+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 16
General Chat Thread, Where can my career go from here? in General; This perhaps should be in Educational IT Jobs but it isnt strictly about jobs in education Basically, I want to ...
  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    London
    Posts
    2,962
    Thank Post
    159
    Thanked 152 Times in 116 Posts
    Rep Power
    49

    Where can my career go from here?

    This perhaps should be in Educational IT Jobs but it isnt strictly about jobs in education

    Basically, I want to move away from where I am, its all too familiar, lived here all my life, need a real change. Want to do this within the next year.
    So obviously I will need a new job

    So Ive been looking at some jobs, first time in 3 years, and its a little depressing. I didn't expect to be able to walk into anything but it seems anything above helpdesk roles (which I could have got when I left college) are still beyond me.

    I have 3 years experiance, I have an MCSA (almost) but the jobs that are available call for much more than that like extensive Exchange knowledge, VPN's, Server 2003 clustering, (these are just examples, there were loads) things I still have no experiance in.

    And of course thats only 10% of jobs. 90% are programming or developing jobs, and since I cant write anything except a few scripts, nor will I ever really want to since it doesnt interest me, a large majority of jobs I cant even do.

    So are theres specific things I need to learn? Eg should I learn Exchange even though we dont use it? Should I learn SQL?

    It seems my "jack of all trades, master of none" experiance from my current job is a bit useless

    Should I just look for another job in education for now? I mean its the moving away I want most, not a different job, I quite enjoy mine. But the money is still going to be poor. Im not driven by money at all, but I do need enough to live on. And considering I want to move to London, I dont think my current salary would be enough

  2. #2

    Dos_Box's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Preston, Lancashire
    Posts
    9,831
    Thank Post
    581
    Thanked 2,162 Times in 987 Posts
    Blog Entries
    23
    Rep Power
    627

    Re: Where can my career go from here?

    Have you tried sedning your CV to Will at Special Agent, our jobs forum sponsor? Try PM'ing him. He's desperate for skilled candidates.

  3. #3
    Friez's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    839
    Thank Post
    22
    Thanked 22 Times in 21 Posts
    Rep Power
    23

    Re: Where can my career go from here?

    Squire, don't despair. Things could be worse, you could be me!

    BSc in Computing.
    Coded video games played by people world wide.
    DJ, Hardcore Producer
    and more besides.

    I'm a jack of all trades who is everso slightly overqualified for the original role I was meant to do (swap printer cartridges and replace mice lol!). I'm an ICT Tech earning pittance, not getting much from my actual main skills! It's a funny old world. Programming jobs are insanely competetive and game programming even more so.

    However, jack of all tradiness puts you in an ideal position to become a "Highly Paid Consultant" so that may be an option for you.

    If theres something you want to learn, you must go out and learn it. If you want to code games, learn the stuff involved. Want to be a database admin? You know what to look up. Sounds to me you're more interested in training than a job because you feel like your skills/knowledge are lacking, so perhaps pursuing courses may be more advantageous to you, if you can afford to do so.

    Schools are largely institutionalised, you'll find that job roles don't differ a *huge* degree from school to school. Teacher A is replaceable by Teacher B, and even network managers and IT Techs can be replaced by someone else. They may not have the *exact* same knowledge but will quickly learn new things required at the specific school.

    Personally though, I think on the whole, unless you're moving from IT Tech to Network Manager it's largely a sideways move to change job in education, the only difference would be the different environment although this is just my opinion.

  4. #4
    Scotmk's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Milton Keynes
    Posts
    277
    Thank Post
    1
    Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts
    Rep Power
    16

    Re: Where can my career go from here?

    There are a lot of jobs in IT / ICT that do not require these particular qualifications, maybe look for PC Desktop Support positions, theres lots of these about. (2nd line support) a great experience, better than helpdesk, but not as advanced as servers, but you do get involved in all aspects. The pays pretty good for these positions.

  5. #5
    zag
    zag is offline
    zag's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    3,762
    Thank Post
    897
    Thanked 416 Times in 350 Posts
    Blog Entries
    12
    Rep Power
    86

    Re: Where can my career go from here?

