IT career realignment of Sys Admin

So I have been in the field for 10 years and am wondering where to go next. I am thinking of moving into a less hands on technical position but seem to now be stuck in the System Admin space that I worked so hard to break into years ago. I have always been technically inclined and very much a hands on type. I have acquired an alphabet soup of technical certs and enjoyed the process. I am looking for advice on what studies I should pursue now but here is a little background:

I started out at a votech school for my senior year in high school and excelled.
Right out of high school I started a PC repair/consulting business to get experience.
I got hired on at PC repair shops after a year and move into entry helpdesk roles.
From there I migrated into the ranks of Server/Network admin.
Those qualification led me to public sector security related work.
After spending 4 years grinding away in government IT security, I finally became burnt out and left the field.
I spent the last year doing an e-commerce startup which was a great experience that I enjoyed, but ultimately failed.
I found myself having to fall back on the career I built up, which luckily landed me back in the public sector with a decent paying contract.

I have bounced around a few times to jump up the ranks in IT, and now I find myself generally uninterested in the day to day technical work. I figured I just needed to hit the books again to spark that fire and prepped for the CCSA and then the CCENT but neither really hit the chord like they used to.

So now the question is what is the next logical step? I understand that I will have to work my way into whatever concentration to guide my career, but I am looking for advice on what studies I can focus on. I have seen some out there but are very unfamiliar on which way to go. IT Security has been a focus and I have considered going back to do my masters at WGU, but what about ITIL, COBIT, Sigma, CMMI or any other relevant material?

I am looking forward to the groups input!
Working on: Doctor of Information Technology Information Assurance and Security @ Capella

Comments

  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,426 Mod
    Great thread. I don't know the answer because I'm exactly in the same position (7 yrs in IT..).

    What do you feel like doing next? Management? Consulting?

    I thought of moving to security but I can't bring myself to study for certs anymore.
    Certs: GSTRT, GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Agreed certs are a tough pill to swallow anymore.

    I don't know the answer but it sounds like some of the material you listed below could help you transition into a less technical role. ITIL still is strong in the IT space which requires or desires a service management lean. The rest are on demand only IMO, I wouldn't randomly get them.

    Possibly focus on some agile methodologies to get a high level understanding of the terms and definitions. I've interviewed for a few PM positions recently (prior to my new role) and a few of the interviewers weren't interested in the PMP etc. They wanted real world agile experience. Needless to say I didn't have any at the time, or not much at least. If I would of those jobs would of been mine. Something to keep in mind if you go the project route.

    Sounds like you have some security knowledge, if it interest you maybe try to grab a security consultant gig. Principal security consultant wouldn't be to shabby.

    Good luck with your search, just keep at it and you'll start to come up with creative ideas on how to find that next position.
  • novovictusnovovictus Member Posts: 192
    UnixGuy wrote: »
    Great thread. I don't know the answer because I'm exactly in the same position (7 yrs in IT..).

    What do you feel like doing next? Management? Consulting?

    Thanks, I am thinking of leaning towards a leadership role. I have been enough places to see that many people struggle with challenging managers. I still enjoy aspects of the hands on part, but I would like to do more than be the local uber geek.
    N2IT wrote: »
    Agreed certs are a tough pill to swallow anymore.

    That is the exact way I feel. I know I am competent but learning something new like checkpoint, or relearning the cisco methodologies, does not have the same spark as it used too.

    I am not familiar with agile, but from a quick search it seems to be software development related. ITIL and COBIT seem to be universal, as well as PMP.

    I have been contracting for some time, so security consulting probably isnt for me. I am looking for my next role to be a long term stable position rather than the uncertainty of federal contractor status.
    Working on: Doctor of Information Technology Information Assurance and Security @ Capella
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,426 Mod
    Same, I'd like to get into leadership roles but I'm having hard time finding such a role.

    On a related note, I find that having bad days at work gives me motivation to move on to new roles!
    Certs: GSTRT, GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • lsud00dlsud00d Member Posts: 1,571
    UnixGuy wrote: »
    On a related note, I find that having bad days at work gives me motivation to move on to new roles!

    Either this or seeing friends/acquaintances have really, really good days somewhere else! The grass is always greener, amirite icon_wink.gif
  • novovictusnovovictus Member Posts: 192
    UnixGuy wrote: »
    On a related note, I find that having bad days at work gives me motivation to move on to new roles!

    Nothing like a little workplace demotivation to create an RGE (resume generating event)!
    Working on: Doctor of Information Technology Information Assurance and Security @ Capella
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,426 Mod
    Yep that's kinda exactly what happened today, a series of bad events and bang...I'm motivated and got some kind of a 'plan'. We'll see how this go.

    Having said that, somehow seeing other people doing cool stuff somewhere else doesn't give me any motivation..I seem to be motivated by negativity of my own situation - not the healthiest way of doing things I guess, who knows. It's just that I feel I've been too complacent in a comfy role...
    Certs: GSTRT, GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • novovictusnovovictus Member Posts: 192
    Thats where I was just over a year ago, and I took a leap to go out on my own with a non-IT eCommerce startup. It was fulfilling but ultimately not profitable enough. I feel I am very good at what I do in IT, but again I would like to grow more and leadership seems to be the place to be.

