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Educational IT Jobs Thread, How long were you a technician, how long would you expect someone to have been a tech in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Basically i am at a school now where i am an it technician, i work with the NM there is ...
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    How long were you a technician, how long would you expect someone to have been a tech

    Basically i am at a school now where i am an it technician, i work with the NM there is only the two of us.

    He spends alot of his time now programming/checking serco (the MIS) and writing specialist software for the school.

    So for the last 6 months i have been running the network. Dealing with SQL snapshots not working and servers falling over. Also setting up citrix provisioning and maintaining (with NM help, a Terminal serbvices server and sunray thin clients.)

    I have also brought up a new vmware system using an iSCSI SAN.

    So my question is how long do i wait before someone would seriously consider me for a NM or SA job?

    How much more experience do i need as a technician?

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    Why wait? Get stuck in applying and get the experience.

    You'll soon find out if you have gaps to fill or whatnot and the interview experience will be worth it.

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    jonny_2010 (2nd March 2010)

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    nicholab's Avatar
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    I was a network technician for 15 months I now been a Sys Admin for 2 years.

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    jonny_2010 (2nd March 2010)

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    mb2k01's Avatar
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    For me personally, job titles are irrelevant. What is relevant is whether you are being respected and rewarded. If by asking the question you are feeling one of both are less than you deserve, then it's time to make a change!

    To answer your question though, I was an assistant technician for approx 6 months and a senior technician for about 1 year. I hold a very different position now though.

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    jonny_2010 (2nd March 2010)

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    Surely if you have the technical knowledge and people skills to become a NM then go for it?

    There are many people out there who got their jobs simply by being there at the right time or being lucky. There are also many who are good, have the experience and knowledge.

    I don't think there is any limit on it.

    Why not start applying now?

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    jonny_2010 (2nd March 2010)

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    I was a technician/senior technician for around 3 years and have been a NM for almost 18 months.

    As others have said if you feel you are ready and want to move on the prep your CV and make some applications. Whats the worst that can happen - you get the job?

    One thing I will say though, your NM is almost certainly doing more than programming and managing serco! I have to admit I didn't fully appreciate what the role entales - budgets, development plans, health and safety, training, etc, etc, etc - before I took on the role.

    Do a search on these forums theres a few interesting threads on this subject. Also one or two reasonable blogs by NM's out there on the interweb that could give you some idea of the role.

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    I started as a 'network manager' for a middle school, but as it was only me I was network manager/technician rolled into one. I didn't do the entire job of a network manager really thou, as all the statigic decisions were made by senior management, I just did what I was asked. - I was also only on 13.5k for the role - although this was 6yrs ago now. Was there for almost exactly 2 years.

    Moved on to a technicians role at a large secondary, I was one of 2 technicians, then there was the senior tech and a network manager. The network manager left 6 months after I started there, and the senior tech was promoted to NM and I was promoted to senior technician effectively, but under the job title of 'ICT Development Engineer' Was here for 2 yrs 3 months roughly.

    I'm now a network manager for a small Academy school, which was quite a leap from what I was doing. Been here 18 months now and turned the whole ICT system round in that time.

    So about 4 yrs 3 months from my first job in ICT in schools, to being where I am now. I think that's pretty fast progression. The key is making sure you sell yourself well, and convincing someone that you're more than ready for that role.

    I had who knows how many interviews for different posts in other schools before I landed each of the above posts, persistance does pay off eventually.

    Mike.

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    jonny_2010 (2nd March 2010)

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    technician for 6 months, then bumped up to NM as I had the thirst for making the network better. They released the previous NM, and I have to admit, I had ALOT of gaps in my skill set, but I learned alot on the job.

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    I was an IT Technician for 2 years and then applied for and got a Network Managers job a year ago, but there is only me at present. Agree with everyone else, if your confident enough then go for it. The only reason I applied was because I felt I was ready for a new challenge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    I started as a 'network manager' for a middle school, but as it was only me I was network manager/technician rolled into one. I didn't do the entire job of a network manager really thou, as all the statigic decisions were made by senior management, I just did what I was asked. - I was also only on 13.5k for the role - although this was 6yrs ago now. Was there for almost exactly 2 years.
    Sounds exactly like my last role - except for the wage. The job title was jumped up, I still did everything I did as a technician, and was expected to do more besides for the NM title!

