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The Bad Guy
09-15-2006, 10:37 AM
Well, my life has dramatically changed in the last month and a half.

I moved to Northern Virginia with my fiancee. I had a job lined up as a technical writer and she got a teaching job down here.

Well, the tech writing job fell through on my 2nd day because they cut funding and we came down here basically for that.

We are locked into a lease for the year and she has a year teaching contract so we are stuck in this overpriced money pit until at least June.

I was giving serious thought to going back to get my masters in IT. I really dislike this area and plan on going back home in June and wanted some opinions from people who had degrees in IT if this was a smart way to go.

I'm still looking for work down here and it's really pissing me off that my degree in English and minor in Communications isn't opening more doors for me.

Any advice would be appreciated.

siberian khatru
09-15-2006, 10:40 AM
I hear WPI is hiring writers.

The Bad Guy
09-15-2006, 10:41 AM
I hear WPI is hiring writers.

Hiring? More like looking for freebes.

keg in kc
09-15-2006, 11:05 AM
Oh, Frank, man, I'm so sorry to hear that. Northern Virginia is one of the worst places in the US to live, in my opinion, and to have your work pulled out from under you is like salt in the wound. Wish I had something to tell you re. the IT thing, but that's out of my sphere. So all I can say is good luck and try to be patient. And make sure you keep the lines of communication open with the fiance while you're going through this, may sound strange to say it, but this is a good primer for marriage for the both of you. It ain't always flowers and chocolate and bubblebaths; helping each other through shit like this is what it's all about.

The Bad Guy
09-15-2006, 11:15 AM
Oh, Frank, man, I'm so sorry to hear that. Northern Virginia is one of the worst places in the US to live, in my opinion, and to have your work pulled out from under you is like salt in the wound. Wish I had something to tell you re. the IT thing, but that's out of my sphere. So all I can say is good luck and try to be patient. And make sure you keep the lines of communication open with the fiance while you're going through this, may sound strange to say it, but this is a good primer for marriage for the both of you. It ain't always flowers and chocolate and bubblebaths; helping each other through shit like this is what it's all about.

Thanks for the reply Kyle.

What really pisses me off is this the job was the reason we moved down here in the first place.

I agree 100% with what you're saying about the primer.

She's been super supportive.

She might actually stay another year if I go home to get my masters, but with how hard they work teachers down here, I'll be amazed if she isn't burned out by June.

I'll be damned if I'm going to spend another year in this shithole paying 1,400 a month rent for an 1,100 square foot apartment.

The Rick
09-15-2006, 12:00 PM
I don't know about a masters in IT. I have a bachelors in IT and have often wondered the same thing.

My initial thought is that a masters in IT isn't as impressive as a masters in another area such as marketing or accounting. It seems that when it comes to IT work, the focus is more on your skills and real world accomplishments rather than on education. The only time I can definitely see a masters in IT being important and beneficial is if you were going to teach at a university or something.

A part of me wonders if your money and time would be better spent getting professional certifications in the area you are interested in (i.e. Microsoft certifications, Cisco certifications, IBM certifications, etc.). I tend to think those hold more weight in the IT industry than a masters degree.

I don't know about all of this for sure. As I said, I've wondered the same thing for myself. I'd be interested in hearing what others though as well.

jAZ
09-15-2006, 12:03 PM
What's your background and resume look like already? What do you want to do down the road? Do you have a technical (CS) undergrad? What school are you looking at?

If you are looking at a Maters in IT from somewhere off-the-map like University of Phoenix (and you already have a CS degree), you might want to look into another option.

If you are talking about going to Georgetown, GW or some other Tier 1 University and are looking to get into software R&D... then maybe so.

If you are looking to get into IT management and h have some professional experience in the IT industry, you might consider getting an MBA at a school that has a strong MIS reputation. Maybe even a dual MMIS/MBA.

I did Software Engineering as an Undergrad and got my MBA a few years back. It was the best career choice I've ever made. But I had an interest in getting out of the purely technical roles. I'm not sure what your goals are.

Again, unless you are already working for a major corporation and have a career ladder you are looking to qualify to move into, I would NOT suggest getting a degree from any of the the degree-completion, nightschool, University of Phoenix type schools. They are very good at getting you the paperwork you need to qualify for a higher grade pay with your current employer, but if you are out shopping your resume and new degree to employers, it's harder to gain credibility with non-traditional Masters degree like that. In that situation, you will need to have a much stronger "Experience" portion of your resume to make up the credibility and reputation gap.

bogie
09-15-2006, 12:12 PM
In my opinion, one of the best jobs in my industry (TV Production) is editor. I don't know what you did with your Communications minor, but if you're strong technically, I would suggest you look in to learning to edit. I assume a masters probably takes 2 years? Maybe that 2 years can be spent learning to edit. Learn Avid and Final Cut Pro. If you're technical and can tell a story, you could be a great editor.

