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Moving on advice...!

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Wilki0903, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. Wilki0903

    Wilki0903 New Member

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    I have worked in IT for a number of years, almost 12 years i believe. I have always had the passion and the patience for everything IT. I worked in a job making furniture to get by and i raised the money to pay for certifications which will get me through the door in a good IT company.

    In the end i started a company and i contracted out my time to schools. A few years passed and i was earning around £50k a year with some great benefits. The main benefit was the more i worked the more i earned. There were always opportunities to work and even under-cutting competitors i was earning more than i ever imagined. The business excelled through the national recession and it went from strength to strength; once i ironed out a few bumps in the road which cost me a lot of money! I was young and vulnerable but i learned the hard way.

    Suddenly the government decided to close down Middle Schools. 80% of my contracts were gone. Which led me to take a normal job (along with some other factors i.e. starting a family and buying a home etc)

    I have been a secondary school Network Manager for 6 years. We use many enterprise solutions such as Citrix XenDesktop, XenApp (Citrix VDI) and vmware vcentre server running 40 servers. We run Windows on approximately 200 devices and almost 500 Apple devices.

    My qualifications are below:

    School was a car crash!
    Business Studies
    Computeach International IT Essentials - Everything IT foundation level Diploma
    Web design - HTML
    CompTIA A+ Hardware and Software
    Microsoft Certified Professional - Windows XP - course but never took the exam
    MCSE 2003 - Course without exam's (never took the exam's as quit half way through)
    Apple Certified Support Professional 10.9
    Apple Certified Technical Coordinator 10.9 Server
    Ruckus Wireless operator - Including Radio Frequencies course
    Currently studying CCNA and enjoying it, hoping to move onto Cisco Certified Security Professional

    Morale of the story, I'm earning a good amount of money now and i would like to change my career direction. I earn £36,500 with 8 weeks per year annual leave. My day starts at 08:00 and ends at 16:00.

    Its a pretty good setup but i am at the top and can go no further.

    I have spoken to an agency\It careers advice centre and they have said that i will have to drop my salary to around £25k and gain some non-educational establishment experience

    Is this common? should i go for it to earn more money in the long run? All i seem to be doing is reducing my salary instead of increasing my salary!! Do i expect more because i had such a good run with the business? should i setup another business? Would i be better off aiming for IT Management in a company

    I feel lost, i know I'm in a good position as i have a good job and i should reflect and be appreciative of this but i would like to be earning more money if i can

    Any thoughts, opinions, advise or slander much appreciated
     
    Certifications: CompTIA A+, Apple Certified Professional, Apple Certified Technical Co-Ordinator
    WIP: CCNA Routing & Switching, VMware vsphere v6.5
  2. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Wilki it's going to depend on what kind of role you're looking for and where in the country it is, if you're in the Outer Hebrides then yes, finding something local with your skill set may prove hard, but for example if you're close to a major metropolitan area then finding a role paying what you're earning shouldn't be difficult.

    As far as academic skills\qualifications are concerned, at your age you can drop them from the CV entirely, they are really only any good for initial school leaver roles or unless you're throwing a degree in there as well.

    I would expand the CV to show the Enterprise tech experience (Citrix and VMware tech), I wouldn't put in to the CV that you quit halfway through the MCSE (for whatever reason), I would also think where you want to go, you mention CCNP Security but at the moment do you have any Cisco Security exposure because if not I would be surprised if you get a role doing Cisco work with a CCNP but no commercial experience.

    I would also consider whether you want to get certified in Citrix or VMware and if so perhaps look at getting that done before you leave.

    Without knowing you but looking at your current role I would be surprised if you would need to take a drop in salary but you may need to just expand your CV with some certs and showing more Enterprise experience.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  3. Wilki0903

    Wilki0903 New Member

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    Hi Simon,

    Thank you for your advise and apologies for the delay getting back with comments.

    I have taken on board what you have said. I studied the MCSE 2003 with a company who I paid £6,000 to. I had family trouble and struggled to fit in study time. They asked me for £600 per year additional to the £6,000 they had to keep my seat.

    At the time I was working in 20 schools migrating servers from 2000 to 2003 configuring DNS, configuring exchange server and many more things quite confidently so I felt I didn't need to continue the MCSE

    I understand that the above information doesn't need to go on my CV and maybe I should detail my skills and MCSE study under my experience section.

    I think after the CCNA Security I will study VMware as I have recently performed an upgrade of a data centre which was time consuming as I was learning as I was going a long. I also spoke with a VMware certified techie who told me a lot of tweaks/should do's which I simply wouldn't of known about without his knowledge.

    Ill continue to work where I am, study and take advantage of the systems around me which will give me some valuable experiences and I'll keep in touch if you don't mind
     
    Certifications: CompTIA A+, Apple Certified Professional, Apple Certified Technical Co-Ordinator
    WIP: CCNA Routing & Switching, VMware vsphere v6.5
  4. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Virtualisation tends to be a natural progression for a lot of Sys Admins, my advice on studying it would be look at the release version you're working with and get certified in that (whether that's 5.5 or 6.0).

