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Hello all, just finished reading Joel's take on getting your resume read, and all in all, thought it was a pretty good read, with some exceptions that are mentioned below.  I was just wondering if anyone had any insight into the type of experience one would require when starting out in IT.  I am in second year of uni. taking CS and was wondering if doing certifications are of any use in "getting your foot in the door" when it comes to interviews and such.  So far the people I've asked have stated that it is either a total waste of money, while others seem to believe that it will get them ahead of the class.  Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Some industry experience as an intern would be nice.

Christopher Wells
Monday, January 26, 2004

I second the industry experience as an intern idea. It gives you valuable experience and creates instant contacts in the industry. Also looks great on a resume. You have experience over other grads right then and there.

One intern that I worked with got hired by a competing company right after he graduated.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Yup.  The unspoken point behind the advice to get some experience under your belt while you're still in college (University, if you're not in the U.S.) is to put in your grunt work now while you can afford to get paid squat.  A lot of companies expect you to start out on the Help Desk and work up from there.  If you get this out of the way while you're in school you won't have to start on the Help Desk when you graduate.  Of course if you can afford to work for free at an internship you might be able to do something cooler (i.e. junior programmer).  Either way, the college grad with experience will almost always get selected over an otherwise equally qualified grad without.

As for certifications, I think too many "paper certifications" has given them a bad smell as a significant deciding factor for most hiring managers.  Maybe if it's a highly specialized cert for a job with specific requirements, but an MCSE to answer phones on a Help Desk?  Why pay more for that guy when a college student at $10/hr will do just as good a job?

Monday, January 26, 2004

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