I'm 32 because of my age should I go MIS or IT or even CIS

Discussion in 'IT and Computer-Related Degrees' started by tlvb25, May 16, 2011.

  1. tlvb25

    tlvb25 New Member

    Im just now getting my bahelors degree and I am having a hard time figuring out which way to go.

    First off i love technology I am electronic and gadget and computer fanatic and I want to get and Information Technology but i feel because of my age Its kinda too late. The reason i feel this is because people on here are always saying it hard to get an IT job and how you have to have many years of experience just qualify for one. I would go into IT if I knew that I could acquire a entry-level job making at least 48-50K/yr.

    The only experience i have now is that I have been working as the IT guy at an school since 2000, where my my cousin if the director of, my duties have consisted of: networking some computers(no virtualization stuff), I update and upgrade the system software, I have design and maintain the school's website(nothing fancy just using a web host account and I am good at designing); I don't have any programming experience, i don't know Linux, hell I don't even know windows server...lol.

    ....Would my experience at the school count toward me being able to get a job if I got my degree in IT?

    My original plan was to get my bachelors in IT and my graduates MIS, but because of my age and the hopeless message that I kinda get from reading on this site about being able to get an IT job. I am so confused. I know that my heart is with IT but I want to be able to get a good job after I graduate.

    I attend purdue and our IT program is setup like a mix of CS and IT, and everyone at the school tells me that there are so many opportunities in IT being that cirriculum covers IT security, Programming(C#, .NET, Scripting), networking, distrubition, and etc. But I feel after reading the many post here that I am too old to get a foot in the door of the IT world

    ....therefore I have been hurtfully leaning towards the MIS undergrad and give up on the dream of getting the IT degree.........which i really want. But I am at an age where I need some financial stability and can't really take a career risk

    what are you guys thoughts

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I think you should get a job in IT to start off, and working on your certification as well as the degree as the same time. Therefore, you have experiences to carry out throughout years in school.
  3. Randell1234

    Randell1234 Moderator Staff Member

    32…to old? It is not like you are 92! Gain some experience and focus on a high need area or specialized area like security. Add in a Cisco cert and you will be ahead of many. Have you thought about volunteering to gain experience? When I was getting my MCSE at a college (it was about an 8 month program) we discussed forming a business to offer free support to non-profits like churchs and other organizations like the Humane Society, etc. Great way to do something good and gain experience.
  4. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    If Kurt Loder can work for MTV into his 60s, you can do IT in your 30s. Sheesh.

  5. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Dude, 32 is way mass old!
  6. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

  7. atrox79

    atrox79 New Member

    I'm also 32 and just went back to school for CS. If you enjoy IT, that's what you should do...you're definitely not "too old".

    Also, if you've been working 11+ years at a school as the IT guy, that equates to 11+ years of experience. I don't see anything for you to worry about!

  8. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    You cannot keep me away from computers no matter how much or little you pay me. Sometimes I am surprised I get paid for what I do.
    To make 50K in IT you must be able to create 80K work of value for the company. Think about that.
    So build up your skill set and make sure you know your stuff and you can command a good salary. Some people just starting out only make 30-40k and there is nothing wrong with that. Don't be too concerned with a starting salary as the first five years are the fastest growing in salary. You are paid for what you can do, not what degree you have so make sure you have skills after getting a degree.
    If you are in easy classes and jump from programming 101 to networking 101 you are probably not prepared to do either programming or networking. Go deep into one topic and you will be fine.
    If you want to be a programmer download the latest JDK and Eclipse and start building an application. Make it up. Think of something simple that you already know and use and replicate it with your own code.
    If you want to be a network engineer, start by hooking two computers together and go from there. IT is more about the application of technology than theory so you need to practice the skills of the job.
    Go find a job description you like and practice your skills for that job.
    Good luck and realize that your school is only one part of your education.

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I am also 32 in 5 years...and I don't feel that old yet.:yup:
  10. emmzee

    emmzee New Member

    I agree with ryoder's entire post ... esp the above. My roommate is in a bit of trouble now because he never really specialized, he just did a lot of general IT stuff. Now he is having trouble finding a job. Try to discover what area of IT you want to do and specialize in that ... preferably in something that's in-demand and will be so in the future.
  11. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Wow! 27 is way mass old!
  12. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    I'm 32 and I feel old. But then again...I have kids.
  13. Ted Heiks

    Ted Heiks Moderator and Distinguished Senior Member Staff Member

    Yep, you're old.
  14. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    You a youngster dude. You know, after following you journey for several years now, I admire the hell out of you! Good job grasshopper. You pursue life in a fearless manner.

