How hard is it to get a Government/School Public Sector IT job ?

GreninjaGreninja Registered User regular
I'm doing more research on getting an Help Desk or Desktop Support job in the public sector.

How hard is it to get one of these gigs thou?

Any tips, tricks, or websites I can apply to get into IT Government Work?

«13

Posts

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    It is no more difficult than any other job. You just have to apply and hope they hire you. Maybe pass a background check depending on what or who you're working with or for.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    QuidLostNinjazepherin
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    edited November 2015
    I have been on three searches for Higher Education IT positions over my tenure at my University. Pretty much the long and short of it is: Know your stuff, have degrees, have a portfolio, apply.

    Any public sector position is going to have federally mandated requirements for hire. You can't show preferential treatment because laws, and credentialing and years of experience is generally taken more seriously than having and an amazing portfolio due to being quantifiable for the various laws and regulations (which vary in scale and severity by state, and federal are typically much more rigorous).

    Most IT professionals in higher ed start as hourly grunts for very low minimum wage for 6 months to a year before applying for the full time positions at those institutions. This is because 1) those offices can get away with that due to the massive amount of student labor and 2) most higher ed positions want people who already know the specialized systems used within the institution. Peoplesoft, SASS, DARS, and numerous other personnel management software suits vary from unit to unit even in the same unit, and that's before looking at the actual hardware, infrastructure, and software support needs.

    As far as websites, every university will likely have a separate employment website with their applications. Some states, like Maine, have a state-wide system jobpool with a pretty developed search engine. Others, like my institution, have their own HR site you get by searching the university name and "employment" or by looking around the main page for the university for the "Employment" or "Jobs" link.

    As far as a general trend, Community Colleges tend to pay more for IT than Universities due to the structure of funding across most (but not all) states, so don't pass those up. Private schools pay more than public, but their benefits suck.

    Also: if you are a system purist stay out of higher education. You will be expected to support windows, andriod, mac, and every other operating system and hardware under the sun because every faculty member wants their own system their own way. It's not a "make an image of the software suite and copy to each computer" environment, even in the largest universities. You will get very pushy and entitled people, who are highly educated but often very poor in tech literacy, demanding impossible things each day. But generally speaking that's every IT job.

    Enc on
  • GreninjaGreninja Registered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    I have been on three searches for Higher Education IT positions over my tenure at my University. Pretty much the long and short of it is: Know your stuff, have degrees, have a portfolio, apply.

    Any public sector position is going to have federally mandated requirements for hire. You can't show preferential treatment because laws, and credentialing and years of experience is generally taken more seriously than having and an amazing portfolio due to being quantifiable for the various laws and regulations (which vary in scale and severity by state, and federal are typically much more rigorous).

    Most IT professionals in higher ed start as hourly grunts for very low minimum wage for 6 months to a year before applying for the full time positions at those institutions. This is because 1) those offices can get away with that due to the massive amount of student labor and 2) most higher ed positions want people who already know the specialized systems used within the institution. Peoplesoft, SASS, DARS, and numerous other personnel management software suits vary from unit to unit even in the same unit, and that's before looking at the actual hardware, infrastructure, and software support needs.

    As far as websites, every university will likely have a separate employment website with their applications. Some states, like Maine, have a state-wide system jobpool with a pretty developed search engine. Others, like my institution, have their own HR site you get by searching the university name and "employment" or by looking around the main page for the university for the "Employment" or "Jobs" link.

    As far as a general trend, Community Colleges tend to pay more for IT than Universities due to the structure of funding across most (but not all) states, so don't pass those up. Private schools pay more than public, but their benefits suck.

    Also: if you are a system purist stay out of higher education. You will be expected to support windows, andriod, mac, and every other operating system and hardware under the sun because every faculty member wants their own system their own way. It's not a "make an image of the software suite and copy to each computer" environment, even in the largest universities. You will get very pushy and entitled people, who are highly educated but often very poor in tech literacy, demanding impossible things each day. But generally speaking that's every IT job.

    WOW tons of great advice thanks :)
    Hows the pay, hours, and benefits for these places?
    I heard that some people who try to break into government must take a civil service exam ( not sure how that works out)
    Do you recommend certifications Like the A+ to get a government Help desk job as well?

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Higher Ed generally pays 20-30% less, better health and retirement benefits (from what I've seen). Can be better job security, but it's partially dependent on department and their grant/funding reliance.

    Enc
  • GreninjaGreninja Registered User regular
    schuss wrote: »
    Higher Ed generally pays 20-30% less, better health and retirement benefits (from what I've seen). Can be better job security, but it's partially dependent on department and their grant/funding reliance.

