I currently work in datacentre operations and have two and a half years experience of Vax VMS/Sun/Solaris/NT/Lan and Novell. I have put myself forward for redundancy as there is little career development where I work. I want to get into Windows 2000 and have been advised to do an NT upgrade to Win2000 course. I also thought of doing an MCSE course for NT Workstation and Server in order to land a support role. Do you think this is a good idea?
Find a combined contract role
I agree that an upgrade course to Windows 2000 or an MCSE in NT workstation and server would be beneficial in finding a support role. Qualifications certainly help in changing career path, but it is important to remember that to find employment the emphasis is still on relevant commercial experience.
I recommend that you first look for a contract role that makes use of your existing skills but also offers you the opportunity to work in network support on NT, and ideally Windows 2000. This will give you that all-important technical experience. It shouldn't be too hard to come across such a position.
Once you have found a suitable contract, you should have no problem in locating a good training course. There are many ways to go about this, but as a contractor you can sometimes gain access to free training. For example, at Elan we offer free CD-Rom-based training courses as part of our Contractor Care programme.
Training courses and qualifications are definitely worthwhile, and can make all the difference in securing new positions. Just make sure you keep your experience up to date too.
Solution by Steve Lorde, UK sales director, Elan
The panel: Apex, MBS International, Best International Group, Computer Futures, Computer People, Elan, ITNTO, Monarch Recruitment, Reed Computing
This was first published in September 2000