×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR COMPUTER PROFESSIONALS

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you a
Computer / IT professional?
Join Tek-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Tek-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Graduating senior in need of career advice

Graduating senior in need of career advice

Graduating senior in need of career advice

(OP)
I'm a senior IT major graduating in May, but I'm not sure what I want to do as a career. Right now I work in Network Engineering but I don't thnk it's something I want to do long term.   I have considered a career as a computer support specialist and getting my A+ certification. What kind of advancement is there as a support specialist? From what I have seen there doesn't appear to be much of an advancement ladder. Is there a Master's degree in this field? What other related certifications should I get besides A+?

 

RE: Graduating senior in need of career advice


ITadvice,

Computer Support Specialists are little more than entry level positions in most companies and in fact most of the computer support is being done by network support who do double duty in this ecconomy. Only the VERY LARGE companies with lots of PCs still have seperate people to support the computers, network and phone systems.

Nothing against CompTIA's A+ cert but it basicly shows an employer that you have about a 6 month background in computer repair.

If you are looking for certs and want to stay in the IT field on the networking side you might want to start with Cisco - CCNA, CCNA Voice, and CCNA Security and then further...... Both Network security and VoIP will be hot areas to work in, but you gotta like networking smile

On the computer/operating system side  you might want to look into Microsoft certs such as MCP, MCSA and MCSE.

As far as a Masters, yes many people go further with their studies and get a MBA or a Masters in Computer Science or even MIS or some other area of technology management. You would not get a Masters in Computer Support unless you are looking for a career at the "Buy More"  with "Chuck" smile

Hope this helps and just be happy that you have a job right now, try to learn what you are doing as well as you can to build experience and get a true feel for what you want to do.  

E.A. Broda
CCNA, CCDA, CCAI, Network +

RE: Graduating senior in need of career advice

Advancement for a support specialist IMO would be Support Manager.  Some companies might not have a support manager -- they might all report to the infrastructure head who is also over networking and systems administration, but many companies have a formal support department with a manager and possibly other supervisors involved.

RE: Graduating senior in need of career advice

(OP)

Thanks for the advice CiscoGuy. So I guess you're suggesting that I look at being some sort of administrator (network, systems etc).

I heard that the Cisco & Microsoft certifications require hands-on experience in addition to book knowledge. What suggestions do you have for getting this experience? I dont have equipment or software to practice on. Also, what about CompTIA's Network+ certification? Is that worth taking?
 

RE: Graduating senior in need of career advice

Not to be messenger of bad news; but my company (a Fortune 100 company) has outsourced (and off-shored) most of the Network, Database and Communication Administration.  We had 10 on-staff DBAs at one point; and are now down to 3.  the rest of the positions have been outsourced/off-shored.  Perhaps a role as a business analyst or project manager would be a more stable career path to consider in IT?  Good Luck...  

Steve Medvid
IT Consultant & Web Master

http://www.saveourfarm.com
Chester County, PA Residents
Please Show Your Support...

RE: Graduating senior in need of career advice

ITadvice,

You asked -

Quote:

"I heard that the Cisco & Microsoft certifications require hands-on experience in addition to book knowledge. What suggestions do you have for getting this experience? I dont have equipment or software to practice on."

Yes, hands on practice is the best way to do it, start small with an older computer or server off Ebay for less than $100, you don't need the latest, greatest for lab work. Same for a Cisco routers and switches etc. You have to invest in YOUR future, just as if you were taking a class at school!!!

Then you can work up to a home lab like this smile

http://smorris.uber-geek.net/lab.htm

You also asked -

Quote:

"Also, what about CompTIA's Network+ certification? Is that worth taking?"

Nothing wrong with CompTIA A+, Network + or Security + but they have limited use because they just tell an employer that you have a little more than a basic understanding of things. Cert Mag. had a very good story years ago about a resume should have a good balance of Education, Certs and Experience. Whatever you need to do along the way to make your resume work for YOU!!! Just don't expect a whole lot with Net +

And Steve is right - lots of jobs going overseas, however, the key is to be a good and as ready as YOU can be for when any job comes along......... Hard to tell what the current administration will do to push technology jobs in the USA smile

Hope this helps!
 