StcChief
09-15-2006, 12:16 PM
Don't do the Masters in IT....unless you want to teach.
Get something else MBA? finance to be a CFO later
or COO...

The IT background would be good in that area if you can
get work. That eperience later will be crucial...

The Bad Guy
09-15-2006, 12:22 PM
I would be getting my masters from the same place I got my bachelor's from. It's a local University in my hometown that has a pretty strong reputation on the East Coast.

There are three jobs that are constantly available in my hometown - IT, health care and financial institutions. That's it. On Monster, there are about 45 IT jobs listed right now.

My prelim. goals right now are either to be a technology teacher or programmer.

I think by teaching down in Northern Virginia, my fiancee will have a good shot at getting a teaching job back home. If I want to make it back there, and living down here has made me appreciate that place ten fold, then I want to do something IT related, which is what I should have gotten my undergrad in anyway.

An English degree is great, if you want to go to Law School, but generally, the employers I've dealt with told me it's a worthless degree.

keg in kc
09-15-2006, 12:25 PM
In my opinion, one of the best jobs in my industry (TV Production) is editor. I don't know what you did with your Communications minor, but if you're strong technically, I would suggest you look in to learning to edit. I assume a masters probably takes 2 years? Maybe that 2 years can be spent learning to edit. Learn Avid and Final Cut Pro. If you're technical and can tell a story, you could be a great editor.That's what I do, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

The Bad Guy
09-15-2006, 12:27 PM
Your IT interests are lame and your fiancee is a whore.

Die of Aids.

Seriously.

dirk digler
09-15-2006, 12:32 PM
Your IT interests are lame and your fiancee is a whore.

Ban this POS troll.

Bad Guy I agree with some of the others that said you might want to get a Masters in something other than IT.

It am sorry to hear about your bad luck and hopefully everything will work out fine.

The Bad Guy
09-15-2006, 12:34 PM
Ban this POS troll.

Bad Guy I agree with some of the others that said you might want to get a Masters in something other than IT.

It am sorry to hear about your bad luck and hopefully everything will work out fine.

It just seems everything in my town is geared toward IT degrees.

Every insurance company is looking for IT people. Every banking company is looking for IT people.

It just made the most sense to me because it's something I already know a lot about and have a sincere interest in.

keg in kc
09-15-2006, 12:38 PM
Well, Frank, if the jobs are there in a place you want to be, and it's something you're interested in and might actually enjoy, then I'd say go for it. Sometimes you have to go with your gut, regardless of what trends and such look like. Hell, you might even be able to get them to pay for it. At least look into it. You're a smart-enough guy, do what you think is right and you'll probably be okay.

bogie
09-15-2006, 12:40 PM
That's what I do, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

Oh BUMMER!! I'm sorry you've had such a bad experience. I've been in TV here in LA area for a little over 16 years. While there are certainly some effected A-Hole producers in this business, I've found it to be a pretty good industry. Editors out here are pretty much left alone and respected. Without a good editor, production is screwed. Of cours it's my job to see to it that editors are left alone and respected. Maybe you should work with me. :)

dirk digler
09-15-2006, 12:41 PM
It just seems everything in my town is geared toward IT degrees.

Every insurance company is looking for IT people. Every banking company is looking for IT people.

It just made the most sense to me because it's something I already know a lot about and have a sincere interest in.

Then go for it.

I am in IT and I love it but I am not interested in getting my Masters. I have 2 degrees, one in CJ and the other in Information Systems.

FYI - alot of weight is put on a combination of experience and certifications when employers are looking for new people.

The Bad Guy
09-15-2006, 12:41 PM
Well, Frank, if the jobs are there in a place you want to be, and it's something you're interested in and might actually enjoy, then I'd say go for it. Sometimes you have to go with your gut, regardless of what trends and such look like. Hell, you might even be able to get them to pay for it. At least look into it. You're a smart-enough guy, do what you think is right and you'll probably be okay.

I hope.

This whole experience in Northern Virginia was a huge reality check.

I always thought the grass was greener, it's not down here that's for sure.

I'm going to look into all avenues, but I'm definitely going to be enrolled in a Master's program this time next year back home.

