive fields, have long had this aspect, so the idea is more familiar.

With the economy in the toilet for now and the next couple years, new IT grads have to pay their dues. Grab the best job you can, which won't be great, do well in it, and constantly look for ways to move up the ladder. The first few years will probably suck in one or several ways, but you're suffering will be rewarded later with better positions. The days of college hotshots walking into six figure jobs are over. Get a job, learn your craft, build your resume, and always watch out for your career.

Bonus advice: the days of socially inept geeks are also over. Social skills are as important as programming skills. The geek who can make friends easily, express himself clearly to non-technical people, and generally get along with everyone else, will always have an advantage over the aspie nerd who can quote machine code but doesn't know to shower every day.

Re:Paying your dues (5, Insightful)

pavera (320634) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410205)

this is the worst advice on this board.. There is no such thing as "climbing the ladder" multiple studies by economists at Stanford and Harvard have confirmed this. Aim high, get the job you want for the pay you want or stay in school, any other choice will hurt your earnings potential for literally decades to come.

If you "take whatever you can get" now, you will artificially hurt your earnings potential because generally you will only ever get a cost of living raise and 3-5% of 40k for 20 years puts you way way behind 3-5% of 60 or 70k over 20 years. And unless you can change your career, you won't get a big bump in salary when the economy improves. Even if the economy gets a lot better, they aren't going to suddenly give you a 20 or 30% raise for the same or similar job you've been doing for much less.

Re:Paying your dues (2, Funny)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410401)

Aim high, get the job you want for the pay you want or stay in school, any other choice will hurt your earnings potential for literally decades to come.

1) Bet X dollars on red. If you win, goto 3. If you lose, let X:=2*X and goto 1.
2) ???
3) Profit!

Reasoning like this from economists is why we're in this mess in the first place. In capitalism, for every winner, there are necessarily losers.

Re:Paying your dues (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410405)

If you "take whatever you can get" now, you will artificially hurt your earnings potential

I agree, Pavera. The effect of not going straight for what you want will be playing pinball in the job market until you do. Not all experience is useful, or particularly pleasant.

Model/profile what your prospective boss really wants. Be that person. See that person in the mirror. Find out everything about the exact tool set desired and learn that tool set and the business context surrounding it. That's important whether you want to design embedded systems for commercial aircraft or drive a metro bus.

Re:Paying your dues (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410543)

You're right that climbing the ladder doesn't happen, at least in one company. In IT, climbing the ladder means getting a different, better job at another company, which is also the only way to get a big salary bump. But I'm confused by what you mean by "get the job you want for the pay you want or stay in school". What if the job he wants isn't available? How far into student loan debt should he go? What if he can't get the job he wants because he has no experience?

In the end, it's better to work and improve your resume than it is to hold out for the perfect job, if holding out means long periods accumulating debt and no experience.

Re:Paying your dues (1)

pavera (320634) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410699)

It may be... but that isn't what these studies said... Students who stayed in school an extra year or two easily made up for extra debt and the lost earnings for those couple years by graduating in a good economy.

Re:Paying your dues (1)

pavera (320634) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410807)

sorry to reply again.. The ladder in IT is what you are saying... My big "bump" in pay happened when I moved from IT to Software Development. I made this mistake (graduated in 01), and "took what I could get" which was a network admin job for 35k/yr... I spent the next 4 years building my software dev resume through open source, and various personal projects... Finally in 05 I got a nice bump when I got my first software development job, which was hard to get, because of my experience on my resume (I interviewed for software dev jobs through 03, 04, and 05, and was consistently turned down because I had so much network/system admin experience on my resume). I found it actually helped to delete all my network admin/system admin experience, the hiring manager where I finally got the job I talked to him after I had the job and showed him my "old" resume he said he wouldn't have even called me back based on it. Point being the wrong experience can be extremely detrimental if it isn't focused enough on where you want to go.

However, I have a friend who graduated last year (spring of 07) (he is about 5 years younger than I), anyway, he got 4 offers and already makes the same amount I do... with 1 year of experience vs my 8 years of experience... Point being, if he wants to be in security, he better get experience in security. Any other experience doesn't count when you actually get to the career you want.