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    Technician for 5 years then Network Manager since then. But I will say I had been Network Managing others network for a good time before that.

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    Technician for a year and a half, then network manager for 3 1/2 years so far

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    It really depends upon the role the school has in mind for a Network Manager. The job title is used & misused in schools with a wide range of interpretation depending upon what the school wants & how much it is prepared to pay.

    If a school is looking for a 'super technician' type then a few years experience as a technician would be a good starting point.

    If however the school is looking for someone who can manage people, budgets, perform network design, deal with suppliers, provide formal project management, provide advice about whole school ICT strategy, ensure compliance with the laws on data protection, copyright, apply FITS guidelines, interpret BECTA advice then it can take a whole lot longer & needs a much wider range of skills & experience than an ICT technician might have.

    I know of NMs who were 'super technicians', and others who have taken the job having been IT architects & consultants before getting jobs in schools. I have never been an 'ICT technician', although I have done many other things in my IT career.

    None of this should discourage you from seeking advancement; you will only really find out what a school is looking for by applying for a vacancy. I would always recommend visiting the school & talking to people before interview if you get the chance.... it shows commitment & can give you insight into the issues & what the school is looking for.
    Last edited by broc; 1st March 2010 at 08:35 AM.

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    In my experience (over sixteen years in Educational ICT support..... I started with DOS, Windows 3.11 and NT4) this depends on the School or Academy and their person specification for a NM or SA role.
    There is no harm at all, in fact I would highly recommend that you request application packs for NM and SA posts as this will give you some idea how you and your skill set would fit into that role. It may also highlight any gaps in your technical qualifications that could be addressed with specific training.
    I have interviewed for school NM and techie roles and I loosely shortlist based of the following criteria.

    Experience (Educational ICT)
    Experience (Other IT)
    Technical Ability
    Professional Qualifications (Technical)
    Professional Qualifications (Management) PRINCE or ITIL etc
    Academic Qualifications

    MCPs are the way to go if you are seriously looking at career progression also any CISCO (or similar) and more recently VCP or other virtualisation qualifications are considered desirable for most roles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    I started as a 'network manager' for a middle school, but as it was only me I was network manager/technician rolled into one. I didn't do the entire job of a network manager really thou, as all the statigic decisions were made by senior management, I just did what I was asked. - I was also only on 13.5k for the role - although this was 6yrs ago now. Was there for almost exactly 2 years.

    Moved on to a technicians role at a large secondary, I was one of 2 technicians, then there was the senior tech and a network manager. The network manager left 6 months after I started there, and the senior tech was promoted to NM and I was promoted to senior technician effectively, but under the job title of 'ICT Development Engineer' Was here for 2 yrs 3 months roughly.

    I'm now a network manager for a small Academy school, which was quite a leap from what I was doing. Been here 18 months now and turned the whole ICT system round in that time.

    So about 4 yrs 3 months from my first job in ICT in schools, to being where I am now. I think that's pretty fast progression. The key is making sure you sell yourself well, and convincing someone that you're more than ready for that role.

    I had who knows how many interviews for different posts in other schools before I landed each of the above posts, persistance does pay off eventually.

    Mike.
    My experience is pretty similair to Mike. Started off in a Primary school on work experience and built a new network from sctrach, this is when I learned Server 2003 and AD domins, group policy etc. But I was the only person there as IT Tech so I did everything except manage staff obviously. I then went to work for a University as a Technician for about 18 months and got promoted to a systems admin on the server side for 12 months when the credit crunch came along. I work in a large secondary school now as the sys admin and technician so defacto I am the Network manager but I don't make those strategic decisions as Mike pointed out. I will be getting 1 maybe 2 apprentices soon as I will start learning how to line manage so things may change.

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