Timeline your it career progression – page 10

During this time I was at this position, the CIO let go of the rest of the helpdesk (4 other techs) and only had me, a temp, and a student worker. And 2 system administrators, but they werent doing helpdesk and the student worker and temp werent allowed access to student information, which made it complicated sometimes. This was around 6 or 8 months into the position

after like 8 months of being alone for the majority of the tickets. I was getting burned out faaast working working days of about 7am-9pm, sometimes as late as 11pm or as early as 5am, and sleeping at lunch. Dont forget I have to drive home about 30-50 minutes commute too. And there was construction that closed lanes in the evenings, so the traffic wasnt any better.

As I grew into doing all the tickets, I also finished picking up the administration of all the windows desktops.


I’d been doing most of the end computer updating through our tools like Altiris, but I formalized it and actually got access to things like Group Policy. By this time I was also administrator of around 1/3 of the windows servers so that I could administer the application that ran on them too. I was so busy during the day that the only time I could do lots of these upgrades were after the majority of classes were done at 6pm, and I pretty much had to be at the helpdesk all the time during regular helpdesk hours to answer the phone because the other guys werent allowed to work on the student accounts.

Basically with this position, I added the responsibility of administering the servers, but still had to keep all the IT Specialist functions. I was supposed to only be answering the phone when the other two guys werent there, but that never worked out, or I would pick up the phone on the fourth or fifth ring when I could look over at their desks and see they werent busy.

But about 6 months in, I was annoyed that I hadn’t gotten the office I was told I would (this is academia, even assistants to people and career coaches have their own separate office) even though there was a free office right next to the helpdesk. The CIO still wasnt checking on some licensing things that I wanted to get SCCM setup to improve patching (turns out we had already licensed it, but he just wouldn’t check and tell me that). I ran my experience through PayScale and found I was being preeetty grossly underpaid, even for a Community College and started applying and taking interviews. and thats how I found my current job

This place is much better. I’ve rebuilt their AD to get rid of SBS, implemented VLANs and some actual network segregation that can scale very well with the business (Desktops, Servers, Company Wifi, Guest/home device wifi, vlan, et cetera), upgraded about half the servers to Server 2016, and plans in the works to do the rest. I will probably be looking to move on from here in a few months or so, once I’m all out of fun projects and trying to script things. Maybe a bit longer if they go with my recommendation to drop VMware and go Hyper V (we only have two servers, and arent paying for DRS or FT, so really I dont see any benefit over Hyper V).

I’m registered to start attending WGU for BS Network Operations and Security. Between my certs and degree I transferred in with a pretty good bit already done. With my significantly higher salary at my last job, I’ve paid off almost all my debt and I am looking at paying for WGU completely out of pocket, once I finish paying off my credit cards. In the meantime I am going to try and work on finishing my CCNA before I have to have my transcripts in since that will knock out 3 classes toward the WGU degree.

One joined federal service straight out of college as a supervisory network engineer making $90k + housing (it was overseas). I didn’t work directly with him, but it seemed like he did his job well. I’ve lost contact with him, but he was being considered for the IT Director position when I left. After that he would likely be deputy of some sort, then deputy CIO, then CIO. Federal doesn’t pay their CIO / CTO very well considering the level of responsibility (capped at $164k currently), so he may leave for private sector.

Another worked as a government contractor. He went straight to college at 18, graduated with his Masters in CIS at 24, then went straight into the IT work force as a system administrator. He switched over to infosec a few years later and got promoted a few times. He was making around $110k with a Master’s and 6 years of experience. Then he started his Doctorate at 30. He was working on his dissertation last I spoke to him, but he should be done by now. I don’t know what he plans on doing with that Doctorate besides putting "DIT" after his name.