    For Help Desk or Desktop how are the salaries?
    Does it pay like 50K in the Public Sector?

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    hahaha no. Well, maybe. It depends on your state.

    In Florida most public sector IT positions range 25k-35k, more if you become management. That money goes a bit farther in Florida than it does in a lot of states, and a bit less than others.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    You probably won't be making 50k until you've gotten 5+ years under your belt. Even then, probably not.

    Expect to make 35k, 50k would be the median wage of help desk, and that includes people who've been doing it for decades.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    Darkewolfeschusszepherin
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Also, help desk is legitimately somewhere that companies don't want anyone to build seniority. If you're just tier one, it's not like you really get that much better at the job, but you get more expensive. Companies would rather see you ship out of help desk and into a sysadmin, network engineer, whatever, so they can continue to have cheap folks in that position.

    What is this I don't even.
    bowenEncArcanisTheImpotentdestroyah87
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    That's not always the case in Education IT, which can occasionally have veteran employees in front line positions with higher than average salaries due to persistence and years and years of annual merit based 1-2% pay increases. Since in a lot of public sector positions it can be impossible to fire someone without extremely good cause (and budget isn't usually one of those unless a whole unit is being cut), it does happen.

    I'm not sure why you would want to go that path, since specialization leads to better pay in the long run anyhow, but it does happen.

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Help Desk should just be a springboard to sysadmin/prod support position. Actual help desk people in any large organization are rarely doing more than scripted work, as anything complex gets kicked up to the level 2 support teams that specialize in the actual thing there's a problem with.
    A route my friend went:
    Computer Store -> Help Desk type work -> Junior Sysadmin -> Senior Sysadmin
    He makes decent money now, but is topped out in his salary range. He would make easily 30k more if he worked in the private sector for the work he does, but have a lot less schedule flexibility.
    The key is to get exposure to as many things as possible, then pursue the pieces you like towards specialization and a good career, as it's way easier to do good work if you enjoy it.

    EncbowenDarkewolfeArcanisTheImpotent
  • GreninjaGreninja Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Enc wrote: »
    That's not always the case in Education IT, which can occasionally have veteran employees in front line positions with higher than average salaries due to persistence and years and years of annual merit based 1-2% pay increases. Since in a lot of public sector positions it can be impossible to fire someone without extremely good cause (and budget isn't usually one of those unless a whole unit is being cut), it does happen.

    I'm not sure why you would want to go that path, since specialization leads to better pay in the long run anyhow, but it does happen.

    If you saw my last thread, On in what jobs can you expect work 9 to 5 in Tech/IT?
    Most people on this forum including my friends were telling me Government IT work is the answer of the kind of job I want.

    I guess thats were mostly any 9 to 5 IT job exist.
    To be honest fixing computers is the closest thing I been interested as a job.
    I don't need a career I mean if I move up sure but I want to work 9 to 5 for the most part.
    Be it help desk, desktop support, or whatever other position.

    Education IT seems like the answer, I don't really need to make a lot of money althou it be nice but the private sector I heard has bad work life balance.
    The work also seems interesting providing technical support to students and helping users with technical issues.

    It may seem silly for me to make a big deal out of it based on a work schedule but I just like a job that pays the bills. Vacation and holidays and weekends off are my priority as well.

    I have a decent work ethic.

    I think the public sector fits more what I want thou

    Greninja on
  • GreninjaGreninja Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    You probably won't be making 50k until you've gotten 5+ years under your belt. Even then, probably not.

    Expect to make 35k, 50k would be the median wage of help desk, and that includes people who've been doing it for decades.

    What about Desktop Support?
    By the way I live in Los Angeles CA.
    Does that make a differences?

  • GreninjaGreninja Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    Also, help desk is legitimately somewhere that companies don't want anyone to build seniority. If you're just tier one, it's not like you really get that much better at the job, but you get more expensive. Companies would rather see you ship out of help desk and into a sysadmin, network engineer, whatever, so they can continue to have cheap folks in that position.

    But I heard theres other jobs like
    Help Desk Tier 2, or Desktop support, or even like Desktop Management?
    I mean I don't think i have to be Tier 1 all the time I think there are jobs like these in the public sector as well no?
    My goal is to make 50K while working 9 to 5

    Greninja on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Greninja wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »
    You probably won't be making 50k until you've gotten 5+ years under your belt. Even then, probably not.

    Expect to make 35k, 50k would be the median wage of help desk, and that includes people who've been doing it for decades.

    What about Desktop Support?
    By the way I live in Los Angeles CA.
    Does that make a differences?

    Not much. Desktop/Helpdesk is really the same job.

