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Career Advice Needed - Networking / Security / Voice

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by Node, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. Node

    Node Byte Poster

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    Hi,

    I'm in need of some advice at the moment, i'm currently working for europes largest telecoms company supporting NICE and Avaya. Im currently dedicated to a client which has well over 4,500 users and theres only two of us companys very pleased with the work which we have been doing. But the time has come for me to specialise. My background is actually servers I ended up in telecoms by accident and i found out that its a very very very niche market with excellent money!!! So my dilema is what to specialise in, I currently hold my MCITP: Enterprise Administrator and my MCDBA, I will be upgrading my MCDBA soon and I have booked my CCNA for November. But I still dont know what to specialise in. I have a keen interest in security but i know it will be very difficult for me to get my foot in the door with security, also I dont really like programming that much. With networking its like I dont mind it and I dont hate it. But voice has several advantages, the pay is more then the other two, the jobs alot easier and you get to travel and do installations all around the world! But again voice is not something that I love or hate.

    If I was to do Voice i would do the following certifications:

    CCNA
    CCNA Voice
    CCVP
    MCITP: Enterprise Administrator (Most Voice Systems run on bog standard servers)
    MCITP: Database Administrator (SQL is the backend for voice, where the CLS tickets and call informations are logged)
    Avaya IP Telephoney
    Nortel PBX
    NICE Perform Interactions
    NICE Perform VoIP With Avaya

    Security
    --------
    CCNA
    CCNA Security
    MCITP: EA
    MCITP: DBA
    CEH
    CompTIA Security+
    CompTIA Linux+
    CISSP

    Networking
    -----------
    CCNA
    CCNP
    CCIE Routers & Switches
    CompTIA Network+
    CompTIA Linux+
    CompTIA Security+

    I'm a guy that likes to plan hence why im trying to set my targets for the next few years, can anyone push me in the right directions with some personal experiances and advice? Cos this is driving me crazy at the moment deciding which route to go to!

    Thanks
     
    Certifications: MCSA, MCSE,
  2. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    The choice really is yours to make Node, and secondly don't go the voice route just because it pays well. The reason being that in the this market of IT as a career as you know changes almost like the wind.

    Best wishes on whichever route you decide to go for:)
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  3. Wiz

    Wiz Bit Poster

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    Not an expert, but maybe try some practice exams for them all see how you fair without much knowledge on them ans see what happens.

    As you may grasp some easier than others...or scrap what i just said and go with what your brain wants you'll make the right decision
     
    WIP: CIW A+ N+
  4. Node

    Node Byte Poster

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    Thanks guys, but for me my hearts set on Security but I want to be the best in my field and with security at the high end you will need to know at least one or two programming languages, programming is something im not good at :( so thats why im stuck I mean if i cant do security ill have to do VoIP. But I just cant get to grip with programming, find C++ too difficult and the books dont really help much dont understand them at all!
     
    Certifications: MCSA, MCSE,
  5. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Go for any certs that reflect the job you are currently performing, this will be much easier and more valuable to you than going for certs to try and learn new technologies from the ground up.

    For example, if you are currently working hands on with Cisco routers, the CCNA would be a perfect compliment to this.. if however, you never get to configure a Cisco router/switch then the cert would be useless to you.. certifications are a way of proving to people that you not only have real world experience but you have studied the theory behind what you do. to just study the theory and not use the technologies on a daily basis, is a waste of time and wont stand you in good steed, in the eyes of potential future employers.

    As you work on PABX switches, it's probably going to be hard for people to guide you in the right path, as that field, though perfectly respectable, is somewhat different to what most people on this forum do for a living. I used to dabble a bit back in England with an olde SDX system.. i'm sure Avaya have come a long way since then but, i remember it being very challenging and fun.

    Good luck!

    Pete
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  6. Node

    Node Byte Poster

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    thanks pete to be honest iv been doing some reading and i think i might stick to voice, found some courses for security in avaya so i get to double with both. As i have to maintain well over 30 windows boxes on my own might as well do the security+ comes in handy. Avaya is fun fun fun, seen the old meridian kit?
     
    Certifications: MCSA, MCSE,
  7. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Mmmm... I don't think I'd agree with that... voice isn't easier. In fact, it's a whole lot of networking, plus extra stuff to ensure the voice traffic is prioritized... WITHOUT stomping on other traffic. You wouldn't believe the number of VoIP customers I've heard complain about their installations... so if it were "easy", those problems wouldn't be so prevalent.

