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Career advancement and certification advice

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Fordy, Jun 21, 2010.

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  1. Fordy

    Fordy New Member

    Hi all, I have lurked on these forums for a while now and decided to sign up and hopefully get some advice to a mental struggle that's taken place over the course of 3 years!

    I have always loved IT right back to when I was around 7 years old. I studied IT for GCSE and A-levels and went on to University and gained a BSc with honours. I have always had a clear path in my head and strived towards it. I left University in 2005 and from there struggled for 6 months to find my first IT role and it became very clear to me that my degree wasn't worth particularly much at all. I finally found a position working for a consumer electronics company providing 1st line support for a whole range of electrical devices such as desktop pc's/PDA's etc.

    I worked there for 3 months and didn't enjoy it very much because the training was non existent and the pay terrible. This led me to apply for a position within a major telecoms company working within their network operations centre as a support engineer.

    I successfully got the job and it involved telnetting into various customer systems and running health checks etc to ensure server stability while reporting anything serious to tier 2 support. We also performed server backups/restarts, pulled logs off via ftp and monitoring via HP openview. I did this job for nearly 4 years before being made a victim of the recession losing the job in Nov of 09.

    Now the mental struggle I mentioned at the start of this thread is the tossing and turning of what I should actually do with my career. I've known for years that I should have started looking into IT certs but I'm one of those people that sit on things and think about them for ages and ages before making a decision. It took me nearly a year to buy a new TV haha. It's getting ridiculous :blink

    I'm now worried that at the age of 25 I have wasted too much of my life just thinking about what to do. I feel I sat in that support engineer position for far too long and should really have pushed myself into finding a 2nd line job or just something different with better career advancement.

    I took some time out in Nov 09 to again, think :dry then finally pulled myself together, updated my CV and got it out on the web. Out of the 50 or so jobs I applied for I got two interviews, the second one offering me the job. So I took it, that being another 1st line support position in a company 40 miles away from my home. This company provide hosted solutions such as exchange, VPN's and push email on blackberry’s and are also an ISP.

    So on the simplest level I am logging out PSTN faults with telephone carriers ranging up to the slightly more complex exchange support requests, and broadband troubleshooting etc.

    On my 2 month job search I realised I cannot seem to shake this 1st line support/telecomm tag I have given myself. So would really like some advice on what certifications I should be looking at to solidify the experience I have already gained and what sort of line of work I should be looking at. The time for action is now and I'm only getting older so really need to start looking at moving on in my career asap. I am particularly worried that I may have left this all too late to get finished in a decent amount of time.

    Sorry if this was a bit long but figured I'd provided as much information as possible so you can all see where I am coming from.

    Thanks for any help in advance.
  2. Jiser

    Jiser Kilobyte Poster

    Your in the same predictament as me sorta. I can't decide for the life of me what I want to do for a career. Ive been throwing the idea of teaching around since a-levels. Also I.T. support/ project management, graduate schemes. Its so hard to know.

    Depending what you want to specialise in, I would go for a Microsoft route first. MCSA/E then upgrade to latest track. You just need to sit down and get on with it. Once thats done then you can think about more certs and perhaps specialising.
    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.
  3. Josiahb

    Josiahb Gigabyte Poster

    CompTIA A+, Network+ and MCDST.

    Those are your starting point, get the books and get 'em done.

    Your not to old, or at least I hope not! (otherwise I'm screwed). You've just got to go for it.

    Oh and don't get the certs without the relevant experience, if you haven't got any server admin experience don't go after the MCSA/E. Use your experience as your primary weapon, see if you can get some time shadowing the server techs where you work and get your foot in the door for the next level that way.

    Above all though, don't rest on your laurels, get out there and get on with it!
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCDST, ACA – Mac Integration 10.10
  4. Fordy

    Fordy New Member

    Thanks for taking the time to reply guys. Since the first post I have been looking at the A+ and Network+ exams. Do you think it's worth buying books and stuff for this despite the fact that it's changing in a few months time?
    Also why do you suggest MCDST? Is it an area that everyone should learn because of the nature of early IT jobs? or is there some advantage to having it that I'm not realising, as I'm not particularly sure I want to be heading into desktop support just yet.

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