    Tier1 makes about 30-40k
    Tier2 will make about 45-60k in LA

    But expect to make the lower end unless you're bringing a specialization to the table.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    schuss
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Also, the support and sysadmin route will lead to lots of extra or weird hours if you're in a smaller group, as off-hours deployments are a thing.
    Personal take: You're a bit too fixated on the 9-5 thing. Any job can be 9-5 if your work processes are efficient and you set the right expectations going in. Find something you enjoy doing and worry about the hours later. I and most I know in business roles have spent most of our time working 8-9 hour days, with the more successful averaging 9-10 and everyone having the rare week of 12 hour ones.

    You really want 9-5 in IT? Work for a large non-technology company in a group that has rotational coverage. Most Fortune 100's are pretty strict about overtime (which you will be paid if you work over in an IT role) and design coverage appropriately. Your challenge will be getting in the door, as many of the low level roles are filled by overseas contract firms, so your skills will have to be there already.

    LostNinja
  • OricalmOricalm MDRegistered User regular
    I'm coming up on my 10th year of working IT for the government. If you want a strictly 9-5 (or in my case, 6-2:30) job, it's a pretty sweet gig depending on what area of IT you're in. I do more software/web application development, and more local applications rather than enterprise/agency wide.

    The main perk(s) of the government for IT is generally job stability (except every october when there's a budget crisis) and in general you are never required to stay late or come in on days off. If, for some reason, you are, you are compensated for it. Until you're dealing with enterprise level hardware/software architecture though, that'll be a rarity.

    What you want would be considered more like general LAN support, but the government has a tendency to lump everything under the title of "IT Specialist". You can look on www.usajobs.gov for postings in your area. Postings should include the "grade level" (GS-XX) for the job, as well as a salary range. The main hurdle you will run into is this: Currently, being a veteran counts for major points on your resume, so much so that in general non-veterans won't even "make the cut" despite how qualified they may (and said veterans may not) be. You can sometimes get around this with the "who you know" route, but either way, don't let that stop you from trying/applying.

    The easiest way to break in to the government is as a student. (Paid) Internships are generally easier to get and it gives you a foot in the door with networking possibilities. That's how I got in here. Started as a summer intern and managed to convert to a co-op, then a full employee. Several of the other interns we've had come through also ended up staying in other offices.

    Xbox Live: Oricalm
    Enc
  • GreninjaGreninja Registered User regular
    Oricalm wrote: »
    I'm coming up on my 10th year of working IT for the government. If you want a strictly 9-5 (or in my case, 6-2:30) job, it's a pretty sweet gig depending on what area of IT you're in. I do more software/web application development, and more local applications rather than enterprise/agency wide.

    The main perk(s) of the government for IT is generally job stability (except every october when there's a budget crisis) and in general you are never required to stay late or come in on days off. If, for some reason, you are, you are compensated for it. Until you're dealing with enterprise level hardware/software architecture though, that'll be a rarity.

    What you want would be considered more like general LAN support, but the government has a tendency to lump everything under the title of "IT Specialist". You can look on www.usajobs.gov for postings in your area. Postings should include the "grade level" (GS-XX) for the job, as well as a salary range. The main hurdle you will run into is this: Currently, being a veteran counts for major points on your resume, so much so that in general non-veterans won't even "make the cut" despite how qualified they may (and said veterans may not) be. You can sometimes get around this with the "who you know" route, but either way, don't let that stop you from trying/applying.

    The easiest way to break in to the government is as a student. (Paid) Internships are generally easier to get and it gives you a foot in the door with networking possibilities. That's how I got in here. Started as a summer intern and managed to convert to a co-op, then a full employee. Several of the other interns we've had come through also ended up staying in other offices.

    Thanks for the Advise
    I think i plan on doing Help Desk, Desktop Support, or Business Analyst which one that lets me get away from the weekends and nights the most( no on call as well)

    I think the public sector fits me more well and im currently working on breaking into some government internships like you mention but thats strictly my goal to work 9 to 5 it doesn't need to pay a lot either probably like 45k to 50k

    rare overtime ?yes i still do it just not all the time

    On call and weekend all the time no I hate that. To be honest I don't even want to touch a server or network I like dealing with end users better :)

  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Expecting 45k-50k starting anywhere is a pipedream. Dreams are great, but realistically you are going to be making 10-15k less than that in starting positions in most states.

    LostNinjaGaslightDaenrisTofystedeth
  • LostNinjaLostNinja Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Greninja wrote: »
    Oricalm wrote: »
    I'm coming up on my 10th year of working IT for the government. If you want a strictly 9-5 (or in my case, 6-2:30) job, it's a pretty sweet gig depending on what area of IT you're in. I do more software/web application development, and more local applications rather than enterprise/agency wide.

