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Ask Slashdot: Getting a tech job with skills but no formal degree

fmatthew5876 (2657827) writes | more than 2 years ago

Unix 3

fmatthew5876 writes "I have a friend who graduated with a degree in philosophy and sociology. He has been spending a lot of his spare time for the last couple years learning system administration and web development. He has setup web servers, database servers, web proxies and more. He has taught himself php, mysql, and how to use Linux and openBSD without any formal education. I believe that if given the chance with an entry level position somewhere and a good mentor he could really be a great unix admin but the problem is that he doesn't have a degree in computer science or any related field. He is doing stuff now that a lot of people I graduated with (I was a CS major) could not do when they had a bachelors degree.

Do you all have any advice on what my friend could do to build up his resume and find a job? I know a lot of people think certifications are pretty useless or even harmful, but in his case do you think it would be a good idea? Thank you all very much!"

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going through this route myself (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#40257809)

I'm actually going through this right now, personally. Not as experienced, but same kind of issue. You basically are going to have an extremely high wall to climb - any company that has a bias towards degrees is going to have a bias against his person, even if they do better at the same job.

So it's going to be an issue of getting into a situation where you can prove your skills. For me, that process took almost 2.5 years.

Using Dice is still a good idea, though.

Tough Road (1)

Grimfaire (856043) | more than 2 years ago | (#40258265)

I've been working in IT for almost 20 years now and my lack of a degree still hurts me on the job market. Doesn't matter that I know more and have been doing actual work if they have a candidate with a degree I lose out every time.

Re:Tough Road (1)

fmatthew5876 (2657827) | more than 2 years ago | (#40259495)

Thats unfortunate. I think there is a lot of value in someone who is completely self taught. It's not very hard to get a degree.
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