IT Employment

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Career Advice

By moniowo ·
I graduated last year december as a network technician and network administrator. I am a bit scared of what I will face in the real world. Can somebody please give me hint\clue on the type of question I might likely face and how to go about building a successful career.

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by technogal In reply to Career Advice

Though I'm not sure what kind of degree you have, or where you're working now, here's some general help.

Career Advice
1. Get A+ and Network+ certified. While this may or may not help land you a job, it will complement your degree and give you valuable basic "building block" information. Everything you learn after these certs will build on them.

2. Get a job in the IT field. You'll probably have to start as a helpdesk tech or junior admin. I recommend a "hands-on" job rather than a call center job. I believe you learn more that way.

3. Though it may depend on where you work, decide whether you want Microsoft or Novell engineering certs and being work on them as soon as you can gain some experience.

4. Be prepared to start at the bottom and work your way up. Keep your mouth shut and learn what is being taught. Be prepared to do the "low man on the totem pole" jobs. That's how you gain valuable experience. Be diplomatic if you feel you have a better answer to a problem, maybe you do, but you need to know WHO to present it to, and HOW. This takes time to learn in a company. Be patient.

Technical questions:
1. You'll get any and all types of questions. From "my computer is running slow" to "I can't log into the network" to the server refusing to boot up. All of these require troubleshooting skill, experience and patience. Learn all three.

2. Fix your family's PCs. Answer their questions, or volunteer your help to your grandma. All of this will help get you familiar with both non-technical people and technical problems.

Whew! That was long winded. Hope it helps!

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by feathersmcgraw In reply to Career Advice

Just remember this...everyone had to start somewhere and never be afraid to ask a question. You will learn by doing and not being afraid to tinker with a system. I believe in the saying "good judgement comes from experience...experience comes from bad judgement". Experience will come from jumping in on projects and learning from mistakes.

Since you just graduated and the IT industry is still a little depressed don't expect to find the 75k network/LAN/WAN administrator position. In all honesty it is best to start as helpdesk and pc technical support because you will A) learn how to interact with end-users and B) you will gain valuable experience with how things work in the "field". Once you gain ground there look for extra things to be involved in. Volunteer to assist the system administrators, or network administrators/engineers when a project is assigned.

By doing this you will be noticed by managers as a teamplayer and someone who wants to get the job done. Ask questions from those who have been in the field for a while (assuming you find a friendly one). Most techs/engineers I know are happy to assist newbie techs and teach them some tricks of the trade.

Just don't have to know everything and you don't want to try to come across that you know everything. Freely admit that you don't know if asked, but most importantly you sound intelligent, you can reply "I am not sure but I know where to look it up". Being a good technician isn't about knowing everything all the time, but knowing that there are others who can help you and knowing how to look up the information to get the job done right.

Answering the type of quesitons you'll receive in the field is hard because you'll literally get everything from "my cup holder is broken (read CD-ROM tray) to "why is the network so slow". That's what makes being a tech so interesting. It's up to you to troubleshoot.

Best of luck! If you have further questions feel free to fire away....

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