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How long did you stay in 1st line support?

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Kraven, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. Kraven

    Kraven Kilobyte Poster

    Hi guys,

    Just wondering, how long did you guys stay on 1st line until moving up? I was thinking about staying within 1st line for 2 - 3 years and then going for either a 2nd line job or a junior networking job.

    Whats your views on this?

    Certifications: Network+, MCSA, 70-680
    WIP: A+, 70-685
    Honorary Member

    UCHEEKYMONKEY R.I.P - gone but never forgotten. Gold Member


    Not long I think if you can get 6 months under your belt that's good enough. You may find a 2nd line opening and why wait 2 years to jump at it! It seems to be the norm to have at least 1 year under your belt but I do thinkit is also down to job satisfaction. I guess it depends if you like saying "have you tried switching it off and on again" all though the day.:p:biggrin
    Certifications: Comptia A+
    WIP: Comptia N+
  3. Kraven

    Kraven Kilobyte Poster

    I'd love a 2nd line role, as I'm sick of sitting down all day saying as you said "Have you tried rebooting your machine?" lol. I'll get a solid year in and then I'll try applying for 2nd line support roles. I just feel I'm a bit too young at the moment for 2nd line/3rd line. I couldnt see anyone wanting a 20 year old doing 2nd line work.

    Certifications: Network+, MCSA, 70-680
    WIP: A+, 70-685
  4. drum_dude

    drum_dude Gigabyte Poster


    I know of 18 year olds doing 2nd line! UCM said it; 6 months then get the fook out! If you stay on 1st line too long you'll be seen as a career 1st liner - not good.

    And get that misguided age barrier out of your mind - keep thinking like that and the next thing you know you'll be 40!!
    Certifications: MCSA , N+, A+ ,ITIL V2, MCTS
    WIP: MCITP 2008 Ent Admin, Server Admin, Exchange 2010, Lync 2010, CCNA & VCP5
  5. Kraven

    Kraven Kilobyte Poster

    Ok sounds good, Ill get applying for 2nd line then.

    Certifications: Network+, MCSA, 70-680
    WIP: A+, 70-685
  6. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

    I don't know. I've never worked 1st line support, call desk, support desk, etc.... It took me forever and a day to get a job, but I went directly to building, maintaining, and troubleshooting web, database, email, cms, ftp, etc... servers: basically, systems administration. Oh, I end up doing some troubleshooting on desktops, networking issues, and some application support, but that's a very small part of my job. However, the entire time I job hunted on I worked on my skill set.

    I don't know what I'd tell you on this because of my experience, but I doubt I'd set a time limit. I'd say it's more up to how fast you advance your skill level as to how fast you try to advance your career. Trying to go for jobs you don't have skills for yet, and I'm not even trying to suggest you don't have skills for second line support as I simply have no idea what your skills are, might end up being pretty frustrating, and depending on how snarky the company you currently work for is might cost you your job.

    I guess I'd ask how much you are studying, how much you are working on improving/expanding your skill set on a regular basis, before I'd try to tell you how long you should stay at any one level.
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1
  7. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    I never had a job where I was a "1st line tech". My first job was as a field service tech. Companies called in with problems, and we dispatched a tech. We didn't have a "2nd line" to escalate problems to... we just all helped one another out.

    My second job was as a systems administrator. There were only two techs (and a CIO), and I was the junior of the two techs. Not sure if that made me a "level 1 tech"... but I generally handled the desktop support issues. That said, I also got to help the network admin administer servers, firewalls, and routers.

    My third job had the job title "Technician". If something needed doing, I did it. I basically ran the technical operations for the company. Truth be told, it wasn't much, though there were four sites in four different states.

    So when did I get out of "1st line support"? Not sure... but I would guess that my entry-level days ended after I left my first job, which was about 6 months after I started.
    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!
  8. grim

    grim Gigabyte Poster

    my first IT job was building and repairing servers/workstations/gaming machines and cluster nodes and i was there a year and then moved on to a more networking orientated job

    Certifications: Bsc, 70-270, 70-290, 70-291, 70-293, 70-294, 70-298, 70-299, 70-620, 70-649, 70-680
    WIP: 70-646, 70-640
  9. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

    I spent just under a year in frontline. Around the time I started getting itchy feet and was looking elsewhere, my work offered me a promotion into a different department. Wasn't technically 2nd Line, but it was the same kind of level.

