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Advice for a future career

By IT herb ·
I have a question (advice) for some of the "employed" and experienced Computer people. I am a Senior in high school. I am enrolled in a two year networking program at a Career Center (currently on my first year. Afterwards I plan to attend a Two year Networking College (Hocking College in Ohio).
My plan is to become a Network Administrator, or at least an experienced net-admin assistant or helper. I already know an ok deal in computers and networks. Iv already taken a 1 year electronics course and read often my netorking and computer books. I have also worked a complete summer as a network administrator assistant at my Career Center, and plan to keep working another school year at it. So, after these two years at this career center, and after another two years at a network course in college, I am wondering if these 4 years of solid network training, plus a year of electronics and a year and a half as a net-admin helper, will I be able to find a job in a networking or related IT job with somewhat ease.?
Also is there any advice that I could use to prepare myself for this future career and actually
amount-up-to and seriously know what I need to know to get a networking job.? This is important to me, so could someone give me some worthy advice? thanx -herb

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by rkuhn In reply to Advice for a future caree ...

Just a couple of things.

1) In order to get a job you have to have experience. The only way to get experience is to have a job. Sound like the old chicken and egg? Well, it is.

Keep your part-time job throughout your schooling. It will be just as valuable. And try to pick up some certifications along the way. I'm not a big fan of certs, but if you have little experience, they'll help.

A+, Network+, Server+, iNet+, they are all quite easy and will help your resume. If you are a bit more ambitious, go for something like MCSA or MCSE.

2) Build yourself a network at home, even if it is just old equipment. It is important to have a "lab" to test, learn, play, mess around with. I think you'll find a "lab" at home will actually teach you a lot.

3) Subscribe to a lot of free or cheap magazines such as Network Computing, Network World, PC Magazine, Linux has a free one, etc. Whether it be actual hard copy or just emails, no matter.

Tech Republic has a lot of good email subscriptions that are free. Read everything you can get your hands on.

Download free trials and learn them. Whether it be a Microsoft beta or trial edition or whatever.

4) Get good at the basics. Sure, as an admin we get paid bigger bucks for certain things, but 75% of my job is the basics. Rebuilding PC's/servers, setting up firewalls, connectivity troubleshooting, documentation, etc.

5) Pay attention to and learn the most commonly used software...ie Windows Server 2000/2003, Veritas, Symantec Enterprise Edition, Cisco VPN's, firewalls (PIX), switches, routers, etc.

Learn what the majority use first to make finding a job easier. A little HTML might help, batch files, scripting, VBA, SQL, SQL Reporting Services, etc. Don't worry about diving in deep, just have a basic understanding that you can build on later.

Learn about licensing for sure.

5) Lastly, don't forget about "soft" skills. Take communications classes, entry level business classes, etc.

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by IT herb In reply to Advice for a future caree ...

one more thing, does Networking Courses in College
teach you a good deal, in the ways of what a job is looking for at least, or is their a good deal they dont teach and you need to learn on your own.?

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