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IT | Operations Management without being an engineer?

By SysEngineer ·
Is anyone out there an IT |Operations Manager without having to be an engineer first? I have been working in IT for approx. 2 years mostly as a technical sales support person and even though I hold various industry certifications, I am much more interested in the business aspect of IT them being and engineer. I would like to however someday pursue the path of management without having to be an engineer. Is this possible???

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Do you have a college degree?

by NI70 In reply to IT | Operations Managemen ...

You mention various industry certifications, but do not mention if you have a college degree. If you have a degree, then go for your MBA. I've read here on TR and I think on certcities forums that having or obtaining an MBA would certainly help on the path to management.

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Define "Engineer"

by CharlieSpencer In reply to IT | Operations Managemen ...

Do you mean having an EE / CSCI degree, having an area of technical expertise, or having the word "Engineer" in a job title? I wouldn't describe anyone in my IT management chain as an engineer.

You've got an interesting nickname for someone who's not an engineer.

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LoTR Answer

by Dr_Zinj In reply to IT | Operations Managemen ...

"Go not to the Elves for advice, for they will say both yes and no."

When you say IT/Operations Management, are you primarily going to be riding herd on a server farm, or are you going to primarily be managing people?

I am not an engineer, at least not on paper. I do know who to strip, diagnose, and repair PCs, servers, various network nodes, cabling, wireless setups, etc. I understand signal processing, transmission, and electrical power systems. About 1/3rd of that knowledge is from college classes in physics and computer science, 1/3rd from outside reading, and 1/3rd from practical applications (i.e. On-the-job trial and error, err training.) And I try to keep up on the latest tech developments. So I'm not worried about the technical aspects of an IT management position.

As far as management is concerned, I was a supervisor/manager in the Air Force for 15 years. I've had all kinds of management training: Equal Opportunity, Safety, Quality, NCO Leadership School, Senior NCO Academy, 7 Habits, etc; so the people aspect of management isn't a problem either.

If the job is technical, and you don't have a strong technical background, then you're going to have problems. If the job requires you to be a leader of people, and you're not good at inspiring people and resolving conflicts, then you're going to have problems there.

A title is just a collection of words. What really matters is the tasks you need to do for that position, and how well you can adapt to resolving new problems as they come up.

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Of Course

by chipshopman In reply to IT | Operations Managemen ...

Yes, it is possible. Did I get to where I am today without being a techie? No, but now I'm here, I'm happy to acknowledge that my background doesn't help me hugely in my management position.

There are two things my background does give me: A decent bullsh*tometer and a connection in to my techie's way of thinking/doing. However, neither of those are impossible to pick up through other means.

As a manager, the main thing you need from your team is respect and you need to demonstrate leadership. If they believe you're taking them in the right direction with conviction, that you stand up for them, are fair and willing to listen, accept ideas from different quarters and acknowledge their technical expertise, then thing's will be fine.

I'm managing some network engineers now and I have little background in networking, but I've been open about this with them and asked them for their help in improving my skills in networking while I manage them. They seem happy with this arrangement and my bullsh*tometer in networking is improving every day!

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by kilbey1 In reply to IT | Operations Managemen ...

Any kind of experience seems to be the ticket - even if it's
volunteer experience. Build your own PC from scratch or build it
for someone else; set up a wireless LAN in your home or for a
friend; offer to do any of these things at your place of business.
Take on a project without being asked. When a company looks
your way, you can tell them that you have experience.

I hold no certifications presently, though I at first thought this
was my ticket into management. You do need to study and
research what you want to do, however, then implement it on
some scale. Don't be afraid to start in a small company, it can
lead to other things.

And definitely believe in yourself. When you go for that
interview, stand up tall and be determined and know that you
can do what they ask of you.

I read an article recently where a young man had several
certifications under his belt, but no experience, and was in a
situation much the same as you. The responder to this young
man basically said that employers want experience more than a
piece of paper, since simply passing a test is no indicator of how
well you will perform the task.

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Technical expewrience NOT a requirement, BUT

by pigpen702 In reply to Experience

I am an IT Project Manager. My work history prior to IP Management was in Mechanical Engineering. I was a leader and an innovator within the engineering graphics space. I made a conscious decision to move into IT and was shooting for management. My first step was to obtain a BS in Business Information Systems. Two thirds of the way through the degree program the HR person funding my education gave my name to the IT department. I was transferred from engineering into IT and have never looked back.

I have always been open and honest with my team as to my background. I have many years of technical leadership background and that certainly helps. My admission to not being a ?code writer? is NOT an admission of some lack of technical aptitude. I am a sponge for knowledge and tend to learn enough of the technical subject matter to translate the technical situations to the upper management teal I report to.

As long as you can communicate with ypour team and with management sponsors you will be fine. Just be honest and if you are a natural leader you will shine!

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Who's hiring?

by Pijin In reply to IT | Operations Managemen ...

The answer to this question can be found in only ONE place. Ask the person(s) responsible for hiring into that position. The answer to this question changes from one company to the next, or even within the SAME organization depending on who makes the hiring decision.
In my experience the person doing the hiring is concerned primarily with making sure their assignments are correct and appropriate decisions. Only they know what their criteria are. If you know they specifics it will help you adjust your future resume to fit.
Also, asking what qualifications they require will let them know that you are interested in such a position, so when one opens up they will hopefully think of you.

Good luck!

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