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Difficult Career Decision: Asking for Advice

Difficult Decision: FTE Administrative or 1 yr. Contract in IT/Business Analyst

Ok I don’t post around here as much as I used to, but I’m still a constant lurker. I respect alot of people on these boards, so if I may I have a question for the Nation:

I have been offered both a full time position for a major biotech company, and a one year contract at a research/consultant firm. The pay is less than a dollar per hour difference.

The administrative job is in the biotech’s training dept, entails keeping engineers/scientist in compliance with FDA re: everything from equipment to database and policy etc. So basically it’s some paper pushing. Now I don’t have a problem with that. In fact, I’ve been paper pushing for 2 years or so since I’ve been out of school and really don’t mind it.

The contract at the research group in the first month entails writing training manuals for the company’s payroll systems. After the first month the position will transition into a business analyst role. I know that sounds strange, but my boss told me it is basically a good introduction to how some of the systems work inside the company. So after the first month, I will learn about Oracle and other software as I will need to know it in order to do my job properly.

I will be honest and say that I do not understand much of what I will be learning about in this role, in fact I have not described the job very well precisely because at this point I can’t. I was told I was offered the position due to my excellent communication skills, and my potential. I also told them in the interview that I loved learning and had an interest in learning IT (which wasn’t bullshit).

Here is a little background on me:

I am a Sociology/History grad, with 2 years experience in administrative work at a biotech company. I have no experience in IT, and have average to above average pc skills (considering administrative colleagues).

My gut instinct is to take the IT/Business Analyst role because I will be gaining skills that will enable me to get into a career role. I view the administrative job as just that, a job. A plus for the admin job is I have an education development opportunity, and was thinking of pursuing an MBA in the next few years. Of course the other plus is that it is a full time job with good benefits at a great company.

I am presently working the IT job and am finishing the first project. I love the job, the environment, and the people so far, but the fact that I have only been at this job for 2 weeks worries me, as I really don’t have much to go on. I have been told that what I am doing currently is the “boring” or “worst” part of it. I was also told that the amount that I learn in the next year is only limited by my ability to learn. I am a lifelong learner and this is a huge plus in my book for the IT/business analyst job. I am about 98% sold on the contract (IT/business). Although I have been told it is possible, there is no guarantee that I will be brought aboard full time for this role. So there is a risk here.

Hopefully I will get some responses from those in both of these roles, particularly business and IT. What does the future hold for integrated IT and business roles?

I am looking for and will appreciate any advice from any angle.

Thank you,