Systems administrator possibilities

Dr_AtomicDr_Atomic Posts: 184Member
I'm exploring the possibility of becoming a systems administrator - my friend at work who's more familiar with the requirements for this has given me some advice on it. As I already have a CCNA, he said that if I were to get my A+, which would show my knowledge of hardware and the hands-on stuff, then get my MCSA, which would show my knowledge of Microsoft servers and technology, then I would be in a great position to land a systems administrator job. He said he knew someone who just had an MCSA and was doing this job making $80k/yr(?!)

As a CCNA, I'm glued to a monitor, watching alarm boards and am not able to move for eight hours, which I hate. My hope is that as a sysadmin I could at least talk to people and move around to some degree - especially if I'm in a medium-sized corporate setting, where I need to go here and there checking things out, etc.

Keep in mind that I'm entirely willing to pursue this course to obtain the aforementioned certs, but I'm not going to spend the rest of my life studying, pursuing cert after cert. I've spent the last four years obtaining them and I have no desire to, say, get an MCSE, SCCP, CCNP, etc, etc. The A+ and MCSA I feel could be obtained without too much difficulty, knowing what I know already. I'm just curious as to what those of you with sysadmin experience think of my plan.

Cheers.

Comments

  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Posts: 5,031Inactive Imported Users ■■■■■■■■□□
    You could go for the A+ but with your background, picking up an MCSA and studying A+ and Server+ material might be enough.

    You could also go for the MCITP stuff instead of the MCSA.
  • Dr_AtomicDr_Atomic Posts: 184Member
    knwminus wrote: »
    You could also go for the MCITP stuff instead of the MCSA.

    From what I can find online about it, this seems to be a fairly major cert, requiring far more work to get than an MCSA. Like I said, I don't want another high-level cert that's going to require no life to get.
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    Your best bet is to take a job with a small to medium sized company, ideally supporting all the IT on a single site with some connectivity elsewhere i.e to HQ, suppliers, customers, internet.

    In my first job I was the systems administrator at a single site for 20 months. I had little or no experience of supporting end users or infrastructure and I learned all the rudiments that have carried me in my career from there. It was also on some levels the hardest job I ever had.

    Be aware that in this sort of role you will be responsible for everything at least on a 1st and in some cases 2nd level support basis. This includes a lot of things you dont understand. So you have a lot to learn on the job. You will also be very visible in this job and open to a lot of criticism from everyone you support. Expect little thanks. Do expect to have to invest a lot of yourself in this job to get anything back both in terms of learning to work effectively for people, handling stress and stressful people, protecting your reputation, promoting yourself positively and learning to make the right decisions. Managing your time and reporting back effectively are key. You also need a sixth sense for a problem not only with technology but with the people who rely on it. Develop listening and empathy.

    Oh yes and you need to become daily more accomplished at administrating, upgrading, installing and supporting the technologies around you. You will be running a round a great deal in such a job and will be the goto guy for every bit of technology on site. For me back in 1997 that meant not only the office environment with desktops and all the attendant software, but the Novell fileserver, the AS400 printers and all the devices in the factory that had a computer interface - wrapping machines, barcoders, pallet label printers. Every engagement where you have to provide support for people whether it be the girl on reception or the general manager has the potential to cause you pain if you dont handle yourself well.

    If the company is not technology focused i.e in my case we manufactured food products then you can expect IT to be low down in the pecking order, ancillary to what the company is about and a lot of heat from people if you dont respond positively, helpfully and decisively.

    It seems to me you are demoralised where you are and want to break out into a more dynamic role. Try something like this. You wont have time to monitor alarms all day much less study for exams.

    Regarding certifications..

    Without them I dont think I would have got out of that place to bigger things. I ran a remote site and was behind the curve with my peers at HQ who had put 6 or more years in. I was never going to catch up with them on the job as we all worked at the same pace. They gave me lots of support over the phone in my first year when I was very green and needed plenty of help. But the MCSE was a way up and out. Pretty soon thanks to my study efforts on my private time I had more understanding of the technology than they did and some grudging kudos conceeded to me for passing MCP exams which they never pursued as they chose to rely instead on their experience. The problem was the technology and the market was running away from them with massive opportunities opening up in other companies which over time would become less available to them as they rested on their laurels. They stayed where they were and while I have not seen them for over ten years and wish them well, I doubt their career path has been very vertical.

    I sold my experience and MCPs to the recruitment world and moved on..

    Two years later after holding down a hands on network manager position in a company HQ I went on to manage a shop running everything including 100 Solaris servers used to develop Java based internet FX trading solutions with Oracle backends for banks in the US and beyond. I designed the network and server room for the office moves. I recruited people, I became a CCNP in 2001. Two offices in the UK and one in New York and that was over seven years ago..

    So today you can certainly expect a medium or large enterprise to require you to have MCSA at least for a sysadmin role as well as demonstrable experience running a site. You can get that in a smaller place with more relaxed certification requirements but if you want to get on to enterprise admin level you will have to work hard to learn the trade in the smaller shop and then sell it to step up to enterprise space work.

