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Stuck in a primary school

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by Ryan, May 13, 2008.

  1. Ryan

    Ryan Byte Poster

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    depressing me this now, the future isnt looking good,

    Been applying for support jobs for a while now, at first i wanted a field based I.T support job ideally but recently ive also been applying for helpdesk roles but with no luck past interview stage :(

    at the minute i work in a primary school managing the computer domain which consists of 100 xp desktops and 1 server 2003 server. I manage all aspects of the I.T side except for disaster recovery on the server itself which is managed by lancashire county council.

    what ive found when applying for jobs is that although i have very strong desktop and server experience, im lacking in things like exchange and citrix etc.......

    im already at the highest position i can get within school and theres no chance of us getting any more technology or new softare (exchange etc)

    really annoying me now because im sort of stuck here and believe me wages in primary schools are well behind the commercial sector ones...... :(

    any ideas anyone?

    at the min im on 16,000 pro rata, but i live on my own and cant afford to take a pay cut or anything when moving jobs...
     
    Certifications: MCDST, MCITP:EA, Microsoft Certified Solutions Ascociate (2008), 70-662
  2. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    How many years experience do you have mate?
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  3. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    You're getting Server 2003 experience, which is a great thing. Perhaps you're overqualified for help desk roles? Have you considered applying for systems/server admin jobs?
     
    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!
  4. Jiser

    Jiser Kilobyte Poster

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    Hey same job as me ish, I do two schools.

    Suprisingly enough we have both a good range of skills as I.T. Techs. We have to deal with all levels of people from staff, kids, parents to governors and suppliers. I know I certainly have to decide on equipment we buy, what server we get, what stuff the server will have, file structures, buying etc etc. The list is endless.

    All the experiances are great! Have you thought about University or maybe open university/MCPS/citrix certs to back up your experiance? Also what feedback do you get from interviewers about why you failed to get past first stages etc?

    About the university thing. I have a few friends who have only one year of experiance - from a placement year in industry. They have got into grad schemes ranging from 22 - 28k. It might be worthwhile doing degrees..
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), PGc, MCTS:Win 7, MCSA W7/MCITP EDST, ITIL Foundation, Prince 2 Foundation, C&G: Web Design, MOS 07: Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Outlook.
  5. Ryan

    Ryan Byte Poster

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    Total of 4 years desktop support and 2 years server support, in my previous role i also did some reception cover to brush up on my telephone skills etc

    I've had a look at some of the specs of the jobs, they always say "must have knowledge in citrix, exchange etc" which i dont have or "must have previous experience as a field support engineer" which confuses me as i dont see how your supposed to get experience in the first place, theyre all over 20k as well which is a big jump from 16k (pro rata which works out at about 13.5)

    Uni isnt something i could ever do, on the job training and quals is fine but i dont think i could sit down and study something at uni level...........plus come out a few years later with loads of debt lol

    recruiters have been saying ive failed because the company has decided to go with someone with a little more experience...........maybe its my age with only being 20?
     
    Certifications: MCDST, MCITP:EA, Microsoft Certified Solutions Ascociate (2008), 70-662
  6. Tinus1959

    Tinus1959 Gigabyte Poster

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    According to his profile he is not over qualified and at age 20 the experience level can not be very high.
     
    Certifications: See my signature
    WIP: MCSD, MCAD, CCNA, CCNP
  7. TimoftheC

    TimoftheC Kilobyte Poster

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    Ryan,

    From a personal standpoint I would say you're in a great position i.e. already in an IT position and getting what appears to be very good experience.

    I would say to be patient and make efforts to study the areas that you say are a barrier to you moving on - at 20, you still have a looong employment road ahead of you :D.

    As to your salary - not easy that one but I would say persue a pay rise or a move to a higher grade with your manager/supervisor. Have you discussed your future development with them or is that something that can't be done?
     
    Certifications: A+; Network+
    WIP: MCDST???
  8. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    When you say Helpdesk, are you going for first or second line?

    You are certainly too qualified for logging and flogging; it may be that some employers are looking at your experience with servers, as well as your existing 4 years of desktop support, and they're worried that you'll be in and out of the door quick than lightning.

    Can you link up examples from Reed or CWJobs, of the type of jobs you have been applying for?

    Also, what company size are you applying at?

    Smaller companies will require their staff to wear 'more hats' - ie, know Cisco, Citrix, Exchange and so on and so forth. However, if you put yourself in a 'smaller fish bigger pond' scenario, your experience with servers should be enough to get you a role?
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
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  9. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    IMO, it's not so much your age but your work experience. You have 4 years of IT experience which is great but with 100 clients and only 1 server (which is very large for a primary school, but about the size of a "large" small business - check out SBS 2003, 1 server and 75 clients) and limited exposure to other types of technology - this is what I believe is hampering you.

    For some reason it's harder for IT pro's in the education sector to jump into IT in other industries, not sure why???

