Steve21 (14th August 2011)
I have just posted a new article to my blog after it coming up in thought the other day, I feel a discussion is better here! as everyone likes to have their say so please.. feel free to have a read and let me know your view
Food for Thought – Idea to help Unemployed, Students gain Expirience in IT « (James Evans) EduTech's Blog
Steve21 (14th August 2011)
Aye, I totally agree with the post.
After leaving uni I couldn't get a job for three months due to no-one wanting someone without any actual experience, hundreds of applications sent out, 2-3 interviews, all taking more experience users in the end.
In the end I was lucky and got a job at a local school under the FJF scheme (A temporary contract up to 6 months, working at a company, paid for by the scheme, rather than the employer. Thus they have no issues taking you on as such).
Three months later, a full-time position opened up at my current school and I applied and was lucky enough to get the spot, as the fact I had some experience really helped.
Without the original FJF scheme, who knows where I'd be now
Having recruited several times over the last few years it's becoming more of the norm to have a degree in a related subject (last techs job was over 60%). What stands out is the lack of experience applicants have.
One thing you've missed out is the value of industrial placements while at university. Getting on a degree course that has proven success of finding students good placements is going to become more and more important. 12 months experience on you're CV and a good reference is a big plus.
I think students need to be much more aware of what the university is going to give them, especially now they are going to be paying a lot of money to go there. A lot more could be done by schools to educate students about choosing the right university and course. My fear is students will look to the cheapest option - often without a placement - rather than the best.
So what can we do for those that leave without experience? In most other areas of business and if you have the connections / money, intern-ships help get that foot in the door however I don't see these as the solution.
Instead of a separate company or businesses being responsible for this, surely the best people are the universities - they've just taken thousands of pounds from the students, surely they should help them get a job / experience?
Another option would have been for local authorities to run these sort of experience schemes (we had some FJF workers in our premises team from the authority). This though isn't going to be easy now schools are opting to become academies.
From an employers point of view, I'd love some free / minimal cost extra help. The only thing holding me back is I fear the extra burden it will place on me dealing with the paper work and slowing me down having to teach them the role. I know this is short sighted of me as no doubt the right person could take on a fair bit of work and take some pressure off. Bit of a catch 22 - you need to put the effort in to cut the burden.
If I had to do it all again, I would really consider not going to uni, and just spending the 30k~ and 3 years, on learning and getting some certs MCSE/etc, and just getting experience. Really seems more places would jump for that, then a single degree. 3 years, and 30k more than enough to get a load of certs, and experience.
My two cents
Most degree courses allow for a years placement, if you ask they'll more often thab not sort it for you!
I didn't finish my degree due to various reasons, but managed to start work as a network manager in my current school. Why? Because I started managing a network when I was about 15, in my high school. I also worked several customer facing jobs between then and university, where I landed a part time job (or 2) with the university's IT services department - changing toners, fixing virus ridden computers etc... but I also pushed for more and did a bunch of work improving the software the section I worked in used to store information. I also did an internship with what is now LUNS (when it was part of the university).
It was that which got me the job, not my qualifications.
People who want to get into IT are fighting against a large, talented and dedicated workforce. To compete, they have to show just what they're capable of - go above and beyond what you'd normally do. Getting experience is tough, but there are ways to do it. Voluntary work is a key way too.
I agree that even if it wasn't a specific person setting something like this up, then surely the colleges and universitys could do something to support the local area of small businesses/home users.
With the resources that Colleges/Universitys have i imagine it would not take much to set something like this up, it would give people the chance to really get involved in something and get some valuable expirience. I have never been too college/university so was not 100% sure on what kind of work expirience you get to be honest.
I personally have always had the nature to go above and beyond the call of duty when at work, we all know when working in IT you have to be flexible anyway due to the nature of the work but people whom do that as 2nd nature (at the younger age) to tend to stand out much more than someone who is very strict to the working hours they have set in front of them, granted that when you are some what older you do have to think of family etc. but even then people still go out there way to do the work that is involved.
It is probably difficult for someone like myself to set something like this up because the financial backing would not be there, but how would someone go to maybe talking to colleges and universitys about something like this maybe?
OR! now here is a thought!
EduGeeks Members doing this in and around there local communities! hehe!
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