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Getting Into Network Admin

By CdnTech ·

I'm currently a tier 2 Helpdesk / Support person at a University. I'm interested in hearing how to make the transition from Helpdesk to Network Admin. Did you start in a small one person operation where you had to fill all IT hats? Or were their opportunities available as a junior network support / admin where you were able to learn under somebody else's instruction?

As for myself, I have 4 years doing support. My current employer has allowed me to utilize more hands on hardware skills than my past employer. I try to learn as much as possible (i.e. ask questions from our Sys Admin, watch him do certain tasks with our Windows servers, etc) but short of begging for opportunites at work (without stepping on other people's toes), how does one gain any experience? Did every Administrator, at one time or another, setup a server at home to play with (whether it was Linux, Windows, Netware or Mac OS)?

Any hints, tips or suggestions would be most appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

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The Transition

by Rasman In reply to Getting Into Network Admi ...

First step get certified.
Second step schmooxze.

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by CdnTech In reply to The Transition

Thanks Rasman,

I figured the certification step, but I'd forgotten about the second.

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career moves

by BMN In reply to Thanks

Granted it is probably more difficult today to make the transition from a support or technical sales role to a network administration role. I would cuation that you might want to reconsider this move. Make sure you are doing it for the right reasons and that there is a particular skill/specialty that you are trying to achieve. General network administration is very similar to support and doesn't necessarly pay much better these days. If you are going to seek a certification make sure its not one that has been saturated in the marketplace. Experience is king, and no amount of paper cert will get you that sweet deal without being able to demonstrate your ability. Choose a field that is in demand and work a verticle market in that industry to find a great opportunity. If you don't have experience, get it, even if you have to do it pro bono on the side to pad that resume.

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I worked as help desk / on-site support for a University

by AV . In reply to Getting Into Network Admi ...

An educational environment is really great to work in because its very open to the sharing of information (but doesn't pay).

What I did is apply for help desk jobs, but in a corporate environment. Within 2 years, I was promoted to an on-site support tech. I became more involved with net administration. After that, I became part of the network team. I was able to do that in a 3 year period.

Working your way up in a company that can offer what you want is the best avenue. Look for the right companies to work in.

One last piece of advice - Attitude is everything. Thats how I got the job that I wanted. I overcame my educational and experience deficiencies with attitude.

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by jellybeenz In reply to Getting Into Network Admi ...

If you have a good relationship with the onsite admin, maybe you could talk to them about a mentoring role. Most people are willing to share their knowledge with someone who seems to be as eager to learn as you are. And it's not just the technical stuff you should be learning, but also the business and political aspects.

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