    Also, I agree with the others, get the whole age thing out of your head. If you are capable, then theres no reason why you couldnt be in second line. Its not that high really and besides, its against the law (in the UK) to ask for a certain length of experience, or be looking for a certain age. So if they turn you down because you dont have 3 years experience, or because you are too young, they are breaking the age discrimination laws.
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
    WIP: None at present
  10. Suttar

    Suttar Byte Poster

    I spent 7months front line, then moved onto a junior Network Engineer job. I would say to look at 1 year max in 1st line. I would have gone mad if I had stayed frontt line much longer.
    Certifications: Hnc Comp & Bsc Networking, ITIL v3
  11. Makaveli

    Makaveli Byte Poster

    It was 10 months in 1st line for me... I guess u'll know when your ready to move on to 2nd line, just dont be scared to make the jump!
  12. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

    Never did first line support.

    Started out as a Sys Admin and have bopped around as a Sys/Network/Security/DB Admin ever since.

    Don't know how anyone ever manages to put up with service desk work - I'd go nuts within a week.
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: None - f*** 'em
  13. C4sper

    C4sper Byte Poster

    I total days(!) I spent on a 1st line counts to about 5 :)
    then done some 'in house/on site repairs' for the costumers
    and moved to network admin job for local ISP
    later was some specialists systems and soft implementation (aka install:)
    and finally now I'm a fully grown System Administrator with the IT Manager title in my contract

    and all of that took me about 9 years now.

    IMO there is no point in planning wher and how long you want to stay. just get on with the job and you'll be noticed.
    Certifications: ECDL, A+, MCP, MCDST
  14. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

    I also never worked first line
    my first IT job was a jack of all trades in a net cafe, did everything from making coffees to migrating an NT3.51 server to NT4, and played lots of games
    my second job was as an onsite engineer, doing stuff that they didnt have the skillet for

    the few supporty type jobs I have had have all been 3rd line, and I got out of that lark fairly quickly and moved into consultancy
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, VCP
    WIP: > 0
  15. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    As you newer guys (and gals) can see, there are PLENTY of ways into IT without having to be a call center clone. Granted, things are somewhat different than they were 5, 7, 10+ years ago... but there are still multiple entry-level ways into IT. :)
    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!
  16. newkoba

    newkoba Byte Poster

    i spent 7 months doing help desk tech support for a large isp and then went into this role as a network security engineer.
    Certifications: Security + and CEH
    WIP: CWNA and CWSP
  17. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

    I spent 8 months as 1st line support - as I was a temp I couldn't get a permanent job with the company as they were closing the building I was working in. I had to wait until the 8 months was up before I moved up to London and I just joined 2nd line desktop support team up here - I've done desktop/desk side support, some network patching, some NT4 server support, backup/restores.

    If I was a permaneny staff member from the outset, I would have jumped at the exchange team or incident management team probably after 4 months (they both had vacancies) - I learnt very little else between month 4-8 - just earning money and killing time.

    I've been in this role for 1 year now and am looking to move on - another 2nd line team, probably server support.
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
    WIP: 70-293
  18. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

    9 months then I left to be the in-house IT guy for a software development company. Migrated their network from NT to 2003 as well. 8)
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  19. madman045

    madman045 Kilobyte Poster Premium Member

    4yrs 10 months to be exact!! :tune

    But the support desk was approx 130 staff supporting 150,000+ users...

    Also having domain admin rights was handy, i did a fair amount of 2nd line stuff too to the annoyance of my line manager....

    Also was involved in a few helpdesk migration projects, internal, but moving entire business support teams into our own desk, but not increasing our headcount etc...

    Left due to poor career prospects with in said employment...

    Now 3yrs years on, working for a small IT firm and doing just about everything, but it's the hands on i wanted the most, still not qualified in anything and dont really have a speciality.
    Certifications: 70-270, 70-290, PRINCE2 Foundation, VCA-DCV & VCA-DT
    WIP: MCSA 2008, VCP5-DCV, ITIL V3
  20. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

    I'm curious after reading all these replies.

    How many people who started on help desk had hands-on skills when they started there? I don't necessarily mean professional hands-on, but at least had been setting up technology for other people, doing repair work on the side, and had a lab in which they were experimenting with/playing with technologies that were much more advanced than what is required by help desk work?

    How many who started in a help desk role had no real hands-on experience other than just using their own computer?

    Lastly, how much did your ambition shown in studying, getting certified play a role in you moving beyond a help desk role?
    Certifications: MCSE, MCDBA, CCNA, A+
    WIP: LPIC 1

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