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Networking still a formidable career?

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stereosteve99

Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2002
Location
Howell, Michigan
I just finished my second year of college and I've hopped around a lot already. My first year I went to a private college to get an associates degree in network administration. Then for some reason I canged my mind last year and went to a community college so that I could go to Purdue for Engineering. I really don't know what I was thinking, because for the last few years I wanted to be in networking. So now in the fall I will be going back to that private college to finish up my associates and then get my Bachelors in Computer Science. All in all I want to become a network engineer. I believe this is a very respectable career to get into.

These are my plans:

1.Get my Associates in network administration
2.Bachelors in Computer Science

Certifications:
1.MCSE
2.CNA
3.CNE
4.CCNA
5.CCNP
6.CCIE

This is as far ahead as I've imagined so far.
I know it would be a rigorous schedule ahead of me, not to mention cheap, but this is really what I want to do.

I remember the days when the field was somewhat new and people were getting huge starting bonuses and nice company cars. The one thing I know is that these days are over.

So this is a question for anyone in this sort of career or whoever is attempting to become recognized in this career, like myself. So how is everything going now a days? Is the pay still good and are there still lots of opportunities? Networking will never go away, now that it has become so huge. I can't think of a single business that does utilize some sort of a network. There's servers, wireless and wired networking. The coolest thing that I've noticed thus far is that Novell and I believe netware 6 will be controllable over the net, so you wouldn't have to be in an office to do your work. I just think the possibilities are endless for this career.

I pretty much just answered my own question, but I still want to know what you think. This is also here for peole that are curious about the field. I know that there are many people that just can't decide or who want to leave their present career.

To sum this all up, let me add something that an old professor told our class about the field.


"If you like playing quake, you'll lke this career"

Ok, so maybe that's not exactly how he put it, but still it gives you the gyst of at least the network admin part of this field.
Engineering and architecture most likely doesn't get this luxury.
 

FlypSyde

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2001
Location
Southern California
I think the industry is definitely crowded, especially since the economy still isn't doing that well. IT professionals in most fields (most, not all) are a dime a dozen nowadays. BUT, there are still jobs available and compensation is still pretty good depending on your skills and experience. I think experience is now the key.
 

AC Slater

Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2002
Location
Spokane
No kidding experience is the key. Just looking in the paper on sunday there was a job that was PART TIME Network Admin that required 5 years experience of being a Network Admin. How in the world are you supposed to get experience when every job requires a ton of exp already?!?
 
OP
stereosteve99

stereosteve99

Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2002
Location
Howell, Michigan
True, true. Ecspecially what you just said about every job wanting experience.

This doesn't concern network admin as much, but this is very similar so I'll bring it up. Has to do with Check Point Certified Security Administrator. (CCSA and CCSE)

"It's estimated that the U.S. government will spend $4.5 billion in 2003 to secure federal networks and computer systems," said Jeff Love, Baker College of Auburn Hills president. "Our academic partnership with Check Point is indeed timely and we're pleased to be offering this program to Baker students."

The new program consists of a two-year associate's degree in networking with a core curriculum in Check Point security. Graduates are then eligible to become a Check Point Certified Security Administrator (CCSA). All instructors in Baker's new program will be Check Point certified.

"Baker students who become CCSA certified are highly marketable," said Jim Wood, Baker dean of technology. "As far as we can determine, Baker College of Auburn Hills is the only college in Michigan to offer a Check Point certification as part of an associates degree program. We're also one of the few higher education institutions in the state to offer security curriculum.

"Statistics demonstrate that before 9-11 one to two percent of a company's IT budget was devoted to security. Since then, security budgets within government and the private sector are expected to increase dramatically in today's security-conscious environment."

CCSA is a foundation level certification that validates a candidate's ability to configure and manage fundamental implementations of Check Point's flagship product, FireWall-1. CCSAs possess the requisite skills to define and configure security policies that enable secure access to information across corporate networks.

An advanced Check Point certification program will also be available at a later date. The Check Point Certified Security Expert (CCSE) is recognized as the industry standard for Internet security certifications. CCSEs possess the knowledge and expertise to configure VPN-1/FireWall-1 as an internet security solution and VPN that securely connects corporate offices and remote workers, protecting information exchange and granting access to network resources. It includes an in-depth study of encryption technologies and how to implement site-to-site and remote access VPNs.

Check Point Certified Security Administrators and Experts are in high demand in the job market," said Wood.
 

FlypSyde

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2001
Location
Southern California
I am not shure but I THINK MCSE requiers either A+ or Net+ certification.

The MCSE is independant of both A+ and Net+ certifications and so neither is a requirement for any Microsoft certification. But it doesn't hurt if you have those in addition to an MCSE. Also, the MCSE doesn't carry the same weight it did a few years ago. It's still a respectable cert but just having it won't guarantee you a job.
 

srs

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2003
Microsoft is attempting to "fix" their certifications' credibility with the adaptive, and quite frankly more difficult, testing. These days it's getting harder and harder to study a cram session book/software and go pass the tests.
 

Chris

Member
Joined
Sep 30, 2001
Location
England, UK
AC Slater said:
No kidding experience is the key. Just looking in the paper on sunday there was a job that was PART TIME Network Admin that required 5 years experience of being a Network Admin. How in the world are you supposed to get experience when every job requires a ton of exp already?!?

Thats the problem everywhere wants an experienced person but how do you get that experience if nobody is willing to give you a go:(
 

UnseenMenace

UnseenModerator
Joined
Apr 23, 2001
I personally believe that the industry is shrinking and that the money which was once out there is simply no longer their for the following reasons.

