Problem is, I think the words "IT support" and "academia" were offputting to future employers; possibly quite rightly, as I definitely picked up bad habits which were hard to shake off. (Working in a team, mentoring/pair programming, working together on the same version control repository? We never had enough staff for any kind of collaboration.)
I sometimes feel like I'm exactly the wrong age: a few months too young to vote in 1997; the government I didn't vote for brought in tuition fees in 1998 and my year was the first to pay them. Always interested in computers as a kid and had never thought about the money but when I started studying CS at the height of the boom everyone assumed I was in it to "get rich quick". Now I'm in my mid-30s and thinking about going back to university just as the government announces postgraduate funding for under-30s only.