Would you consider this position

brewboybrewboy Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hello all
Currently a network engineer in a 100 router environment and truly enjoy my work. I aspire to continue on this path but have a unique opportunity at a local university. Problem is I think this may be a downtick on the long-term network engineering career trajectory. I think I know my decision but figured I would throw it out there to you guys/gals to see what you would do...

Academic setting
Free tuition
10% salary increase
Great benefits
Shorter commute
No travel
work/life balance

Going from dynamic 100 router environment to 1 router
No WAN work. Mostly LAN/wireless/VoIP work
Title going from network engineer to senior network administrator


  • Shoe BoxShoe Box Banned Posts: 118
    It might be a good job for some people, but it sounds like it'd be a step back for you. Sounds like it'd be an easy job but boring after a while.
  • kohr-ahkohr-ah Member Posts: 1,277
    Well depends. Are you looking for a place for more experience in just routing or you looking for a place to ride out for a while and learn other engineering related tasks?

    I personally would be bored going down to a one router level but salary and free schooling is hard to pass up.
  • BlackoutBlackout Member Posts: 512 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Honestly it sounds like a good environment, ultimately you have to make the decision of what is best for you. you will probably get a lot of yes responses, but really you need to make the decision for yourself. Is it in line with your future goals?
    Current Certification Path: CCNA, CCNP Security, CCDA, CCIE Security

    "Practice doesn't make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect"

    Vincent Thomas "Vince" Lombardi
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Mod Posts: 2,780 Mod
    Go with your gut..
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • brewboybrewboy Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
    gut is telling me this could be a great job work/life balance wise, but not a good career choice at this time. ten years ago or ten years from now it would be great. It's just kinda hard to pass on all those Pros!!!
  • Hammer80Hammer80 Member Posts: 207 ■■■□□□□□□□
    If you're content with doing the same thing and not moving up for the next 10 years then sure take it, but otherwise it sounds like career suicide. This would be a gigantic step backwards in responsibility and it might be a hard to explain in any future job pursuits why you went from a such a large environment to a tiny one, folks might think that you were simply unable to handle it and your technical skills are not up to par.
  • brewboybrewboy Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hammer80- I think you hit the nail on the head. Ha ha!
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    One router? How long until you're bored and looking for something new? Three months? Six tops?
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • rjon17469rjon17469 Member Posts: 52 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Honestly, even 100 routers isn't a very large environment. If I were you and open to switching positions, I would be looking for larger enterprises to work with. Even my home network has more than one router.

    *Edit* Especially with a CCNP under your belt, I can't imagine a single-router environment challenging you.
  • 636-555-3226636-555-3226 Member Posts: 975 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Lots of people work at universities. Some of them leave. Afterward, most wish they could go back. Make of that what you will. That's the most I can tell you from my experience.
  • brewboybrewboy Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
    One of my first jobs was desktop support in an educational system and I LOVED the schedule and all the other perks so that's why I gave it some thought. Realistically though I need to stay on track. Thanks everyone!
  • PristonPriston Member Posts: 999 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I find it hard to believe a university would only have 1 router. How big is the campus and how many students attend it?
    A.A.S. in Networking Technologies
    A+, Network+, CCNA
  • UkimokiaUkimokia Member Posts: 91 ■■□□□□□□□□
    If I needed the education I'd take that in a heartbeat. It may be a pretty big step down, but if I was seriously looking to go back to school or get some more training. An increase in pay and free tuition I don't think I could turn that down. Though that's just me in my situation. I'd probably stay at that job for a year or two, get some schooling and upgrade my certs and then move on to a bigger job more educated.
  • nanochillbotnanochillbot Member Posts: 11 ■□□□□□□□□□
    1 Router environ, no WAN ? How big is this LAN ? How big is this VOIP footprint?
    As the Senior neteng, are you gong to be tasked with a major (phased) expansion of some type ?
    Your current cert caused you a lot of BS&T (BloodSweat&Tears), is this academic setting even with a 10% increase, gonna keep you smiling
    on that short commute? How long?

    What happened with the last neteng?

    My .02 cents
  • brewboybrewboy Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'm still happily employed. we didn't get too much into their topology but I believe it's a palo alto HA dual homed to ISP's setup, couple other firewalls, a ton of switches and, if I remember correctly, 1 cisco router.
  • beadsbeads Member Posts: 1,531 ■■■■■■■■■□

    You seriously need to speak to someone working in that particular University environment. Some people really dig it others hate it and will complain bitterly about University politics like its own second career.

    Full disclosure. I did a year at a major University and was happy when my contract was over.

