Any Network Administrators here? Possibly chose major..

finaliize

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I've really been contemplating a career with computers/networking. In a nutshell, basically my question for network administrators or those in networking, with Cisco certs, etc.

1. Do you enjoy your job?
2. How difficult would you say your duties are?
3. I love computers, always troubleshoot my network problems at home from self acquired knowledge, and took a basic programming class in high school if that counts for anything.. (visual basic)

I know that alot of network administrators, especially those with the high level Cisco certs, make alot of money. That is definitely a plus but i'm just worried about the "difficulty" of my journey there.

Basically if you could just give me a little more insight/info on your job, and some tips and advice for a POTENTIAL and hopeful NA for the future.
 

thomas91169

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I know a few IT guys with high level certs that are changing profession because the market is super saturated right now. just something to think about.
 

finaliize

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I know a few IT guys with high level certs that are changing profession because the market is super saturated right now. just something to think about.

Damn shame. I feel like the only "safe" field to get into nowadays is the medical field.. with the massive projected growth. Very discouraging.
 

thomas91169

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not to say you cant get a job in the IT profession, but theres alot of people out there in the job pool with years of experience and equal if not more certs behind them applying for the same spot you might be applying for.
 

SciFiHiFi

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I know a few IT guys with high level certs that are changing profession because the market is super saturated right now. just something to think about.

It's true the job market is rough at the moment. If you make yourself stand out though, there is good work out there. Personally I would avoid switching careers if at all possible, those gaps look terrible on a resume.

The cisco stuff can get 'difficult' but you might find you like it. The complicated oconfigurations can be the most fun.
 

RDJ

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I have been in IT for over 25 years. How good you will be or how difficult it is will depend a LOT on how intuitive you are when doing stuff. When it comes to troubleshooting you will never learn how to do it in school. the ony way to get good at it is to actually DO it, and to do it well you either have the nack or you don't. Most don't but manage to make do.

Net admin stuff will be easy or hard depending on who you work for. If you work for a consulting company for example and get put on a contract with the Military it is fairly easy since they run everything centrally and the local Net Admins don't have do deal with the higher end stuff, generally speaking.

Personally I would not look at being a Net Admin, however, as has been said most areas of IT are pretty flooded. I would look at getting into computer forensics and/or security those are jobs that can't be shipped overseas and are becomming more and more critical in today's enviornment


I've really been contemplating a career with computers/networking. In a nutshell, basically my question for network administrators or those in networking, with Cisco certs, etc.

1. Do you enjoy your job?
2. How difficult would you say your duties are?
3. I love computers, always troubleshoot my network problems at home from self acquired knowledge, and took a basic programming class in high school if that counts for anything.. (visual basic)

I know that alot of network administrators, especially those with the high level Cisco certs, make alot of money. That is definitely a plus but i'm just worried about the "difficulty" of my journey there.

Basically if you could just give me a little more insight/info on your job, and some tips and advice for a POTENTIAL and hopeful NA for the future.
 

F1reStart3r

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I would look at getting into computer forensics and/or security those are jobs that can't be shipped overseas and are becoming more and more critical in today's environment

First I'm not in any way IT. However what Dave said here is very true. I know for instance DHS is launching a new cyber initiative through US-Cert partnered with the NSA and they have brought in, and I believe are still bringing in forensic IT personnel. Cyber security looks (from my perspective), to be the next IT push.
 

xenodragon

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Here is an idea for you, that many of the big accounting firms are always looking for people as its a pretty specialized skill that not many people have. Go into IT audit. I have been in it for the past 5 years and I am doing very well. While its not a network admin, you can specialize within the field and be more of a network person that scans companies networks and tries to break through their vulnerabilities and then at the end of the project issue them a report on how to fix the issues. That is something that our company does a lot of.

While I do not do the network scanning, some of the people that do, get to travel around the world (not sure if that's something you want or not, but they have gone to some pretty cool places for a week or 2 at a time).

My career path in college was accounting and computer science. After school I fell into financial auditing for 3 years with one of the Big 4 accounting firms and then moved on to IT audit.

Just an idea.
 
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cobracide

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I've really been contemplating a career with computers/networking. In a nutshell, basically my question for network administrators or those in networking, with Cisco certs, etc.

1. Do you enjoy your job?
Usually, but when something breaks, don't expect to do ANYTHING else but being on a bridge line with the CIO and/or every manager you have. You WILL be on call most likely, unless you are a programmer/design/third tier so get used to the idea at least at first. If you don't work under pressure that well then IT is probably not for you. Certs should be used to AUGMENT a formal degree. Some of the smartest people I work with have no degree, but that is rare. Getting promoted without a degree is very difficult at best and a requirement for a lot of management/higher technical positions.

2. How difficult would you say your duties are?
Not very difficult compared to getting an engineering degree. Computers are predictable and easy. It's all the other things that are tough. Standard, guidelines, having to engage other groups outside of yours, coordinating, documenting.. ect.

3. I love computers, always troubleshoot my network problems at home from self acquired knowledge, and took a basic programming class in high school if that counts for anything.. (visual basic)
Good start, I suggest a BS in CS. Hope you enjoy working with eastern cultures.
The key to success at school is NETWORK with fellow classmates, get a good study group together and help each other. As far as what I do now, I am self taught. Right after graduating I bought another PC and started networking with NetBUI. LOL. I had some Unix experience but leaned the most in the beginning by installing Linux on a PC and using command line for EVERYTHING. Play around with sendmail, get an email gateway going, DNS server, ect.

