Should I Become an X Ray Tech?

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Donald_ in Cliffside Park, New Jersey

53 months ago

I posted this earlier, but nobody responded, so let me elaborate:

I want to become a x ray tech, not because I want to be an x ray tech, but because it provides a stepping stone to higher paid profesions, such as radiation therapist and radiologist assisstant. There are 2 professions that I would really like to do. Can someone please tell me whether this is a good idea? Would I have to first work as an x ray tech, or could I immediately jump into radiation therapy/ radiologist assistant after completing my x ray tech program.

Thank you!

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taurus20red in Atlanta, Georgia

53 months ago

Sorry but I cannot really answer your question. I am already a radiology tech and what I recommend to you is to go to www.arrt.org. This website will give you all the information and requirements you need to know about becoming a radiologist assistant. It will also show you a list of accredited schools in the US that teach it.

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xoxo in Norfolk, Virginia

53 months ago

Donald_ in Cliffside Park, New Jersey said: I posted this earlier, but nobody responded, so let me elaborate:

I want to become a x ray tech, not because I want to be an x ray tech, but because it provides a stepping stone to higher paid profesions, such as radiation therapist and radiologist assisstant. There are 2 professions that I would really like to do. Can someone please tell me whether this is a good idea? Would I have to first work as an x ray tech, or could I immediately jump into radiation therapy/ radiologist assistant after completing my x ray tech program.

Thank you!

I'm looking to becoming a RA as well and have asked around about it. The best and realistic advice I've received is that before you become an RA you must have at least 5 years of RT(R) professional experience. The experience ensures competency - becoming an RA is not a level you can rush into.

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Donald_ in Cliffside Park, New Jersey

53 months ago

Thanks, but in this market getting those 5 years can be very difficult. One of my neighbor's kids became an x ray tech and had to move to Texas to find a job. I was hoping to be able to enter into an RA program right out of school for this reason.

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xoxo in Norfolk, Virginia

53 months ago

You already have your mind made up - so why ask? I'm not here to argue. However, I'm nice enough to pass info that came from a tech with 20+ years of field experience and teaches at a well recognized accred. school which has no problem placing their students. To be competent RA and have a higher chance of employment once you graduate that program - 5 years min. of clinical experience is highly recommended. Oh, and the other candidates applying probably already have those 5 years, it's pretty competitive.

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Donald_ in Cliffside Park, New Jersey

53 months ago

ALso, while it is not my intention to argue, I have noticed that many online RA programs only require 2 years of experience (UNC, Midwestern State, etc.). In fact, since Midwestern has an online RA program, I might do an online BS with them. Maybe it will make it easier to get into their RA program if I am an alumni.

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xoxo in Norfolk, Virginia

53 months ago

You still haven't listened. I'm looking long term after you graduate an RA program you'll need the prior experience to land a job!

Also, I don't buy all the "there are no jobs" info posted here. This is a very small group compared to 300,000 registered techs. And personally believe in setting your own path. I don't like to speak for everyone because job openings vary greatly around the country. However, I've noticed the trend among posters here is that they only look at on-line postings, send out about 20 resumes or throw 200 resumes in every direction, don't volunteer because it doesn't pay, and scratch their heads after 4 interviews. And after being asked hard questions they come up with a blank answer. They're completely, unrealistic, especially in today's work force. So, go ahead - apply with only 2 years just make sure you are stellar in school and extra curricular activities, community service, employment, and know the right people. After this maybe you'll get accepted.

Trust me, I'm your competition - what you think I'm doing to set myself ahead?

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Donald_ in Cliffside Park, New Jersey

53 months ago

I've searched the websites of most of the big hospital systems in my area and did not see a single position for X ray tech. The closest thing I saw was a slot for an experienced MRI tech. Have you looked at online job postings in your area for x ray tech? If you don't see any jobs listed, that should raise a red flag.

There are simply too many x ray tech schools pumping out graduates like an assembly line. I know first hand that another school is going to be opening up in my area this January, as if there were not enough to begin with.

So no, your not my competition. You can't be my competition if there is no job to compete for.

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xoxo in Norfolk, Virginia

53 months ago

Donald_ in Cliffside Park, New Jersey said: I've searched the websites of most of the big hospital systems in my area and did not see a single position for X ray tech. The closest thing I saw was a slot for an experienced MRI tech. Have you looked at online job postings in your area for x ray tech? If you don't see any jobs listed, that should raise a red flag.

