Help choosing between two positions.....

FreejoleFreejole Posts: 30Member ■□□□□□□□□□
So I recently completed my CCNA: R&S and have been on the job hunt for my first position in the IT industry. There are two different positions that I am currently in the final interviewing stages for and feel pretty confident that I will be offered both within the next week or so. Its basically a Helpdesk position with a fortune 500 company vs. a Field Tech position with a small local IT services company (25-30 employees). The helpdesk position pays a little more (its a much bigger company), but if I can ask for the high end of the field tech salary it wouldnt be too much of a difference. As long as the money is right, what I am more concerned with is the experience that I will get in each position and how it aligns with the career path I am headed down. My goal for the next few years is to complete my CCNP: Security and begin to narrow my career focus further and further into networking and network security. I know that not all IT jobs are created equal and would just like some feedback on which position you guys who have experience think would be a better jumping off point for what my goals are and which one serves those goals better. I am copying and pasting the position titles and descriptions below, thanks in advance for any guidance you guys can give me.

1. PC Specialist - $35-$40K/Yr

[FONT=&amp]Member of a Helpdesk team supporting a Microsoft and Cisco VOIP environment. Desired candidate is entry level, has strong Microsoft skills and communicates very well. Tremendous learning environment. Certifications and Cisco skills a plus.

[/FONT]The position is pretty much a helpdesk position working for a company in one singular location. I would be working in their corporate office in the IT department. I get the sense that this position would be primarily basic computer troubleshooting, peripheral devices, software updates, service tickets etc. [FONT=&amp]

2. Field Technician $25-$35K/Yr

Responsible for equipment repair and diagnosis, cable installation, onsite equipment installations, device configuration, and resolution of basic support requests.

  • Configure, deploy, maintain, troubleshoot and support client hardware both remotely and onsite.
  • Follow detailed processes to deliver consistent results
  • Installation and support of low voltage and fiber optic cabling
  • Installation of computer hardware, including workstations, servers, printers, and telephony devices
  • Installation of network hardware, including switches, routers, firewalls and wireless access points
  • Provide support of backup and disaster recovery solutions
  • Monitor the remote monitoring and management system alerts and notifications, and respond accordingly through service tickets
  • Provide onsite support as needed with assistance of remote technicians
  • Provide basic support of Microsoft’s core business applications and other line-of-business applications
  • Responsible for a wide range of hardware installations.
  • Assist with project tickets and new client onboarding
  • Escalate and schedule service tickets that require higher level or onsite support
  • Resolve RMM tickets
  • Thoroughly document tickets on a real-time basis
  • Consistently exceed defined Service Level Agreements
  • Ensure Ticketing Quality Assurance through proper ticket documentation and agreement selection
  • Document internal processes and procedures related to duties and responsibilities

From the descriptions, my preliminary gut feeling is that I would get more hands on experience as a Field Technician, but again I have never worked a single day in the IT industry so thats just my gut feeling. Also, within the IT industry, im not sure if there are any generally agreed upon pros/cons to working for a big national company vs. a small local company.

Thanks so much for any insight and advice you guys can provide me in this process and I will keep you guys updated on where things go from here.


  • Nik 99Nik 99 Posts: 152Member
    Hmm that helpdesk role looks decent. Wish we had good entry level ones in the UK that weren't garbage.

    I think you can't go wrong with helpdesk experience. Any future roles, even in networking if that's where you want to go, will require some level of first line support experience.

    That being said your own personal preferences should play a part too. Would you be ok sitting in an office all day answering the phone and dealing with customers / clients? Or would you find it more interesting to be in the field, working with hardware / software?
  • volfkhatvolfkhat Posts: 944Member ■■■■■■■□□□
    If you took the "job titles" away, and only looked at the description....

    Option #2 looks really great for hands-on EXP.
    (especially if you really want to be a network guru)

    As for option #1....
    it's a bigger company; so more opportunities for upward movement (in theory).

    But you know what? You are new to the game.... you're gonna move up (eventually) anywhere you go.

    If your career path is to move into Cisco-Security.... how is Option #2 NOT the obvious answer?
    (open question; Not t.rolling here)

    Let us know which offer comes back...
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Senior Member behind youPosts: 2,587Mod Mod
    and go with your gut. In the end, it is up to you that makes the decision.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Posts: 2,721Mod Mod
    I'd go with option 2 based on:

    1. Your goals, and this position would get you to your goal much quicker
    2. Getting hands on experience with the technology is way better than being a glorified ticket router
    3. Getting hands on security experience
    4. Option 2 might start out lower pay, but will actually propel your career faster by giving you much better experience you can parlay into a new opportunity in 1-2 years.
    Currently Working On: eJPT, Learning: Linux/CLI, Git, Python, Pentesting
    Next Up:​ eJPT, eCPPTv2, OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (CLI, Git, Python), eLearnSecurity PTSv3
  • mikey88mikey88 Senior Member USAPosts: 296Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    In my opinion, with a fortune 500 company, there is a better chance of promotion down the road due to the size of the company.

    The Field Tech position could be just working on desktops and plugging in a switch once in a while. With a size of 30 employees, even if you prove to be valuable, there just may not be any opportunities available unless someone quits or gets hit by a bus.
    Certs: CySA+, Security+, Network+ | 2018 Goals: CISSP

  • yoba222yoba222 Posts: 887Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    You won't be logging into Cisco switches/routers in the helpdesk job. But then you're highly unlikely to do so in the field tech job.

    You might get stuck wearing a headset and entering tickets into the call center software with the helpdesk role. But then it's possible you won't and you'll get just as much exposure to IT things as you'll probably get the field tech job.

    The low end of the field tech salary worries me a bit. It's basically $12 an hour, which is dipping down into McDonald's/retail cashier territory. You assume they'll offer you on the high end of the scale but what if they don't?

    Unless the salaries are equal I'd lean towards the PC tech job.
    Obtained: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | CySA+ | PenTest+ | CAPM | eJPT | CCNA R&S | CCNA CyberOps | GCIH | LFCS
    2018: Virtual Hacking Labs
    2019: eCPPT &/or OSCP | CISSP
  • TheFORCETheFORCE Posts: 2,233Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Go for job 1. From my experience, being around management or around people in one location has the benefit of being visible and noticeable which helps in making connections and finding a mentor that is willing to help and assist, easier to reach people. Field jobs, after you leave no one will even know you were there. Besides job 1 pays more, always good to get more $.
  • blargoeblargoe Posts: 4,164Member
    Realistically, whichever position you pick, within 1-2 years you should be moving on to something else anyway. If it were me, I would take the one that will help you take the next step toward my desired career path - if having a family to feed were not a consideration.
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 1/29/2018 - Passed 70-743 - MCSA 2016 Complete; 1/13/2018 - Passed 70-411 - MCSA 2012 complete
    Working on: Being a better coder, build/test/deploy automation fundamentals
    Future: Renew VCP (due 2/2019), possibly with an adjacent VCP or VCAP
  • FreejoleFreejole Posts: 30Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks so much guys! Im leaning toward the helpdesk job as of now. The Field Tech job told me up front they would start me a $30K, whereas helpdesk they said having my CCNA would definitely start at $40K. Also, the snaller company seems a little disorganized after ny in person interview and seeing the operation in person
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