Dear What Am I Worth,
I am completing an MCom in information systems. Prior to that I gained a Bachelor of Business degree in management and IT. My area of expertise is business IT strategy. I don’t have technical skills (like programming or hardware maintenance) but I have been exposed to fundamental database design concepts. I have worked previously in retail and shared service environments. I have extensive theoretical background on the implementation of enterprise systems and revenue strategies of online media.
I’m wondering if I should look at IT jobs or more “mainstream” business ones. What job titles should I be after and are my qualifications too generalist for an entry-level job?
Elan IT replies: I think your first task is to decide what you enjoy. You are far more likely to be successful in securing a position in an area of real interest.
If you are considering entry-level positions as a change of career you will have a high level of competition in the form of new graduates. The second danger is that potential employers will look at your management experience and be concerned that in an entry-level position you will become bored too quickly and they will lose you after the initial period of training.
Job titles vary from one advertiser to another and what may be a project manager in one advertisement may be a business analyst in another. Having said that, I suggest you look for project management or development management roles without the hands-on element and match your skills to the role. Many candidates make the mistake of lowering their salary expectations if they can’t find the right role, and sometimes even when they can. However, the problem they face is that prospective employers equate skills to salary. If you find a project management role that you are confident you can do, and the role is offering a good hourly rate — take it. You are worth what you bring to the role.