Voice over IP / Telecommunication Certs?

KalabinKalabin Member Posts: 64 ■■□□□□□□□□
I'm curious if many of you hold any or know of any worth getting. Currently I work as a Telecommunication's Apprentice. It's a 8,000 hour OJT apprenticeship with 5 year's of their schooling. However the schooling is technical, but it is tailored to their specific need's. I have worked on everything from cabling 5-10 story building's with Coax, Cat5, and Fiber to working for a telephone utility as a central office hand, working within an IR crew upgrading businesses for VoIP implementation. However we do all the physical cabling, punch downs, tie cables, rack installation's etc. No actual software configuration.

Right now im going for my CCNA, in hope's that I can land a Central Office / NOC position within my current employer in time. My concern is that after I have completed my Apprenticeship with the required amount of OJT, taken the state and union exam's for my Journeyman card I still will need further training. Now, I dont want to wait until after I have completed my Apprenticeship to get going on it.

So, what certification's should I be looking for. My dream job would be working with a contractor doing everything from cabling / configuring / and setting up everything from LAN equipment, to VoIP. Is there a demand in this area, or am I most likely spending a lot of money on a career that wont produce. If I stay with my current job, i'll be comfortable, but I will not feel like im gaining anything. So im looking for the future.

Any advice is always appreciated!

Comments

  • kentrgkentrg Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I think CCNA is the right step for you.

    I know some people who jumped straight to voice ip without learning basics of routers and switches and they are having hard time.

    Once you get your CCNA you can take the CCVP Route which i believe consists of 5 exams.
  • KalabinKalabin Member Posts: 64 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Awsome, now out of curiousity for those people working on the VoIP side of the trade, how busy do they stay? And what sort of wage's are they making? The trade im with right now doesnt do any in house VoIP configuration, they just do all of the cabling / physical setup of the network. Everything else is done in house. Only "decent" paying job's I could find were in the North West US, but they were wanting a BS along with VoIP cert's.
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    You're going to find that a college degree is standard fare for most jobs worth having, but don't let that stop you from applying anway. I don't even have my Associate's yet, and the job I currently have listed a Bachelor's as a requirement. (That doesn't mean I can rest on my laurels, I'm going to have to get my butt back in school sooner than later, if I ever want to be as competitive as I'd like to be.) As for certifications with VoIP technology, I'd say going the CCNA --> CCVP route is a good choice. There is also CompTIA's Convergence+ certification, but I'm not sure what the material is really like or how good it is. Still, it's definitely up your alley, if you're wanting to get into VoIP. CompTIA is generally a whole lot more generalized, and it's an entry-level cert, so it could be a good thing to use as a 'testing of the waters', so to speak, before you commit to the long haul of CCVP.

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  • KalabinKalabin Member Posts: 64 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Yeah, I joined an apprenticeship for the training and it's nice to get the hand's on experience but the schooling just isnt there in my opinion. They teach you how to get a job done, but it does not explain the how or why's of the telecommunication's trade. After spending about 4,000 hours in this apprenticeship I decided I would enroll at my local college for my Associate's of Applied Scence in Computer and Network Technologies. So, im about halfway through it, while working full time through the apprenticeship as well.

    What im hoping for is by the time I finish the apprenticeship (5 year program) and finish my associates, along with having my current A+, Net+, MCP and hopefully CCNA it may make me viable for an entry level Network / VoIP tech for a utility. Mind you my 5 year program is directly telecommunication's related with their own schooling which is accredited through most universities.

    My big debate is do I want to stay where im at once I get my Journeyman card, which will be roughly 36/hr. Or is it going to be both financially rewarding if I wanted to leave the state / location im in to find job's state side making roughly the same wages. Or, if I go stateside am I going to find that the going rate for someone with a VoIP + Telecommunication's background is only worth 40-60k/yr in a higher cost of living job market?
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Kalabin wrote:
    Yeah, I joined an apprenticeship for the training and it's nice to get the hand's on experience but the schooling just isnt there in my opinion. They teach you how to get a job done, but it does not explain the how or why's of the telecommunication's trade. After spending about 4,000 hours in this apprenticeship I decided I would enroll at my local college for my Associate's of Applied Scence in Computer and Network Technologies. So, im about halfway through it, while working full time through the apprenticeship as well.

    What im hoping for is by the time I finish the apprenticeship (5 year program) and finish my associates, along with having my current A+, Net+, MCP and hopefully CCNA it may make me viable for an entry level Network / VoIP tech for a utility. Mind you my 5 year program is directly telecommunication's related with their own schooling which is accredited through most universities.