    I am thankful I am gainfully employed in a highly technical career, but the bad days make you want to see whats on the other side.

    Lets face it, security it hot right now. Almost every day there is another big story relating to recent vulnerabilities or hacks. Its a good time to highlight that experience.
    Working on: Doctor of Information Technology Information Assurance and Security @ Capella
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    What about managing a security team such as access control and moving up from there proving your leadership skills? IMO certs wouldn't be required it's operational and you have the CISSP to get through HR. Just an idea.
  • novovictusnovovictus Member Posts: 192
    N2IT wrote: »
    What about managing a security team such as access control and moving up from there proving your leadership skills? IMO certs wouldn't be required it's operational and you have the CISSP to get through HR. Just an idea.


    Thats a good point, CISSP would certainly pass the HR check. I am curious what should be a focus for studies rather than certs.
    Working on: Doctor of Information Technology Information Assurance and Security @ Capella
  • daviddwsdaviddws MCSA x2, MCITP, CIOS, CSIS, CNIP, CSSS, CLNP MCTS, MTA, MCP,  ITILv3, LPIC-1, VCA-WM, SCLA, CTS,  Member Posts: 303 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I know what you mean by being burned out on government. I'm currently on year 4 of my government gig with a Secret clearance, and I am very motivated to move on. In fact I have jumped at a position at a startup and I am very excited to take this new role on! I would say that you are asking the right questions for the next step in your career. Just remember that they don't always happen as fast as one would like. Saying this I can see now that the economy is FINALLY turning around so more companies should be willing to take a chance on those of us who have ambition!
    ________________________________________
    M.I.S.M:
    Master of Information Systems Management
    M.B.A: Master of Business Administration
  • novovictusnovovictus Member Posts: 192
    daviddws wrote: »
    I would say that you are asking the right questions for the next step in your career. Just remember that they don't always happen as fast as one would like. Saying this I can see now that the economy is FINALLY turning around so more companies should be willing to take a chance on those of us who have ambition!

    Thanks for the positive reinforcement! I am not in a rush to jump ship, but am now excited to move forward. In light of recent security news I have seen an influx in the information security analyst positions.

    Good luck on your new gig!
    Working on: Doctor of Information Technology Information Assurance and Security @ Capella
  • varelgvarelg Banned Posts: 790
    Change is born out of conflict.
    The thing that jumps at me while reading your work history is the moment of startups. You started a PC repair. Then, the ecommerce startup. How do you feel about one more startup?
  • novovictusnovovictus Member Posts: 192
    Good point, there is certainly a correlation but not necessarily what I am looking to do now. I started my PC business to earn experience. My last ecommerce business was for a change but was not successful. I am back in IT now but looking to move into a higher level position rather than the techy.
    Working on: Doctor of Information Technology Information Assurance and Security @ Capella
  • novovictusnovovictus Member Posts: 192
    Just a quick update for those who may have been following...

    I sat a few interviews for Security Analyst type positions, which seemed like promising opportunities, but a recruiter picked me up along the way for a windows admin on another contract a few seats away in the same building. Salary was a big motivating factor as the security positions were 25% less and the new admin position I accepted was about 20% more than my current role. I am now prepping for the MCSE upgrade from MCITP.

    This is certainly the path of least resistance and I will keep my skills current while securing financial stability. Maybe in the future I can look towards a different role, but for now its back to the grind.
    Working on: Doctor of Information Technology Information Assurance and Security @ Capella
  • joemc3joemc3 Member Posts: 141 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Good luck to you, I would cut off a toe to be in the dilema you are in. I am 36 working in a warehouse. Just got my linux +. Studying for RHCSA!

    I feel the same way at my job as you do but don't have that feeling of accomplishment and the pay to go with it. My wife is a lawyer and she wants out as well. I think the issue is that we all get bored but you have to find those bright spots at work. Its easy to find something negative at work I could pick my job apart all day.
  • novovictusnovovictus Member Posts: 192
    joemc3, I appreciate your kind support. Congrats on the Linux+ and good luck on the RHCSA, I hear its a whopper!

    Just take it one day at a time and remember you are working towards a positive new future. You, unlike many others outside this forum, have made progress towards the goal of self improvement and that is an accomplishment to be proud of.

    I would think your wife would have a promising career in IT Security if she would like to realign there. The legal background would lend it self strongly to the security field.
    Working on: Doctor of Information Technology Information Assurance and Security @ Capella
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,426 Mod
    Congrats my friend! I just got offered a security analyst job that pays exactly the same (thread: http://www.techexams.net/forums/jobs-degrees/106651-security-analyst-checkpoint-interview-help.html )

    I really hope getting into security would ignite my passion in IT, and gets me out of the dead end of sysadmin (or my perception of it anyway..)
    Certs: GSTRT, GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • novovictusnovovictus Member Posts: 192
    That is awesome man! I wish you the best, I work with checkpoint now and it is a breeze...
    Working on: Doctor of Information Technology Information Assurance and Security @ Capella
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