Breaking the entry level slump

Raya90Raya90 Posts: 2Member ■■□□□□□□□□
edited October 3 in Professional Development
I have a prompting question about entry level IT jobs, and a trend ive been noticing during my first year of working in IT.

First I will give a short back story of myself. I have a degree that is not techincal or in tech. Ive been working in IT for about a little over a year now. First it was more IT procurement and "coordination" but more recently this year, it was straight up desktop support and helpdesk contractor.

Over the past year ive been noticing a trend that a lot of my present and prior colleagues have also been in desktop support and helpdesk for waaay longer than one would be in in order to progress in their careers. Most of my colleagues ages range from early 20s/straight out of college to pushing 40-50 age group. For the older of the group I find it odd that they seem content to stagnate in a lower level IT jobs and not just rise through the ranks to more higher and specialized positions. A lot of them are hard working and very knowledgeable, but yet they just cruise on by in lower grunt work and not strive for more. A lot of them have been in these lower positions for 10-20+ years as well! Theres only so much of being at the mercy of the phone and doing minor break fix tickets that one can tolerate, but to do it for a couldnt fathom doing this for most of my career!

Anyways, recently Ive moved from Fl to NY and its the same thing here as it is there in regards to my work environment being a good mix of younger and older colleagues, but in NY the pay is double or even triple what you can make down south, so I can see why people up north will be more complacent about cruising by at a lower level, but its still depressing to see. 

My goal is to stay at the entry level for another year while getting my CCNA and then the entry level security certs and move up from there. As well as going back to grad school for cybersecurity. I refuse to just settle with a okay salary and sail on by with uninteresting grunt work and tied to the phone with its endless end user incidents.

Has anyone else notice this?

Comments

  • Fulcrum45Fulcrum45 Posts: 598Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I've seen this as well but I suspect it's largely due to people earning just enough to enjoy their life outside of work and without the added responsibility of being the only specialist who knows about a particular system and thus on call much of the time. I've been doing this for almost 10 years now and I'm still trying to escape the gravitational pull of the Help Desk.  I HATE end-user support but I'm really good at it and for a small MSP it's what pays the bills.
  • Johnhe0414Johnhe0414 A+, Network+, Security+, Project+ USA, CAPosts: 139Registered Users ■■■■□□□□□□
    Raya90 said:
    "I refuse to just settle with a okay salary and sail on by with uninteresting grunt work and tied to the phone with its endless end user incidents."

    I think you have summed it up really well here. What may be settling for some is not for others and that goes for all different kinds of positions not just in IT. I bumped into an old friend from my retail days (30 yrs ago) and he just promoted to Assistant Warehouse Manager, the same people i worked with are still cashiering. There is nothing wrong with that, just that some individuals are content where they are. At my current job, there is an individual that has been doing help desk "forever" and he likes that and is getting ready to retire.
    For you, you seem motivated and inspired to keep moving up ... just keep that flame burning!
    Current:  A+ | Network+ | Project+ |Security+
    Working on: Cysa+
  • yoba222yoba222 Posts: 1,039Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    I think that many people don't have a passion for IT and as soon as the clock hits 4PM (or whatever time), they cease to think about tech for the remaining duration of their free time. They never intended to be in help desk for 10 years, but complacency plus "the unstoppable march of time . . ." Most that come to this forum are the outliers. Same idea for grocery store and retail store cashiers I think, and I know I recognize a few from 10+ years ago, still scanning away prices.
    2017: GCIH | LFCS
    2018: CySA+ | PenTest+ |CCNA CyberOps
    2019: VHL 20 boxes
    2020: OSCP | CISSP
  • SweenMachineSweenMachine MCSA: Office 365, MCSA: Windows 7 (I am old), ITIL Foundations V3 Chicago areaPosts: 299Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Raya90 said:
    I have a prompting question about entry level IT jobs, and a trend ive been noticing during my first year of working in IT.

    First I will give a short back story of myself. I have a degree that is not techincal or in tech. Ive been working in IT for about a little over a year now. First it was more IT procurement and "coordination" but more recently this year, it was straight up desktop support and helpdesk contractor.

    Over the past year ive been noticing a trend that a lot of my present and prior colleagues have also been in desktop support and helpdesk for waaay longer than one would be in in order to progress in their careers. Most of my colleagues ages range from early 20s/straight out of college to pushing 40-50 age group. For the older of the group I find it odd that they seem content to stagnate in a lower level IT jobs and not just rise through the ranks to more higher and specialized positions. A lot of hard working and very knowledgeable, but yet they just cruise on by in lower grunt work and not strive for more. A lot of them have been in these lower positions for 10-20+ years as well! Theres only so much of being at the mercy of the phone and doing minor break fix tickets that one can tolerate, but to do it for a couldnt fathom doing this for most of my career!

    Anyways, recently Ive moved from Fl to NY and its the same thing here as it is there in regards to my work environment being a good mix of younger and older colleagues, but in NY the pay is double or even triple what you can make down south, so I can see why people up north will be more complacent about cruising by at a lower level, but its still depressing to see. 

    My goal is to stay at the entry level for another year while getting my CCNA and then the entry level security certs and move up from there. As well as going back to grad school for cybersecurity. I refuse to just settle with a okay salary and sail on by with uninteresting grunt work and tied to the phone with its endless end user incidents.

