Network Engineer Jobs Descriptions

NeekoNeeko Posts: 170Member
This is aimed primarily at those in the UK, but if the same applies to the job ads in the US then you guys too.

I know companies just list their ideal employee but sometimes I wonder whether I'm ever going to be able to avoid server administration.

Technical Support Engineer, Basingstoke, to £35k (ewr3046:38433b) - PlanetRecruit

This job for example shows clearly that you're going to be jack of all trades, something I've never intended on being.

Likewise this one, which isn't a job I'd apply for now since I only have a year of experience but they want both areas covered:

Network Support Engineer - Cisco - Totaljobs.com

This one on the other hand is specific to Cisco engineering and not server admin stuff:

Cisco Network Support Engineer CCNA,CCNP job in North London, London - CV-library.co.uk

I wont keep posting job links, I think you get the idea. I see more job ads that ask for Cisco and Microsoft / Linux experience than just Cisco experience. I'm starting to think I'm putting myself at a big disadvantage since I only know and really only want to know networking, and not all this server and VM shenanigans.

Is it unrealistic to think I can avoid that side of things, and from your experience are the two often mixed so heavily? I know there are a few people on here who have got certs and probably experience in both but it doesn't seem too common.

Comments

  • sambuca69sambuca69 Posts: 262Member
    Neeko wrote: »
    This is aimed primarily at those in the UK, but if the same applies to the job ads in the US then you guys too.

    I know companies just list their ideal employee but sometimes I wonder whether I'm ever going to be able to avoid server administration.

    Technical Support Engineer, Basingstoke, to £35k (ewr3046:38433b) - PlanetRecruit

    This job for example shows clearly that you're going to be jack of all trades, something I've never intended on being.

    Likewise this one, which isn't a job I'd apply for now since I only have a year of experience but they want both areas covered:

    Network Support Engineer - Cisco - Totaljobs.com

    This one on the other hand is specific to Cisco engineering and not server admin stuff:

    Cisco Network Support Engineer CCNA,CCNP job in North London, London - CV-library.co.uk

    I wont keep posting job links, I think you get the idea. I see more job ads that ask for Cisco and Microsoft / Linux experience than just Cisco experience. I'm starting to think I'm putting myself at a big disadvantage since I only know and really only want to know networking, and not all this server and VM shenanigans.

    Is it unrealistic to think I can avoid that side of things, and from your experience are the two often mixed so heavily? I know there are a few people on here who have got certs and probably experience in both but it doesn't seem too common.

    Depends, IMO. Smaller places usually have overlapping responsibilities, whereas larger places are more focused in their respective area.

    Where I am for instance, if you work on Cisco, you work on Cisco and do now touch anything else.
  • joey74055joey74055 Posts: 216Member
    sambuca69 wrote: »
    Depends, IMO. Smaller places usually have overlapping responsibilities, whereas larger places are more focused in their respective area.

    Where I am for instance, if you work on Cisco, you work on Cisco and do now touch anything else.

    Yes I agree. Smaller companies usually don't need just a fulltime "network" guy so they usually find or want someone that can do a little of everything and can hire a 3rd party consultant to come in and do the "big" networking stuff like overhauls, conversions, implentations those sort of one time things. Larger companies often times need or can get away with having just a networking person or dept for that matter. Your 3rd party consultanting firms/business partners usually will need a networking person because they are continually going out and putting in networking systems like VoIP and etc. If you want to avoid helpdesk and the server side of life you need to look for Cisco business partners, thats where you will work just on Cisco products and will get a ton of exp as well.
  • tdeantdean Posts: 520Member
    joey74055 wrote: »
    If you want to avoid helpdesk and the server side of life you need to look for Cisco business partners, thats where you will work just on Cisco products and will get a ton of exp as well.

    i havent been exposed to much other than the medium sized companies, but how does someone escape having to know any server side stuff? i mean, how often do routers go down that someone could make a career out of being exclusively the "Cisco guy?"
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    tdean wrote: »
    i havent been exposed to much other than the medium sized companies, but how does someone escape having to know any server side stuff? i mean, how often do routers go down that someone could make a career out of being exclusively the "Cisco guy?"


