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Educational IT Jobs Thread, ICT Manager advice. in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Hi, i have been lurking around this forum for quite some time, just haven't registered until now. Before i start ...
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    nc-
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    ICT Manager advice.

    Hi, i have been lurking around this forum for quite some time, just haven't registered until now. Before i start with my question, this is an excelent forum.

    I have an interview for an ICT Manager job next week and i am looking for some advice.

    This is the info i have about the school,

    • Secondary school with sixth form.
    • around 1700 students
    • around 600 PC's
    • Vanilla 2k3 network (i think)


    I have 2 year experience as an IT tech, i know it doesn't sound much, but i have 3 MCP's (270,290 and 291) and expect to finish my MCSE by around August. At my current school there is me and another technician, a curriculum network manager and a systems manager. The curriculum manager has no certs and in my opinion a waste of space (he can't even create packages, restore backup data and he thinks our RM network doesn't have an AD!!!), he is best mates with the Systems manager. The systems manager is better he is good with SIMS and the phone system we have, but has no certs and little knowledge with Server 2k3 (but he can use google and usually find an answer). We have 2 networks, an RM network for students and admin network (teachers and other staff). When i first started my boss would hire a contractor to do any work regarding the servers (admin network), As i have been working on my MCSE he now gets me to do it all (no pay rise though ). We have about 1700 ish users, 400ish PC's, 200ish laptops, 50ish PDA's aswell as 75 IP cameras and IP phone system.

    Anyway, i have decided to look for some career progression, I don't expect to get a network manager position until i have finished MCSE, but think it is probably a good idea to get some ICT Manager interview experience. (I have 7 years manager experience from a none IT background).

    What can i expect to be asked?
    Should i ask for more info about their network before the interview, or ask to speak to the current ICT Manager?
    Any areas i might want to read up on before?


    Many thanks in advance.
    Last edited by nc-; 8th March 2009 at 11:32 AM.

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    mb2k01's Avatar
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    Hi nc-,

    The staffing situation you find yourself in is probably the results of the staff being there for so long that they were initially hired in the days where you didn't really need much more than an "I can do it" on your CV! Internal promotions probably got them to where they are now!

    From your description.... you're ready!
    You want to better yourself, realise that things aren't right at your current place, are studying to learn more and have shown a willingness to improve things at your current place above any beyond the terms of your current position! (All positives which a new employer would love!)

    If you're applying for a job and there hasn't been much information published in the advert about their system then yes, send an email or get on the phone and ask for more information. It doesn't have to be too detailed, just the stuff you'd need to know (RM or Vanilla, number of servers, number of technical staff, number of clients, MIS software, future developments etc)

    What you'll be asked will depend on the particular school. You'll find that some will jsut give you a traditional style sit down interview, whereas others will give you a written or practical test (but if you have passed those MCP's and have all of your experience you'll be fine!)

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    nc- (8th March 2009)

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    Welcome to Edugeek!

    I am sure you will find this a useful resource. Its great for all IT support staff in UK schools and Colleges and elsewhere!

    If its at all possible its always a good idea to speak to the current IT manager and the first thing you want to ask is if that person or his team have an up to date documentation so if you get the job then you in a good position to understand the network.

    With regards to the interview if you know your stuff technically then you should be ok. Questions non-technical related I ask when appointing staff are the following:

    Why did you apply to our school?
    Where do you see yourself in a few years?
    A customer service question?
    How do you prioritise work
    Handling difficult users

    Have an answer to these questions, most likely you will be asked at least one of these in some type of context.

    Having certs will help your cause but if at the interview your talking to non technical people at the interview they may not appreciate the work involved so bear this in mind.

    I am sure you will be ok, let us know how you get on.

    Good Luck!

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    nc- (8th March 2009)

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    nc-
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    Cheers guys, you have provided some useful stuff for me to think about.

    Anyone else have anything to offer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by nc- View Post
    Should i ask for more info about their network before the interview, or ask to speak to the current ICT Manager?
    If I was you I would ask if you could pop into the school for a tour etc, it makes you look keen and it helps with a little bit of background knowledge of the school giving you possibly a slight advantage over the other candidates.

    When you are walking around - don't be afraid to ask questions / make notes.

    Check the school website out and take in as much information as possible - be wary though as the information on the website may not be up-to-date. Other background information such as OfSTED reports and exam results are also useful to find out more information about the school and if its really for you.

    Don't go in for the job if its only for experience - go for it fully wanting the job, you may be disapointed if you don't get it but at least you know in your own mind you gave it your best shot.

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    nc- (8th March 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylv3r View Post
    If I was you I would ask if you could pop into the school for a tour etc, it makes you look keen and it helps with a little bit of background knowledge of the school giving you possibly a slight advantage over the other candidates.

    When you are walking around - don't be afraid to ask questions / make notes.

    Check the school website out and take in as much information as possible - be wary though as the information on the website may not be up-to-date. Other background information such as OfSTED reports and exam results are also useful to find out more information about the school and if its really for you.

    Don't go in for the job if its only for experience - go for it fully wanting the job, you may be disapointed if you don't get it but at least you know in your own mind you gave it your best shot.
    Thanks, I do want the job and really hope i get it, but i think i stand a far greater chance once finished the MCSE.

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    Other things to look at are the job description and how it compares to what you think you can do, and see what policies are publicly available on the school website (AUP, data protection / information management, discipline, etc) and see what references they make to this role (ie how involved you might be with it all).

    Remember that there is no real standard yet for what is an ICT Manager / IT Manager / Network Manager / Systems Manager in schools ... so you might be asked to do things other here are not, and vice versa. The technical aspect is just going to be part of the job. Also consider how much man management you will be doing. Will you have a large team? Will you be expected to help train people up? What about staff CPD?

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    nc-
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    Thanks grumbledook,

    I found their AUP on their site. From reading that, i found out they have ranger and securus. Both of which i have no experience with but have had a quick look on google. They both seem fairly straight forward.

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    There has been someone else asking almost the same question: the responses might help:

    Network Manager Job Interview

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    nc- (8th March 2009)

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    I actually think the management experience outside of IT would be a strong selling point. Don't worry about not having completed your MSCE, you have passed some exams already and have shown you are willing to learn.

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    nc- (8th March 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    There has been someone else asking almost the same question: the responses might help:

    Network Manager Job Interview
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by teejay View Post
    I actually think the management experience outside of IT would be a strong selling point. Don't worry about not having completed your MSCE, you have passed some exams already and have shown you are willing to learn.
    I hope so. I have only ever had 1 IT interview (for my current job) so worried about what i could get asked, so i want to be as prepared as i can be.

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    In my opinion, qualifications can mean nothing at times. I'd prefer experience over them, and I tell that to people in my interview. You cannot put a price on experience.

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    nc-
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    Quote Originally Posted by sippo View Post
    In my opinion, qualifications can mean nothing at times. I'd prefer experience over them, and I tell that to people in my interview. You cannot put a price on experience.
    I agree to a point, but certifications verify your experience.

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    but certifications verify your experience
    I don't agree with this for the following reasons. The MCSA and MCSA exams are passable by memory and some people who have passed that I have seen are not experienced at all. Don't get me wrong most of the people passing them do have knowledge and experience but not all. I was also the interviewer for the IT Techs post 2 years ago and one of the candidates had 2 degrees in computing and the other 1 degree. Neither of them could answer basic questions like how to diagnose a print queue problem correctly. The post went to the guy without any paper quals as he answered the questions correctly and showed more hands on IT experience generally.

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    imo experience wins over grades

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