02-13-2013 05:25 PM
Hi folks, first time poster here.
I know the header of this thread is rather presumptuous but it gets right to the point of my relation to work & IT.
There is a whole lotta doom being slung around on the career boards about the sad state of working in IT with established credentials but my question is more like fishing for advice & directions for career pathways.
I do not have a "hard" CS or IT background although I have held system admin jobs for small design firms, and have worked at a recognized college as a lab manager for a several years. Most of my professional life as been spent in arts education both at the college and primary school level so I am very good with personal interaction and visual technologies. Because of my relocation across the country and dearth of local education positions (schools don't teach art anymore) I am considering upping my IT skills with futher study to make myself more hireable for computer related jobs. I have a BFA & a MFA and so all of my digital skills have been self-taught or learned along with the process of designing visual projects. My stengths are in organizing systems, training & organizing people, and fixing things. I don't have a lot of experince coding or engineering software other than simple scripts. My resume' suffers from being experinced in a lot of overlapping skillsets (art, design, people, technology) but not PRO in any of them (except art).
What are the best steps for me to parlay my prior non-IT experince into a job? What are the best steps for giving myself a firm foundation for employability. I am particularly interested in learning more GNU/Linux SysAdmin, but really don't want to spend any more money on my education. The local CC does have AAS degrees, but most mention of that on these boards are laughed at. I do live in a tech-heavy city, but it is not a major metropolis. Is just coding your own mobile apps still a good way of getting started or is that cliche now as well?
Go ahead and scuffaw if you want, but I am just askin'.
02-14-2013 09:58 AM
First network. Without knowing who needs what it won't be possible for you to know what to do. Second be honest with yourself. Managing a twenty-five seat school lab is not the same as managing a five hundred computer enterprise network. Myself, I'd feel comfortable with the former but not the latter.
Third, most artists that I've known to make money with art have several gigs. Private schools in my area still have excellent art programs as do community and state colleges. It may not be enough but maybe you can supplement your income by teaching art.
02-14-2013 01:12 PM
02-15-2013 10:24 AM
How should I make my income?
Passively, let your money do the work for you.
They hire people that can get the job done and that have a history of delivering. If they are looking for a web developer they look for the right Web-developer experience. Some-one with a PHD in CS and 5 certs but no Web developer experience has little chance of being hired.
02-25-2013 02:52 PM
Here are several areas that you might investigate.
Networking and talking to people about your interests are a good place to start.
Combine your interest in art with computers, so you can learn new skills. Seek out a local Maker Faire, then be there from open to close. Ask about volunteering. Figure out where you might apply your organizational skills at an event. Record your experiences and accomplishments, for future reference.
Dive into the fascinating new world of the Arduino and DIY projects. The Arduino "platform" was created to make it easy for art people to add motion and interactivity to their pieces. Of course, hobbyists have discovered the platform and now there is an ever expanding universe of people learning how to apply the technology, to THEIR interests. Perhaps, you'd see some opportunities here.
Start going to "gallery hops" or make some pieces and place them in galleries, for sale. Lots of cities have once a month meetups. I've been to quite a few in Orlando. Great place to meet other artists, gallery curators, and clients. Technology hasn't crept into the pieces in any big way...hint, hint...Arduino. That's from my limited art knowledge and massive IT/Linux/DIY/Arduino/tech perspective. Would tech in art sell? One way to find out!
Seek out local tech meet-ups. Make sure you have appropriate business cards. Then, be interesting and outgoing. Go to a couple to see some of the tech pitches, then approach the principals and find out what they need. Figure out how to solve their problem, then sell it to them. It will probably take some time to build up your relationships.
Seek out local LUGs (Linux User Group), then go to their meetings. Let them know that you are an art guy interested in learning Linux. Then participate. It can be a little intimidating. There are some incredibly intelligent technologists inhabiting LUG meetings and meet ups. Don't let it bother you. Just keep showing up, go get a cold one after the meeting, and be interested/interesting. You'll eventually find a how you can fit in and perhaps some opportunities.
I think relationship building and mutual respect will ultimately be your road to prosperity.
Keep at it and be sure to share your experiences.
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