the real world...?

procmanprocman Member Posts: 35 ■■□□□□□□□□
hey all, im working on my CCNA and i was wondering, when i get a job (my first) in IT wat will i be expected to know? like wat responsibilities and such? as i read these books i feel like i am just gaining book smarts but i dont feel as though i have any practicle knowledge. i have the Boson software but i dont have access to physical equipment. ive thought about trying dynamips, will this help aleve some of the tension? im getting my CCNA to further my career and open new doors. wat type of salary can i expect as a n00b? i would like to support my self and my wife while she goes to college. are the 40k numbers ive seen realistic for entryu level? thanks in advance.
K-Meleon 1.5.1
Compaq Presario 723RS


  • kalebkspkalebksp Member Posts: 1,033 ■■■■■□□□□□
    If you have no IT experience it is unlikely that you will get a job working with Cisco equipment. Most people start out at the bottom doing helpdesk and work their way up. For the most part having a CCNA can't hurt you in your job hunting and it can be useful for getting an interview.

    As for salary, it really depends on where you are, different areas have different cost of living, etc. I doubt that you'd get $40k starting out. Where I live the cost of living is above average, I have 5 years experience and I make slightly more than $40k (though I took pay cut for a better working environment and more opportunities to move up).

    I'm not trying to scare you away, just letting you know what I've found from experience.

    Good luck,
  • the_Grinchthe_Grinch Member Posts: 4,165 ■■■■■■■■■■
    As the old saying goes "No body is going to give you the keys to the castle right off the bat". Help desk if just a fact of life when starting out (I have a year of experience, 4 year degree, certs) and I expect to be placed on the help desk. But that doesn't mean you can't help or shadow a network admin during off time. Also, your having a CCNA could allow you to help when there is a big project because you have at least some knowledge of it. Just jump at any and all chances to learn something. I actually have a little story that fits perfectly for this situation.

    The project manager for my senior project started out as an art major. He was just about done when he decided it wasn't for him. He liked computers and decided he would try a job in IT. Off to a small technical school to learn the basics and he was able to score an internship. What he didn't know was it was only for a couple of months and for like $13 an hour. So he had to decide was the experience worth the low pay, especially when he had none. He figured he could some how grit through the low pay and he took every chance he could to learn new things. Stayed late helping admins doing things that had nothing to do with him, but they needed the help. Come the end of the internship they were so impressed with him that they bumped him up a few bucks and brought him on full time. He did his time there and his boss moved to a different company and brought him into that. Now he is working on the 4 year degree, deals with active directory all the time, and is making over $70k.

    I might have to take some of his advice lol...
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  • procmanprocman Member Posts: 35 ■■□□□□□□□□
    thanx yall, if i dont get 40k 1st day thats fine, im a hard worker and would do tech work for free. my hotplate just quit working so i gotta go figure out breakfast. thanx
    K-Meleon 1.5.1
    Compaq Presario 723RS
  • Mrock4Mrock4 Banned Posts: 2,359 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Dynamips would help a lot more then Boson. It won't be the same as using a real network, but it will be a ton better then nothing. I would recommend getting even a couple of switches and a router or two if you can. If not, look into rack rentals to mess around. It's very difficult to simulate a real world network, but that will get you a lot closer.

    As others said, helpdesk is pretty much inevitable, but it's not all bad. I didn't like the helpdesk, but it gave me outstanding experience in troubleshooting that you can't find in a book.

    Good luck with your hotplate.
  • ULWizULWiz Member Posts: 722
    here is how it is currently for my area. I currently live in nj. people here are landing helpdesk jobs for as much as 41k a year. Most of these position here require at least a A+ and Net+. Of course this is with around 1 to 3 years of IT experience. I would also agree with the rest of the guys that your gonna start somewhere at help desk.

    Keep of the studying for certs and try and get yourself into a postion somewhere and you will be good to go. I am taking my CCENT myself in about 4 weeks. This will be my 4th Cert this year. I work full time have kids balance full time school and still have time to study for certs so you will do just fine yourself.

    Best of luck let us know how you do on your CCNA.
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  • phantasmphantasm Member Posts: 995
    ULWiz wrote:
    Keep of the studying for certs and try and get yourself into a postion somewhere and you will be good to go. I am taking my CCENT myself in about 4 weeks. This will be my 4th Cert this year. I work full time have kids balance full time school and still have time to study for certs so you will do just fine yourself.

    Best of luck let us know how you do on your CCNA.

    Glad ot know I'm not the only crazy one! Although my CCENT was my first ever cert. I figure I'll finish CCNA, then CCNA Security and then maybe a server certification. I'd rather stay on the network side of the house but diversity can make more valuable.
    "No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man." -Heraclitus
  • famosbrownfamosbrown Member Posts: 637
    Keep on studying and gather up the certifications and formal education like degrees.

    do not just settle, but apply, apply, apply for any and all jobs that you think you may be qualified for or desire. The only thing they can do is say no, yes, or maybe (probabtion/interviews). Helpdesk is one way to enter the I.T. workforce, but it isn't the only way and many members here, including myself, skipped that part of the journey and made over 40K starting out. I've been out of college since August 2005 and I make well over 60K and during my journey, I've turned down offers for 75K+ due to career progression conflicts with those positions. It's not always about the money, but about enjoying what you do. The money will come eventually and never get comfortable where you are and keep pushing. March will be the first time out of college I've held the same job for at least a year...I'm staying with the current organization I'm with now, but they have plenty of room for advancement, opportunities, and more money.

    also do some research on I.T. because it isn't just Cisco/Microsoft type's so huge.
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  • benbuiltpcbenbuiltpc Member Posts: 80 ■■□□□□□□□□
    My Cisco skills were non-existent prior to my CCNA studies. I landed a job shortly after I passed the CCNA that required my knowledge of routers and switches. Although I wasn't hired with that expectation, I quickly began applying my knowledge :)
  • empc4000xlempc4000xl Member Posts: 322
    your 1st job can be racking and stacking routers, switches and firewalls as most engineers dont' like to do it. Or if you live in a big enough market you can get a job as a Tier 1 NOC watchstander or you can get PC repair person at a smaller company. The guy we got is stright out of a 2 year school and he has access to active directory, switches and a bunch of other stuff which puts him in a good position later on. I recommend taking the NOC route if you can find one. Its crappy work, but you can be at tier 2 in a year and start bringing in the real dough, and a lot of companies around where I work like to take NOC guys and move them into engineering positions as they spend there entire day troubleshooting.
  • procmanprocman Member Posts: 35 ■■□□□□□□□□
    thanx all for the replies. im not above any type of work, currently i work 40+ hours for BS pay in the Texas sun on a ranch. with the state of the economy what areas of the country USA are safe for IT?
    K-Meleon 1.5.1
    Compaq Presario 723RS
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