Penetration Tester (1, Offtopic)

russlar (1122455) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410117)

I'll be looking for a job as a penetration tester

You want a job masturbating?

Re:Penetration Tester (1)

NinjaTariq (1034260) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410231)

Why would you equate penetration to masturbation? One is a poor alternative when you can't get the other.

Surely it would be better to equate it to testing lubricant or contraception or something like that?

Re:Penetration Tester (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26410235)

I'll be looking for a job as a penetration tester

You want a job masturbating?

No, stupid -- he wants a job fucking . What part of penetration don't you understand?

Know the business (1)

AngryNick (891056) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410119)

In my company (not a software company), people are most likely to be hired (and later let go) because of a new project. Many non-essential projects (i.e. just about everything) die and new ones become more sparse in a down economy. But, if you can show you know "the business" -- the way the company makes money and generates funding for new projects -- you can often provide more value outside of the project become a captain instead of a passenger on the sinking ship. A good goal these days is to be the last man/woman standing in hopes that the economy will pull up before the whole company goes under.

It's hard to do when you're first starting out, but I would be open to taking on non-IT tasks and kissing whatever ass you need in order to get out of the sweatshop. Start lunching with the people who pay the bills for your company and become their IT-bitch if necessary.

Good luck. Glad I'm not looking for a job this week...don't know about what I'll be doing next week.

Play the long game (1, Offtopic)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410127)

When lay offs come, assuming you don't have the connections/get lucky and get in to one of the diminishing supply of equal or better jobs, what do you do?

Do you hold out, unwilling to sacrifice any of that seniority on your resume, hoping to get just as good a job - but losing money and gaining a big "unemployed" hole on your resume while you do?

Or do you suck it up, take whatever's paying, cash in some of your seniority for easily out competing everyone else for a more junior job that pays now and doesn't leave that hole?

Or there's always the third option: Leave the industry.

Quite a lot of people do leave. Quite a few have enough savings that they'll try holding out for as long as they can. But a lot will be taking that step down in exchange for still being able to make their mortgage payment, keep their kids in school, pay rent, etc. That means, in any recession, you're not just competing against your fellow graduates, you're competing against last year's graduates who can't get out of the positions and are still clinging on and the more experienced folk who're doing whatever it takes to survive.

So, yes, there are always some jobs - but less of them with dramatically stronger competition.

So, bad news: It's going to be tough.

Good news: In five years, we'll be out of this slump and the opposite circumstances will apply. There'll be less qualified people and anyone with qualifications and experience, being in desperate demand, will profit hugely from it.

Honestly, there's no better time to be poor than as a recent graduate. It sucks, sure. But it sucks far less than being poor again once you've got used to money and have a wife and kids who expect you to support them too plus a mortgage you now can't pay.

The trick is to weather the next several years as effectively as possible. No, you almost certainly won't be as well off as you imagined when you enrolled in that course. But, if you suck it up, if you do whatever you need to now, you'll be exceptionally well placed when the industry recovers.

Along those lines: Get that experience on your resume. If you can't get it as paid experience, donate your time as a sys admin to a charity, a community group, whatever. You want to know what's worse than being a graduate with no experience? Someone who graduated a year ago and still has no experience. If you can't sell your time, donate it - in exchange for that donation, you're getting experience that you can parlay in to a paying job later. Do whatever it takes, keep working even if it doesn't pay or doesn't pay as well as you like. Because, five years later, when the economy does recover as it always does, those few with the experience get to make a lot of money again.

Re:Play the long game (2, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410239)

In five years, we'll be out of this slump

It may take much longer than that. After 1929, the stock market didn't reach its previous high until 1954. And that was with WWII in the middle. Japan hasn't come back from their 1989 crash yet. This recession may be "L-shaped".

The really depressing analysis is that not only is this the start of the Second Great Depression, it's when we start running out of key raw materials like oil, copper, etc. Slowly, industrial civilization, which is only two centuries old, winds down. The world becomes the Rust Belt. We end up with a sustainable society in which life is nasty, brutish, and short. Probably Islamic, too; Islam does well in dysfunctional societies.

