Help chosing between two jobs

SJCSJC Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello all. I have a lucky problem of needing to decide between two differing promotion paths at my current company. I am relatively new to the tech sector so I do not yet have a crystal clear career trajectory or a dream job scenario in mind.

First, a brief snapshot of where I am now:

I have a Bachelors degree in Music and after a career change 2 years ago I was fortunate enough to get a job working for a small-ish ISP (20k subscribers) as a Tech Support Specialist. I do tier 1 troubleshooting for all of our services (FTTP, IPTV, DSL, VDSL, physical security, email, video conferencing...) After 1.75 years at this job, I've proven to be proficient in my duties and have started to attract attention from some higher-ups in the company for my project management abilities, critical thinking, interpersonal skills, and ambition.

The two jobs to choose from:
  • Network Engineer I. This would be a sizable step up from Tech Support tier 1 into NOC tier 2-3 type role. It has the benefit of not being customer facing.
  • Operations and Efficiency Analyst. This is an organization development / project management / business analyst type role. The dept. manager said I'd be working with cross departmental technology workflows and processes in an attempt to make the company as a whole more efficient.
There are no formal job offers on the table, so I can't comment on which pays better. Neither job has been formally announced yet, but the managers for both departments have strongly implied they'd like me for forthcoming positions.

Here are some pros and cons from my point of view-- feel free to argue any and all of these, that is why I am here!
  • Network Engineer I:
    • Pros:
      • Already have good rapport with dept. manager, have worked on projects w/him in the past
      • Very clear promotion path within company (Network Eng. II and III, Network Architecture, etc...)
      • Clear career path outside of current company
    • Cons:
      • Will have to rush to get CCENT and Net+ to be qualified for job. I have been studying, but wasn't planning on having to take these tests so soon. I could probably pass net+ now but will need more cisco specific studying before taking on CCENT.
      • To be honest, it is intimidating. Not the responsibility, but the implications of being in a field where I am such a newbie and working with people with vastly more experience. Honestly I'd probably get over this eventually but its still scary.
  • Operations and Efficiency Analyst:
    • Pros:
      • Job matches my personality well-- I love analyzing and fixing inefficient things.
      • Instant boost in clout, would answer directly to member of the board/leadership team
      • Would still work with technology (which I enjoy, btw), just not as hands on as Network Engineer.
    • Cons:
      • Promotion path within company unclear-- have been told by dept. manager and others in dept. that it can lead almost anywhere in the company, but there is no clearly defined path.
      • Career path outside company unclear -- I mean it is unclear to me, it might be crystal clear to others. It took me a year to learn the various tech career paths and certifications, so perhaps with time I will understand organizational development career paths better.

So if you can't tell already, I am more exited by the Operations and Efficiency Analyst job. My primary concerns are with my lack of knowledge on career progression in Organizational Development. The network engineering job, while not quite as exiting, offers clear-cut future progression within and outside of my current company.

Ultimately the decision is mine and only mine, but I figured it can't hurt to get some advise from others that may have gone through a decision like this already.

Thank you so much for reading!
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