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Career advise.

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by natkay2603, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. natkay2603

    natkay2603 Bit Poster

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    Hi,
    I have been an IT tech in a school in the uk for about a year. I am also studying for my MCSE, i have my first exam next week. I feel like i am being held back a little by my job. My boss is great and so are the rest of the guys i work with, But i don't feel i'm learn and feel that it could be time to progress. My current responsabilities include the following.
    • Repairing Harware.
    • fixing network issues (switches, cabling etc)
    • server work (installing updates/packages, installing network printers to servers etc).
    • running cables
    • installing OS and adding to network
    • installing and confiuring software
    • installing updates
    • User admin on AD
    • Exchange stuff (creating groups etc)
    • IP camera install and maintenance
    • VOIP
    Also little thinkgs like fixing day to day problems with laptop, desktops and PDA's, most of which i can fix straight away but if not i will always find the answer online or from a book. If anything goes wrong on the network i have to fix it, or if i can't then my boss gets an outsider in. My boss is great but doesn't have MCSE or any other microsoft cert. So i am not really learning for him. There is also another guy that is the same level as me, but less knowledgable (and interest) as i am, I find my self fixing he's mess ups and giving him advise and help alot. I don't mind helping me and has been there longer than i have.

    Should i look for a new job? if so what kind of position should i look for? Is this a normal situation to be in?
     
  2. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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    Your best bet is to keep a diary of what you do for a week or 2, stuff like responsibilities and so on, and compare that to your job spec.

    If you find you are doing more than you should then bring this up with management, but say you are keen to expand your role, but would like investment in training, and point out you are already studying in your own time to improve your skills.

    If they are unwilling then maybe its time to look, register with some agencies and see if you can move role, do not leave your current role as it usually is a good thing to be working in the eyes of prospective employers.

    Another thing I would do, and its very hypocritical of me to say this as mine can be just as bad, but make sure you check your spelling, there were so many typos in that post you would need to be much more careful in CVs and letters to potential recruiters.
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  3. natkay2603

    natkay2603 Bit Poster

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    Thanks for the advise. I agree with the typo's thing i always rush and never read it back, but i will with my CV.:D
     
  4. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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    Im the same, especially at work lol
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  5. natkay2603

    natkay2603 Bit Poster

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    I'm thinking that as the MCSE course is suppose to be for people with hands on experience, i need to learn from a MCSE. But what position would be best to look for? My eventual goal would be to become an IT/network Architect (I konw this is a long way off), So what is the best path the get there? both interms of Career path and Certifications?
     
  6. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    If you're already doing server administration in your job after only a year in IT, then you're doing quite well! Sure, the MCSE is desgined for people with hands-on experience... but aren't you getting hands-on experience doing server administration? If you're doing your first exam, you're probably doing an MCSA-level exam... for which Microsoft recommends six months of server admin experience. If you've got that, then you're ready.

    You can learn from an MCSE, but you don't need to take a training course. You can do everything you need through self-study. Who do you think writes the books and training materials that are out there? By and large, other MCSEs. Plus, if you need anything, there are plenty of MCSEs here... some of whom actually write those training materials and teach actual classes! After all, that is what this forum is about!

    Should you look for a new job? Only you can answer that. However, know that you could be stepping from the frying pan into the fire. To be honest, your situation is NOT terribly different from what I have consistently seen in most companies. It's not out of the ordinary to be technically stronger than your boss, and it's not out of the ordinary to have one or more co-workers who you have to clean up behind. So although you *might* make your situation better, it's not extremely likely.

    You should feel blessed that you have a job where you are allowed to work with server administration after only a year, in a place where your boss isn't a raging jerk and your co-wokers aren't out to actively sabotage you. Some people here would give their right arm for a chance to be in your situation.

    That said, if you don't feel like there's anything else left for you to learn, perhaps it is time to take a look around and see what jobs are out there. You don't want to become stagnant. Then again... you've only been there for a year. In truth, that's not a very long time.

