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303 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 111972 21-Nov-2012 12:15
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Hi Fellow Geekzoners,

I am currently doing a networking degree at AUT.

Just wanting to know how the IT / networking industry is doing career wise.

Im well aware there are many professionals on here, so any advice in terms of career path , papers that would be useful etc or personal experiences  would be most appreciated.

I really am passionate about a career in networking and just need some input from the " Top Dogs " :)




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231 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 721856 23-Nov-2012 13:49
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The NZ networking industry is a small one really, so movement at the top is usually sporatic and often done out of networking (social.. not electronic) rather than through job agencies :)
In saying that though, you will likely have to start at the bottom, like most industries - as a helpdesk worker or first level support. See if you can get a helpdesk job at an ISP.
You really need to find out how to stand above the rest, as at a lower level the industry is flooded with Wheetbix CCNA applicants. God it's painful interviewing people who have a crap load of acronyms on their CV yet can't do basic subnet calculation.
If you do get a helpdesk job, be enthusiastic, do some self learning (You don't have to do a course to get CCNA, you can self study), sit down and have lunch with the actual network engineers. If a role pops up companies will try to recruit internally first, and they will talk to the network engineers for anyone they recommend. Please note that this can takes years, not months.

But yea - start at the bottom, find out what niche (ISP, WAN, Security, Voice...) you want to aim towards, and tailor what you do around that.

Keep your ear to the ground for opportunities and have no shame in going for them. I started my career after another engineer mentioned a role on another forum, and I had to leave a pretty cushy 2 man business IT role after only 3 weeks. Felt pretty stink about that, but 5 years down the track I am in a much better position for it.



303 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 722184 24-Nov-2012 10:12
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Thanks for the help man ! :)




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 722579 25-Nov-2012 15:58
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Everything @Jeeves said, plus I'd add the following.
If you are looking to differentiate yourself, then don't focus too much on networking. Networks glue services together and if you don't understand the issues a sysadmin, developer, DBA or business user are dealing with, you won't be the best person to help them. For the most part nobody cares what you did in higher education, so I'd look at this way.
  • Your tertiary qualification shows you have a brain and the capacity to learn.  So you might as well do stuff you enjoy and will help your career long term than worrying about what employers want. 
  • Your vendor certifications get you past the HR and recruitment drones who just want a checkbox to tick.
  • Your 1-2 years on the helpdesk show you can do a days work and understand dealing with customers
The skill I'm always looking for is scripting.  Perl, python and shell scripting all come in handy as network configs and logs are basically big text files. any tools you have in your arsenal to process those efficiently will come in handly throughout your career.  Taking these skills to the network team and asking if there are any manual tasks you can automate for them will get you noticed in a hurry. Even better if you have some web skills and put the result on a pretty website.



303 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 723063 26-Nov-2012 13:54
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Thanks Hash :) 




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246 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 723120 26-Nov-2012 15:38
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Having a passion is a great start. Good network engineers are always in demand by the telcos/ISPs and large IT companies like Datacom and Gen-i. With the advent of UFB, mobile networks growth, and cloud computing adoption the demand will likely to be more than less.
My advice is to hone in your skills and be the best network engineer before advancing your career. That means exposing yourself in different technologies, environments and situations, if that means moving employers or overseas do it.



303 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 723150 26-Nov-2012 16:33
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Thanks Kiwi !

Ive always considered moving to Australia for more opportunities .




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