Get experience even without a job. (2, Insightful)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410153)

You ask if jobs are available, and of course they are, its just that every job (theoretically) goes to the most qualified person. Experience is key to that, but you don't even have to find a job to get it. I spend all kinds of time poking around on google or hackaday finding neat things to learn about. I'm a mechanical engineer but i taught myself C# recently (hey, it works) and i can write some pretty useful apps for work now. I taught myself CNC programming because i didn't want to wait to take it as a grad student (and i never ended up graduating). I spent many hours in high school learning how to use basic stamps and build an omni-directional hexapod before i even got to college. My high school was a podunk mountain school with wood shop being the most technical class, but i went out on my own and learned what i need to know.

You should do the same, whatever field it is you want to learn, go practice it as much as possible. Be able to wow interviewers with your knowledge of things that you could only have by trying it, not by hearing about it in a classroom. Of course getting a job will teach you that stuff but a lot of things can be learned at home too, before you have a job. As someone else said, even starbucks is good because it shows willingness to commit, but if you do end up there, you can still get experience at home. Hell, freshman year in college i didn't drink, so most of my friday and saturday nights were spent programming. I eventually got a good social life (yay booze!) but i learned a lot that year.

My junior year i heard about a local place that needed a mechanical engineer, and even though i hadn't graduated, all of my personal experience is what got me the job. I ended up finishing my senior year but i still needed a lot more credits, and i was so burnt out i said screw it, started full time at that job, and now have excellent pay, flexible hours, and a sweet job in general.

Now i have even more experience from what i've done at this job, but i wasn't just sitting around before that, and you should make sure you don't either.
-Taylor

penetration tester (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26410155)

Yeah right, you and everyone else.. goodluckwiththat.

Pen Test, start with Big 4 or sister companies (5, Insightful)

Goblygoop (1450179) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410169)

I worked as a pen tester a couple years ago. Some may not agree, but go for one of the Big 4 accounting firms or their sister companies. The company name is huge on resumes, you learn lots of business stuff. Knowing how to properly document, follow procedures, create repeatable tests is extremely important. You can learn this in both sides, either audit or implementation. I started in implementation. Knowing how to build something makes it much easier to take apart (pen testing). You learn how the technology is implemented and what mistakes are normally made. I went from there to auditing and pen testing. I was immediately the top "tech" star (which was sad), but I didn't know how to properly document. Audit firms are masters of documentation. From there you can jump into full on pen testing. People that don't have a rounded background are not good pen testers IMO. If you are in DC area, you have many options. Audit has sox and fisma, fiscam and a boat load of others.

Whatever you do, don't be idle! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26410243)

Absolutely don't be idle. Do something that you can put on your resume that isn't laughable. The less you can show for a longer period of time the more untouchable you become.

Volunteer for an open source project. Or start your own company making websites, shareware, or mobile apps.

No matter what you do, you bust your ass working. None of this play video games and watch TV in your parents basement while you wait around for a good idea. If you can point to it on the web and demo it, you're as good as hired if you want a job. If it's just a line on your resume with nothing substantial to demonstrate in an interview, forget it. You might as well have watched movies.

Obviously if you can do all this and have zero time unemployed (i.e. graduate with open source and/or commercial projects already in the wild), you will do even better.

Re:Whatever you do, don't be idle! (1)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410677)

It's sad that we're not allowed to take long periods of time off in this society without having some sort of "story" behind it. And we wonder why there's such a problem with drugs and what not.

You LFAIL iT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26410253)

Brecent Earticle put

Please don't put "Jobs" in the title of stories (1)

hobbit (5915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410307)

Please don't put the word "Jobs" in the title of stories. My brain is already attuned to filtering them out on the basis that it's yet another story about Steve's health.

Grad School (2, Interesting)

rlp (11898) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410313)

Go to grad school while you wait for the economy to turn around. In fact, you might want to go for a PhD.

New Grad Jobs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26410317)

With software "engineering", your options are a bit more open than most other BSc positions.

