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Old 20 April 2015, 18:00
Gawernator Gawernator is offline
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Analyst Contractor Jobs W/o B.A.

One of my acquaintances got out and got hired on with DIA as an intel guy, I think he has some college but no 4 year degree.

I'm in my third year of college and in the SELRES now. Is it even worth the bother of applying for intel jobs, DoD or otherwise civilian without finishing my Bachelor's? I've always been told it's a check in the box that you need. I also don't have crazy experience like ten+ that I see some listing mention, to substitute.
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Old 20 April 2015, 18:44
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It depends on how the client writes the requirements for each labor category. If the requirement is to bring in an analyst with a BA degree, the company must stay compliant with that (or get a waiver from the client). If the client says that an analyst must have a Bachelor's degree OR n amount of years of experience, then the company has more flexibility in selecting the candidate. When I was the hiring authority for my old contract (admittedly, with DHS and not DIA), I went straight by the SOW because I had plenty of qualified candidates and getting a waiver from a client would have been a huge pain in my neck.

When you look at different job requisitions, you will notice that in many cases position descriptions/job requirements are simply copied and pasted straight from the statement of work.

So, to answer your question, in my personal experience it is not worth applying for those jobs that you do clearly not meet the requirements because the employer may not have the flexibility to substitute your education with experience (and vice versa). JMHO, YMMV, etc.
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Old 21 April 2015, 00:31
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Okay, thanks. That much pretty confirmed what I suspected. If the listing says BA is preferred but not required, am I able to convey that I already have 65 college credits? I mean, is it all or nothing?
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Old 21 April 2015, 00:52
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This is just my opinion, but if the job req states "preferred but not required", I would go for it ONLY if I meet/exceed all the other listed KSAs. Some companies provide additional space in their online applications that you can use to explain your academic status. Or, you may wish to submit a cover letter where you can explain why you would make a strong candidate for the position despite of not possessing a degree.

Number of years of experience is a very important factor as it is also usually prescribed by the statement of work. Similarly to the education, if you do not have the required number of years of experience, the company cannot bring you on a contract.

You have to keep in mind that there are many experienced, cleared, and otherwise qualified intel analysts out there looking for jobs and you have to compete against them. If you are fluent in a language that is in high demand or possess some sort of unique skill-set, you may be lucky. Just look through all the job requirements again and make sure you got everything else on the list besides the degree before submitting your resume. Don't apply for stuff that you are clearly not qualified for... the recruiters don't like that.

Hope this helps. Good luck!
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Old 21 April 2015, 06:46
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Let someone else disqualify you rather than not applying. It's not unusual for someone to lack a requirement but have something else in their background that makes them attractive.
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Old 21 April 2015, 07:24
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I immediately trash any applicants that don't meet the basic requirements.

Also applying for jobs you don't meet the requirements for makes you look like you think you're a special snowlfake and word gets around among hiring people.
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Old 21 April 2015, 08:49
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I agree with you SB when in comes to hard and fast requirements; but the OP was wondering whether he needed a Bachelors to apply for intell jobs and not all of them require a specific degree or they will sometimes waive that for other experience. I, for instance, did not have the exact training course that was listed as required for the job I am currently in. I contacted the hiring manager and explained my background and he told me to apply. I interviewed and was hired.
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Old 21 April 2015, 08:51
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the the private sector, you may lack one thing.. but bring something else that isnt listed in the position description that is attractive.. and POSSIBLY get yourself considered for a position.. but.. if you lack more than 1 KSA.. I personally wouldnt apply.. (understand.. there are usually hard, and soft requirements.. if someone is asking for an undergraduate degree.. you either have it.. or you dont.. but if someone is asking for "knowledge of Sharia compliant finance".. depending on your experience.. whether you meet that KSA or not is really all about how you write the bullets on your resume (assuming you have at least some knowledge/experience in Sharia finance)..

when talking about applying for something in the public sector.. whether working directly for the govt as a GS, FS, etc.. or for the govt through a contract company.. its a bit different.. either you meet all of the KSA's or you dont.. as a hiring manager, if I cannot 100% verify that you have every single requirement the government has put in front of me 100% covered.. youre not going to get a call.. youre wasting both your time and mine sending me your resume and asking for consideration..

Thats not personal.. thats business/life working with the govt.. I am trying to meet the contractual requirements the government has put in front of me.. this is not about who is actually the absolute best person for the job, or who might bring something special/cool to the table...

you, as the applicant, are the tool I am trying to use to meet the customers (government) requirements.. if you dont have all of the requirements, in a best case scenario, I look like a clown when I present you to my customer for consideration.. in a worst case scenario, you get hired, your deficiencies are discovered after the fact, and I am found to be non compliant with the requirements/deliverables of my contract and may suffer penalties...

