The question: Should I take business or IT qualifications?
I am a network manager but get involved in everything to do with IT in the business. I would like to move into project management, IT management or perhaps consultancy. I have a Prince2 foundation qualification, but all project roles require years of experience.
Should I obtain a formal qualification in business studies or IT, or do a professional qualification such as ITIL or MCSE?
The solution: Opt for ITIL or Prince2 to win managerial role
Before undertaking any time and cost-intensive training, it is important to be clear about what it will give you and its relevancy to where you want to go.
Although project management, IT management and consultancy all have similarities, they all require differing skills and qualifications.
If project management truly is the route for you, a short-term salary cut to secure a trainee or assistant position could open up opportunities, and your previous knowledge would let you work your way up quickly.
Given your desire for a managerial role, an ITIL foundation course would make you attractive to larger in-house departments, overcoming the current practice issues you have highlighted.
Upgrading your Prince2 qualification to practitioner level will show that you are able to actively run and manage projects in that environment and set you apart from other managerial candidates.
The fastest, easiest and most cost-effective way to gain certification would be to undertake a one-week "boot camp".
Solution by Nick Dettmar, product director at Computer People
The panel: Computer People, Hudson, No Limits Coaching, The Training Camp, Wreay Group
Need advice on your IT career? E-mail your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
This was first published in January 2007