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I.T Career Path transition stages...

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by fatp, Nov 2, 2008.

  1. fatp

    fatp Byte Poster

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    Hi guys.

    Just lookin to put myself out there in the job market as I been at my current place for a year now doing desktop support as an I.T technician. I know its not the best time to be looking with the recession but just want to get a feeler for whats out there.

    I am currently doing 1st/2nd line stuff but want a more 2nd line position. I have never done actual helpdesk work resolving stuff on a service desk or worked under ITIL, but have a more hands-on, practical approach to troubleshooting from my desktop support experience.

    I have read and been told the IT support career path follows as:
    Helpdesk -> Desktop Support -> Server admin -> Network admin

    My questions are: Does working in '2nd line support' involve using server 2000/2003 or other server products. Is this a given? and do you need a working knowledge of dns, dhcp, backups, other stuff etc to move to a second line job? The only way I can learn this stuff is to study the MCSA books. But i will eventually wanna certify myself. Overcertification is the next query as well...
     
    Certifications: Comp Sci BSc, NVQ 2 & 3 IT Professional
    WIP: Comptia A+, Network+
  2. coolchef

    coolchef New Member

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    Hi
    There are jobs out there to be had but like anything be careful and do your homework on the company, as it happens i have just handed my notice in at my current place and start new job at the end of Nov. I always look at cwjobs.co.uk reed.co.uk as well as monster etc.
    I started late in IT, i left the Army at age 40 and started on a helpdesk, and have now after 3/12 years and a couple of jobs later, i have now got a system support job on servers with a large organisation, the career path is what you want it to be, if you want to generalise then yes as you decribed but, employers are looking at a bit of specialism as well, i have in the last 2 years got to grips with managing an oracle database albeit simply but i can still do it now comfortably incl backup & restoring tables etc. DNS and DHCP are bread and butter stuff to server support, what i did was set my goals to how i wanted to progress and went and did it, don't over complicate your progress trying to learn too much at once and certification is okay as long as you can back it up with experience , if not start off and work your way up. Employers have become a lot more savvy at people with certs and no real world experience, sorry if i have rambled but i have done it myself and it is not like the tv adverts. it is hard graft to get where you want.
    Cheers.
     
    Certifications: Sec+, MCSA
    WIP: CCNA
  3. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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    With regards career progression

    What actual experience are you gaining in your current role?
    What are your responsibilities and daily tasks?
    These are two questions you will get at an interview.

    The thing is working somewhere for 1 year doesnt mean it automatically opens a door to a job elsewhere.
    Have you spoken to your current employer to find out what progression there is?
    Have you tried to increase your responsibilities and shown what a team player you are?
    Have you asked how you can improve in your current role.

    That is the kind of person who pregresses.

    Re the Server stuff, I see currently you are going through A+ and Network+, to be honest you would probably be better focusing all your efforts on passing these, while you are in work, then progress through the MCSA, if that is your main learning fine, ok, nothing wrong with learning new skills.
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  4. Obinna Osobalu

    Obinna Osobalu Banned

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    This is definitely the best move
     
    Certifications: MCITP:SA,MCTS(x5),MCSE2K3;MCSA2K3:M;MCP
    WIP: EDA7,70-652,Project+,MSP(70-632)
  5. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Job titles are fluid... so you can't count on them being standard from company to company. So '2nd line support' can mean different things to different companies. In some companies, yes, 2nd line is expected to do server administration... in other companies, no, you simply do more advanced help desk or desktop support work.

    I'd recommend that you hold off on doing the MCSA until you start laying your hands and eyes on some production servers. Plus, you still have the A+ and Network+ to puruse, and Kevicho rightly advised.

    When you do get the urge to move to a new job, start looking - now, if you want. You don't have to jump into a server admin role... what would be *great* for you would be to find some sort of desktop support job where you can learn from and assist the server admins... and eventually, you'll have enough experience doing that to pursue the MCSA and get a full-fledged server admin job (hopefully, one where you're learning from senior admins or network admins so you can take the NEXT step!).
     
    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!
  6. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Yep, I use server 2003 and am even expected to do admin stuff to a certain degree and my job really isn't an IT job about 60% manual labour 30% technical and 10% getting pissed of with retards who I work with.:D

    The same job title can mean many different things from company to company, some places could involve 2003 at one place and 2000 at another and Unix somewhere else. So it's probably best to get the best info from a place when applying to work there, ask them what they use and how much training and exposure you will get etc.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  7. fatp

    fatp Byte Poster

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    Do you have to do helpdesk to get to desktop support, as I never did it...

    'Helpdesk' -> 'Desktop Support' -> Server admin -> Network admin ???

    what attributes does a good helpdesk tech have when compared to desktop tech

    e.g.

    communication skills must be good etc....

    :)
     
    Certifications: Comp Sci BSc, NVQ 2 & 3 IT Professional
    WIP: Comptia A+, Network+
  8. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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    No you need to have the skills and impress at interview, there in no real progression from helpdesk to desktop support as they are both kinda bottom rung in most companies, jobs advertised as helpdesk, are more likely to be larger companies, dealing more with phone support, and desktop support will be more likely smaller companies, and more based on site, but you will be likely get a more varied day (in terms of hardware / software issues).

    The problem with your above "progression" is that it depends on the person, you need to be skilled and experienced to be asked to do server work, its like getting someone who panels cars for a living to start messing with the engine.

    I think, and from what i see of all you threads, that you are trying to rush, and this will hold you back, you need to see IT as a long term career, and you need to build from the bottom, if you feel you need to do A+ and Network+ (as stated in your WIP) then do those, keep your job, and as suggested before try to expand your influence as you progress with your learning, it is likely after a year or two of doing that, combined with your new certifications you may move to a more technically demanding post within your company, or find work elsewhere.

    My advice is to slow down and deal with the A+, Network+, do the MCDST and then start looking, you will have 18-24 months support experience by then and you will be in a much better position to negotiate terms with potential new employers.
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  9. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    No, you don't. You could go from ANY entry-level job to desktop support... PC repair tech, field service tech, 1st line tech... any entry-level job.

    That said, it's not even a requirement that you have an entry-level job before getting a desktop support job... it is possible to get a desktop support job without any prior IT experience. However... prior experience increases the chance that you'll be considered for a desktop support position. Without that prior experience, you will usually be passed over in favor of those who DO have that experience.

    I think the attributes that are good for a helpdesk tech are also good for a desktop tech... gotta be able to follow a process, have good communication and troubleshooting skills, and have a good foundation of technical knowledge.
     
    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!

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