How do I get into I.T?

Home Forum Bike Forum How do I get into I.T?

Viewing 18 posts - 46 through 63 (of 63 total)
  • How do I get into I.T?
  • Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    One of the big problems with IT is the lack of training from most companies, and the ever changing technology you are faced with. It takes a big commitment to keep your skills up to date, if you are not one of the lucky ones in a company who recognises this, it will steal a lot of your life away outside your normal working hours.

    amedias
    Member

    I think you really need to work out what you mean by ‘into IT’ because with the best will in the world it’s unlikely we can help you or offer any meaningful advice until you’ve got that nailed down…

    An IT project manager needs very different skills to a developer, or a DBA, or sysadmin, or network guy, but perhaps unsurprisingly needs very similar skills to a *INSERT OTHER THING* project manager, so work out what you actually want to get into, and why.

    xiphon
    Member

    I’m in IT too – work for a small highly tech engineering company, so wear many hats – from sysadmin to dba to developer to policy writer.

    Very varied work, which is useful for keeping my own skillset up to date. Only problem is, the buck stops with me – there is nobody else in the company to assist when I get out of my depth…

    But it’s taken years of hard work – starting at the bottom at 1st line tech support on a telephone.

    boxfish
    Member

    I fell into IT 15 years ago…I haven’t escaped yet. As someone who gets bored easily when not learning, I have been lucky to work for organinsations which encourage (and fund!) development and training.

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    been lucky to work for organinsations which encourage (and fund!) development and training.

    Although my current company do so to a certain extent, that hasn’t been my experience for most of my career.

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Subscriber

    Your big decision is to look at technical or management/business analysis type roles. I’d serious think twice about the former, not sure what your salary expectation are but outside of London getting more than £25k you’ll need at least a couple of years experience and certs. The money in IT is actually pretty poor compared with a lot of industries, obviously there are exception but there’s a massive amount of competition for those exceptional jobs.
    You could do well on the project management/business analysis side though and your background would help there. However to me it’s an area that as dull as dishwater so if you’re bored of finance then it might not provide the challenge you’re looking for.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    As a hardware Geek, my advice would be to stay out of the hardware side. Relatively low wages with limited paths for advancement.

    Where do you work? In Cambridge they can’t get enough decent HW / SW engineers and salaries are pretty decent – £50k with 10 yrs+ experience is probably average. Some on a lot more if your skills are rare.

    NB I used to run Engineering groups, so have done enough recruiting / pay reviews to know….

    Worked in IT for 11 years since leaving uni with a BSc degree in networks and comms. I work for a large global comms company designing, delivering and supporting Cisco WAN and LAN environments.

    First job was a support role for a government quango so servers, switches, software, the lot. That developed into a management role encompassing purchasing, policy writing, etc, etc. Then moved to an ISP for more high level technical experience then 5 years in my current role.

    To be honest I’m not really enjoying it but it pays reasonably well and offers lots of flexibility. I’m considering taking the plunge and moving into a contracting as the best part of my job is the design and delivery project based work. So I may do this next year. I’m finding the office politics, self management, company politics, etc, etc too much hassle.

    Having to squeeze in revision and study to keep up the accreditations is sometimes a hassle too.

    I agree with some posts on here. You could probably find yourself an IT role without experience. A support role might be a good starting point and give you exposure to working in an IT environment and perhaps a broad range of technologies. Don’t stay in it too long though as it’s f***ing irritating if your users struggle to turn a laptop on.

    EDIT: If you have a reasonable job now you don’t want to start on the bottom support rung of the ladder.

    As above, it’s a broad church…. my own route wasn’t exactly orthodox. I’ve got a degree in English and was on the dole for about 6 months after graduating in the early 90s. Jobcentre offered me a place on a basic IT course at a local community centre. From that I went to working on the phones at BT for a bit before helping out with producing reports and then gradually moving to more IT focussed roles….it’s all snowballed from there really but it really was a case of starting at the bottom.

    In the last 15 years I’ve done data analysis, application development, managed an application support team, project management and a load of business analysis stuff. Worked in telecoms, engineering and travel sectors – both here and abroad – all mainly for big, corporate organisations.

    To this day I don’t have any formal IT qualifications but have basically learnt everything on the job. I’d say that experience counts for more than qualifications in a lot of respects so I’d be wary of shelling out big bucks out of your own pocket for expensive training without any experience to back it up. Far better to look at getting a foot in the door at a junior level and working from there.

    Don’t be scared about putting in speculative applications for jobs for which you may not be 100% qualified – a lot of job ads verge into “moon on a stick” territory.

    I am good at problem solving, organising events and people and am not afraid to take a risk and make decisions.

    A lot of what are classed as IT roles are far more about people than technology…perhaps look at Business Analysis or for a junior Project Management?? Or Service Management??

    With regard to those wanting to get out…sure most people feel like that about their jobs at some points… I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t neccessarily IT I was sick of, just the corporate environment that I was working in… last year we moved to Devon and I now look after IT for a small travel company where I basically look after pretty much everything with a plug. Much more “hands on” than previous roles (with little in the way of backup support if it all goes wrong!) and if I’m honest I’m as busy as I ever was but I have to say I love it. I also now have an alternative career as a retained firefighter which keeps things fresh!

