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General Chat Thread, A career within education IT? Viable? in General; What are your thoughts? For a young person entering education IT for their first - 4th positions is it a ...
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    A career within education IT? Viable?

    What are your thoughts? For a young person entering education IT for their first - 4th positions is it a viable career or not? With housing prices considerably most wont be able to afford anything on the average Technician wage of about 16-20k. Even NM's positions...

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    I guess it all depends on the person, their requirements/needs, & whether they have a partner/friend/parents they live with to share the financial burden.

    Plenty of people do it and don't have problems but not being in this position I cannot comment further on the specifics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GarnierSkinNaturals View Post
    What are your thoughts? For a young person entering education IT for their first - 4th positions is it a viable career or not? With housing prices considerably most wont be able to afford anything on the average Technician wage of about 16-20k. Even NM's positions...
    Not really sure how the wage makes a difference, when 95% of "first" jobs won't give you enough money to get a mortgage etc. You can rent, you can share houses, or live with parents etc as mentioned above.

    The career is fine for starting out in, as long as you're not expecting to buy a house day 1, (but then it's no different to any other job...)

    Steve

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    Just be realistic about your goals early in your career. My first job in IT paid just over 2 an hour, but living with parents that was a godsend. Now I'm just below the 20k mark and the only income earner in my 2 child family. With the relevant benefits and entitlements we live a comfortable life with a decent rented house. That won't be doable in London or Cornwall by any means.
    Think about where you want to go afterwards - it's all well and good saying you are considering it but if you come in as a technician, where is your career path going to lead. In the same establishment you may be able to prove yourself to be the next Network Manager, but as you rightly point out that's never usually a huge leap up. Think of it as experience, managing and maintaining a 500 computer network with Active Directory, GPOs, Windows, Office, network printers, shared storage, intranets, internet etc, that's all viable and good experience to managing networks in other businesses outside of education. Just the same, just some of the users are (slightly) more grown up

    Also please take to heart what you *want* to do. Don't look to get into educational IT just because it might be an easy path for you. Will you enjoy it? Will you be able to put your heart into it? Will the money matter that much if you really like it? I shrugged off a job paying another 2k a year because I'd rather be in education because of my own (perhaps masochistic) reasons. But I like it. There's always more to a job than money.

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    Steve21 (28th May 2011)

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    Definitely possible - I've done it up to a certain level, but some of it is luck. I started as a 'network manager' at a middle school, but I was the only ICT support person so the title didn't really mean anything, I was just a technician really with senior management making all the decisions. Moved onto a technicians role at a large secondary school, then from there to a network managers position at a small academy. I'm now a 'technical projects manager' for 3 academy schools, which basically means I manage changes to the technical aspects of the network systems in the schools, and research into new technologies etc.

    That career path thus far has enabled me to live a fairly comfortable life and at the end of 2010 I brought a house, but prior to that I house shared and lodged for a while. It's taken me 8 years to work to where I am now spending an average of 2 years in each position, and along the way I've put in a hell of a lot of work for each of the schools I've worked in.

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    I'd recommend a career in educational IT for anyone starting out. The diversity of things you do in a school or college based job is great. When I started out many years ago I did bits of everything which gave me a wide range of skills. Coupled with the customer services skills I gained it has been an excellent career for me, holding technician and management posts in a variety of schools and colleges. There are well paid (relatively speaking) jobs in education and I've been lucky enough to get some of them.

    The other thing for me in a school is the variety of other things I get to do. Going on trips, residentials, writing and directing drama, being a governor, mentoring students, running clubs etc etc - the list goes on. All of this is so rewarding and makes for a rich and varied working day.

    I'd say give it ago. Chances are you'll learn a lot and if it's not for you then you can move on with the skills you've gained.

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    Thx all. Nearly 5 years IT experiance now. 2 in business, 3 in education. Next position will have to be management!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by GarnierSkinNaturals View Post
    Thx all. Nearly 5 years IT experiance now. 2 in business, 3 in education. Next position will have to be management!!
    Why will it have to be management?

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    For more money and to rise within the ranks.

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    I would also aim to stick in a position for at least 3 years before you go into management ... management / leadership does require stability and you will find some places might not take to you if you have swapped jobs frequently, even if just to step up the ladder and get better wages.

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    The other thing to consider is how long the field is going to be around, with the cloud lot struggling to outsource everything possible there will be two jobs left, changing tonner and replacing cables neither of which is likely to bring a livable income.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 29th May 2011 at 12:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    The other thing to consider is how long the field is going to be around, with the cloud lot struggling to outsource everything possible there will be two jobs left, changing tonner and replacing cables neither of which is likely to bring a livable income.
    Hence why management can seem an interesting prospect? ... not so much about the hands-on, but more about making the choices and ensuring people use things right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Hence why management can seem an interesting prospect? ... not so much about the hands-on, but more about making the choices and ensuring people use things right?
    Probably the only option with a future if the current course plays out, moving further away from the practical knowledge and more towards the wetware interface. According to the popular concensus technical knowledge is useless and social stuff is where the future is, I look foward to the docterates in Facebook theory that will result though. Concluding I think that the OPs choice of path into managment is the wisest given the current popular trends that are being put foward.

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    Management is always a good thing to look at but I like to play devil's advocate on the "cloud" side of things. Even with thin clients things will go wrong, there will still be a network infrastructure and physical servers/hardware to maintain and I don't see it being more cost effective to contract out that side of it. I could be wrong there of course but I don't think it's worth writing off the "hands-on" side of things until you get a working crystal ball. I'm of course bound to say that because cloud stuff is a) boring b) slow and c) would mean I have to leave education if it ever takes a proper foothold - and doing so will also change the way and what kids are taught, IMO not for the better. But I'm not in management nor am I best placed to make such decisions or statements so I remain happy and easily amusable in a hands-dirty position (always remember, the kids are the important ones and any changes must have them in mind first and foremost!)

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    Education is my first career here and held various jobs with the same employer for 4 years (all under the same job title of course ). I get round the low wage for a graduate by living with my parents and probably will until I get a higher wage. As Syn says, they are a godsend.

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