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Computer Science degree, 6 years still unable to find job in IT industry. watch

    • Thread Starter

    So I graduated a with a degree in Computer Science, 2:1 about 6 years ago. I have been trying to get into the field, but so far I have been unable to get anything asthe industry is very competitive. So I've just been doing odd jobs here and there. I've signed up for some Comptia A+, CCNA courses that I'm doing in my spare time from Udemy and I'm just wondering if that will make any difference. I just want to get my foot into the door and not feel like I wasted 3 years of my life going to uni. I do not want to do any programming as I was never that good at it. I've also been looking at QA Consulting/ FDM, would you recommend them?Any advice would be greatly appreciated

    I studied CCNA as part of the Networking modules at Staffs Uni (Staffs is a Cisco training centre), but there are loads of them across the country now). Cisco courses can be really intense depending how quickly you're looking to complete the courses - I tended to spend around 10 hours per week working on CCNA material (online material and exercises in the labs), doing at least 2 chapters per week.

    Do you have access to the right Cisco equipment, or the option to use the labs at a nearby Cisco training centre? One of the main benefits of CCNA is the fact that there are a lot of hands-on exercises which teach you real, concrete problem-solving skills using physical routers/switches instead of relying on simulators. (Although maybe the Cisco simulators are a lot better now? I guess if Cisco considers them to be good enough to pass the course then it probably doesn't matter that much.)

    The fact that Cisco set the bar fairly high for somebody to pass means they're valuable; the hands-on problem-solving skills you get from CCNA are worth having for general IT and networking, and the theory is very useful to have. I would imagine CompTIA+ is much the same.

    I don't know anybody who has been through schemes like FDM, but I have an inkling about how they work. FDM in particular will put you through their training course, and then ask you to work with one of their clients (most likely a large, well-known company, so this might be a bonus for you - probably the type of company who may be able to offer you a permanent job with them once you're out of your FDM contract). Working at different FDM placements could mean getting a lot of variety, and be asked to do a bunch of different things, which could be good experience for the future.

    Of course, that may be good or bad, depending on whether the kind of work you're looking to do matches any of their clients' vacancies. They're a consultancy firm, and you'd be an intern - so you probably won't have either the flexibility nor the high salary of a typical consultant. FDM's clients will pay a lot of money to FDM for the work you do, but you won't see most of that.

    Also, remember that being a consultant means you may be be sent to travel away somewhere for work too - this could be awesome if you're interested in that kind of thing (Obviously any employer is legally required to pay your travel costs and other reasonable expenses if that happens), although if you've got family commitments at home, then that might be difficult on your personal life.

    I would be cautious about the T&C with these kinds of schemes too. You need to make sure you look very carefully at the contract you sign to make sure that you're willing to go along with it (in particular, FDM will require that you work for them for 2 years, so if you need to leave your job for any reason, then they might impose a financial penalty).

    It is unlikely that they will be able to guarantee you the kind of job you're looking for too. They're a "body shop" consultancy (meaning that their business is all about putting people into jobs), so your job depends on the demands of their clients at the time. If you complete their training for hands-on technical IT support work, but their clients don't have anything which is an exact match, you might find yourself in a bit of a square-peg/round-hole scenario.

    In the worst-case you might find yourself working in a job you didn't expect for a while, such as a Business Analyst or QA tester until something more suitable to your skills and training becomes is available (this is unlikely but not impossible). I imagine the recruiters at FDM will try their very best to ensure it doesn't happen because it's in their clients' interests to get a QA Tester into a QA job, and a Business Analyst into a BA job. I don't think they'll be able to guarantee that it won't happen however.

    Ultimately, I don't think FDM or other similar companies are a bad way to start a career; they're obviously successful for a lot of people, but I think you need to be 100% sure that you're OK with what you're getting into. It doesn't hurt to attend their assessment day and talk to them - keep an open mind and make sure you ask them a lot of questions about anything which might worry you - in particular try to find out what kinds of skills are most in-demand with their clients at the moment, and try to learn about what kind of job you'd realistically expect to get. Also, you get the chance to explain to them what you're interested in, and find out whether it's really the right thing for you.
    • Thread Starter

    Thanks for your reply, sorry for the delay in responding. I'm currently undertaking Comptia A+ and just signed up to CCNA, havent had a chance to take a look at it, but I presume it will all be in virtual simulators and no I do not have any access Cisco equipment. I will have a look and see if i can find any nearby Cisco training centres.

    I have looked into FDM and when they take you on, you are tied down for 2 years. I do not mind taking this route as long as it gets me through the door and lands me a decent job in the industry at the end. I'm going to sign up and attend one of their assessment days so I can have a chat with them to get some more information and see how they can help me before I make a decision. Thank you so much, I really appreciate taking your time out to respond to my post.
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