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Educational IT Jobs Thread, Advice sought: Senior Technician to Manager in United Kingdom (UK) Specific Forums; Some of these may help you also 400 Free Online Courses from Top Universities | Open Culture LearningSpace - The ...
  1. #16

    nephilim's Avatar
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    Some of these may help you also

    400 Free Online Courses from Top Universities | Open Culture

    LearningSpace - The Open University

    They are all free, and all available to learn. Once you complete it, you take a test based on the knowledge you have learnt and get a pass certificate. Plus they pad out the CV. Go for it

  2. Thanks to nephilim from:

    Lukara (15th December 2011)

  3. #17

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    I would dod the ciscos over micrsoft ones, I learnt all my Microsoft stuff with 'learn windows server in 24 hour' books If you show you ve worked in a microsoft environment for a year that'll be enough

  4. #18

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    I'm not entirely sure that even specialist certs matter, especially in an education environment. They may help but it depends on the particular employer, interviewer and how they see a particular qualification.

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    Thank you everyone for your interest and suggestions. I really appreciate it.

    The money set aside is for MS Cert, I don't have a say over that, so I can't choose Cisco over MS.
    With regards to managing, I am open to both Network Manager (preferred) or an ICT Manager with a more people oriented role. Eitherway I am sure Management courses would come in handy.

    ahunter many of the vacancies I see around for Net Managers require the candidates to have MS Certs or equivalents maybe in terms of overall capability of the candidate the qualifications don't mean much but from what I've seen, people are still attached to paper proof of what one has studied. Don't you think? Also, I would prefer staying in a school environment, but I won't limit myself to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukara View Post
    Thank you everyone for your interest and suggestions. I really appreciate it.

    The money set aside is for MS Cert, I don't have a say over that, so I can't choose Cisco over MS.
    With regards to managing, I am open to both Network Manager (preferred) or an ICT Manager with a more people oriented role. Eitherway I am sure Management courses would come in handy.

    ahunter many of the vacancies I see around for Net Managers require the candidates to have MS Certs or equivalents maybe in terms of overall capability of the candidate the qualifications don't mean much but from what I've seen, people are still attached to paper proof of what one has studied. Don't you think? Also, I would prefer staying in a school environment, but I won't limit myself to it.
    As suggested before do PRINCE2 only a week course plus get the ITIL Foundation, helps alot in the future

  7. #21
    januttall's Avatar
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    QQ. i know this might sound daft but the open university courses do they equate to a set level of learning like btec or degree. the only reason i ask is cus im intrested in one that has Level: Masters on it and i was wondering what level of qualification this would provide. i know none of you may know but i felt it worth asking.

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    jsnetman's Avatar
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    There is no line you have to cross in terms of becoming a NM from a tecnicians role, what you have to prove at interview is the experience and knowledge to manage a network and also how you will cope with pupils and teachers, managing people does not normally come into it in a school environment as you often find the line manager is a member of smt or head of ICT for the NM and techies.

    I went from a techy role at a big college to NM at a school with no real quals in IT. Spent my time as a NM getting some MS certs and then decided to go contracting. Was tough getting my first contract because business seem to have this stigma about educational/public sector jobs and the ability to cross over to the business sector, which I think is totally ungrounded.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsnetman View Post
    There is no line you have to cross in terms of becoming a NM from a tecnicians role, what you have to prove at interview is the experience and knowledge to manage a network and also how you will cope with pupils and teachers, managing people does not normally come into it in a school environment as you often find the line manager is a member of smt or head of ICT for the NM and techies.

    I went from a techy role at a big college to NM at a school with no real quals in IT. Spent my time as a NM getting some MS certs and then decided to go contracting. Was tough getting my first contract because business seem to have this stigma about educational/public sector jobs and the ability to cross over to the business sector, which I think is totally ungrounded.
    You are absolutely bob on with this. It's just the luck of the draw on the day. A NM is a techie when all said and done and usually only has to line manager just one other person. It all depends on how SMT view the role and in my experience every school is very different on what they expect a NM to be. The real manager of the network/ICT in school's is usually SMT or the head of ICT. The NM role is to act as an advisor on a subject they know enough about to plan, develop, evaluate and maintain.

  10. #24

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    In some schools the NM is the true manager, it does depend on your school. The strategy and direction might be decided by the SLT, but the network manager runs and controls it all. I went in to one of our schools last week to interview the NM and his Deputy head he links to. He has been in place for just over a year and it is good to see the trust and partnership that exists there. It is not unique within Northants, but it is not the norm either.

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    jsnetman's Avatar
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    In some schools the NM is the true manager, it does depend on your school. The strategy and direction might be decided by the SLT, but the network manager runs and controls it all.
    I'm sure there are many NM's involved in the overall ICT strategy of the school but we should not forget the primary role is to manage the technical issues involved in running a network and most senior techs will have that ability. I never wanted to get involved wirh the strategy side of things (although I was invited to the meetings normally after my working day so was not too enthusiastic) I saw my role as impelemting whatever they wanted and of course advise on the technical aspects of the strategy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsnetman View Post
    I'm sure there are many NM's involved in the overall ICT strategy of the school but we should not forget the primary role is to manage the technical issues involved in running a network and most senior techs will have that ability. I never wanted to get involved wirh the strategy side of things (although I was invited to the meetings normally after my working day so was not too enthusiastic) I saw my role as impelemting whatever they wanted and of course advise on the technical aspects of the strategy.
    I see that as a Senior Technician role

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    In my book a NM is just that, they look after network, if you want someone to advise on ICT strategy I think that is a totally different role and does not require a high level of technical competence, but requires more understanding of teaching and learning and how to integrates it with technology. But I do understand that all schools are different and every smt will have their own idea what a NM is, including being expected to advise on strategy, but for me I found it boring and just prefer the techy side of things.

