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Network Engineer / Administrators / Managers

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by fatp, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. fatp

    fatp Byte Poster

    Hi Guys.

    I have been doing a lot of research into I.T careers in network admin and was wonderin if any Network Engineer / Administrators / I.T Managers on the forum are willing to give a brief background on how they got from their entry level positions to network admin level e.g. job roles (dont have to mention company names) /job duties / years spent etc. Nothing 2 fancy just some basic info wud really help.


    FatP :)
    Certifications: Comp Sci BSc, NVQ 2 & 3 IT Professional
    WIP: Comptia A+, Network+
  2. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

    Hi fatp, just wanted to say you seem to keep asking the same questions and you will probably get the same answers as in previous threads.

    IT does take a while to progress, ideally you do this whithin a company, or sometimes you will have to work elsewhere to get the break you are looking for.

    Ideally what you need to do is increase your responsibilities in your current role, that way your CV will improve as you can say you have commercial experience in whatever software, hardware setup/maint or project you were involved in.

    My path began 10 years ago when i signed up for an A+ course, and I was recommended to a small building company which had 20 users but no real network, over the course of time we built a network (NT4 domain) and did various projects etc, but i also spent a lot of my day doing data entry, so it wasnt that glamourous but I did it to gain experience.

    Then I went to work at a college as an onsite technician, which gave me more exposure to more technologies and working in a larger workin environment.

    Then I got a role working on PC service calls desk in sheffield, which was a mistake, due to the fact the companys policies were more interested in call turnover than actual fixes, so fobbing people off wasnt my style, I was still near the top of call lists, but people who were better at killing calls quickly seemed to be praised.

    Then I moved back to a small company, running the whole show as far as IT goes, I did a LOT of learning there, got to work with network kit, did the website, managed the network, and helped out in general (you get used to this in smaller companies).

    Then since i have contracted in mostly support roles, which hasnt helped my career, but until say 2 years ago, I didnt think about career more that I could get IT work, and have beer money.

    So my advice is to get those certifications, expand your current role, help out, you could also volunteer to help out IT wise to gain more experience.
    Also get networking, find out who the IT people are in companies and write to them, say you are interested in work, tell them your story and see if you get any responses.
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  3. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    My thoughts exactly.

    Fatp, I started as a field service tech. I did well, so my boss let me help administer the in house NT 4 PDC/BDC and Exchange 5.5 servers. One of my customers liked me, so they hired me to be their systems admin, administering their servers and desktops. While there, I learned from the network admin, and assisted him with the RAS server, the firewall, and the other network devices. Eventually, I got a network admin job.

    Just work your way up, one step at a time. Simple as that!
    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!
  4. NightWalker

    NightWalker Gigabyte Poster

    I got a job working in a warehouse owned by a big computer manufacturer. I had done warehouse work before so that bit was easy. I had just started studying for my A+, my plan was to side step into one of the technical departments after a while, after I had proved I was a good worker. After about 6 months I started the pester the HR lady to give me an interview for a job in the repair centre or call centre. The call centre, as many do, had a regular intake of new staff. So A+ under my belt and a successful interview later I found myself on the phone doing first line support for customers who had purchased laptops, desktops, PDAs, TVs et al from the company I worked for. Did that for 18 months and studied until I had my MCSA. Then started looking for an admin role. Took a while but landed my current job, second/third line support with some project work on a Windows based network for a national agency. Absolutely love my job, just got to finish my MCSE now.
    Certifications: A+, Network+, MCP, MCSA:M 2003, ITIL v3 Foundation
  5. fatp

    fatp Byte Poster

    Kev & boson, i'm still in a phase wether i.t support is for me or not... hence I ask a lot questions. I have a lot of respect for the people of cf as I have been posting here for the past year and more.

    As I have a degree in computer science, I am also skilled in other fields of i.t, web development, database admin, programming etc, so I am still not sure wether my next job will be in a support job or move elsewhere. Also stats show that 'support' is the lowest paid, "UK IT SALARY AND SKILLS REPORT 2008" from cnets work ltd, yep its copyrighted.

    I enjoy i.t and see my self in the industry until the end of my career. But people have pointed out that a wrong career decision can be fatal. On the pus side of things, i am fairly young and still have the next 30 years to make a fairly decent career in the game.

    fatP :)
    Certifications: Comp Sci BSc, NVQ 2 & 3 IT Professional
    WIP: Comptia A+, Network+
  6. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    Yes... but you don't stay in an entry-level job forever! It's simply a stepping stone to something better.