    Hardwork, desire and ambition for the MCSE amongst other things are a must.
  • brianeaglesfanbrianeaglesfan Posts: 130Member
    Excellent post Turgon, as someone in search of some career focus myself this was beneficial. Thanks for posting it.
    Complete: MSMIS, MBA, EPIC certified
    In progress: CPHIMS, CAPM
  • TurgonTurgon Posts: 6,313Banned
    Excellent post Turgon, as someone in search of some career focus myself this was beneficial. Thanks for posting it.

    Happy to help.
  • Dr_AtomicDr_Atomic Posts: 184Member
    Turgon wrote: »
    Happy to help.

    Nice post. I appreciate it. But I'm curious - you've been around a while in the IT world (managing a network in the 90s, CCNP in '01), yet in your avatar pic you look very young. Either it's an old pic, you started IT at 13, you look extremely young for your age, or that's not you. icon_wink.gif
  • erpadminerpadmin Posts: 4,165Member
    Dr_Atomic wrote: »
    Nice post. I appreciate it. But I'm curious - you've been around a while in the IT world (managing a network in the 90s, CCNP in '01), yet in your avatar pic you look very young. Either it's an old pic, you started IT at 13, you look extremely young for your age, or that's not you. icon_wink.gif


    You know, I've been wondering the same thing about that pic...that is definitely some sweetness right there, and that's puttin' it mildly. icon_lol.gif
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Posts: 5,031Inactive Imported Users ■■■■■■■■□□
    That isn't HIM.

    I think he said the pic is someone called router girl.
  • cooldudemanuscooldudemanus Posts: 37Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    knwminus wrote: »
    That isn't HIM.

    I think he said the pic is someone called router girl.


    I really doubt there are people that look like that in IT. Even though I don't work in IT yet.


    I can only presume that IT is similar to engineering......90%men.
  • MeanDrunkR2D2MeanDrunkR2D2 MCSA: Server 2012, MCITP: EDA KCPosts: 889Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I really doubt there are people that look like that in IT. Even though I don't work in IT yet.


    I can only presume that IT is similar to engineering......90%men.

    Yes, IT tends to have more males working in it than females. But they are out there and I have worked with a few that are drop dead gorgeous. Of course, them being a bit on the geeky side is an even bigger turn on as well..

    (Now to hide this post so my Fiance doesn't see it)
  • vColevCole Posts: 1,574Member
    I really doubt there are people that look like that in IT. Even though I don't work in IT yet.


    I can only presume that IT is similar to engineering......90%men.


    There is most def. women who work in IT that look like that.
  • erpadminerpadmin Posts: 4,165Member
    After my first IT shop, I have worked with a number of IT women who ranged from cute to smoking f'ing hot. Yes, not all of them were in this range, but there were a few who were that could definitely get the attention. But (cute) women in IT are definitely getting work.

    The one unfortunate thing for them, but I would imagine this exists for them in every field, is there are always "questions" on how she obtained employment, especially if she is terrible at the simplest of functions. Though if she was excellent, those "questions" were never entertained. (Not just good, excellent....)
  • SrSysAdminSrSysAdmin Posts: 259Member
    Another fantastic post Turgon...thanks for that.
    Current Certifications:

    * B.S. in Business Management
    * Sec+ 2008
    * MCSA

    Currently Studying for:
    * 70-293 Maintaining a Server 2003 Network

    Future Plans:

    * 70-294 Planning a Server 2003 AD
    * 70-297 Designing a Server 2003 AD
    * 70-647 Server 2008
    * 70-649 MCSE to MCITP:EA
  • cooldudemanuscooldudemanus Posts: 37Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    There is most def. women who work in IT that look like that.


    pretty women and smart do not go together....granted there are exceptions. However, most pretty women ive seen have been dumb.


    Of course, its very stupid of me to make stereotypes. I also don't work in IT so....
  • networker050184networker050184 Posts: 11,962Mod Mod
    pretty women and smart do not go together....granted there are exceptions. However, most pretty women ive seen have been dumb.


    Of course, its very stupid of me to make stereotypes. I also don't work in IT so....

    So what you are saying is you are basically just talking out of your ass?
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • mikedisd2mikedisd2 Posts: 1,096Member
    pretty women and smart do not go together....granted there are exceptions. However, most pretty women ive seen have been dumb.


    Of course, its very stupid of me to make stereotypes. I also don't work in IT so....

    So, how many neg reps did you receive for this comment? icon_smile.gif
  • Bl8ckr0uterBl8ckr0uter Posts: 5,031Inactive Imported Users ■■■■■■■■□□
    pretty women and smart do not go together....granted there are exceptions. However, most pretty women ive seen have been dumb.


    Of course, its very stupid of me to make stereotypes. I also don't work in IT so....

    Neg rep -1

    Yea my wife is a pretty smart cookie and I'll be damned if I don't have to beat the guys away from her when we go out.

    It is that kind of thinking that makes it hard for ALL minorities. I believe someone said here that the woman had to be great, not good. It isn't just women. I am black and I have been in situations were people have thought I got a job because of EOE and not my technical ability BUT those people can eat a dick. You can as well sir....icon_rolleyes.gif
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