    The main perk(s) of the government for IT is generally job stability (except every october when there's a budget crisis) and in general you are never required to stay late or come in on days off. If, for some reason, you are, you are compensated for it. Until you're dealing with enterprise level hardware/software architecture though, that'll be a rarity.

    What you want would be considered more like general LAN support, but the government has a tendency to lump everything under the title of "IT Specialist". You can look on www.usajobs.gov for postings in your area. Postings should include the "grade level" (GS-XX) for the job, as well as a salary range. The main hurdle you will run into is this: Currently, being a veteran counts for major points on your resume, so much so that in general non-veterans won't even "make the cut" despite how qualified they may (and said veterans may not) be. You can sometimes get around this with the "who you know" route, but either way, don't let that stop you from trying/applying.

    The easiest way to break in to the government is as a student. (Paid) Internships are generally easier to get and it gives you a foot in the door with networking possibilities. That's how I got in here. Started as a summer intern and managed to convert to a co-op, then a full employee. Several of the other interns we've had come through also ended up staying in other offices.

    Thanks for the Advise
    I think i plan on doing Help Desk, Desktop Support, or Business Analyst which one that lets me get away from the weekends and nights the most( no on call as well)

    I think the public sector fits me more well and im currently working on breaking into some government internships like you mention but thats strictly my goal to work 9 to 5 it doesn't need to pay a lot either probably like 45k to 50k

    rare overtime ?yes i still do it just not all the time

    On call and weekend all the time no I hate that. To be honest I don't even want to touch a server or network I like dealing with end users better :)

    While I wouldn't recommend lying if asked, I sure hope this obsession with a 9-5 is something you're avoiding bringing up in interviews and on your cover letter. While there is nothing wrong with seeking a good life/work balance, it is really coming off poorly here. Expecting a job that is strictly 9-5 with no nights or weekends and no forced overtime that pays 45-50k is kind of an unreasonable expectation for someone just entering the workforce with no college degree. It comes off entitled. You may want to temper your expectations because it is unlikely that you will find a job that meets all of those requirements.

    LostNinja on
    EncMulletudeGaslightminirhyderschussTofystedethQuid
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    The median household income in the US is 45k. Entry level un-specialize IT without a BS you will be pretty lucky to get a 26-28k job with the hours you are looking at. More likely you will find an hourly position in most fields around 23-25k with no benefits for 1-3 years with a glass ceiling preventing advancement until you either get a degree or 3-4 years in field.

  • GaslightGaslight Registered User regular
    Greninja wrote: »
    I think the public sector fits me more well and im currently working on breaking into some government internships like you mention but thats strictly my goal to work 9 to 5 it doesn't need to pay a lot either probably like 45k to 50k

    You idea of "not a lot" is more than half the people in the US get paid, and you are expecting to get it with no experience and no credentials.

    Stop expecting it, is what I am saying.

    bowen wrote: »
    The bacteria in your poop exist everywhere.
  • GreninjaGreninja Registered User regular
    LostNinja wrote: »
    Greninja wrote: »
    Oricalm wrote: »
    I'm coming up on my 10th year of working IT for the government. If you want a strictly 9-5 (or in my case, 6-2:30) job, it's a pretty sweet gig depending on what area of IT you're in. I do more software/web application development, and more local applications rather than enterprise/agency wide.

    The main perk(s) of the government for IT is generally job stability (except every october when there's a budget crisis) and in general you are never required to stay late or come in on days off. If, for some reason, you are, you are compensated for it. Until you're dealing with enterprise level hardware/software architecture though, that'll be a rarity.

    What you want would be considered more like general LAN support, but the government has a tendency to lump everything under the title of "IT Specialist". You can look on www.usajobs.gov for postings in your area. Postings should include the "grade level" (GS-XX) for the job, as well as a salary range. The main hurdle you will run into is this: Currently, being a veteran counts for major points on your resume, so much so that in general non-veterans won't even "make the cut" despite how qualified they may (and said veterans may not) be. You can sometimes get around this with the "who you know" route, but either way, don't let that stop you from trying/applying.

    The easiest way to break in to the government is as a student. (Paid) Internships are generally easier to get and it gives you a foot in the door with networking possibilities. That's how I got in here. Started as a summer intern and managed to convert to a co-op, then a full employee. Several of the other interns we've had come through also ended up staying in other offices.

