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Career road for seasoned IT worker?

By rmcneill ·
I'm age 48 and work in desktop support. I'd like to get out of this area of support after working in it since 1995. I hold an MCP(Win2k) and Citrix certs(CCA in Metaframe XP-needing update, I know). I'd like to work in a less physical position, since the knees are starting to give me problems. I started on a help desk in 1995, went into desktop support, have done some network admin and even had a few years as an independent computer consultant(best years financially and technicially, but competition was stiff and business closed). I'd like to see how others have made changes from one area in IT to another without a great loss in salary(I know I am underpaid for my years of experience). I work on the east coast and have been contemplating going to Phoenix or California(more so for the weather). No degree either so management isn't an option.
10-13. Thanks for the advice. As a footnote, I have taken classes in business- Business adminstration, finance, accounting 101. I thought I would be a business major years ago but the cost of pursuing the degree got to be a bit pressing on my finances. I'm still paying off student loans. But again, you've given me some things to thing about...

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get a degree

by CG IT In reply to Career road for seasoned ...

without it HR departments will toss your resume or if you apply, it goes at the bottom of the pile.

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don't need a degree

by sgt_shultz In reply to Career road for seasoned ...

If I were you I'd keep working towards MCSA/MCSE and send out my resume to anything looking interesting on monster. you don't necessarily have to have a degree to get into management. I've just turned down a lucrative offer for a short term (9 month) contract position assistant managing a company wide switchover to WinXP. I do not have a degree or management experience. I do have several microsoft certs. Outsourcing is rampant now and the contract agencies are hurting for folks who'll work on short term contract. You have to fly without a net (benefits) for a while but you'll make good money and could easily find yourself in a contract-to-hire position. So imho keep tossing out the resumes and go to lots of interviews ('practice, practice, practice')until you are in the right place at the right time. Eventually you'll find a contract agency willing to work with you. I'd investigate the Project Management certs available and maybe try for one of those, that and your experience will be fine in lieu of the degree. I bet you have managed plenty of projects, just without the title. The other thing I'd look into is MySQL/PHP/JavaScript. Just put up a webpage about yourself and utilize those tools somehow on it. That'll do to get you in the door. No bending. No commuting, even! Stay positive and keep at it and you'll get where you want to be. Keep on trucking. This is a wonderful time to change your career focus due to the outsourcing going on...

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Certs are good

by justinm In reply to don't need a degree

Study and earn some more certs. Most of the people I work with only have certifications and no degree.

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Some thoughts

by DelMonte In reply to Career road for seasoned ...

Of course, it all depends on your interests and needs but maybe these will give you some ideas.

1) You can get a degree. Western Governors University (wgu.edu) is a fully accredited university that is ideal for people with a great deal of experience since it allows you to do projects and take tests to demonstrate competency in those areas that you have acquired college level understanding. Then you can take classes to earn credit in those areas that you are weak in.

2)Get the PMP certification ( http://www.pmi.org/prod/groups/public/documents/info/pdc_pmp.asp ). A cursory search of Dice.com shows 811 job openings for people with this certification.

3) Check out the Occupational Outlook handbook from the U.S. Department of Labor ( http://www.bls.gov/oco/home.htm ). They provide information on the training and education needed, earnings, expected job prospects, what workers do on the job and working conditions. They also have links to state labor market information.

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Take some Business classes

by jfp In reply to Career road for seasoned ...

No matter if you want to consulting, contract or be a permanent employee, businesses are looking for IT people with business skills. Taking a couple of Business classes at a local community college will do wonders for your marketability to prospective employers.

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You should finish what you have started

by jinjja In reply to Career road for seasoned ...

From the facts you have given, I see a consistent pattern of half-way effort on your education. You have an MCP (but not an MCSE) and you have taken some college level courses (but not a college degree).

I do not mean this as any kind of criticism. I am just merely pointing out something which may explain why you are stuck at desktop support after 11 years.

IT is a very knowledge intensive industry. If you do not like to learn, then your skills will get obsolete in a hurry. If you want to advance, you must advance your knowledge, and there appears to be a reluctance to advance yourself in this area, and hence, your lack of advancement.

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