How do I move from teaching to IT?
I am a 33-year-old teacher with a science degree. I spent four years as a specialist IT teacher and technician, and two years teaching IT in a secondary school.
I want to change career and move into IT. I am particularly interested in being a technical author or an IT trainer.
However, I do not have any formal IT qualifications, except GCSE and a basic course in data communications and networking.
Am I suitable? How can I get a position? What kind of salary can I expect? Can you suggest any other suitable IT careers?
The solution: Look to IT support, not technical roles
The market for technical authors is incredibly competitive. A look on Jobserve shows there are not many vacancies, and the market for IT trainers is equally as cut-throat, as many candidates on the market have years of experience.
You will obviously need to highlight your IT knowledge and experience when applying for positions. As your strengths and experience lie in supporting and training new users, I would advise you to pursue an IT support role first, rather than technical authoring or training specifically. Some smaller companies would certainly benefit from having someone with both skills in their IT department.
You could start researching small to medium-sized firms in your area and send your CV in to their IT departments. Stress in your covering letter that you have the versatility to adapt to many roles and can be an asset in many different ways. Make sure you use your background, as well as your desire to get into IT, to your advantage.
Salary-wise, it would not be unreasonable to aim for £20,000 to £25,000, although some smaller firms may not be able to stretch that far. You should be flexible in your expectations, but realistic in your approach.
Solution by Robert Nunn, senior recruitment account manager at Plan-Net Services
The panel: Plan-Net Services, Hudson, Reed Technology, Zarak Technology, No Limits Coaching, The Training Camp
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