Thinking About A Career
In The Technology Field?
Think Again .

I stumbled upon a Yahoo article today, though I get my news from CNN . It was about the ten best jobs paying $40,000 or more, that you do not need a four year degree for. The number one job position was a systems administrator in the information technology industry.

Let's get a few things cleared up about being a network engineer, systems administrator, or any other computer related position. You may not need a four year degree to get the job, but just because you spend all day on Facebook and know how to use Microsoft Word inside and out, does NOT qualify you as a computer expert. Most all technology positions require quite a bit of education and usually years and years of experience. I entered the technology field when I was 21 years old. I spent $5,000 on my first certification. While a certification is not a four year degree, it requires passing an exam, and sometimes multiple exams. In fact to obtain my first computer certification, I actually had to pass SIX exams.

The people in my class, where much older than me. In fact, I was the youngest person by more than ten years. These people were looking for a change in their career, but all of them did not grasp the concepts and information that was being provided to them. I had been using computers since I was a child, which was unusual at the time because most home didn't have computer when I was growing up. A computer was a luxury, not a necessity at that time. At 15 years old, there was no high-speed Internet, actually there was no public Internet at all. There were things call Bullet Board Systems (BBSs). Honestly I had no experience with the information being taught in the class, so I was at the same disadvantage as everyone else. The difference was that I had the drive, the desire, and the ability to learn extremely complicated and technical information much faster than them.

I was the first person in the class to take the first exam. I passed with flying colors. I wanted to show the teacher, all of the people in the class, and the school that nobody could learn it like I could learn it. The classes were three days a week at night and each of the six sections were two to three weeks long. As the class progressed and I built up my confidence, I started taking the exams even before that section of the class were complete, and passing. I had passed my first three exams by the time the next person had taken their first exam. The entire class was making a HUGE mistake as well. They should have been taking the exams while the information was fresh in their mind because by the time we got to the last section, more than likely they would forget some of what they learned in the first section. All in all, I finished my sixth and final exam several classes before the course was complete and obtained my Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) certification.

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The next closest person in the class had only passed their third exam by that time, and the majority of the class had not taken any exams or passed one or two. I had done it. I had proven that nobody in the entire school could grasp information technology like I could. I was the school's star student. I was the youngest person to ever achieve the certification in the school, which was quite large.

I returned to the school to get several other certifications over the next few years. You see, what Yahoo fails to mention in their article is that information technology and the concepts are constantly changing. Within two years, my MCSE certification was no longer valid or accepted in the industry. By that time, I was able to get my employer to pay the next $5,000 to get the updated certification, MCSE 2000. Once again, I became the youngest and fastest student to get the certification. What could I say, it just came naturally to me, as I read the information and studied hard. It also was interesting to me. I loved to learn it. I have always been interested in math and computers . I hope my son will have the same love and desire to learn as I did with math and computers. I hated history, science, and even English, which is somewhat ironic since now I spend most of my time writing articles on my computer. I have a new found love for English and am constantly researching definitions and reading to broaden my vocabulary. Anyway, back to the story at hand.

Yahoo's article makes it sound like it is easy, and that if you can surf the Internet, you can get a job in the technology industry. LOL. Let's move on to the next part of MY story and article. I managed to obtain a job paying $40,000 a year in Rockville, MD at a big company. My first year there, they were impressed with my skills and abilities and I received a 20% raise. I was making $48,000 a year by age 23. I was living in the DC Metro area, and my girlfriend and I wanted to purchase a home but could not afford anything in the region, so we decided to scope out other markets. We looked at Richmond, VA because it was still close to home. We actually wrote a deposit check for a home and the REALTOR® refused to accept it, because he said it was a big decision and we should think about it more. This act of God, turned out to be the most important life changing event that has ever happened in my life. As we continued to think about it, we decided to pay a visit to Raleigh, North Carolina, a market where Research Triangle Park and the Triangle area, were supposed to be a great place for information technology jobs. We immediate found a house we loved and it was cheaper and bigger than anything in Richmond. We bought it. A few weeks later, the Richmond REALTOR® called asking if we had made a decision, I laughed and said, “Yeah, we bought a house in Raleigh.”

