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Topic # 220159 28-Jul-2017 12:40
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Firstly some background on me.

 

I'm 28 years old so I don't want to make any long term errors when It comes to my career at this point. I graduated in 2013 when I was 25 years old with a Bachelors of Computing Systems. From there I found it difficult finding an entry level IT role with no experience so after 8 months of active searching I took a job at an ISP thinking at least I'll be able to rack up some experience here.

 

4 months in I realized this wasn't really an IT role and wouldn't benefit my main goal, which is to be a network admin/ sysadmin type role or Tier 3 etc. Well, basically a role that earns a lot of money and where I won't need to talk to as much customers (I'm over them tbh lol).

 

So I started searching for jobs and 14 grueling months later I was offered a job in which the title was Technical Helpdesk Analyst. This role should have been advertised as Application Support. I guess I was just so keen to get out of the ISP role I didn't really care what it was and thought, 'it's gotta teach me more about IT then this current job'.

 

So now I'm working as application support for an in-house software we sell. I have been here for 18 months but have been looking for a more desktop support type of role for probably the past 8 months.

 

Now my real question - should I keep looking for a desktop support type role to get experience/ knowledge with IT type support? I might take a job soon in telco/ provisioning. The thing that excites me about this is I wouldn't be the Tier 1 support person which I'm really getting tired of. But I don't know if this will hinder my progress to my main goal if I were to take this role and not learn much or gather much needed experience to get a network admin type of role.

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1832843 28-Jul-2017 12:42
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Where are you located? 

 

Helpdesk isn't the platform for learning and launching into a new space that it used to be.  If you have a specific area you want to get into, do some self-study and a couple of certs in that space and then apply for that sort of role directly.  

 

Also - network! Go along to user groups and join things like the ITP and other organisations that arrange industry events.


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  Reply # 1832894 28-Jul-2017 14:01
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So what career path are you looking to go in it?

 

* Infrastructure - servers/networking and working up to infrastructure architect.

 

* Software development - software engineer to application architect and possibly enterprise architect?

 

* Software development/management - Business analyst then either business architect or Project manager to portfolio management.

 

The path often depends how much technical vs business depth you have.....do not ignore the business skills as these will get you out of the grunt work down the track. I believe IT professionals will need to have an equal understanding of busienss drivers and business knowledge in the future to be successful.

 

I would not see a telco provisioning role helping, unless it expanded relationship and organisational skills.  I think Apps support is a good foothold into a professional IT career  and you just need to take chances as they arise.....keep developing your tech and business skills, do root cause analysis on common issues or document the business use case (business issue/need)  that is not being currently met and propose changes to the development team then you may get a chance to move into application development or relationship mgmt.  offer to support UAT and regression testing....think like a user and be customer focused.

 

Get a good name as a hard worker,keep learning and seize opportunities within the organisation you are in.  Restructures and major systems changes can be you best friend.




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  Reply # 1832961 28-Jul-2017 15:59
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gehenna:

 

Where are you located? 

 

 

West Auckland.

 

 

Helpdesk isn't the platform for learning and launching into a new space that it used to be.  If you have a specific area you want to get into, do some self-study and a couple of certs in that space and then apply for that sort of role directly.  

 

Also - network! Go along to user groups and join things like the ITP and other organisations that arrange industry events.

 

 

I'll look into ITP and other organisations when I get a chance.

 

As to the other part, I read up on stories of people getting into Networking after gaining the necessary skills from Desktop Support roles when doing Google research. This was much more common than the odd 'I got some certs and was hired as a network admin', which is like 'I graduated and got hired as a network admin'. I just don't have that type of luck.....it took me 8 months to get a job at an ISP of all places after I graduated with a Bachelors Degree.....

 

I'd love to just apply for that role directly. But I had a post on here in 2014 which explained my difficulties when I graduated. These jobs ask for all kinds of practical experience, I won't be wasting my time anymore trying to get these jobs that have quite a lot of responsibility with pure theoretical experience when I'm obviously up against much better candidates.

