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What Do I Need To Work In Schools ?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by paulwilko, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. paulwilko

    paulwilko Bit Poster

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    HIya

    New here

    I have just had an interesting conversation with my Boss.

    We deal with a lot of schools but just selling IT equipment.
    We Have come up with an idea that offering support contracts could be a good thing for us.

    My question is, although I know my way round a pc and software, what do you think would be the minimum qualifications I would need before we could confidently offer such a service.

    Many thx

    Paul
     
  2. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    IT certs probably won't be as important as your Police background check.

    Turn up with a bag of Werthers Originals and you won't go far...
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  3. beaumontdvd

    beaumontdvd Kilobyte Poster

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    LOL! well said
     
    Certifications: 070-271, 070-272, (MCDST)Level 1,2,3 NVQ
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  4. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    Experience dealing with 1000's of users who are doing their best to break things and find holes in your security measures. Personally I wouldn't consider providing support to education sector a good business. But that's just my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010
    WIP: Uhmm... not sure
  5. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Brush up on proxy servers.

    :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  6. paulwilko

    paulwilko Bit Poster

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    Ok, shall we assume that I won't be going there for any other reason other than to keep there pc's up and running :x

    So, on a serious note, what do you think is needed

    Yes i understand I will need to be security cleared, but that is not an issue !!
     
  7. paulwilko

    paulwilko Bit Poster

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    Ok, shall we assume that I am not on the Police wanted list :x

    What is required on a serious note ?

    Yes, Proxy servers is something I have come across.

    The area we were lookign at is not big schools, but more junior and less IT intensive, certainly at the begining as I believe bigger schools tend to have in house support

    Paul
     
  8. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    1. First of all you (your team - whoever enter's the school's premises) have to have the Enhanced CRB and clear on the List 99.
    2. It would help/assist you if you had FITS under your belt, with at least a ServiceDesk.
    3. Comptia Certs like the A+, Network+ and Server+ is a big plus (no pun intended) as well as the MCDST and the MCSA.

    -Ken
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010
    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
    WIP: PGDip
  9. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    That's true :)

    Other things that you may want to look into is virtualisation, wireless and possibly Sharepoint/Moodle. It really does depend on what services you're going to be contracted to do.

    -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
    WIP: PGDip
  10. cisco lab rat

    cisco lab rat Megabyte Poster

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    Having configured more than my fair share of networks for Schools I would say if you are going to have anything to do with the network side of thing then "know your access control lists" get the little blighters off onto their own vlans and lock them in there, secure all other vlan's as much as possible.

    Joe
     
    Certifications: Yes I pretty much am!!
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  11. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Yes it is.
    I was being serious.

    You asked what you needed to work in schools, and an enhanced CRB check is one of them.
    That's going to matter more to the authorities than anything else - it's a political game.
    School govenors may not know the difference between A+ and an MCSE, but they sure know about the risks of allowing someone who hasn't been fully vetted within a mile of their kids.

    So don't ask a question if you don't want to listen to the answers.

    :rolleyes:
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  12. LukeP

    LukeP Gigabyte Poster

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    That's so true. Some time ago I was voluntering for a non-profit organisation that organise events for kids. I wasn't allowed to enter premises if there were kids inside until I had Enhanced CRB check done.
     
    WIP: Uhmm... not sure
  13. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    From a technical point of view do you have any network support experience?
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  14. paulwilko

    paulwilko Bit Poster

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    I have next to no experience, but I would not be on my own and am willing to learn before delving into this, hence why i am looking into what is reqd.
    This really is at a very early stage and was looking to get ideas on what is reqd.

    My original guess was to at least be at A+ and N+ standard. Then whilst looking at other exams, start helping schools out and anyone else that needs help and gain experience that way.

    Regarding the safety of Kids issue raised.
    It was the Werthers mentioned that raised my eyebrows, maybe i took it the wrong way, but i honestly thought coming on here i would get serious answers, but in fairness, you added a sense of humour to what i know is a serious point, so fairdo's

    When i say it is not a problem, i mean i have nothing to worry about in regards to whether i would get through the vetting stage as i am squeaky clean ;-)

    Thx for all your help everyone, and any more info you can give, that would be great

    Paul
     
  15. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    You might want to look at smaller networks first before supporting a schools infrastructure.

    I’ve no idea how schools outsource their IT but for networks I look after I needed to go and meet the customer first, chat about the network and discuss what we (the company) can offer. In some cases I had to discuss some similar projects that I have done and even do a presentation if it was a network migration project.