So at this time, I was 23 years old, making $48,000 a year, had 7 computer certifications on my curriculum vitae (or CV) , and now FIVE years of experience. I had my MCP, MCSE, MCP 2000, MCSE 2000, Exchange, C.N.A., and CCNA certifications . The job search was now officially on. I was even willing to accept a massive pay cut. I would have been willing to take a job that paid $30,000 just to get in the door at a new company. There was a few things that I did not realize. September 11, 2001 was the worst tragedy in America's history. We had finalized the deal on our home in December of 2001 and were not closing on it until February of 2002. I had 3 months to find a job. There was no way that a company was not going to hire a young, brilliant, hardworking, and motivated person like me. I started applying for position after position after position. You see, at that time, the technology bubble had just burst, combined with companies downsizing, and fewer jobs and more applicants, equaled a very difficult situation. I am not exaggerating when I say this; I applied for more than 700 jobs in and around Raleigh, North Carolina over the following six months. I had also sent out fliers to everyone in the vicinity of our new home to get some lawns to mow and try to do home computer repair as extra money.

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I was now June and we had been paying for a house in Raleigh, that we were only living in on weekends, when we drove four hours to get there just to work on painting it and giving it our touch. Out of the 700 jobs I applied for, I had gotten maybe 5 interviews, and was highly discouraged. My girlfriend, had found a job and moved down there without me, because we couldn't afford for me to give up my $48,000 a year job. Finally, in July of 2002, I decided that I didn't give a shit anymore. I told them I quit. I moved to Raleigh to figure out the next stage of my life.

I moved to Raleigh and continued to look for work. I finally found a position after nine long months of searching. It paid $30,000 a year and was with a company called 4 Front Systems, currently called NWN Corporation . My manager was Tom Steagall. I had no choice. It was only a contract position so when the contract was over, so was my job. Tom Steagall was a good guy and a great person to work for. He respected my talent and skills, and gave me an opportunity. In all seriousness, our relationship went sour when they jobs I kept going on were dead end. I was bored out of my mind. I needed something more challenging than a systems administration career, and by that point all of the good jobs were taken.

NWNIT's contract ended and so did mine and I had to continue to look for work. I remember sending Tom Steagall one last email letting him know that I would be someone he would remember. Tom Steagall is lucky that I blame our failed relationship on my own immaturity. I was only 23 years old when I worked for Mr. Steagall, I didn't know much about burning bridges at the time. I didn't really care, I would like to talk to Tom Steagall again since it has been years, maybe I will look him up on Facebook.

By the time I finally was offered a position paying $45,000 a year again, I had decided that I liked working for myself far more than working for a company that was never going to truly value what I had to offer. I turned the position down. My landscaping and computer business was barely surviving, but it was better than feeling undervalued. So tell me this, now that you have read this article about getting a job in the information technology field, are you still really considering it? I mean if I spent an entire year looking for jobs and could not get one with my experience and background, do you really believe that those bogus television ads telling you how easy and simple it is, are going to be able to find you work? LOL, again. Good luck. I am NOT trying to discourage you, I am explaining that the ODDS are against you.

So currently, how do I make money? Well, I entered into the Internet marketing and advertising industry as well as continue to do construction. I also combined the two, and am the marketing agent for many fence companies, such as O' Town, a Wisconsin based one. Because I am still so experienced with computers, I am able to get just about any website to the top of the search engines. I have self taught everything that I currently know about marketing and advertising, and once again, I outshine anyone around. There is not a single person in my area and market that can achieve the same results that I can. Currently Yahoo is the worst search engine around, so if you are still using Yahoo, and read the article that I have been talking about, you probably shouldn't be in the computer industry as well. The websites that I have designed and optimized have grown substantially over the years and all currently achieve top 10 rankings on Google , something that many try to accomplish but very few succeed at.

We have built a large client base in many different industries throughout North Carolina, Georgia, Texas and the United States. Contact us for more information as to how our company can help yours. Today I am a self-proclaimed Certified Google Information Systems Search Engine Rankings Engineer. I don't need any exams, classes, or tests because I am the one that should be writing the exams and implementing the certifications. While I am a Google AdWords Certified Professional , AdWords doesn't exactly touch on the skills that I have. In order to be successful on you must understand the algorithm and formula to success.

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