I have a background in helpdesk support with some experience of PC support, installation and software testing. I should gain a Diploma in Computing from the Open University this year and was wondering if it would be worth studying for a MCSE prior to re-entry into the job market in a PC/network support role.
Job options hold the key
UK sales director, Elan
It sounds like you have good range of support experience, but it is difficult to advise without more knowledge of your areas of expertise.
As a guideline, if your technical knowledge is good, then you might like to consider a contract support role. Contract work is more flexible than a permanent position and tends to offer higher pay rates. In this case an MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) would be useful but not essential.
If, on the other hand, you feel that you lack experience in all the necessary areas, you may be better placed to seek an entry-level permanent position in PC/network support. In this case you may well be offered MCSE training as part of your employment package.
In general, the MCSE is a very useful but not obligatory qualification.
It can occasionally make the difference between two candidates competing for the same role, but in your case the Computing Diploma could provide the same advantage. Ultimately, I would suggest that you speak to a recruitment agency to get advice on how best to achieve your career aims.
The panel: Apex, Charles Barker BSMG Worldwide, Best International Group, Computer Futures, Computer People, Elan, ITNTO, Monarch Recruitment
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This was first published in July 2000