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WHAT ARE SOME BEST WAYS TO GET AN ENTRY LEVEL JOB.

So specifically does anyone , think that entering with a certification is more valuable than a degree itself? Also what kind of limitations does having or not having a degree give you rather having or not having certifications. How many people have you seen at the top without a degree, but only having a certification. What are the best approaches towards gaining a entry level job , and also what are some ways to build communication skills to prepare for interviews. #entrylevel #networkengineer #job-application

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Elena’s Answer

I have hired many fresh graduates without any previous job experience. For me, the deciding factors often were their cover letter and the interview itself. If the cover letter looks like it was mass mailed to every company out there, and is not specific enough for the job, it is always a red flag. But if you have done your homework, researched the company you are applying to, and explained why do you want the job, you would at least get a phone screen. I would never expect fresh graduate to have technical skills needed for the job, but I would happily invest my time into development of someone who is passionate, intellectually curious and is eager to learn. It is always a joy to see them growing professionally!

One of my best senior scientists had a certification from a European technical school and not a graduate degree. She was amazing in every sense, and has achieved a successful and fulfilling career. Hard work and right attitude always win in a long term, no matter what the starting point was.

As for acing the interviews, I would suggest working with a coach, or with someone who has done a lot of hiring in a similar field. Unless you want to learn from your own experience which is OK too, but it may take a bit longer!

Feel free to reach out to me if you have more questions. Good luck!
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suraj’s Answer

he current gap between graduates’ abilities and employer expectations can’t be stressed enough. A recent survey found that across the spectrum, the majority of employers don’t feel that new graduates have the skills required by the marketplace.


While commentators may endlessly debate the root cause — some say colleges aren’t performing their function, while others argue employers’ expectations are too high — the results speak for themselves: your degree, while certainly necessary, is not the shining accomplishment it once was.


For that reason, a resume that devotes the majority of space to academic accomplishments simply isn’t effective anymore.


In your job hunt, keep your academic accomplishments short, sweet and to the point: where you went, how you did and what you learned.

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Bill’s Answer

Be honest with who you are and look for positions that first off you have an interest in the work they are doing. No reason applying for something and getting it then not liking the work as that will make getting up to go to work painful.

Before you attend the interview, research the company. Know who they are, what they do, who they serve and think about what you can do for them, even as an entry level person, to meet those things. Prepare some meaningful questions around your research. Remember, you are selling yourself to them so you are going to want to show how you can help them meet their goals to their customers.

While in the interview, be confident...NOT cocky, there's a difference. Be early, always best to wait on them as you don't want them waiting on you. Listen to what they say, and think about your responses. It's ok to even ask to hear the question again to compose your thoughts and then respond. Before leaving, get their contact information...email address, you'll need this for the next step.

After the interview, send a thank you note to the person or persons you interviewed with. If multiple people, make them personable, not the same as they will share them with each other and a form thank you note isn't genuine.

As far as certifications over degrees go, that's going to be an industry specific item that without knowing more specifics it's hard to answer. I'd say if you're going into a field that has a college program associated with it that's probably going to be the best route. Keep in mind that designations, degrees, etc. those are ways for employers to weed someone out. Not that you may not be the best candidate without the degree or ever use the degree, it's a way to reduce the numbers.

As far as building communication skills go, while there are courses devoted to this, in my opinion, the best way to do it is to practice it. When I started out in insurance, part of our training program was to attend company social events and mingle with the agents that represented us and strike up conversations with them. I'm not an extrovert by any means, or at least I wasn't and doing this was hard. However, being forced to figure out ways into and out of a conversation were very valuable and today over 25 years later you'd think I'm an extrovert, again which I'm not. I don't get the energy back from people conversing with them like a true extrovert does, this tires me out, but I've found my way and it's easy and comfortable.

I hope this helps at least somewhat, if you have more questions, feel free to reach out.
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Reemon’s Answer

Hi,
This is very good question!
There is no easy or simple answer here because every person's situation is uniquely different, so it simply depends on your situation and what you're trying to accomplish here and your time frame to doing so. Certifications and Degrees are not more or less valuable than the other, they do complement each other and enforces each other, and they can help you differently in different situations. I don't see any limitations here, but I see a good tools for the right job kind of situation.

Both are designed to serve slightly different purpose, certification tend to be more specific and targeted towards a certain technology, role, or tasks with deeper depth and narrower scope and often are role-centered while Degrees are broader in scope, not as deep because they cover much larger knowledge base or surface and includes numerous and diverse subjects and fields.

Certifications are faster to obtain and much cheaper than Degrees, which is very important when you're trying to start your career, seeking to gain experience, or looking to get your foot into the field. Generally speaking, certifications serve you much better at the beginning and especially if you don't have experience and seeking an entry-level position. Based on my personal experience, I believe you need or should have some experience by the time you graduate of get your degree. That is because experience is more appreciated by employers than degrees. Now don't get me wrong here, degrees are fine, but in the job market employers are more focused on hiring someone who can do the job and hit the ground running and that is why you'll see more people with degree without jobs than people with experience and no job.

