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toasterburn
Starting Member

7 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2012 :  11:50:55  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have an interesting dilemma, and could use some advice.

I have spent the last two years as a Network Administrator for a small company (I have an associates degree in Computer Programming and Networking). My position had zero room for advancement and poor benefits; In my spare time I have been studying for the SQL Server Cert and I have some experience writing queries at work, so I decided to forward my resume to our local university, and had a promising interview for an entry-level SQL Programmer position (creating basic reports for management). My employer found out about the interview though and immediately fired me. Thankfully, my wife also works and we have some savings, so I'm not hurting for money at the moment, but I will need to find work in the next few months.

Today I was offered a position at the University, but not the job I wanted. This position would be for a "Digitalization Technologist" which basically converts old manuscripts into digital files. It's IT-ish, but not really an IT job. It also has no room for advancement and is $7000 a year less then I was making before. The only real benefit would be a would be a foot-in-the-door at the university and a little money in my pocket right now, but I'm afraid it would not look good on my resume to take a non-IT job and less pay. I'm also still carrying hope for the SQL job; I just heard today that they were "upgrading the position" and it would be a few months before they were able to hire someone. I think I will be ready in a few months to take the cert exams, which would increase my chances of landing this job, but it's a gamble. I believe there will also probably be more IT jobs to apply for after the holidays.

The main reason I want to work at the University is because they offer one free class a semester and half-off after that. Ultimately, I want to transfer my credits there and finish a four year degree in Management Information Systems. At one class a semester, it will take me 6-7 years to graduate, if I take two classes a semester it's closer to three years, but unless the managers cool about it they don't like you taking more then one class a semester. Another option, would be to try to scrape by for a couple of years with just my wife's salary, get a student loan, and go back to school full-time. If I did that, I could graduate in two years, but it would be very difficult to make ends meet during that time. I feel like that degree would go a long way towards getting the position and pay I eventually want, but of course there are no guarantees.

I know that's a lot to process, kudos if you're still reading. So should I take the job I'm not excited about? Hold out for a SQL job? Or go back to school full-time for an MIS Degree?

TG
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

USA
6062 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2012 :  13:39:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tough call. If you had said that you have 3 kids to feed and no other family income I'd say take any job. But because that doesn't sound like your situation I'd listen to you gut. If you are determined to eventually have an IT job there is no choice you could make now that will prevent it from happening.

So did you really get fired because you interviewed - or did they fire you skipping out on work - just so happened that you skipped work for an interview? I think it is more often that an employer will give you a raise if they think you're looking around. If it was as you say then that person is a short sighted, spiteful imbecile.

Be One with the Optimizer
TG
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jimf
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

USA
2869 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2012 :  15:29:41  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
If you can get experience while getting a degree, that is the way to go. Not necessarily with the university, but many companies offer tuition reimbursement. If you go the full-time student route, you'll have a degree and zilch experience, and experience counts for a lot in IT. I've never been in an interview with IT where anybody cared if I have an MCITP (which I don't, and that puts me in some pretty fine company with people at SQLTeam!).

Jim

Everyday I learn something that somebody else already knew
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toasterburn
Starting Member

7 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2012 :  16:06:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TG

Tough call. If you had said that you have 3 kids to feed and no other family income I'd say take any job. But because that doesn't sound like your situation I'd listen to you gut. If you are determined to eventually have an IT job there is no choice you could make now that will prevent it from happening.

So did you really get fired because you interviewed - or did they fire you skipping out on work - just so happened that you skipped work for an interview? I think it is more often that an employer will give you a raise if they think you're looking around. If it was as you say then that person is a short sighted, spiteful imbecile.

Be One with the Optimizer
TG



I interviewed on my lunch break, not company time. But the university wanted references from my current employer, so I had to give them to them. My manager was very supportive of me trying to improve my situation. The president however was not. He asked me to come to his office, sat me down and said "I consider all of my employees family. It's come to my attention that you are looking for another job, which means you don't want to be part of this family. I don't want anyone who doesn't want to be part of the family working for me, so we need to part ways." Didn't even let me finish the day.
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tkizer
Almighty SQL Goddess

USA
37460 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2012 :  17:07:07  Show Profile  Visit tkizer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
When I've interviewed, I tell them that they can't have references from my current employer. Haven't had a problem with that answer and have been offered a job.

