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What to do to get started in IT career (shifting from customer services)

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by cutefinger, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. cutefinger

    cutefinger New Member

    I have few years experience working as a customer service help desk in a reputable organisation that service Royal Mail in Leeds and this is still my current job.

    However, I am looking to undergo a major career shift into IT and on reading through this forum, the general advice is for me to get started in the entry level role of "1st Line help desk support".

    So over the last 24hours, i recreated my CV and ensured it contain every little thing i know about IT and using computers e.g. how i gave support at work, Good understanding of MS office, Basic 7 day CCNA training i did in year 2009 (did not do CCNA exams though - I did the training out of curisoty back then).

    I also did a certificate course in information technology at the Open University back in 2005, but never got around to going any further.

    IT has been my passion and now at age 27, i am looking to go into it full time.(still feeling terrible for choosing an HND Business management course instead of "Business computing/computer science back when i did an HND course in college)

    I spoke to a friend who is an IT employee and he advise that i start out by doing an ITIL foundation certification. He gave me videos that will aid my learning and i am currently studying this.

    Now here's my question:

    1. Would doing an ITIL foundation be suitable for the role as an entry level support desk

    2. If not, can someone suggest a training route to take? I do understand that certifications will not guarantee me a job, but it doesnt hurt to start reading books and learning....

    3. I have been applying on reed.co.uk based on the CV i created and got lots of rejections. Can i take out personal details and upload CV on this forum for help in editing etc?

    4. Can you suggest other job websites i can find 1st line help desk jobs please?

    I am sorry my post is a bit long.....would appreciate every help i can get. Thanks
  2. ade1982

    ade1982 Megabyte Poster Forum Leader


    1+2. Yes, the ITIL is a good starter, but it's a very theoretical subject. I think the generally accepted basic route is A+ and N+. That would give a basic technical grounding, and allow to better demonstrate that you can solve problems. Or maybe all three?

    3. Yes. Lots of people have done so! Just upload it by clicking on "go advanced" and then click the upload attachment button in the toolbar (in between the smileys and the undo button on the first line.

    4. There's a load. JobCentrePlus is the obvious one, but also things like the ITJobsBoard, TotalJobs, Monster (although expect to get agencies phoning all the time), and major employers in your area like the NHS, local councils, local colleges, universities, housing associations, All the other agencies in the area too (like here we have Acorn, CityAngels, etc)
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012
  3. Coupe2T

    Coupe2T Megabyte Poster

    Just to expand on the ITIL point above, ITIL is a framework used within organisations for how their IT support should operate. You will not really cover any technical skills within ITIL, it's more about process. ie having proper Change Management processes and Raising Requests versus Incidents and so forth. Whilst it is well looked on within IT helpdesks and will definately be good for you to know, if you want more technical skills then look towards the A+ and N+ as good starting points.

    So as Ade said, ideally all three would put you in a very good starting position.

    Having said that, I have never done any of the three and still managed to get a job on a 1st line helpdesk, I had done an NVQ level 2 in use and support of IT when I was 17 but didn't get a job back in IT until I was 26ish. So keep applying and i'm sure you will find something sooner or later. I got the job actually based more on my merits of customer service, having previously held jobs similar to your and also having previously run a pub restaurant. So make sure you also present that side of your capabilities well on your CV so it's rounded to show both areas of your expertise and knowledge.

    As for places to look for jobs, Ade has covered most but one other that springs to mind is cwjobs, which is where I had joy personally, but that wa sjust luck of the draw really. Jobsite and Jobserve as well may be worth a look. Technojobs is a new one to me but I just picked it up off Google and also could be worth a look, a quick search for 1st line showed quite a few jobs but I don't know which area you are in so no way of knowing if any of them could be relevant.
    Certifications: ECDL, Does that Count!?!
  4. cutefinger

    cutefinger New Member

    Thanks guys for your response. I will check out all the websites recommended and since i already started with ITIL, i'll do my best to get the certification.

    However, I am hoping to spend some time every week to read up on N+ just to sharpen my knowledge of networking again.

    Irrespective, I was wondering if i'll still have to come in through the entry level support for any field in IT.

    For instance, if i really do want to become a Data Analyst......with knowledge of SQL and other business applications.

    I was told that i need to gain experience in networking first before moving to other field.
  5. Coupe2T

    Coupe2T Megabyte Poster

    That's a difficult thing to answer, as different companies will be prepared to offer different things. Certainly you will need some IT experience real world, then it comes to what you can back up in terms of your knowledge etc. If everything you know is essentially paper certs with no practical experience then you will struggle, so get some experience in IT, in whatever field you can I would say and then look within your company to be able to get some practical use out of skills such as SQL, maybe helping with the DB support team etc, where there would likely be a lot of SQL usage, even if you spend some of your personal time helping them out to gain that experience.

    It can be difficult to start out with, especially as your first roles are often helpdesk roles and a large number of these are outsourced to companies, so you might be working on the helpdesk for company A, but you might personally work for Company B and so have less access to other support teams for the company you are supporting. Just keep plugging away though and I am sure you will find a role that suits eventually.
    Certifications: ECDL, Does that Count!?!

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