How can I use management skills?

I have worked in IT support for a couple of years. I have a degree in computer science and over 10 years' experience as a...

I have worked in IT support for a couple of years. I have a degree in computer science and over 10 years' experience as a programmer, systems analyst, database administrator and software trainer. I would like to shift from the technical side, into jobs using life and management skills. Is project management an option? If so, what is the best route/qualification to pursue? Have you any other suggestions?

Start by managing a helpdesk
Clearly you have a wide range of experience, but you do not say whether this is with one company or within one industry sector. Having worked in a variety of positions you should have a good understanding of how IT supports the business, but there is a danger that you will be considered a non-specialist - and our industry does like to pigeon hole people.
To use your life and management skills, the most interesting and likely roles for you will be project management or business analysis. However, you may want to consider targeting management within a helpdesk environment, where you are not involved in answering support queries but recruiting and managing the team and developing the service to the business.

If you know your industry well business analysis will provide you with a stimulating and challenging role. If you are targeting project management roles then I recommend establishing whether your company can cross-train you and give you an opportunity in this area. Otherwise, it will help for you to have a qualification (and theory) behind you in Prince, MS Project or one of the other major tools.

Solution by: Michael Bennett, Best International

The panel: MSB International, Best International Group, Computer Futures, Computer People, Elan, E-Skills NTO, Monarch Recruitment, Reed Computing, Netheads Consulting

Need career advice?
If you are an IT professional who is looking for advice on your next career move, put your question to our panel at cwxtra@rbi.co.uk. Regrettably, due to the volume of requests, we are unable to print solutions to every question.

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