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 Post subject: Just got my B.S. in IT..Lack of XP hurting, CCNA Worth it?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:23 pm 
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I graduated about six months ago from Southern New Hampshire University with my BS in IT. I first went to a two year tech school where I took five networking classes. Cisco semesters 1-4 which is the CCNA. I graduated with my AS in Computer Information Systems. Then my credits were transferred to a four year university where I finished my last two years and got my BS. I found a job about two months after. I work at ChasePaymentech solutions as a computer operator. I have been here about five months. I mainly do back ups, and some user techs support for dealing with problems with users connecting to our company by cycling ports or sending out files they didn't get. This is done with a company made dos program. I also work third shift. The pay is $14 an hour. The company seemed to have a lot of potential growth. However, the lack of hiring from within is making me look elsewhere for a new job. It appears they keep hiring outside of the company instead of hiring with in. Even the starting pay for a network tech here is 33k a year. I wouldn't mind working as a desktop support person either in a large company. That or networking would fit my needs. There is probably better pay in the networking part of the field.

I was just wondering if anyone had any good suggest as to what the next chapter in my life should be. Should I go for my CCNA. Is it worth it? Would it help me a lot for getting networking job? I might have jumped on the wagon too fast with the first thing that was offered to me. I did go on a few interviews before this but I got the same answer. The other guy had more experience so it only seemed right to go with him. If the CCNA is worth it which books should I study as well. I still have access to Cisco’s website for all the semesters. I have read that the site is not enough in itself. It has been about 3 years since I took my last Cisco class. Or should I go for something else in the field. Maybe a different certification would help me more? I do think it's time to move on and find a new job. The one I have now is a lot of downtime and I feel like I’m wasting my time. I could use it to study for a certification. They will also pay for the certifications if I decide to go for any. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:41 pm 
Northwood
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Hi Bodwin! It hasn't been that long since I broke into the IT field myself. People will tell you the first job in the field is the hardest and they're absolutely correct. You're right - the experience is the key.

This might help your search: Check out SchoolSpring

They post jobs all over the country for K-12 schools. One whole area is just for IT postings. Better yet - post your resume up there too. Recruiters pick potential candidates off that site all the time.

I mention the education field as an entry to IT because:

1) It's somewhat easier to put a foot in the door in Ed.
2) Educators can appreciate your schooling for what it is. Other employers might also, but the percentage drops off significantly.

Hang in there. The trick is to keep applying as often as you can stand it. If you're ready for CCNA I say grab it. The more you put under your belt, the better chance you have at matching what an employer may want. It also shows you're serious about the field.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 9:54 pm 
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DC, you've some solid advice there.

In my class of 20 folks who graduated with an IT degree, 11 of them started out in the Education systems in the surrounding communities (Clarksville, TN). Since I'm in the Army, I have the benefit of being the Brigade level IMO (Information Management Officer); I can claim over 300 workstations and customers on my resume, much like someone working for the Education System will be able to do.

I'll back up DC and say look there first. You will gain huge amounts of experience in a trial-by-fire type learning enviornment. A very close friend of mine did this very thing when she graduated. That was about 8 years ago and she now has a good choice of employers to choose from. While working for the Montgomery County Ed Dept, she did everything from pulling wire to systems management, configuring outlook to VMWare server setups and so on.

Cliff's notes: Do what DC has said. You can get a crap load of experience while being paid fairly well. Do that for about 4 years and then break into something much larger. Think local government contacts and face time while working in the trenches.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:32 pm 
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Thanks guys! Keep it coming! DentedCan, Thanks for the link. I'll go check it out. I currently live in New Hampshire I heard boston is a good place for IT jobs.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:41 am 
Northwood
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bowdwin_the_gr81 wrote:
Thanks guys! Keep it coming! DentedCan, Thanks for the link. I'll go check it out. I currently live in New Hampshire I heard boston is a good place for IT jobs.


Boston's a great tech market but you're going to find the living situation is quote difficult in that area. Housing is at a premium and prices are outrageous.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 9:18 pm 
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I was going to commute from NH..but then that means a long commute. I'll look around here first..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:30 am 
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I as well would recommend starting out in the education field. That is the route i took. Right out of a 2 yr tech college with an A.S in computer engineering I started with a public school system as a desktop support tech. They have 13000 desktops and over 300 servers. I initially started there making 33,000 a year and stayed for 7 years and got a ton of experience. When I left I was doing more server level support then desktop support but i was still technically in the same position and was making almost 50,000 a year. Ive sinced left the education environment and returned to the private industry. The education environment relies more hevily on education and experience then certs.

As far as recommendng certs i always recommend the A+ first and Network + if you are planning to work with networks. They will lay the foundation of skills you need to absorb the skills for the CCNA, CCNP or any of the Microsoft Certs. I would recommend if you are considering the CCNA to go all out and get the equipment. while it is expensive it will give you more hands on experience then using sims. I would recomend searching ebay for some CCNA gear. Realistically you can do it with about 3 or 4 routers and 2 switches. Plus you can just resell them on ebay when you are done.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2006 8:14 pm 
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Yeah that gear is very costlyu and I can't afford it right now. I have a lot of free time at my job. Should I pick up the network + and A + books. I took for cisco classes at a two year tech and we did a lot of hands on with routers. Or should I just jump and go for the CCNA books? I still have access to the cisco site/ online cisco books.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 12:09 am 
Northwood
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If you've already got the BS in IT - skip A+ for sure. Possibly hit Network+ as a springboard but I wouldn't aim any lower than CCNA for the next certification.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 24, 2006 12:41 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:07 pm
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Allright! Thanks a lot. Do you know how much the cert test cost?


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