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General Chat Thread, What next? in General; Just to sumarise really i am wondering what to do next. I am 19 and i have been employed as ...
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    What next?

    Just to sumarise really i am wondering what to do next. I am 19 and i have been employed as a ICT technician at a local high school for 2 years now, before this i completed my AS levels ICT - b, Computing -c and Business - b. While working i have completed my NVQ level 2 included Comptia A+, and i am about to complete my NVQ level 3 and City and guilds advance diploma for IT professionals. So i am wondering what to do next i am wanting challenges. has anyone any suggestions. thanks

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    nephilim's Avatar
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    BTEC National Diploma in computer studies, should be a 2 year course (part time) and if you continue, then go along the degree route

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    i have been offered the foundation degree but i am unsure if its for me

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    If you think a foundation be easy, a degree is no harder! you need at least a masters now.

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    what about if i went down the route of tech certs?

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    Experience with qualifications on the side

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Forget qualifications, for a second. The first question to answer is, career wise, what do you want to do next? What are you aiming for?

    Are you looking to continue in support or helpdesk roles? Move into management? Networking and systems administration? move to a different field of IT altogether - web design, programming, etc?

    Before we can advise if, in our opinion, you next step is a degree, M$ cert, Cisco, BTEC, or whatever. We need to know where you feel your future career may lay.

    Also, in terms of 'challenges', what do you do with your spare time. Play with Linux/BSD? Set up test servers? Play with Win 2k8 / Win7 betas? Test networks in VM environments? Write programs/scripts?

    The list is quiet endless, the challenges available with out resorting to paying out for certs (although I'm not suggesting not getting certs, just other places to look for 'challenges').

  8. Thanks to tmcd35 from:

    LukeC (11th May 2009)

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    i would like to go down the route of network management.

    i do play with servers uin my spear time looking at playing with server 2008 soon. i have played with linux in the past dont feel thats for me i also play with windows 7 every so often. I would eventually long time like to move into a large business. but in the next few years i feel myself progressing up in a school and gaining as much experiance as i can.

    Website design does appeal to me but only at the side of management

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    Batman's Avatar
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    Learn Linux... seriously. You might not think it's for you because it's hard, but it's worth learning because it's good to be challenged and once you've learned it you'll find yourself able to do stuff a lot more easily. If you ignore Linux then you miss a big slice of the computing pie.

    If you want to do web stuff you'll need to be familiar with some Linux commands, most decent web servers run Linux and the ones that run windows are pants. I have only recently realised how much easier it is to set up a site using ssh compared to using an ftp client.

    Personally I think that a good techie should be not only willing but enthusiastic about ditching the gui and doing stuff command line only at least once in a while.
    Last edited by Batman; 11th May 2009 at 11:43 PM.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Mmmm, to a certain extent I agree with Batman (never thought I'd use that as the start of a serious sentance ), learning Linux can be a fun challenge and broadens your horizons.

    But in a way you have actually answered the question for yourself. It doesn't sound like you are much interested in programming so academic courses are likely to be wasted - especially at degree level.

    You've discovered that Linux is perhaps not for you. You already have the A+ cert and are already playing around with Win2k8/Win7.

    If I was you I'd look very seriously at self study for M$ certs. M$ cert is good to put on any CV to get you foot in the door. You are already in a good job in terms of gaining the hands on experience. By self study you can take the time to set up some VM's and really learn Windows networking properly.

    I'd say that could really set you down the path of a good career in M$ support/network management and eventually maybe into a role with a large business.

    Good Luck.

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    tsky's Avatar
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    If you want to move up to management level and not just "administration" or "technician" level, it's likely you'll need a degree to do so.
    Experience and qualifications and personal skills are what move you forward, but that's only achieved through you setting goals for yourself and pushing forward with what you want to do.
    You can progress down the network management route into datacenters if you have the experience and the MS/Linux/Cisco quals - a friend of mine did that route after deciding uni wasn't for him. He ended up spending a lot of money on the courses though in order to counter for the fact he didn't have a degree. He's now a senior network engineer, I just moved to being a network manager in a school from being his number 2 for a couple of years. It's not that he couldn't do my job - he's much more technically able than I - but some jobs out there (like the one I have now) require a degree as a prerequisite to applying.
    Most of the time this is just historical "well if they have a degree it shows they have staying power" thought processes (which are stupid), sometimes this is because people recognise a degree will give you the tools to think about learning how to do jobs, not the tools to do a particular job.

    Bottom line is - do you see yourself doing a degree, and if yes, what do you see yourself doing after your degree?
    If you are looking for alternate routes - have a look at other jobs and if they have training budget associated. You could always stick where you are (if you can) and push for training through the school. Get as many courses under your belt as you can and try and learn a wide range of things rather than specialising until you know where you want to go and what you want to do - then you can tailor your learning to what you want to move into.

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    i am looking to stay where i am but wanting to gain more experiance and qualifications.

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    My own personal opinion would be to worry less about qualifications and more about proveable experience ina range of technologies, and also running projects to completition.

    Where do you see your current setup has weakness - and can you think of ways to improve it? If you can identify, find a solution to and implement a fix for a issue or a new technology then you'll have a big thing to put on your CV, and if it makes a difference to the current users they're likely to provide a better reference.

    I'm not saying ignore qualifications, but maybe consider putting some of your current skills into proven experience first.

    I'd more likely hire someone with no qualifications, who has a cv full of completed projects and support skillsets backed up by a good few references than a person with a lot of qualifications and a standard reference (its the situation that go me into the role I'm in now....)

  15. Thanks to Domino from:

    LukeC (12th May 2009)

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