Kinda down due to job prospects in networking

Tricon7Tricon7 Posts: 238Inactive Imported Users
It seems that everyone I ask and who is "in the know" tells me that if you finish school with a CCNA/CCNP, but don't have any real-world, paid experience in networking, then you can forget finding a job, as the marketplace is supposedly saturated with *experienced* and certified people. Apparently, from what I've been hearing, if you want a job after slaving over schoolbooks for 1-2 years then you should either volunteer somewhere until you get that exalted experience that everyone wants or settle for some part-time networking job making ten bucks an hour until an employer throws you a bone and offers you something FT - and of course this would be 10k-20k below what you were expecting a year when you were in school.

Maybe I'm being a little sarcastic, but everyone outside my college says that jobs just aren't to be had out there. I know there was a dot-com bust some years back and a glut of qualified people are still roaming the streets, but this field is beginning to sound like one of the *worst* professions to get into. I mean, without certification you're not going to land a decent networking job to begin with, but if employers only want experienced people, then it doesn't matter how many certs you have.

It would be nice if someone out there who managed to get a job out of school without paid experience could reply and tell me that maybe I'm a little wrong. If I keep hearing what I'm hearing, I may change programs and go into finance or nursing. At least in these professions you can reasonably expect a job upon completing school.

Comments

  • int80hint80h Posts: 84Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    It sounds like your problem is that you can only do networking, and have no other skills besides networking. I bet if you had networking+programming or networking+management you would have a much better time finding a job.
  • Tricon7Tricon7 Posts: 238Inactive Imported Users
    int80h wrote:
    It sounds like your problem is that you can only do networking, and have no other skills besides networking. I bet if you had networking+programming or networking+management you would have a much better time finding a job.

    Yes, I'm only studying networking, like some people graduate and can only do nursing or can only do engineering, etc. I didn't know I had to get multiple degrees in different fields to expect a decent job. I don't think this is the case at all. Besides, there are too many other degrees out there where one degree is all you need to have a really good salary. This is my concern and what I'm doing research on now.
  • emmajoyceemmajoyce Posts: 86Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Dont feel to bad guy. Im getting ready to graduate again. A few months back I thought it would be a wise thing to do and go out and get a job so that i could have at least a little bit of experience. I went to every little computer shop/installation/networking business i knew of. I tried to see if they had any part-time jobs. I offered 7 different business my services for "FREE". Not minimum wage but free. They all said no. Be it insurance reasons or whatever, i dont know. I explained I wanted to get experience and would do whatever they needed of me, including sweeping the floor in the spare time. I dont know, but if i had a computer shop and a college kid came in and wanted to work on the weekend or a few hours during the week , I would let them try. Especially for free. Oh well, i know you didnt come on here to here my problems. Im going to try going to atlanta i guess. If you can relocate, that would be my suggestion when looking for employment. When you start looking for a job, just think about people like me, who cant even get a job working for free. Hopefully that will cheer you up. Good Luck

    PS: Yea, you are right about the one degree thing. The professors might mention the dual role deal, but they dont really teach dual roles. I took the networking pathway also. We had a few programming classes but not enough for a programmer. You had to make your choice, which decided which classes you would take. I sure though that maybe "some" schools teach a few mgt classes in their curriculum.
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  • bmaurobmauro Posts: 307Member
    I graduated back in 04 with a BS in Information Science and a BA in History and Poly Sci (two of the most useless degrees :P )

    It took me about 4 months to land a contract to hire position as an entry-level help desk. After completing a 4-yr degree, entry-level helpdesk was slightly less than I was expecting and hoping for. But I put my dues in and worked hard and moved up. Now my Cisco background is really opening a lot of doors for me.

    So my answer is - yes, with no experience, you will find it hard to land that high paying job right out of school IMO (unless you know people). But, if you start out in an entry level position, management "should" see your worth and you'll move up quickly.