    Easy, work for an ISP, Cisco partner or large enterprise. Trust me, there are enough network issues to keep you busy.

    I have never touched a server in my career besides Callmanagers and some *nix boxes that run management/test applications like NSFEN or tcpdump. Even then I was only responsible for the application and not the actual server itself. I know just enough to differentiate when it is a network or application issue. If its something with a server there are plenty admins around to fix it. They don't need a network guy like me getting in the way and I definitely don't need server admins mucking around in the network gear.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • tdeantdean Posts: 520Member
    interesting, i wonder if i may be barking up the wrong tree by doing all this MS, vmware, sonicwall, exchange etc etc stuff when i should just concentrate on Cisco. stupid question but..... what do you guys actually do? is there a higher upside to that over the net admin positions? i have to admit, my recent experiences havent been great working like a dog learning a companies proprietary apps, firewall, vpn, server and clients at these boring places.
  • shodownshodown Posts: 2,271Member
    tdean wrote: »
    interesting, i wonder if i may be barking up the wrong tree by doing all this MS, vmware, sonicwall, exchange etc etc stuff when i should just concentrate on Cisco. stupid question but..... what do you guys actually do? is there a higher upside to that over the net admin positions? i have to admit, my recent experiences havent been great working like a dog learning a companies proprietary apps, firewall, vpn, server and clients at these boring places.


    Typical day

    7am-8am
    Wake up check blackberry. Prepare myself for the morning ish storm. What happend last night with the night crew.

    8-9am

    Walk into work. Load up computer complain that the login scripts are too slow. Go get coffee shoot the ish with co workers.

    9:15-12:30

    Get into to my ticket tracking system. What is broken and with what customer. What needs to be fixed now and what needs to wait. usually somethign wrong with Call Managers, Unity, Dial-peers on routers IPCC, customer turing up new circuits, changes to routing. Get about 30 min of admin time. Replying to emails. Cleaning up case notes. Planning a scheudle that will change before 12pm.

    Start working on cases and log into phone. Usually the problems I seen before I will attack right away and get those closed. Sometimes the customer wants us to show them how we fix it and we do that, but if there level of knolowdge is to low we just do the fix and setup a reboot time if need be.

    Harder issues that tier 1 or 2 can't slove we usually go to Cisco and find out if its a bug or we were just being stupid.

    1230 4:30 back from lunch

    Resume working on cases. Usually by now some new issues have come up and I have to start deciding what goes to the back burner or if its really that hard to decide I get the manager involved because if 2 people are hurting really badly and nobodies available I don't want it fallign back on I didn't make the right decision on who to help. Management is good for that task.

    4:30-6pm

    Usually most of the fires have been put out. Work on smaller issues. Try to get a plan on action for the night crew cause they will have reboots and maintance and testing to do. Try to give them as clear instructions as posssible so they don't call at 2am. Watch CBT nuggets or read white pages on technology on cisco's website and another 45 min of admin to get things cleaned up.
    Currently Reading

    CUCM SRND 9x/10, UCCX SRND 10x, QOS SRND, SIP Trunking Guide, anything contact center related
  • NeekoNeeko Posts: 170Member
    Thanks for the replies, makes sense that smaller comapnies need their network guys to cover everything. In fact that's how it is for the senior engineers where I'm working now, and all it has done is put me off more.
    tdean wrote: »
    interesting, i wonder if i may be barking up the wrong tree by doing all this MS, vmware, sonicwall, exchange etc etc stuff when i should just concentrate on Cisco. stupid question but..... what do you guys actually do? is there a higher upside to that over the net admin positions? i have to admit, my recent experiences havent been great working like a dog learning a companies proprietary apps, firewall, vpn, server and clients at these boring places.

    Firewall and VPN? Although that's more security it's still networking. Not sure how much of this you would see if working as a network guy in an ISP or large enterprise but I think security is and always will be a useful area to have some knowledge and experience in. I'm working in a security focused role at the moment and although (unfortunately) the hardware used is not Cisco or any of the top vendors, the understanding I have of firewalls (Sonicwall, the same as you) in a generic sense would make it easier to transfer the knowledge and get to grips with other hardware.

