Programming or Networking?

tstanley420tstanley420 Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
For a while I've been studying the CCNA (passed ICND1) due to a bit of work experience I have with CISCO kit in the military (basically a network admin).
I quite enjoy the subject and would like to study further and more indepth.

However i'm planning my studies on getting a job after the military, and I've seen a lot of talk on forums etc that programming/developing is the way forward for IT jobs, there are many unfilled posts etc and it doesn't look like it's going to get any smaller.

When I search the local areas, there are definitely more job openings for software developers. Plus you don't require in-work experience, if you've worked on open source projects etc.

What do you guys think? Is programming the way forward for jobs/money? I know it's not everything, and it doesn't appeal to me like networking does, however money does talk..


  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    Apples or oranges? Do whichever you enjoy. Be good at what you do and you won't have to worry about job opportunities. There's always a lack of good talent.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • Mr.NetworkMr.Network Member Posts: 117
    If networking appeals to you, then go that road. Finnish CCNA, then you can see if you want to go for CCNP R&S, Wireless , Security e.g.
    I think in IT It is not wise to choose something just because of the money, on the long run it will not pay off.
  • spicy ahispicy ahi Member Posts: 413 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Do you plan on staying in the DoD? If so, you're probably going to find more of a market for networking than programming. Looking longer term, agree with Mr. Network. Learn what appeals to you and don't worry so much about the future. You'll find that when you enjoy something, you get engrossed in it. And your knowledge in that area tends to open doors in other areas, giving you options to evolve your career beyond what you initially started out as. I was a network guy for a long time but somehow shifted into more security work and now I'm a Security Analyst. I also had the opportunity to shift gears into virtualization because of my networking background, so that's another vector that opened up to me from networking. So if you're afraid that networking in particular is limiting, don't be.
    Spicy :cool: Mentor the future! Be a CyberPatriot!
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    You can do a mix of both, or go into Systems which involves OS, some networking, and some automation/scripting.

    I think you should finish the CCNA and play around with some scripting on the side, whether it be Bash, Powershell, Python, Ruby, or what have you. Then afterwards, decide which one you enjoy more and focus more on that. Regardless of what you decide to specialize/focus on, there will always be a market for someone with more broad skills. "T" skills are pretty important -- a broad base of foundational knowledge and deep mastery of 1 or 2 domains.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • tmtextmtex Member Posts: 326
    If I could do it all over again, Programming/Dev but then again I don't really care for it. Always hiring and in all fields of work/companies. Network guys are a dime a dozen. Now I would think you would have to LOVE to do programming. You will make 6 figures faster

    Just my opinion as I have seen it
  • mandy7777mandy7777 Member Posts: 35 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Enjoy what you are doing in the job , that's more important thing, right? if you chase the money for the job that you choose , it will be worth it in a short term. Think about it further, if i were you, i study a lot more about networking stuff to enhance your skill. Every job can make a lot of money, it depends on what your skill set at . if you have so-so skill, then you only worth so-so $$. in the other way, if you are top , then $$$$$. In my opinion
    When life gives you lemons, make lemonade:thumbup:
  • JoJoCal19JoJoCal19 California Kid Mod Posts: 2,829 Mod
    I think a high-level network engineer that can code multiple languages would be the best option if you're looking to make top dollar. But I think workers in each major tech category (network, systems, security) are starting to need to know basic coding or scripting more nowadays.
    Currently Working On: Python, OSCP Prep
    Next Up:​ OSCP
    Studying:​ Code Academy (Python), Bash Scripting, Virtual Hacking Lab Coursework
  • Kuvuli21Kuvuli21 Member Posts: 50 ■■■□□□□□□□
    In all honesty, Do what you love. In my current job (after the military.) I work as a IT admin..Essentially I fulfill all the roles of what would be an entire IT department. (And for the pay of all those individuals combined! icon_cool.gif) However, Don't pick a job due to what is wanted or desired currently as that will change as time progresses. Choose to do what you love and you won't work a day in your life. I personally love networking and the administration side of it, as well as my favorite is Network Security/Pen testing. I go to work everyday looking forward to it. and yes even the idiot employees who ask me why I put a content filter on the SonicWall for facebook....Because they spend too much damn time on it LOL. Along with the ones who can't remember their password every single day. It's like when I signed up for the U.S. Army during the surge in Iraq. I chose 11B (Infantryman) as my MOS because I knew I would love that and I did. Unfortunately combat in Iraq is very real and I suffered an injury. IT was my second love to do and when I was med boarded out I chose network admin and security and I love every minute of it. I even spend my weekends playing around with different things, studying, not only for more certifications but to expand my knowledge and understanding.

