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Old 11-08-2009, 05:33 PM   #1
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any network admins?

Hello, I'm working on some research on what I need to do to become a network admin. There is a ton of certifications out there and I was hoping someone could tell me which certifications I would need and what is the preferred order to follow them. This is starting from the bottom up as I have no experience or qualifications other than I am currently working on an associates in IT. I have scoured website after website and the end result is I am more confused than ever!
Old 11-08-2009, 05:50 PM   #2
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You'll probably get a lot of responses to this question, and they'll probably vary a lot. The definition and what a person understands when you say network admin varies a lot. I was hired as a network admin in 1998. I had a lot of experience with networks, building and designing networks, as well as a lot of other stuff with computers. It turned out that what the people who hired me really wanted (but they didn't know squat about IT and blew it) was a Netware and Windows NT network admin, which is something totally different. Someone else might be thinking a cisco certified blah blah blah. I ended up going to training on their network operating systems, but eventually switched to Unix, because they suddenly realized that most of their servers were Unix (except their whole network and their local servers were Netware and Windows). It was a weird situation, because their whole IT department had quit en masse. The Unix servers just kept running, so they didn't realize it was an issue until those of us who were hired began looking around at their systems.

Anyway, that's all just a preface to saying, it depends. What aspect of networking do you want to get into? Are you thinking in terms of small to medium businesses, where you have to be somewhat of a jack-of-all-trades? Or are you thinking more of large corporate, where you can specialize and be, say, a cisco certified specialist, or someone who just does wiring and knows how to terminate fiber and all that kind of stuff? Are you thinking focusing on Microsoft, and building networks of Microsoft servers and their client PCs? There are lots of possibilities and lots of career paths. Which is good, because you can't do it all.
Old 11-08-2009, 05:59 PM   #3
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I'm not a network admin myself, but I've looked at quite a few job adverts for such jobs, and the most commonly requested cert seems to be CCNA. Yes, it's proprietary to Cisco, but it does require a good grasp of networking fundamentals and so is a good starting point, whatever systems you're working with.

P.S. This isn't really the right sub-forum for this question, as it's not really about Linux (and more about certification than networking). I'd suggest clicking on the "report" button and asking a mod. to move it
Old 11-08-2009, 07:04 PM   #4
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Thanks for your response choogendyk, personally I would prefer to work for smaller to mid size businesses. I'm afraid of specializing because you never know what the market will be or how long these technologies will last. Other than that I really don't know which way to go. I feel the jack of all trades approach is a good way to go because I might be able to fit a variety of spots with a little added training. I'm mainly looking for a good foundation to build on in order to choose a specific career path later on down the road. It seems the more I learn the more overwhelming it gets.

Thanks also Robhogg.I've seen the CCNA and it looks like a good starting point. So far I've been looking at going for the a+, net+, and I-net+ in that order. Would the CCNA be better than the one's I am looking at or maybe an added supplement?

I know this is probably not the perfect sub forum but I knew it would be filled with good people who know there stuff so I just jumped right in
Old 11-09-2009, 03:30 AM   #5
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Moved: This thread is more suitable in General-Certifications and has been moved accordingly to help your question get the exposure it deserves.
Old 11-10-2009, 10:51 AM   #6
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If you want to be taken seriously get a CCNA, the other + certifications are more entry level and will only get you a job at Geek Squad or somewhere similar.

The CCNA will get your foot in the door, but without real world experience you won't get very far in your job search. If you have the time and resources get a CCNP. You could probably get hired fairly quickly with one by a smaller ISP or medium sized business. But the conundrum of needing experience will rear it's ugly head.
Old 11-10-2009, 05:45 PM   #7
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I once knew a young kid who was hacking Linux and helped his school set up their library system. He really wanted a job in the software industry. He walked in the front door of a local software company and proclaimed that he would take any job they had, no matter what it was or how little it paid. They put him in as an assistant to the mail clerk. During his breaks, he hung out with the software testing group and spent time testing the software. Pretty soon, he had identified more bugs than most of the others, and got shifted into the product quality group. At 16 he was a software tester and was hanging out with the network group. A few years later he was a computer science major at the University and already had a few years experience on his resume.
Old 11-10-2009, 07:18 PM   #8
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Hello danvitt - An interesting question because as the other posters have mentioned you cant do them all!!

In the good ol days, we were jack of all trades and pretty much master of them as well.

Technology has changed so much that you have to specialise. I started out as a cable monkey pulling cable (old ThickEthernet with vampire taps, 10Base2 with BNC connectors - ahh those days

I then got involved in the sales side and then wanted to be on the techie side of things so did the A+ as I knew squat what a computer was made up of,

After that I did the Net+ then MCSE NT4. Whilst working as a desktop jockey I found that I enjoyed the networking side of things so did my Cisco CCNA and then the Cisco CCNP. All of this was over a period of 15 years and I'm still evolving.

I have now embarked on the Telephony side with VOIP (Cisco Unified Communications Manager and Call Manager Expresss.) I am really enjoying it and so the moral of the story is to dive in and as you swim along be open to all things.

Do you enjoy programming? If so dont go down the Desktop support route.

Write down what you enjoy or think you would enjoy and then start from there. Enjoy the ride - I have!!


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