In working for a ragtag newspaper the last two years, I should have done this already. But I was stubborn and thought that some employer would be beating down the door for me with my experience.

I'm still waiting for them to knock on the door, let alone beat it down.

The Bad Guy
09-15-2006, 12:42 PM
Oh BUMMER!! I'm sorry you've had such a bad experience. I've been in TV here in LA area for a little over 16 years. While there are certainly some effected A-Hole producers in this business, I've found it to be a pretty good industry. Editors out here are pretty much left alone and respected. Without a good editor, production is screwed. Of cours it's my job to see to it that editors are left alone and respected. Maybe you should work with me. :)

I worked with Avid when I interned with NFL Films.

I enjoyed doing that, but don't know if it's something I want to make my career doing.

keg in kc
09-15-2006, 12:45 PM
Oh BUMMER!! I'm sorry you've had such a bad experience. I've been in TV here in LA area for a little over 16 years. While there are certainly some effected A-Hole producers in this business, I've found it to be a pretty good industry. Editors out here are pretty much left alone and respected. Without a good editor, production is screwed. Of cours it's my job to see to it that editors are left alone and respected. Maybe you should work with me. I could never live in LA. Just not a place I want to be...ever. I don't work well with others, either, which is why it wouldn't be a good job outside of the context that I'm doing it now, in a basically unsupervised industrial setting. And I won't be doing it 5 years from now, it's a 'keep a roof over my head' thing until I decide what's next. If anything is.

Either way, this ain't about me - I think you have to be a specific kind of person to be an editor, and I'm not sure the job would fit the bill for Frank.

keg in kc
09-15-2006, 12:47 PM
I worked with Avid when I interned with NFL Films.

I enjoyed doing that, but don't know if it's something I want to make my career doing.I thought I remembered you saying that during your internship, but I wasn't sure.

Completely understand the "i enjoyed it but don't know if I want to do it forever" bit.

bogie
09-15-2006, 12:56 PM
I worked with Avid when I interned with NFL Films.

I enjoyed doing that, but don't know if it's something I want to make my career doing.

Understand. Don't write it off completely though. Ya never know.

Phobia
09-15-2006, 01:00 PM
Do you not have legal recourse for them moving you to VA and then yanking the rug from under you? It seems like you should have some options there.

The Bad Guy
09-15-2006, 01:03 PM
Do you not have legal recourse for them moving you to VA and then yanking the rug from under you? It seems like you should have some options there.

I thought that too, however, the boss I would have been working for knows my step brother really well.

My stepbrother informed him that my fiance also got a teaching job down here so when I asked my stepbrother what legal action I could take, he said none because they were under the impression that I moved down here because of my fiance, which wasn't the case.

It sucks, but hopefully something develops soon so it will make these next 9 months worthwhile.

keg in kc
09-15-2006, 01:08 PM
I'm no lawyer but that seems kind of bogus to me. You're not married for one, and for another, the information that you "moved down there because of your fiance" was both second-hand and false.

bogie
09-15-2006, 01:09 PM
I could never live in LA. Just not a place I want to be...ever. I don't work well with others, either, which is why it wouldn't be a good job outside of the context that I'm doing it now, in a basically unsupervised industrial setting. And I won't be doing it 5 years from now, it's a 'keep a roof over my head' thing until I decide what's next. If anything is.

Either way, this ain't about me - I think you have to be a specific kind of person to be an editor, and I'm not sure the job would fit the bill for Frank.

There's a whole lot of LA that's not much different than KC, except the weather. I live in a great little neighborhood with sidewalks, huge walnut trees and children running around playing with neighbors.
Yeah, to be a good editor you definately need strong people skills.
Good luck with your next career.

morphius
09-15-2006, 01:11 PM
I don't know what your tech skills are like, but I think someone with a good technology background and a Masters in a business field would be much more valuable.

But that is just my opinion.

bogie
09-15-2006, 01:12 PM
I thought that too, however, the boss I would have been working for knows my step brother really well.

My stepbrother informed him that my fiance also got a teaching job down here so when I asked my stepbrother what legal action I could take, he said none because they were under the impression that I moved down here because of my fiance, which wasn't the case.

It sucks, but hopefully something develops soon so it will make these next 9 months worthwhile.

That does suck! Sounds like the impression he was under is wrong.

keg in kc
09-15-2006, 01:12 PM
There's a whole lot of LA that's not much different than KC, except the weather. I live in a great little neighborhood with sidewalks, huge walnut trees and children running around playing with neighbors.
Yeah, to be a good editor you definately need strong people skills.
Good luck with your next career.I have a sister that lived in Pasadena for a while, and I've been to the Rose Bowl, so I'm not a complete stranger to the area. For me, though, there's just too many people out there. KC is almost too big for me, so...