Think about the following:

      Software testing
      Entry level helpdesk

Software testing is the traditional entry point for software engineers. No programming, but lots of practice on test cases, methodologies, etc.

Entry level helpdesk is your other option. Easy to get in, and gets you some 'hands on' experiences dealing with users.

Despite the news, (1)

evil_neanderthal (1024405) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410337)

companies are hiring. If you lay off a hundred useless employees you're probably hiring twenty new people to do the jobs the laid off failed to do.

I have a similar problem... (1)

tompiori (1444163) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410357)

Hi, I have a similar problem. In a few month I'm going to take my MSc. in CS from a 3-tier Italian University. Now, I'm quite good in the fields I've chosen (Computer Security and anonymity protocols), and I've done an internship in a big IT corporation in Switzerland, so luckily I stand a bit out of the crowd. But I still have to compensate the fact that I'm graduating from a not well-known university. I don't want to remain in Italy, because it's a crappy country. For a series of reasons (family, bad advices from former friends, lack of entrapreneurness) I did not go to study in some better University, despite the fact that I wanted. So, I was thinking, after graduation, to go to Germany to study German for a few weeks (I already can read it to a basic level, but I need to improve my existing knowledge, expecially in speaking and listening), and then spend the summer in China, South Korea or Japan to learn Chinese, Japanese or Korean (which I don't know neither a word). I can financially afford this: In the latest years I saved some money, mainly because I still live with my parents, and I've not had the opportunity to travel a lot (for the same reasons as before...but that will change soon). But, is it worth it, expecially the trip to Asia? Would this really boost my resume? Maybe it's better to learn Russian? Thanks a lot

Follow the pork, Luke (4, Insightful)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410385)

Major hiring industries for the next few years, are going to be anyone, directly or indirectly, who receives a slice of the pork pie that the US government will be distributing.

Follow the news, and prepare applications for any industry that is looking for government money. If the industry gets rebuffed by the government, oh well.

If an industry gets some pork, send them your applications immediately.

Good, healthy companies are just going to ride out the next couple of years with the folks that they have, and won't be hiring.

Take what you can get! (1)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410429)

Right now is a terrible time to be looking for an entry-level niche position. Those jobs are being filled by mid and senior level workers who just got laid off and will work for an entry level salary to keep their family fed. And if you do get a niche job, youâ(TM)re likely to become the new senior technician when the more expensive hackers get laid off and their jobs are dumped on youâ"which is not a fun situation to be in.

What you need to do is get into a whatever IT job you can, keep working on security stuff at home or in test labs at work, and ride the recession out. Make connections. If you have security people on staff get to know them and show interest so that you might get promoted when something opens up. But whatever you do, donâ(TM)t sit around unemployed and hoping that the perfect niche job pops up, because in this economy thatâ(TM)s not likely to happen.

The hierarchy of experience/education is simple (3, Informative)

RichDiesal (655968) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410489)

Experience always trumps education.

Grades are important, but only while you are competing against other recent college graduates. If a company is hiring a new IT person and has 10 recent graduates to look between, the one with the highest grades will be an easy call for an interview.

But that isn't the situation now.

Right now, we have laid off IT workers who have already had a job, sometimes years of them, and that experience (and demonstrated success at holding a job for a while) is more valuable than your schooling, and a 0.5 difference in GPA.

Someone liked them long enough to let them keep an IT job for some number of years. You, however, are an unknown factor. Thus, they are the safer bet.

They have already proven they can stick to a college degree long enough to get it (as have you). They have also proven they can be successful in a real IT environment. Thus, they are 2 for 2. You are 1 for 2.

Just get any IT job you can find, at least for now. Trade up when options are better. Don't hold out for your dream job now, or you might not get anything at all.

Do you speak Hindi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26410649)

IBM, Dell, Microsoft, and dozens of other high tech companies are going to close facilities and layoff thousands of people, or have already done so.

But they're building up their facilities in China and India where the cost of living is low and people will work cheap.

If you speak Hindi or Mandarin, maybe they'll hire you to work for them there.

