Ask IT Career Coach

I have hands on experience in the Networking IT/Telecommunications business for over 15 years now.
I\'ve done everything from managing millions of end users in multiple countries, to deploying or upgrading Networks in offices of 20 people.
There is very little I have not seen or have done. My main forte is in the Network (routers, switches, TCP/IP), not so much on the desktop or end user environment.
The last "real" job I had ended during 9/11.
I haven\'t worked in my true capacity since that time. Infact, I have spent most of that time, outside the US traveling the world. I\'m back in the USA and it\'s time to work once again.
It seems everyone wants a degree\'s or some certifications these days. I have certifications from years ago, but HR does not see them as relevant to today.
What hiring managers and especially HR people fail to realize is that nothing has changed. TCP/IP and networking is still TCP/IP and networking. Maybe a different interface, a different command line interface, or a different box. But the practical knowledge and know how is exactly the same.
How do I get over and bypass this perceived limitation that keeps getting thrown in my face? I know, given the chance, I would far surpass anyones expectations! It\'s getting that first chance that is my first big hurdle to overcome.

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The challenge of getting back into the computer networking industry after a prolonged abscience is not a problem of degrees or certifications but a problem of lack of recent work experience.
And the issue is not that you cannot work as a computer network engineer if given a chance but that people have gotten used to thinking of employment gaps in the resume in a certain way.
In other words, hiring managers are so used to working with people with the very latest technologies even those that are still in beta ... that when they see someone who has been out of the industry for a couple of years, they simply go ballistics :-)
The main issue is that being unable to ascertain technical skills, recruiters and staffing agencies are paranoid about matching your skills with the exact words listed on a job description and then if you try and contact the employer directly, your resume will most likely be dropped by gatekeepers (automated software programs or administrative personnel) who again cannot judge your true technical skills, so they are again paranoid about you having the latest work experience and cutting edge skills.
So, you are going to have to do something to convince them that you are truly capable of doing what you say that you can do.
#1: The easiest thing to do is to start working on your certifications. Many times before you actually get those certifications, you will get hired. This is because the act of preparing for certificatiosn gets you into the mindset required for acing technical interviews.
#2: Start a blog and start providing real services to people based on your expertise. That is one of the best way to show people that you actually know what you are talking about ... starting a blog and making your opinions public.
Why starting a blog is a less direct route, if done properly, it will help you circumvent the requirements for more degrees and more certifications because employers or professionals in your industry can read your opinions and then decide if you are really as good as you say you are :-)
\"It seems everyone wants a degreeā€™s or some certifications these days. I have certifications from years ago, but HR does not see them as relevant to today.\"
If thats your main hurdle I recommend you update your certifications.