Next Move: How do I go from sales support to a career in IT?

I have been working in sales support for an IT company for two years and have a personal interest and natural capability with technology. I understand and sell all aspects of IT (hardware and software, from mice to servers) for all manufacturers.

I have been working in sales support for an IT company for two years and have a personal interest and natural capability with technology. I understand and sell all aspects of IT (hardware and software, from mice to servers) for all manufacturers.

I manage project rollouts to customers and get involved in almost every aspect of the sale and implementation. I feel I could train in any aspect of IT and do well, and most importantly be happy in what I do.

I am interested to know what employers are currently looking for, and if there are any shortages for particular roles. I am still quite young and can train in whatever seems to be the best option.

The solution

Technical presales will provide a well-paid challenge

Having a firm grasp of your goals and aspirations is key here. Mapping out your future can often prove difficult but can, in the long run, support you through the many stages of your IT career. In your current role the natural progression would be to make the move into technical presales, which is well paid and both technically and commercially challenging. Industry sectors such as security or server/networking hardware may be of interest to you based on your background.

Making the switch into industry-specific software could prove to be tricky as this often requires a development background or even a relevant technical degree - of course if you already have this then the software route may be open to you. Like all things, having industry-specific accreditations will help enormously, with more and more employers seeing this as essential for any prospective candidate.

It is also important, if you can, to try to differentiate yourself by developing a specialist range of skills in a specific area. Considering which area of the project lifecycle you find most rewarding and what you perceive to be your strengths will help you to fine tune the decisions in finding your next step on the career ladder. 

Solution by Nick Dettmar, managing director of Computer People

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