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82 posts

Master Geek

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# 111173 26-Oct-2012 12:37
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Hello, next year I will be finishing a Bachelor of Engineering Technology 3 year degree majoring in telecommunications. I have also just passed the CCNA exam.
I have very good university grades i.e.  pretty much straight A's, however I am 41 years old (mid-life career change scenario).

I am keen to work anywhere within the networking/telecommunications field.
My question is can anyone advise a sensible path for me to take when entering the workforce ?
i.e. will I have to start off on a helpdesk for a Telco or similiar for a year or so, then progress ?
What other pathways would be good for me to take.

Thanks for any advice.


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135 posts

Master Geek


  # 706865 26-Oct-2012 12:50
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What do you know about MS products? Citrix, Exchange, Desktop support? I think the most common path to a career in networking/telco is through servicedesk, as you've stated. But that is going to be mostly desktop support. I could be wrong as there are always exceptions, but I never heard of someone going straight into a network support role. Put it this way, I have CCNP and a few months into CCIE study and am still in a fairly low level NOC position at a managed services company, so I'm still helping people with Outlook/Print/my screen doesn't work kind of issues. I am being exposed to some route/switch issues, Juniper and Barracuda device deployment etc, but at my level, and yours, you need to be competent with several technologies. Good for you for making the switch to IT, it's a great industry and lucrative too. But as  you probably know, you'll have to start from the bottom. Best of luck



82 posts

Master Geek

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  # 706872 26-Oct-2012 12:53
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thanks for the reply. Great info.
I don't have any Microsoft qualifications or experience with Citrix, Exchange, Desktop support.
What do you recommend as far as certification in that line ?

Thanks again.

 
 
 
 


135 posts

Master Geek


  # 706882 26-Oct-2012 13:05
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I did MCITP server admin late last year and it has helped with my job a lot. At least get MS certified with Active Directory, and maybe windows 7 as well. It sounds like you are used to studying and should find the MS exams pretty easy. Get yourself a decent PC with a decent amount of ram and fire up a few instances of Server 2008R2 to practice on{edit....I mean as virtual machines}. Go to Amazon and get the self study guides and work through them.

53 posts

Master Geek


  # 708691 29-Oct-2012 20:55
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fran1942, do you want to work in a telco/ISP that deal mainly with networking? or do you want a system admin/support role that deal with all kinds of technologies?



82 posts

Master Geek

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  # 708715 29-Oct-2012 21:13
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I am looking at working in a telco/ISP that deals mainly with networking.

Thanks for any advice.

3892 posts

Uber Geek


  # 708729 29-Oct-2012 21:19
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fran1942: I am looking at working in a telco/ISP that deals mainly with networking.

Thanks for any advice.



Do you have any skills/experience on tools?

I'd suggest you're looking at a VAR like GenI building supporting small networks, VPN's that sort of stuff.  Or a smaller business ISP where, yes, you're looking at starting with level 1 helpdesk (which is a bit more advanced than consumer L1HD).


D





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53 posts

Master Geek


  # 708755 29-Oct-2012 21:47
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Once you graduated, I say best bet is to start off with an ISP on the helpdesk just to get one foot in the door first(company/industry). After a year or so look for 2nd level role that are hopefully more in line with your degree/skill set.

I also recommend you to self study and get more certs under your belt, be it CCNA Voice/Security/Wireless or CCNP. You might lack the real world experience when you apply for 2nd or 3rd level roles but hopefully with the certs it can at least get you an interview opportunity and make up for it. All the best.

 
 
 
 


3892 posts

Uber Geek


  # 708758 29-Oct-2012 21:50
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What other skills back ground do you have?

Have you considered presales work as well?





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12 posts

Geek


  # 713599 7-Nov-2012 16:36
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I'm in the exactly the same situation as yourself. I graduated not long ago from University with a bachelors degree in Computing and Information Sciences Majoring in Networks and Security, achieving a GPA of an A; I also hold a National Diploma in ICT.

In the second year of my degree I obtained a Computer Technican role as part time work around studies and then In the third year managed to land a job as a Remote and Onsite Support Technician for a Small IT service Management company providing Support to a range of small-medium size businesses throughout Auckland (20-250 Users).

Since Graduating the only role which I was able to land was a Help/Service Desk role at a large IT Service Managment Provider (Fujistu). I've been here 3 months now and I can tell you that the skills that I know I posses are way above my job role and I would love the chance to be able to move on to bigger and better things.

However since getting this position I have been exposed to more of the business side of IT, understanding ITIL and how the Procedures and standards are actually implemeneted to achieve great service management.

I'm hoping to go on to a Network Engineer position, and am currently reviewing the material to optain the CCNA certification. (I already know the material, just need to get the actuall certification to prove i do.)

What do you guys think about moving on after just being on the Desk for 3 months? If i did look to move on, what sort of a role do you think I should look for?

Like I said, I'm gaining my CCNA certification within the next few months and will then go on and get CCNAS and CCNA Voice.

53 posts

Master Geek


  # 713912 8-Nov-2012 07:29
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StussyNz: I'm in the exactly the same situation as yourself. I graduated not long ago from University with a bachelors degree in Computing and Information Sciences Majoring in Networks and Security, achieving a GPA of an A; I also hold a National Diploma in ICT.

