Need a paid or unpaid internship? Here are some great sites to visit.
Dear Molly: For the past year I have studied Cisco Systems networking. In four months I will be a CCNP and a CCDP. Then I will start to study for the “security specialist” designation. I do not have any on-the-job computer experience. Most companies are requiring 3 to 5 years experience. Do you think I will be able to find a job soon or should I try to get an unpaid internship? I would appreciate any feedback you have to offer.
Molly says: Believe it or not, you could get a job right away teaching the courses you will have completed! Real-life experience–at least years of it–isn’t required by some schools; just the relevant certification and participation in a crash course in how to teach.
You could do that while you continue to search for a job in the field itself. You probably do need to get a job that gives you experience before you can successfully apply for the jobs that state years of experience as a requirement.
You could also get an unpaid internship, but many internships and short-term assignment jobs pay real money. To find out more about IT internships, here are a few Web sites for you to visit: Internships.com, Wetfeet, and InternJobs.
You may want to apply for a job to the companies offering IT internships before you apply for an internship. Companies that offer internships, in my opinion, tend to be more flexible and inventive about their hiring policies than companies that don’t.
Molly Joss also writes the monthly Career Advisor column for ComputerUser magazine. Ask a career-related question at [email protected]