    - b/eads
  • DeathmageDeathmage Banned Posts: 2,496
    hey, looking at one Cisco cli will get mighty complex after looking it for 2 minutes... ooo look the packet handed of to the ISP... BOOOOM! .... mind-blown...
  • beadsbeads Member Posts: 1,531 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I.T.HINK... Therefore I am. (?)
  • danny069danny069 Member Posts: 1,025 ■■■■□□□□□□
    It seems to me the pros outweigh the cons. People are saying you will get bored, but who doesn't at their job? That's why you have free tuition, classes will keep you busy. Get a degree for free and move on if you want.
    I am a Jack of all trades, Master of None
  • Dakinggamer87Dakinggamer87 Member Posts: 4,016 ■■■■■■■■□□
    danny069 wrote: »
    It seems to me the pros outweigh the cons. People are saying you will get bored, but who doesn't at their job? That's why you have free tuition, classes will keep you busy. Get a degree for free and move on if you want.

    Definitely get the free education :)
    *Associate's of Applied Sciences degree in Information Technology-Network Systems Administration
    *Bachelor's of Science: Information Technology - Security, Master's of Science: Information Technology - Management
    Matthew 6:33 - "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."

    Certs/Business Licenses In Progress: AWS Solutions Architect, Series 6, Series 63
  • fredrikjjfredrikjj Member Posts: 879
    Priston wrote: »
    I find it hard to believe a university would only have 1 router. How big is the campus and how many students attend it?

    Sometimes people do layer 3 at the edge with ISPs, and then do a layer 2 campus. That fits with his comment "Mostly LAN/wireless/VoIP work". It's not a recommended design, but that doesn't stop some people.
  • olaHaloolaHalo Member Posts: 748 ■■■■□□□□□□
    danny069 wrote: »
    It seems to me the pros outweigh the cons. People are saying you will get bored, but who doesn't at their job? That's why you have free tuition, classes will keep you busy. Get a degree for free and move on if you want.

    Im with this guy.
    Study on your own while getting more money and free schooling and a relaxing work environment.
    Maybe go for CCIE?
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    So, sounds like the work might not be a great challenge in itself from a technical point of view. There are other challenges in work, though. Education environment might be different to corporate, might have more focus on best practice, might have more time to implement. May be you might work with academics in IT. Might be more challenges from security point of view. Might be a different culture and structure.
    Variety is good.

    However, I think the big thing is to way up the pros of the benefits. The most attractive to my mind (apart from the work/life balance) is the free education. If there are specific educational goals that you might have, and that they can fulfil, it could be worthwhile.

    You are CCNP, so there isn't a lot more networking skill that they are likely to offer at an undergrad level. But you might be able to broaden your network skills, maybe get more security experience (it's growing), cloud and virtualisation. The cloud and virtualisation stuff, if you can get them to let you apply it to your work, could actually expand your role into interesting places. Convincing them to add 40 new hardware routers or switches is difficult (budget, risk etc), but adding 40 virtual ones might be easy.

    There's also soft skills, if longer term you are looking for more senior positions then things like project management, people management, finance, budgets and all that. IT Management programs are available.

    So, if the actual work isn't going to help you grow, then the perks on the side might. It will also help answer that question future employers might have about why you shifted.

    I'm not sure what your family situation is, but if you have young children or are considering starting a family soon, then the shorter commute and work/life balance might be just the thing.

    Certainly at certain times in my life, this is something I would jump at, even with the apparent backwards step.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I worked at a university once and I loved it. The thing that I enjoyed is the constant ability to expand to do new and interesting stuff. I got to do some really cool stuff. I doubt that a university would hire a full time employee to manage one router - LOL - I'm sure the job could be quite diverse and I bet you may get to do a bunch of interesting stuff. When you talked with the prospective employer what did they say the role is about? The pros sound great.

    And if it's a 10% increase from what you are making, I would imagine that means either you are currently under-paid or the role at the University is bigger than perhaps it sounds. I would love to work at a university but I don't because universities cannot compete with the private sector when it comes to compensation.
  • Shoe BoxShoe Box Banned Posts: 118
    I can think of one situation where taking this university 1 router job would be good. More money and a significantly reduced work load, giving you time to prepare for your CCIE. Maybe take this job for a year or two, use the time to study and get your CCIE, then onwards and upwards to new bigger better mo' money things! And while you're there, you could probably improve the network and be the hero!

    Might be a good idea.
  • UnixGuyUnixGuy Mod Posts: 4,564 Mod
    If you're not going to be learning and growing, then don't take it. Sounds like a good environment to sleep.

    Check out my YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/DRJic8vCodE 

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