 

My degree was practically the same as studying for and passing CCNA (my 3rd year network studies had the same material). I would study for CCNA and go for the cert ASAP if that's all what employers were asking for. I've been active on seek for about 3-4 years and even though it's very rare I still always apply for junior network/ sys admin roles that don't specifically ask for a certain amount of experience or skills. But I have yet to make it to an interview and think that maybe they didn't specify the experience as they forgot to.

 

 

 

 




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  Reply # 1832974 28-Jul-2017 16:16
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red89mx:

 

So what career path are you looking to go in it?

 

* Infrastructure - servers/networking and working up to infrastructure architect.

 

 

This one.

 

 

 

 

The path often depends how much technical vs business depth you have.....do not ignore the business skills as these will get you out of the grunt work down the track. I believe IT professionals will need to have an equal understanding of busienss drivers and business knowledge in the future to be successful.

 

 

You mean like 'money money money!'. That seems to be the common drive for businesses in my experience. From the big one like the ISP I worked for to the small one I'm currently in. In this small business I"m currently in which is about 20 employees I get to see a lot of the business process as we are all in an open office.

 

It's practically just sell a product with a few white lies here and there to sell the product, install the product, support the product. And all this is under the huge business blanket rule of kiss the customer's ass. I find it funny when I attend an interview for all these businesses and they say 'we like to separate us from the competitors by showing amazing customer service'. Umm...yeah....'cause no other business has thought of that, right? Lol. Imho basically a good product would distinguish you and competitors, and not a huge generic rule of being nice to people for their money which everyone is trying to do.

 

 

I would not see a telco provisioning role helping, unless it expanded relationship and organisational skills.  I think Apps support is a good foothold into a professional IT career  and you just need to take chances as they arise.....keep developing your tech and business skills, do root cause analysis on common issues or document the business use case (business issue/need)  that is not being currently met and propose changes to the development team then you may get a chance to move into application development or relationship mgmt.  offer to support UAT and regression testing....think like a user and be customer focused.

 

Get a good name as a hard worker,keep learning and seize opportunities within the organisation you are in.  Restructures and major systems changes can be you best friend.

 

 

 

 

This business is small that I'm in and looks like it's going under. No progression here. Without getting too much into it, I'll jus say that there's absolutely no way I am getting anywhere within this company. And App Support I think is quite bad for an IT career unless you're doing programming or it's an actual universal, well known and well used app like a Microsoft app. I'm basically a master at a program that only our customers use. This is nothing none of you here would have even heard about, and isn't even worth putting on my CV.

 

The provisioning role I don't really know what it will involve as I haven't worked there yet. I'm still waiting to hear back from them but the interview process went really well and not to sound cocky but I might be getting the offer soon. All I know is it's paying 50k which is alright by me (currently on 45.5k) and it's a different role, which hopefully opens me up to new technologies.


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  Reply # 1832979 28-Jul-2017 16:29
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By network I mean networking with people.

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  Reply # 1833016 28-Jul-2017 16:56
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Ok - technical network/server role.  Much harder now than previous with outsourcing and automation removing many of the junior roles. Caveat: My background is more IT Mgmt, Application and programme mgmt.

 

Suggest building a portfolio of volunteer work e.g schools with support for patching and try and develop skills in Powershell  scripting which is hot now.  The other field seeking skilled staff is in the security area, make sure you are up to speed on best practices for server/network hardening, security and similar toolsets (use internet ) and there are various human networking groups for these topics....often free with beer and pizza provided (In Wellington region anyway)

 

Re Business knowledge/skills - from your response there is a long way to go. Pure tech roles without business understanding (customer base, customer needs being satisfied, revenue and cost drivers....) will steadily disappear or be outsourced. The only reason we have computer systems, networks and applications is to support the our business.


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  Reply # 1833029 28-Jul-2017 17:18
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Do a gap analysis. What do you want to do? What skills do you need to get there? Employers have problems, they want solutions. Be the person that solves a problem, fills a need.

