Dear Career Adviser ...

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Dear Career Adviser,

I am completing an MBA from Victoria University. Can I get a good job in the IT field? My earlier experience is in non-IT areas and I am 42 years old.

My last job was as a regional marketing manager with an international trading company. I have physics papers, an MSc in biochemistry and 17 years in sales and marketing of commodities, gold and fertiliser.

I live in Wellington.

I have good aptitude with computers and am willing to study for an MCSE.

Fertile mind

Robert Walters replies: It is possible you can get a role in the IT industry, although what component of your MBA will be utilised is unsure. Possibly a business analysis role? It’s difficult to give a categoric answer as there is a large amount of luck that goes with the territory.

Dear Career Adviser,

I am working for a major airline as an IT service analyst.

My duties include a mixture of first- and second-level support. I have a BSc in statistics and MCP, MCSE and CCNA qualifications. I have one year’s experience in an internet support role and six months’ in a desktop support role. I have experience supporting and administering Windows NT Server 4.0, Microsoft Office suite and printers.

Although I admit that my CCNA is a paper qualification not backed by any real-world experience implementing/supporting Cisco routers and WANs, I have managed to borrow a Cisco router and a switch from work and I am using virtual lab software to get practical experience in configuring routers and switches.

I am wondering what I need to do to enter the arena of pure second-level support.

Switch-ready

Robert Walters replies: It appears to me as though you are doing all that’s required. Ask your manager to move you in that direction and if they cannot satisfy your desire, look to the market and see what’s available. Your career is in your own hands.

Dear Career Adviser,

I was a high school English teacher until four years ago when I also started doing a computer repair class for the local regional occupation programme (ROP). Our school wanted this course and a teacher to teach it, rather than someone from industry, and since I was the most computer-savvy faculty member on campus (mostly Macintosh), I asked to do it. After four years teaching the course, I’m done teaching English and will do tech support and staff training in addition to the ROP class next year. Our class repairs and maintains most of the computers in our district.

My question is really: what is it worth to pass the A+ certification test? My administrator would like to see it equated to hours of college coursework credit or workshop hours.

I’m trying to move up the salary scale and college coursework credit or workshop hours are the ways teachers usually move up. I’d like to know what passing the A+ test merits in your opinion.

Money-hungry

Robert Walters replies: We see A+ as a means of gaining qualifications to get into the industry. It does not necessarily equate to an increase in salary. I have no idea how to equate it to your college coursework or workshop hours.

Send your career questions to Darren Greenwood.

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