I need your advice on how to get into the IT industry. I am reentering the job market after being sidelined from an automobile accident.
My background includes a progressively successful engineering (not in computer science) experience that involved extensive use of FORTRAN. This was followed by over 10 years of doing anything to survive. Then I took computer programming courses in C, SQL, Visual Basic, UNIX Shell scripting, and got A+ certified. In addition, I completed course work toward Windows NT4 core exams recently.
Yet, I cannot obtain even an interview for internship, part-time, or full time.
I would appreciate your input on how to get into either the programmer or networking prong of the IT industry.
The technical courseware you studied was definitely a step in the right direction. However, as you have experienced, it alone will not land you a job in today?s hiring environment. You will need to highlight aspects of previous programming experience (and even your 10 years of non-technical work) that will apply directly to future career opportunities.
In addition to seeking technical employment through internships or volunteer organizations, consider an entry-level position in a tech support role. Help desk experience offers a well-rounded knowledge base for a career in networking. And, in the mean time, continue your educational pursuits. Even after you do land a job, you will need to ensure your skills are always up to date.
This was first published in July 2001