    I would also suggest getting some Linux experience under your belt as well, most of the recent enterprise OS's I have been seen has actually been Linux (CentOS) rather than Windows based.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  5. Wilki0903

    Wilki0903 New Member

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    Thanks Simon, Ill do that after the CCNA Security. Im interested in the Cisco stuff which means devoting so much time into studying it is second nature. We are running 5.5 at the moment whats the average study time on the vmware courses? do you recommend a weeks course or can it be spread out over a longer period?

    I agree about the linux stuff, ill get my head into it and see where it gets me. Would you suggest just knowing it or do you find that Linux certification is best?
     
    Certifications: CompTIA A+, Apple Certified Professional, Apple Certified Technical Co-Ordinator
    WIP: CCNA Routing & Switching, VMware vsphere v6.5
  6. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    So as far as training goes, you have two options.

    VATC (VMware Approved Training Centre) is usually a 5 day course.

    VMware Academy has to be longer, the ones I have attended have been 4 weekends (both days) for a total of 8 days of training.

    You have to attend approved training, it's no good doing self study as you won't get certified that way.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
    Wilki0903 likes this.
  7. Wilki0903

    Wilki0903 New Member

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    Thank you, Simon

    I have recently finished the CCNAv3 Semester 4 NetAcad module and I am revising for the S4 Theory and the CCNA 200 - 125 which I will be taking in January. I should be hearing back anytime from Cisco to see if I have a seat on their new CyberSecurity Course. Fingers crossed I will be doing this early next year.

    My new plan is Complete CCNAv3 > Cisco CCNA CyberSecurity > Cisco - NDG Linux Essentials > vmware cloud associate or datacenter associate

    I think, at this present time my little plan above is a good focus. Do you agree? Maybe the Cybersecurity course will be so interesting that I take the Professional version of it which includes a lot of Linux learning. I guess at some point I am going have to make some tough decisions but until then I feel the need to get some more relevant and recent paper behind me
     
    Certifications: CompTIA A+, Apple Certified Professional, Apple Certified Technical Co-Ordinator
    WIP: CCNA Routing & Switching, VMware vsphere v6.5
  8. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Hiya Wilki, I see you're in Yorkshire so I think what I'd do in your situation is apply for a few jobs that you fancy and see how you go. To be frank, in my opinion you've spent a fortune on training. I'd not look to spend much more at this stage plus a lot of larger companies will pay this for you, it's nothing to them, I've had Microsoft and VMware courses from mine. If you dont get a job ask for feedback on why and look at it from that point of view. What I would say is, while you might want more money, you almost definitely won't get 8 weeks holiday or a guaranteed 8-4. You might get close on the working hours but holidays, no way. I get 30 days which is better than most people I know.

    You sound like a good guy, you've taken the time and gone to the effort to reach out to like minded peers, I think you'll do well. What I wouldn't do in your shoes is waste another two years getting top qualifications, especially if you're not in an enterprise environment. Server count for instance, when I was a server admin for an IT Outsourcer, our FTE count was based on 500 servers per man, but we'd be on an estate with thousands of servers, doing on call so 24/7 cover, overtime. It was a very enjoyable time for me but I worked mad hours often, deliberately too for overtime and on call money. What you're doing now sounds really good, and its great you've got enterprise products so experience too. I think you're ready now just figure out what line of work you want, IT Management, Server Admin, Network Engineer. What you will probably find is the jack of all trade jobs are dying off in favour for silos where you just cover an area.

    Just my 2 cents mate and by no means the right answer for you, just putting it out there

    Cheers
    Jim
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  9. Wilki0903

    Wilki0903 New Member

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    Jim, thank you for your response. It is very helpful. I would like to think that I am not chasing money but mainly chasing being busy and knee deep in technical puzzles.

    I love troubleshooting and resolving complicated issues and I'm simply not getting enough of them where I am. 500 servers per net admin sounds like it would give many opportunities :) over time and call outs would be lovely, i sometimes work weekends and early mornings and I don't get paid for it

    I'm going to have to spruce up my cv and get some letters out to companies which understand and respect the trade quals

    I then need to prove myself and never give up I guess

    This site is great for advise and guidance you and Simon have been great
     
    Certifications: CompTIA A+, Apple Certified Professional, Apple Certified Technical Co-Ordinator
    WIP: CCNA Routing & Switching, VMware vsphere v6.5
  10. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Further to Jims comment about holidays, you're only going to get 8 weeks if you stay working in schools as they are the only industry that I know who grants that much in the way of holidays.

    As a side note, I recently started in a new role, paid handsomely but still only get 26 days holiday a year, I would love to get more but it's just not going to happen and as far as hours are concerned you just need to liaise with your manager \ HR to see about working the hours that suits everyone however be advised some places work 37.5, others will work 40 (or when you're a manager you can expect 55+ ;))

    I would also point out that at some point in the future you're probably going to have to move into a management role that takes you away from the technology and more in to the management of people (that's me right now). Still keep the tech skills active for as long as you can tho because it's always useful.
     
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).

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