There are simply too many x ray tech schools pumping out graduates like an assembly line. I know first hand that another school is going to be opening up in my area this January, as if there were not enough to begin with.

So no, your not my competition. You can't be my competition if there is no job to compete for.

Really? This is exactly what I'm talking about - you win. There are no jobs! Ohh and just so you know I read 2 full time positions posted on an employee board of a terrific hospital and these were not listed on the job site. It's who you can connect with. Well, nice trying to know you - However, I discovered enough -- take care!

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CNMT in Virginia

53 months ago

xoxo in Norfolk, Virginia said: Really? This is exactly what I'm talking about - you win. There are no jobs! Ohh and just so you know I read 2 full time positions posted on an employee board of a terrific hospital and these were not listed on the job site. It's who you can connect with. Well, nice trying to know you - However, I discovered enough -- take care!

Hey xoxo,
there are not many jobs in xray in the Hampton Roads area. TCC is graduating close to 25-30 a year and have overflooded the area. The older techs are not retiring=no current jobs. Unless you know someone that works for one of the hospitals, then you got a leg up. Good luck!

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xoxo in Norfolk, Virginia

53 months ago

I really appreciate the comment and you made my point. Maybe I'm one of those who doesn't quit, and rarely takes no for an answer. I used to, and learned that I missed the reward when it was the closest after I did. So when I hear people say "there are no jobs!" well, they've already lost. People need to hire themselves "as their own personal recruiter" not as unemployed.

I've posted some hard questions here and usually they come up with generalized and easy answers. Many times they haven't gone the extra mile and consider that things will not change or not change what they are doing about finding a job.

Here's a good question I've asked: When you don't get job offer do you ever ask why? When employers answer "experience" - say okay, if experience is the only obstacle, what do you recommend I do(beyond such and such), so that I have a better chance next time? Many have here not done that and that's why they have a hard time finding jobs. Nevermind, that actually research the hospital its latest accomplishments or programs before they apply and write about on a cover letter.

Right - "no jobs." well yeah, there aren't any if you go about it a certain way.

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Donald_ in Cliffside Park, New Jersey

53 months ago

You know xoxo, you sound EXACTLY like the way I was thinking about a year ago when I was in the final stages of completing my BS degree. I thought that all of the "gloom and doom" did not apply to me because I would be different. Well, a year later, I have only a crummy part time job with no promotion potential. Please don't think that things will be "different" for you because they are not.

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xoxo in Norfolk, Virginia

53 months ago

Donald_ in Cliffside Park, New Jersey said: You know xoxo, you sound EXACTLY like the way I was thinking about a year ago when I was in the final stages of completing my BS degree. I thought that all of the "gloom and doom" did not apply to me because I would be different. Well, a year later, I have only a crummy part time job with no promotion potential. Please don't think that things will be "different" for you because they are not.

This exactly what I'm talking about; complaining because you don't get to work a "dream job" right away. Do know how many people in this country can't find work at all? It would be different if you were 50 had three kids in school, a mortgage, and were currently laid-off because the career field which you dedicated 20+ yrs to is shutting down. Then, I would be genuinely concerned. Something tells me your not that person. Currently, Healthcare, is one of the most stable fields out there. Your perspective has become skewed somewhere and you have no reason to complain.

You remind me EXACTLY of someone who just received a bachelor's with little life experience. And just like others and didn't answer my question either. Did you do what I mentioned above? Instead you lash at me when I know personally what works because I've done it and the people that surround myself with have done it. We've been promoted from the ground up and are very successful. We rarely let pessimism set in even when it took 6 mo.+ or had to re-locate for a great job.

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Donald_ in Cliffside Park, New Jersey

53 months ago

Not all healthcare jobs are in demand. Hospitals are shutting down. Go to the website of the biggest hospital in your area. Tell me hwo many x ray tech jobs there are. Then tell me how many jobs there are for nurses.

And if your so successful, why are you considering going to x ray tech school?

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xoxo in Norfolk, Virginia

53 months ago

Thanks again for proving my point. I don't base my job market opinions solely on-line like the majority here. So yes, things are different for me out there because I look at them differently. Do you realize how you sound? "I've got a crappy job with no future...hospitals are shutting down....there are no jobs." I'm well aware of the economy and know things are temporary and will change.

