Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Free Technical Work advice

There are a number of things that get me going, I'm sure all will be discussed at one point in this blog. (St. Patrick's day is an example of one that tends to draw my irrational ire)

Here's another one.

http://finance.yahoo.com/college-education/article/109081/in-hard-times-lured-into-trade-school-and-debt

The article is about trade schools in most cases technology trade schools that basically prey on the naive. I can't stand these places. As someone that broke into the technology field with a Psychology degree and some self taught skills, it drives me insane that someone would pay upwards of 30k for an associates degree and some very soft skills in IT.

There are a couple issues with the programs.

1. Most tech jobs are entry level, unless you are coming out with your Computer Science degree and have interned at a company.

2. Entry level tech jobs are either 1st level support, or low level sales. For these spots a little ingenuity and motivation go way farther then IT school resumes.

3. By the time you advance to a new tech position, your IT skill set is likely worthless, as you'll have to have developed new skills to continue going forward. IT is an ever changing field, what that means is your ability to apply and utilize techniques is far more valuable then your knowledge. Computer science majors have a deep understanding of systems and code and our engineers, which means they pick up new systems and code rather easily. IT school graduates are highly skilled users which means, they've mastered the first level of technology work. (i.e be better then those you support).

I hate that these companies prey on people's fears, desires, and ambitions, and that's exactly what it is at 30k for the program, preying. I had one technician who worked under me that spent 36k and four years for the program and wound up with an associates degree. The funny thing about this tech, is the program definitely helped him, as he was a horrible tech before he got the position, but by the time he was done, all it meant was that he was finally qualified for the job he was in. And I guarantee he would have achieved it anyway under some guidance and with some time.

So, if you are sitting around with people and someone mentions their interest in ITT Tech or some other IT trade school, please send them to me, I'll be more then happy to give them a list of things they can do instead and how to focus on securing an entry level position and then how to try to grow into a new position once they secure one. Free of charge too.

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