    I would recommend either moving from a primary school to either:
    1. A private school
    2. A secondary school
    3. A company that supports schools, eg GV technologies
    4. Or try another public sector, eg NHS, Council, etc

    I would also recommend getting your school to buy the MS Technet Plus which will give you access to practically all of MS software for you to evaluate/test out (not to be used in a live environment), and with further study will help in, at least, giving you basic knowledge of the various software packages that you have currently no knowledge in.

    Finish your MCDST and then look around at other quals that will give you a boost, like the A+, Network+, Server+ (the MCSA may be an option at some point, but you may not have the experience to back it up,
    - but that's up to you to gauge your experience). Other non-technical certs/quals to look at would include ITIL foundation and a project management cert like either Comptia Project+ or Prince2 Foundation, as well a a customer service cert/course.

    Hope that this helps

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
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  10. GrumbleDook

    GrumbleDook Byte Poster

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    I would also see if you can get in touch with your local secondaries (the main school you feed into is likely to be the most helpful) and see if you can also get some experience with them as part of a job exchange. The schools can link it in together to work on transition and you and the techies at the secondary both get a chance to network and expand your experience.

    The needs of a primary are different to that in a secondary and no matter what people in secondaries think, you can usually pick things up from primary techs.
     
  11. Ryan

    Ryan Byte Poster

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    Rather than quoting everybody ill just do a generic reply...

    i think the issue i have is that i have too much experience to be an entry level helpdesk operator but not quite enough for a field engineer

    also add that to the fact that i dont have much commercial phone experience and it kinda puts me in an awkward position.

    the reason i didnt apply for helpdesk roles at first is because i dont like sitting behind a desk all day, i much prefer to be active and on the move (rather like a field engineer)

    another thing as well is that im looking for something in my home town, at the moment im traveling 14 miles just to get to work and im fed up of it to be honest as the slightest delay can end up making me 10-20 mins late for work, i dont mind traveling on the job, but to actually get to work in the first place i ideally dont want anything further than 5 miles away.................maybe im setting my sights a little too high?
     
    Certifications: MCDST, MCITP:EA, Microsoft Certified Solutions Ascociate (2008), 70-662
  12. Jiser

    Jiser Kilobyte Poster

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    Get the certs to qualify your experiance and knowledge I reckon. Finish that MCDST and get your N+/A+ and maybe administrating server 2003/installing? Do it while you still have your job.
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), PGc, MCTS:Win 7, MCSA W7/MCITP EDST, ITIL Foundation, Prince 2 Foundation, C&G: Web Design, MOS 07: Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Outlook.
  13. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Maybe you have to expand on what network experience you have? You say there are 100 PCs and 1 server, I assume this server is a DC but what other roles does it have?

    For example does it manage AV on the LAN and does it run WSUS? Also in regard to the domain management do you create accounts, edit group permissions and perhaps create some GPOs to lock down the desktops?

    Is there anything else you could list? For example is there any spam filtering software? Do you get access to the firewall to change rules etc?

    Questions, questions!
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  14. Ryan

    Ryan Byte Poster

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    Av is managed centrally on the server yes, not sure about wsus, think it does yeah because computers pull updates down from the server i think?

    yes i do all of that, plus deploy software using group policy..........basic logon scripts etc

    dont have access to firewalls or anything as our internet runs through the lancashire county councils network and the filtering software is on their proxy server
     
    Certifications: MCDST, MCITP:EA, Microsoft Certified Solutions Ascociate (2008), 70-662
  15. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Someone has to approve the updates unless WSUS is set to automatically approve critical updates.

    Do you have the details of the server admin you do on your CV?
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  16. Ryan

    Ryan Byte Poster

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    yep its all on there including the fact that i manage the domain on my own at present as well as working as part of a team in my previous job......
     
    Certifications: MCDST, MCITP:EA, Microsoft Certified Solutions Ascociate (2008), 70-662
  17. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Might be best to try and back up the experience with a few certs then. MCSA would be good, you could go for that and use the Network+ as elective. 8)
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  18. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    If you have experience administering servers, then you have enough experience to get a junior systems admin / server admin job. :) You certainly have enough experience to be a desktop admin, which is a step up from helpdesk!!!
     
    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+
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  19. Ryan

    Ryan Byte Poster

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    maybe its my age that puts people off, i went for a helpdesk role interview the other week with a chance to progress to the position above which was field engineer, some of the guys on the helpdesk were late twenties early 30s, perhaps they just didnt want a 20 year old at a higher position than some of the older people? as improfessional as it sounds...........people can run their businesses however they want i suppose
     
    Certifications: MCDST, MCITP:EA, Microsoft Certified Solutions Ascociate (2008), 70-662
  20. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    True. The good thing is this: you won't be getting younger! :) So your situation will improve over time... which, fortunately, you have plenty of. :)
     
    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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