I dont take chances like that..

if you are missing 1 KSA.. you get no call...
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Old 22 April 2015, 03:05
Gawernator Gawernator is offline
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Originally Posted by Silverbullet View Post
I immediately trash any applicants that don't meet the basic requirements.

Also applying for jobs you don't meet the requirements for makes you look like you think you're a special snowlfake and word gets around among hiring people.
I've never applied for a position I wasn't qualified for, but I was specifically thinking of the 'preferred but not required" ... especially when the listing notes that experience may be substituted for education. I'm just not really familiar with the formula hirers use... and of course I realize competition. Realistically I want to finish my Bachelor's and Master's ASAP, I'm just being a curious 22 year old.
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Old 22 April 2015, 03:06
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Originally Posted by Purple36 View Post
I agree with you SB when in comes to hard and fast requirements; but the OP was wondering whether he needed a Bachelors to apply for intell jobs and not all of them require a specific degree or they will sometimes waive that for other experience. I, for instance, did not have the exact training course that was listed as required for the job I am currently in. I contacted the hiring manager and explained my background and he told me to apply. I interviewed and was hired.
How did you know how to contact the hiring manager? The things TAPS class doesn't tell you... lol.
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Old 22 April 2015, 05:58
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Originally Posted by Gawernator View Post
I've never applied for a position I wasn't qualified for, but I was specifically thinking of the 'preferred but not required" ... especially when the listing notes that experience may be substituted for education. I'm just not really familiar with the formula hirers use... and of course I realize competition. Realistically I want to finish my Bachelor's and Master's ASAP, I'm just being a curious 22 year old.
Rolled eyes? Whats that supposed to mean?
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Old 22 April 2015, 06:56
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Originally Posted by Gawernator View Post
How did you know how to contact the hiring manager? The things TAPS class doesn't tell you... lol.
A couple of ways that I can think of and you may or may not be able to find out who it is. In my case, I was notified of a job that was about to be announced by the Air Force by a friend who worked in that unit and he suggested I might be a good fit. (I would have never have seen it otherwise, as my USAJOBS profile was not set up to search for the parameters that this job fell under). Once I saw the job description, I knew I was qualified to do the job, but there were some specific schools listed that I did not have. I had pretty equivalent background however. I asked my friend if he knew who was the hiring manager and got his contact information that way. I explained my background to see if there was any sense in applying and he said yes.

The other way, other than personal hunting, is to look at the job announcement and there should be some sort of POC or at least the hiring organization on the right side of the announcement. If you have something in mind feel free to PM me and I can take a look.

GS/GG jobs are a real challenge because you generally don't know if they already have someone in mind for the job and are just doing the announcement because they have to...it can be very frustrating. I've seen folks take contractor jobs and work in an organization to become known and then apply for a .gov job in the same place.
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Old 22 April 2015, 07:02
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Originally Posted by mdwest View Post
the the private sector, you may lack one thing.. but bring something else that isnt listed in the position description that is attractive.. and POSSIBLY get yourself considered for a position.. but.. if you lack more than 1 KSA.. I personally wouldnt apply.. (understand.. there are usually hard, and soft requirements.. if someone is asking for an undergraduate degree.. you either have it.. or you dont.. but if someone is asking for "knowledge of Sharia compliant finance".. depending on your experience.. whether you meet that KSA or not is really all about how you write the bullets on your resume (assuming you have at least some knowledge/experience in Sharia finance)..

when talking about applying for something in the public sector.. whether working directly for the govt as a GS, FS, etc.. or for the govt through a contract company.. its a bit different.. either you meet all of the KSA's or you dont.. as a hiring manager, if I cannot 100% verify that you have every single requirement the government has put in front of me 100% covered.. youre not going to get a call.. youre wasting both your time and mine sending me your resume and asking for consideration..

Thats not personal.. thats business/life working with the govt.. I am trying to meet the contractual requirements the government has put in front of me.. this is not about who is actually the absolute best person for the job, or who might bring something special/cool to the table...

you, as the applicant, are the tool I am trying to use to meet the customers (government) requirements.. if you dont have all of the requirements, in a best case scenario, I look like a clown when I present you to my customer for consideration.. in a worst case scenario, you get hired, your deficiencies are discovered after the fact, and I am found to be non compliant with the requirements/deliverables of my contract and may suffer penalties...

