Unclear about career path, need to grow in seniority
Hi there folks-
Brief background about myself:
MBA in Systems and Marketing, followed by an MS in Management Information Systems (Chicago)
Well spoken, and excellent communication
Worked in Datawarehousing technologies for the past 9 years( Mostly development efforts, some testing, some BA)
Currently employed, and struggling with career path issues.
39 years old, not passionate about any profile (But I take interest in what I do, and see it to completion). I dont like Project Management profiles - I see it as boring. I like more hands on, or managing hands on. Currently do NOT hold leadership position.
Aspiring to move on, and grow in position. Unable to decide which line to follow. I understand databases and some code (not a OOPS person, cannot do core java, but understand code). Trying to see if I can get into business analysis.
Folks, bottomline, I need an IT career path that will propel me into senior positions. I have done quite a lot of design, coding, testing and some BA work before. Will a typical BA role give me a good impetus to grow to a Senior position? In 5 to 7 years time, I'd like to see myself as leading a fairly large team.I'd also want to hold a position that is always in the forefront (that's why I am inclined towards BA work, given my background too)
dcmetroworker - Most career paths can eventually point toward senior positions. After all, one usually has a boss, who usually works for another boss, and so on upwards until owner level.
The question, especially for someone with extensive qualifications like you, is not whether you can reach a senior position, but what is the best senior position for you.
If you want to work in IT but not do project management or otherwise be involved on the technical side, then you'll want to work on the business side. To that end, business analyst work is a great way to move up to business management level.
Since you already have some experience (although it's unclear what your current job duties are), you may be able to move laterally into a management role without having to start at a business analyst level. That all, of course, depends on your specific experience/skill set and the employer's needs.
Even if you need to work up from business analyst level, there are avenues for that. Management consulting, especially with firms that have more of a tech emphasis, might be a way for you to move up and build credentials.
Given your experience, you're definitely well-positioned to grow into a senior role. Start looking around for opportunities and ladder rungs to grab. Good luck!
Many thanks for your response and appreciate your analysis on my case. To clarify, I am very much into Reporting and Dashboard design/development in Datawarehousing projects. I currently do hands on, and in an earlier role, did some Data Analysis (root cause of issues, and solution) and testing on Reporting solutions.
I work locally in the DC area in the Federal Govt space. As you have rightly put it, Consultant companies may be an obvious choice to move in to grow my skill sets and get oriented towards a Management role. Did you mean bigger IT Consultancy Companies like IBM, Delloitte,Accenture etc?
I realize that I need to interact more with people in disparate roles to get an understanding of what exists out there. Do you have any suggestions about any local groups, etc that I can join to foster my knowledge and build my contacts? Of course, I do have people within my organization that is rather small, but I'd prefer not to approach them.
Do you think that the BA role would afford a good growth into Senior positions? Or, is going the conventional Project Management route a better way to put one's career in fast track? I'd like to try my hands in a leadership role, and need to begin somewhere.
Its a good thing to aspire for higher heights but the truth is that do you have what it takes to get there. I took note that you are bored to a certain extent in your present position not because you don't like the job but you are not achieving your goals. You need to know if the position you are aspiring for will give you the fulfillment you desire or doing what you are truly good at and enjoy is what you want. Am not trying to derail you from you choice but i want you to know what can do and enjoy doing because you will just end up going round circles trying to reach the top. Have you ever considered building your own establishment with the vast knowledge you have in your field, you can lead a good team and achieve your dream.
dcmetroworker - Yes, IT consultancy companies like the ones you named could be good springboards into management. They not only offer consultancy services to clients (who could be future employers!), they also groom consultants to be management. "Business analyst" or a similar title is often the entry level position at such firms.
As for which offers a faster track to management, BA vs. PM, you'll want to ask around. I work for a tech company (the one that owns this site), so I see both sides as viable paths to management here. It seems like you're not much interested in project management (which is a science in and of itself), so why get your hands dirty there if something else interests you more?
However, if your current skill set/experience makes you better suited for project management in the short term, or if you are considering employers that want extremely tech-savvy business people, then you will want to take that into account.
As for local groups, just search around online - both on the Internet at large, and within your social media networks. I know, for example, here in Los Angeles that there is a new Facebook group devoted to local startups. A friend of mine happens to be a member of that group, so that group comes through my FB feed. Just keep your eyes open, ask your friends if they know anyone (the power of "weak connections" or "weak ties"), and do new things to meet new people.
Finally, you can always try to build leadership skills at your current job. Maybe you can get people to work underneath you, or you can take the lead on projects that involve teams.