    Don't be put off by adverts that say you need to be a master in clustering exchange servers, or be able to write an essay in binary. They are put there to weed out the useless people. Just apply and go to the interview, read up on the subjects beforehand and you should be fine.

    With most of those types of jobs you will learn the skills as you go along. Employers are much more interested in finding reliable people who have the right kind of troubleshooting skills.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Leicester, UK
    Posts
    123
    Thank Post
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Rep Power
    0

    Re: Where can my career go from here?

    Agreed with the above post, jobs askign for Exchange specialists don't always mean you need a qualification in it.

    I am very much like you in that i know a lot of different things and not really a master of anything but the difference is that i will not let that put me off applying for a job. I generally don't lie but i have learnt that it pays to be a bit more confident in interviews.

    I went for an IT Specialist role and told them i was a good all rounder which i considered an IT Specialist to be. What they atually wanted me to say was i was particuarly good at networking or administering exchange etc. Which of course is part of what i meant but ot the right answer.

    My advice would be to apply for jobs that you may not think you will get but just be confident, a willingness to learn is better then saying i cant do this or that. If you know the answer to the question will be negative (i.e. you know you havn't worked with SQL etc) then turn it on its head and say i havn't really done much of that but i had never created a login script before and now my login script is the dogs.

    Matt

  7. #7
    apoth0r's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Northants
    Posts
    1,221
    Thank Post
    151
    Thanked 180 Times in 132 Posts
    Rep Power
    51

    Re: Where can my career go from here?

    Well a lot of recruitment companies say they want you to have all these legendary skills but at the end of they day that is to turn the people who don't have a clue from applying. If you know what exchange is then you are more then likely suitable for the job (unless it is specific to the job role ie - Exchange Server Admin) when they say they are looking for people with knowledge of, they usually mean you understand what it's used for.

    Don't be put off from applying even if you not possess all the skills they need, they are often looking for someone with the willingness to learn.
    IT is learning for life, and i'm sure that most companies understand that.
    (never hurts to have the experiance of an interview and fail either because it gives you that much more confidence and willingness to try again).

    Hope it all works out for you buddy
    Best wishes
    Steve

  8. #8
    torledo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,928
    Thank Post
    168
    Thanked 155 Times in 126 Posts
    Rep Power
    47

    Re: Where can my career go from here?

    Quote Originally Posted by sidewinder
    This perhaps should be in Educational IT Jobs but it isnt strictly about jobs in education

    Basically, I want to move away from where I am, its all too familiar, lived here all my life, need a real change. Want to do this within the next year.
    So obviously I will need a new job

    So Ive been looking at some jobs, first time in 3 years, and its a little depressing. I didn't expect to be able to walk into anything but it seems anything above helpdesk roles (which I could have got when I left college) are still beyond me.

    I have 3 years experiance, I have an MCSA (almost) but the jobs that are available call for much more than that like extensive Exchange knowledge, VPN's, Server 2003 clustering, (these are just examples, there were loads) things I still have no experiance in.

    And of course thats only 10% of jobs. 90% are programming or developing jobs, and since I cant write anything except a few scripts, nor will I ever really want to since it doesnt interest me, a large majority of jobs I cant even do.

    So are theres specific things I need to learn? Eg should I learn Exchange even though we dont use it? Should I learn SQL?

    It seems my "jack of all trades, master of none" experiance from my current job is a bit useless

    Should I just look for another job in education for now? I mean its the moving away I want most, not a different job, I quite enjoy mine. But the money is still going to be poor. Im not driven by money at all, but I do need enough to live on. And considering I want to move to London, I dont think my current salary would be enough
    really good post sidewinder, you're in a predicament a lot of us find ourselves in.

    I think if you want to maximise you're opportunities you should learn about the products employers mention in their job specs, irrespective of whether you actually use them in you're current job. All the big companies provide fully functional trial versions for you to play with, it's all about making the time.

