To study or not to study?

B80B80 Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi all,

The last few years I've been working at roles kind of around Junior System admin level, going into full system admin. A few months back I moved back to Remote Desktop Support, which no doubt is a backwards step on the CV. The reason I took the role was that a friend worked for this company, spoke really highly of the company and the job is really overpaid. I only have to work 35 hours (which I work damn hard during and exceed ticket closure requirements) and being a big corp the benefits are outstanding.

Basically I couldn't be happier. I no longer have to work extra hours for nothing, stress levels low as don't take work home with me and the money is excellent for the area.

Only thing that I keep thinking is that being a Global corp there is a chance they may make a strategic change in 2,3,5 years... and I may end up being laid off. To carry on earning the money I'm ton I'll be looking at Senior Infrastructure roles in the area, which I wouldn't be able to apply for if working Remote Desktop Support for years.

Therefore I'm thinking about studying an hour or 2 a day with my home lab to keep my awareness and knowledge of infrastructure current in case I need to look for another job in the future. Only thing is some of me thinks this futile spending hours and hours learning ins and outs of Cisco, MS server and VMWare whilst not using it live. And how long do I keep studying just in case? I can knuckle and study, but given the choice there's other ways I'd rather spend my free time.

If someone said I was guaranteed to keep my current role until retirement I wouldn't bother studying further... it's my feelings of self-preservation and that I need to keep my skills current in case I lose my job in the future soI can find another role with relative ease.

I have built up a good contact base in the area from previous roles and they've told me to contact them if I'm looking for work in the future. The other option is to examine other internal roles where I currently am. Deskside support appeals as I figure the company always needs people on site so less likely to be outsourced. Will also look at some of the infrastructure roles here but they may be based at other sites around the globe and require 24 hours support, which I'm not interested in.

Anyway, would be interested to get your thoughts on the situation.

Cheers!

Comments

  • bpennbpenn Member Posts: 499
    Definitely stay up to date with current technology. Be advised that if the position does end and you attempt to get into another sys admin role, the employer may ask why you went backwards. But in the end, do what makes you happy and if this route makes you happy and pays well then, by all means, do it. Take the extra free time you get to study and cert up, though!
    "If your dreams dont scare you - they ain't big enough" - Life of Dillon
  • VeritiesVerities Member Posts: 1,162
    The best thing you can do in your current position is to develop a deeper skill-set with the technologies your company uses and then get certified in them. This will show your company you are invested in supporting their business needs and will also help you at any point you decide you may want to move up in a role with this company. Ultimately, no job is safe from a layoff anymore, but like you said keeping your skills current is the best thing you can do for yourself in the event that occurs.
  • phantasmphantasm Member Posts: 995
    Never stop learning. This is important for life but especially important in the IT industry. If you don't learn new skills and or stay current, you'll be come obsolete pretty quick which will make finding a new job difficult.
    "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." -Heraclitus
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Are we having fun yet? Mod Posts: 4,426 Mod
    How about working on certs, and developing good relationship with your current and then ask to be involved with sysadmin/network projects? This way in few yrs time you can get promotoed, or if worse come to worse you can add those projects in your CV (along with certs) and then go somewhere else
    Certs: GSTRT, GPEN, GCFA, CISM, CRISC, RHCE

    Check out my YouTube Channel!

  • ccnpninjaccnpninja Senior Member EuropeMember Posts: 1,010 ■■■□□□□□□□
    UnixGuy wrote: »
    How about working on certs, and developing good relationship with your current and then ask to be involved with sysadmin/network projects? This way in few yrs time you can get promotoed, or if worse come to worse you can add those projects in your CV (along with certs) and then go somewhere else

    sounds like a nice strategy
  • B80B80 Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Cheers for the sound advice guys. I was chatting with my mentor at work today as he was watching Server 2012 GPO videos all day. He said the firm actively encourages people to move into other positions, in fact as part of my end of year review the manager will look to find out if I have any goals for progressing with the company. Once that happens he said if I'm doing my current job well I should no issues moving into infrastructure roles, such as data storage, virtualization, servers etc which is really cool.

    Good times ahead hoepfully as the role and company are spot on compared to most other places I've worked.
  • VeritiesVerities Member Posts: 1,162
    B80 wrote: »
    Cheers for the sound advice guys. I was chatting with my mentor at work today as he was watching Server 2012 GPO videos all day. He said the firm actively encourages people to move into other positions, in fact as part of my end of year review the manager will look to find out if I have any goals for progressing with the company. Once that happens he said if I'm doing my current job well I should no issues moving into infrastructure roles, such as data storage, virtualization, servers etc which is really cool.

    Good times ahead hoepfully as the role and company are spot on compared to most other places I've worked.

    That's really great you have a mentor who supports you. Based off of your current certs, which show a pretty solid progression with Windows Server, I think you should upgrade your MCSA 2008 to MCSA 2012 since its only 1 exam. That would be perfect for you since you want to move into infrastructure roles.
  • B80B80 Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Yeah, I need to upgrade the MCSA at some point. I'm currently reading the CCENT Odom book whilst playing with P Tracer to refresh my skills from the CCENT I gained last year, before pressing on with the ICND2 exam by the end of the year.

    After that I will head over to the MCSA 2012 material and look to pass that next year.

    After reading the VMware thread, it appears you can take the Stanley course in the UK, so VCP may be a goal after the MCSA.

    Should cover all bases! Going to try a different approach to studying now. Instead of spending 7 hours a day studying a couple of times a week, I'm going to aim for 1 to 2 hours most days, maybe more at the weekend. Hopefully this will allow me keep going long term rather than flat out for 3 or 4 months then losing interest and stopping for another year or so.

    Want to make the most of studying whilst not having kids, as they'll hopefully be arriving in the next couple of years!
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