Originally Posted by JaseVaughn
Corey, I think that having your A+ and getting Network+ is a great start and gives you the proof that you have choosen I.T. as your field of work. That being said, As you can see from my Signature I am already a Systems Administrator. Although my technical title at work is Systems Engineer as well as a SharePoint Administrator. Let me start off by saying that I have no college what so ever. I am only 21 years of age too. I got into this line of work as soon as I could get a Bench Technician Job at Circuit City back when I was only 18 years old and before that I was doing it as a project side job in my teen years. All the jobs since Circuit City I have held didn't even care if had a College Degree or was attending. The main thing they wanted to see was proven experience in my field and that I know what I am doing. Don't get my wrong I am not bashing a College Degree at all cause in the long run if you want to make it to a High Level IT Director or CIO it will definitely make that happen easier. I am saying however that it would be wise if your not already working at a I.T. related job then you'll want to change that. So that you start building that industry experience, even if it's only a bench tech job with the Geek Squad it doesn't matter it gives you the job history. When I was interviewed for this job I have now it came down between a 23 year old fresh out of college with a 4 year technical Degree and me with 4 years experience in the field and the CIO choose me over the other person. The I.T. field has shifted a lot now days toward doing that. Atleast where I live Jacksonville, Florida.
I agree that nothing beats work experience and I totally expect to loose out on a few jobs due to the fact that I have none. That said, I had a long conversation with one of my professors a few months ago regarding this topic. He said that even though I may not meet the specific requirements that are listed in job a posting (such as one on Career Builder), I won't have a problem getting a job. He stated that most of the "requirements" were basically suggestions for the perfect candidate. He also said that if a company with such an ad hired me, they'd start me out at the lower advertised pay rate and as I proved myself my pay would increase.
I'm not saying that your experience didn't play an important roll in you getting your job but, it is possible that the other candidate had other issues that prevented him from getting the job.
It should also be noted that my college classes aren't just lectures (I know at some colleges they are). All of my IT/computer related courses had a coinciding lab. While, I know this isn't "work experience", it's still hands-on experience and I believe it counts for something.