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Career Advice for Networking positions

ZomboidicusZomboidicus Member Posts: 105 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hello, all.

I been working as a IT tech position for total of 2 years so far, where responsiblities resemble a tier 3 help desk and maybe a jr. sys admin. I really have passion for networking and networking security, and I love what I learned in CCNA and currently learning from CCNA:S.

I want to get in to the career along the line of network engineer, or network security engineer. However, I need to get my foot in the door for these positions, and I don't feel that my current position qualifies as that. I assume NOC position is essentially the help desk of networking world, but I get more calls from systen engineering or windows server jr admin types of jobs. (I also assume I need to be working with networks itself before I am made responsible of security of it.)

What could I do to better my chances of getting a NOC position? Get other certs such as CCNA:W or CCNA:V aafter I pass CCNA:S? Or try to obtain bi-lingual efficiency in networking by going into JNCIA and then onto JNCIA:Sec. Or the credentials I listed should be good enough, and I just need to be proactive in finding these positions?

Any advice or tip for networking jobs is appreciated!
2016 Certification Goals: Who knows :D
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    networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    Apply more! You have the CCNA and some low level IT experience. Now you just need to find someone to take a chance on you in a networking role. I honestly don't think any CCNA specializations are going to make any difference for you at this point. Maybe the JNCIA if you are getting in on a Juniper shop. Along with applying more make sure your resume is in top shape.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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    AwesomeGarrettAwesomeGarrett Member Posts: 257
    You need to apply everywhere there is a networking position available. Earning a JNCIA would be a nice touch but it will not be as powerful as it would be after you get your start in the field.

    Be optimistic and confident. It's the beginning of the year meaning there room in the budget.

    If your not getting any calls or emails, then your resume is could be the culprit.
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    100k100k Member Posts: 196
    Keep applying!!! Don't stop until you get that job. I am doing the same thing. Got a few hits and currently interviewing. Took me 2 months before I started to hear stuff back.
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    DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,015 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Keep applying. Also, if you're getting calls for systems admin, why not take a chance on them if they will give you some Cisco experience? Systems might be a good transition into a solely networking role (if you're qualified for the systems role that is).

    Also, in addition to NOC roles, be on the lookout for Jr Net Admin or Entry-level Network Tech roles that give you access to Cisco equipment.

    Try working on your resume too, like networker suggested. Make sure it's tailored toward networking roles.
    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
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    ZomboidicusZomboidicus Member Posts: 105 ■■□□□□□□□□
    The fact that you think people may be willing to take chance with me is re-assuring, I will do so and maybe put JNCIA on hold until I can determine my path.

    I wanted to go straight into CCNP: R&S, but without the networking job, I was afraid people would see me as over-qualifed for an entry level networking job.

    I'll also apply diligently than I have been.
    2016 Certification Goals: Who knows :D
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    RouteMyPacketRouteMyPacket Member Posts: 1,104
    Apply More = Get more Experience

    You can't gain experience without getting a job so that's my advice. Don't start cert hunting, it's not going to help you at this point.

    Once you get into a position, i'd recommend moving onto CCNP R/S then circle back later to Security at a later point. Also, stick to what you do..if you find yourself in a R/S role..certify yourself along that track because again certifications are simply supplements to your experience. Nothing worse than someone who gets a certification in something they have never done before...please don't be that guy. :)
    Modularity and Design Simplicity:

    Think of the 2:00 a.m. test—if you were awakened in the
    middle of the night because of a network problem and had to figure out the
    traffic flows in your network while you were half asleep, could you do it?
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    ZomboidicusZomboidicus Member Posts: 105 ■■□□□□□□□□
    DoubleNNs wrote: »
    Keep applying. Also, if you're getting calls for systems admin, why not take a chance on them if they will give you some Cisco experience? Systems might be a good transition into a solely networking role (if you're qualified for the systems role that is).