You even look at my past success as failure by asking why am I switching careers. Well, x-ray is something I've always wanted to do and now I have the chance to do it. So while I spent years doing something that was not first my first choice I made the most of it and was good at it. Like I said I rarely take no for answer and I don't quit. I look long term and make the most of something regardless of where I am.

Enjoy your crappy dead-end job since that's the way you like to see it.

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Donald_ in Cliffside Park, New Jersey

53 months ago

At least I have a job. But if you want to pursue x ray and look for a needle in the haystack entry level job, good luck. Do you not realize that x ray schools are pumping out graduates like assembly lines? These schools only care about making money, not the job prospects of their graduates.

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xoxo in Norfolk, Virginia

53 months ago

I knew it. Your interested in becoming an RA or RT only if it's handed to you without paying your dues. Wake-up that's not how the work force operates in any career. It's hard getting started in any profession. You'd be unhappy know matter what field you chose because it didn't turn out the way you wanted it to. That's the difference between us. You expected it to be "the goose that laid a golden egg." I don't. I don't mind starting entry level whatever the hours because I realize and experienced that it's temporary and eventually something will come along it always does.

Have fun with the blame game... the schools and the crappy jobs That gets you far really fast. You're a waste of my time and energy.

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purplepeppermint in South Yarmouth, Massachusetts

53 months ago

I live in MA and there are no jobs. when one pops up so many people are applying it's really hard to catch a job in radiology right now unless you know someone. Right now Burger King sounds good until I can land an x-ray job:( Do you want fries with that?

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Donald_ in Cliffside Park, New Jersey

53 months ago

" I don't mind starting entry level whatever the hours..."

You don't understand. There are NO entry level x ray tech jobs. If the jobs are there, then post a link to a job ad for an entry level position. Post one, it's an easy enough task. I dare you.

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Common Sense in Mesa, Arizona

53 months ago

wow there is so much negativity on this thread! nothing but bitter people...

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JL in Austin, Texas

47 months ago

Here in Texas, the hospitals and clinics are only interested in hiring LMRT's and NCT's (non-certified techs....only in Texas could you be certified as non-certified, but that's another story...) so they can pay less. The only RT positions you'll find are re: ct, mammo, fluoro, MRI, etc. You;ll have a REAL hard time getting a day job with no call or shift work, because those all go to the lesser qualified "techs. It's simply way for the doc's to make more profit, and this is how it is in Austin.

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boogirl in Fayetteville, North Carolina

43 months ago

Donald_ in Cliffside Park, New Jersey said: I posted this earlier, but nobody responded, so let me elaborate:

I want to become a x ray tech, not because I want to be an x ray tech, but because it provides a stepping stone to higher paid profesions, such as radiation therapist and radiologist assisstant. There are 2 professions that I would really like to do. Can someone please tell me whether this is a good idea? Would I have to first work as an x ray tech, or could I immediately jump into radiation therapy/ radiologist assistant after completing my x ray tech program.

Thank you!

i dont think you should do it if its not what you want to do with your life

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boogirl in Fayetteville, North Carolina

43 months ago

and i dont think you should be nasty to the people trying to help you just cause you cant find it doesnt mean its not there

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Drones in Omaha, Nebraska

43 months ago

xoxo, when you are on a sinking ship you don't sit on the deck listening to the string quartet. There aren't any jobs out there. I've worked in the field for over 20yrs and what we are going through is unprecedented. The problem isn't the economy but rather there are to many schools graduating to many students. I'll attempt to answer your questions.
1)Taking no for an answer: There are very few employers out there anymore especially those at larger facilities that will take your resume. You must first submit an online application.
2)Volunteering: This is a non-starter as no hospital or imaging facility will allow someone to work for free just for the experience. This would violate all kinds of labor laws not to mention go against that facilities insurance policy. Volunteer positions are usually left for the those who are retired and are looking for something to do. Even those people have to go through a selection process. All they are allowed to do is push wheel chairs and carts.

When there are no jobs in your area all you can do is throw out your resume.

I do admire your positive outlook, in general terms, but it is completely out of step with what is going on in radiology right now. We have been trending towards fewer jobs and lower pay. The employers hold all the cards. For every PRN position that opens up there are at least 10 applicants, and for every full time position there is are 20 applicants. A lot of posted positions are already filled. They only reason they were posted is because they were legally bound to do so.