    I would imagine that the school would get various companies to come in and see what they can offer and also assess which one fits the needs of the school in regard to SLAs, technical experience and costs.

    Now if you say you have no network support experience that isn’t the best start (not your fault though! :biggrin ) as I would assume that schools have a high security setup in terms of web browsing etc. with various VLANs which can be a fairly complex setup.

    If you are looking to move into offering outsourced network support why not target smaller companies with 10-15 employees? Chances are they will be using Small Business Server 2000/2003/2007 which will give you some exposure so supporting a domain, exchange server etc etc. It’s a good way to get started looking after other companies IT infrastructure.

    In regards to certs I would go for the A+, Network+ and MCDST as then take it from there.

    A few members here provide IT support for schools so hopefully they can offer you some more advice.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  16. dazza786

    dazza786 Megabyte Poster

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    In all honesty mate, some kids these days are educated to a higher standard than A+ & N+. From what I've learnt.. I wouldn't want to attempt support a school network unless I had 3/4 years experience in an MCSA role. I don't think the school would settle for less either. There's far too many things which one wouldn't know about unless they had the experience. If you got somebody on board with you who could take point technically.. then go for it! But on the basis of you having very little experience and trying to go into quite a demanding contract, I'd have to advise you to think very carefully. Gaining the contract and then losing it will look bad. Don't forget, schools have lots of networking power, and if it's local it's probably even worse.

    Good luck whatever you do mate! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCP (271, 272, 270, 290, 291, 621, 681, 685), MCDST, MCTS, MCITP, MCSA, Security+, CCA(XA6.5)
  17. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    No worries mate.
    You ask for advice on an open forum and you need to take the good with the bad.

    Having a sense of humour is what keeps you sane... :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  18. westernkings

    westernkings Gigabyte Poster

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    Having just left a job working at a High School. Just general IT knowledge that you would gain day to day, the ability to troubleshoot etc. Nothing special. However you are unlikely to be able to find a job in a lot of places now given that the government is privatising the IT Staff in a huge amount of schools under the BSF initiative.

    You will need the enhanced disclosure (CRB Check) but the school will do that for you when you apply and recieve the job.

    and as for support contracts for schools, I would forget about it. They have all been tendered out under BSF and any that haven't will be employing in house staff. Unless you can compete with RM and the likes. It is unlikely.

    Sorry to piss on your bonfire, but I have just finished up a contract at a High School.

    You also need a very thick skin, as the comments are relentless, ranging from asking for your number, adding you on facebook, slagging you off, saying you look like XYZ off of XYZ, commenting on what you wearing and everything else just as kids do.

    Any new builds will be supported by someone else, so that leaves you with the old schools, which will have such a ram shackle network that it is a nightmare to work with. Any experience with Group Policy, things like smoothwall, forefront TMG, UserLock Software, deploying applications on mass by creating .msi files, imaging using WDS, Laptop Rollouts, Asset Managment and inventory keeping, Cabling knowledge, Switch Configuration, General Network troubleshooting, Backup and Recovery Procedures and software.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
    Certifications: MCITP:VA, MCITP:EA, MCDST, MCTS, MCITP:EST7, MCITP:SA, PRINCE2, ITILv3
  19. jamin100

    jamin100 Byte Poster

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    I agree, You need to know a bit of everything to work in a school. I'm a Network Manager at a primary with 500 users. We have 150 client machines, managed wireless, managed switches, 4 servers and whitboards all over the place.

    You need to be good with GPO's, Proxys, Cabling, imaging, software deployment, web filtering and everything else you can think of.

    In primary schools there's generally only 1 IT support person so you have to do it all alone.
    I'm in the process of planning a server migration to server 2008 which should be completed by september (once all the new images are rolled out)

    BUT.. I have zero IT qualifications. Not even the A+ . . but i'm working to correct that this year starting with the MCDST and then going on from there.
     
    WIP: 70-680
  20. westernkings

    westernkings Gigabyte Poster

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    That is exactly the same as the last Network Manager I worked with, he had an MCP in XP and had been managing a 1300 Pupil School alone. Perfect example of someone not having certifications but knowing so so so so much about so so so so much.
     
    Certifications: MCITP:VA, MCITP:EA, MCDST, MCTS, MCITP:EST7, MCITP:SA, PRINCE2, ITILv3

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