The question: I am an IT support analyst with six years’ experience of first- and second-line roles. To get off the helpdesk, I want to pursue a career as a database administrator. My employer is not keen to train me in areas considered to be outside my job, and my research suggests that it is difficult to move to DBA work from the helpdesk. Can you suggest a good route to follow?
The solution: Try SQL Server course or third-line support
If you are serious about making the move, you need to investigate training courses in SQL that will help you bridge the gap in skills. I appreciate that this will have to be self-funded, but that in itself will impress potential employers. Pick a reputable training company and check the coursework to see that you will be put through hands-on exercises that will provide you with practical experience administering SQL Server 2000. Two-day courses start at about £650.
It will still not be straightforward to persuade a prospective employer that you have the necessary skills, but you may find a smaller company that is looking for someone to be a jack of all trades.
There is another option. That would be to move into a role that would gain you third- and fourth-line support experience. It would be lower risk and probably more obtainable in the short term. If your own company will not support you in your endeavours, you will have to consider securing a new role with more scope, where the company appreciates the desire to grow and improve its staff.
Solution by Tracey Abbott, divisional director of the Zarak Group and Atsco board member
The panel: Plan-Net Services, Hudson, Reed Technology, Zarak Technology, No Limits Coaching, The Training Camp