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Working in Networking

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by DiscoDave, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. DiscoDave

    DiscoDave Bit Poster

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    Hi all,

    Since about sixth form I've always had a very fond interest in networking, then perused a Computing and Networks degree course but found that after my degree it was very hard to find a "proper" networking job (ie not including jobs that have "network engineer" or similar in the title but actually translate to helpdesk support).

    After uni I got a job as a sysadmin and currently doing a Microsoft MCITP course which I'm finding interesting, but I'm yearning to get more into networking, but I can't where I work.

    This got me thinking about the nature of networks - for us no real network changes are made until hardware refreshes or massive expansion. - is it too ambitious for me to try and get into a core networking role? (such as installing/configuring/monitoring switches/routers/firewalls etc on a daily basis?)

    Or, on the other hand is it a better idea to diversify? My main core interests are networking/server infrastructure/virtualisation. So perhaps I could concentrate on being exposed to those areas and get some Cisco/Microsoft/VMWare certs. I've done a few searches in my are for networking jobs, they seem to be very few..

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    From my experience of what others have said, it is very rare to walk straight into a network-support role. Personally, I have done some very limited work with switches and patching, but in future would love to get more involved.

    Going via a sys-admin role (like you are) is probably the route I'm going to try and take and hopping around companies and changing jobs one for experience but also two until you find a job that suits your requirements.

    Some people have had the luck to find a role like that - craigie for one person I think has - but it may take time and a bit of luck.

    Oh, despite what anyone says - nothing is to ambitious - you just need to aware that you may not always achieve.
     
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
    WIP: 70-293
  3. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    If possible try and land a job working for an IT support company, that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 5 years and being sub contracted has meant I worked on a wide range of networks.

    It used to be the case that I would take three or four firewalls home and set them up in my front room and then drive out and install them at various locations. The work was varied to, in some cases it would be a firewall upgrade so migrating the rule base was needed and in other times it would a new branch office so the firewall would be configured from scratch and connected to HQ or whatever.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  4. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    I have always found that the guys doing the most core networking were those guys working for large telco's \ outsourcing companies.

    I would hazard a guess that if you want to move into a more specialised core networking environment you should probably take into account that you would be starting at the bottom of the ladder again (both from a technology and pay point of view). The fact that you're working towards an MCITP could actually work against you if you want to just concentrate on core networking (if you get the MCITP you will probably always be called upon for those skills rather than the core networking side of things.

    If I were in your shoes I would take a look at why I wanted to get into networking and what it offers me over my Sys Admin role, don't discount money either because that should have a contributing factor to whether you give up and basically start again.

    One thing I would suggest if you are serious about it is actually to get involved in Linux in a big way (various networking and firewall products are *nix based, getting to grips with the CLI and the way Linux works is a really good way to understand the products).

    I would also suggest that whilst the CCNA is a good starting point, Cisco are not the only player in the arena so don't just limit yourself to one manufacturer. Have a look at who else is out there (Extreme Networks, Nortel, Checkpoint).

    Finally one area that you will be able to specialise in core networking is with a large multinational, for instance Investment Banks have teams dedicated to specific functions (Firewall Team, Networks etc), that might be a place to look for work.
     
    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).
  5. derkit

    derkit Gigabyte Poster

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    That's the way my company works - a whole team who have mutiple projects going on, design, install, support - but all of it is networks - they don't touch anything else.
     
    Certifications: MBCS, BSc(Hons), Cert(Maths), A+, Net+, MCDST, ITIL-F v3, MCSA
    WIP: 70-293
  6. DiscoDave

    DiscoDave Bit Poster

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    Well, I've always enjoyed networking since sixth form, understanding how networking works, how the protocols work and so on.

    I've had a look at some investment banks websites, doesn't seem to be a lot of opportunities yet. I guess one of the main things going into networking would give me rather than my microsoft course would be no contact with an end users. That's pretty much my major gripe at the moment at work - as I do everything (from first line support to project management etc) I'm getting a bit unenthusiastic with dealing with end users and their "slow computers"...
     
  7. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Well you will be dealing with "slow networks" if you decide to move on. :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  8. DiscoDave

    DiscoDave Bit Poster

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    Lol good point, but at least I wont have to remove spyware and porn from switches..
     
  9. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    LOL! :biggrin
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  10. SimonD

    SimonD Terabyte Poster Moderator

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    Yes and no, I don't really deal with end users these days, infact I stopped working on a service desk many years ago. What I do do now is work with leading edge technology allowing me to play with all the servers\workstations that I want but I specialise in Microsoft products.
     
    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).

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