    My big debate is do I want to stay where im at once I get my Journeyman card, which will be roughly 36/hr. Or is it going to be both financially rewarding if I wanted to leave the state / location im in to find job's state side making roughly the same wages. Or, if I go stateside am I going to find that the going rate for someone with a VoIP + Telecommunication's background is only worth 40-60k/yr in a higher cost of living job market?

    You have a good job there. Stick at it, get as much hands on experience as you can and work hard on your schooling and Cisco certs. I would do the CCNA and then press on with CCVP I think.

    In an increasingly virtualised world, I think 5 years on you will find that hands-on experience comes into it's own. Companies will need people who are very handy in a datacentre and a lot of jobs these days with the offshoring, co-locating and remote access tools don't provide that hands on exposure.

    The other advice I would who give you is to start to build up a modest lab at home. A couple of servers would be good. Use one for VM and the other as your network management station. You will find servers very useful for Call Manager evals. Also start to put a small cisco lab together at home. It need not cost much. Old gear is an affordable and good start.
  • KalabinKalabin Member Posts: 64 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Yeah, im slowly aquiring more equipment for a home lab. I snagged a couple 2501's locally, plan on getting a 2950 switch. Mainly for the CCNA program im going through currently. The only problem with the hand's on experience is the hand's on experience I have is more with termination, DSLAM's etc. I have yet to be put into a position as a true Central Office Apprentice, to learn the Nortel, UMC, Adtran phone swithing. So, i'm more of an I&R Tech at the moment since the majority of Telco work seem's to go to new construction of building's.

    As for setting up a home lab for server's using VMWare that wont be much of an issue, it's just getting to the point where I can put the time into something outside of work as well as night classes. I know for the hourly wage, I make it a good amount. But I feel as if for my wage I should know more, and I demand of myself to be worth the amount that I am being paid. The issue with myself learning more is the technician's I work with have been in the position for 10+ year's, and are still tied in with Analog system's, and when it comes to the new IP based telephone system's they just read the manual the Engineer's draw up and call it good. So they are a horrible source for training.

    I'm just a young guy who would like to line out a 5 year plan that will put me in a comfortable position where I wont need to feel i'll have a hard time finding a job outside of the current contractor's I work with.
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Kalabin wrote:
    Yeah, im slowly aquiring more equipment for a home lab. I snagged a couple 2501's locally, plan on getting a 2950 switch. Mainly for the CCNA program im going through currently. The only problem with the hand's on experience is the hand's on experience I have is more with termination, DSLAM's etc. I have yet to be put into a position as a true Central Office Apprentice, to learn the Nortel, UMC, Adtran phone swithing. So, i'm more of an I&R Tech at the moment since the majority of Telco work seem's to go to new construction of building's.

    As for setting up a home lab for server's using VMWare that wont be much of an issue, it's just getting to the point where I can put the time into something outside of work as well as night classes. I know for the hourly wage, I make it a good amount. But I feel as if for my wage I should know more, and I demand of myself to be worth the amount that I am being paid. The issue with myself learning more is the technician's I work with have been in the position for 10+ year's, and are still tied in with Analog system's, and when it comes to the new IP based telephone system's they just read the manual the Engineer's draw up and call it good. So they are a horrible source for training.

    I'm just a young guy who would like to line out a 5 year plan that will put me in a comfortable position where I wont need to feel i'll have a hard time finding a job outside of the current contractor's I work with.

    Convergence isn't a new thing. I looked at the CVoice exam requirement myself as far back as 2001. But what we see now is that finally companies are investing in VoIP solutions. I think the analog/IP work you will get to do and all that goes with it including the physical work will really stand you in good stead over the next 5 - 10 years. Learn as much as you can on your own time to build on that experience you are getting at work.
  • KalabinKalabin Member Posts: 64 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Awsome, I really do appreciate the info. I have about a month until I test for my CCNA through the Cisco Network Acadamy im enrolled in through my college. Depending on how that goes, I hope to get a little more into the VoIP setup at my house. So, i'll keep on trucking and get the physical experience OJT, then study the theory at home.

    Thanks again!
  • TurgonTurgon Banned Posts: 6,308 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Kalabin wrote:
    Awsome, I really do appreciate the info. I have about a month until I test for my CCNA through the Cisco Network Acadamy im enrolled in through my college. Depending on how that goes, I hope to get a little more into the VoIP setup at my house. So, i'll keep on trucking and get the physical experience OJT, then study the theory at home.

    Thanks again!

    Do that, and certainly batter away on your expanding home rack and CCNA/CCVP certs. 5 years down the line you will be interviewing a few on this board if you stick at it.

    Good luck!
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