[rescue] Mainframe on eBay

Barry Keeney barryk at chaoscon.com
Wed Sep 21 16:32:16 CDT 2005

On Wed, 21 Sep 2005, Mike Meredith wrote:

> On Wed, 21 Sep 2005 09:28:18 -0600 (MDT), Barry Keeney wrote:
> >   When I look at people for a computer job, If they've got a degree 
> > in a related field great! If not, I pretty much count it as a minor 
> > point against them. They spent all that time on something they don't
> > need for this job, why didn't they go back and get something usefull?
> If you're looking at employing people without experience, then someone
> with a CS degree has some advantages over someone without. But not that
> much ... I was first empoyed as a Unix SA with a freshly printed degree.
> Did I know the job ? Of course not. 

  I'm looking for the best person I can find for the computer 
jobs I'm asked to interview people for. If they've got a degree
in CS then at least they should know more about computers then 
the average english major. After all they spent 4+ years working 
on them. 

  But if they don't have any experience they'll start out at 
the bottom, same place someone with a little experience but
no degree. One year of experience beats a 4yr unrelated degree
(with no experience) hands down.  

> In theory *any* degree implies an ability to learn that someone without
> a degree may not have. And lets face it, being able to learn is far more
> important in IT than a set of skills acquired years ago.

  I'm not a trade school or university (I do teach at a
university, not english :^), I'm not going to pay top dollar 
for people without the required skills and then teach them the
skills. I will hire entry level and train them, but a degree
doesn't add much to what they already bring unless it's related
to computers.

  You put on your resume, English degree and no experence, you 
won't even make it into the unskilled entry level pile. I'd rather
have a high school grad for training then a college grad in
something unrelated. They're cheaper and more willing to 
do the grunt work required for entry level. I will suggest
they go to college on the side to learn more about the field.
Work will even pay for it as long as it's related to they're
> > the likely job market they'll enter with that degree. I have 
> > a friend who was about half a year from finishing a BS in bio. 
> > He was working at a pet store at the time and one day looked 
> > at his co-workers. The assistant manager had a master's in bio, 
> So? I have a friend with a PhD in physics who works as an AV technician.
> This doesn't say a *thing* about what other people with advanced degrees
> in physics do.

  The point, which you must have missed, it he wouldn't be 
using what he learn in college, unless he went for the PhD.
Even then he might end up working in a pet store.  

  If you spend all that time in school, you might what to
USE what you learned or even, call me crazy, work in that 
field! (I get some wild ideas sometimes :^)

  And if your friend stopped at his BS in physics and went back
for a BS in EE, he'd might be designing AV eguipment instead
of just working with them. But it was thier choice, if (s)he's 
happy who am I to say it was wrong. But either way doesn't
sound like they're doing work the degree prepared them for.

  By chance there are a lot of people here with physics degrees
here, almost all of them have PhD's. My understanding they
generally don't look at people without a PhD or maybe a masters
and never people with only a english degree, for the
physics jobs.

  Now I never said college is worthless or that a degree
in something you want is worhtless. But it is the job of 
the guidance counselor to give the student an idea of the
kind of jobs that degree will prepare them for. If the 
student still wants that degree then the counselor needs
to make sure the student is taking what's needed for that
degree. Maybe point the student a minor that might help
either in the field they're studing or for better jobs
after college, but it's still up to the student.

  With the cost of a 4+yr degree theses days, the kind of
job you get after college is important, if your ever going
to pay off them loans and do important things like eat :^)

Barry Keeney
Chaos Consulting
email barryk at chaoscon.com

"Rap is Square Dancing gone terribly, terribly Wrong...." 

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