    I'm sure if you look up the general job description of network manager it does not include the ability to be able to shape a business, that's more the line of a business analyst.
    Last edited by jsnetman; 15th December 2011 at 01:12 PM.

  14. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsnetman View Post
    In my book a NM is just that, they look after network, if you want someone to advise on ICT strategy I think that is a totally different role and does not require a high level of technical competence, but requires more understanding of teaching and learning and how to integrates it with technology. But I do understand that all schools are different and every smt will have their own idea what a NM is, including being expected to advise on strategy, but for me I found it boring and just prefer the techy side of things.

    I'm sure if you look up the general job description of network manager it does not include the ability to be able to shape a business, that's more the line of a business analyst.
    I would say that it does. This is the area where I, and a number of others, disagreed with the Becta Technical Competencies ... because they were just that .. the technical side and missed the extra stuff brought in to schools by IT Support staff, especially NMs. Becta's response was that they were only asked to do the technical side and it is folk like NAACE, ICT Register, etc who try to link in on the other aspects. This is why the NAACE Impact Awards (the replacement of the Excellence in ICT Awards) now includes the ICT Technician award (for technicians and NMs) for the person who has shown most impact on the education of children.

    But I know schools differ around the UK (and around the world ... I'd be interested to hear what US, AUS and NZ members think) and we have had similar discussions before around this ... in the early days of BSF folk talked about getting more involved in educational areas such as working with the VLE ... part of this was if you do get involved in the education side you have a closer relationship with your SLT (which you may or may not already have) and articles like this, which talk about taking back the keys, mean absolutely nothing because the SLT know where the keys are, know they can demand them if they wanted but are aware that they are best placed with you.

    But some folk do not want to do this ... they want to be purely technical and be given the strategy ... but this comes with the risk that if you are in a school with no strategy then who knows what is going on, and so our friend at ISC has some very valid points about accountability, control and so on.

    I see this article as a prod at SLT to get their act together ... remember who the target audience is.

  15. Thanks to GrumbleDook from:

    Gibson335 (15th December 2011)

  16. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    I would say that it does. This is the area where I, and a number of others, disagreed with the Becta Technical Competencies ... because they were just that .. the technical side and missed the extra stuff brought in to schools by IT Support staff, especially NMs. Becta's response was that they were only asked to do the technical side and it is folk like NAACE, ICT Register, etc who try to link in on the other aspects. This is why the NAACE Impact Awards (the replacement of the Excellence in ICT Awards) now includes the ICT Technician award (for technicians and NMs) for the person who has shown most impact on the education of children.

    But I know schools differ around the UK (and around the world ... I'd be interested to hear what US, AUS and NZ members think) and we have had similar discussions before around this ... in the early days of BSF folk talked about getting more involved in educational areas such as working with the VLE ... part of this was if you do get involved in the education side you have a closer relationship with your SLT (which you may or may not already have) and articles like this, which talk about taking back the keys, mean absolutely nothing because the SLT know where the keys are, know they can demand them if they wanted but are aware that they are best placed with you.

    But some folk do not want to do this ... they want to be purely technical and be given the strategy ... but this comes with the risk that if you are in a school with no strategy then who knows what is going on, and so our friend at ISC has some very valid points about accountability, control and so on.

    I see this article as a prod at SLT to get their act together ... remember who the target audience is.
    Fully agree - 12 years ago when I was first employed here part of my remit was to work with others in order to shape a strategy and to develop the network with that strategy in mind...and as far as I can see that interpretation of a NM's role has mostly only improved. I couldn't do my job if it were in technical isolation - my own plans exceed that of the school by years, and I redevelop in line with budgetary restrictions and the curric decisions taking a different path at times - and I wouldn't want to either.

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    To a large extent the ICT strategy is outside the remit of the school and SMT, the strategy is implemented at government level. For instance the dictate that all schools should have a VLE by a certain date. Of course you can decide which VLE to adopt but the overall strategy has been formed above the schools level, the curriculum also dictates this strategy. I suppose their is room for maneuverability within the strategy but thats about all.

    Ok yes as a NM or tech you can get involved in all sorts of activities outside of the remit of your role, as I did until I found it detrimental to the efficient running of the network, an example of this was when I was drafted in to support ICT lessons, whilst engaged in this there was a lot of unhappy teachers around the school that needed my services but was not available to support, SMT soon got the message!

    Another example was that I ran the after school computer club and provided network games for the kids, they really enjoyed this, after all what 14 year old would not enjoy running around with a semi automatic killing their classmates, well SMT deemed this inappropriate, probably rightly so and decided to make it a homework club, I demanded a teacher be there as I had no idea what they are learning on a day to day basis, this was refused so I refused to keep the club open, it was on my own time after all.

    What I'm trying to say is that as a NM your first duty is to maintain the network and the second to support teaching and learning but only when it involves technology. Getting involved in too many things outside of this will only degrade the network eventually.
    Last edited by jsnetman; 15th December 2011 at 02:28 PM.

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