Would-be technical support

I've worked as a product engineer for the past three years designing electronic connectors. I am seeking a career change to a technical computer support area.

Dear What Am I Worth,

I've worked as a product engineer for the past three years designing electronic connectors. My work covers design and development of the electrical connectors from high-speed fine pitch, PGA, CPU Socket 7 to Mini DIN connectors for the computer mouse.

It is considered an IT-related industry, but is focused more on design and development in a manufacturing company. I gained a Mechanical Engineering degree in 1997 and a NCC Diploma in Computer Studies in 1992. I have upgraded and assembled my own PC from 286, 386, 486 to the current Coppermine.

I have vast knowledge in PC troubleshooting, maintenance, hardware installation, peripherals conflict and software error. I understand the computer BUS structures, RAM and hard disk technology. I also have a good knowledge of programming (C++) and understanding data structures, concept of software design lifecycle. And I know how Web pages are created with HTML language have and a brief knowledge on JavaScript programming.

I have vast exposure to various OS, Win98, NT4, Win2K and Linux installations and hard disk partitioning. My additional role as a computer facilitator in my department for the past two years has given me some exposure to LAN connectivity and IP (Windows 98/NT environment).

I am in Wellington and I am seeking a career change to a technical computer support area.

Non-commercial experience

Sapphire Technologies replies: If, as you indicate, you already have strong skills in NT and Linux, as well as LAN connectivity and IP, I suggest you leverage off these skills to obtain a role as either a systems administrator within an end-user organisation or a systems engineer with a vendor or IT services company.

You should look to consolidate your practical knowledge with possibly training towards an MCP or MCSE, or CNE if you decide to specialise in Novell Netware. Your immediate market worth in these roles would be around $45,000 to $50,000, but you should be able to improve on this relatively quickly, particularly if you obtain certification.

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