Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?



  • Hello All,

    I am willing to change my job and not sure what is my status and for which role I am suitable.

    Following is the quick review of my job career :

    As discussed in my other thread, Title is not reflecting my job responsibilities.

    1. Worked as Linux Admin for 8 months : Not much to tell here. I became familiar with Linux and open source, of course learned the concepts of DNS, DHCP, Web server, File server, RAID etc.

    2. Working as System Admin from 3.5 years : I learned lots of stuff here.

    Even though my title is System Admin, I am one who handles everything in IT dept. Following are categories I handles:

    a) Windows Server : Having File Server as a primary service and DNS on it.
    b) Helpdesk Support : Addresses all complaints, from printers, telephones to PCs.
    c) Email : We have O365, and I administers from creating, setting up to troubleshooting and coordinating with Microsoft support for any issues.
    d) Firewall : I manage firewall things, most basic things like adding rules, blocking things, allocating good bandwidth to specific users.
    e) Networking : Even though I am not good at it, but I manage basic things. I can configure general routers, access points, extenders etc.
    f) Misc : VPN (managing on Firewall), using DDNS and port forwarding services, printers management (having 10s of private and network printers), network monitoring with PRTG,
    g) Backup admin : Manage backups for Data and Server.
    h) Anti-virus admin: Setup and administer Anti-virus on all PCs.
    i) Familiarity : I am familiar with Linux, Virtualization (using XenServer), Cloud (have used Google Cloud Compute and storage).

    Note: We are talking about 70+ users. Even though our network in not under Domain, I am familiar with how things works with AD. Trying to learn and certify on Windows Server to get good command to migrate to Domain.

    Now question is, my title says "System Administrator" and my knowledge on AD and experience is very less (assuming going to choose Windows environment job) and years of total experience is 4.2 Years. I guess "System Admin" post require 5-8 years of experience.

    In my job location, Support L1/L2/L3/L4, system admin, IT admin everything is same and that's me 🙂

    So what's my status now and for what I should apply for ?

    Tagging the IT Pros who helped me in other posts recently 🙂

    @scottalanmiller @JaredBusch @Breffni-Potter @dbeato @guyinpv @Tim_G @Dashrender @DustinB3403 @mlnews

    Thank you for your time !!



  • @openit said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    Now question is, my title says "System Administrator" and my knowledge on AD and experience is very less (assuming going to choose Windows environment job) and years of total experience is 4.2 Years.

    Your workload is IT Generalist or SMB Generalist. SMB only has generalist in reality. In theory some SMB somewhere hires someone outside of generalist, but it is purely a theory, I've never heard even a rumour of someone having found one.



  • @openit said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    I guess "System Admin" post require 5-8 years of experience.

    No, this is not at all the case. Specialist roles are never "levels". There is no experience necessary for the entry level point of any discipline. All disciplines start from zero experience and work up. System Admin is a specialist role, many people, like me and many that I know including @Technomancer started as admins our first days in IT. There is no implication in any role title of a level of experience. If someone tells you that, they are likely a confused HR person, not someone in the industry.



  • @openit said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    So what's my status now and for what I should apply for ?

    That depends on your career roadmap. What role are you training for, what role do you want to get to?



  • Defining where you go "next" is more about what you are passionate about, doing at home, getting certified in and so forth than it is about where you have been.



  • Is there a position you are currently considering? Or are you simply trying to figure out what kinds of jobs you'd should be looking at if you were looking?



  • Your list reads like mine for the most part.

    And I just get to parrot Scott and Dustin, what is your goal? Next desired job?

    I'm wondering - in lite of the fact that you don't have AD today, why are you like looking to reply it?

    Would a more modern solution like salt do the job for you without the ties to old technology? Or Azure AD instead of AD, only usable for Windows 10.



  • Reading this thread will probably be helpful...

    https://mangolassi.it/topic/14079/smb-vs-enterprise



  • @scottalanmiller said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    @openit said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    Now question is, my title says "System Administrator" and my knowledge on AD and experience is very less (assuming going to choose Windows environment job) and years of total experience is 4.2 Years.

