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Staying in IT after layoff?

Being an out of work IT person, what would you recomend to try and stay in the IT industry? Certifications and classes can be very expensive, and paying for this without a lucrative job is close to impossible, and certainly out of my reach. I have my B.S. in C.I.S but this just seems to be a worthless piece of paper.

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Sorry to hear about your current situation. I agree that paying for continuing education without funding is difficult. You might want to check out my cover story in the March issue of Certification magazine entitled "Financing Your Certification." (
Although more debt is probably NOT what you need right now, low-cost loans may be appealing if you don't have a lot of other options. On the other hand, I hope you're also considering the following job search strategies:
1. talking to temporary agencies about temp/part-time IT positions
2. networking with all your friends, family, and former co-workers
3. posting your credentials on the various nationwide job sites (,, etc.)
4. talking to headhunters and placement firms in your area
Also, I'm sorry to hear that you feel a CIS degree is worthless. What did you study to get that diploma? How long ago? Perhaps if it hasn't been a really long time, you may still be able to get some leads from your undergraduate institution's placement office.

This was first published in April 2002

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