    Abner :)
  15. AUTiger00

    AUTiger00 New Member

    That'll get you everytime. No kids is what has kept me looking young. I'm 33 and was mistaken for a university student three times during my vacation last week.
  16. Beagle412

    Beagle412 New Member

    Age is irrelevant. Your motivation, persistence, and willingness to put in the hours and effort required to get where you want to be are what are important. From what I see as a 15 year veteran in the IT field, you have a lot going for you at this point:

    1. Your current program at Purdue should provide you an excellent, broad knowledge base (from a school with good name recognition and reputation) of what you will deal with in an IT career from a technology perspective. Keep at it. There are a lot of us in this field who have made it with either no undergrad degree at all, or one (like mine in Biology) that is pretty irrelevant to what I do now as a solutions architect. Consider what you are learning in your program as an advantage over those trying to enter the field with a 2 year only degree or just certifications.

    2. Don't count out your experience as the "IT guy". Work experience in the field is always helpful. For an entry level position you could always stress your customer focus, ability to organize and deliver on projects, etc. which are all important to hiring managers - sometimes even more so than your technical experience. Try to learn as much as you can to be conversationally proficient with the basic concepts of modern IT architectures. Start with reading on Microsoft Technet, Linux.org, etc. - learn the basic concepts of the key technologies like Windows Server (Active Directory, etc.), mail operations (Exchange), Linux/Unix fundamentals (many resources including the operating systems themselves are free and can be installed even on a CD in a runtime version so you can at least play with and learn how they work). I started out as a desktop build technician and within a year became a network administrator just by playing with and reading about everything I could related to IT.

    3. Network. You've already started by connecting with the folks on this forum. Start doing the same in the IT community - Microsoft, VMWare, Citrix, RedHat, Cisco, etc. all have a wealth of social forums, user groups, etc. that are a huge wealth of information and are filled with geeks like me that love to help others learn. You can even make some good contacts in the field that can help you find good jobs. Having solid recommendations is a tremendous help in getting into good positions also.

    4. Certify. The certification can often be a good validation to an employer of what you know and are proficient with. Start out with desktop technologies - Microsoft's desktop certifications are great. Work your way up to server certs as you gain exposure and experience with those platforms. Consider vendor-independent certifications like A+, Network +,. Security+, etc. Those are all solid certs to have that can definitely justify higher entry salaries.

    Keep your head up and keep doing what you're doing!
  17. Beagle412

    Beagle412 New Member

    One more thing I forgot to add - if you're looking for higher entry-level salaries, and are willing and able to consider it, there are lots of entry level consultant or systems analyst/engineer positions that often recruit IT/CIS/MIS grads with little or no experience. They can be a huge career booster as well as they often involve significant formal training right away in both technical areas as well as things like consulting methodologies, project management, etc. The reason they pay well is because they often involve heavy travel (typically 75-100% for consulting) and long hours. I was a consultant like this for years, and it was incredibly difficult for me personally because I have a family. I spent 300+ nights in hotels each year and missed countless birthdays, anniversaries, and school plays, conferences, soccer games, etc. There's a lot of pros and cons to weigh for that lifestyle, but if your situation and desire are OK with it, it's definitely something to consider. I know several of my former consulting colleagues started their IT careers that way with zero IT experience and now all make six figures within 3 years of graduation. For them, (all are single, late 20's or early 30's, no kids) it makes sense and they are able to save a lot of money since you're never home to spend your own money - your living expenses for the most part all go on an expense report each week.
  18. BrandeX

    BrandeX New Member

    nevermind found what I was looking for
    Last edited by a moderator: May 21, 2011
  19. ryoder

    ryoder New Member

    I think you are suffering from analysis paralysis. Just start a program and start learning.
  20. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    The original poster is smart.

    In some countries age discrimination is huge issue. Yes 32 is yang and good age for career, but selecting the right career is not easy.
    Its hard to predict the trends in the future.

    In some countries we have sharp unemployment of college of degreed persons of group ages from 40's to 50's etc.

    I noticed that people who hold good experience is niche industry, for example if you are SAS expert you can do well even in later age. I'm making predictions but in my case also niche field in IT helps to get employment.

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