Current job ending and coming to a fork in the road

jah8887jah8887 A+,Net+,Security+,AAS Computer Science with Network SpecializationMember Posts: 62 ■■■□□□□□□□
The place I work at has started outsourcing all network routing, firewalls, switching, servers, VOIP etc... to outsourced vendors.  They are implementing an outsourced help desk in the next few months which means my job here as a Network Admin( I call my self jack of all trades since I am the sole network guy for about 75 employees and 8 locations in a region) will be pretty much gone.  The area I am currently living in is in a poor county on the east coast but after talking with my wife we have decided we would like to move out of the area and into a place where their are more plentiful IT jobs in case something like this happens again.  We both like the cold weather so we were looking into MN, WI, New England states etc.. but it just feels like either you have a good place to work but cost of living is outrageous or cost of living is low but the jobs don't pay well.  We are looking and hoping to add to our family so we were also looking for family friendly and animal friendly areas since we have pets currently.  I will be taking a Beta Comptia Server+ exam next week and wont know if I passed until the summer time to see if I can add this to resume.  My other thought was maybe this should be a good opportunity to do a different path or continue with my strong suit which is hardware repair, network engineering and troubleshooting.  I am just looking for suggestions or advice if anyone has come to this type of situation before.


  • DFTK13DFTK13 Member Posts: 167 ■■■■□□□□□□
    There are still many network engineering jobs out there, however, an increasing number of them are as you’ve said, been outsourced or are in the process of being outsourced. I would start bolstering your skills with cloud certifications, depending on where you move and the jobs available to you, AWS and azure are the two big ones, Google cloud still has some catching up to do in my opinion. Learning a programming language such as python for automation and ansible can only do good things for you, definitely learn Linux too. Linux academy is a great place to study these things and get hands on experience with labs. 
    Certs: CCNA(200-301), Network+, A+, LPI Linux Essentials

    Degree: A.S. Network Administration
    Pursuing: B.S. in I.T. Web and Mobile Development Concentration
  • mikey88mikey88 CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others Member Posts: 491 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Your best bet on the east coast would be North Carolina. The job market there is pretty solid. 
    Certs: CISSP, CySA+, Security+, Network+ and others | 2019 Goals: Cloud Sec/Scripting/Linux

  • Infosec_SamInfosec_Sam Security+, CCENT, ITIL Foundation, A+ Madison, WIAdmin Posts: 475 Admin
    I agree with @DFTK13 - everyone I talk to seems to sing the praises of cloud certifications right now. As far as where to live, I think MN/WI is a great area! If you're looking to bring home a bigger paycheck, I'd stick to the twin cities if you go to Minnesota, or Madison/Milwaukee if you prefer Wisconsin. I'm based out of Madison, and I can definitely vouch for our tech scene. It's not going to be an Austin, TX or a Raleigh, NC, but our CoL isn't nearly as high as those places. It's the same thing with Milwaukee if you prefer a larger city - plenty of jobs, short-ish commute, lower CoL than many other tech-heavy cities. Feel free to reach out if you have any other Wisconsin questions!
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  • DFTK13DFTK13 Member Posts: 167 ■■■■□□□□□□
    mikey88 said:
    Your best bet on the east coast would be North Carolina. The job market there is pretty solid. 
    No kidding, I was just looking at jobs in the Raleigh and Durham Area and could not believe the amount of tech jobs and definitely networking jobs too! I've talked with my wife several times about moving out there, although homes are just a tad bit pricier than usual in that area but still not too bad compared to other places.
    Certs: CCNA(200-301), Network+, A+, LPI Linux Essentials

    Degree: A.S. Network Administration
    Pursuing: B.S. in I.T. Web and Mobile Development Concentration
  • jah8887jah8887 A+,Net+,Security+,AAS Computer Science with Network Specialization Member Posts: 62 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks everyone for the responses.  I will definitely be looking into the Linux Academy since I have not heard of it.  Do you all have a recommendation for a cloud cert to help me get my foot in the door for cloud computing.
  • stryder144stryder144 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,633 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I would start with the Cloud Certified Practitioner from Amazon.  It is one that is probably next on my cert list, after CISSP.
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

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  • DFTK13DFTK13 Member Posts: 167 ■■■■□□□□□□
    AWS certified solutions architect - associate is the step above cloud practitioner and highly common among those breaking into cloud. Also my recommendation to pursue next if you’re going the aws route. But I would definitely place emphasis on learning programming in conjunction with pursuing aws, it will set you apart from the others in a good way. Ultimately it boils down to what job you’re applying for in the area you’re moving to, I’ve seen Jobs ask for straight up aws or azure, or both. But just saying you’d be well cushioned if you pursue aws + python + Linux. Good luck! 
    Certs: CCNA(200-301), Network+, A+, LPI Linux Essentials

    Degree: A.S. Network Administration
    Pursuing: B.S. in I.T. Web and Mobile Development Concentration
  • beadsbeads Senior Member Member Posts: 1,495 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Chicago itself is growing albeit very, very slowly but should reverse direction back to the burbs in the next couple of years. People over thirty are expressing their displeasure with big city life. The rest of Illinois is loosing population to the tune of 50k a yea

    Other Midwest states are also bleeding population but very slowly. Michigan is growing and the Detroit market is considered 'good' these days. Madison, Wisconsin is considered brisk at times as well as Milwaukee.

    Where I am not being contacted about Midwestern jobs be Indiana and Ohio. The rest of the Midwest appears to be hiring at a good to brisk pace.

    As for technologies. I am afraid your going to have to brush up on new technologies as on premises is largely going away in favor of cloud based hosting. A cloud infrastructure cert isn't likely to go far without some development for DevOps, RunOps or some other underlying technology focus as your not likely to find a true generalist position like Cloud Architect without serious Cloud Engineer experience first.

    Application Engineering is a likely career path as well. Broaden those horizons, keep asking questions and see where the journey takes you.

    - b/eads

  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Member Posts: 1,403 ■■■■■■■■□□
    MN and WI definitely can get pretty cold.  You will experience all seasons four seasons if you you and your wife decide to live in either one of these states.

    Echoing what Infosec_Sam said...
    For WI 

    Milwaukee and Madison seem to have a lot of IT jobs. You might have a hard time finding IT work if in WI if you don’t live close to these areas.

    Cost of living
    You could live in smaller cities in WI that are close to  MN/Twin Cities.   This would be a longer commute, but you might be able to save some money on your house/land. Take a look at Hudson,WI , and surrounding cities if you want to go this route.

    For MN/Twin Cities— Minneapolis/St Paul

    Some cities you could check out to save money on your house/land  would be Forrest Lake, Shoreview, White Bear Lake...  i there are more, but I cannot think of all of them right now

    Jobs in MN
    There are a lot of medical based companies in MN

    Star Tribune 2018
    List of the top 50 public in MN

    Here is a link for the MN based paper The Star Tribune that lists the 2019 ( they run this article every year)150 best places to work in MN. The employees vote for there company.
    Good Luck!
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
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