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Topic # 180583 14-Sep-2015 15:43
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Hello!

 

I'm thinking of making a career change to IT infrastructure (data centre/network etc) from my current non-IT related career, I am interested in looking into this as a career as it's interesting to me (I'm constantly playing with servers, networking equipment and PC's) - so planning and building larger networks I think would be satisfying as I find it fun to find solutions to budget and technical problems.  

I'd like to know what I need to do to move into this kind of work, what qualifications experience I'd need to be in a good position.

I like using software, and am comfortable in using it, but I don't really want to write it.  

Any insight into qualifications and training, as well as demand for such a career in NZ would be really appreciated!

I'm mid 20's

Cheers!

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  Reply # 1387281 14-Sep-2015 15:49
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Cisco certs might be a good thing to look into, along with Redhat and/or Microsoft certs.  They will demonstrate that you have at least somewhat of a grasp on networking and/or server administration.

The fact you're into it and mess with networks and servers in your downtime will stand you in good stead, it's surprising what you can learn by tinkering, but some things you just don't encounter until you are in a busy production environment.

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  Reply # 1387316 14-Sep-2015 17:10
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Be aware even with all the certificates in the world, you're probably not going to walk into an infrastructure engineer job without relevant work experience.

You need to have been working in IT and have demonstrable skills (here is where certs help) for the vast majority of such jobs.

Other than that, it depends on what space exactly you want to get into as to which certification paths are recommended but CCNA, MCSA, RHCSA are good entry level quals for this field. 







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  Reply # 1387357 14-Sep-2015 18:17
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So do you recommend university study or is it just a case of sitting the right certifications and getting an entry level job or internship assisting other IT engineers? 

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  Reply # 1387695 15-Sep-2015 10:11
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Data centres of any serious size are few and far between, consolidating to a few larger companies with deeper pockets and a willingness to invest in cloud services.  Pretty niche market to be hands on in one of those. If it's scale and infrastructure you're after, have you thought of pursuing some Azure or AWS study? Any cloud based experience you can get these days will stand you in good stead. 



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  Reply # 1388033 15-Sep-2015 17:22
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Where should I be looking to learn more about these?  Is it full time study or is it evening work?  I want to move into something more in demand than my current work, and it would be great if some of these certifications could be done under student loan.

 

 

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  Reply # 1388069 15-Sep-2015 18:06
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Most companies have infrastructure people, though in smaller places they have to do everything from helpdesk to switches. You'll need to be in a decent sized organisation that hasn't gone cloud.

I'd be a little cautious being too highly specialised without doing proper research into job opportunities first.




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  Reply # 1388091 15-Sep-2015 18:53
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I'm in the same boat as you, pretty much wanting the same career, mid 20's.

Currently at Waikato Uni doing Bachelor of Science (InfoTech).
With this degree they get you paid work experience which is the main reason I chose it.

Then the plan is to do CCNA, ITIL, maybe JNCIA.

All the best in what you decide to do.

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  Reply # 1388093 15-Sep-2015 18:58
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Have you considered a Sys Admin roll? Once again this isn't something that will jump into your lap, you will likely need a few years of Helpdesk type stuff before you can get into a Sys Admin roll.

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  Reply # 1388095 15-Sep-2015 19:07
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Modern "infrastructure" is changing very rapidly. Think: virtualisation of servers, storage, and networking. If that is what you want to get in to, and if you really want to add value you will need to learn how to (1) design such systems, (2) write "recipes" to deal with *automation* and *reproducibility*. So there will inevitably be a bit of coding work required, I think :-)

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  Reply # 1388115 15-Sep-2015 19:40
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unsignedint:  write "recipes" to deal with *automation* and *reproducibility*. So there will inevitably be a bit of coding work required, I think :-)


I can absolutely second that..my job title contains the words Infrastructure Engineer and my life fairly heavily revolves around System Center and PowerShell and these things you mention :-P




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  Reply # 1391105 21-Sep-2015 11:41
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I would get into infrastructure in the cloud - Azure, AWS. In my opinion there will be fewer on-premise networking and infrastructure jobs in the future.  This is an interesting article about where IT Pros see their opportunities in the future:  http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/09/16/what_changes_will_have_the_biggest_impact_on_your_it_in_the_next_three_years/


Lots of free Azure courses available from Microsoft in their Virtual Academy for you to try, and keep a look out for free training opportunities like this and this.

