Career Advice

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I am about to complete my Business Information Technology degree and would like to move into a role whereby I have apply technology to an organisation, in order to ehance efficiency and effectiveness. I enjoy doing some hands on technical work, however I do not want to be a full on techie I wouldn't mind getting involved in business object programming. I enjoy the Strategy, Policy and Services Management side. Can anyone offer advice on routes to take. Thanking you very kindly!
ASKED: February 16, 2005  4:36 AM
UPDATED: February 25, 2005  12:32 PM

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I am in the role that you want to be in. I have a degree in Business Management/ Information Systems. You need to focus on the business side of what ever company you want to work for. You need to have strong understanding on how the business works and on the processes the business uses to do day to day work. With that knowledge you can leverage your IT knowledge to provide solutions to solve specific business issues within the company. Remember to never try to introduce technology for technology’s sake. If your solution will not enhance sales, shorten cycle times, or increase production, it should not even be discussed.

When you are looking for a job, choose a profession you know well, or take the time to learn about the business you are looking into. In the interview, if you can discuss the specific business problems of the business and then showcase how your knowledge of IT will help solve those problems, you will have an advantage.

The job you are looking for is management level, so some prior experience may be needed. Hands on knowledge with the technical side will give you an advantage also. While you may not need to deal hands-on daily, the people you supervise will. If you need to take a non management position to gain experience, a systems analyst may be what you are looking for.

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  • TTSAPdude
    NSHomes' reply makes a lot of sense. In addition, you may want to tune into the monthly career discussion day for some coaching by career guru Jon Reed. The event runs the first Tuesday of each month, so your next opportunity is March 1. Check it out at: http://searchsap.discussions.techtarget.com/WebX?230@466.grK6bjkcn2E.3@.1dcfce32
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  • Kurtis
    It strikes that you should go for a role as a business analyst - your technical knowledge is well advanced and will help you to be a real bridge between business and IT. Any role in IT will not enable you, or only with a lot of difficulties to get out of a pigeonhole...
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  • Jessica
    The reply from NShomes was very wise. I work for one of the High Street banks as a project development snr manager and the banks for example broadly have roles like this:- 1. Business Partner - A reasonable level of IT knowledge but the main driver is as a conduit between the business and IT, advising and shaping their needs and IT's to implement and deliver on time, within scope (or re-shaped if unreasonable or unrealistic) and on budget. They do not tend to get involved post feaso. 2.Business analysts require a slightly different skill set and are more involved in collecting and shaping the requirements,project managing, co-ordinating and gaining sponsorship approvals and cross group buy-in - this is more a diplomats role with strong driver abilities. Having some understanding of the IT issues is useful, but it can get in the way as you can tend to solutionise 3. Then there are technical officers/division who look at shaping the groups IT strategy to ensure a cross group fit and economy of scale - This is a technical/advisory role. 4. The other area to be aware of is, that most companies have heritigae systems and looking at wonderful new ideas is not always the key - its how the existing system can accomodate change, cheaply and quickly and the key is to appreciate its limitations earlier on - It will be hard to get funding for a project, however good if the reality is that it needs 4/5 new API's, interface into 6 systems etc... 5. Each section within a division normally has a business strategy guru's who receive enquiries and speak to numerious 3rd parties and shape the future - an IT knowledge helps as there is no point speaking about this wonderful solution if connecting to the infrastructure costs millions and needs a new Gateway. A lot of the major banks are very keen to look at initiatives which are cheap to implement, do not drain their IT resource (most companies tend to build in-house) and have a clear/realisable benefits case written behind them. Anyway hope this helps.
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  • Mihirjhaveri
    Hi Basically you have see where , you want to stand in next 2 - 3 years down the line.I understand from your description you are good techie and also have vision for policy and taking decision. Business knowledge of day to day activity, month end activity and yearly activity for any organisation you work must be know first. Then from business user perpective, understand the user needs of the aoplication. Understand the IT application which supports your business, know it strength & weakness in - out. You should be able to think for next 5 years how the application will be and how it will be handled. Use you IT knowledge and do some data mining exercise, see how the application is going to cope. Whether it will able to stand against SOXs, OFAC , other regulatory compliance of your industry. See how can you cut the IT expense of your company. Come out with a innovate ideas to see that your team is always motivted to give best. See that no brain drain happens to you team Have your vision & mission clear and see that it should be align to your company's vision. My dear saying all above thing is very easy, but what is your priority in your career, how you slice your time between personal & business , how you hanle the diplomatic situtions. And how shown or capacity you have to achive your goals. Business oriented job to get is very easy, but to maintain the work responsabities is very difficult and with how easy you cope up, that is the biggest question? You should be able to think form all possible sitution.
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  • Bootney
    I would like to thank all those who have provided me with some valuable information. I have had some very interesting responses, which I had not thought off before! Thank you all! Anthony
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