    Also, in addition to NOC roles, be on the lookout for Jr Net Admin or Entry-level Network Tech roles that give you access to Cisco equipment.

    Try working on your resume too, like networker suggested. Make sure it's tailored toward networking roles.


    That is an interesting point; maybe people would be willing to take chance with me if my roles consisted more responsibilities. Currently our network and its controls are delegated to a network administration team in another state. So it is hard for me to ask anyone if I can shadow them, or to see if I can be responsible for something as easy as port management. I'd like to volunteer, but such positions are not available around me (or I haven't looked locally hard enough.)
    2016 Certification Goals: Who knows :D
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    ZomboidicusZomboidicus Member Posts: 105 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Apply More = Get more Experience

    You can't gain experience without getting a job so that's my advice.

    I understand. That entry in poll was created because I thought perhaps that employers would want more than 2 years of experience in help desk position. So in a way, that would say that I need to stick with this job longer for me to become qualified for networking. Perhaps I could of worded that better.
    Once you get into a position, i'd recommend moving onto CCNP R/S then circle back later to Security at a later point. Also, stick to what you do..if you find yourself in a R/S role..certify yourself along that track because again certifications are simply supplements to your experience. Nothing worse than someone who gets a certification in something they have never done before...please don't be that guy. :)

    icon_lol.gif you are right. That is one of the reason why I was looking at possible entry level certifications to help me get a entry level networking role. I was thinking that maybe if I am able to prove that I can learn the technology, they'd think I can learn what they would throw at me as well.
    2016 Certification Goals: Who knows :D
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    ande0255ande0255 Banned Posts: 1,178
    The best advice I was ever given thus far in my career is to get on LinkedIn, polish the hell out of your profile, and connect with as many coworkers or other professionals as possible. I didn't get a tidal wave of offers from there, but it did land me my first real network job.
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    YFZbluYFZblu Member Posts: 1,462 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Apply more! You have the CCNA and some low level IT experience. Now you just need to find someone to take a chance on you in a networking role. I honestly don't think any CCNA specializations are going to make any difference for you at this point.
    +1 This is actually an important point for those with a CCNA and just plan on spamming CCNA specializations until they get a job/interview. Perhaps it's more worthwhile to refine the basics and keep applying.
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    ZomboidicusZomboidicus Member Posts: 105 ■■□□□□□□□□
    This is going to sound weird, but after few hours of opening this thread , I received a call for an IPNOC position two hours away from where I live (twenty minutes ago.) It's tier 1 position for a regional ISP. I supposed it's a start.

    They said I'll be working with routers using CLI, VPN, NAT, testing DS1 links and talking to customers.

    I suppose I face another dillema at this point lol.
    2016 Certification Goals: Who knows :D
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    DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,015 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Nothing worse than someone who gets a certification in something they have never done before...please don't be that guy. :)

    Then how do you suggest people try to break into the Networking field? For example, OP has a CCNA but hasn't held a Cisco position yet.
    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
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    DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,015 ■■■■■□□□□□
    2 hours away is very far. That's you leaving your house at noon just to make it to a 3 pm interview for the position. If you land it, that's 4 hours a day (20 hours a week) just getting to and from work.. w/o factoring in days w/ bad traffic.

    I know for me, I'd consider that too far unless I was considering moving closer.

    However, receiving the call is a good thing. Hopefully it's an indicator of similar (closer) positions coming your way.
    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
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    ZomboidicusZomboidicus Member Posts: 105 ■■□□□□□□□□
    DoubleNNs wrote: »
    2 hours away is very far. That's you leaving your house at noon just to make it to a 3 pm interview for the position. If you land it, that's 4 hours a day (20 hours a week) just getting to and from work.. w/o factoring in days w/ bad traffic.

    I know for me, I'd consider that too far unless I was considering moving closer.