And I have no people skills at all. Which is why I'll never have a career of any kind. I certainly never looked at what I'm doing now as one, and I don't anticipate anything changing along those lines. Some people just don't 'fit' and I'm one of those people.

And now....off to work. Yay.

keg in kc
09-15-2006, 01:15 PM
I don't know what your tech skills are like, but I think someone with a good technology background and a Masters in a business field would be much more valuable.

But that is just my opinion.Why, just out of curiousity? Managament/upward mobility?

bogie
09-15-2006, 01:17 PM
I have a sister that lived in Pasadena for a while, and I've been to the Rose Bowl, so I'm not a complete stranger to the area. For me, though, there's just too many people out there. KC is almost too big for me, so...

And I have no people skills at all. Which is why I'll never have a career of any kind. I certainly never looked at what I'm doing now as one, and I don't anticipate anything changing along those lines. Some people just don't 'fit' and I'm one of those people.

And now....off to work. Yay.

Do not put the 2nd paragraph in your resume. You'll find something that 'fits' when you're least expecting it.

keg in kc
09-15-2006, 01:18 PM
Hah, if I had a resume, no, I wouldn't put that in there.

I don't, however, have a resume. ROFL

morphius
09-15-2006, 01:19 PM
Why, just out of curiousity? Managament/upward mobility?
That and I think it opens up some other avenues for you, possibly something as a Project Manager or the like as well. Plus there are a lot of IT people that really understand the techie side, but don't really get the business side. A person with both could be more valuable, IMO.

Of course I could be completely wrong.

keg in kc
09-15-2006, 01:19 PM
Frank, anything else that interests you, just out of curiousity? Make sure you don't get yourself boxed, sort of along the lines of what bogie just said.

keg in kc
09-15-2006, 01:21 PM
That and I think it opens up some other avenues for you, possibly something as a Project Manager or the like as well. Plus there are a lot of IT people that really understand the techie side, but don't really get the business side. A person with both could be more valuable, IMO.

Of course I could be completely wrong.You're probably right; you certainly know more about this than I do. Was curious what your rationale was so I asked...

And now really off to work.

BigRedChief
09-15-2006, 05:47 PM
A masters in I.T. is a waste of time. Go for a business degree or a MBA if possible then combine that with the I.T. background and you have a strong resume.

grandllama
09-15-2006, 07:29 PM
A masters in I.T. is a waste of time. Go for a business degree or a MBA if possible then combine that with the I.T. background and you have a strong resume.

Then you can spend the two years I did trying to find a job with my MBA with the IT concentration.

Things are getting better though, but it is still hard to get tech people to respect your MBA and business people to reconcile your IT.

Although I am in the same city, doing the same thing, making the same money (which is nothing to sneeze at) as I was before I got my Master's.

The Bad Guy
09-15-2006, 08:04 PM
A masters in I.T. is a waste of time. Go for a business degree or a MBA if possible then combine that with the I.T. background and you have a strong resume.

The problem I don't have much IT experience except for the stuff I've taught myself and the stuff I've learned from my friends.

I've been out of college for two years, I built up my resume with some impressive credentials and I can't get interviews.

I don't know why, but one potential employer told me that English degrees held very, very little water with job posters.

I just need to pursue something I enjoy and there is a demand for in my town. That's a tough combo, but I'm having a hard time getting work even in a huge area like Northern Virginia.

I don't understand it really. I had good grades, good references, good experience.

But this English degree looks like it's never going to turn into what I expected and now I need to make changes while I have the time, before I start a family.

Ideally Kyle, I'd love to work with computers. It's what I spend most of my free time doing and I think programming would really appeal to me.

I thought I wanted to be a writer my whole life, but I just lost the passion for it after two years and I want to have a stable career where I can live comfortably in my hometown.

keg in kc
09-15-2006, 08:09 PM
Ideally Kyle, I'd love to work with computers. It's what I spend most of my free time doing and I think programming would really appeal to me.Then that's where you should head. Do what you love, and let the rest work iteself out.I thought I wanted to be a writer my whole life, but I just lost the passion for it after two years and I want to have a stable career where I can live comfortably in my hometown.The nice thing about being a writer is that you can do it even if it's not your primary career. And, frankly, it's a damned hard career. From what I've heard, at least.

dtebbe
09-15-2006, 08:27 PM
In the places I've worked (large and small) the IT departments were much more about the talent of the person than what paper that person had on the wall. I don't know if it's like that everywhere or not. Working for a school or state/government job might be the only exception to that.

