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IT Careers

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by greenbrucelee, Jan 17, 2008.

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  1. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    How many of you experienced IT professionals worked in other ares of IT before you found the position you wanted to be in?

    I ask this because when I begin to send out my CV (once completed) I want to be sure I am applying for the correct positions.

    I enjoy building/upgrading PCs and installing software I could do this all day long, I also enjoy dealing with people but can be left to my own devices. I predominantly work on my own in my current job.

    I also enjoy troubleshooting, whilst I understand my first IT job may be sat on a call desk all day long for a while I am more of a hands-on person I would rather someone phone me or get assigned a job and I go and do the job myself.

    When I was at uni I setup a basic 10 pc network and set it up for file sharing and the like and I enjoyed that very much too (this was also the subject I scored highest in).

    What are your opinions of where I should start? Entry level support?
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  2. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

    I think the nature of IT in general means that most people will go through a few jobs before doing what they really want to do, others will go through jobs before they are even experienced enough to do what you want to do

    For most folks, the entry steps into a career in IT start in support, move into 'engineer' type roles (which are often glorified, or senior support roles)

    For some this is exactly where they want to be, they love working with users, they love solving problems, and that's a good place to be, however due to the nature of the work the pay is never really huge, and lots of people take a pay cut to move into IT, and there's no guarantee that they will be back onto their previous pay level by this point in there career

    unlike careers of old, to get pay rises and responsibility increases in IT you generally change jobs, not get internal promotion, unless you work for a large end user who has those kind of requirements, this is partly due to the fact that most techies work for companies whos product is not technology, thus you are providing a support role and there's only so many places you can go within that company without leaving the IT side

    By the sounds of it your enjoyments will make the engineer type role (especially field or roaming type engineer roles) a good fit, but you will not often start there, and after a few years you may yearn for another challenge
    Certifications: MCSE, MCITP, VCP
    WIP: > 0
  3. nXPLOSi

    nXPLOSi Terabyte Poster

    If you can manage to get into something like 1st Line Support, it could be a mix of using basic active directory stuff like resetting passwords etc to more hands on stuff such as looking at PCs, Printers etc... That'd be a great start in my opinion. Of course they're not easy positions to get as alot of people are trying to get into IT, but who knows, with the A+ on board you will hold an advantage over alot of other people.

    Most companys wont "build" PCs, as getting them in bulk from somewhere like Dell works out cheaper and a much easier option. Although there may be smaller companys who do PC repair and may offer this service, I wouldn't suggest working for one of them unless you cant get into 1st Line Support elsewhere.

    It may also be a big change from working alone if thats what your use to. From my experience there is the individual aspect of going to fix things etc, but on the whole a support team is just that, a team. Things you cant fix, or have problems with, will goto 2nd Line, and in the perfect environment, they'd be largly involved in training you etc.

    Im sure once you get your foot in the door, you'll do very well :)
    Certifications: A+, Network+, Security+, MCSA 2003 (270, 290, 291), MCTS (640, 642), MCSA 2008
    WIP: MCSA 2012
  4. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Doing something like a field engineer would be right up my street but obviously I understand that this may not be my first job. I had an interview a while back for a company who manage other companies IT systems and have IT engineers providing support in-house or at the customers base.

    I didn't get it but at least it was an interview.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  5. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Hopefully something will turn up once I get my CV sorted, got to take my exams aswell.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  6. MrNerdy

    MrNerdy Megabyte Poster

    I worked as a Volunteer in IT before getting the job i wanted.
    Volunteering offered me the chance to gain more experience & above all get 'real' IT hands-on experience.
    It also got me known so when a job did come up I knew about & the people I was working for and they knew something about me, still had to go for an interview though.

    It’s sometimes not what you know, but who you know!
    Certifications: ECDL, CiscoIT1 & A+
    WIP: Girlfriend & Network+
  7. grim

    grim Gigabyte Poster

    i don't think anyone stays in the same area of IT purely because your ideal job changes. Me i get bored quickly, once i've learnt the job and it doesn't offer me a challenge anymore i move on to new things. Once you've had experience at your ideal job you'll want more. Trust me building computers day in day out might seem like an ideal job now but once you've been doing it for a year the excitement quickly wears off.

    Certifications: Bsc, 70-270, 70-290, 70-291, 70-293, 70-294, 70-298, 70-299, 70-620, 70-649, 70-680
    WIP: 70-646, 70-640
  8. dales

    dales Terabyte Poster

    For me I got into IT backwards by the sounds of the previous posts. I started in a small Company who sold/repair/built/supported end users and large companies IT stuff and also did component level repair. I found this a good starting out point but quickly tired of it. mostly I was fixing/upgrading home user pc's or building a number of desktop pc's to spec (about 100 at a time all of same spec) trust me that bit can get boring very quickly. near the end of my time there I had amassed a reasonably amount of electronics knowledge which I still use today to repair the flakey dell mobos we have in our older pc's here, and went out to customers sites for various reasons. I had an incling that I would like to support a companies network infrastructure and decided to apply for a helpdesk job at the cop shop (I'd worked for them before and did a little IT work when the areas IT guy was off, although my primary role was vastly different). so i got that and decided thats what I wanted to do, I started studying for the MCDST there then when i passed that I carried on and decided to go for MCSA.

