Not sure what job to apply for?

wallpaper_01wallpaper_01 Senior MemberMember Posts: 226 ■■■□□□□□□□
I'm 27, have a Computer Science Degree, studying a Masters in Networking Technologies, and I'm due to complete my CCNA in Sep. I'm actually working as a web designer at the moment, my roles included project management, Linux Server installation, design of the site and content. Now the site is up I create the content and answer helpdesk stuff.

The thing is, I wish to get into Networking. I took the first IT job out of University which happened to be web design and I've been here since (almost 3 years). There are not many networking jobs that come up where I live, jobs like Systems Analyst which seem to combine networking and MS server stuff come up a bit.

My question is, do I hold out for a networking job and carry on studying (voice or CCNP etc...) or should I study a MCSA Server cert and go into a helpdesk or systems admin role with the mind to become a network admin?

I'm kind of lost at the moment... Im forced to stay in my current location for at least 2 years until my GF finishes her degree, so relocation is not really an option. I could go for helpdesk, but to be honest, I'm kind of doing that at the moment and know windows inside out (but not server).

I do realise I may need to go down in pay to progress though, would MCSA actually make a difference going into networking or am I better off going into CCNA voice or something?

Sorry If I rambled but my text probably displays my confusion/desperation to change jobs!

Any advice would be great!


  • TechGuy215TechGuy215 Explore_Dream_Discover Philadelphia, PAMember Posts: 404 ■■■■□□□□□□
    There are really two different networking positions.

    1. Network Engineer - This is typically in regards to routing, switching, firewalling, etc... This is more where the CISCO certs come into play.
    2. Network Administator - This is typically in regards to servers, NOS's, backups, etc... This is more where the MCSA certs come into play.

    I've worked at several companies, and most of them tend to have different positions for these two roles, however I've also worked in a few companies where you are expected to handle both roles. I personally decided to tackle both roles, and continue to pursue certifications in both areas. It really depends on what your preference is, and what you feel most comfortable doing day in and day out.
    * Currently pursuing: PhD: Information Security and Information Assurance
    * Certifications: CISSP, CEH, CHFI, CCNA:Sec, CCNA:R&S, CWNA, ITILv3, VCA-DCV, LPIC-1, A+, Network+, Security+, Linux+, Project+, and many more...
    * Degrees: MSc: Cybersecurity and Information Assurance; BSc: Information Technology - Security; AAS: IT Network Systems Administration
  • wallpaper_01wallpaper_01 Senior Member Member Posts: 226 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks, never really thought of them being 2 different positions when job searching but they clearly are!

    Ideally I would like to do Network Engineer (as my future career) but the Administrator roles are all there seem to be around here, I'm more software based at the moment so would have no problems going that way and easing myself into Networking. Think MSCA is the way to go as a lot of employers are asking for that.
  • kohr-ahkohr-ah Member Posts: 1,277
    What do you want to do?
    Do you want to be more networking (which linux can come into play with cisco technologies), or do you want to be a sys admin doing MS/SERVER. The CCNA will compliment from a networking perspective but you will probably be more server based.

    My case I want to be a network engineer so I am going that route but if they want me to take on some responsibilities in server, etc I will gladly learn. Every thing that comes a long is a new possibility to learn I just try to make sure my main focus is what I want to be.
  • wallpaper_01wallpaper_01 Senior Member Member Posts: 226 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I want to be a network engineer. I have Linux+ and MCSA lined up to do before Xmas. I think the problem I'm finding is a route in. With no experience really, and the only jobs coming up are systems administrator which require Microsoft Certifications but include networking tasks. Do I apply for these or wait it out for a Network Engineer job? Are there any prerequisites to an entry level network engineer job? Is a systems admin job any good for experience for Network engineer?
  • kohr-ahkohr-ah Member Posts: 1,277
    Any jobs for NOC positions? Those are a lot of times a way to get your foot in the door.
    You can always apply for those jobs, see what the job is entitled to and if it isn't what you are looking for don't take the job.
    As for the systems admin job that is all dependent on the company like TechGuy215 said. Some want you to do both rolls so yes it can be in that case.
  • DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,013 ■■■■■□□□□□
    I'm somewhat in the same situation. I'm also studying for my CCNA now.

    I think once you get your CCNA, you should start applying - whether it be for a NOC position (more entry level) or whatever Net Eng/Admin position you think you might be qualified for. I know personally, however, I plan to do my MCSA - thinking that going wider at 1st to GET the experience would be most beneficial, then I can go deeper into the section I'm m most interested in in order to advance.

    Whether you decide to go the MCSA route or not, I think you should try to widen out a bit - even if going into the different CCNA specialties (Voice, Security, Data Center, etc) before going into the CCNP.
    Goals for 2018:
    Certs: RHCSA, LFCS: Ubuntu, CNCF CKA, CNCF CKAD | AWS Certified DevOps Engineer, AWS Solutions Architect Pro, AWS Certified Security Specialist, GCP Professional Cloud Architect
    Learn: Terraform, Kubernetes, Prometheus & Golang | Improve: Docker, Python Programming
    To-do | In Progress | Completed
  • IsmaeljrpIsmaeljrp Member Posts: 480 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Good one DoubleNNs. Most of the time I see people have to start wide in the beginning, and specializing later on. I myself am going into Unix/Linux and Cisco. Whatever my first job gives me in terms of experience will greatly influence how I begin to specialize.
  • wallpaper_01wallpaper_01 Senior Member Member Posts: 226 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the advice, after CCNA I'm going to concentrate on a good CV, and apply for whatever I can. Yeah a good plan would be to get MCSA/Linux+ then a CCNA specialization, maybe security but not sure, at university I loved the security stuff so it could be a good area to specialise in!
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