    Believe me when I say - there aren't CCIEs walking the streets looking for work. Heck - a CCNP with experience more than likely will not have a hard time finding a job. Experienced network engineers are still in high demand in my area. Now a company is NOT going to let someone with a CCNA or CCNP and NO experience handle their network - they need to see 5+ yrs hands on work. You could land a Jr. Net Admin position.
  • malcyboodmalcybood Posts: 900Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    If your university has a decent sized network, why don't you ask if you can do a few hours a week voluntary? This is what I done and I ended up doing it voluntary for 2 months when as Bmauro said "management" noticed I was not a muppet and they offered me a paid p/t position around my studies.

    Getting the experience working there is partly the reason I got my foot in the door in my current company which for the record my first position was also an IT Helpdesk position,but I've progressed more into the network & 2nd 3rd line support side of things in the last 2 years being a Field engineer.

    On the salary thing, you can't expect to walk into a high salary out of uni, this comes with showing your competence and ambition in your job role. I started on a pittance of an hourly rate in helpdesk and within 3 and a half years I've trebled my salary along with a load of benefits, but my point is you got to be realistic and not expect to walk into a $40k - 50k job as a graduate.

    The best way to get exp if you ask me, is to offer your services for nothing (provided you can't get a paid job) and the best time to do this is when you are at university when you have the time, or at least some spare time.....Don't tell me you can't spare 4 or 5 hours a week working for nothing, that would probably be spent watching daytime tv or in the pub icon_lol.gif

    Good luck
  • Tricon7Tricon7 Posts: 238Inactive Imported Users
    emmajoyce wrote:
    Dont feel to bad guy. Im getting ready to graduate again. A few months back I thought it would be a wise thing to do and go out and get a job so that i could have at least a little bit of experience. I went to every little computer shop/installation/networking business i knew of. I tried to see if they had any part-time jobs. I offered 7 different business my services for "FREE". Not minimum wage but free. They all said no. Be it insurance reasons or whatever, i dont know. I explained I wanted to get experience and would do whatever they needed of me, including sweeping the floor in the spare time. I dont know, but if i had a computer shop and a college kid came in and wanted to work on the weekend or a few hours during the week , I would let them try. Especially for free. Oh well, i know you didnt come on here to here my problems. Im going to try going to atlanta i guess. If you can relocate, that would be my suggestion when looking for employment. When you start looking for a job, just think about people like me, who cant even get a job working for free. Hopefully that will cheer you up. Good Luck

    PS: Yea, you are right about the one degree thing. The professors might mention the dual role deal, but they dont really teach dual roles. I took the networking pathway also. We had a few programming classes but not enough for a programmer. You had to make your choice, which decided which classes you would take. I sure though that maybe "some" schools teach a few mgt classes in their curriculum.

    Thanks for the reply. Most here who don't have a CCNP (not including you) think that it's acceptable to just work for free for a while or make a low hourly wage for a couple of years after school. Me - I work FT and go to school PT and have a wife and two small children who demand my time, so I'm not going to waste my time in a field where I have to "volunteer" to hope to get a job upon graduation, or even before.

    I commend you in your efforts to find work. I don't want to spend almost two years in a field and wind up wondering if an employer will throw my resume in his trash can unless I have 3-5 years experience already. I mean, it's unrealistic to expect *everyone* to have experience. After all, what do people go to school for unless they don't already know what it is they're studying? If the field is so saturated that no one wants fresh graduates, then you'd better believe I'll be looking elsewhere. No time here for working for free or languishing at ten bucks an hour as a junior assistant to the junior helpdesk shift leader while my family starves to death. I'll go study finance; at least with it employers aren't spitting on you for not having experience. Sorry to be so cynical, but it's all I've been hearing lately. Nothing against you - I'm just angry at my school's false advertising of "average salary with CCNP - 61k a year!!" Huh. I wasn't necessarily expecting that much at my first job, but I *was* expecting to be able to find a job upon graduation.