On top of being able to obtain them in short period of time and being much more affordable than degrees, certifications can show you can do the job which is the employer's main reason behind hiring you, they have a specific role or position (business need), and they want to make sure you can do the job effectively and often they want to make sure you can hit the ground running.
Now, degrees do that too but differently, they serve you better at the more advanced position or senior level in your career, meaning you'll eventually have to get one. However, if you're just starting out it will be much better and wise to focus on obtaining a certification and gaining some experience short term while deciding on what specific degree program or field you want to pursue but if you already know and made your mind then do that first or while you're working on the degree for long term or for when you're ready for more senior role or leadership positions.

Based on my personal experience, geographic locations tend to have slightly different requirements, needs, and priorities. For example, by working overseas i have met couple IT professionals with a high school diploma and few certifications, so degree wasn't a big factor for them perhaps because positions overseas require traveling, dealing with different weather and culture, and often handling difficult environment which is not meant for everyone. But many of them got their jobs through referrals and connections, which clearly can give you an edge and speed the process for you if you happen to know someone in the company you're trying to work for and that can introduce you or vouch for you. Because good people know other good people. Also, many government IT positions require some level of security clearance and specific certifications like the CompTIA Security+ no matter what role or level you're in. So, in this case having the mandatory certification and a government issued security clearance gets you to the top of the candidates list perhaps over someone with a degree. So, think of those terms to determine what is required from you and what your plan of action going to be.

The wise thing to do and best approach would be first to know exactly what role or area in the IT industry you like and want to pursue a position in and then reach out to people or professionals who have those jobs, hold the tiles you want, or occupy those chosen roles to talk to them , expand your professional circle, and so you can gain an insight of what they do on that role on day-to-day bases.
Get the information, guide, and tips from people who been there and done it is best things you can do to make it clearer and easier for yourself. Your action plan should align all the factors, classes, and resources at your disposal to efficiently and effectively succeed in achieving the ultimate goal behind all of this which is becoming valuable to the marketplace in the chosen role and industry. The reason for doing all that is because IT industry evolved over time and it includes more specialized areas now than ever before, so specialization and role-centered knowledge and expertise has its own value in the marketplace.

Also, another but very important skill that is common and requested in most if not all IT roles and especially the more advanced and senior roles is a good and effective communication skills. I can say it enough, this one is big and can make a huge difference in your career and consequently in your life and sooner you master it the better.
A good way to start in this area or gain new and develop your existing communication skills and I would make suggestions to three books here and as a starter you should read at least one of them. Those are Wired for a Story by Lisa Cron, Stories That Stick by Kindra Hall, and The Anatomy of Story by John Truby. I found those books very helpful for being able to communicate better and with much more clarity and for preparing for the interviews too and hope you would too.
And for becoming more successful and effective I suggest three books here that I found to be both, extremely interesting and helpful. And suggest that you pick at least one of them to read and those are: How to Lead When You're Not in Charge by Clay Scroggins, The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins, and The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey.

Reemon recommends the following next steps:

Conduct research on the different roles, specialty, and field that interest you in the IT industry. And then reach out to IT professionals or people who occupy these roles, specialty, or desired positions to gain more insight, information, answers, and tips so you can be better equipped and informed to make an informative decision on which role or area is more desired or suited for you. In this regard I suggest having a journal or some type of notebook to document important information and takes notes and important points. Remember, our brains are designed for thinking and ideas and not for remembering everything.
Now that you have made your pick and have a specific role, specialty, or field in IT and which also make it easier to pick the right degree program, classes., and pertinent certifications (I find Cisco CCNA to be a foundational certification for many if not most roles so it should be your first one). So, armed with that knowledge you can and should create an action plan that incorporates having the most suited degree program, right people (People with the results you want and desire, and preferably holding the same title or position you desire) in your social and professional network or circles, and different ways to get experience like volunteering. For example, joining a free project, help local organization or church, or building home virtual or physical lab to do exercises and labs. But don't waste time waiting for someone to give you the experience, be creative, bald, and take initiative. Remember, actions speaks louder than words.
Increase and expand your social and professional network but with the aim of adding a quality and strategic connections that are meaningful for your career and for your personal development. Essentially, positioning yourself for success, future opportunities, and for learning from others. Having the right people or connections in your circles or sphere matters and can make a huge difference in your career. This is where you start positioning yourself in the marketplace for the right opportunity with the right company. Remember, doors can be opened in two ways, by knocking and by knowing someone from inside who can and is willing to open the door for you.
Get out of your comfort zone and get things done to maximize your potential. It is easier said than done but remember success is a result of the accumlated small actions and decisions over period of time. It would help to have a weekly and monthly schedule and anuual goals and use tools like alarms and reminders to be effective in excution.
Lastly, remember that everyone has the same 24 hours everyday, and what you do with it is what makes the difference and that is up to you ultimately. And that also is what puts you in the driver seat and makes your the architect of your future.
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