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Next move: where do I go from an IT support role?

Career advice for IT professionals

Where do I go from an IT support role?

I have been an IT support engineer for 10 years. The large company I work for has pigeonholed me and others into desktop support, so I have no server or networking experience. I would love to get into software testing, but this would mean a drop in salary, so I am unsure which area of IT to look into. Or perhaps I should leave IT and move into finance? What would you advise?

Qualifications are key to all career options

If you decide to stay in IT, there are a number of options open to you, but you will probably have to undertake some further training.

The best route into software testing would be via the Iseb foundation and practitioner qualifications, which are widely accepted as the industry standard testing certification. The foundation qualification counts towards the Iseb systems development diploma.

If you wanted to stay in a support role, it would be worth looking at the ITIL qualification in service management. You might want to specialise in a particular ITIL discipline - release management would include software testing.

You do not mention your academic background, but investigate studying for a postgraduate degree in IT with a development or software testing option. These degrees are ideal for mature students and can often be studied part-time. The MSc would add immensely to your employability and earning potential in the future.

The panel: Computer People, Hudson, No Limits Coaching, The Training Camp, Wreay Group

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