    I thought that with all the technical knowledge learned with the Cisco certs that there would be a lot of demand for such people, as few would go through the rigorous training to get them. Boy, was I wrong.
  • malcyboodmalcybood Posts: 900Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Tricon7 wrote:
    emmajoyce wrote:
    Dont feel to bad guy. Im getting ready to graduate again. A few months back I thought it would be a wise thing to do and go out and get a job so that i could have at least a little bit of experience. I went to every little computer shop/installation/networking business i knew of. I tried to see if they had any part-time jobs. I offered 7 different business my services for "FREE". Not minimum wage but free. They all said no. Be it insurance reasons or whatever, i dont know. I explained I wanted to get experience and would do whatever they needed of me, including sweeping the floor in the spare time. I dont know, but if i had a computer shop and a college kid came in and wanted to work on the weekend or a few hours during the week , I would let them try. Especially for free. Oh well, i know you didnt come on here to here my problems. Im going to try going to atlanta i guess. If you can relocate, that would be my suggestion when looking for employment. When you start looking for a job, just think about people like me, who cant even get a job working for free. Hopefully that will cheer you up. Good Luck

    PS: Yea, you are right about the one degree thing. The professors might mention the dual role deal, but they dont really teach dual roles. I took the networking pathway also. We had a few programming classes but not enough for a programmer. You had to make your choice, which decided which classes you would take. I sure though that maybe "some" schools teach a few mgt classes in their curriculum.

    Thanks for the reply. Most here who don't have a CCNP (not including you) think that it's acceptable to just work for free for a while or make a low hourly wage for a couple of years after school. Me - I work FT and go to school PT and have a wife and two small children who demand my time, so I'm not going to waste my time in a field where I have to "volunteer" to hope to get a job upon graduation, or even before.

    I commend you in your efforts to find work. I have no intention of spending almost two years in a field and wind up wondering if an employer will throw my resume in his trash can unless I have 3-5 years experience already. I mean, it's unrealistic to expect *everyone* to have experience. After all, what do people go to school for unless they don't already know what it is they're studying? If the field is so saturated that no one wants fresh graduates, then you'd better believe I'll be looking elsewhere. No time here for working for free or languishing at ten bucks an hour as a junior assistant to the junior helpdesk shift leader while my family starves to death. I'll go study finance; at least with it employers aren't spitting on you for not having experience. Sorry to be so cynical, but it's all I've been hearing lately. Nothing against you - I'm just angry at my school's false advertising of "average salary with CCNP - 61k a year!!" Huh. And I thought that with all the technical knowledge learned with the Cisco certs that there would be a lot of demand for such people, as few would go through the rigorous training to get them. Boy, was I wrong.

    You are asking for people's opinions/advice on your issue and that is all that everyone has done in the above posts. We are not telling you what to do, we're trying to have a constructive discussion about options for you based on our own experiences.

    Remember not to believe everything that people tell you and maybe you should do some research into opportunities yourself by contacting IT recruiters, trying to arrange informal chats about your scenario with ISP Management staff in companies in your area (go through yellow pages) BEFORE you commit to attaining the CCNP, this shows initiative and I bet they don't get many people who do this. A couple of things to consider anyway.

    I'm a firm believer in the old saying "when there's a will there's a way" but it's down to you to make it happen.

    I hope it works out whatever you decide to do.

    Regards

    Malc
  • bmaurobmauro Posts: 307Member
    Well unfortunately if you came into networking to make big $$ - and thats the only reason - then you came into this field for the wrong reason. Don't get be wrong, a CCIE with EXPERIENCE can easliy make a six figure salary, heck a CCNP with EXPERIENCE can make over 70-80 a year (my area in the country).

    "average salary with CCNP - 61k a year!!" - but what they fail to tell you is that this is usually someone with several years expireince.

    I'm hope your picking up on my main theme :D - these surveys and average salary rates are not for fresh grads.

    While I'm not sure about all fields, but I can't really think of any that demand big bucks once you graduate (unless its from an Ivy league or MIT).

    Teacher at my local high school can make over 125K - but thats with 20yrs of experience. New teachers start out around 35-40. My college roommate graduated with a CS degree, and only make in the high 30s maybe low 40s for programming. Hell - I've even heard that lawyers and doctors do not make much the first couple years out, that they have to bust their @ss for basically next to nothing before the money comes rolling in.