DT

Coach
09-15-2006, 08:32 PM
Your IT interests are lame and your fiancee is a whore.

Run along junior, I hear your mom calling you for some bump-n-grind.

Bad-guy, you are right. There is a high demand for IT people. I can understand your desire to go get a Masters Degree. It would help your chances of getting a big job and such.

Plus, I think the way the college prices are going these days, soon is the better option than later, if you know what I mean.

Either way, good luck on what you do.

morphius
09-15-2006, 08:38 PM
In the places I've worked (large and small) the IT departments were much more about the talent of the person than what paper that person had on the wall. I don't know if it's like that everywhere or not. Working for a school or state/government job might be the only exception to that.

DT
Our interviews have always been about what they know, we are not to cruel in the interview, but we ask some basic things and even some things they might not be able to answer to see how they might figure things out. Then see if their personality will fit with the team.

Skip Towne
09-15-2006, 08:39 PM
I hear WPI is hiring writers.
Nice one!!!

Skip Towne
09-15-2006, 08:45 PM
I'm no lawyer but that seems kind of bogus to me. You're not married for one, and for another, the information that you "moved down there because of your fiance" was both second-hand and false.
Sue 'em!!!!!!!! You'll win. Either a settlement with them or a judgment against them (less likely but still a good possibility).

Deberg_1990
09-15-2006, 08:52 PM
Thanks for the reply Kyle.

What really pisses me off is this the job was the reason we moved down here in the first place.

I agree 100% with what you're saying about the primer.

She's been super supportive.

She might actually stay another year if I go home to get my masters, but with how hard they work teachers down here, I'll be amazed if she isn't burned out by June.

I'll be damned if I'm going to spend another year in this shithole paying 1,400 a month rent for an 1,100 square foot apartment.

I feel your pain man. I lived in the DC area for a year and a half. $1200 for a small 2 bedroom apartment. Nobody could pay me enough to move back there. Stick with it man, i sure hope you find something.

The Bad Guy
09-15-2006, 09:27 PM
I feel your pain man. I lived in the DC area for a year and a half. $1200 for a small 2 bedroom apartment. Nobody could pay me enough to move back there. Stick with it man, i sure hope you find something.

It's unreal.

I really am counting down the days till we can leave.

Where exactly did you live if you don't mind me asking?

I have applied to every school, University and anything else that will pay decently - ranging from media coordinator for George Mason U to working as a safety and security assistant at two local middle schools.

My savings has gone from pretty plentiful to almost nothing in just a month's time.

Easily, easily the worst decision I ever made in my life to come down here. Ahh, but you live and learn I guess.

StcChief
09-15-2006, 09:31 PM
No jobs for a B.S. in Comp Sci? All the new jobs going to
India......I know they changed their minds after hiring you......Got a letter from the HR? Did they give you serverence?

Deberg_1990
09-15-2006, 09:34 PM
Where exactly did you live if you don't mind me asking?



I lived in Bowie Maryland. Its a suburb on the other side of DC from where you are at. Basically on the NE side between DC and Annapolis.

BigRedChief
09-15-2006, 10:32 PM
I've not had any issues finding I.T. work here in KC since I left Sprint 2 years ago. Making way too much money for what I do. Banker hours, holidays and weekends off. I.T. Security is a booming field. Maybe you should look into that aspect of I.T.?

jAZ
09-17-2006, 12:08 AM
I would be getting my masters from the same place I got my bachelor's from. It's a local University in my hometown that has a pretty strong reputation on the East Coast.

There are three jobs that are constantly available in my hometown - IT, health care and financial institutions. That's it. On Monster, there are about 45 IT jobs listed right now.

My prelim. goals right now are either to be a technology teacher or programmer.

I think by teaching down in Northern Virginia, my fiancee will have a good shot at getting a teaching job back home. If I want to make it back there, and living down here has made me appreciate that place ten fold, then I want to do something IT related, which is what I should have gotten my undergrad in anyway.

An English degree is great, if you want to go to Law School, but generally, the employers I've dealt with told me it's a worthless degree.
Sounds like the IT Masters wouldn't hurt, but you'll want to invest outside time (maybe even volunteer) getting some IT experience. Unless the Masters of IT program has a strong placement program/reputation, it's still going to be a challenge to find a programming job straight out of college if your only experience in a production environment is class projects.