    Thanks for the Advise
    I think i plan on doing Help Desk, Desktop Support, or Business Analyst which one that lets me get away from the weekends and nights the most( no on call as well)

    I think the public sector fits me more well and im currently working on breaking into some government internships like you mention but thats strictly my goal to work 9 to 5 it doesn't need to pay a lot either probably like 45k to 50k

    rare overtime ?yes i still do it just not all the time

    On call and weekend all the time no I hate that. To be honest I don't even want to touch a server or network I like dealing with end users better :)

    While I wouldn't recommend lying if asked, I sure hope this obsession with a 9-5 is something you're avoiding bringing up in interviews and on your cover letter. While there is nothing wrong with seeking a good life/work balance, it is really coming off more as laziness here. I'm not saying you are, but expecting a job that is strictly 9-5 with no nights or weekends and no forced overtime that pays 45-50k is kind of an unreasonable expectation for someone just entering the workforce with no college degree. You may want to temper your expectations because it is unlikely that you will find a job that meets all of those requirements.

    Whos say that I expected 45k to 50k right out the window?
    thats why im in college right now tryin to get a degree and gaining IT work experience while in school
    Why do you think I call it a goal?
    Im pretty sure everyone has to pay their dues
    I make 13$ an hour as a part time computer lab assistant
    Im not lazy i have a decent work ethic but work is not my life
    Thats why i ask the people on this forum to guide me thru how can I reach my goal of getting a public sector IT job
    Im pretty realistic on my expectations we all have to work our way up
    I dont get why you're misleaded thinking I expect 50k out of college or without a college degree.

  • GreninjaGreninja Registered User regular
    Gaslight wrote: »
    Greninja wrote: »
    I think the public sector fits me more well and im currently working on breaking into some government internships like you mention but thats strictly my goal to work 9 to 5 it doesn't need to pay a lot either probably like 45k to 50k

    You idea of "not a lot" is more than half the people in the US get paid, and you are expecting to get it with no experience and no credentials.

    Stop expecting it, is what I am saying.

    Never said that
    stop putting words in my mouth

  • LostNinjaLostNinja Registered User regular
    Greninja wrote: »
    LostNinja wrote: »
    Greninja wrote: »
    Oricalm wrote: »
    I'm coming up on my 10th year of working IT for the government. If you want a strictly 9-5 (or in my case, 6-2:30) job, it's a pretty sweet gig depending on what area of IT you're in. I do more software/web application development, and more local applications rather than enterprise/agency wide.

    The main perk(s) of the government for IT is generally job stability (except every october when there's a budget crisis) and in general you are never required to stay late or come in on days off. If, for some reason, you are, you are compensated for it. Until you're dealing with enterprise level hardware/software architecture though, that'll be a rarity.

    What you want would be considered more like general LAN support, but the government has a tendency to lump everything under the title of "IT Specialist". You can look on www.usajobs.gov for postings in your area. Postings should include the "grade level" (GS-XX) for the job, as well as a salary range. The main hurdle you will run into is this: Currently, being a veteran counts for major points on your resume, so much so that in general non-veterans won't even "make the cut" despite how qualified they may (and said veterans may not) be. You can sometimes get around this with the "who you know" route, but either way, don't let that stop you from trying/applying.

    The easiest way to break in to the government is as a student. (Paid) Internships are generally easier to get and it gives you a foot in the door with networking possibilities. That's how I got in here. Started as a summer intern and managed to convert to a co-op, then a full employee. Several of the other interns we've had come through also ended up staying in other offices.

    Thanks for the Advise
    I think i plan on doing Help Desk, Desktop Support, or Business Analyst which one that lets me get away from the weekends and nights the most( no on call as well)

    I think the public sector fits me more well and im currently working on breaking into some government internships like you mention but thats strictly my goal to work 9 to 5 it doesn't need to pay a lot either probably like 45k to 50k

    rare overtime ?yes i still do it just not all the time

    On call and weekend all the time no I hate that. To be honest I don't even want to touch a server or network I like dealing with end users better :)

    While I wouldn't recommend lying if asked, I sure hope this obsession with a 9-5 is something you're avoiding bringing up in interviews and on your cover letter. While there is nothing wrong with seeking a good life/work balance, it is really coming off more as laziness here. I'm not saying you are, but expecting a job that is strictly 9-5 with no nights or weekends and no forced overtime that pays 45-50k is kind of an unreasonable expectation for someone just entering the workforce with no college degree. You may want to temper your expectations because it is unlikely that you will find a job that meets all of those requirements.

