Help me get out of an IT contracting loop!
May 20, 2008 12:03 PM Subscribe
I'm 26 years old and stuck in a IT-contracting loop. Would an MBA, Masters or going back to get certified in certain hardware/software help me out? What kinds of opportunities could they open up?
posted by PetiePal to work & money (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I've just turned 26 this past April and I've been out of college for 4 years this spring. I graduated from a good university with dual majors in Information Technology and Management. I've worked for such companies as American International Group, Nokia, Pfizer, Merck and Louis Vuitton. My positions have varied:
-Help Desk analyst
-Help Desk Manager
-Documentation Specialist/Policy Developer
-Change Control Consultant
-LAN Group consultant
I currently do not have any technical certifications. I think something important to distinguish myself is that I'm not just a nerd in a cubicle who sits there and codes all day. (In fact I don't code at all I rather dislike it very much!) I think I'm really adept at creating the bridge between highly-technical (non social) people and managers who are not technical at all. I'm fast to adapt to emerging technologies and my creative problem-solving has helped me a lot throughout my career so far. I've also demonstrated a strong ability to motivate people I manage and bring projects in on time.
I'm a people person and I really enjoy working either in groups, managing projects or being involved with strategic planning related to technology within a company. I've been stuck in contracts lately that last anywhere from 3 months to at most a year. I don't particularly love the jobs that I've been getting and I feel like I'm just treading water when I should be really advancing myself in my career. I'm actually just ending a contract of 3 months.
The IT industry as a whole is very rocky lately with all of the outsourcing and companies downsizing/offshoring tasks to cut costs. I have been considering getting an MBA as that would "open up a lot of doors" I'm told. I've also considered going back for a Master's degree, (in what I have no idea... Technology? Business like the MBA?), so that I might be qualified for higher level jobs and earn myself some more stability. I have good experience under my belt but I feel I'm not specialized at all. It almost seems like specializing in one thing can be dangerous and really limit you as well.
My main question is...what can you do with an MBA? What about Masters degrees in other fields? What kinds of opportunities can they lead to? Are certifications where it's at? Is it better to study by book and take the exams or take a structured training course? Is it true that unless the company you're working is first and foremost a technology company your purpose to the company will always be viewed as something "outside" to them? (For instance IT within an insurance or pharmaceutical as opposed to IBM/Google/Verizon) What kinds of certifications are good and have lucrative careers? Storage specialists? Cisco CCNA/CCNP engineers? Bear in mind I'm not a coder so C+, C#, Java, HTML etc is not for me.
Does anyone know how intensive the PMP certification is? I've been thinking since I like the project management experience I've had thus far that might be a good choice- since with it you can manage not only IT projects but pretty much anything!
I feel like I really need to make some big decisions and put my nose to the grindstone because I'm never going to survive on contracting alone or earn enough to support myself and possibly a family one day. All advice and insight is most appreciated.