    A four year degree opens doors - same with certs. They aren't some magical golden ticket that will instantly allow you to pull in $60+. Good luck.
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Posts: 4,884Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Tricon7 wrote:
    I don't want to spend almost two years in a field and wind up wondering if an employer will throw my resume in his trash can unless I have 3-5 years experience already. I mean, it's unrealistic to expect *everyone* to have experience. After all, what do people go to school for unless they don't already know what it is they're studying?

    Many people have landed good jobs out of school with little or no experience. (Search the forum for a couple of posts by famousbrown to see his take on the "no experience" problem). I switched careers at age 30 after developing an interest in computers, went to a tech school for MCSE and a couple of months after finishing I had 2 interviews. I was offered both jobs. Neither one was entry level help desk, and although one was a offering me about $2,000 more than my current job as an electrician, I took the one that was actually a small paycut (actually $2,000 less) because of other factors. Anyway, I was pretty much topped out (money) in the electrical trade having done it for 12 years, but now I am almost 40 and am making double what I was as an electrician and still have potential to make more.

    You can do what you want, but if money really was the only reason you chose the field you did, I would go ahead and switch to accounting or whatever trips your trigger. You have to like what you do because you are going to spend 1/3 of your life doing it from here on out. Just be careful you don't find out later that accountants have to do internships or get straight A's to get a job, or that you'll max out at 40K per year, or that the work is so dull you go crazy, or whatever. I have no idea if any of that is the case and it doesn't matter. My point is that you're disillusioned with IT right now and so the grass is looking greener on the other side of the fence.

    Several members here have been around the block a couple of times, been there, done that, have families, etc. Read some of the posts by DarbyWeaver or Keatron and you'll see that there are folks who work hard every day and accomplish any goal they set despite external circumstances.

    I really do wish you the best in whatever you decide. Sorry if my post sounded like a lecture. :)
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • Tricon7Tricon7 Posts: 238Inactive Imported Users
    sprkymrk wrote:
    Tricon7 wrote:
    I don't want to spend almost two years in a field and wind up wondering if an employer will throw my resume in his trash can unless I have 3-5 years experience already. I mean, it's unrealistic to expect *everyone* to have experience. After all, what do people go to school for unless they don't already know what it is they're studying?

    Many people have landed good jobs out of school with little or no experience. (Search the forum for a couple of posts by famousbrown to see his take on the "no experience" problem).

    I did a search for "famousbrown" and got no results.
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Posts: 4,884Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Sorry, it was "famosbrown". Here is a link to all his posts:

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/search.php?search_author=famosbrown

    If I find the 2 or 3 applicable ones I'll repost, but basically he has a very positive take (from both his own personal job hunting experience and others) on how to get a good job with a degree but no experience.
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • I for one can say I am lucky. I got my foot in the door making $60/hr when I turned 16. I worked for small businesses for 1 1/2 years and then due to lack of hours, I was forced to take on a full time job at geek squad for almost 2 years. That all worked out ok for me. I really didn't like geek squad, and actually, I would rather not have a job than work there. I am currently a CS major. One thing bothers me about it though. I commute to school, and every single day (yes I mean EVERY day M-F) I sit on a train PACKED (people are standing) with "IT" people or "programmers" I take 3 different trains in the morning on the way to school. A diff. one on F, and diff. one on M & W, and a diff. one on Tues & Thurs. Each morning train is the same. I would venture to say that approximately ~80% of passengers are in some IT related field. Here are some thigns that I see...Many people with briefcasses that have the person's name with a nice CCIE logo on it, several people reading "CCNA for dummies", "Quick guide to CCNA", "SCJP certification", "Get your MCSE NOW!", and so on, you get the idea. On these trains, if you aren't holding a CCIE briefcase or reading a cert book, then you are a computer programmer! over 1/2 the people on the entire train have laptops, and everytime I sit next to a different person. Do you know what that person is doing? They are programming. Always people programming, everywhere I look. In fact, Its now boring to ask what someone's occupation is. "Oh, what do you do?" reply: "I'm in IT/programming." ~~not suprised. People ask me, "oh are you a computer programmer?" And this actually makes me mad now. "No, I'm not. I am a COMPUTER SCIENTIST." This is because the only "programmers" I've known that knew anything about effective algorithm development or could do math are the ones that went to college. In fact, I've over the last couple of years completely separated Computer Scientists from Programmers. I won't go into it though. (I know I kinda ranted). But yeah, my MAIN POINT... ~>> There are SO many "IT" professionals in the workforce that you have to fight for train seats with them. They are overwhelming. They are everywhere. Yes, I've been in "IT" for a long time and will graduate soon with a B.S. in CS. SO what am I going to do for a job? How will I make it? My answer: I am getting out of "IT" and going to medical school and pursing my real dreams to be a surgical oncologist. (Don't get me wrong, I still love computers, networks, Linux, hardware desgin, etc. I just don't want a career with it anymore.)