These days they can use LinkedIn to check for references. Make sure your profile is up to date and has references. Request references from colleagues.

Tara Kizer
Microsoft MVP for Windows Server System - SQL Server
http://weblogs.sqlteam.com/tarad/

Subscribe to my blog
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toasterburn
Starting Member

7 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2012 :  18:17:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That probably would have been ok, except this is the first job I got after getting my associates degree, so it's my only IT experience.
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JimL
SQL Slinging Yak Ranger

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2012 :  08:14:44  Show Profile  Visit JimL's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Sounds like you also have grounds for a wrongful termination suit should you wish to pursue it.

Here in the USA they would have to support the position that you failed to perform your job.
Not that you were looking to find another.


Jim
Users <> Logic
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Transact Charlie
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

United Kingdom
3451 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2012 :  10:09:36  Show Profile  Visit Transact Charlie's Homepage  Reply with Quote
--quote--
""I consider all of my employees family. It's come to my attention that you are looking for another job, which means you don't want to be part of this family."
--endquote--
were you working for a cult? or the Mob?

If not then that's amazingly stupid and probably grounds for wrongful termination.

From the sounds of it, I'd be tempted to take the university position -- and impress to get a more responsible position.

I wouldn't worry about the CV.

Transact Charlie
Msg 3903.. The ROLLBACK TRANSACTION request has no corresponding BEGIN TRANSACTION.
http://nosqlsolution.blogspot.co.uk/
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toasterburn
Starting Member

7 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2012 :  11:01:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Not a cult, just a small furniture chain. President has a history of getting angry when people want to leave the company. Seems to take it as a personal offense. But without room for advancement, sick days, holidays, or chance of a raise (no one in the company has gotten one in 5 years), what does he expect?

Thanks for all the input guys. I had a chance to sit down with a friend of mine who works at the university, and on his advice I have decided to accept the position I was offered. Apparently, the university shows extreme favoritism to university employees, and always offers new positions in-house first. He told me that by getting my foot in the door now, I can easily move around inside the company when a job I want becomes available. Hopefully, it wont be long before I can transfer over to a position working with SQL.

I've also decided to forgo the MIS degree and instead take one programming class after the other, since software development is what I eventually want to be doing. Becoming a good programmer, combined with lots of experience with databases, should put me where I want to go.
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Transact Charlie
Flowing Fount of Yak Knowledge

United Kingdom
3451 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2012 :  13:08:26  Show Profile  Visit Transact Charlie's Homepage  Reply with Quote
best advice I can give then is to start your own projects

Having something you can point to and say "I built that" is; bar none; the most impressive thing I can see on a CV.

Transact Charlie
Msg 3903.. The ROLLBACK TRANSACTION request has no corresponding BEGIN TRANSACTION.
http://nosqlsolution.blogspot.co.uk/
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toasterburn
Starting Member

7 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2012 :  15:49:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Transact Charlie

best advice I can give then is to start your own projects

Having something you can point to and say "I built that" is; bar none; the most impressive thing I can see on a CV.

Transact Charlie
Msg 3903.. The ROLLBACK TRANSACTION request has no corresponding BEGIN TRANSACTION.
http://nosqlsolution.blogspot.co.uk/



Thanks. Will do.
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Michael Valentine Jones
Yak DBA Kernel (pronounced Colonel)

USA
7020 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2012 :  18:28:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think working while going to school is probably best. Besides the financial burden, an education without experience doesn't carry much weight.

You should consider taking a bigger course load to get done as soon as possible. Life changes like new jobs, relocation, and family additions can put the breaks on your education. Getting it done as fast as possible reduces the chances of that heppening.

I went to night school myself and took 8 classes per year on average until I was done.





CODO ERGO SUM
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