    The only thing I find with security is you soon have to start dealing with authentication, Active Directory etc which is where I start to lose interest.

    That's a thought actually, would working in an ISP or large enterprise as a network engineer demand some network security, as in firewalls etc?
  • tdeantdean Posts: 520Member
    i hear ya Neeko.... im really trying to find my way now. a guy i know is a big wig security guy working as a contractor for the dod. unfortunately he's on the other side of the country. i dont love this stuff enough to waste my time learning stuff that i will never use or will pigeon hole me in a frustrating situation. the jobs i've had were relatively small companies >300 users and i was the "everything" guy. i need to break out of that and work somewhere i have good benefits, a good salary and somehting that im not going to wake up in the middle of the night sick to my stomach thinking about work the next day. my last gig was at a doorknob wholesaler.... it was painful. i just wish i knew people in the field that could say "hey.... try this...." or "hey... heres what i do... would you like this?" i dont even know the questions to ask.

    back to the security bit... i dont know if there are "checkllists" people use to assess a companies security... or if so, what about when its done? no more job? i dunno........
  • rsuttonrsutton Posts: 1,029Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    I've worked in IT for some large companies and some small ones. I've never specialized in something, I've always been a jack of all trades. Where I am at now I am one of two IT guys for a medium sized company and I get to do a little bit of everything. I enjoy having my hands in so many pots, the experience makes things lively. It's also nice to completely own your network.

    One of the complaints I had when working for a large company was the specialists never would want to own a problem. Example: We had a fiber connection between two sites that was getting very poor bandwidth. We had about 10 guys working on the problem, each guy was a specialist in some area and a few guys, including myself were familiar with the network from a broad perspective. It took EIGHT MONTHS to fix the problem. They could not troubleshoot the problem as a group and no one wanted or was able to own the entire problem.

    While most things did not take that long - everything moves slower in a large company as you have to rely on other people to help you get your job done. It's not all bad though. In a large company there were days when it was slow and because there was so much overlap we would go to the movies or take 3 hour lunches. Now I prefer to be busy.
  • tenroutenrou Posts: 108Member
    I can only re-iterate what has been said before, if you want to go pure networking then you need to be in a very large company or somewhere that requires many networking people like an ISP.

    You'll probably find that you pick up server management skills the more you go along anyway. You just have to learn it for a job role. For example I'm not a massive linux fan but I'm having to learn enough to at least get by because it's required for some of our systems.

    I'm about to sit the CCNA exam as well because I'm going to need it to push into the higher levels and onto the higher wages.

    Project management wouldn't hurt either, especially in a larger company where you'll be tied down with all the red tape.

    If you're asking what's worth learning, then Active Directorty and Exchange are musts in my opinion, they're key systems that even smaller companies have.
  • ColbyGColbyG Posts: 1,264Member
    As others have said, you really need to be in a bigger company. I started in desktop support, got into systems and realized I wanted to be in networking much more than anything else. I just start doing Cisco certs and trying to get more and more specialized in networking (the bigger the company, the more I got to focus specifically on networks). My last three jobs were strictly network, and I'm finally an "engineer" (woot).

    I think what helped me most were the Cisco certs. I kept my systems experience on my resume, but built the network stuff up a lot more, and having no certs other than Cisco really helped show what kind of position I was looking for (though I still get random calls and emails about sys admin/eng positions, argh).
  • filkenjitsufilkenjitsu CCNA R&S, CCNA SP Posts: 561Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Network Engineer





    Responsible for designing, installing, testing, maintaining, enhancing, configuring and securing all communication system components (e.g. switches, routers, firewalls, etc.) in the IS environment. Works with the business and IS to identify and implement network and site solutions to address business needs while ensuring security of enterprise information and systems. Provide subject matter expertise in firewall technology, management and support. Provide project management for the deployment of Infrastructure projects. Provide peer-level customer service and support.