    Has anyone else notice this?
    You make a lot of assumptions here for someone working in IT for a YEAR and to be frank, I found it kind of condescending...

    "content to stagnate" - I worked at help desk for 14 years. Tell me I was "content to stagnate" and I will tell you the story of family commitments, economic problems, personal issues, health issues.. Tell me I was 'content to stagnate' when I was working super, super hard at certifying and educating myself, but unable to land the 'dream job' 

    I am glad you "refuse to settle with an okay salary" - I suppose that is what I did? I mean, aside for working hard yet struggling to climb the ladder like MANY of us do until the right opportunity,mentor, or whatnot comes along.

    Without knowing someones backstory, life history, you should probably not judge why they 'settled' for help desk. When I was a 23 year old IT hotshot working for a bank in 2003 I am pretty sure I thought I would be running the world by now. It took me quite a bit of time and heartache to move my career forward. but absolutely NONE of that was due to being "content" making an "okay" salary.

    -scott
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,398Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    edited October 3
    Raya90 said:
    I have a prompting question about entry level IT jobs, and a trend ive been noticing during my first year of working in IT.

    First I will give a short back story of myself. I have a degree that is not techincal or in tech. Ive been working in IT for about a little over a year now. First it was more IT procurement and "coordination" but more recently this year, it was straight up desktop support and helpdesk contractor.

    Over the past year ive been noticing a trend that a lot of my present and prior colleagues have also been in desktop support and helpdesk for waaay longer than one would be in in order to progress in their careers. Most of my colleagues ages range from early 20s/straight out of college to pushing 40-50 age group. For the older of the group I find it odd that they seem content to stagnate in a lower level IT jobs and not just rise through the ranks to more higher and specialized positions. A lot of hard working and very knowledgeable, but yet they just cruise on by in lower grunt work and not strive for more. A lot of them have been in these lower positions for 10-20+ years as well! Theres only so much of being at the mercy of the phone and doing minor break fix tickets that one can tolerate, but to do it for a couldnt fathom doing this for most of my career!

    Anyways, recently Ive moved from Fl to NY and its the same thing here as it is there in regards to my work environment being a good mix of younger and older colleagues, but in NY the pay is double or even triple what you can make down south, so I can see why people up north will be more complacent about cruising by at a lower level, but its still depressing to see. 

    My goal is to stay at the entry level for another year while getting my CCNA and then the entry level security certs and move up from there. As well as going back to grad school for cybersecurity. I refuse to just settle with a okay salary and sail on by with uninteresting grunt work and tied to the phone with its endless end user incidents.

    Has anyone else notice this?
    You make a lot of assumptions here for someone working in IT for a YEAR and to be frank, I found it kind of condescending...

    "content to stagnate" - I worked at help desk for 14 years. Tell me I was "content to stagnate" and I will tell you the story of family commitments, economic problems, personal issues, health issues.. Tell me I was 'content to stagnate' when I was working super, super hard at certifying and educating myself, but unable to land the 'dream job' 

    I am glad you "refuse to settle with an okay salary" - I suppose that is what I did? I mean, aside for working hard yet struggling to climb the ladder like MANY of us do until the right opportunity,mentor, or whatnot comes along.

    Without knowing someones backstory, life history, you should probably not judge why they 'settled' for help desk. When I was a 23 year old IT hotshot working for a bank in 2003 I am pretty sure I thought I would be running the world by now. It took me quite a bit of time and heartache to move my career forward. but absolutely NONE of that was due to being "content" making an "okay" salary.

    -scott
    Before I worked in IT I worked in printing.  When I left the printing company most of the people shook my hand and wished I stayed.  One guy said he wished he could leave, but he had bills to pay.   I bet everyone wish they could leave, but they were making a lot of money, and they had bills to pay.  Some guys were making $40.00 an hour.  Did everyone love their job?  No, not everyone but these people needed to pay their bills.  

    I have 3+ years of experience working in IT.  I have been in help desk roles for most of my career.  When I started out like you I asked myself the same question that you asked "Why do people stay in help desk roles for 5-20 years?"  Later on in my career, I have met people in low level help desk, network, desktop, and voice roles.  I asked myself the same question.  Why do people they stay in those roles?  One reason is because people needed to pay their bills, and they need a stable income.  Another reason is the company they work for has good environment and cultural.  At some point in your IT career you will will learn that the environment you work, and the company's cultural is more important than how much money you make, or the job duties you have.
     

    I agree with what Scott said. 
    You really don't know everyone's story.  I hope you never get laid off, let go, or your company closes.  If any of those things happen a help desk job will look really nice.  Sure everyone wants to get their DREAM job, but the path to that job is NOT the same for everyone.   

    I imagine you are getting paid more because the cost of living in NY is higher than it is in FL.  

    FYI- Help desk can mean so many things.  In one company you are just answering phones.  While at another company you are the system admin, and you are answering phones too.  



    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • Raya90Raya90 Posts: 2Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks everyone for the insight posts! Its moments like these that make me more ambitious towards my goals of climbing the IT ladder! Need to have the fire burning and make it happen.
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