In the second year of my degree I obtained a Computer Technican role as part time work around studies and then In the third year managed to land a job as a Remote and Onsite Support Technician for a Small IT service Management company providing Support to a range of small-medium size businesses throughout Auckland (20-250 Users).

Since Graduating the only role which I was able to land was a Help/Service Desk role at a large IT Service Managment Provider (Fujistu). I've been here 3 months now and I can tell you that the skills that I know I posses are way above my job role and I would love the chance to be able to move on to bigger and better things.

However since getting this position I have been exposed to more of the business side of IT, understanding ITIL and how the Procedures and standards are actually implemeneted to achieve great service management.

I'm hoping to go on to a Network Engineer position, and am currently reviewing the material to optain the CCNA certification. (I already know the material, just need to get the actuall certification to prove i do.)

What do you guys think about moving on after just being on the Desk for 3 months? If i did look to move on, what sort of a role do you think I should look for?

Like I said, I'm gaining my CCNA certification within the next few months and will then go on and get CCNAS and CCNA Voice.


Hi StussyNz, what sort of network engineer do you want to be? One for an IT Service Provider? One for a large enterprise? or one for a telco that deal with WAN stuff?

53 posts

Master Geek


  # 713923 8-Nov-2012 07:57
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I worked in a medium size IT service provider before as a Network Engineer, it gave me the opportunity to work in many different network environments, across many different brand of products and technologies. It was a very busy role as I was supporting multiple clients. The networks that I get my hands on are usually quite small, as most of our clients are between 10-200 seats so it is not really that complex. And with smaller clients, it means that they might not necessary be able to afford or justify getting cisco gears.

Now I am a Network Engineer for a large enterprise, working in an almost pure cisco environment. Work are not as busy as before since I am only supporting one environment instead of dealing with whatever I got throw into. With this role it finally gave me the chance of putting what I learn from cisco certification into practice. I am quite certain that without the experience from my previous role, I wouldn't be able to land this one.

In terms of working in a telco, probably is what I want to go for next so I don't have much advise on that one.


 

156 posts

Master Geek


  # 713992 8-Nov-2012 10:24

Where abouts are you guys based?  I know a vendor (commercial network provider) who is looking for network engineers.  Unsure of what skill level, but could be worth a look.

2385 posts

Uber Geek
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  # 714025 8-Nov-2012 10:43
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fran1942:
I am keen to work anywhere within the networking/telecommunications field.
My question is can anyone advise a sensible path for me to take when entering the workforce ?



Find out which Telco companies have graduate support programs. Alcatel-Lucent in Wellington for example have a program where they sometimes take on new graduates.

302 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 714172 8-Nov-2012 14:28
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If you want to get into the ISP side of network engineering, make sure you read up on BGP, and become really familiar with it. It's the kind of thing that you only really learn on the job, but to get the job you're expected to know it.

When I was sitting in on interviews for senior network engineers, the amount of people that had acronyms up the wazoo written on their CV, only to have no clue on such things (for example :how many usable IP's in a /27) was staggering.

Other protocols and technologies to get familiar on would be OSPF, 802.1q, 802.1ad, STP (*shudder*), MST, radius, netflow, snmp, pppoe, and qos.

Also subscribe yourself to the NZNOG mail group to see some real life banter between the network engies of NZ.

I completely lucked out in my career path. I did a year 1st level tech support at the warehouse, went to the UK for a year and did nothing but got drunk, came back and landed a kind of 'apprentice' network engineer role, which I stayed in for 4 years and am now at another ISP in a similar role.

12 posts

Geek


  # 714208 8-Nov-2012 15:52
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jackk:
StussyNz: I'm in the exactly the same situation as yourself. I graduated not long ago from University with a bachelors degree in Computing and Information Sciences Majoring in Networks and Security, achieving a GPA of an A; I also hold a National Diploma in ICT.

In the second year of my degree I obtained a Computer Technican role as part time work around studies and then In the third year managed to land a job as a Remote and Onsite Support Technician for a Small IT service Management company providing Support to a range of small-medium size businesses throughout Auckland (20-250 Users).

Since Graduating the only role which I was able to land was a Help/Service Desk role at a large IT Service Managment Provider (Fujistu). I've been here 3 months now and I can tell you that the skills that I know I posses are way above my job role and I would love the chance to be able to move on to bigger and better things.

However since getting this position I have been exposed to more of the business side of IT, understanding ITIL and how the Procedures and standards are actually implemeneted to achieve great service management.

I'm hoping to go on to a Network Engineer position, and am currently reviewing the material to optain the CCNA certification. (I already know the material, just need to get the actuall certification to prove i do.)

What do you guys think about moving on after just being on the Desk for 3 months? If i did look to move on, what sort of a role do you think I should look for?

Like I said, I'm gaining my CCNA certification within the next few months and will then go on and get CCNAS and CCNA Voice.


Hi StussyNz, what sort of network engineer do you want to be? One for an IT Service Provider? One for a large enterprise? or one for a telco that deal with WAN stuff?


I'd jump at the chance to be an Engineer in either of these fields. It would allow me to kick start my career as an Engineer and continue to grow and work on my techical Networking skills as well as develop and sit additional certs. If I had to choose i'd like to go into the IT Service in a large enterpise (Mainly because I work on a Help desk inside one at the moment and have experience of how things operate.)

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