    Just do what you love doing. That's never a bad decision.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  8. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    I have seen it and used it, but not 'abused' it.

    My fun, after acquiring yet another smaller company, was upgrading a single Index 400 CU to a CU with two GCUs (expansion units). i did all the donkey work including putting in new power points, wall mounting them all, ripping out completely the mess of 40 incoming trunk lines and reinstating them properly, logically according to BT's own specifications (something the BT techs were seemingly unable to accomplish) cabling the three story Victorian building for all the new extensions, and buying all the (refurbished) gear, handsets an all and reprogramming the thing to cope with the extra trunk lines, hunt groups and extensions etc. It worked perfectly first time 8)

    Amazing what you can do, if you apply yourself and go for it :)
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  9. Node

    Node Byte Poster

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    wow!!!!!!
     
    Certifications: MCSA, MCSE,
  10. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

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    Very true as we're experiencing a lot of issues with our voice system recently taken over by a new third party supplier:(

    But hey, go for what interest you the most and with a little hard work and effort it's achievable.
     
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  11. Node

    Node Byte Poster

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    to be honest im not sure if voip or voice will be as big as it is at the moment in the next ten years or so, but where as security, it will always be there and needed. At the moment voice is a very very NICHE market specially if your trained to install, configure and maintaine voice loggers alot of the jobs pay £40,000+ for voice loggers. But will it always be there? Also the technology in voice changes very very fast, changes faster then any other sector of IT so your constantly having to train in new technologys and learn new stuff, kidna takes over your life really.
     
    Certifications: MCSA, MCSE,
  12. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I am 100% positive that VoIP is going to be around for a long time and remain big for many years to come. It's new technology making it more efficient, cost effective, etc. I was watching a program on the discovery channel talking about how much computers are changing every two years. Scientist gathered statistics to demonstrate how much computers change and it shows that computers get twice as smart ever two years. You see we're at a point where we're switching from analog to digital and there are plenty of specializations that emerge from that. I am pretty sure that if you were to go for the VoIP route then you'll have a job for many years to come. Not to mention that you'll also know networking in general pretty well.
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
  13. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Note that BT (and other UK telcos) are spending *vast* amounts of money converting their systems to VOIP. In the case of BT their name for the program is '21CN'.

    So there will be a lot of demand for VOIP for some time to come.

    Harry.
     
    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  14. the_shadow

    the_shadow Bit Poster

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    Is it really that imperative to know programming to work in IT security? (I'm not trolling, I genuinely don't know tha answer.)
     
  15. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    No, I don't think so. But I think you *do* have to have a solid grasp of networking and a true business-oriented "big picture" of the IT infrastructure. One cannot properly secure what one has never administered.
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  16. the_shadow

    the_shadow Bit Poster

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    That's kind of what I thought. It is just with the OP saying he would have to have programming knowledge that threw me off a little.
     
  17. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    There are some software security jobs for accrediting defense software and for AV vendors etc. In general though they are very rare, most security jobs are for network/infrastructure security.

    Security is very important but the number of dedicated security jobs is quite small and they tend to be highly specialised. The mainstream security cert vendors are probably being slightly less than honest with their pitches...
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  18. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

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    What I’ve read, the OP is interested in getting into something with good pay and a niche that will be around for sometime. Based on history, voice has been around for a while and looks to be sticking around :); I wouldn’t say anything less for security.

    I don’t see how one is ‘easier’ than the other. Voice has many complications as well as security. The only advice I have is to take the route you wish to pursue.

    Voice and security (as well as others) are just a category. Under which you have to decide what you will be doing under the given category. Examples: In voice, are you concerned with how it behaves on the network or are you interested in the specific voice and phone features like how it interacts with a Exchange, etc… Same with security. Is it from a network perspective (i.e. firewalls; IPS; IDS; etc…), or are you interested in processes and disciplines that go with an Infosec type of role but not a lot of hands on technical administration?

    If security is what you want to pursue go for that. Knowing programming isn’t a necessarily a requirement – depending where you want to specialize.
     
  19. the_shadow

    the_shadow Bit Poster

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    What would you say the market for jobs for anyone wanting to get into voip is like?
     
  20. Node

    Node Byte Poster

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    Personally I would say extremely hard as companies would not touch someone without actual experiance with VoIP or networking due to it being a very sensative market.
     
    Certifications: MCSA, MCSE,

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