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Educational IT Jobs Thread, which is more demanding in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; A job I applied for at HMGCC is for server technician...having phoned up and asked more about the role, it ...
  1. #16

    nephilim's Avatar
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    A job I applied for at HMGCC is for server technician...having phoned up and asked more about the role, it is literally in charge of 1 server and making sure it works efficiently. There are apparently 5 people in the team plus the server team leader, and within that team there is a manager for each server. The one advertised looks after Active Directory and Exchange, thats it, no server shares etc.

    So I do realise that businesses and such like have people to do specific jobs, but its frustrating that I have the skill set asked for and people dismiss it saying its not the same! grrrr. (HMGCC haven't said this but others have)

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    I'd mention FE colleges, i know for a fact Hull college has somewhere around the 30k users mark and into the thousands of clients and hundreds of servers.

    An FE college like this is a kind of hybrid between education and private sector due to the fact they are a money making organisation which deals in the education sector.

    As for secondary schools, their IT requirements are no less than a business, it's just the implications of problems in a business compared to a school differ.

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    nephilim (3rd August 2011)

  4. #18


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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    So I do realise that businesses and such like have people to do specific jobs, but its frustrating that I have the skill set asked for and people dismiss it saying its not the same! grrrr. (HMGCC haven't said this but others have)
    This is the thing to remember, the chance of you getting an interview is(should be) based on your skillset and how you write your supporting statement to showcase you have the qualities to do the job. I would hope that this recruiting person is only there to check your qualifications and that someone from the department will actually look at your application closer. If you have a strong application form it is then down to the interview to determine if there would be an increase in demand in the job advertised and if they thought you could cope.

    Of course I've been in a situation where I thought my application was not taken seriously and when I asked for feedback was given a lot of information about areas I was lacking in....all of which I have done and included in my application. I wasn't impressed but then thought if they are not capable of going through an application form then they probably weren't good to work for. From all accounts they hired a complete muppet. Sometimes you just cant help it if people refuse to read what you have done and make assumptions about the skills you have(or dont have). But it IS frustrating especially when you know you could do the job.

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    nephilim (3rd August 2011)

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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    So I do realise that businesses and such like have people to do specific jobs, but its frustrating that I have the skill set asked for and people dismiss it saying its not the same! grrrr. (HMGCC haven't said this but others have)
    Ah, HMGCC might be a different matter. Have you dealt with change control in any great detail? If so, point this out to them as they're probably after procedural awareness rather than a particular skillset.

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    A few years back a consultant who was running a course I was on said he would always recommend to his clients anyone applying for a job coming from education. His main reason was that they have usually come a background of having to do everything from changing toner to managing server migrations and helping users format a word document. The only way I can imagine the corporate market being more demanding is in time constraints - in school computer downtime in a classroom is an inconvenience but it's not costing money

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Well the HMGCC want the right candidate (12 pages of national security clearance forms and a 5 page application form) just before you even get an interview, says it all really! If you are dedicated enough and have a good history they'll give you a shot

    That said if I got the job, I would have top security clearance (as in James Bond level) due to the nature of the business and the access I would have!

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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    Well the HMGCC want the right candidate (12 pages of national security clearance forms and a 5 page application form) just before you even get an interview, says it all really! If you are dedicated enough and have a good history they'll give you a shot

    That said if I got the job, I would have top security clearance (as in James Bond level) due to the nature of the business and the access I would have!
    Don't mention the security clearance forms - I'm currently trying to summon up the determination to tackle my CTC clearance forms - 30 pages. Lovely.

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    Haha that would be next after the interview and prior to last phase interview lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hecate View Post
    A few years back a consultant who was running a course I was on said he would always recommend to his clients anyone applying for a job coming from education. His main reason was that they have usually come a background of having to do everything from changing toner to managing server migrations and helping users format a word document. The only way I can imagine the corporate market being more demanding is in time constraints - in school computer downtime in a classroom is an inconvenience but it's not costing money
    There are a few other things which could be argued to make corporate more demanding. Project management requirements, adhering to ISO standards, change control requirements, longer lines of reporting, cross-charging (usually to make it clear that IT is actually a profit centre and not a cost centre), multi-site administration, security clearance requirements, politics (more staff than a school in general - though no students) and so on. Of course, nothing prevents these things from being aspects of working in a school, but in my own experience it tends to be less common and less strict.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    Haha that would be next after the interview and prior to last phase interview lol
    CTC or SC? If it's CTC you'll be glad to hear that after a couple of months downtime the new processing system's up.

  13. #26

    nephilim's Avatar
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    SC First (for interview)
    CTC (for 2nd phase interview)
    DV (if appointed to the job)

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    having worked in both, my own experience is that corporate is more demanding technically and has more pressure for successful project completion. The companies I've worked for have had IT as fairly critical for supporting growth/managing costs and as such IT was firmly part of company strategy. Often the reason for and impacts of projects is clearer than in education.

    However, in education you generally have poorer management/leadership and internal communications which puts on a quite different set of demands; training is not as forthcoming requiring more research on your own part; the user base often works against you (student hackers and some teachers) and teachers are more resistant to change than employees in corporate environments. While a lot of IT is ploughed into schools a lot is fad driven which remains under utilised or patchily adopted which generally wouldn't be the case in corporate (IWBs, projectors, VLEs, video conference kit, educational gadgets, Vivo Miles, digital signage......).

    Having been back in education for 4.5 years now, working 8:30 to 5 Mon to Thurs and 8:30 to 4:30 Fri is great. No more working Saturdays and Sundays or long week days. Motorway, trains, tube and international travel are things of the past. Stressed that my skillset is rusting and that training is virtually non-existent but can't have everything.

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    andyturpie (3rd August 2011)

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    In a business you have one logon per computer per day, in school its 6 or so, as most problems occur at boot or login its fair to say we have support demands 4 to 5 times more than a similar sized business. But as said above projects in schools are very much more erm flexible and often have no evaluation afterwards.

    I think that particularly in the current climate its unlikely you can move from school into a higher position in a business best bet is to do what you are doing at school in a business and then try to rapidly move up. I have worked in both schools and businesses.

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    You work in education and when going to business alot will put it down - 'not the real world' or some sort. Worked in both education and business in IT, there are differences but I would say your more a generalist in education. Companies still have these as sys admins but as you get into the big corps specialised teams deal in specialised stuff.

    The pace in business can be a bit faster than education for example timings, deadlines etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nephilim View Post
    Education market or corporate market? Reason I ask is one of the jobs I have applied for said the education market is not anywhere near as demanding as. He corporate market for IT, and I want to show that its just as demanding if not more so.
    Demanding in what way? My experience is that the private sector is more narrowly focused, you tend to specialise/single task more and perhaps because of that, deadlines are less ... 'forgiving'. In Education you tend to get a wide brief, the day to day is more disrupted by 'unplanned' activities and as a consequence deadlines are reasonably flexible for the majority of tasks. Stress wise, private sector can be much more stressful, job security in Education is quite good and people tend to be sticklers for procedure. In the private sector you are much more vulnerable and perceived poor performance will get you fired.

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