Well, let me start off by saying that I was previously an IT in the Navy. I advanced pretty fast and was ahead on my qualifications schedule. I got out thinking "well, I'm not the best, but I'm far from the worst". I was leading IT's for more of my time in than what I spent as an entry level tech. I read all over the internet and on the job listings sites that there were more than enough jobs that I was qualified for. So I got out. I'm almost at my one year mark of civilian-hood. What do I have to report? I've spent more time with freelance construction than on a computer. All the positions that I was qualified for denied me because I didn't have a degree. I had 4 years of 80+ hr work weeks in some of the most stressful conditions, were calling in a Cisco tech was never an option if our router failed. If we didn't know how to fix it, we had to figure it out on our own with a quickness. So I started looking at other positions. First I went up one level. Not even an interview. So I went down a level, and down, until I'm at the point of applying for entry-level positions. All of these people are telling me I'm "over-qualified". Now maybe it's just the St. Louis market, because each city is different, however several buddies who've gotten out and gone home report the same thing to me. The one greatest example I have is one position I was being considered for. First off, I was asking for 35,000 a year for a LV2 systems technician for a consulting and outsourcing firm. They wanted me at less than 25,000, ideally 18,000. They expected 9-5 with 24/7 on-call and no reimbursment for travel expenses like gas to drive my vehicle to and from their office and the client locations. Med/Dent? Nearly non-existant. I came out of the Navy as a Sr. Security Specialist and not only can I not find anything on my level, but I can't get higher or lower positions either. Lesson to be learned? Unless you have 10 years, papers do matter. I'm in school now going for my comp sci and MIS, and can't even find part-time computer employment. This market sucks, and while I'm not an expert, I'm pretty sure outsourcing doesn't help people that honestly WANT to become IT professionals. I'm still going to fight the good fight and go into the field that I WANT, but it's not easy, and I highly doubt that it will ever become as easy as other fields to crack into. I can say that it's not a good selling point for a career field if out of my group of comp sci majors only 3 of them spent less than one year unemployed after getting a BS trying to find an entry level posiion to start in. If you can't start, how can you move up?