    I wouldn't say being a jack of all trades is useless, but it certainly isn't where the big money is....specialisms in the right areas are what command the high salaries. The trick is to find the specialisms that are crying out for suitable candidates so that you've got a certain amount of job security should you pursue the training in that route. For instance no point being a netware specialist if the long-term future of the product is unclear or if companies are moving to alternatives in droves.

    The good think about being an all-rounder is the interesting and challenging nature that keeps you motivated.

    Having said that if you're solely an oracle DBA or Business objects specialist you're not short of challenges, and the lack of variety in the role is counterbalanced by the potential of an extra 0 on you're annual salary. Making that kind of money often requires you to do a lot of travelling or moving to where the job opportunities are in industry.

    Don't be a programmer, it's hard work and not financially as rewarding in most instances.

  9. #9

    Geoff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Fylde, Lancs, UK.
    Posts
    11,803
    Thank Post
    110
    Thanked 583 Times in 504 Posts
    Blog Entries
    1
    Rep Power
    224

    Re: Where can my career go from here?

    A good upcoming area to specialise in at the moment is computer security. The Cisco CCNA -> CCSP track is probably the simplest route to head in this direction.

    If you don't fancy security, another option is VoIP. Again, look at the Cicso course track on the subject. CCNA -> CCVP

  10. #10

    broc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    England
    Posts
    2,046
    Thank Post
    104
    Thanked 401 Times in 265 Posts
    Rep Power
    150

    Re: Where can my career go from here?

    I have worked in IT for a long time now, since the early 1970s........

    In my experience:

    Specialists are in demand, as long as their skills are 'fashionable'. The danger with specialising is that you may be skilled in the wrong things as the market moves..... Be flexible, avoid niche skills unless you are aiming for 'world class' and are prepared to make it your life.

    Skills that never go out of fashion are design,project management and systems management skills (problem and change management, security, performance and capacity planning, disaster recovery) so make sure you develop these in parallel to whatever other skills you have.

    Problem determination skills are very important in day-to-day IT support jobs at any level. Learn how to use the tools provided by the hardware/software vendors; use the WWW, usergroups, whatever you can lay your hands on. The longer I have worked in IT, the more I have realised how little I know...... but over the years I have developed & refined my ability to find out!

    Having a track record of being able to design, plan, and implement a 'project' from end-to-end will serve you well and can look good on your CV as it shows that you have a wide skill set.

    Learning to program is a bit like learning any language; once you have learned 'how' in one programming language it is a relatively simple task to learn other languages too. Be aware that an awful lot of programming is done offshore now, especially in large organisations.
    Make sure you have some programming experience but don't waste a lot of time on becoming an expert. In an IT support role scripting skills are very useful. Most programmers would admit to plagiarism (aka code reuse) anyway. How often do we see people asking for a bit of script to do this or that on Edugeek?

    You need to get the balance right with experience/qualifications. Quite often, HR depts in large organisations simply use qualifications as a means of filtering applicants; if you don't have the bits of paper you end up on the reject heap. Only those applicants who pass the filtering process get their applications scrutinised by the eventual line manager, so look for vacancies with smaller organisations as they are more likely to take into account what you say you have done than what your qualifications are. Use these smaller organisations as a stepping stone to larger organisations if you wish, but be aware that the bigger the organisation, the slower things happen.

    Qualifications should be used as an indicator of potential and not merely a filter. I have come across far too many people who on paper had everything you could wish for; sadly they were a dead loss when it came to doing the job.

  11. #11
    Netman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    56.343515, -2.804118
    Posts
    911
    Thank Post
    367
    Thanked 190 Times in 143 Posts
    Rep Power
    54

    Re: Where can my career go from here?

    What about something like this... http://www.specialagent.co.uk/vacanc...ils.aspx?i=196

  12. #12

    SpuffMonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    2,229
    Thank Post
    54
    Thanked 278 Times in 186 Posts
    Rep Power
    134

    Re: Where can my career go from here?