    Whos say that I expected 45k to 50k right out the window?
    thats why im in college right now tryin to get a degree and gaining IT work experience while in school
    Why do you think I call it a goal?
    Im pretty sure everyone has to pay their dues
    I make 13$ an hour as a part time computer lab assistant
    Im not lazy i have a decent work ethic but work is not my life
    Thats why i ask the people on this forum to guide me thru how can I reach my goal of getting a public sector IT job
    Im pretty realistic on my expectations we all have to work our way up
    I dont get why you're misleaded thinking I expect 50k out of college or without a college degree.

    My apologies for making some wrong assumptions. Your previous thread asking what career you should be looking into to get a 9-5 job made me presume (wrongly) that you were not in school for anything yet. I also assumed that when you mention a job with a certain amount of pay, that that is what you are currently looking for, as you never stated otherwise.

  • GreninjaGreninja Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    LostNinja wrote: »
    Greninja wrote: »
    LostNinja wrote: »
    Greninja wrote: »
    Oricalm wrote: »
    I'm coming up on my 10th year of working IT for the government. If you want a strictly 9-5 (or in my case, 6-2:30) job, it's a pretty sweet gig depending on what area of IT you're in. I do more software/web application development, and more local applications rather than enterprise/agency wide.

    The main perk(s) of the government for IT is generally job stability (except every october when there's a budget crisis) and in general you are never required to stay late or come in on days off. If, for some reason, you are, you are compensated for it. Until you're dealing with enterprise level hardware/software architecture though, that'll be a rarity.

    What you want would be considered more like general LAN support, but the government has a tendency to lump everything under the title of "IT Specialist". You can look on www.usajobs.gov for postings in your area. Postings should include the "grade level" (GS-XX) for the job, as well as a salary range. The main hurdle you will run into is this: Currently, being a veteran counts for major points on your resume, so much so that in general non-veterans won't even "make the cut" despite how qualified they may (and said veterans may not) be. You can sometimes get around this with the "who you know" route, but either way, don't let that stop you from trying/applying.

    The easiest way to break in to the government is as a student. (Paid) Internships are generally easier to get and it gives you a foot in the door with networking possibilities. That's how I got in here. Started as a summer intern and managed to convert to a co-op, then a full employee. Several of the other interns we've had come through also ended up staying in other offices.

    Thanks for the Advise
    I think i plan on doing Help Desk, Desktop Support, or Business Analyst which one that lets me get away from the weekends and nights the most( no on call as well)

    I think the public sector fits me more well and im currently working on breaking into some government internships like you mention but thats strictly my goal to work 9 to 5 it doesn't need to pay a lot either probably like 45k to 50k

    rare overtime ?yes i still do it just not all the time

    On call and weekend all the time no I hate that. To be honest I don't even want to touch a server or network I like dealing with end users better :)

    While I wouldn't recommend lying if asked, I sure hope this obsession with a 9-5 is something you're avoiding bringing up in interviews and on your cover letter. While there is nothing wrong with seeking a good life/work balance, it is really coming off more as laziness here. I'm not saying you are, but expecting a job that is strictly 9-5 with no nights or weekends and no forced overtime that pays 45-50k is kind of an unreasonable expectation for someone just entering the workforce with no college degree. You may want to temper your expectations because it is unlikely that you will find a job that meets all of those requirements.

    Whos say that I expected 45k to 50k right out the window?
    thats why im in college right now tryin to get a degree and gaining IT work experience while in school
    Why do you think I call it a goal?
    Im pretty sure everyone has to pay their dues
    I make 13$ an hour as a part time computer lab assistant
    Im not lazy i have a decent work ethic but work is not my life
    Thats why i ask the people on this forum to guide me thru how can I reach my goal of getting a public sector IT job
    Im pretty realistic on my expectations we all have to work our way up
    I dont get why you're misleaded thinking I expect 50k out of college or without a college degree.

    My apologies for making some wrong assumptions. Your previous thread asking what career you should be looking into to get a 9-5 job made me presume (wrongly) that you were not in school for anything yet. I also assumed that when you mention a job with a certain amount of pay, that that is what you are currently looking for, as you never stated otherwise.


    Its alright
    Im paying my dues like everyone else getting a Bachelors Degree in IT and gaining the IT support Experience
    But is my path realistic?
    I want to work for the Public Sector doing something like a Business Analyst or Desktop Support Level 2 Tech making 50K a year while working 9 to 5 ( Ill do rare overtime)
    Am I realistic or unrealistic?
    A school computer support technician would be a nice job I like

    Greninja on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    It's both realistic and unrealistic. The wage is far too high, even for a BS, at that job level.

