Where to go from here?

ReardenRearden Member Posts: 222
I'm 20 years old. I'm enrolled in a Computer Science program at my college. I know Java, C++, C, Perl, and a few other programming languages. I know Linux like the back of my hand; I'm sure that I could pass Linux+ with very minimal studying. I won't bother to list off all of my Linux skills. I'm not being overconfident here. There's plenty that I don't know about Linux it's just that I know how to find the answer or know when the right time to ask for help is, so the job always gets done. I have experience in Gentoo, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD and Solaris.

I'm a stickler for security. For a long time we had a home grown NAC tool and I begged the powers that be to let me fix a couple of obvious security flaws (users could just navigate directly to the registration page, skipping the compliance scan. I wanted to fix it by making the registration page check the scan database. It never happened)

I work in the IT department in my college. I'm responsible for Cisco switches, 3Com switches, maintaining our Cisco wireless network, a lot of perl programming, network cabling, even doing fiber terminations (multimode only. we don't do single mode terminations in-house).

I studied for, but never took A+ exam a few years ago, so I know PC Hardware + software as well.

One day we had to stay until 3AM fixing the print server. . . Instead of being pissed, I was excited. Stuff like that happens all the time.

I'm currently studying for CCNA and should take it within a month or so. Really, I want to know how to get my foot in the door after college. Should I go to graduate school, or just jump right in to the work force? My boss understands how valuable I will eventually be somewhere. I just want to know the best way to express all of these traits and more to prospective employers eventually. A lot of this stuff only became apparent to my boss after I had been working for him for some time - remember that I am only 20.

I feel like I get overlooked at my job sometimes - I have the skills to really help in a lot of things and often I end up breaking down boxes and such. How should I make it known that I want to actually contribute.

So, I want to keep learning stuff, but I'm not sure if I should go for the Masters in IT/Network Administration( at Rochester Institute of Technology. that's not the school I currently go to).

Anyone have any thoughts or advice?
More systems have been wiped out by admins than any cracker could do in a lifetime.


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    royalroyal Member Posts: 3,352 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Personally, I think a Master's Degree is not needed so much. It is the Bachelor's degree that will open up the doors to jobs that you might have otherwise been overlooked for, and then usually you do some certifications and land a job that you will get some hands on experience while at the same time pursue additional certifications. You definitely appear to be doing an excellent job in both attending college, pursuing certifications, as well as getting a lot of hands on experience. My advice to you is to keep pursuing certifications, and start looking really hard at finding a career job. I would definitely make sure you have a solid resume that will assist making you shine. Get some professional references from your current job, and don't skimp on a good cover letter.

    You can see some good career hunting sites in the stickies as well as other useful information that will assist you in finding your career job. Don't forget about taking advantage of your school's career placement program. I know several people whom I attended college with who got pretty good jobs while taking advantage of the career placement program. My current company actually got my name through the school. When I started on my certification track, I attended a class for A+ (from which I ended up doing all self-study afterwards). That class gave me access to their career opportunity site. At this site I found my 1st technical job where I ended up learning about Active Directory and Group Policy.

    So in short, use all the resources available to you. All the job sites listed in the stickies and your college's career placement program. Make sure your resume, cover letter, and professional references are updated and know that they might be getting a call from prospective employers. Good luck to you and let us know how it works out for you.
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
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