From Help Desk/Admin to the Cloud: Getting There in IT
A recent graduate finds jobs scarce, but he is by no means devoid of prospects. Ed Tittel reviews his better-than-average background and suggests some possible paths for professional and technical development.
Benito answers Tom's IT Pro's IT Professional questionnaire:
1. What is your educational background? High school diploma? Associate’s degree? Bachelor’s degree? Graduate degree(s)? Please also briefly describe any incomplete progress toward any of these items (for example “two years of computer science grad courses, 2/3 of MS completed”).
Bachelor degree in Computer Networking from a London university
2. What is your prior work experience? How many years of work, and what kind of work have you done? Any volunteer work? Part-time work in school or elsewhere? (You’d be surprised how much value employers give to those who show evidence of being able to hold a job, and how much credit they give to people willing to work as volunteers or part-time in order to get experience in their chosen fields.)
- September 2012 to present : IT Administration Intern at a financial services company
- June 2011-July 2012: Network and IT Support Assistant at a college in London
- January 2011 - June 2011 :IT Technician Volunteer at an NGO aid provider of computers and computing services
3. Where do you live? What is the job market like there? How much opportunity for entry-level people? Mid-career people? Senior people? Are you flexible about relocation, or do you have to stay in your general geographic area? (Feel free to answer only those questions that relate to your personal situation: if you’re just starting out, please skip the mid- and senior-career stuff.)
I live in London in the United Kingdom
The opportunity for entry-level people exists but it is not easy to get this opportunity because competition among new graduates is fierce as many new graduates are still struggling to find work.
I would gladly relocate within the UK, but not outside the country though.
4. Are you interested in working in management, or would you prefer to stay on a technical track? Have you ever done any project management (and again, school, part-time, and volunteer experience all help)?
I am interested to start on the technical track first and later move towards the management level.
I would like to strengthen my technical skills before moving towards management.
The only project management I can refer to is my final year project at the University called Network Performance Management.
5 .What kinds of certifications interest you? Please describe any certification held, is it current or has it lapsed, and when earned. How does this fit your overall technical interests? Is there anything outside of certification that particular catches your imagination, or that you’d really like to work on or around?
My current certifications and the dates I earned them are :
-CompTia A+ (2009)
-CompTia N+ (2009)
-MCSA 2003 (early 2010)
At this point I am interested in VMware, Citrix and Microsoft Certifications,
I mean, I would like to have the right certifications which can give me more opportunity in the cloud computing job market.
Outside certifications I really wish to work on at this time are Cloud Computing related.
6. Do your long-term career goals include staying in your current position (or in the same field as the next position you’re seeking, if applicable)?
I am currently on the IT Support side, but my long-term career goal is to move towards the Cloud Computing therefore it will involve a complete shift from my current position.
Even though both careers are within the IT field, I think they are quite distinct in terms of skill.
7. What kind of job are you doing now? What kind of job would you like to be doing? How important is salary to you? How important is job satisfaction? If you could have any job at all, what would that be?
Now I am an IT administration intern at a Financial company, I would like to be Cloud Computing Architect and move to Cloud Infrastructure Administration.
Salary is very important to me. At this point of my career as I am trying to set foot into the Cloud Computing industry, I would not mind any salary in the beginning. However, the salary should at least be up to the national minimum wage level.
Job satisfaction is very important to me as well; that is why I am so eager to learn new skills which will allow me to perform well in my future role.
If I could have a job at all it would be a Cloud Architect.
Thanks again for your help and advice,
Ed Tittel is a 30-year-plus veteran of the computing industry, who’s worked as a programmer, a technical manager, a classroom instructor, a network consultant and a technical evangelist for companies that include Burroughs, Schlumberger, Novell, IBM/Tivoli and NetQoS. He has written and blogged for numerous publications, including Tom's Hardware, and is the author of over 140 computing books with a special emphasis on information security, Web markup languages and development tools, and Windows operating systems.
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