    Don't do something based solely on how much you get paid. Do whatever you love doing and have a geniune passion for.
    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!
  7. Obinna Osobalu

    Obinna Osobalu Banned

    What he said^..Got to start from somewhere. Started off learning stuff here and there before the certs came into the picture but to achieve this you must know what you want to be and then go out and get it. Wherever you find yourself gather as much experuience you can there, you will be amazed where that knowledge will be applied in your future endeavours.Best wishes
    Certifications: MCITP:SA,MCTS(x5),MCSE2K3;MCSA2K3:M;MCP
    WIP: EDA7,70-652,Project+,MSP(70-632)
  8. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

    You can change careers without having too much damage on your life.

    When I started working I couldn't get into computers, so I went for my second enthusiasm - electronics. I worked for an early cable TV company testing kit, then moved into HiFi and ran the service department for a now major chain.

    I then did a stint as a travelling engineer for an international disco company followed by engineer for an AV company.

    At this point I gradually moved into computer programming.

    So you can do many things in your working life - it isn't a total disaster if some don't work out.

    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  9. fatp

    fatp Byte Poster

    cheers to all that replied.
    Certifications: Comp Sci BSc, NVQ 2 & 3 IT Professional
    WIP: Comptia A+, Network+
  10. Mathematix

    Mathematix Megabyte Poster

    Jeez, fatp!

    A very short while after I graduated I walked into an IT job. I didn't particularly want it, but it put me in a better position to decide what I wanted to do because I was working with people actually doing it, and those people doing it had dabbled in programming, DB admin, etc. - so was able to feed off their experience directly. Now I'm in games. You won't find out until you get yourself in there and network, as well as get experience!

    Secondly, if you're not sure if IT is right for you why are you taking a string of certs? :blink
    Certifications: BSc(Hons) Comp Sci, BCS Award of Merit
    WIP: Not doing certs. Computer geek.
  11. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    How I got from not in IT to IT Manager:

    I started by studying alot (C&G's , NVQ's, RSA, etc), got my first break after 5 years of trying to get my foot in the door. My first job in IT was less than the admin job I had before entering IT, over £500 pa less (and the salary I had as the admin officer was not that high either).

    While in my first job, asked to be trained up with both in-house training and Comptia/MS/Epson certs, which they did - as well as finished my degree. I took on more responsibilities as I was trained up willingly. Got experience on the 3 main area's of support: helpdesk, field service and workshop (on a rotation basis). Our dept was then reorganised into two groups:

    1. IT Support Engineers, these looked after the existing infrastructure and jobs and
    2. IT Installation engineers, this is where I opted to go. We did new builds (eg cyber cafes, etc), carried out pre-planned project work, etc and then supported the other team when we could.

    After a while as there really was no room for promotion looked around for another IT job, and got a Senior IT tech's position.

    Again, continued my training, both self-taught as well as class based. Again took on more responsibilities as my skill set grew and deputised for the IT manager when she was not around. Continued to develop and also incorporated research and "testing" into the job role. Demostrated my skill set over and over again, by showing that I could do other things (eg teaching p/t at the local college in the evenings, writing for an online/printed mag, etc) as well as what I could do on the job.

    When the IT Manager moved on, I was promoted to IT/Network Manager and that's where I am now :)

    Basically it boils down to:

    1. Keeping your eye's open for opportunities and advancements, whether internally or externally
    2. Keep on developing yourself, thru courses/self-study, certification, job shadowing, deputising, etc...
    3. The ability to be flexible with work and not be afraid to taken on extra responsibility, even if it's just to get the experience.
    4. Don't only look at your job to develop your skills (hard & soft)
    5. Network with other IT Pros :)

    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  12. roockie

    roockie New Member

    To add to what Wagnerk has posted, i think it is advisable to start with small companies where you could look like the bigest fish around, then you will get most of the responsibilities!
    If you go for an already established company, you will allways be the support guy, i am in Africa and i can assure you that with very little certs and some experience you can be a manager, any day; just prove yourself during the trial period, and the job is your!
  13. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

    Ken left off that he's an excellent communicator which I feel can take you far in almost any line of work. Modest as always.

    I'd like to add that a positive "can do" attitude helped me progress.
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  14. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
    WIP: None at present
  15. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

    Actually, being adaptable pays off as well. You need to be able to think around corners and if you don't know the answer you should be able to know where to find it.
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  16. pete.grant

    pete.grant Byte Poster

    Completed my apprenticeship a year early, at which point there was a Systems Engineer job available - right place, right time!
    Certifications: A+ IT Technician, CCENT, CEH, CPTS, CIW Security Analyst, ITIL v3 Foundation, Master CIW Administrator, MCITP (Windows Server 2008:SA), MCSA on Windows Server 2008, MCSA:Security on Windows Server 2003, MCTS (70-648, 70-652), Network+, SCNS, Security+, Server+

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