Networking Career Path

trikitriki Member Posts: 20 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello TE community yesterday I came across an interesting forum post where someone was asking how hard is the CCNP exam.What made the forum post interesting was the discussion about being a server admin before doing networking .To not stray away from the topic in that thread I decided to create a new thread .

So my question is to all senior and midlevel networking guys what career path did you take to get to the position you are in today and how many of you had to take the server admin role before doing networking









Comments

  • kmcintosh78kmcintosh78 Member Posts: 195
    My Career Path started in Telecom. After watching the Industry starting to merge with IT/Networks, I learned Networks and have not really looked back.
    I have really never touched a server.
    What I am working on
    CCNP Route (Currently) 80% done
    CCNP Switch (Next Year)
    CCNP TShoot (Next Year)
  • ITtech2010ITtech2010 Member Posts: 92 ■■■□□□□□□□
    My career path started as a printer techncool.gif but I had to start somewhere. Then I went to Hardware support / Field Engineer which involved my cisco experiences setting up and configuring routers and switches / Desktop Support then finally now Network Admin.....Love it.
  • jamesp1983jamesp1983 Member Posts: 2,475 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I started in desktop support, helpdesk, network/server admin, everything consultant, then pure network guy.
    "Check both the destination and return path when a route fails." "Switches create a network. Routers connect networks."
  • MickQMickQ Member Posts: 628 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'm pretty much the same as jamesp, but add some project management to it.
  • NetworkVeteranNetworkVeteran Member Posts: 2,338 ■■■■■■■■□□
    My Career Path started in Telecom. After watching the Industry starting to merge with IT/Networks, I learned Networks and have not really looked back.
    I have really never touched a server.
    As I say in another thread, about 85% of network engineers I know never did the server thing, and the top-compensated engineers I've met have always been in the never-touched-servers group.

    The common path to engineering is CS/EE, plus or minus a CCNA. :)
  • vinbuckvinbuck Member Posts: 785
    1) Small office Server/Network Admin - 6 years
    2) Desktop support (and some server) for a 3000+ user government IT shop 4 Years
    3) Service Provider Network Engineer - 3 Years and going....

    I am completely focused on Network Engineering, but my server experience (Microsoft and Linux) has been an enormous benefit as a Network Engineer. It's easier to troubleshoot (and point the finger) when you know how the OS behaves. It is also beneficial from a design perspective to know the capabilities and tendencies of the packet generators that are going to get plugged into your network.

    A good Network Engineer should be about 75% Specialist/ 25% Generalist. You should be focused on the task at hand but not be a total isolationist.
    Cisco was my first networking love, but my "other" router is a Mikrotik...
  • networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    I started out in the military doing networking. Never really had to 'admin' any servers in my career except a couple Call Managers. All of my jobs have been strictly on the network side and mostly service providers.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
  • sides14sides14 Member Posts: 113
    I started out in Electronics (RADAR), went into Telecom. In Telecom, I noticed that most organizations were merging with Networking. I decided to get my CCNA and moved into networking. Due to a reorganization, I now build the physical hardware and transport (from a project management/engineering perspective).
  • sides14sides14 Member Posts: 113
    I know very few network engineers with a CS/EE. Most of the CCNPs and CCIEs that I have seen have a business or a finance degree (I always thought this was strange, but it seems to work well).
  • trikitriki Member Posts: 20 ■□□□□□□□□□
  • razarrazar Member Posts: 65 ■■□□□□□□□□
    For me, the road to becoming a network engineer is a long one. I started with MSCE and moved from 1st/2nd line support to sys admin which i am currently. I have a ccna but it's not enough alone to get me a networking job. I do some networking in my current role but it's on a small scale compared to what most jobs are after.

    I'm working on my ccnp but have only recently started it after passing my ccna so I've got a long way to go. What worries me sometimes is I see some jobs that seem to require quite a bit of knowledge/experience/certs but are only paying between £30k-£35k. Which makes me wonder if there are really people out there with all that knowledge and experience willing to work for that little amount of pay, obviously there must been since that's what the advertise for.

    Look at this for example:


    Tier 2 Network Engineer - CCNA/CCNP/CCIP - MPLS - LAN - WAN - London - £35k+

    Our client is one of the UK's leading independent providers of managed communications services. Their flexible, integrated communications services encompass IP and mobile telephony, converged networks, unified communications, contact centres and document solutions. Due to rapid growth they're currently looking for a Tier 2 Network Engineer - CCNA/CCNP/CCIP - MPLS - LAN - WAN.

    The Tier 2 Network Engineer - CCNA/CCNP/CCIP - MPLS - LAN - WAN will be working on the network providing support from Tier 1 - 2 as well as getting the opportunity to work on both support and project work. The Tier 2 Network Engineer - CCNA/CCNP/CCIP - MPLS - LAN - WAN will get the opportunity to cover low level design and implementation.

    Technologies
    *Cisco CCNA/CCNP/CCSP/CCVP/CCNP Wireless
    *CORE MPLS
    *NOC 24/7 experience
    *IPTelephony Experience

    Rewards
    *£30-35k basic


    I'd love to get a low-level position at an isp or managed service provider here but it's proving to be very difficult. After I achieve ccnp I'll have to hope for the best, I'm determined to get a networking position though.

    By the way, sorry for the dumb question but what is CS/EE??
  • cxzar20cxzar20 Member Posts: 168
    Started out my career in accounting after getting my undergraduate degree in business. I became very tired of that after awhile and decided to switch my career to IT. I went back to school and got my MS in computer science. Had to take a few bridge courses, but wasn't too bad as I basically took all my undergraduate electives in CS and mathematics. While in grad school I had an internship at Cisco which greatly helped in the job hunt. Had four job offers at graduation and started in a good paying NOC position. I was lucky in that I was promoted from that into network engineering quickly. A few years later I was promoted into my current architect role.

    I have never had a position dealing with servers or desktops.
  • SomnipotentSomnipotent Member Posts: 384
    razar wrote: »
    By the way, sorry for the dumb question but what is CS/EE??

    Computer Science/Electrical Engineering
    Reading: Internetworking with TCP/IP: Principles, Protocols, and Architecture (D. Comer)
  • razarrazar Member Posts: 65 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Oh ok, thanks!
  • Forsaken_GAForsaken_GA Member Posts: 4,024
    triki wrote: »
    So my question is to all senior and midlevel networking guys what career path did you take to get to the position you are in today and how many of you had to take the server admin role before doing networking

    My break in IT was doing helpdesk for a fairly well know ISP. After that, I ended up going back to school and worked for Wal-Mart for a bit. Then I got hired on with a Cisco Reseller doing network gear auditing and pre-configuration for customers.

    Then I became a unix admin for a web hosting company. While there, I made nice with the network geeks, and migrated from unix admin, to jr. network engineer/unix admin, to eventually going full network engineer, and ever since I've been a straight up network guy, though I keep my unix skills sharp enough to fall back on if need be.

    I didn't feel like I needed to be a server admin. The environment was of the type I wanted to work in, I knew a friend who worked there and got me the easy in, so I decided to go ahead and take a chance and see if I could leverage good job performance with my network knowledge to get into the kind of work I wanted to be doing. Fortunately, the dice fell the way I wanted them to, and it proved to be a good career choice.
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