    Bottom line, Do what makes you happy and you enjoy doing. Because if you pick something you don't enjoy doing you will regret it every single day.

    PM me if you need any help with anything! Best of luck and safe travels my friend!
    Currently studying: 70-680 Windows 7: Configuring

    2017-2018 goals: 70-685, Server 2012, CWNP, SSCP and/or CCNA.
  • ananth234ananth234 Member Posts: 10 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Programming is gaining lot of importance in the area of networking. But the coding knowledge will be of any value only if one has knowledge of computer networking.
  • tstanley420tstanley420 Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Top responses cheers guys.

    I'm definitely going to complete the ICND2 anyway, but yeah think ill get my head into some python books aswell. As taking CISCO certs any higher than CCNA isn't going to be practical since my exposure to routers/switches is fairly minimal, so any extra skills could help me hopefully.
  • TechGromitTechGromit GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 2,020 ■■■■■■■■□□
    What do you guys think? Is programming the way forward for jobs/money? I know it's not everything, and it doesn't appeal to me like networking does, however money does talk..

    It really boils down to what your good at. Say I want to be an opera singer, but have a terrible voice and can't carry a tune. I could go to singing school and spend years practicing singing and if I'm lucky aspire to land a job at a local theater. Will I ever be a opera singer production companies will be big money to obtain my services? No.

    The same applies to any other job, you have to try to do something you excel at, not just because some salary survey says this is the job to make a lot of money. While I believe you can teach anyone programming, some are crappy programmers and some have a gift for it. It's the people that have a gift in programming that earn those big bucks. Try them both out and see with one you excel at.

    If you just interested in making lots money, I recommend drug dealing, you make lots of money, have lots of friends, and get all the girls, well the girls hooked on drugs anyway, but the retirement plan leaves something to be desired.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • TR4V1STYTR4V1STY Member Posts: 62 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Most people on this forum have more of an IT background.

    In my opinion, there is more of a low ceiling for growing your career in IT. With programming, the sky is the limit.

    Think about it; with IT you are basically just turning a wrench to fix problems. With programming, you create the wrench.
  • Danielh22185Danielh22185 Member Posts: 1,195 ■■■■□□□□□□
    The answer is simple. Do what you love or try it out if you haven't yet. Be vigilant about learning and growing. Both are strong fields so there is no one true path to greater success.
    Currently Studying: IE Stuff...kinda...for now...
    My ultimate career goal: To climb to the top of the computer network industry food chain.
    "Winning means you're willing to go longer, work harder, and give more than anyone else." - Vince Lombardi
  • DatabaseHeadDatabaseHead Teradata Assc 16, Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014, CSM Member Posts: 2,624 ■■■■■■■■■□
    For me it comes down to what are you good at. I never understood networking all the much and never cared too, I went the development track.
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    TR4V1STY wrote: »
    Think about it; with IT you are basically just turning a wrench to fix problems. With programming, you create the wrench.

    IT is way too broad of a field to make sweeping statements like that.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • SeekBytesSeekBytes Member Posts: 143
    If two feet in one shoe is too much for you...Network Programmability could be the right one for you ;)

    Network Virtualization and API will be a realm soon. So, you got plenty of time to study these topics.

    Jason Edelman's Blog
Sign In or Register to comment.