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Posted on 2016-08-22
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I am doing BSC in communication engineering and in order to complete my electives I did some courses on CCNA networking like data communication, Computer networks and LAN/WAN and these courses seemed quite interesting to me and I want to do something related to it in the future. So my question is what kind of jobs should I apply for related to this networking field? And is there like a graduate program on Networking as well? Could you please suggest some good Academic Institutions that offer graduate program on Networking? And do I need to be an expert on JAVA coding and stuffs if I want to work in the networking field? TIA
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Question by:Sakura Avalon
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by:jmac44
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Hi Sakura,

I'm not sure if there are graduate programs for Networking. I haven't looked that hard or needed to. My networking courses were all on an Associate level. That said having a Bachelor level degree puts you in an excellent position. What your lacking is a certification. I recommend starting here http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/training-events/training-certifications/certifications.html to decide what area of interest. Usually the path is Routing and Switching. You'll learn probably the most significant things you can learn bout networking in those courses (my opinion of course). From there you can decide to go further but armed with a CCNA certification and your education you can expect to land an entry level networking job and depending on the size of the firm your advancement will very. You don't need to be an expert in any programming language but you will learn the Cisco IOS command line language.  It never hurts to learn a programming language and if you end up working for a smaller firm chances are you will be administering a windows network and in that case powershell is a very useful language/tool to use.

As far as jobs it depends on what your looking for and what experience you have. Are you looking for are large firm where you can specialize in a specific area? Do you have experience with Windows and Active Directory? Most small to medium size firms will employee a Systems/Network Administrator who can build network install OS's and support end users. If that's your caveat then an MCSA or MCSE certification might be something to look at as well. There are many places to get certification and doing an online search should yield plenty in your local area. If not there many online courses you can choose from as well.

Most firms require certifications as proof of knowledge. My suggestion as far as the kind of jobs, look any entry level network admin positions that you feel would be a good fit.
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SIM50 earned 1000 total points (awarded by participants)
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You can apply for a NOC tech and then for junior network engineer.  I would try to land a job in a big firm/enterprise as you will get a chance specialize earlier. Being a JOAT (jack of all trades) doesn't pay much at the end and has a high potential to get you stuck at the dead end job.

I wouldn't go directly for MS after BS if you wanna do networking. You wouldn't really feel the benefits of it until much later in your career.  I have MS in Telecommunication networks and I think MBA would be more beneficial. Or maybe even Executive MBA if you wanna aim for 1M+ base salary.

CCNA R&S is the base for all Cisco certificates. Start with that. I would suggest to get CCDA next so you can have a basic idea how to tight it all together. These two certificates, CCNA and CCDA, will give you the best ROI early in your career (after you get your BS).  After working for a couple of years, you will see which path you want to take: security, voice, datacenter, r&s.

Along the road, pickup some linux skills, basic vmware certification and some scripting (python, perl, bash). Vmware cert will be especially useful if you decide to pursue the datacenter specialization.
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