Career advice, thoughts and questions

casteelcasteel Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hello, my name is Balint and this is my first post. I lurked here for some time now and seeing how helpful a bunch you are I decided to post some of my questions, thoughts and plans on how to start my IT career.

I'm from Hungary and I graduated from the Budapest University of Technology about a year ago. My degree is a Master's degree in Technical Informatics with a 'Security of Communication Systems' specialization. Since graduating I got my CCNA and have been educating myself on subjects that my university courses only mentioned or merely touched upon. I built a lab with whatever equipment I could gather from around my father's place, a couple of Cisco routers, ZyXEL firewalls and a ton of LinkSys WRT54GLs. It's not much but GNS3 helps out :). The reason I have a lot of those LinkSys routers is because at uni I did a lot of projects with wireless mesh networks and used OpenWRT on the test networks. I currently work at my father's small company, he installs physical security systems: burglar alarms, fire alarms, but mostly CCTV systems. Most of those devices have IP modules or some kind of connectivity and it's my job to set all that up. It's usually a pretty basic task, configuring the port forwarding for remote management, setting up dynamic DNS, maybe setting up ACLs and firewalls. I was surprised how many local businesses don't have a network technician sort of guy and just let me futz around with their network. If they do have somebody, then I would consult with him about what we need and what they can do for us in that regard. It's not a full time job for me and it makes me wonder, is this something that I should even mention on a resume? To me they're very basic configurations and troubleshooting, but I don't really have any other significant experience working on 'real world' networking scenarios.

My long term goal is twofold: I want to get into Network Security and I want to get away to either the States or maybe Australia. As for the first one, I read here a lot that in order to get into security people need substantial experience, understandably so. I learned a lot about IT security but it's mostly theoretical knowledge and not practical. It's one thing to know about common practices in designing secure protocols and another to actually conceive and implement a full-fledged security policy for a company. So given all this, do you think starting out with an NOC job is an appropriate position for me? IF not what else would you recommend I look for? I guess I want to look for a CCNA level networking job, whatever that means nowadays anyway.

Since the second part of my goal isn't trivially accomplishable, I was thinking about moving out to the UK as a first step, get a job there for a couple of years, get some money and experience and then make the jump further along. I don't like my chances here in Hungary, I don't see a future in this country so I'm dedicated to bail out of here. English is the only other language that I speak so that limits my destinations and I really prefer warm and sunny places to cold and wet ones, so I don't plan on sticking around in the UK for too long.

That said, what are your experiences regarding long distance job seeking? Any tips about how all this could work? At the moment I'm browsing cwjobs.co.uk and theitjobboard.co.uk for postings and there seem to be plenty of opportunities, though I haven't yet applied to any of them. I wanted to gather some intel before I take on this venture. Do companies usually consider applications from abroad or will my applications be put to the bottom of the pile? Is it possible to do the first rounds of interviewing via phone or will they want to see me in person immediately? Phone interview or Skype interview, which do they prefer generally? Any other methods or websites that I should consider for job hunting in UK?

Sorry for the long post, if you've made it this far it's much appreciated and I welcome any kind of feedback on this whole subject :)
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