 

People / communication / emotional intelligence / networking skills are probably more important than the technical. Yes you need to be able to do the technical work, but people hire the people they like and want to work with.





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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1880756 11-Oct-2017 08:52
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I'm not sure I agree.

 

Sure ISP helpdesk is pretty basic.

 

But some do promote internally.....and there is the back room. So you can work your way up there.

 

Ditto web hosting places, or at least it used to work that way with Webdrive.

 

You started at Tier 1, helpdesk.

 

Then they encouraged learning, and you could progress to tier 2 which is more network admin.

 

Then ok, not often, but tier 3 next which is the full on networking side.....

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1881725 11-Oct-2017 09:05
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^I'm not saying it's not possible, but it's definitely not as common as it used to be.  So you either take a punt and try get a Helpdesk job that tides you over financially and hope that they invest in your development, or you do your own development at the same time.  Realistically you should be doing the latter consistently anyway so you're not reliant on your employer to get you where you want to be.


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  Reply # 1881740 11-Oct-2017 09:38
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The problem with the likes of Telco Helpdesk, or really Helpdesk in any large enterprise is you're dealing with some very basic and repetitive helpdesk stuff. Talking someone through how to connect their Laptop to Wifi, resetting passwords and doing very basic network fault finding can only get you so far.

 

I realise this is easier said than done, but I'd be looking for helpdesk work in an SME. Somewhere big enough to have it's own IT Team, but small enough where between helpdesk calls you can tap the sysadmin or someone on the shoulder and ask what they are doing and if you can help. Think law firms, accountants, pretty much any mid sized professional services place. 


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  Reply # 1888051 23-Oct-2017 12:33
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To get into a desktop support or system admin type of roles, I will suggest investing in a training and then certifications like Windows 10 or Microsoft Technology Associate.


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  Reply # 1888059 23-Oct-2017 13:02
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I don't want to come across as a jerk, but the title of your post should have the word advice instead of advise. Advise is the verb, you are after the noun, advice, likewise for practise & practice etc.

I share this as I was the maths whiz at school who failed School Certificate English. I had to spend a lot of time improving my English skills to make myself understood at university and in the corporate environment. These things are all part of our personal development required to progress in our careers.

Best of luck.

 

(If anyone sees a grammatical error, in my post, please let me know. I'm always willing to improve my English skills.)




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  Reply # 1889150 25-Oct-2017 09:39
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Hi All,

 

 

 

Just an update on this:

 

 

 

Still looking for an entry level tech job. I have been let down quite a bit by some companies. One which actually contacted me through here. After 2 interviews with Dynamic IT in Massey, Triangle Road, Mike offered me the job. I handed in my notice and awaited the contract. Not long after that he withdrew the job offer. Very unprofessional and I was the most let down I think I've ever been by any employer.

 

I have 18 months experience at an ISP doing tech support, then 20 months doing application/ tech support for a time and attendance company. I really just want to get into a tech role that will help me progress into an established career. I feel sorry for the new grads that are going through what I went through and am still going through. I mean, look, I have over 3 years experience and going for these entry level roles still.

 

 

 

I really don't have the time and money to be going for certs right now and I don't see the point if I lack the work experience. I never would have went to Uni and loaned 27k if i had known how useless the bachelor degree would be. I gained my ISTQB qualification as a cert that would 'help me get my foot in the door'. Never got a chance and barely one interview with my degree and that cert for any 'junior/ entry level' software testing role.

 

I know there's a lot of survivorship bias when it comes to getting advice on IT careers as I've also frequently seeked help on the reddit IT Career page. I really just need someone to give me a chance in a service desk where I can gain the much needed knowledge and experience.

I've been actively job seeking for over 3 years now and I will never stop as I think it's important to always be on the lookout as you never know what you might find. As for now, I can't even find a service desk role to give me a shot. So far in my job search I frequent seek (easily the best), trade me (mostly seek duplicates), linkedin (irrelevant suggested jobs and quite useless in that perspective), and other forums such as this.

