How Deep Should You Go?

ChristopherPaulChristopherPaul Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
If you're doing IT Strategy and Management, or Director of Technology, how deep into a field should you go? I was planning to do some basic certs, such as ITIL Foundations, CompTia IT Fundamentals, CompTia Cloud Essentials - I was also planning to do CAPM and PMP. Should a Manager dive deeper into fields such as networking and security? Just curious what everyone's opinion is.

The problem I see is small companies are hiring IT Managers - where your job is to develop a system, plan, strategy, AND networking computers together AND service computers (help desk), AND manage the security of the system, etc. I mean I guess they have people come to network and service computers but have some one in charge of it all or at least the last office I worked it did, he more or less did onboarding, help desk, and managed the systems, printers, recommending a strategic plan, etc.

I'm currently studying Business - Information Technology Management, classes start at WGU on Thursday. They do not offer certs and according to my mentor DO NOT give credit for certs...

FYI - I'm not just asking this to be a cert hoarder. I really want to better myself in my future career.

Thank you everybody!


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    EnderWigginEnderWiggin Member Posts: 551 ■■■■□□□□□□
    A manager doesn't necessarily need to know how to do the tasks, bur they need to understand what the tasks are, and what they are accomplishing. What those tasks are will differ from position to position, so there's no "one size fits all" answer here.
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    ChristopherPaulChristopherPaul Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Cyberscum wrote: »
    Depends really. Maybe ask her first.

    Haha. I just realized the title sounds like that...whoops.

    I plan to get my PMP...but to get a help desk position most want a A+, Network+, Security+ cert or some of that...
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    beadsbeads Member Posts: 1,531 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Concentrate on technology management at the Master's level but first you need to due your time in the trenches with us "little people", first. Generally, people move into management after being recognized as being exceptionally good at what they do in IT. We are very skills based here and rather competitive about our skills as well.

    Reason I say this is because no one in IT wants to work for someone who has no idea what it is or what it takes to do the job/position in the first place. Your late to that game by about 15-20 years where it seemed like every IT Manager and Director came from another business field and it showed - hard. Techs were often frustrated with these people and we became to known for our isolation (silos) and lack of communication skills in dealing with our new technology overlords. These were dark days in IT and Security.

    Today most management types I have worked with have some sort of technology background instead of a straight business background. Want some salt to that wound? Management generally make a bit less than a high end tech or consultant.

    My how things have changed.

    - b/eads
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    ChristopherPaulChristopherPaul Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    That's all good to me because being a Network Administrator just isn't for me. Management lines up with my past careers. Since I will have some experience, how much do you think is enough? A+, Network+, Security+?

    Just curious...
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    Node ManNode Man Member Posts: 668 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Depends on the culture of the organization that you wish to join. In some companies that promote from within, the managers are often engineers first. Other companies may only expect an IT manager to double check engineers time cards.

    Addendum - yes engineers seem to often make more than their managers lately.
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    ChristopherPaulChristopherPaul Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Node Man wrote: »
    Depends on the culture of the organization that you wish to join. In some companies that promote from within, the managers are often engineers first. Other companies may only expect an IT manager to double check engineers time cards.

    Addendum - yes engineers seem to often make more than their managers lately.

    It makes sense. A real estate brokerage called a similar position of managing computers, answering questions, onboarding, etc. Director of Technology - I guess other places called it Help Desk, but I guess it depends where you work, what you do and the size of the company. I look forward to whatever career holds and plan to get entry level certs from CompTia to help with my goals.
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    OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    There's a couple of ways to approach this. It's to do with how businesses typically work, and how people are promoted.

    One path is very much to focus on the business and management side. So start in project management roles, perhaps in PM support roles or in a PM office, develop as a project manager and take bigger roles that way. Or to work as a Business Analyst. Neither necessarily require good technical skills, but a broad overview and the ability to talk to technical people is useful. There are BA and PM certifications - a lot of them.

    The other path is to focus more on the technical aspects, moving into senior roles, "team manager", "lead engineer" etc. There are management type roles that do have a large technical requirement, but typically the more you move into managing the more you need the big picture and broad overview than the deep technical skills. Which technical certification is largely a matter of personal preference - MS, Cisco, Linux, VMware, cloud, info sec.

    ITIL certification is a good option for both paths.

    With both of these paths you can do career progression within a large organisation, taking on bigger roles over time. Or you can go the other way and work for small companies, then a similar role in medium companies, larger companies etc.

    If you do work in smaller companies, then often the role is much more diffuse and you will get a broad (but not deep) experience - thrown in the deep end, sink or swim. This can be useful early on in your career as it gives you a taste of everything and you can then pursue the bits you find most appealing.

    However, I think that it might be challenging to find an IT manager role if all you have is BS in IT Management. So broadening your skills however you see fit isn't a bad thing.

    I'm thinking that if you aren't heavily interested in infrastructure type things (networks, servers, virtualisation), then maybe something like Salesforce certification or Office365 or Google Apps.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
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    ChristopherPaulChristopherPaul Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the response. It really helped me see the business side - versus the technical side. I'm not too interested in infrastructure to the point I would want to study it past a broad sense, but am interested in IT strategy, cloud, etc.

    My idea is that I need to understand the technical side to the point of a broad generalized view (ITIL, Office365, VmWare (maybe), A+, Network+, Security+, etc.), and really understand the business side.

    I think I'm starting to get it icon_thumright.gif

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