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Putting it all together

Once you have the background, a good resume and recruiter should get you into a good IT job. Putting it all together Once you have the background, a good resume and recruiter should get you into a good IT job.

Dear Molly: I’m coming up on the end of my four-year enlistment in the military and am looking to get out and get a job in the IT market. I’ve earned an AAS in electronic systems technology, and just recently obtained a CCNA. I’m currently working on an A+ certification and should have that completed before I’m done. My question is, with only a couple years of experience and education, how much money can I expect to earn?

Molly says: Wow! You have exactly the right combination of training and experience that many companies are looking for. You could probably pick any major city in the states and get a job there. The first thing you need to do is get a resumé together and start shopping for an IT recruiter. Look for a firm that has offices throughout the country and the world, if you want to live abroad. The right recruiter will be someone who is excited to work with you and who has ties to large corporations.

Keep in mind that you can work with more than one recruiter at a time. Some recruiters might try to tell you otherwise, saying that it wouldn’t look good to send your resumé to a prospective employer from several different firms. That doesn’t happen often, however, and even if it does, it just means you’re a hot prospect.

What you can earn will depend a lot upon how good the recruiter is and where you settle down. You could end up in a small- to medium-size town and earn $35,000 a year as a network engineer, or you could parlay your experience and training into a job that pays as much as $50,000 or $60,000. You’ll have to live in or near a large metropolitan area and be prepared to travel extensively to get this higher salary.

Before you leave the military, put together a detailed list of the projects you have worked on in the last four years. List what you have done and what you have learned on these projects. This information will help the recruiter zero in on the best job for you and convince potential employers that you have the experience they need.

Molly Joss also writes the monthly Career Advisor column for ComputerUser magazine. Ask a career-related question at [email protected]

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