 

For now, I guess I'll just keep applying....

 

 


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  Reply # 1889179 25-Oct-2017 10:31
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GeWizard:

 

One which actually contacted me through here. After 2 interviews with Dynamic IT in Massey, Triangle Road, Mike offered me the job. I handed in my notice and awaited the contract. Not long after that he withdrew the job offer. Very unprofessional and I was the most let down I think I've ever been by any employer.

 

 

That's awful behaviour!  I try not to leap to conclusions as there's always two sides to a story, but given your circumstances that does seem very rough!

 

In terms of upskilling - you need to make time.  You can't expect to learn everything you need to know on the job, and likewise most employers won't teach you everything you need to know either, and will expect you to take some ownership of your own education.  There's lots of cheap/free resources online to help with this.  There's training videos up the wahzoo on YouTube, then there's things like PluralSight and CBT Nuggets which are pretty cheap on a monthly basis.  Microsoft has the free Virtual Academy too.  

 

If you don't show some proactive self-learning you're going to struggle in interviews and getting a foot in the door at most places.




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  Reply # 1889236 25-Oct-2017 12:00
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gehenna:

 

GeWizard:

 

One which actually contacted me through here. After 2 interviews with Dynamic IT in Massey, Triangle Road, Mike offered me the job. I handed in my notice and awaited the contract. Not long after that he withdrew the job offer. Very unprofessional and I was the most let down I think I've ever been by any employer.

 

 

That's awful behaviour!  I try not to leap to conclusions as there's always two sides to a story, but given your circumstances that does seem very rough!

 

In terms of upskilling - you need to make time.  You can't expect to learn everything you need to know on the job, and likewise most employers won't teach you everything you need to know either, and will expect you to take some ownership of your own education.  There's lots of cheap/free resources online to help with this.  There's training videos up the wahzoo on YouTube, then there's things like PluralSight and CBT Nuggets which are pretty cheap on a monthly basis.  Microsoft has the free Virtual Academy too.  

 

If you don't show some proactive self-learning you're going to struggle in interviews and getting a foot in the door at most places.

 

 

I wouldn't get any information as to why the job offer was withdrawn. It was very awkward recalling my resignation from my boss which was surprised I was even looking for another job...

 

I was offered the job as the 'front runner for the position' then withdrawn with a very vague excuse of 'we found someone who would fit in with the culture more'. I thought this was bs.

 

 

 

In regards to upskilling: I might look into vendor certs more. I need to know which one to go for first which will look best to prospective employers and how much study hours and money it will cost. I don't expect people here to answer as I can do further research myself.

 

My only problem isn't just finding time (probably will have to sacrifice weekends) but finding motivation and reasoning. I did a degree in Bachelor of Computing Systems at Unitec where we would have entire labs we could use to our disposal. I did papers such as lvl 7 Network Admin/ Data Comms and theory which would be like CCNA. Why is this useless and overlooked? It took me 3 years of full time study which would amount to several certs. Not to mention it cost me $27,000. That was 2013....My friend dropped out halfway through semester 2 and got a service desk job where he's now the system admin. What did he have? A whole lot of what most people seem to have on the internet. A nice survivorship bias story.

 

I don't think I'm lacking qualifications, I think I'm lacking experience. I always see applications asking for desktop support experience, and I get questions in interviews such as have you ever dealt with servers before. I mean, obviously I have, but not in an actual work environment within an actual business. I show enthusiasm and passion in interviews where I know I don't have the experience they're looking for. I have the thirst for knowledge and progression and show it in both my attitude and past experience/ resume. Maybe the market is saturated with experienced IT techs.

 

I'll prob make a new thread asking about certs if I don't find the info on the net. I'll prob spend the rest of the week looking into what certs I should focus on getting. Mostly just to get people off my back about that. Not like it's actually going to help (sorry to sound pessimistic/ realistic).

 

 

 

 


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