    Ahhh...and that was my angry rant. Have a great day everyone! :)
  • KaminskyKaminsky Posts: 1,235Member
    Tricon and any others about to start out.

    It's never easy when you first start out in any occupation with whatever level of study. It wasn't for me and many others here but eventually it worked out. I, like many before me started out in the helpdesk. Yes, low money and yes, probably well beneath my level of technical knowledge at that time but there was still a lot to learn. Interacting with the userbase, knowing how all the networks and network based services, servers, PCs, applications (both PC based and large server based), equipment ordering, establishing new departments, shutting down old departments and redeploying staff and each of these common business topics interacted with each other.

    Once I knew sort of how the whole thing comes together to form a business entity and where I fitted into that, I progressed into other areas of IT Support and so on and so on. Each time the salary got higher and higher.

    What your studies will give you is the ability to climb that ladder far quicker than those who don't have your level of theory who will probably end up staying on the helpdesk for many years. The degree especially opens so many doors for you over the years once you are inside that you'll be glad of it in the long run.

    With regard to the professional qualifications, think of it this way. Would you trust someone to come in and fix your gas boiler if all they had ever done is learnt the theory of fixing gas boilers and OUT-of-the-field practical. No! Seeing as there could be quite a lot of serious problems and financial loss if it isn't done right, you would prefer to have someone who had been doing the job a while and had fixed many gas boilers and dealt with all sorts of things that can crop up in the real world. You could read their history and quiz them as to their previous experiences before letting them loose on your gas boiler. If the job got done by the inexperienced guy and later your house blew up and when you spoke to the guy again and he said "oh.. well that shouldn't have happened! theoretically" would you be happy with that answer?

    I do feel for you and remember quite well when I was where you are now. I can remember having spent years studying, wanting the respect for what I had learnt so far and also the financial reward that I had heard being spoken of but with what I know now I can see it from a different angle. We all have to pay our dues and work from the bottom. There are no shortcuts. Later on you will be the one replying to these types of posts from "young'uns" just starting out. (I'm 42 with wife and 3 kids and over 13 years in the support field for userbases typically 5000+)

    Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Stick at it. You have already done the hard part. Just on more tricky hurdle to get over (getting your foot in the door and then gettin 2 years experience) and you are off and running. You'll find it hard to ever be unemployed again especially with the growth of networking in the next 10-20 years. Just for the record. I never worked voluntarily nor would I ever do (/shudder) I have a family to feed. But, I can understand the recomendation given by others. It would give you some real experience to help you get your foot in the door.
    Kam.
  • bmaurobmauro Posts: 307Member
    "Would you trust someone to come in and fix your gas boiler if all they had ever done is learnt the theory of fixing gas boilers and OUT-of-the-field practical. No! Seeing as there could be quite a lot of serious problems and financial loss if it isn't done right, you would prefer to have someone who had been doing the job a while and had fixed many gas boilers and dealt with all sorts of things that can crop up in the real world. "

    I think an even better example would be - You have to have a highly complex heart surgery performed. The doctor assigned to you is a young doctor fresh out of med-school. He/She has never performed this surgery before, but they have studied this surgery from books for some time.

    These examples can go on and on - Very important court case - new fresh lawyer or veteran lawyer?

    The same can be said about networks. If your company has mission critical data going through those lines - they should not want to put someone with no hands-on experience at the helm of the network - IMO.
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