I Just Graduated (4, Interesting)

kevination (1410467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410665)

Hey, don't worry too much. I just graduated in December from Michigan Technological University with a 3.1, packed up a U-Haul, and moved out to NYC without a job offer. No one's heard of MTU out here, but within a week I had two really good offers, and got my salary up pretty high by having the two companies fight for me. I had two summer internships, I was the GM of a student group, and I had a student job at the sys admin place on campus. Anyway, it's not so bad. I highly recommend you pick a place that you want to live (and that has a decent local economy), move there, and start pounding the pavement. I spent 3 months applying for jobs in NYC from Michigan, and it was essentially useless. Once you're local, you're golden. Good luck!

Re:I Just Graduated (1)

pavera (320634) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410841)

LOL, classifying NYC as a "decent local economy" these days...

Heartening story though, thanks :) Everything I've heard from grads this year is absolutely abysmal.

Re:I Just Graduated (1)

kevination (1410467) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410919)

Tons of startups and lots of technology-related stuff is going on. I know Wall Street is dying, but I don't want work for a bank, and those old C programmers that got layed off from Citibank aren't much a competition for a young cheap kid who's up on new web stuff.

Lots of college graduates are not finding jobs (1)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410681)

I read dice message boards fairly frequently. I could not help but notice how many college graduates could not find decent employment in IT. I collected some of the posts, and put them in a blog article:

http://techtoil.org/wiki/doku.php?id=articles:news_and_commentary [techtoil.org]

Chances are very slim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26410701)

1 year ago, we had 12 people supporting our office staff and production systems. After 2 rounds of layoffs, we are down to 4. Which also means that the only people remaining are those of many hats.

So, just getting out of school you are pretty much screwed. There are a lot of very talented people with experience out of work. Don't expect to be making what the experienced people are making. Hell, don't expect more then a paid intern.

Get anything you can and hold out until the economy turns around then you will have the experience. You might need to move back in with your parents :D

Subject (1)

z-j-y (1056250) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410805)

It's not a good time to enter job market. If you can find a job, it will be very unpleasant experience and you might burn out after a year. Stay in school, get a master degree or something.

Don't be discouraged (1)

rahuja (751005) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410809)

The best advice I can give you is to not be discouraged, to know what you learned from your classes, your projects (more important), and perhaps your own self-motivated learning (development, playing around with stuff, whatever), and to try to show that in your resume and subsequently interviews. The last thing you want to do is think that having no experience is a hindrance to getting a job and ruin your confidence.

Note that contrary to what some people have suggested here, not all employers look for experience for all positions- though it might help (even if your experience was an internship). You have no idea how much someone brimming with ideas fresh out of college can contribute to a company - I personally have learnt a lot from colleagues who are technically less experienced than me.

I don't know if your college hosts a career fair, and if so, how many tech. companies visit, but if they do, that's probably your best bet. Both my jobs, first as an IT Systems Integrator at the world's largest chip manufacturer, after my BS, and the second as a software engineer after grad school, have been via career fairs, albeit in better economic times.

As far as I know, even companies who have frozen external hiring because of the economy, continue to hire (at least internships) from colleges because they want to maintain their relationship with these universities, so that they can continue to acquire good talent when things start getting better (sooner or later).

Fairs are easy, because you get to talk with the employers, understand what they do, and what they are looking for, see if you're a good fit (in your own eyes), hand a resume, and then hopefully be interviewed.

Even if that's not an option for you - some of my friends weren't as fortunate and didn't have on-campus career fairs, they were able to use their acquaintances etc. to apply and have their resumes noticed.

So don't think whether the downturn has a negative impact on the IT job scenario - instead, focus on honing your own skills, and present yourself confidently as the best candidate.

I have found that keeping a karmic approach (focusing on your duty rather than what the unpredictable end result might be) usually helps out even in the stickiest scenarios.

All the best!

Three letters (3, Insightful)

davebarnes (158106) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410887)

NSA
CIA
DIA

yeah (1, Informative)

pkbarbiedoll (851110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26410899)

Learn Hindi.
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