I dont take chances like that..

if you are missing 1 KSA.. you get no call...
Great insider perspective. I had no idea until after getting hired that literally thousands of people had submitted for the job I currently have, including people who had zero qualifications, LOL. Having to wade through that is just crazy...I do think being able to make myself known to the hiring manager along with a reference by someone working in the same organization made all the difference to getting invited to interview. Otherwise I would've been one of thousands...
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Old 22 April 2015, 10:06
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I do think being able to make myself known to the hiring manager along with a reference by someone working in the same organization made all the difference to getting invited to interview..
I agree with you..

Knowing the hiring manager.. or getting a direct referral can make a HUGE difference..

I wont "go to bat" for one of the thousands..

but.. if I know you.. know you are the right person, etc.. Or you come strongly recommended from someone I know/trust.. I'll take the time out to help you mold your resume to tell the story the government needs to hear.. or may even make a call to the COR/CO and make sure they understand that KSA's are met, etc.. and that THIS is the person we really want to hire..

but.. otherwise... youre right.. the typical process is.. we post a job.. even in highly specialized positions we take in dozens of resumes.. for more common positions we'll take in hundreds..

the recruiter does the first screen and eliminates anyone that clearly doesnt have all the requirements covered.. I dont even see those resumes.. if all the KSA's arent met.. the resume likely never even makes it to my desk..

I do the second screen.. and usually end up with a "top 10" list.. and go from there..

If we're talking an internal hire.. the interview is very important.. I want to know that youre going to be a good fit with the rest of the team.. want to know what else you might bring to the table other than what I have specifically said Im looking for.. want to see how you think on your feet, respond to difficult questions, respond when put on the spot, etc..

If we're talking an external hire (someone that will be working on a contract for the govt).. vetting of the resume is what matters most.. whoever has the closest to perfect fit to the KSAs established by the customer wins (assuming they arent a total assclown in person)..

You want external hires to be "good".. you want them to be able to perform, keep your customer happy, etc..

but.. at the end of the day, when you hire someone to be a "contractor" for the govt.. what you are doing is fulfilling contractual obligations (deliverables) between your customer and your company.. "personality", ability to think on your feet, and whether or not you shower daily are never contractual considerations (things I might be concerned with if IM going to share office space with you)... degrees, certifications, specific experience, language skills, etc..etc.. are things that are considerations.. and can get you in deep doo doo with your customer if you fail to meet even one (even if they agree that the person hired is a great guy, brings all sort of "extra" things to the table, can actually do the job/accomplish the mission, etc..)...
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  #15  
Old 22 April 2015, 17:52
Gawernator Gawernator is offline
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Rolled eyes? Whats that supposed to mean?
Oh I was just poking a little fun at myself...
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Old 24 April 2015, 17:52
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Originally Posted by Gawernator View Post
One of my acquaintances got out and got hired on with DIA as an intel guy, I think he has some college but no 4 year degree.

I'm in my third year of college and in the SELRES now. Is it even worth the bother of applying for intel jobs, DoD or otherwise civilian without finishing my Bachelor's? I've always been told it's a check in the box that you need. I also don't have crazy experience like ten+ that I see some listing mention, to substitute.
Totally depends on your KSAs. Everybody knows one BAH employee that didn't have his BS but was hired as on a IT guy.

For what it's worth, I was hired as a Fed in 01 and didn't get my degree until 03. I will say that hiring for the masses is tight but for very specialized skills (35-series especially), there are multiple opportunities.
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Old 4 May 2015, 14:14
Gawernator Gawernator is offline
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Totally depends on your KSAs. Everybody knows one BAH employee that didn't have his BS but was hired as on a IT guy.

For what it's worth, I was hired as a Fed in 01 and didn't get my degree until 03. I will say that hiring for the masses is tight but for very specialized skills (35-series especially), there are multiple opportunities.
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Originally Posted by Purple36 View Post
Great insider perspective. I had no idea until after getting hired that literally thousands of people had submitted for the job I currently have, including people who had zero qualifications, LOL. Having to wade through that is just crazy...I do think being able to make myself known to the hiring manager along with a reference by someone working in the same organization made all the difference to getting invited to interview. Otherwise I would've been one of thousands...
I'm the Navy equivalent (superior ) of 35's...

Totally true Purple... I talked to a hiring manager (I think) at Sandia laboratory and she mentioned they had gotten hundreds of resumes... but that good first impression must have helped because now I have a phone interview.
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