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#1 toasterburn  Icon User is online

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Entry Careers with just an Associates?

Posted 08 March 2010 - 08:33 AM

When I married my wife last year, I realized that I needed a career that paid better and wasn't dead-end. So I started taking night classes and am now half-way through a 2-year degree in Programming and Networking. I'm really enjoying it, but I don't have the means to pursue a 4-year degree at this point. I do plan to take a few more independent computer classes after I get my Associates though, if only to broaden my skills a bit.

I realize that without experience and just an Associates degree that finding work will be difficult, but I'm not really sure what type of work to even pursue. What I need to know is, are there any good entry-level IT careers that I should be looking into with a 2-year programming degree and a handfull of web design classes? (I earn 30k at my job now, I'd like to earn 40k-50k in the next 5 years)?

Any advice is welcome, thanks.

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Replies To: Entry Careers with just an Associates?

#2 eclipsed4utoo  Icon User is offline

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Re: Entry Careers with just an Associates?

Posted 08 March 2010 - 11:58 AM

The problem with IT is that most companies are looking for people who have experience. It's a Catch-22 though. You need somebody to hire you before you can get experience.

Don't rely on your academics to get you the job. You need to make a good impression and reassure the company that you are a quick learner for things that you may not know.

I was lucky that the company I work for decided to take a chance on somebody with only an Associate's degree and very little "real-world" experience.

I would suggest doing projects on your own to build your portfolio(if you want to go into programming). In my opinion, your "real-world" experience weights more heavily than your academics. Somebody with 10 years experience with no degree will probably get the job over somebody with a 4-year degree with no professional experience.

This post has been edited by eclipsed4utoo: 08 March 2010 - 11:59 AM

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#3 Sethro117  Icon User is offline

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Re: Entry Careers with just an Associates?

Posted 08 March 2010 - 01:32 PM

As eclipsed4utoo said, build a portfolio. Do freelance work or work in your community. That helps you gain real experience and make a little money on the side. Also, try looking at Internships, these are a great way to gain experience for the real world. The great thing is if you do a good job and usually graduate towards the top of your class a lot of places will hire you after the internship is over.

Do you plan on sticking with your associates only or getting a Bachelors? I don't know where you're from but 40-50k a year on an Associates around where I'm from at least(NW Arkansas) is typically unheard of.
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#4 toasterburn  Icon User is online

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Re: Entry Careers with just an Associates?

Posted 08 March 2010 - 03:45 PM

I am planning on doing lots of side projects to build up a portfolio before I start looking for work, just waiting until I get a bit more into the program and know more.

An associates degree is the best I can do at the moment, it has been quite a juggling act of school and work just to get to this point.I don't expect to make 40-50k starting out, I just want to be in a field where I can reach that point in a few years with experience and a few extra night classes.
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#5 happycamper  Icon User is offline

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Re: Entry Careers with just an Associates?

Posted 31 March 2010 - 05:26 PM

It can be done. I got a 2 year degree in May of 2009. I looked for a job over the summer and found nothing. I went to a University in the Fall. I didn't like it and I didn't have the funds so I decided to go job hunting instead. I just got my first programming job today... 10 months after getting my degree.

Its rough man, for people like us with two year degrees, I'm not going to lie. Stay updated on the trends, create a portfolio, and it can be done.
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