    Responsibilities



    *

    Support customer service level objectives by planning, installing, and maintaining, and tuning data communications system software components. Keep abreast of Information Systems projects and changes, and advise developers of the potential impact on network performance.
    *

    Plan, organize, and coordinate concurrent Information Systems projects of differing size and complexity.
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    Provide research, recommendations, and oversee implementation of new projects.
    *

    Maintain the ability to assist in the development and maintenance of state of the art applications by keeping abreast of technological advancements in the data communications arena. Research and recommend system improvements.
    *

    Participates in the selection, installation, and maintenance of all hardware, system software, and network related components, crossing many platforms and operating systems.
    *

    Monitors network connections to ensure optimal network performance.
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    Identifies steps necessary to fine-tune network.
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    Monitor the attainment of service level objectives by capturing and reporting network availability and performance information and performance information.
    *

    Provide pertinent information to management, recommending alternatives to increased efficiency.
    *

    Ensure efficient network application implementation by creating simulation and modeling techniques.
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    Develop and implement standards and procedures to ensure consistency.
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    Provide training and assistance to staff regarding the generation and maintenance of all data communication software and equipment.
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    Diagnose and resolve network related problems
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    Coordinate problem resolution activities, which require additional assistance or technical expertise by contacting the appropriate resources, including vendors or communications personnel at other organizations.
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    Ensure accurate problem resolution records by updating and/or closing problem incident records.
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    Develop network procedures and technical education for all data processing personnel related to the operation of the data communications network.
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    Performs upgrades of network systems to include routers, switches, firewalls, CSUs/DSUs, and WAN devices.
    *

    Schedules, plans, and performs periodic scheduled maintenance to ensure systems are operating at optimal levels.





    Qualifications



    *

    College degree in related technical / business areas or equivalent work experience
    *

    Understanding of the technology organization and / or business and technology
    *

    Excellent problem solving / analytical skills and knowledge of analytical tools
    *

    Excellent written and verbal communication skills
    *

    Ability to create / define metrics that accurately reflects the current state of a given process
    CISSP, CCNA SP
    Bachelors of Science in Telecommunications - Mt. Sierra College
    Masters of Networking and Communications Management, Focus in Wireless - Keller
  • filkenjitsufilkenjitsu CCNA R&S, CCNA SP Posts: 561Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Data Network Engineer

    Plan, design, engineer, develop, implement, and troubleshoot infrastructure technologies on the customer-servicing network. Provide subject matter expertise around specific technologies. Provide project management for the deployment of customer-servicing projects. Act as vendor interface for support of applications and technologies. Evaluate and implement new technologies, policies, and procedures for business network operations





    Responsibilities

    · Identify changes needed in the customer-servicing infrastructure configuration to achieve the technology organization goals

    · Analyze network & system response and determines tuning recommendations to improve performance.

    · Manage effective issue identification and resolution process; serve as the focal point for customer-servicing infrastructure-related issue / crisis resolution

    · Scheduled rotational on-call assignment

    · Provide project management oversight to customer-servicing infrastructure implementation projects.

    · Implement technology and customer-servicing infrastructure changes

    · Evaluate new product/solutions for inclusion in our customer-servicing network

    · Define requirements in support of budget plans and make recommendations for ways to improve performance and reduce costs

    · Design an effective test plan for any new / changed customer-servicing infrastructure

    · Support identification and collection of metrics and performance reporting processes

    · Develop full suite of documentation as it relates to the customer-servicing network infrastructure (Work Plans, Standards, policies and procedures, etc.)





    Qualifications

    * Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, Systems Engineering or Mathematics preferred.
    * CCIE, CCNA, CCNP Certification desirable.
    * 3 to 5 years relevant work experience in:
    * Cisco Hardware: Cisco 2600, 3600, 7200, 7500, ESR, GSR, IGX, Catalyst 6500 switches
    * Transport Protocols: ATM, MPLS, Frame-Relay
    * Network Protocols: TCP/IP, MPLS, 802.1Q
    * Routing Protocols: RIP, EIGRP, OSPF, BGP
    * Network Applications: CiscoWorks, Cisco WAN Manager, Monitoring tools (ie Openview, Netcool), Performance monitoring tools (i.e. MRTG), CiscoSecure, IP management tools, DNS
    * Business Applications: Excel, Remedy Ticketing
    CISSP, CCNA SP
    Bachelors of Science in Telecommunications - Mt. Sierra College
    Masters of Networking and Communications Management, Focus in Wireless - Keller
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