    Your workload is IT Generalist or SMB Generalist. SMB only has generalist in reality. In theory some SMB somewhere hires someone outside of generalist, but it is purely a theory, I've never heard even a rumour of someone having found one.

    I just wondering to know what is "IT Generalist" ? is that mean All-in-One IT ? who takes all categories of work like System Admin tasks, Network admin, helpdesk, cabling guy etc. ?



  • @openit Yes a IT generalist will touch a bit of everything



  • @scottalanmiller said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    @openit said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    I guess "System Admin" post require 5-8 years of experience.

    No, this is not at all the case. Specialist roles are never "levels". There is no experience necessary for the entry level point of any discipline. All disciplines start from zero experience and work up. System Admin is a specialist role, many people, like me and many that I know including @Technomancer started as admins our first days in IT. There is no implication in any role title of a level of experience. If someone tells you that, they are likely a confused HR person, not someone in the industry.

    Oh okay, sometimes I used feel good because of System Admin position, while doing other things or more.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    Defining where you go "next" is more about what you are passionate about, doing at home, getting certified in and so forth than it is about where you have been.

    Okay I want to go Desktop Support or System Admin position and following are my queries depending on which role I will choose :

    1. If I choose Desktop Support :

    a) I feel my current knowledge is enough or more than enough (see above) ?
    b) What kind of knowledge than above I mentioned will be helpful ?
    c) How about certifications ? what certifications are good ? I already have "ITIL Foundation"

    2. If I choose System Admin position : (Assuming of Windows environment)

    a) I think I need to learn and do lots of exercise on Active Directory and Domain things
    b) what certifications are recommended ?
    c) What other knowledge than AD and Domain and Server services like DHCP, DNS, File Server etc. is necessary or helpful ?
    d) I believe Virtualization and Cloud knowledge matters ?

    Thanks !



  • @DustinB3403 said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    Is there a position you are currently considering? Or are you simply trying to figure out what kinds of jobs you'd should be looking at if you were looking?

    No, there's no vacancy available for me, trying to know what exactly I know, what options do I have , so I can prepare my CV and myself for Next.



  • @Dashrender said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    Your list reads like mine for the most part.

    And I just get to parrot Scott and Dustin, what is your goal? Next desired job?

    As said above, confused about my Title, my knowledge and available options (system admin, Desktop Support etc.), once I analyse my status and options with you people help, I will set my Goal.



  • @openit said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    Defining where you go "next" is more about what you are passionate about, doing at home, getting certified in and so forth than it is about where you have been.

    Okay I want to go Desktop Support or System Admin position and following are my queries depending on which role I will choose :

    1. If I choose Desktop Support :

    a) I feel my current knowledge is enough or more than enough (see above) ?
    b) What kind of knowledge than above I mentioned will be helpful ?
    c) How about certifications ? what certifications are good ? I already have "ITIL Foundation"

    2. If I choose System Admin position : (Assuming of Windows environment)

    a) I think I need to learn and do lots of exercise on Active Directory and Domain things
    b) what certifications are recommended ?
    c) What other knowledge than AD and Domain and Server services like DHCP, DNS, File Server etc. is necessary or helpful ?
    d) I believe Virtualization and Cloud knowledge matters ?

    Thanks !

    Desktop support really is a handbag of basic skills. If you're comfortable support a linux based workstation, you likely won't have any issues support a windows one.

    95% or more of desktop support is basic system troubleshooting. Nothing special here. Look at the logs, pinpoint the issue, implement a fix.

    System Admin, things that would be good to learn, I don't know if getting Certs would be really beneficial or not would be powershell. Virtualization is such a basic matter that it could even fall into desktop support.

    As Desktop Support tech could manage a VDI environment (inside of the hypervisor) so a basic understanding here wouldn't hurt.

    Being an expert on a hypervisor is completely different though and would put you into a specialist role.



  • @openit said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    @openit said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    Now question is, my title says "System Administrator" and my knowledge on AD and experience is very less (assuming going to choose Windows environment job) and years of total experience is 4.2 Years.

    Your workload is IT Generalist or SMB Generalist. SMB only has generalist in reality. In theory some SMB somewhere hires someone outside of generalist, but it is purely a theory, I've never heard even a rumour of someone having found one.