    Now Im a job further on and am much closer to where I want to be (although in a weird way its a mix of the first and 2nd job). I am one if 2 IT guys supporting 300 users/50+ servers and remote users. So we do everything from creating users moving/repairing/rolling out pc's to server migrations, pretty much everything to do with pc's. I'm still aiming to be a network admin in an AD environment and dropping the basic pc support stuff but I must say the trip is proving to be a very exciting one.
    Certifications: vExpert 2014+2015+2016,VCP-DT,CCE-V, CCE-AD, CCP-AD, CCEE, CCAA XenApp, CCA Netscaler, XenApp 6.5, XenDesktop 5 & Xenserver 6,VCP3+5,VTSP,MCSA MCDST MCP A+ ITIL F
    WIP: Nothing
  9. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    I was quite lucky with my first real IT job. As we did rotations between: Workshop, Helpdesk and field tech/engineer. Added to that we also had to do audits (hardware and software).

    Certifications: CITP, PGDip, 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: MSc in Tech Management
  10. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

    I was actually fairly lucky in my IT career, I must say. Started working in Frontline, and about 8 months later, when I was getting so sick of it I was ready to move on, work offered me an opportunity to move. The role I moved into was more of an admin role, but I managed to be in the right position at the right time, so ended up working closely with the Domain Admins in AD, as well as having a hand in developing and modifying the policies and procedures.

    Whilst in this job, I spent my time with the DA sitting next to me, learning VBScript with a view to working with AD. At that point I was torn between going down the server admin route, or moving into programming. My manager was sympathetic, and gave me plenty of opportunity to use and develop my VBScripting. When I mentioned that I'd like to work with the app development team for a while, my manager went out of her way (considering it wasnt in my job spec to be doing this stuff) to arrange and negotiate a 6-week secondment, where I was mentored and worked to develop a web-app.

    After that I knew I wanted to do development more. Whilst my manager was sympathetic again, there was a limit to what she could do, so I had to look elsewhere. After a few months of that, I landed my current job, a big payrise, and moved straight away.

    I'm fairly happy doing development, but who knows what I might change to in future.
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
    WIP: None at present
  11. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Yep. At every step of my career, I gained additional responsibilities over time. But it was still IT. Whether I was a field service tech or a senior network admin, I still provided IT support... one position just had more responsibilities. I didn't really consider it a "different area of IT."

    My job now is somewhat different. Would I go back to being a network administrator? Sure. I enjoy doing it. But I enjoy doing what I'm doing much more. The great thing is that I *can* go back to network administration anytime I choose. You can shift around quite a bit in IT, GBL... just keep gaining knowledge and responsibilities and experience, and you'll continue to be employable for the rest of your life.
    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!
  12. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Cheers for that, I have a few tech blogs to watch this weekend and have a friends computer to upgrade all valuable learning aid, once my CV is done tonight I will be posting it back up for everyones comments.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  13. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

    I'm exactly the same as you grim - if its not a challenge and interesting, I'm bored and ready to move on.

    Before I started on my IT career I really enjoyed doing deskside support/building PCs - I still do - but after doing it now for 14 months, it does become a little tedious and most of what I do is done without really thinking - not a nice place to be in.

    That's why as of a week ago I started to volunteer with the server team 3 hours every day after work - been really interesting and they are very welcoming .... will have to wait and see what the future brings.
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
    WIP: 70-293
  14. Arroryn
    Honorary Member

    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

    Hi GBL

    I understand where you're coming from, on the boredom side of things. I have about a year and a half of tolerance, before things need to change challenge-wise. Otherwise I start to get really itchy feet.

    However, I don't think that's going to happen, with the job I'm in at the moment :biggrin

    I don't think it's just what IT role you want to take on, that needs careful consideration - it's the industrial sector you go for too.

    Working for a medium-sized stagnant company probably wouldn't do much for your interests or prospects. Similarly, neither *might* a corporate helpdesk, where strict SLAs and KPI figures might get in the way of you pursuing your own personal interests and goals within your career.

    How would you find working for the IT team at your place at the moment? Is it a publishing house you work for, or a newspaper... producer? Is their company moving at the kind of pace that you think could satisfy your thirst for knowledge?

    I too think I've been incredibly lucky in my first IT role.

    I work for a national law firm that is 'on the up' at a good rate. The technology at my place was already excellent, but because the company is expanding, the IT requirements have to move with that, and that keeps us on our toes.

    I am 'First Line' but I also do a fair bit of treading-water in second line territory. The size of the company is growing, but the number of staff in IT has (so far) remained static. In my first year, I went from virtually *no* CV-able IT experience to working on support desk with bespoke software and the Office 2003 suite, supporting around 300 users in 4 sites. I work with AD on a daily basis, including assisting user creation, I have managed projects, been quite involved in a VoIP rollout across 4 sites, setting up a new office from the ground-up (infrastructure wise. I did no designing, but pulling the cables was... interesting :eek:). I diagnose hardware faults, and joyfully this does involve ripping PCs to pieces before calling Dell. I also negotiate with suppliers to order stock and (try to) control the company asset register for IT hardware. I got to work on new builds for our next image rollout for our new PCs, data rooms... ooooooh the joyful list is huuuuuuge.

    So succintly - challenges will be relative to the industry and company you choose. Based on my own personal experience, I'd recommend a large(ish) law firm :biggrin but in all seriousness, pick the company carefully. I know you can't often be too picky about your employer when you're near the bottom of the ladder, but you're not exactly a beggar with the amount of wherewithall you have about IT. Pick a company that's on the rise. Preferably one that doesn't have all the bells and whistles, but is about to invest in it. Because man you'll get in on some good projects!

    Although I personally chop and change about where I want to end up in IT, I feel I will either end up in design or technical writing (if I can learn enough technical stuff!). The experience I am gaining on the Helpdesk is invaluable, and only time will tell, how well I transfer what I have learned so far into a golden career!
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, 70-410, 70-411
    WIP: Modern Languages BA

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