Investing 2014 for a new/better oppertunity, as a JR Network Admin.

Froboy69Froboy69 Junior MemberRegistered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi, I am new here and I need some advice.

I finished earning my Network Administration degree almost a year ago (March 2013) and I got lucky enough to land my first IT job after moving to Atlanta after just two months.

However, my first job after graduation has started to make me reconsider my future; I originally started out as a Q/A engineer with biometric technology/software made by my current employer. It was good at first as it involved a lot of network related stuff (contacting databases on other serves both physical and VM, configuring IP addresses on physical devices involving biometric ID, etc.). However, I was moved to a different position in 'supporting' the company with the hardware/equipment that we receive and/or ship out. Hence, I do a lot of work involving orders that we take with shipping equipment (from a third-party company) that works in tune with the software that we make. This is because they already invested 6 months into teaching me their software and the biometric hardware that we use.

This would be a benefit for a straight forward 'easy' job, but because it has limited me to only working 30 hours a week, and based on what planned salary I earn yearly, it's not 'enough' for both the ambition and money needs in my life currently (school loans are coming in and I have too many bills that are going to drown me in the near future...). They've even told me that they don't know when they'll get into another big project that requires me to get involved in more IT related work for the company itself directly.

I feel that I need to eventually 'move on' later this year to a job that can offer both a promising salary and improvement with my overall knowledge and skills. But given that this is the only creditable experience that I can put on a resume so far, I feel at the same time that it's kinda risky to leave now. I am planning on using my working 'free-time' to invest for my resume with both studying and hands on experiments (I've received the blessing of both my manager and boss, as they know that I am thinking of this when they changed my position).

However, I don't know where I can go after the first year has passed that I've worked with these guys. I don't know how to invest this 'advantage' of mine into a particular certification or just finding some personal project experiment(s) that I can use my job's resources to.

At the very least, I wanted to get involve with something relating to Cisco and Security (or one over the other) hence I was considering studying for the CCNA and Security+ exams respectfully. But is that really a good investment with study-wise stuff? Or should I focus on doing physical networking projects to improve my on hands experience?

I am not sure what to do since I am still a newbie at this...any suggestions and/or advice would really help me. My bosses understand and won't pressure me to leave as I am free to leave whenever I can, which tells you how less required I am by this point with the company.


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