    I just wondering to know what is "IT Generalist" ? is that mean All-in-One IT ? who takes all categories of work like System Admin tasks, Network admin, helpdesk, cabling guy etc. ?

    Yes, generalists don't specialize, they do "IT", rather than one discipline area within IT. No shop with fewer than maybe ~100 IT people can realistically specialize. It doesn't make any sense until you have specialist departments for them to work on, or teams at least.

    http://www.smbitjournal.com/2014/10/it-generalists-and-specialists/

    The SMB is pure generalist, SME is almost pure, Medium starts to see specialists, by enterprise, you are at specialist saturation which is like 95%.



  • @openit said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    2. If I choose System Admin position : (Assuming of Windows environment)
    ....
    d) I believe Virtualization and Cloud knowledge matters ?

    All knowledge is good knowledge. But if you really want a system admin specialist position, many do nothing with virtualization or cloud, because those are platform tasks, not system tasks. Small companies, like the SME and Medium space, will normally merge platform speciality into the system speciality because there is so much overlap in skills. But you can get into the Fortune 100 where they do not and system admins never see the platform, at all.

    I've seen this separated in companies as small as 1,400 staff - where the platform team and the systems teams were completely discrete.

    Also at specialist, admin and engineer are discrete. So you'd have platform administration, platform engineering, system administration and system engineering all in one company.

    Then when you specialist more, it's common to have tech divisions. So in a company with two platforms and three systems, you might have these teams:

    • Windows Administration
    • Windows Engineering
    • Linux Administration
    • Linux Engineering
    • AIX Administration
    • AIX Engineering
    • VMware Administration
    • VMware Engineering
    • Xen Administration
    • Xen Engineering


  • @openit said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    1. If I choose Desktop Support :

    a) I feel my current knowledge is enough or more than enough (see above) ?
    b) What kind of knowledge than above I mentioned will be helpful ?
    c) How about certifications ? what certifications are good ? I already have "ITIL Foundation"

    How much desktop automation have you done? What about imaging? Do you mean support or administration? Desktop Admins do not deal with end users, or rarely, but Desktop Support deals with them all of the time. In small companies these are merged, in larger ones they are normally not.

    ITIL is for management, not for IT. All knowledge and skills are positives, but ITIL doesn't apply to any IT role, at least not directly.

    Microsoft and Red Hat offer desktop certs or desktop related certs.



  • @openit said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    a) I think I need to learn and do lots of exercise on Active Directory and Domain things

    If you are doing AD work, yes. Not all Windows shops do. Of course most careers in Windows will need AD, so lacking it will keep a lot of doors closed for you, it's considered a starter skill. But there are big Windows shops with no AD.



  • @openit said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    @Dashrender said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    Your list reads like mine for the most part.

    And I just get to parrot Scott and Dustin, what is your goal? Next desired job?

    As said above, confused about my Title, my knowledge and available options (system admin, Desktop Support etc.), once I analyse my status and options with you people help, I will set my Goal.

    Your available jobs are based on your skills, not your past titles. All SMB workers are in the same pool by past job. The skills you build are what define your options.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    @openit said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    2. If I choose System Admin position : (Assuming of Windows environment)
    ....
    d) I believe Virtualization and Cloud knowledge matters ?

    All knowledge is good knowledge. But if you really want a system admin specialist position, many do nothing with virtualization or cloud, because those are platform tasks, not system tasks. Small companies, like the SME and Medium space, will normally merge platform speciality into the system speciality because there is so much overlap in skills. But you can get into the Fortune 100 where they do not and system admins never see the platform, at all.

    I've seen this separated in companies as small as 1,400 staff - where the platform team and the systems teams were completely discrete.

    Also at specialist, admin and engineer are discrete. So you'd have platform administration, platform engineering, system administration and system engineering all in one company.

    Then when you specialist more, it's common to have tech divisions. So in a company with two platforms and three systems, you might have these teams:

    • Windows Administration
    • Windows Engineering
    • Linux Administration
    • Linux Engineering
    • AIX Administration
    • AIX Engineering
    • VMware Administration
    • VMware Engineering
    • Xen Administration
    • Xen Engineering

    What's difference b/w Administration and Engineering ? I mean how responsibilities separate them ?



