Looking for some guidance..

ITnewguyITnewguy Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
I worked in telecommunications from 1998-2014. During that time, I worked for Lucent Technologies from 1998-2002 installing various pieces of equipment in central offices (switching, dslams, and power equipment). I then went to work for Sprint (then it became Embarq, and now CenturyLink) as a central office tech (which morphed into a Network Tech). During that time, I assisted with maintaining our network (included, but not limited to Cisco, Calix, and Adtran equipment). During this time, I decided to go back to school to finish my BS in Business Admin, which allowed me to go into management in 2011. In 2014, I started my own company (not IT related) and then went back to work full time for a company in 2016 in another management role (not IT related either), where I still reside. I am wanting to get into the IT field full time, but I'm not sure how my experience in telecommunications will translate to IT jobs today. I would think network admin would be a good fit and is something the certainly peaks my interest.

Of course, I have read multiple times on here that if you already have a degree that you should focus on certs. I'm just trying to figure out which would help me get my foot in the door first. I'm approaching my mid 40's (I would need to make around 50K starting due to supporting a family) and I'm a bit nervous about making the transition, but it is one that I need to make happen. Also, any advice on getting some experience on the weekends? I am certainly willing to volunteer and give up weekends to get the experience needed to get my foot in the door.

Thank you in advance!


  • bidsecbidsec Posts: 3Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    You can try starting out with CCNA Routing & Switching, depending on your preference there are tons of learning resources out there. Wish you all the best.
  • ITnewguyITnewguy Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you for the reply! I have already purchased a book to help prepare me for the CCNA and considered taking a course to help as well.
  • stryder144stryder144 Posts: 1,597Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Having worked in a telecom, I must say that there isn't much difference between telecom and enterprise networking. Sure, the equipment is different but the principles regarding moving data from one network to a remote network remain the same. Definitely get your CCNA: R&S. Chris Bryant videos on Udemy might also be helpful.
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

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  • williebwillieb Posts: 106Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I've been working for an ISP in telecommunications since 1999.

    I've been a network engineer, moved to IT related management for 13 years, then back to network engineer. Based on my experience with a CATV provider, 2 different telecommunication companies, and dealing with enterprise networks within those companies, hopefully I have some advice that can help you.

    Since you already have a BS in Business Admin, definitely don't go back to college for another degree related specifically to IT. It's not needed and will be a waste of money. Get as many certs as you can related to what you want to do. If it's networking go for CCENT, CCNA R&S, and CompTIA Net+. If you'd rather be in IS then go for some beginning Microsoft Certs.

    If you decided to go for networking your previous network tech experience with CenturyLink will help for sure. Regardless put it on your resume when the time comes.

    Volunteering wouldn't be a bad idea, especially for the IS area since you have no experience. I'd wait until you are comfortable with some learned skills you can use first. You don't want to go into a network excited with guns a blazing with nothing yet learned. Take it slow and be careful. Churches and other non-profits are usually good places to look to volunteer.

    After you get some base certs, compile it all in a resume and start looking for a related job. With a BS in Bus Admin and some certs under your belt you shouldn't have a problem. You may want to consider management in IT. It's typically 50% management and 50% hands-on which may be right up your alley, plus it usually pays more. Even in management it will be important for you to advance in certs and knowledge related to the people you are managing.

    Once you land a job in your field, continue to gain more advanced certifications as soon as possible, such as CCNP, or MCSE, or both. With those certs and your BS degree you will have potential to make some really good money, especially if you are a good manager and good with IT in general. All that's generally speaking, there can be a lot of variables involved that I don't know about. Good luck!
    [X] CCENT ICND1 100-105
    [X] CCNA ICND2 200-105
    [X] CCNP Route 300-101
    [X] CCNP Switch 300-115
    [ ] CCNP Tshoot 300-135
  • beadsbeads Senior Member Posts: 1,452Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    The CCNA is inherently self study-able. If you suddenly wanted to transform into a mid level security practitioner would sound a bit cheap, to do it right.

    For the record, I rarely sit through classes but prefer to self study to the point of distraction. bowing.gif

    Good luck and let us know how to assist.

    - b/eads
  • ITnewguyITnewguy Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thank you all for the advice and encouragement! I feel like I'm behind the curve a bit due to my age (I'll be 44 in Nov), so I know most of my competition will be much younger than myself. My goal is to have my CCNA R&S by the end of the year and make a career change in 2019.

    I'll definitely check out the Chris Bryant vids. My book (CCNA R&S by Todd Lammle) includes network simulators and obviously practice tests. Is there anything else you found that prepared you for the exam?
  • scaredoftestsscaredoftests Security +, ITIL Foundation, MPT, EPO, ACAS, HTL behind youPosts: 2,719Mod Mod
    You are not behind because of your age! Just as long as you are eager to learn and show that to employers. Take it from an almost 59 year old (but feels 30ish...) Good luck.
    Never let your fear decide your fate....
  • williebwillieb Posts: 106Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    In IT education never stops anyway, so you'll catch up quick. I'll be 46 in Nov and just started back re-certifying earlier this year.

    Check out GNS3 (free) and VIRL ($199 a year I think) for simulators. Sims are great and you can pass CCNA only using books and sims, but there's nothing that can simulate real world experience with actual hardware, so get as much real hardware experience when you can. If not in your CCNA studies, for sure when studying for CCNP.
    [X] CCENT ICND1 100-105
    [X] CCNA ICND2 200-105
    [X] CCNP Route 300-101
    [X] CCNP Switch 300-115
    [ ] CCNP Tshoot 300-135
  • ITnewguyITnewguy Posts: 4Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Again, thank you all who have responded with the great advice and encouragement! The anxiety I was feeling is changing to excitement. Now, just to find something in FL where I can gain some experience volunteering while still working my 50hr work week. Hopefully, I can find something on the weekends!
  • EANxEANx Posts: 1,078Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    ITnewguy wrote: »
    I feel like I'm behind the curve a bit due to my age (I'll be 44 in Nov), so I know most of my competition will be much younger than myself.?

    Attitude means a lot, it's what they're talking about regarding culture fit. While there are a few places where people are "high-energy", most places value maturity.
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