    Someone with a BS I would expect to be further up the chain than level 1 tech support. But there's no reason you couldn't get 50k in whatever, I've never heard of a BS in IT I guess. I'd be worried about the credentials to even work in the public sector.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    schuss
  • GreninjaGreninja Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    It's both realistic and unrealistic. The wage is far too high, even for a BS, at that job level.

    Someone with a BS I would expect to be further up the chain than level 1 tech support. But there's no reason you couldn't get 50k in whatever, I've never heard of a BS in IT I guess. I'd be worried about the credentials to even work in the public sector.

    Alright yea cuz Idk if such a position like that exist in the IT field where you have a day job and make 50k a year. To be honest I like IT but just none of those long hours, constant weekend and nights, and being on-call.

    Most of my friends suggested I get into like Desktop Support or Business Analyst
    and in the thread I made previously most ppl suggested desktop support.

  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    I do career advisement as part of my box of hats at the university. I always suggest using OnetOnline: http://www.onetonline.org/

    Search your desired career path at the top of the page and you'll find aggregated data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and modeling from mass-searching every possible job posting n the country to give you the expectation and statistics of a field.

    LostNinja
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Greninja wrote: »
    To be honest I don't even want to touch a server or network I like dealing with end users better :)

    This stood out to me. If you're thinking federal IT, I don't know if your plans line up with the future.

    As much as possible, the industry is going to regionalize help desk, and Tier 1 usually won't even be co-located. Most often users will be on a thin client, so they won't have a complicated workstation. In a perfect case scenario, a user experiencing a work station issue will just be issued a new, fresh imaged workstation, and all of their key software will be hosted off their client anyway. In this scenario, actual user contact help desk staff are very low skill/wage, as they're passing pretty much any IT problem up to tier 1.5 or 2, which is going to be a role which involves as limited user interaction as possible. When you're trying to run an efficient help desk, you really don't want extended user contact.

    So one of the other options you discussed was business analyst. I can see that as a viable career. However, your writing skills on display are not sufficient for that role. If that was the path you wanted to take, you would need to focus on your writing and communications skills and improve them, as they're also quite important.

    You've made a lot of threads asking quite a few questions. I understand that all you really want is to trade the 9-5 hours of your weekday doing literally whatever and get money, with absolutely no additional effort. You need to put some serious thought and research into what IT is doing, where industries are heading, and where you might fit in there.

    What is this I don't even.
    Enc
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    The writing this is especially important in IT in the public sector. In an educational environment you will be servicing faculty and staff that expect a professional grade of writing and spoken communication and anything less is deemed disrespectful. In other areas of public sector you will be dealing with elected and appointed officials which feel the same way. How you comport yourself both in dress, communication, and presentation means a lot and you will be expected to remain professional, positive, and enthusiastic (and if not you will find yourself on the quick ride to transfer city).

    Saying things like
    Greninja wrote: »
    Im not lazy i have a decent work ethic but work is not my life

    Is an immediate red flag for me and if this were an attitude I heard from one of my applicants I would not hire them. If it came from one of the folk under my supervision, I would probably have a stern talk with them and then, depending on performance, put them up for transfer and termination. In the public sector you gain stability because you are serving the public. The job is part of your life, one way or another, and while you don't have to sacrifice every bit of your personal life for it (in fact, you generally sacrifice less than private sector), you are being held to a higher standard of ownership and ethics in your work because poor performance can often directly impact other people's lives.

    Long story short: you need to take a good deep breath, act a good deal more humble in relation to the job hunt, lower your immediate expectations, understand that IT is an employer's market and that you will neither be a catch or assured a position in any of these fields and will have to compete for them, and most of all be planning for the next two years rather than looking at the next ten. What you do in your first five years of service will likely change the direction of what you work on for the next five, and there is rarely a person out there that knows where they will be in 15 years.

    AkilaeArcanisTheImpotentLostNinja
  • AkilaeAkilae Registered User regular
    I work in a state educational institution. We have a full time tech in our department, guy has been here almost 20 years.

    He comes in and works on weekends when nobody else is around cause that's the only time he can troubleshoot stuff in a clean environment. His email alerts on his phone are always on and he responds late into the night because he's the only guy who works on our systems. He does everything from pushing updates to setting up teleconferencing equipment to setting up our entire network system. When he's not doing tech? Guy spent his own money to get a higher degree so he could moonlight as an adjunct cause he wants to bring in more money to raise his kids.

    His tech salary brings in just a little north of 50k a year.

