I am a 2012 graduate from the Pennsylvania College of Technology. I have aquired an Associates Degree in Information Technology with an emphasis in the Business of Networking.
Before attending Penn College, I worked a few different jobs until having to take a layoff in February 2009 from a company located on Reach Road in Williamsport. In January of 2010, I decided to further my education, and through hard work and dedication I completed my degree in 2012. It has been the greatest feeling of personal accomplishment for me considering I turned 40 years old the year I graduated!
Now having graduated, I am extremely eager to find employment in the field I have chosen. There is one problem, one road block I was not aware of when finding employment in this field. Businesses hiring in IT (Information Technology) require anywhere from two to seven-plus years of job experience. I can understand this, to a point, but what happens to individuals, like myself, who have no prior work experience in this field?
I have been told, on several occasions, that most IT careers start at the help desk level helping with technical problems concerning PCs, email, etc. I get that! I have no problem starting at the bottom of the ladder, I have been there before!
Here is the real situation. I recently applied for a position, through a local staffing agency, as a network technician. The position is posted as "Entry Level" and education requirements were high school diploma/GED. The job description detailed the knowledge of most everything I acquired through my education. I had my interview at the staffing agency and was told that I do not qualify for this position due to lack of experience!
Where is an individual, like myself, supposed to start if I dont even qualify for entry level positions? How are people, such as myself, who have worked so hard to improve their situations and acquire a college education, supposed to start in a new field and new career path if the degree they have attained does not qualify them for even the most entry level of positions? Businesses, I feel, will miss out on many reliable, hard working employees with these restraints! People need to be given a chance, instead of just having the door slammed in their face, to prove they can still do the work required, with some on-the-job training, without having prior experience!
Sometimes I feel like I have just wasted two and a half years, and $30,000, of my life on something that is destined to become nothing. Though, in my heart, I would not change a thing about my decision to attend college at such a late stage in my life. I have a renewed sense of pride and accomplishment that I would not exchange for anything!