  • @scottalanmiller said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    @openit said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    1. If I choose Desktop Support :

    a) I feel my current knowledge is enough or more than enough (see above) ?
    b) What kind of knowledge than above I mentioned will be helpful ?
    c) How about certifications ? what certifications are good ? I already have "ITIL Foundation"

    How much desktop automation have you done? What about imaging? Do you mean support or administration? Desktop Admins do not deal with end users, or rarely, but Desktop Support deals with them all of the time. In small companies these are merged, in larger ones they are normally not.

    ITIL is for management, not for IT. All knowledge and skills are positives, but ITIL doesn't apply to any IT role, at least not directly.

    Microsoft and Red Hat offer desktop certs or desktop related certs.

    I have not done any Desktop Automation, as I didn't seen any requirement. But I can learn with Lab or by using in Realtime even its not worthy to improve the skill. What list would you suggest ?

    So again I need to understand what is Desktop Administration and Desktop Support ? Well, Desktop Support is clear that they deal directly with end-users at the time of issues, how about Desktop Admin ?

    About certification, I understand Desktop Certs, but what do you mean by Desktop related certs ? is that mean like MS Office suite etc. ?



  • @openit said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    What's difference b/w Administration and Engineering ? I mean how responsibilities separate them ?

    http://www.smbitjournal.com/2011/02/it-roles-productivity-and-availability/

    Engineers design and build things. Administrators run things. One is design, one is operations.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    @openit said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    @Dashrender said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    Your list reads like mine for the most part.

    And I just get to parrot Scott and Dustin, what is your goal? Next desired job?

    As said above, confused about my Title, my knowledge and available options (system admin, Desktop Support etc.), once I analyse my status and options with you people help, I will set my Goal.

    Your available jobs are based on your skills, not your past titles. All SMB workers are in the same pool by past job. The skills you build are what define your options.

    I have question here, now my title says "System Admin", and if I choose to go for Desktop Support, do you think new employer will not question about "why you are choosing lower level" and doubts my ability or skill ?



  • @scottalanmiller said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    @openit said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    What's difference b/w Administration and Engineering ? I mean how responsibilities separate them ?

    http://www.smbitjournal.com/2011/02/it-roles-productivity-and-availability/

    Engineers design and build things. Administrators run things. One is design, one is operations.

    Noted.



  • @openit said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    About certification, I understand Desktop Certs, but what do you mean by Desktop related certs ?

    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/mcsa-windows-10-certifications.aspx



  • @openit It's really easy to fall into a generalist role naturally because a lot of SMB's have a single IT staff and you will be responsible for everything. @Dashrender and I are both generalists. It's not great.



  • @openit said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    @openit said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    @Dashrender said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    Your list reads like mine for the most part.

    And I just get to parrot Scott and Dustin, what is your goal? Next desired job?

    As said above, confused about my Title, my knowledge and available options (system admin, Desktop Support etc.), once I analyse my status and options with you people help, I will set my Goal.

    Your available jobs are based on your skills, not your past titles. All SMB workers are in the same pool by past job. The skills you build are what define your options.

    I have question here, now my title says "System Admin", and if I choose to go for Desktop Support, do you think new employer will not question about "why you are choosing lower level" and doubts my ability or skill ?

    Not any employer with any clue at all. But, lots of employers have no skills. However, your resume should always list your role, NOT false titles. Other employers will say that you are lying if you keep it as system admin.

    Also, desktop is not lower than system, there are NO levels here. So again, only a very clueless, confused manager would think that.



  • @wirestyle22 said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    @openit It's really easy to fall into a generalist role naturally because a lot of SMB's have a single IT staff and you will be responsible for everything. @Dashrender and I are both generalists. It's not great.

    So are all CIOs, though. Generalist runs the gamut.



  • @openit said in Which IT role I am suitable and to which should I apply for ?:

    So again I need to understand what is Desktop Administration and Desktop Support ? Well, Desktop Support is clear that they deal directly with end-users at the time of issues, how about Desktop Admin ?

    Desktop Admins are like System Admins (like meaning, they are) but deal with desktops instead of servers. It's a subset of system administration.


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