    Ultimately, none of us can decide for you whether you should or shouldn't leave. The best you can do is weigh your options based on what you have and what is out there, and make the best decision you possibly can. :)
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  7. natkay2603

    natkay2603 Bit Poster

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    Thanks for you comments bosonmichael, I have read a lot of posts on this forum and i see you are very well respected. The exam i am taking shortly is 70-270, but i have paid for a home study course through a local college (foolishly). I do get to do alot more than alot of people in my position, i know. I just thought that maybe if i worked somewhere that had MCSE's i might learn quicker?

    What do you think is the best or most sensible path for me to take, to get me to my eventual goal (what are the best certs for me to do after MCSE, what are the most logical job positions to get me there).
     
  8. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Thank you for your kind praise. That said, I'm no better than anyone else... just another IT guy. :) I simply share what I've learned to be true.

    Perhaps. Then again, you learn by doing. Perhaps cleaning up after your co-workers messes is an even BETTER way to learn, ya know? Trial by fire and total immersion have their merits... ;) You will, out of necessity, learn a LOT when there's nobody else that can do (or is willing to do) what needs to be done.

    If you don't have any other certifications, I would have recommended getting a solid foundation with the A+, Network+, and MCDST first. If they're easy to you, they shouldn't take you long to complete, and they'll help you look more "well rounded" when applying for your next job. The only downside is the cost of paying for the exams themselves.

    Keep in mind what certifications are and are not designed to accomplish. Certifications weren't designed to show employers what you WANT to be doing... they're designed to show employers what you can ALREADY do. Certifications without the appropriate amount of experience aren't very useful... without the experience, they're just a piece of paper.

    So, to answer your question of "What after the MCSE?", I'd have to say, "Who knows?" If you start to work with Cisco devices, the CCNA is a great certification. If you start working with Linux, there are a number of Linux-based certifications out there. If you start working with databases, there are database certifications. If you begin to configure certain firewall models, there are certifications for that. If you support Vista, there are certifications related to Vista. If you start working with Server 2008, you can upgrade your MCSE to one or more MCITP certifications. Exchange, Solaris, Citrix, Oracle, Apple, Dell... the list of certifications you COULD pursue is huuuuge. You are only limited by your time and what you work with on a daily basis. :)
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  9. natkay2603

    natkay2603 Bit Poster

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    Thanks again you make some great points, i now have a lot to think about.
     
  10. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

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    I don't know how it works at your place with performance reviews etc but if you have one coming at the end of the year then it's the best thing for you.

    To start with I would keep track of what you do over 2-3 weeks as others have said. Then work out whyt the next level would be from there (in your current environment). Then you can put together a proposal for promotion and more responsibilities. About 2-3 weeks before your performance review or maybe before your boss schedules it you make the appointment. You then let him know that you would also like to discuss the possibility of a promotion. This will then put the idea into his head to bounce around a little and also think the idea through beforehand.

    If you go to the review with a list of your duties and a proposal of how you can take more responsibilites he will be more open to the promotion, especially if you can show how the company will benefit (company first, you second).

    It seems to me that even though you have some server experience, it is very limited. Try to find areas where your colleagues are not quite thrilled at and put it in your proposal to take over responsibility for. Find areas that are not covered well and propose to learn the area in question and take responsibility for it. But don't limit it to just servers.

    Event logs - someone should look at them every day
    firewall - spam filters need cleaning, logs checked etc
    switches - managed ones need configuring etc

    I hope you get the idea. The tasks are not glamourous but they are the backdoor into the better ones.

    If you go to your boss with a plan of what you can do to help the company along with a new position (might need to create it if it doesn't exist) proposition with new responsibilities, then I can't see how you can fail.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP (270,271,272,290,620) | MCDST | MCTS:Vista
    WIP: MCSA, 70-622,680,685

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