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ISP Tech, Where can I go from here?

By sraristonusn ·
I am currently a support technician for a small ISP in Southern California. I have been told by others here that there is not much run for advancement outside of a simple raise every year or so. My interests are focused on working with networks and possibly even backbone services.
I have been working here for about 4 months and though I am happy at the moment my mind is drifting toward the future. What are my options once I have hands on support experience with dialup and DSL connections? Should I look toward maybe Cisco certs and working with that type of hardware?
Has anyone else been in my shoes with a little experience but no clue where to go from there?

Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

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What is driving you?

by Terrence L. Gabriel In reply to ISP Tech, Where can I go ...

You don't mention your background other than as a tech, but you do say you want to be involved in the nuts and bolts operation level of networking. That assumed, the Cisco track is probably good for you. Also, you might want to look at what other infrastructure companies offer in terms of training and certification. Nortel and others certify technicians who work with their gear the same as Cisco and it never hurts to be "multi-lingual" in "networkese."

At least you are getting good experience and the dilemma you have is one many wish they could have. Think about the people with certs and no jobs because they do not have the experience you are getting.

Keep in mind, the certifications are generally credentials, not substitutes for experience. If you are non-traditional enough, you could progress through the entire Cisco CCDA or CCNA tracks on your own with your own scrounged up resources and then try to make your way as a network engineer. Not easy but it can be done.

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About me...

by sraristonusn In reply to What is driving you?

I was attending ITT Technical Institute for a short amount of time (NOT worth it if you ask me). I am currently pursuing a Business Administration major with a concentration in Information Technology (networking basically). I have been working with computers for several years but not in a corporate environment.
My desires lie in working with the nuts and bolts as you said. I would love to pursue a CCNA cert but lack that actual drive (and time) to just sit and study. I would need to attend one of the academies.
I am definitely searching for educational opportunities and continue to keep my eyes open within the company to see where I can carve my niche...thanks for the reply!

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