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Can I Get an IT Job at a College, Even Though I Never Went to College?

Can I Get an IT Job at a College, Even Though I Never Went to College?

Can I Get an IT Job at a College, Even Though I Never Went to College?

(OP)

Good IT jobs aren't always easy to find. But there are always good ones at colleges and universities. Over the years, I've interviewed for lots and lots of jobs at colleges and universities. I've never gotten one though. I never went to college, and I wonder if that could be the issue. In my most recent interview, there were three professors with PhD's. One asked me what I was going to do about my "education."

I've never been to college. So, can I ever get an IT job at college?

RE: Can I Get an IT Job at a College, Even Though I Never Went to College?

Qualifications are, theoretically at least, an indicator of how well someone understands the field they are looking to work in, and working in academia requires academic qualifications. College/universities are looking to employ people who are more than simply 'drones', so unless the job you are trying for is purely menial you will need some form of documentation regarding your knowledge.

Chris.

Indifference will be the downfall of mankind, but who cares?
Time flies like an arrow, however, fruit flies like a banana.
Webmaster Forum

RE: Can I Get an IT Job at a College, Even Though I Never Went to College?

On the other hand, you only have to count to 'one', right?

You will need a better 'breaking the ice' joke than that one, but even a PhD should be able to understand that an IT job does not require cutting edge computer science, just because it's at a university.

IT does require specialized knowledge. It also requires the discipline to rigorously follow procedures that have been in place across the trade for decades. Any school will have an unlimited supply of 'Cowboy Coders' like me in their undergraduate population; that's probably not what they want on their IT staff.

I suspect you are allowing the PhDs to put you on the defensive; they love to intimidate people, which is easy for them to do, within their little arena. Just think to yourself "Not my monkeys; not my circus.".

RE: Can I Get an IT Job at a College, Even Though I Never Went to College?

If you can document experience to match their requirements and their hiring process isn't hijacked by academic dolts you have a good chance on being hired.

I've seen technical courses taught by PhDs that were totally clueless about the stuff they were supposedly teaching. Had to deal with a couple of them when I was doing adjunct instructor duties at a technical school many years ago and also saw if from the student side when I took a couple of courses. I didn't have to deal with any of them in the hiring process.

Ed Fair
Give the wrong symptoms, get the wrong solutions.

RE: Can I Get an IT Job at a College, Even Though I Never Went to College?

Well, you're getting as far as an interview, so you're clearly not being discounted purely on your lack of academic qualifications.

But academic institutions will clearly place a high value on formal education - it's what they do after all - so if you've followed a different path, you've got a barrier to conquer if you want to work in that sector.

Quote:

In my most recent interview, there were three professors with PhD's. One asked me what I was going to do about my "education."

What was your answer? If it was anything about real-life experience being more valuable than academic studies (however true that might be), expect a hard time from a room full of professors.

Is there any way you can study for a formal qualification part-time? If you feel you're losing out to competitors with better paper qualifications, "if you can't beat them, join them".

-- Chris Hunt
Webmaster & Tragedian
Extra Connections Ltd

RE: Can I Get an IT Job at a College, Even Though I Never Went to College?

If you know your stuff, and the college doesn't have a requirement for a degree, you can! And many colleges have free tuition for employees, so you can work there and work on your degree as well, assuming you want a degree.

==================================
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