1) Education..There was once a vast lack of knowledge, and this could allow people with that knowledge and experience to command vast sums of money.
2) Cut backs.. The corporate market place is no longer upgrading, very few companys statistically are running Windows XP for example, no new technology requires no new skills.
3) Overpopulated Workplace.. Everyone though this was a way to make vast amounts of money and jumped on the band wagon which made the market place over populated, which in turn reduces wages.. Web developers no longer make great money for example, why would I pay vast sums when I can get the work dont at minimal cost by a developer from asia for example... it is a customers market, they name the price these days.
4) Development Attitudes.. Apple for example have released their latest netwoking protocol and ideas as open source products to speed development up and reduce the cost... This effects attitudes and people willingness to pay vast sums of money for products and support ( Which is why the Linux market is the fastest growing software sector at this time ).

I have a few 'industry' qualifications which are not really worth the money they cost me to obtain them, in the UK you can earn more money Brick Laying than doing IT these days, due to the fact their is a shortage of skilled Brick Layers because eveyone jumped on the back of the IT Industry. If you want to do IT because its something you love its fine, but if you percieve that it is a way to make vast amounts of money you would be mistaken at this point in time. The people with the high paying jobs are staying put and the rest are fighting over whats left with more new graduates coming into the market place each year.
 

PeBbs

Registered
Joined
Aug 20, 2001
Location
england
stereosteve99 !!I wish you luck in what ever road you decide to follow ..........

Has you found out sometimes you can go down one road that will lead on to something completely new that you may not have thought of ......... I think it is so hard to plan for the future has it is constanly changing, I have 2 teenage boys myself in the same position ........... and what I have told them is that to get as much qualifications and experience behind you as possible and do some thing YOU enjoy ...........

To acive in any thing you need to enjoy what you are doing and I feel its also important to enjoy what ever job you proceed to do ..... occasionally we have to use jobs as stepping stones and do ones that isnt quite our cup of tea , to get to the one that we do enjoy ,,,,,,,,,,,,, but also keep in mind you will not know if its fully what you expected and wanted untill you are actually doing it ........

so KEEP AN OPEN MIND and make the most of every oppurtunity

once again GOOD LUCK STEVE !!!
 

su root

Senior Member, --, I teach people how to read your
Joined
Aug 25, 2001
Location
Ontario, Canada
Personally, I think your jumping all over the place. CCIE is a nice dream, but very few people ever get that cert. The exam for it is a 4 day lab using every cisco product. If you got the CCIE, you would get jobs just for having that kind of knowledge and certification.

The CCSE, I hear, is also a difficult exam (not as bad, somewhere near CCNP-ish in difficulty), but do more research before going out on a whim.

You are in a network admin course, right? After you finish it, why not find a job as Jr. Network Admin somewhere, and go to University on weekends or night classes? This way, you have experience, and knowledge.

A network engineer's job is alot different from a network administrator's. If I were you, I would take a good look at both jobs and make a decision on which you would like to do for the rest of your life. Once you become an engineer, you will be most likely over qualified for straight network admin jobs, if that's what you want to do.

Personally, I've made my decisions: I'm going to college to become a network professional, which is basically a Network Admin + Server Admin + Business Man Mix. I am currently CompTIA Network+ and CompTIA Server+, I'll probably go for my CCNA in a few months. I'm looking to graduate next year, grab a Jr. Network Admin job somewhere, gain some experience, and then apply for a Sr. Network Admin position somewhere. I originally thought engineering was for me, but I was wrong. I liked mathematics and physics, but I am now seeing that business programs are the way to go.. every one I'm talking to is looking for someone who has business background. They do want engineers too, but people who know business are more organizationally-aware about what's good for the company, etc.
 
OP
stereosteve99

stereosteve99

Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2002
Location
Howell, Michigan
Thanks for all your comments and experience! This is one of the few fields that haven't really developed past the 10 year mark or so, so it is really hard to get valuable information, like what I am asking, so thanks again.

I definetely am jumping around a bit as far as what I want to do, but my main goal is CCIE. The network admin and other degrees that I'm getting are just stepping stones, so that I can get as much knowledge as possible, because yes the CCIE is an extremely hard test. They say it's harder than the BAR EXAM. On top of that it's expensive. There are two main parts as far as I know, a sit down test and a hands on. People usally don't pass it their first time, and I believe just the hands-on portion is over a $1000 each time you take it.

So, I'm really just trying to get all this info and certs and experience before I ever get to this final step.

CCIE is really the only guarenteed job getter out of almost all network and IT Certification. So I'll just have to keep truckin, and more importantly, I need to sell my darn 99' Pontiac GTP, so that I can concentrate more on school, and work a little less.

Thanks Again, please feel free to keep this thread going, there's never too much or little that you can offer me and others in the same situation.
 

Kingslayer

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2001
Location
Port Charlotte, Florida
I would never sell a GTP for school.

The good news is that once your done with all these certs, the economy will be on an upswing and large companies will once again start hiring and paying well.

The bad news is that there will be 100 people for every opening with the same certifications.

I'm going to give you a little secret about the network world. Those certifications say you know the job, they don't say you can do the job.

There is one thing that will get your further and that is experience. Get those certs, but apply them.
 
OP
stereosteve99

stereosteve99

Member
Joined
Aug 12, 2002
Location
Howell, Michigan
Good Advice.

GTP must go:cry:

School to me is more important, than hot sexy babes that say, nice car!! What am I saying :cry:

This sucks, but I have to