Also the security side, I'm about to begin a CompTIA Security+ certification (self study) to try and keep relatively current in this domain as part of my main role as a software tester.

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  Reply # 1391110 21-Sep-2015 11:53
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Trying to specialise in cloud without understanding the basics is not a good plan IMO.

Get the basics - that means networking and servers. As far as certs, CCNA and MCSA are a good start for 90% of businesses.

Uni is not the place to learn that stuff. You can self study or sign up with an AMES or other training organisation, some polytechs do courses that end up with industry certs too.

It is highly unlikely you will walk into an infrastucture engineer role, they tend to be level 2 or higher. You can start the helpdesk/tech support route and go from there - or apply for an operator style role at a Datacom or similar.

Cloud is absolutely "so hot right now" and isn't going anywhere, but if you don't understand how AD works, learning and knowing Azure isn't going to be easy.

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  Reply # 1391115 21-Sep-2015 12:05
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Lias: Be aware even with all the certificates in the world, you're probably not going to walk into an infrastructure engineer job without relevant work experience.

You need to have been working in IT and have demonstrable skills (here is where certs help) for the vast majority of such jobs.



Cannot emphasize this enough. 

Had someone come in for work experience at my last job, he had no interest in learning anything off me because I wasnt the server admin, which is what he wanted to be, and expected to get a few weeks experience and walk into a full server admin/engineer role without even getting certificates etc. 

Kept telling him thats not how it works in the real world, he got rather aggro towards me and others so we gave up on him as a lost cause. 

He ended up on an ISP helpdesk, and couldnt handle that and left after a month...... 

So, study hard, get the knowledge, and get some experience somewhere (even if its just free work experience) and go forward from there :)





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  Reply # 1391123 21-Sep-2015 12:16
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jonb:
I would get into infrastructure in the cloud - Azure, AWS. In my opinion there will be fewer on-premise networking and infrastructure jobs in the future.  This is an interesting article about where IT Pros see their opportunities in the future:  http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/09/16/what_changes_will_have_the_biggest_impact_on_your_it_in_the_next_three_years/


Lots of free Azure courses available from Microsoft in their Virtual Academy for you to try, and keep a look out for free training opportunities like this and this.

Also the security side, I'm about to begin a CompTIA Security+ certification (self study) to try and keep relatively current in this domain as part of my main role as a software tester.


AWS has architect, developer, sysop, and devop - sysop would be a great qualification to have if you want to do "cloud infrastructure". Do solution architect too. I did the first level solution architect one, from knowing nothing about aws it took me four months studying 4 hours a day - though I got a very very high mark and did over study a bit.




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  Reply # 1391126 21-Sep-2015 12:19
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xpd:
Lias: Be aware even with all the certificates in the world, you're probably not going to walk into an infrastructure engineer job without relevant work experience.

You need to have been working in IT and have demonstrable skills (here is where certs help) for the vast majority of such jobs.



Cannot emphasize this enough. 

Had someone come in for work experience at my last job, he had no interest in learning anything off me because I wasnt the server admin, which is what he wanted to be, and expected to get a few weeks experience and walk into a full server admin/engineer role without even getting certificates etc. 

Kept telling him thats not how it works in the real world, he got rather aggro towards me and others so we gave up on him as a lost cause. 

He ended up on an ISP helpdesk, and couldnt handle that and left after a month...... 

So, study hard, get the knowledge, and get some experience somewhere (even if its just free work experience) and go forward from there :)



And further to this - I started my first IT job at 18 - earning $23,500 all of 12 years ago. I was carrying desktops, unpacking boxes, plugging in keyboards and mice. I took every opportunity to learn and did a ton of my own learning at home. I was lucky to work somewhere that was growing rapidly and got to learn and do a lot.

I charge hourly now and earn well, but it takes a lot of hard work to get there. Graduates that come in for an internship and work experience that feel they are entitled and tell you how things should be done - as well as thinking that unboxing/cleaning up is beyond them don't go very far.



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