Can some one please enlighten me with what it takes these days to get a job in IT actually PROGRAMMING? I graduated back in 2000 with a bachelors in Computer Science (no not the wussy CIS option) and have been stuck with Support jobs ever since. Who do I have to bribe to get an actual programming job? All of the positions I come across want you to have real world experience...even the entry level ones!..yet how are you suppose to gain that experience if no one will hire you without it? I have been fighting this catch 22 since I graduated. How does one get around it?

Try some local contract work. Or take on a pro-Bono project for Salvation Army or something. Startup companies are far more likely to hire you as well.

The reason things are like this is because the companies who view IT more as an expense than a resource (the same ones more likely to hire you without experience because you cost less) have outsourced coding overseas. To save money. This decreased jobs markedly. It is starting to cause these same companies problems. Defective software takes forever to get fixed and they lose revenue. This is what you're competing against:

[see post #4] The companies over in India cost 1/6 of US costs, less benefits. Those same contracting companies exploit the market over there and claim they have expertise. This post shows the level of expertise they have. "Learn unix in 10 days". Talk about no experience.

Greeaaat. I should have majored in Accounting. :) Thanks Jim for the reply.