View Full Version : IT industry question

04-12-2002, 02:01 PM
I thought I'd ask you guys about this

I am doing an IT course - a basic intro to programming next year at one of the NAtcoll campuses (36 week course, teaches c++, java, linux etc etc) my aim is to get work in the IT industry after graduation...

as I presume this course will only give the very basics how valuable in real terms will it be?

do IT employers look fondly on these courses or do they want bachelors of Computer Science etc? (Natcoll course BTW is NZQA approved - and costs around $6000 in a student loan)

BTW I already have a graduatre degree in English (MA). I've found this hopeless in getting a job however (ESOL teaching a possibility but the nationally recognised course to qualify - which they all require costs $3,000) - I'm in my mid 30's and wanting to retrain.

any comments/thoughts?

04-12-2002, 02:08 PM
My wife is completing her ESOL training with an exam tomorrow, they like people with a Masters in Dubai and you get a free apartment.

As for geek qualifications, you need interest and aptitude otherwise you are wasting your time. The market is flooded with people without either but qualifications and they can't get work. Even people with a bit of both have been struggling. There is no magic bullet in getting a job in IT, you might have to be prepared to start at the bottom and work your way up.

ESOL seems a lot easier to get in to, but again interest and aptitude help a lot.


04-12-2002, 02:22 PM
Check out other postings asking similar things:



BTW - After reading both of those... someone from datacom expressed an interest in me, I've posted off my CV, and am hoping that something comes back soon!

You're not alone....



04-12-2002, 02:29 PM
I'll pipe in (again) and say that qualifications really don't mean a lot unless you are prepared to start down the bottom and crawl your way up kissing butts as you go along :) Unfortunately too many people fall into the trap of assuming that with a qualification (like MSCE) comes the inalienable right to demand a job at the top. Experience is a much better tool for getting into the industry.

04-12-2002, 02:57 PM
Mmm.. Experience, while good, and and Certification, good too, are not enough alone.

I went in for my job interview in a white shirt and tie. I'd not had enough time to find my CV and update (Stupid me, that's a MUST - A good CV can really SELL you! 2 Pages MAX plus a covering letter). I went in there, feeling confident with myself, and yet not ready to boast too much about what I could do, focusing on my stong points, while being honest that I had absolutely no idea how to use Lotus Notes (Which was what the business used for mail etc.), but that I was willing to learn new skills. Since then, I've learnt how to use Lotus Notes (Obviously I've had to in a IS Support/Helpdesk role, You're expected to know it better than the rest), I have learnt basic linux skills (But fail miserably at home experiences due to 16Bit network cards being rather incompatible...), I've learnt how DNS works and do some work on the DNS server from time to time.

Make sure they know you are a team player too, Dont start every sentanct/paragraph of your CV with "I"! Try to lead up to it in the middle of the sentance. This was recently pointed out to me by my current employer when showing him my updated CV.

Be all that you can be - R Kelly once said (or sung) "I Believe I can FLY". Go into an interview, believing you can be all that you want to be, yet be humble enough to realise that you arent there yet and that things like that take time and input from other people too.

Get to know people in the business. I got my job in the Cyber Cafe by going there once or twice, and then needing to burn a CD, I started chatting to the owner about burning, and taught her in a non-threatening way that you can re-use CD-R's, rather than using CD-RW's to write to a CD more than once. Get to know the people in the industry, build contacts and friends.

That's about all my advice, and I'm sure I've repeated myself in these last three posts to do with getting a job but that's okay I guess.

Good luck for the future.


04-12-2002, 04:06 PM
thanks all

although your replies don't actually fill me with optimism

feels like this course I'm going to do isn't actually worth that much going by your comments

though ofcourse I will be able to meet people in the industry etc doing it...

I wonder too if my age might be a minus factor to prospective employers?

I am quick to learn (14 months ago I'd never even been on the internet!)and intelligent enough to tell when I do NOT know something (not a common attribute in IT males IME) I have a background in music and journalism and literature maybe an IT writing/journo job?

need anyone PCW?



04-12-2002, 04:13 PM
Of course it will be worth something, You're right, you will get to know people in the industry.

Age I wouldnt think should be a deterrant for prospective employers. When you get around to writing up your CV and going for interviews and stuff, Sell yourself. Try mailing off your CV to a hundred and one different places. Dont send it to reception, send it to head CIO and things like that. It cant hurt if you send it out to hundreds of places, at least some of them may pass you onto another company that may have a job opportunity for you.

BTW, Any education at all that's tertiary level looks great. Something like Into into Programming at Natcoll School of Technology sounds great, and put NZQA beside it and it'll be icing on the cake.

Dont be discouraged. Meet people, send out a CV, and go for it!

04-12-2002, 04:36 PM
yes mentioned heaps already. you have to sell yourself in a competitive env. there's many applicants, they may have only a few places or just one.

having the degree's in IT does not necessarily get into IT. for eg.. i know a person who works as a IT sales rep for Compaq and he's done a micro-enginerring degree at one of the better uni's outside singapore - think was Australia or USA. And u know how good NUS (National Uni of S'pore is.....) He is working in s'pore. U may have an accountants degree and have nothing to do w/ accountants role etc...

It is not a specialist degree like a MBChB or BDS (dentistry) when u are 100% find work after grad, or u can open ur own practice. "opening ur own IT company".

Rob has said maybe u need to work ur way up. Only the top students are headhunted. By not being young - a company may prefer a younger person since he is more willing to learn (v generally). And have a longer potential career time for the compan(ies). I tend to believe u are learning a skill. A person is to sell their skill to the employer. Skill can contain many eg.. organisational, work habit, communication, critical thinking, critical analyse, broad thinking

04-12-2002, 06:55 PM
hey pls
tell me how do one person get into a journo tourism job?!
i have a
BA, BCom, PGDipTour (tourism), the bachelors in economics and arts.


Greg S
04-12-2002, 07:07 PM
Chilly - where'd you learn Lotus Notes? I've done a rudimentary search online but haven't found anything. If you managed to get some free tutorials, I'd be grateful for a source.

04-12-2002, 07:10 PM
i meant the bachelors in economics and mgmt.
not arts.....

I meant BA (arts) and BCom (commerce).

Greg S
04-12-2002, 07:12 PM
Partleper - Here's a good way to find out what employers are looking for...
Register for a couple of online job sites - seek.co.nz et al, and specify that you'd like to receive job info in all IT fields - when you get their emails they usually specify whether an IT qualification is a must or not - run this for about a month and you'll see a pattern emerge.

You'll probably find that breaking into the industry, although not difficult, is not highly paid until you gain a bit of seniority within the company.

PS - I'm envious of the English MA!

04-12-2002, 07:44 PM
thanks Greg S

regards the MA - English - literature/reading etc is always something I've been naturally good at - as such to me the degree meant/means little...

actually as many of u have said qualifications actually mean little in the real world...

I mean few jobs are that difficult to learn