    EncDarkewolfe
  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    as someone currently putting in the time to work my way up in IT you better get comfortable with the idea of being on-call. if you're doing any kind of enterprise level support, shit breaks and it doesn't care whether or not it's 2 pm or 2 am. someone has to fix it

    granted, I work server/app support for a shall we say large company (rhymes with tall fart), and our uptime is critical but honestly the coveted 9-5 is vanishing and where it still exists it is something that is earned after serious ass busting

    ArcanisTheImpotent on
  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    as someone currently putting in the time to work my way up in IT you better get comfortable with the idea of being on-call. if you're doing any kind of enterprise level support, shit breaks and it doesn't care whether or not it's 2 pm or 2 am. someone has to fix it

    granted, I work server/app support for a shall we say large company (rhymes with tall fart), and our uptime is critical but honestly the coveted 9-5 is vanishing and where it still exists it is something that is earned after serious ass busting

    Eh, to some extent. I know in my company (another fortune 100) we're actively trying to tamp down on the "always on-call" mindset and really try to put some sanity around our work rotations and staffing. This has largely been driven by the collateral damage that happens when you have lots of tired developers doing point patches to band-aid stuff, it just costs more time in the end. There are oh-shit critical times, but it's markedly different than when I started. Crunch is largely destructive when you're talking about thought-work roles.

    bowen
  • AkilaeAkilae Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    Just to add one last thing to my previous comment. Our tech guy is on call from whenever he is needed to whenever is is not. This usually means when class is in session and things break. For us, classes start at 8 AM and end at 10:15 PM. Sure, he clocks out at 5 PM, but his phone is always there if anybody is in class and the equipment is not working.

    Akilae on
    EncArcanisTheImpotent
  • GreninjaGreninja Registered User regular
    edited December 2015
    as someone currently putting in the time to work my way up in IT you better get comfortable with the idea of being on-call. if you're doing any kind of enterprise level support, shit breaks and it doesn't care whether or not it's 2 pm or 2 am. someone has to fix it

    granted, I work server/app support for a shall we say large company (rhymes with tall fart), and our uptime is critical but honestly the coveted 9-5 is vanishing and where it still exists it is something that is earned after serious ass busting

    So what is that what IT is all about just bad work-life balance? Whatever happen to IT people having a personal life outside of work?

    And Im talkin about Help Desk / Desktop Support not Server Support.

    Greninja on
  • GreninjaGreninja Registered User regular
    Akilae wrote: »
    Just to add one last thing to my previous comment. Our tech guy is on call from whenever he is needed to whenever is is not. This usually means when class is in session and things break. For us, classes start at 8 AM and end at 10:15 PM. Sure, he clocks out at 5 PM, but his phone is always there if anybody is in class and the equipment is not working.

    I like a job like that just without On-Call

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Greninja wrote: »
    as someone currently putting in the time to work my way up in IT you better get comfortable with the idea of being on-call. if you're doing any kind of enterprise level support, shit breaks and it doesn't care whether or not it's 2 pm or 2 am. someone has to fix it

    granted, I work server/app support for a shall we say large company (rhymes with tall fart), and our uptime is critical but honestly the coveted 9-5 is vanishing and where it still exists it is something that is earned after serious ass busting

    So what is that what IT is all about just bad work-life balance? Whatever happen to IT people having a personal life outside of work?

    And Im talkin about Help Desk / Desktop Support not Server Support.

    Computers don't stop after 5:00pm. And usually people don't stop working at 5:00pm either. That's where the other shifts are.

    Even in the public sector, sometimes people work all through the night.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    EncseasleepyQuidArcanisTheImpotent
  • SixSix Ask me about my butthole Registered User regular
    Greninja wrote: »
    as someone currently putting in the time to work my way up in IT you better get comfortable with the idea of being on-call. if you're doing any kind of enterprise level support, shit breaks and it doesn't care whether or not it's 2 pm or 2 am. someone has to fix it

    granted, I work server/app support for a shall we say large company (rhymes with tall fart), and our uptime is critical but honestly the coveted 9-5 is vanishing and where it still exists it is something that is earned after serious ass busting

    So what is that what IT is all about just bad work-life balance? Whatever happen to IT people having a personal life outside of work?

    And Im talkin about Help Desk / Desktop Support not Server Support.

    Just because you may have to work on an issue off hours every now and then doesn't mean you have bad work/life balance. Every IT person I know has a great personal life. I used to be in IT and started on a help desk and I was basically 9-5. Different companies are going to have different cultures, and different roles may have different kinds of demands. It's perfectly reasonable to expect to find a help desk/support role that's mostly 9-5.

    At this point I'm not sure what question you really want an answer to. Are you looking for a very specific job title in a very specific vertical that will fit your very specific definition of work/life balance?

    steamcommunity.com/id/thenumbersix/
    Switch Friend Code: SW-1335-2661-4136
    schuss
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