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Subscriber

    One thing I’d say also is don’t expect a lifetime career in the same company and to be able to specialise in one thing and just kick back. It’s a volatile industry, companies come and go, projects end, technology changes,skills deprecated, outsourced to India, and so on. You have to keep up technically or aim for a management career when you can’t any more, but expect to be out the door when hard times come. Or just contract, do the work people want for a project, take the money and move onto the next. Though build up a buffer to handle the constant change.Other way is to find a very niche and well paid skill that companies will be relying on for decades because they won’t replace their old systems. Take a look at Indian university courses and what their outsource companies offer and avoid these skills, or position yourself as a highly skilled troubleshooter to go in and fix the problems when outsourcing fails (usually does)

    patriotpro
    Member

    Wow! Cheers for all replies so far guys, it really is appreciated. You’ve given me much food for thought. The first thing i’m going to do is have a quiet chat with the I.T Manager at work and let it be known that I am interested in the next role that comes up…They know me, I know them so a good stepping stone. Next thing is to get hold of some books and take on board what some of the fields you lot have mentioned entail and whether they are what I want.

    Nothing to lose and everything to gain. 🙂 💡

    juan
    Member

    I am good at problem solving, organising events and people and am not afraid to take a risk and make decisions.

    Functionnal testing

    I’d say steer clear of tech roles as they are all off to/already in India. BA is a good call. You’ve got credit management skills? Look at Experian, Dunn and Bradstreet and Call Credit who are currently recruiting.

    There is no point in going into IT if you just want to make money easily. People make good money in IT, but only either really good people with a real interest in something, or managers (who often aren’t really anything to do with IT, but sometimes work their way out of technical roles). Most people making good money have been in it for 10 years or more, so have a lot of experience. It isn’t a get rich quick career.

    For any of the highly technical development jobs (software/hardware development etc.), I would ask the question – what related stuff have you done for fun. If you haven’t done any development stuff for fun, then there is no point in applying for anything development-wise. You will be applying against a load of people for whom it is a vocation, their one true calling. Particularly for the really well paid and/or interesting stuff. Any thing else will not be super well paid or interesting, which kind of defeats the object of a complete career change.

    There’s network admin type things, which are pretty generic and easy to learn, but first jobs will be extremely poorly paid, particularly outside London, and some companies at least are fussy about qualifications and certificates for this kind of job.

    I don’t really know which particular field at the moment. I am good at problem solving, organising events and people and am not afraid to take a risk and make decisions.

    That kind of non-specific sounds like you want to be some kind of manager, not a technical person. Personally I don’t see any reason to restrict yourself to IT if you want to be a manager – it is a pretty generic thing to do, and managers in IT can come from an IT background or a management background (and both can be equally bad or good in my experience). Why not try and make management in your field (or move up the management pole).

    I like to be out and about, working independently ideally.

    You’ve just described being a consultant.

    I don’t mind travel although I wouldn’t want to be away for weeks (have other half and 2 young girls at home).

    You’ve just described the exact opposite of being a consultant.

    jonke
    Member

    You’ve just described being a consultant

    Or a project manager working in a consulting/professional services organisation fits the bill also. Good pm’s are as rare asrocking horse poo – and thats not something thats so easy to offshore (altough i have seen some businesses try and near shore).

    Everyone is so down on management but middle management can be a deeply unpleasant no win place to be. That said – to paraphrase something someone else once told me – when someone in a technical team gets promoted to the management team, the average IQ of both groups goes up 🙂

    mark90
    Member

    Good pm’s are as rare asrocking horse poo – and thats not something thats so easy to offshore

    +1 on good PM’s

    Off shoring of the PM role does happen a fair amount, and is equally ineffective as of shoring the technical roles, in my experience. Filling the diary of everyone on the project with loads of meetings/conference calls and constantly badgering people for updates is not project management, although that appears to be the approach that all India based PM’s work to. Not sure if its a culture or education style thing, maybe a combination.

    unless you want to be a tech geek which is not a great place to be unless you’re very good at it then the business side of IT is a good place and you can transfers management or project skills.

    Oh how I love our service managers etc who declare themselves to “work in IT”. No, you work FOR IT.

    footflaps – Member

    As a hardware Geek, my advice would be to stay out of the hardware side. Relatively low wages with limited paths for advancement.

    Where do you work? In Cambridge they can’t get enough decent HW / SW engineers and salaries are pretty decent – £50k with 10 yrs+ experience is probably average. Some on a lot more if your skills are rare.

    NB I used to run Engineering groups, so have done enough recruiting / pay reviews to know….
    Was mainly aimed at OP, going in as a project manager would be a much better starting salary for a 1st IT job, with many more transferable skills.
    Round here (1 to 2 bed)houses start at 200K so 50K wages is going to need big deposit. (fortunately I don’t need to buy a house)
    I was a hardware break fix engineer/installs engineer for 17 years and base was always lowish but once you’re skilled all the money seems to be made on overtime/shift/standby. Which the wife always complained about.

    SM

Viewing 18 posts - 46 through 63 (of 63 total)

The topic ‘How do I get into I.T?’ is closed to new replies.