For those of you who can't find a job:
My recommendation is to get out of the field, like I did. Don't wait for things to turn around, because they aren't going to anytime soon. I left a full time after putting myself back through school, again, to get another degree. I was able to land a new job before I even graduated and am getting paid more than what I was making as a tech with 20+yrs experience.

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Dannarosanna in Hope Mills, North Carolina

43 months ago

Hey boo girl i'm from fayettenam too...do u go to ftcc

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Dannarosanna in Hope Mills, North Carolina

43 months ago

Drone, i'm curious what do you do now?

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Drones in Omaha, Nebraska

43 months ago

I'm a DBA (Database Administrator). Copy and paste the URLs below into your browser to find various job descriptions for a DBA.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Database_administrator
www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-database-administrator.htm
www.bls.gov/k12/computers01.htm

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Dannarosanna in Hope Mills, North Carolina

43 months ago

Thanks for the info. Not my thing, big big change from the health field I suspect. A friend of mine is a data base admin and moans a lot at how boring his job is. But he gets paid a lot ( 135k give or take). Sheen doing it for over 10 years I think.

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bear09 in Bear, Delaware

43 months ago

What degree do you need in order to get a position as Database Administrator? How is the job market for database administrator.

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DRONES in Omaha, Nebraska

43 months ago

Most employers require at least a Bachelors in Management of Information / Computer Systems, Computer Science, Information Assurance, or a similar degree.

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DRONES in Omaha, Nebraska

43 months ago

Dannarosanna, if it's not your thing then it's not your thing. After working in radiology for over 20+yrs this has been a welcomed career change. Radiology, can be fairly boring as well, especially when you consider that over 80-90% of the exams are chest and abdomens x-rays. I've worked an entire 12hr shift where I did over 50 CXR's with a few abdomens sprinkled in and nothing else. CT and MRI don't ever leave their department, and the machine does most of the work for them. US does a lot of OB type exams. IR mostly set up for the Radiologist and stand around waiting for the exam to get over. Nuc Med is similar to CT and MRI. Rad Therapy program their machines based on measurements that are made by the Radiologist.

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Dannarosanna in Hope Mills, North Carolina

43 months ago

Wow this gives me great perspective. I was interested in Radation therapy because of the sophistication of the equipment, but I also wanted to challenged and to have diversity in the job. In your experience can you tell me if one speciality lends itself more than the other? Also is there a newer lesser known allied health field which I might consider?
As I noted, I enjoy working with high tech, but don't want to be sitting most of the time and instead work with people within limits and have mentally stimulating variety. Imagery was intriguing, but Radiation seemed more inciting. Your input is welcomed.

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Dannarosanna in Hope Mills, North Carolina

43 months ago

Lol,,,,,,,,,see there, auto correct needs to be shut off on this thing.... Meant OOOPPS, not pops. ...lol

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DRONES in Omaha, Nebraska

43 months ago

Diagnostic is the most diversified. US is probably the most challenging. CT and MRI are heavily technology driven, radiation therapy is the most emotionally taxing.
Occupation Therapy is probably one of the most diversified allied careers with nursing being the most diversified providing a plethora of options once one attains their BSRN. I don't know much about the various laboratory jobs. Respritory Therapy and Physical Therapy are in demand.
Most of the medical fields allied health careers are fairly specialized, either by the area that they work or the job that they perform.

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Dannarosanna in Hope Mills, North Carolina

43 months ago

Thank you for the feedback on different modalities.

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bear08 in Bear, Delaware

43 months ago

Nuclear Medicine Techs don't get hired because lack of experience, how will they hire IT professionals like PACS administrator or Database Administrator without any experience. We all have to start somewhere to get experience. Is it easy to find a IT job after earning a Master's degree in IT?

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DRONES in Omaha, Nebraska

43 months ago

I found a job working in IT before I even graduated with my Bachelors. Companies are desperate for IT personnel.

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Dannarosanna in Hope Mills, North Carolina

43 months ago

Do you know of any IT jobs that can be gained after graduating that have a lot of variety, work with people and not mostly in front of a monitor? Years ago I was interested in network project managing. But you need a lit of experience first and it was very difficult to get your foot in the door without and a long path to get to the position.