    Quote Originally Posted by broc
    I
    Specialists are in demand, as long as their skills are 'fashionable'. The danger with specialising is that you may be skilled in the wrong things as the market moves..... Be flexible, avoid niche skills unless you are aiming for 'world class' and are prepared to make it your life.
    Wise words Broc - I got caught over specialising early on in my career, with a language that went out of fashion and then got caught again after becoming a manager and pretty much de-skilling technically later on, which made it very difficult to get another job after redundancy - you just can't win :-)

  13. #13
    torledo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    2,928
    Thank Post
    168
    Thanked 155 Times in 126 Posts
    Rep Power
    47

    Re: Where can my career go from here?

    [quote="broc"]I have worked in IT for a long time now, since the early 1970s........

    In my experience:

    Specialists are in demand, as long as their skills are 'fashionable'. The danger with specialising is that you may be skilled in the wrong things as the market moves..... Be flexible, avoid niche skills unless you are aiming for 'world class' and are prepared to make it your life.
    I agree to some extent, but companies are still grappling with the same problems they faced 10 years ago. The products used may have have changed or evolved, but companies still have the same business needs.
    For example XML and newer SOA technologies may have replaced legacy middleware technologies that didn't work out such as CORBA, but SOA or ESA (whatever the latest buzzword is for application interop) are just new techniques for solving the same problem CORBA was meant to address.
    And that problem cost big business billions and is still a significant investment.

    So if you're a specialist in an area that solves a business problem you're skills will always be in demand. Some would say that CRM and BI are the current fashionable specialisms, but although they may be a relatively new focus for business they're not going anyway anytime soon, particulary when you look at the way companies operate these days. With the explosion of the e-commerce and the exponential growth in data storage companies will pay a premium for two fundamental needs of business....communicating and doing business with customers, partners and suppliers and analysing the huge volume of data available to managers. Companies will continue to invest BIG in these areas. Not just companies either, local government are spending millions on projects becuase of e-government targets, for instance investing in state of the art call centers and CRM software so that they can better deal with the problem of looking after their customers.

    A good example of a seemingly potentially risky specialism is RFID.
    It is a hot topic, but it remains a somewhat niche and difficult to implement technology, and there is the danger that a newer competing product will come along and usurp it. It's expensive to undertake the necessary training, and requires knowledge of supply chain processes,
    but at the same time despite these obstacles big companies like Tesco and Walmart are mandating it, so it has a future in the mid-term atleast and there's the opportunity for implementers because suppliers who want to do business with Tesco will at some point have to use it.

  14. #14
    Joedetic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Walsall
    Posts
    1,316
    Thank Post
    6
    Thanked 13 Times in 13 Posts
    Rep Power
    22

    Re: Where can my career go from here?

    I can second Geoff with the Cisco qualifications. I'm currently doing a sort of addendum to CCNA called FNS (Fundamentals of Network Security) that teaches you all sorts of stuff from IOS firewalls, PIX stuff, IDS, IPS and lots and lots of other things.

    Also the VoIP route. If you go down the Cisco path for that and use the skinny protocol and CME or CUCM they'll have you call it IP Telephony (VoIP is different...or so we've had it drummed into us on the IPT course) but it is well worth getting to know something like that as you never know when your company might turn round to the IT/IS department and ask who knows something about IPT and can suggest who they should put the new phone system out to tender with.

    From a personal point of view, actual networking can be more fun than server and desktop support anyway, you get right down to the switching and routing and with the IPT choosing which codec is best suited to your WAN link etc. All good fun and great experience developing the technical mind. (*justifies degree to himself*)

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    777
    Thank Post
    1
    Thanked 31 Times in 29 Posts
    Rep Power
    23

    Re: Where can my career go from here?

    Contracting may be an option. You can operate under an umbrella company who will sort your tax out.

    This is often the easiest route out of Education and if you are any good, the contracts will keep coming and hourly/daily rates will increase.

    I leart more from 6 months contracting than I did in 10 years as a NM, but its not for everyone.

SHARE:
+ Post New Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Fancy a new career?
    By tom_newton in forum Educational IT Jobs
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 5th October 2007, 01:18 PM

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •