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Best fields or route into IT?

Discussion in 'Careers and Professional Development' started by Amplus, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. Amplus


    Joined: Aug 26, 2018

    Posts: 34

    Location: Manchester

    I've been self teaching myself SQL at home as wanted to get into an analyst role. However seems to be so many different opportunities in IT it's mind boggling.

    I'm 33 now with a Business degree and no experience in an IT role. Wanted to go the anaylst route but struggling to get anyway this far. I know I'm to old to learn software programming now and it's not something I would excel at.

    What other routes into IT are there and best qualifications to do??

    For example ive read AWS (cloud) is good to study. If I get a certification online what are the chances of employment after??

    Seen things about learning SAP, Azure, Devops etc. Not sure what the best route is to take with the highest chance of employment after doing a self study qualification.
  2. Vanquish-Storm


    Joined: Apr 22, 2009

    Posts: 2,909

    Location: North-West

    There are alot of jobs out there. I just don't seem of be able to get my foot in the door yet. I think I need to rewrite my CV a little better.

    I have an IT degree and an IT background.

    I have noticed alot of the job roles expect you to know everything even at a low level. As someone who has been accustomed to AWS for the last 6 years I have knowledge of but little of it on Azure for example.

    I would say though if you wanted to learn programming language you are far from too old!
  3. dowie


    Joined: Jan 29, 2008

    Posts: 38,513

    You've already got a thread about this:


    What happened there - did you look into a either a part time or distance learning course or a degree apprenticeship or similar?

    It still isn't completely clear what career you're looking to pursue here but there are certainly options there could get you into jobs with "analyst" included in the title like systems analyst, business analyst, data analyst etc..
  4. TallPaul_S


    Joined: Mar 24, 2011

    Posts: 5,727

    Location: Kent

    Start off with an entry level IT support position and work your way up, then across, from there.

    SQL knowledge etc won't mean jot if you don't have any other knowledge and experience, and experience is what counts, certifications just back that experience up.

    Once you get your foot in the door as a first line guy it doesn't take long to move up, I started in IT at that level 5 years ago at age 32 and I'm now able to do a lot of 3rd line stuff along with the standard 2nd line stuff, my wage has gone up by 10k and it wouldn't be hard to get to the same level in 2-3 years, various circumstances meant I didn't move up as soon as I should have. I'm hoping to move into a more specialised role and add another 10k in the next 2 years
  5. Jasoncmor


    Joined: Feb 13, 2010

    Posts: 303

    What are the differences between 1st. 2nd and 3rd line IT?
  6. Zefan


    Joined: Jan 15, 2006

    Posts: 29,052

    Location: Tosche Station

    @Jasoncmor look that up yourself and ask questions here based on any queries that remain afterwards. I'm not saying you can't ask that question on here, but you'll get more out of finding out for yourself than you will from someone spoon feeding you. Most of IT (most technical jobs I suppose) is finding the right question to ask and then following through and researching for the answer. Us answering that basic question won't help you.

    :edit: @Amplus I'm not sure if I've replied in your other threads already, but if you have no experience or knowledge in IT then why do think it would be a good idea to pursue it?

    After you work out the answer to that, you can then address the next problem. You can't know what "route" is most appropriate for you until you have at least some knowledge or experience. Although I don't necessarily recommend doing the certification exam (I did, more for exam experience than anything) I encourage everyone in your situation to explore the CompTIA A+ exam content. It's very wide but shallow, and introduces many aspects of IT, specifically entry level support jobs. This should help you narrow things down, and will help you immeasurably in the future if you truly have no experience.
  7. HangTime

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 25, 2002

    Posts: 27,455

    Location: Hampshire

    If I was looking to get into IT and had no particular vocation in mind there are three areas I would look at (in no particular order):

    Data Science or related field (boundaries are a bit blurred between IT and business)

    These are all fairly 'hot' areas where you can progress rapidly if you have the right skills and aptitude, as there is less competition from experienced heads (in other words, someone with a couple of years experience can hit salaries way in excess of some other IT disciplines for a given level of experience).
  8. mrbell1984


    Joined: Aug 9, 2008

    Posts: 19,973

    Location: UK

    1st = Helpdesk/Support desk - First line of inbound call/outbound call with remote desktops support.
    2nd = Basic support if it's not a password issue and 1st line can't fix it remotely with remote desktops support.
    3rd = Advanced support, more server level if 2nd line can't fix it with remote desktops support.
  9. d_brennen


    Joined: Jan 30, 2009

    Posts: 15,108

    Location: Aquilonem Londinensi

    As above really, but varies with sector/business. Third line in my old place were application support/programmers for bespoke financial industry software, on mega money too. I was a lowly sysadmin/2nd line
  10. dowie


    Joined: Jan 29, 2008

    Posts: 38,513

    Depends on the context.

    For example at a tech firm I worked at the CS team provided application support and was divided into 1st and 2nd line, there wasn't a 3rd line. Most of the time the people raising tickets were application support/IT people at the client though sometimes it would be managers of teams at the client.

    Essentially 1st line is the first point of contact, they dealt with most of the issues, some might require some intervention accessing the client's servers and doing something to fix the issue, other times issues simply need some advice to resolve or just the telling the client that it isn't a software issue/bug. If the 1st line team can't fix an issue but can identify some defect/replicable bug then they document the issue and create a change request for the relevant dev team.

    2nd line were a team of specialists - if the issue is particularly complicated, might take up significant amount of time to investigate and the 1st line person doesn't even know where to start then they might need to collect some basic info/ask some basic questions, grab relevant logs etc.. and pass the issue onto the second line team.

    The 1st line team would tend to pick up issues relating to all areas of the application and if they were quick things to deal with then they'd do them, though for some bigger issues they would swap among themselves or the team lead/manager would reallocate issues with certain first line team members specialising in certain parts of the system and taking on a greater portion of issues in that area. Though they need to know about the whole system as there was shift work and issues could come in late at night when others aren't in etc..

    The 2nd line team member would only deal with specific parts of the system and only specialised in that area, most were ex developers or BAs who worked on that part of the system, a couple of times people were also promoted from 1st line to purely work on the area of the system they'd already been specialising in.

    So in the above context, unlike say a general IT Helpdesk context, the second line team isn't just 1st line but with a bit more experience but rather it is a team of specialists who each focus on a particular area. Therefore a 1st line person who broadly knows a lot/has plenty of experience isn't necessarily going to make a good second line person, rather their career path/next step might be team leader or CS manager or indeed they might well move from 1st line to another department and become a consultant or a technical account manager.

    I guess technical account manager is sometimes a glorified support person too so worth commenting on - they work alongside an account manager and look after a particular set of clients and tend to be their general point of contact if they want some help moving issues along as well as someone to provide ad hoc advice on config, upgrades. Maybe prices up/sells small enhancements or manages/or oversees small projects. There would also be an account manager for each of the same small groups of client but the account manager is more sales orientated tends to have seniority (title is often "account director") and deals with the clients at a higher level - execs/senior managers - CTOs, people who can sign the big cheques etc... whereas the technical account manager deals with people at level of managers of small teams who actually use the software day to day and who want updates on a list of issues or updates on projects etc... and require someone with detailed technical knowledge to talk to.
  11. TallPaul_S


    Joined: Mar 24, 2011

    Posts: 5,727

    Location: Kent

    Yeah the lines between and roles in 1st/2nd/3rd line can be VERY different, depending where you go.

    Basically 1st line will be the customers 1st point of contact and will deal with simple stuff. At an MSP 1st line could be dealing with IT managers as they have their own 1st line team in-house, and therefore only more server stuff gets passed to the MSP support team. But the MSP 1st line is still the 1st point of contact from the customer.

    2nd line will deal with a wide range of stuff, and will also deal with 1st line stuff. So anything from password resets to firewall changes, security group changes, even installing managed switches and doing patching. All things I've done on a regular basis as a 1st/2nd line guy. 1st and 2nd line deal with phone calls emails etc directly from the customers.

    if 2nd line need to escalate an issue, 3rd line comes in to play. They won't normally take calls from customers, they'll deal with escalated tickets, infrastructure level changes/issues etc.

    1st/2nd/3rd line is also known as Service Desk Analyst/Engineer, Desktop Support Analyst/Engineer, then Infrastructure Analyst/Engineer. In most companies, the 1st and 2nd line roles are one team with 2 different levels of knowledge and expertise. 3rd line would be a separate team.

    In my experience, you have to do your time in support before even thinking about starting in networking/security/etc. You just ain't going to be walking into a 25-30k IT security or cloud engineer role fresh off the street with no IT industry experience!! And cloud - that's a VERY general term, pretty much everywhere does 'cloud' these days, that could mean data centre cloud, MS cloud Office 365, AWS, or Azure cloud servers, Citrix 'Cloud' desktops, Onedrive and sharepoint, and so-on. Saying cloud is a hot area in IT is like saying 'Aircraft' is a hot area in aerospace. Although there's more AWS and Azure stuff going on now, 'cloud' is a very general term for a LOAD of stuff. Technically, anything that's not hosted on-prem is cloud. Google Drive is 'Cloud', as is an AWS elastic compute cloud cluster. They're very, very different... :D
  12. Cooler running


    Joined: Mar 28, 2019

    Posts: 156

    Cloud is increasingly more relevant now days as many clients who traditionally had big hulking systems are now more accepting of it.
  13. Mike9000


    Joined: Dec 21, 2018

    Posts: 24

    Location: Newcastle

    Some great advice above.

    I basically started out working for a high street computer shop for a year then moved to a helpdesk role providing a retail banking branch network with support for ATM machines just after the turn of the century :eek: It wasn't great as a job BUT allowed me the opportunity to prove myself as an employee and then I started applying for the trainee-grade IT roles after a couple of years good PD grades.

    If you're already working have you looked into opportunities that may arise with your current employer? Shadow some IT folk in areas you're interested in?