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DRONES in Omaha, Nebraska

43 months ago

DBA for one. If you want to get into IT you will need to understand that the overwhelming majority of your time is going to be at your workstation. Also, so you understand, I went back to school to get a degree in Management of Information Systems. I didn't just decide to go out and apply for IT jobs. I busted my my rear end for 3yrs while still working full time to get this degree. I researched the heck out of my career options, and industries that I could work in. I was not going to be stuck, once again, in another "x-ray tech" job situation.

x-ray was good for me while it lasted.

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bear09 in Bear, Delaware

43 months ago

I have a Bachelors degree in Allied Health Management, and by taking few classes I can apply for Masters degree in Management Information Systems. I want to become a PACS administrator because the future is really bright and I have worked with PACS in Nuclear Medicine little bit. I am tired of applying to Nuclear Medicine jobs, I have applied to more than 400 jobs and only got 3 interviews and no job offers in 1.5 years. I am very frustrated and angry with SNM. With IT there are so many options with the MIS Master's degree. How is the Pay for someone with that degree in IT or PACS?

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Drones in Omaha, Nebraska

43 months ago

Starting probably averages around 50K.

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Dannarosanna in Hope Mills, North Carolina

43 months ago

Drones, if I were to share my email would you be so kind to share and answer more questions I have per the IT field? I would imagine you are a wealth of information and might be able to help with some concerns per both the IT and Rad venues.

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Drones in Omaha, Nebraska

43 months ago

Yes you can share your email and I'd be glad to respond.

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bear08 in Bear, Delaware

43 months ago

Drones, From what school did you obtain your IT degree. Does it really matter where you do your Masters in Information Systems? I had people tell to get it from reputable universities, but their tuition is over 30K and require GMAT, GRE and all kinds of exams?

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Drones in Omaha, Nebraska

43 months ago

To be honest I'm not sure how much it matters where you get your Masters from. This is purely my opinion, bt I'd stay away from the diploma factories because their credits usually don't transfer, and if you ever decide that you'd like to get a PHd, a second Masters, etc then you are stuck. There is also a reputation factor that is associated with going to a more traditional brick and mortar school.

Tuition can very depending on the school and it's not like you have to pay all that tuition up front. You can pay as you go. Most Masters programs have a 7yr time period so you the cost can be absorbed over time by taking a class or two a time.

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mary in Dayton, Ohio

31 months ago

My advice to anyone considering this career if absolutely not. I graduated a year ago from a college in Ohio, i have sent out at least 100+ resumes in the last year. I have not even gotten a call. The field is saturated with new students looking for work. If I could go back and choose something else, I would. It was, without a doubt, a waste of 2 years of my life.

honest opinion

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Alice105 in New York, New York

30 months ago

Hi Drones, since u seem to be the IT guy on this Forum, I wanted to ask u what u know about becoming a computer network administrator or something like that, I read that they deal with LANs and WANS, an they have good job prospects, I was wondering if it woul be wise to purses it, what I also want to know is what is it like working in IT? Is Routine and simple to keep with the ever changing technology?

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Jewels30624 in Elberton, Georgia

30 months ago

mary in Dayton, Ohio said: My advice to anyone considering this career if absolutely not. I graduated a year ago from a college in Ohio, i have sent out at least 100+ resumes in the last year. I have not even gotten a call. The field is saturated with new students looking for work. If I could go back and choose something else, I would. It was, without a doubt, a waste of 2 years of my life.

honest opinion

Don't give up. I graduated in the middle of 2010 and looked for a job for a yr and a half. I FINALLY got one at a local hospital. It may take time but keep applying! I thought it was a wasted 2 yrs myself but hopefully something will eventually open up for ya!

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DRONES in Omaha, Nebraska

30 months ago

Alice105 in New York, New York said: Hi Drones, since u seem to be the IT guy on this Forum, I wanted to ask u what u know about becoming a computer network administrator or something like that, I read that they deal with LANs and WANS, an they have good job prospects, I was wondering if it woul be wise to purses it, what I also want to know is what is it like working in IT? Is Routine and simple to keep with the ever changing technology?

email me at ronhusk15 at hotmail dot come with any additional questions.
The whole field of IT is growing. There are variety of areas that you can get into: Network Admin, Database Admin, Software Developer, eCommerce, etc. There are also a lot of inter-discipline fields emerging in areas such as Public Administration, Biological Sciences, Public Policy, Project Management, Healthcare, Geography, etc. The sky's the limit. It is far from routine. Everydaya is a

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nicole

30 months ago

I think it depends on where u live. I graduated this year and got a job offer. :)

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