I know that alot of network administrators, especially those with the high level Cisco certs, make alot of money. That is definitely a plus but i'm just worried about the "difficulty" of my journey there.
Certs can look good to some people and companies but a full four year degree in CS or really any technology field is much better. Plus certs EXPIRE, Cisco certs expire in two to three years. Degrees do not. What's a lot of money?

Basically if you could just give me a little more insight/info on your job, and some tips and advice for a POTENTIAL and hopeful NA for the future.
Getting a Bachelor's degree in a technical field can be one of the toughest and most rewarding things a person can do in their life. Start with some core classes, even part time and go for it!
 
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crew_dawg16

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I have an IT job right now and I'm loving it. I have a BS in computer science but no certs yet. I am wanting to start the Cisco stuff real soon. There is a rumor that we are going to be getting Dell certified through a program at work, real exciting stuff.

If you like solving problems using logic and analysis, go for it.
 

RDJ

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I have an IT job right now and I'm loving it. I have a BS in computer science but no certs yet. I am wanting to start the Cisco stuff real soon. There is a rumor that we are going to be getting Dell certified through a program at work, real exciting stuff.
If you like solving problems using logic and analysis, go for it.

Dell certified in what?
 

crew_dawg16

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Dell certified in what?

To be quite honest - I'm not sure. It was just a rumor floating around the office. I was assuming that we'd be able to replace components and such without voiding warranties.

We have dell workstations, laptops, storage arrays, vmh servers, etc.
 

RDJ

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I have not seen the current versions of the test. but I was one of the reviewers of the original stuff. if you want to get a jump on the hardware portion ... start counting screws LOL! they actually ask you how many screws hold the case, how many screws on the motherboard yada yada.

you used to be able to go on the dell website and get the study materials, you might want to do that as well .

To be quite honest - I'm not sure. It was just a rumor floating around the office. I was assuming that we'd be able to replace components and such without voiding warranties.

We have dell workstations, laptops, storage arrays, vmh servers, etc.
 

ColorMatched

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In IT it is all about networking with other people and other professionals.

The market is super saturated with 2- year degrees, so you can possibly expect to get into a grind job right off the bat with people who didn't have to test into school or prove that they know shit about computers in order to get a degree (ask me how I know this...)

And just like any job, it is all in what you make it. I have about 6.5 years in the industry and am finally starting to make some more waves, but 4 of those years were in a high volume, high turnover "you're just a number" call centers. Just recently got out to support with training and sales and some on-site travel work, with the help of a friend I networked with years back who came out of the woodwork with a job opportunity. With relation to this, gaining any certifications just didn't mean squat to the job I was doing, so I acquired the A+ a few years back and had simply been looking for the job to either a)give me a reason to get the certs or b)give me more money for them.

Best of luck in what you decide to do. If you have any questions feel free to shoot me a PM.
 
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crew_dawg16

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I have not seen the current versions of the test. but I was one of the reviewers of the original stuff. if you want to get a jump on the hardware portion ... start counting screws LOL! they actually ask you how many screws hold the case, how many screws on the motherboard yada yada.

you used to be able to go on the dell website and get the study materials, you might want to do that as well .

Sounds exciting. Thanks for the tips!
 

Boomer v3.8

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A lot of places won't hire without experience, and you can't get experience without getting hired...
Best piece of advice would be to get into a program that would have a co-op involved.

Also, you may have to start like everyone else at the bottom of the pile. Help/Service Desk area to get the foot in the door. You can learn a lot about troubleshooting in those type of positions.
Or try to get into a smaller IT shop/company that allows you to do a lot, or get involved closer with the people that do the mid-high range stuff. BE A SPONGE. The books teach you in THEORY how things should work.

IT security and network hardening is a big area of knowledge, and is constantly evolving.
But its not for everyone. If you don't have the mind of a hacker, how can you hope to protect against one. Experience comes into play here HUGE.
Awesome field to get into if you can.
 

wvmystichrome

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I will tell you this. I have worked in IT since 1983. You will only enjoy your job when you have quality people around you. My case in point is when you have computer illiterate people around you, your job gets tough. We just installed a domain system in our company last weekend. Worked both Saturday and Sunday with no extra pay because I am salary. No other employees volunteered to work or help out even to get paid overtime. So this past Monday morning comes. I get to work early. Then the crap hits the fan. I explain to them in a meeting their unique user name and temporary password. I'll bet I answered 100 + questions. One woman called or yelled at me at least 25 - 30 times because she could not understand that what we did only effected her computer when she booted up or come out of screen saver mode. Today is 5 days now and is the first day she has NOT called me at least 5 - 10 times.

With todays population getting more computer literate its not so bad. But if you have to go to a company with a lot of older employees.....ITS ROUGH.

Also with so many people in the job market now as said above its hard to get your foot in the door unless you're willing to take a lower wage or reduced benefits.
 

prs97

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If IT suits your personality, I say go for it.

I found that it did for me about 11 years ago and I went from fixing PCs at a small consulting company to running a network for a 10,000 seat global company.

There are lot of things that come with the field such as business expectations, stresses, long hours, limited resources, etc.

If you don't mind those kinds of things and accept them as part of the field, it can work out for you.

If you are willing to dig in and roll up your sleeves and have the internal drive to study/learn on your own time and you own dime and see that as an investment in your career, then you should be OK.

If you maintain a good attitude and are willing to take your lumps and do the grunt work and look at it as paying your dues and part of your career development, then you should be OK.

Good luck with your choice.
 

MissionMan

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let me throw somethign else into the pile here with what a few said about IT security jobs.

find a way to get a security clearance and youll really open doors for yourself in dod, federal, hls, etc....
 

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