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Student from Seattle has some career questions for a Network Professional

Posted on 2004-04-01
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Last Modified: 2010-04-11
Hello all,

This is my first post here.  I'm a 20yr old college student living in Seattle, WA and I'm looking to eventually enter the IT field.  I'm considering Network Administration and/or Network Engineering with a possible emphasis on security.  I don't really know any people in the business and need some guidance.  I have some questions about education, questions about the work involved in the industry, and etc.  Basically, I'm trying to "job shadow" a few professionals to help myself understand things better.

If there is anyone that could spare a few minutes to answer some questions thru email, please let me know.  You can either post here or email me at yy_hwang@hotmail.com

Thank you!
-yy
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Question by:yh23
13 Comments
 
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by:visioneer
ID: 10738581
Why not just ask your questions here?  Public dialogue is the whole point of this place.  Granted, your questions are not technical in nature, but I'd answer 'em anyway.
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by:The--Captain
ID: 10739373
>I don't really know any people in the business and need some guidance

Hmmm - a large part of continuing education is to build a network of contacts...  My first IT job was through a college professor of mine (he turned out to be a complete ass, and a bit of a con-artist to boot), but it was through that job that I met several people with whom I continue to work today - I met one of my best friends at that job, and he (my friend) put me in touch with a couple of other folks, which eventually blossomed into a job for me at an ISP, and from there, my own consulting business...

As for your more specific questions, feel free to fire away...

Cheers,
-Jon
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hhp001 earned 25 total points
ID: 10739621
Hi yy,

What are you currently studying at college? is it IT related?  From what you are interested in at the moment ..." I'm considering Network Administration and/or Network Engineering with a possible emphasis on security", it would be good if you can get an initial job doing desktop support, and then move on to do 2nd line support and so on.  You won't need many skills to do desktop support as knowledge of o/s and applications will be sufficient, aswell as problem solving.  Once you get your foot on the ladder, you should aim to do either (or both) MCSE or CCNA (for security).  Preferably paid for by your employer or yourself if you can afford it.

H.
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by:pseudocyber
ID: 10740110
My recommendation to everyone entering the field is to get the A+ and Network+ certifications right away.  I believe these two certifications will give you a fundamental, basic understanding of computers and how they talk to each other.  I also believe that all IT people need this knowledge - after the fundamentals are overwith - your area of expertise can diverge from there.

I agree with everyone else - post in here, we can all contribute and share.

HTH
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by:SunBow
ID: 10742550
1) ask here
2) focus. ex:
2a) packets
2b) securing networks
2c) building networks
 - etc
3) unix
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by:RDAdams
ID: 10742847
I agree with the others.  Start asking some questions!
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by:PennGwyn
ID: 10742927
> it would be good if you can get an initial job doing desktop support, and then
> move on to do 2nd line support and so on.  You won't need many skills to do
> desktop support

I maintain that one of the reasons that most support organizations perform so poorly is that they're mostly staffed, even at second line and above, by folks who don't really want to be there, who see them as a stepping-stone to somewhere else.

> My recommendation to everyone entering the field is to get the A+ and Network+ certifications right away.

I concur.  I didn't bother with Network+ because I already had my MCSE by then, and the same ground was covered.
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by:visioneer
ID: 10743539
Certficiations are helpful, but it's more important to just start WORKING.  Grab an entry-level tech support or desktop support job, but make sure it has upward growth potential (ie, room to be promoted).  Look for opportunities to advance into server or network support, or make your own opportunities.
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Author Comment

by:yh23
ID: 10748223
Could a person with MCSE certification get a job as a Network Administrator?

Can you give me some description on the kinds of jobs MCSE people can get?  And MCSA?

Which certification do YOU have?  And why did you pick it?


Again, thanks everyone!

-yh
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Assisted Solution

by:The--Captain
The--Captain earned 25 total points
ID: 12167106
Oops - looks like we dropped the ball here - allow me to follow up, and if there is no further response, I guess this can be closed as proposed...

> Could a person with MCSE certification get a job as a Network Administrator?

Heh - I always think of MCSE as "Microsoft Corporation's Substitute for Experience", so no, that would not necessarily get you a job with the folks for which I usually consult.  Of course, there likely exist many corporations for whom a MCSE would get your foot in the door.  To me, certifications will always remain dubious as most folks who have them seem to have adopted a "study for the test" attitude (kind of like Dubya's education initiatives cause K-12 students to do), and it is difficult to know if they have retained any of that knowledge or could apply it in everyday situations even if they have retained it (although a few well-thought interview questions can usually weed out a lot of the bogus candidates).

In my opinion, there is no real substitute for two things: personal contacts, and experience.  Yeah, I know the old saw about not being able to have experience without getting hired and vise-versa, but such is life - you have to be able to accept some crap jobs at first (while building your list of contacts the whole time) until you meet enough folks or have enough experience (or both) to land a decent job (or even better, your own independant consulting gig, as I have been fortunate enough to achieve).

Hope this belated advice is still of some help,
-Jon

 

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