I have five years experience in IT but I do not have a technical degree. I do have a Bachelors in an unrelated field.
In 5 years time the best job interviews I've had are usually with technical companies or managers may work in a non-tech company but are active technology professionals.
If I ever went through the normal HR process or my resume came across the desk of a non-technical manager, it would likely get flushed. Most of the time I suspect it was due to my lack of Computer Science degree.
Oddly enough, I have been at my present company for just over half-a-year and may be about to get moved up because of my work quality and overall performance. In the past, a company I worked for did not consider me for advancement because of my "lack of qualifications" despite the fact I had implemented a large number of enhancements during the time I worked for them.
When I read this forum I see a lot of frustration from people with REAL experience but no technical degree. I feel their pain. I'm just wondering if my experience is normal. It seems to me that non-technical companies value that CS degree far more than companies that actually work with technology as their core business.
You usually need both education and experience to get hired through the front door. Education is easier to acquire than that first paid IT job (check the posts on this board), so you may be ahead of the game. Colleges are always looking for students and many good schools offer night classes.
Also, did you build any apps or only modify them? Software maintenance is often prime meat for outsourcing.
Question for the group: In Rob's case, can Java certification substitute for a CS degree to get him past HR?
I think it has to do with luck and hard work. I am also not non-computer related degree, but I took some 3 month of technical courses from IBM and passed the SCJP just right after it.
I got this current job when the dot.com was at the end of its life in 2001. My friends and family could not believe that I got a job computer job in a Fortune 500 company. Besides that, I was hired a senior manager level . I am still working at this company.
Life is just full of suprises, as Forest Gump will say that life is like a box of chocolate....
Just to make this clear, I'm not currently looking for a job. I was thinking of this discussion more in context of those frustrated in finding a job themselves. I really am curious if my experience with technical vs. non-technical contacts/companies is typical. If so, maybe that is the direction that people with similar work experience need to go.
Oddly enough, I work for a technical company now and they were much more interested in my work experience and projects than education and certification. However, knowing that the dotcom days were not going to last forever, I did get my SCJP back in 2000. I can't say it's been of real benefit though.
As far as getting around HR, I definitely think that is always the way to go anymore anyway. Your typical HR rep is just matching resumes against the job posting laundry list and then tossing anything that doesn't match exactly. I've lost all faith in HR reps at non-technical companies when it comes to matching jobs.
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