E.A. Broda
CCNA, CCDA, CCAI, Network +

RE: Graduating senior in need of career advice

It's very difficult to completely offshore jobs in IT infrastructure, as a certain amount of work needs to be done by hand.  I think that there will always be a need for those sorts of jobs in IT, no matter where you are.  While it is true that some companies do outsource their local IT staff, that doesn't mean that those jobs aren't available.  They're just not full-time employee positions.

I work for a consulting firm and am currently on contract to a fortune 20 company.  Our customer has "outsourced" a significant number of their positions.  In fact, in their server team I'd say that it is about 75% contractor and 25% employee.  But the contractors have desks and work alongside the FTEs, just like regular employees.  They have the same responsibilities as the employees, but they don't get all of the company benefits.  On the other hand, the contractors are usually payed significantly better than the FTEs are, especially when you factor in the overtime that contractors can bill and get paid for that FTEs cannot.  There are still a few who occasionally make the switch to FTE, and they almost always take a pay cut to do it.  I was offered and FTE position several weeks ago, but their best offer was less than my base salary (and I get bonuses and overtime with my current employer).  Outsourcing isn't all bad...

________________________________________
CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+, Security+
MCTS:Hyper-V
MCTS:System Center Virtual Machine Manager
MCSE:Security 2003
MCITP:Enterprise Administrator  

RE: Graduating senior in need of career advice

[quote]
Outsourcing isn't all bad...
[\quote]

Ya, I guess it just depends on who's getting the outsourced job.

RE: Graduating senior in need of career advice

ITadvice:

My advice?

Be a florist.

;)

 

Just my 2¢

"What the captain doesn't realize is that we've secretly replaced his Dilithium Crystals with new Folger's Crystals."

--Greg  http://parallel.tzo.com
 

RE: Graduating senior in need of career advice

(OP)

Thanks everyone for your input. Although I'm not too jazzed about the work I do now, I think the best thing is for me to make the most of it and try to learn as much as I can. Considering I have a weak background in networking, I think I will try to get some equipment to practice on and then try to take the CCENT (or maybe Network+)certification.

Does anyone know much about the CCENT cert? How do employers view it? I'm trying to decide what is the best entry-level certification for me to get.
 

RE: Graduating senior in need of career advice


ITadvice,

Most Cisco certs carry a little more respect in the industry because they tend to be a little harder by making you do several sims on the exam - IE: you config a router (sim) as part of your exam.

However, I would not expect a whole lot until you are a CCNA and even that in some markets is not a whole lot smile

Be glad you have a job and you might want to look into getting your CCENT and CCNA training at a Cisco Network Academy, they are located all over the world at high schools, adult education centers, community colleges and universities. Just go to www.cisco.com and look for the link under training and certification.

http://www.cisco.com/web/learning/netacad/index.html

Hope this helps!

E.A. Broda
CCNA, CCDA, CCAI, Network +

RE: Graduating senior in need of career advice

CCNA has been considered the entry-level Cisco cert for a long time.  Cisco has inserted the new CCENT a step below, CCNA in the pyramid, but since they didn't change the CCNA name then CCNA is still largely considered the entry level position.  Basically CCENT is half of a CCNA.

I will say that a Cisco cert is probably more valuable than a Network+ cert.  In my opinion, the CompTIA certs really are all very entry level and not particularly helpful.  And yes, I know that seems contradictory since I have some of them myself.

By far the biggest potential problem with the CCENT is that it's not very well known.

________________________________________
CompTIA A+, Network+, Server+, Security+
MCTS:Hyper-V
MCTS:System Center Virtual Machine Manager
MCSE:Security 2003
MCITP:Enterprise Administrator  

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Tek-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Tek-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Tek-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Tek-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login

Close Box

Join Tek-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical computer professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Tek-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close