    I am with you on that, there is no way I'd commute 4 hours each day. I actually moved from NY for my current position. I rather not move again, but I just might to get my foot in networking. But it's also in a bigger city, so it may lead to other positions afterwards.
    DoubleNNs wrote: »
    However, receiving the call is a good thing. Hopefully it's an indicator of similar (closer) positions coming your way.

    I've received 2 ~ 3 calls since september (solely networking related), but either they deemed that I do not have enough experience or I just bombed the phone interview. This is the first company that are willing to go for a physical interview since then.
    2016 Certification Goals: Who knows :D
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    DoubleNNsDoubleNNs Member Posts: 2,015 ■■■■■□□□□□
    If you're not getting calls, you might want to check your resume.

    Additionally, check out this similar thread where the OP isn't getting calls.
    http://www.techexams.net/forums/jobs-degrees/96656-why-am-i-not-getting-calls-entry-level-network-administrator-service-help-desk.html

    Simply increasing the amount of companies that call you and speak to you might indirectly improve your odds of landing an interview and then job.
    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
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    ande0255ande0255 Banned Posts: 1,178
    I really, really would consider networking your ass off on linkedin, after you polish your profile. It's like an online job board once you get enough recruiters and follow the right companies. I was fortunate enough to get recruited for a direct hire spot, but lots of crap contract helpdesk job offers before that.

    If you're doing CCNA Security now I'd recommend CCNP Security big time if it interests you, as Firewall / VPN / NAT'ing is a very valuable piece of knowledge in network troubleshooting. The Voice track is very in demand right now with the growth in collaboration products, but if you don't work with the voice systems I'd imagine it would be extremely hard to tie it all together.

    Also, I voted for Apply more! Because that is truly the most effective way to find a job icon_thumright.gif
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    ZomboidicusZomboidicus Member Posts: 105 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I've created a linkenin account, but I have to polish as you have said. I've also revised my resume, and put it on monster.com in case this job isn't the best fit for me right now, or if I am turned down after the interview tomorrow. Crossing fingers.

    Just out of curiosity, what would be a typical flow of networking career? What can I expect after a NOC position? The recruiter told me I essentially have to "pay the deuce" with NOC position before I can become network engineer or an administrator. Is that pretty accurate? I am wondering because I don't know if there is a possibility that I can get actually get transferred to our HQ in PA, where we have the networking administration team over there.
    ande0255 wrote: »
    If you're doing CCNA Security now I'd recommend CCNP Security big time if it interests you, as Firewall / VPN / NAT'ing is a very valuable piece of knowledge in network troubleshooting. The Voice track is very in demand right now with the growth in collaboration products, but if you don't work with the voice systems I'd imagine it would be extremely hard to tie it all together

    Yes, my plan was to go into CCNP: R&S first after working for a networking position for 3 - 5 years, then move onto CCNP: Security near the end of it. Then move onto CISSP. I am generally more interested in security, as I went to school for it as well. But my understanding is that, as others have said on this forum, you need to know networking in order to provide network security. So yes, it is in my scope of learning in the future, but I am trying to get a feel of networking career ladder and go from there.
    2016 Certification Goals: Who knows :D
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    networker050184networker050184 Mod Posts: 11,962 Mod
    Usually after a NOC you'd go into an admin/operations team, then engineering, architecture etc. So pretty accurate assessment.
    An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made.
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    ZomboidicusZomboidicus Member Posts: 105 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I just had the interview with for NOC position that I mentioned. They asked me questions like "how many layers are in the OSI layer?" or "what is the proper term for PDUs at layer 2 and layer 3?" or "what is VPN, NAT, and HDLC and P2P?" (not in same sentence)

    If this was a test, I got a 100 on it lol. I like to think that only reason why I'd be turned down is because I had to keep having them repeat themselves, as the conference call made them sound muffled.

    I am still debating moving for a NOC position though, as much as I would like to get my foot in the networking world as soon as possible. Breaking the lease and the move itself is a hassle.
    2016 Certification Goals: Who knows :D
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