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How do I start in Unix?

How do I start in Unix?

How do I start in Unix?

Hi, I'm Graduating this summer with a CIS degree. I'm familiar with UNIX, but I can't seem to find an entry level position that deals with it. I was thinking Sysadmin, is there any other way for me to enter the field?

This is driving me nuts. Everyone wants at least 2 years of exp, but no one will spend the 2 WEEKS to bring me up to speed.


RE: How do I start in Unix?

You can't really expect to go straight into sysadmin - you need some field experience first.

I'd recommend a year on on the Hell Desk, followed by 2 years technical support (2nd level then 3rd level), then sysadmin!

To get yourself up to speed, install Linux on a computer at home. Network it up to an NT/W2k server, and you can emulate many corporate scenarios.

Most sysadmin roles are company dependant - in other words, the work varies from one company to another. My advice is based on the fact that you need to understand how the company ticks before they'll let you organise them and handle their sensitive data.

Good Luck!

RE: How do I start in Unix?


Help Desk? Considering that I was not allowed to get that type of job for my internship, (Due to the fact that it doesn't develop any of your skills) I think that would be a bad idea.

I've already set up a home network. I use a Win98 computer as a gateway for my linux box. And I can plug in my laptop to the hub so it has access to the other machines or the internet whenever I need it.

So is that it? The only entry level jobs in the market are those that a kid in High School can do?


RE: How do I start in Unix?


You might want to consider lying ...I mean fibbing....I mean safe guarding the truth :)

Find some Unix sys/net admin work you can do anywhere, at any level, for any price.  It is true that most companies are carefull about whom they enlist as their SYSDMIN's, but you dont have to start as a SYSADMIN. I know several network techs that after recieveing there microsoft cert, had difficulty finding the first job. Hell, we all did. They were with with small companies that were poorly staffed and managed. My friends quickly moved through several companies withing two years but gained a lot of experience. They are now doing quite well, and are stable and building a nice track record of accomplishments for their resumes. One friend, after three years, is now an IT director at six figures.

Be careful of the help desks, use them as only a last resort to get inside a company. I have seen too many people stay on help desks for far too long while the technology that they want to embrace passes them bye.

I believe that if you want to do something, get a job that lets you do it. Dont f___ around. Life is to short.

It sounds like you have a lot of enthusiasm and I detect a good attitude, you shouldnt have to much of a problem finding work if you let this come accross during the interview and in your resume.

Try to avoid headhunters. Go to the source. I have never got a job through a head hunter, although my phone rings off the hook when I put my resume on DICE.COM.

If you have a good resume and cover letter, respond to all the companies that post a help wanted ad in the newspaper for people in the Computer/IT industry. All the companies that advertise their need good network people. And yes, being new, and "inexperienced" you will not be paid as well on your first job. You are there to get experience, and the time spent learning on a low paying job is nothing but an investment for the next higher paying gig.


In not now, when?
If not here, where?
If not us, who?

Just do it!!

RE: How do I start in Unix?

Good advice, Ivan.

I think people generally only get trapped on Hell desks if they're not up to it, technically.

I started on a HD straight from college, with a degree in C/S. It took me three months to get off and into sysadmin. Within a year, I was running the network. A year later and I'd designed, built, project managed and developed my first Citrix farm. Now I work for Citrix.

This isn't to say how great I am, more that if you've got the skills and the potential, it really doesn't hurt to start low.

And as far as not learning anything goes, it's the BEST place in any company for getting to know people within that company - even the CEO contacts the HD sometimes.

You can find out company gossip - and all the stuff that makes the company tick. In other words, people networking.

I recommend starting on a HD - and being the best HD operator they've ever had. This will be remembered WHEN you move into sysadmin - and you will, as soon as your manager realises your worth (and he/she probably won't unless you do a little trumpet-blowing!).

Don't knock the HD - hell, someone has to do it - and we all complain about the usual "high school kids". If you go straight into sysadmin, you'd be no better than them anyway, since you don't know the in-house systems or ways of doing things, only the college ways.

If you did start in sysadmin, and never got to know any of your end users, they would be as mere objects in the network file system. You would get the reputation of being just another computer geek that only other geeks talk to.

If that's your preference, though, I'll say no more

*Just my advice, based on (limited) experience*

The best of luck to you, whatever you decide to do!

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