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Where do I fit in?

By scmgithd ·
I started with the company in an Administrative position, although they hired me knowing my background in computers. At the time they had a DP Supervisor that handled the AS/400 and outsourced everything else. I started doing the network/PC side of things and inherited the AS/400 when the DP Supervisor left. My title is IT Coordinator because they didn't want to give me a manager/director title.

My boss has come to call me the IT person. She has said that she knows 'Coordinator' is inappropriate for what I've become in the last couple years but isn't sure what it should be.

I don't manage anyone directly but am writing all the policies and procedures regarding the network/security/HIPAA security. I train employees; take apart PC's to replace hard drives, cd-roms, etc.; load any new software; handle the phone system (mainly coordination with the company who handles maintenance. I can make some simple changes); handle the repair/replacement/addition of PC's, dumb terminals, printers, network devices in four facilities.

Since I've started I've completely upgraded our lab system; added interfaces between lab and our AS/400 to store lab results in transcription; added a firewall w/VPN and set up transcriptionists to work from home; set up whole departments (coding, business office) on PC's rather than dumb terminals; added print servers, printers and PC's to nurses stations to access our data, data from the hospital and imaging clinic and trained the entire nursing staff on these new systems; upgraded AS/400 OS and software (with contracted help); help desk function for 200+ employees; you get the idea.

I have an AAS but not a 'real' degree...and no certs. I've been working with computers since 1990 but not 'officially' until this job about 2-1/2 years ago (doing the IT thing).

What should my title be? Salary? I'm in Minnesota...not in the Twin Cities but not a small town either. Any opinions? Thanks!

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Change employers to get recognition

by stress junkie In reply to Where do I fit in?

Excuse me for moment if I appear to digress. I'm not a Bible thumper but there are some wise words in it. One quote that REALLY applies to careers is "A prophet is not respected in his own land." What does that mean? It means that the people who live where the prophet grew up remember this person when they were little. They remember when this person was little and put ink on the neighbor's cat's tail and when this person was the class clown in school. In short, people who know your history will think of that when they see you and will fail to recognize who you are now.

So how does this apply to your/my career? It's like this. When you start a job as a newbie people define you as a newbie. People will ALWAYS think of you as a newbie, even when you have gained a lot of experience and expertise. Your career is on a dead end track.

When you start a new job people will define you at your current level of expertise. Then, when you grow in experience and expertise you will have to find a new employer to have your skill enhancements recognized.

I can't comment on your inquiries about job title and salary. That would require that I know a great deal more about you. Where you live has a lot to do with it. Browse the IT job search web sites for some idea of salaries. Most jobs will post something like "salary commensurate with experience" or some other nondescript phrase. A few job listings will give you a definite salary range. Once you have that you can approach a job recruiter and say that you expect ???? for a salary. Use the highest salary that you saw posted on the job sites as your STATED expectation and see what happens.

In summary: Forget about your current employer. Find a new job at a new employer that better matches your career interests. As far as salary is concerned you can research salaries in your area with your skills by means of IT job search web sites. Find the most amount of salary that anyone is paying for your general skill set. Then go to a job recruiter and tell them that this is the amount of money that you want to make at your new job. See what happens.

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Good advice but I'm not really looking to change positions...

by scmgithd In reply to Change employers to get r ...

I'm happy where I am and pretty satisified with my salary. It's never enough, just like everyone else in the world but could be worse!

Maybe I wasn't clear. I was wondering more where I fit in in the industry as a whole. Is my skill set valuable outside of this company? What would I be considered in a company with an IT department?

The company I work for is great. They gave me a real chance to do the IT gig, rather than just do it on the side. They've been helpful with training and understanding when I need to call in the 'professionals' on something I'm not comfortable handling.

I do appreciate the advice though. I think in a lot of situations you'd be right on. Thanks for the reply. Have a great day!

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Well said

by DC_GUY In reply to Where do I fit in?

I think Junkie's reply is right to the point. However, if you're really an IT person at heart you're still waiting for a specific answer to your specific question. I would say you are a network engineer or a network administrator, or more probably both. If you were in a major metro area with a high cost of living like Washington or S.F. and I was the hiring manager, I would pay you somewhere in the $50-65K range for what you're doing. You should work on your 4-year degree, it will open up more opportunities and get you noticed. It doesn't have to be in IT, business or math would be fine, just show me that you have the drive, IQ, and discipline to do it so I can take you more seriously.

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I must really be an IT person then, eh?

by scmgithd In reply to Well said

You gave me the exact info I was looking for. I'm in a *much* smaller area, cost of living would be a lot lower here.

I've been trying to figure out how to make the 4-year degree thing work. Do you think on-line degrees are respectable or not worth the time?

Thanks for the advice!

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Any BS is better than no BS

by jdmercha In reply to I must really be an IT pe ...

But a fully accredited institution is better than one that isn't. Check out the MN sate schools and see what the accrediting body is. Many accreditied Universities are offering online degrees now.

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Thanks for your time...

by scmgithd In reply to Any BS is better than no ...

I appreciate it! Off to surf for universities...

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I might add

by jdmercha In reply to Well said

Computer Consultant, Systems Administrator, Computer Specialist.

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Similar Situation

by ATXStranger In reply to Where do I fit in?

I started at my current job as an Administrative Assistant and inherited the IT side of the house when the company split and the Network Admin left. After I got my 4 year degree (Business degree in MIS), I was promoted to IT Manager though my duties didn't really change. I don't have any direct reports but I do all of the configuration and setup of the computers, the server equipment, the phones, the copiers, write and enforce policy, etc etc etc.

Calling you an IT Manager may ruin your overtime (if you get any) but you don't necessarily have to have direct reports to be a Manager (though it helps). My salary sits just under $50K but I also work in a smaller office than you do.

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Wow, very similar...

by scmgithd In reply to Similar Situation

Where are you located? If you don't mind me asking. Or at least, how big of an area. I'm from central MN...not an area with a huge cost of living.

Oh, and the overtime...what's that exactly? LOL

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Location, Location, Location

by ATXStranger In reply to Wow, very similar...

Sorry I left that out. I am in Austin, TX a metro of just under 1 millon.

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