Want to be a network admin. How to gain credibility so I can work with the expensive stuff?
October 17, 2012 7:25 AM Subscribe
I finally got an entry-level IT job. Now I have time to be more picky about choosing the next one. I'm interested in becoming a network engineer, but there seems to be a massive gap between being trusted to work with low-end managed switches and being trusted to work with McMansion-priced gateway routers.
How do/did network engineers bridge that gap? What are the in-between career steps that could get me to a sufficiently high level of proficiency and trust to do high-end networking work?
posted by UrbanEye to Work & Money (15 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I'm starting my first IT job as an IT technician at an engineering firm. Mostly tier II tech support, tech-bench stuff, recycling old machines, imaging new machines, and deskside troubleshooting. Our branch of the firm has 250 machines on a local LAN. Group policy, naming schemes, etc. are controlled at a higher level.
My boss is in charge of all the managed switches, local servers, voip and such. But, as is the case in many businesses, there is also a dvd-player sized Cisco gateway router that costs a gajillion dollars that no one is allowed to touch.
My dilemma is that I don't see a way to transition from working with the cheap stuff to working with the expensive stuff.
To be a sysadmin, you can start with basic tech support, move up to tier II support, start messing with imaging, backup procedures, active directory, and so on. What ladder do you climb that gets you to a point where you're working on enterprise-level routing equipment? I'm not even sure I want to go that far, but I'm curious.
Also, I've explored the certs route. I have a little 12u server rack full of old 2621s and 3500s, and a Citrix server that can run a dozen vms. I'm learning as much as I can on my own.