Computer Operator?

drew PDdrew PD Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
Where does the computer operator position fall in the prestige/pay/skill categories as far as IT jobs go?

The reason I ask, is because I have been one for about 2 years, and I am looking to get a few certifications and get a higher paying job. I'm interested in network administration. Is my experience going to help me at all?

I have put in 10 resumes to open positions ranging from call center support to systems administration. I've only received 2 calls. One was for a call center working from 1 pm to 9:30 pm Tuesday through Saturday - yuck, and the other was for a government contractor position that would last 12 months and involve upgrading weather tracking servers and software on military bases.

I'm getting pessimistic about my options.

Comments

  • brad-brad- Member Posts: 1,218
    In the organizations I am familiar with, a comp. operator is like a file clerk or data entry type person...not really IT related.
  • drew PDdrew PD Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
    brad- wrote:
    In the organizations I am familiar with, a comp. operator is like a file clerk or data entry type person...not really IT related.

    My job title is "computer operator" but my job description sounds more like help desk or system administrator. We are given sysadmin rights for all of the servers and are involved with server/mainframe software and hardware upgrades, client and employee tech support, and software administration and programming.

    I think your reaction to the title of computer operator is somewhat commonplace, which is why I am getting annoyed looking for a new job. If my job title sounded as technical as my job description, I doubt I would be having the trouble I am having finding a new job.
  • leefdaddy7leefdaddy7 Member Posts: 14 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Just change your job title on your resume to something more fitting, don't go overboard, but you know....

    But yeah "Computer Operator" is an awful title.
  • eMeSeMeS Member Posts: 1,875
    leefdaddy7 wrote:
    Just change your job title on your resume to something more fitting, don't go overboard, but you know....

    Bad advice...never lie on your resume!

    As I've known it used in the past, the "Computer Operator" title is generally used in mainframe and/or environments that use large unix systems. In a mainframe environment, computer operators generally watch the system console and make sure things are running properly, mount tapes, etc...

    In a distributed environment you might spend time cleaning out filesystems, etc.. In both environments, a computer operator would report hardware problems to vendors and ensure that they are fixed.

    It's good work, primarily because it exposes you to a lot of different types of technology. When I started in IT in the late 80's, my 2nd job was a promotion to "Computer Operator".

    It's an entry level position. No doubt about it.

    My advice to you is to focus your resume on results that you have accomplished in this position. For example, have you improved some kind of process and saved the company money? Have you done any extra work that you have used in your current job that qualifies you for something else? Focus on these types of things, along with any certs, volunteer work, and other experience.

    MS
  • whistlerwhistler Member Posts: 108
    drew PD wrote:
    brad- wrote:
    In the organizations I am familiar with, a comp. operator is like a file clerk or data entry type person...not really IT related.

    My job title is "computer operator" but my job description sounds more like help desk or system administrator. We are given sysadmin rights for all of the servers and are involved with server/mainframe software and hardware upgrades, client and employee tech support, and software administration and programming.

    My job title is Sr. EDP Data Coordinator which means absolutely nothing. What I do is about 1/3 mainframe operator(VSE/VSAM), 1/3 PC repair and support, 1/3 network administrator, 1/3 whatever else needs doing.

    Perhaps, emphasize your job skills first on the resume and then after laying out the job skills include something like, with the job title of Computer Operator(Mainframe).

    Good luck.
  • brad-brad- Member Posts: 1,218
    leefdaddy7 wrote:
    Just change your job title on your resume to something more fitting, don't go overboard, but you know....

    But yeah "Computer Operator" is an awful title.
    I would have to agree, and change your title to more generally reflect your role if thats the case. Companies all have different titles for the same roles. Some sound hifalutin, some sound lame...like yours. If you do helpdesk or sysadmin work, then say that's your job title. If they check your references to see what kind of work you do, they'll know what to expect.

    I agree that lying on the resume is wrong, but I dont think that would qualify as lying on a resume. To me, its just explaining yourself in an appropriate language, when the lamebrain HR person who made your position had no idea what to call it. You shouldnt have to pay a penalty for that.

    Be honest, call yourself a Computer Technician or Helpdesk Technician, or Server Administrator...if thats what you do. I think breaking the language down to a common denominator that is easily understandable is acceptable as long as you dont exaggerate your responsibilities.

    my .02
  • SchluepSchluep Member Posts: 346
    As eMeS said, it is typically an entry level job working in some capacity on a mainframe. We have some Stratus mainframes running VOS as well as some Unix ones and the non-programmers who do some work with them have this title. Some of them monitor usage of system resources, perform system back-ups, and batch other neccessary processes. Some others are more involved with data entry into the mainframe or even working with databases to an extent. It can have a lot of uses, but from my experience typically involves working on a mainframe in some capacity, including the ones we have.
    brad- wrote:
    I agree that lying on the resume is wrong, but I dont think that would qualify as lying on a resume. To me, its just explaining yourself in an appropriate language, when the lamebrain HR person who made your position had no idea what to call it. You shouldnt have to pay a penalty for that.

    Be honest, call yourself a Computer Technician or Helpdesk Technician, or Server Administrator...if thats what you do. I think breaking the language down to a common denominator that is easily understandable is acceptable as long as you dont exaggerate your responsibilities.

    I agree with eMeS in that using a ficticious title on your resume is lying and should never be done. Stating you had one title with an organization when you really had another is not clarifying anything, it is being dishonest. You can explain your job function in the description along with the true title and can explain it even further during an interview. As for not paying a penalty for a decision made by an HR person, keep in mind that in order to have any title someone must first accept the position.
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    whistler wrote:
    Perhaps, emphasize your job skills first on the resume and then after laying out the job skills include something like, with the job title of Computer Operator(Mainframe).

    I liked this suggestion. It seems like a happy medium between changing the title and leaving it as it is. Keep your original title and add a little blurb in parenthesis to clarify things a bit. I don't think that's standard resume etiquette, but it's probably better than just "computer operator". Personally, I think that sounds like a data entry/secretary position.
  • drew PDdrew PD Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
    These are all good replies. Thanks for the advice.

    I think I'm going to leave the title as is, since if they call and check my employment history, my company would deny I ever had any other position besides "computer operator". Maybe I'll try and talk my boss into seeing if we can get our position title changed, since we really perform a sort of "IT jack of all trades" job. I mean, we do everything from unlocking people's accounts in active directory to replacing $10,000 cards in AS400 racks.

    I also think the job description is more important than the title, I just hope that's not the reason I've gotten so few callbacks so far. Maybe I need to wait a little longer. I've called a few of the companies that I gave my resume to, only to be told that they would contact me if I am qualified for any of their positions.
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