Sooo, i'm a 'network manager'!
Here I am, a couple of months into my first IT-based job - 'Network Manager' at a medium sized primary school (400ish children). I have no 'official' training in the IT field. All I have is self-taught knowledge from using, breaking, and sometimes fixing computers since a young age (i'm 22 now).
Like I say, my title is 'Network Manager', but just from reading this forum for the last month (which I am SO glad Iíve found Ė Thankyou edugeek!) I appreciate that my schools version of a 'Network Manager' is probably very different to another schools. My predecessor was here for a long time, and she began as a volunteer. She was here from the start, and was part of getting the school to where it is now in terms of IT today. The result of that development is that my role of ĎNetwork Managerí is part time, and nearly all the technical side of things are handled by an external support team who work closely with RM. So far being here, Iíve been taking each day as it comes, trying to unravel and understand a position of somebody who had literally been at the school since the day I was born.
Since Iím without any official training or experience, I would not want for a second to assume I know everything, because I know I donít. I appreciate that managing a network alone is not a walk in the park, and it is not a part time job. However the school is currently on a CC3 network and everything is controlled by that. The external support team logs in remotely time to time to our server to check everything is in order, and I just look after the general housekeeping, and help the teachers and students with their immediate problems (which as Iím sure you all know, there are a lot of ! ;)). Our external support team offers Mon-Fri phone support on ALL things IT, and I know the previous lady used that a lot. I have been holding back from phoning them mostly, as I prefer to have a go at fixing things myself, plus I find thatís the best way to learn sometimes.
To be honest I stepped into the role as a gap-filler after finishing my degree (which was in music technology Ė try finding some work in that!) but now I can really see myself taking this as a serious career path. The only problem is at the moment I feel like Iím bubble wrapped because all the big parts of what I expected to be a technicians job seem to be somebody elseís. After pestering the head teacher Iím nearer to full time than I was in the beginning but I still feel I could be doing a whole lot more than I am at the moment. Iím sure this position is a brilliant opportunity for me to develop my skills and I really want to learn, though Iím finding it difficult to get involved when outside entities seem to have such a big hold over everything. All my life Iíve enjoyed problem solving, and getting to the route of the problem. I genuinely enjoy helping people with their computer troubles Ė I mean thatís what IT support is all about isnít it?
I feel like this should be posted anonymously to an agony aunt section in Heat magazine, but I thought this forum might get me some more useful answers. I wonder if anybody else has found themselves in a similar position. Perhaps I should seek some official training, although being paid by the hour at little more than the minimum wage Iím hardly in a position to fund that myself!
If anybody could offer even the smallest piece of advice Iíd be very grateful.
Thanks for your time.