Skip to comments.Advice- -What's the route to become a Network Systems Administrator - MSCE or ITT Other?
Posted on 07/18/2011 4:57:14 PM PDT by NoLibZone
Looking for best quickest cheapest route to make my boys into Systems Admins.
Network Systems Administration: Is this hooking up and maintaining networks?
Whats Information Systems Administration?
Are these good routes:
I think that coming from India on a HB1 visa is the quickest route.
College of the Ozarks (”Hard Work U”) students work rather than pay for tuition:
You live in California? If so then my advice is to get your A+ and then get a job with the Dept. of Corrections as an AISA. Once you’re in the system take advantage of the training and have them take care of your MSCE and all that for you. The only thing in California that’s not going to go out of business anytime soon are the prisons so I’d also say that will be steady work.
2) Pass the Microsoft exams.
3) Move to China where the jobs are. :)
Tell them to look into a tech MOS in the military.
The terms IS Admin and Network Admin are thrown around loosely. The requirements are set by the employer and it depends on the needs and size of the hiring company.
I am the entire IS department for the small business I work for and do absoltely everything on anything that even remotely smells like it might be thought of as something to do with computers. lol
Send your boys to a tech school and have them learn both electronics and network administration. They will then be of value to any size business who is looking to hire them.
Just my 2 cents ... (I’ve been in this field for 30 years).
Cisco to axe 16% of its workers
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Cisco announced plans on Monday to lay off 9% of its workforce and to transfer another 7% of its staff to another company in a sale of one of its businesses.
The networking giant said it would hand out pink slips to 6,500 employees, including 2,100 who volunteered for early retirement packages.
Well, what do the boys have to say about this? Do they want to become system admins or are you just pushing them into it?
If the boys are motivated to take this career track, then my advice is that they attend a technical school (such as an MCSE course) at night and take any entry-level job that they can find that has them involved with IT in some shape or form - even if it's sitting on the Help Desk coaching panicked end users on what to do when they get the blue screen of death or when their mouse does't work.
To become system or network administrator for any decent sized company, you generally need to have a few years of IT-related experience under your belt as well as the certifications that go with it. Bear in mind that an MCSE course will teach you the material and give you some hands-on, but it won't get you certified. You still need to pass all the tests that are administered by a third party (not the school).
MS`all the way. Don’t fart around.
NoLibZone, I have been a Network Engineer for over 20 years. I only have 1 year of college and some technical school after High School.
Any Cisco certification program such as CCNA, CCNP, or CCIE can help get a foot in the door in an entry Network Admin position. I highly suggest CISSP certification which can really make a candidate attractive for well paying network security positions. Also it is advisable to study Checkpoint firewalls or attaining CCSA and CCSE certifications.
Best of luck.
Ouch. I stand corrected.
If it's network infrastructure (Routers, Switches etc.) there is NO SUBSTITUTE for Cisco certifications. They are the price of entry. Period.
And, they are not easy. Even the CCNA entry certification test is failed the first taking by over 80% who try it.
If it's the administration of Servers the MCSE is the way to go and far easier, though it pays less.
At the highest Cisco certification level (CCIE) we often pay $100/hr.
And, you don't need a College education.
My firm currently charges (depending on duration, location, weekends/nights etc.) between $150 and $225/hr for these advanced services. And, they cannot be outsourced to India or China as networks are physical things.
Whats Information Systems Administration? .... I'd call it "management", or maybe a catch-all for IT things that are a bit less technical. I'm sure that there are HR people on the thread who can correct me.
My $0.02? Do they want to be geeks, or do they want to manage geeks? Both have their upsides and downsides.
IT can be lucrative, but it's largely thankless job (when was the last time you called your internet provider and thanked them because you could log on to FR? yep, me either. :-) ) When things go well, it's fun. When things go poorly, the hours are incredibly long and the stress level is high.
As for getting in, The A#1 thing that matters (as with any job) is experience. Get 'em to intern somewhere, or volunteer (schools or churches are good for this). Make some contacts, get some break/fix experience. A question that I always ask at job interviews is "How many PCs do you have at home?" 'None' is the wrong answer, always. "One", is acceptable. "Well, let me think....3 or 4, with parts for 4 more...", is EXACTLY what I'm looking for. Entry level people should be incredibly excited about all things computer.
Certifications / Degrees are OK to fool their way past HR. Once they get in front of techs, all that goes out the window. Personally, my degree (Electrical Engineering) has little to do with what I do, and I haven't bothered to get any certifications (if I was sticking my neck out in the job market, I might, depending). Of the 5 people on my team, one has a degree in accounting, one is an ME, one is a music major, and two don't have degrees at all, at least that I know of.
I can't speak to DeVry, or ITT. I don't give a lot of credence to universities that need to advertise on the radio. BUT - I'd stress that's my own personal prejudice. I also don't give a lot of credence to certifications, degrees, etc etc etc etc. "What do you know?" is what I'm looking for.
We've had a hard time of late finding entry level people. If it's not too late, stress to your kids to BE ON TIME to any interviews, dress appropriately and behave appropriately (no cursing, no gum chewing, and so on). The last entry level guy we hired for the help desk - we started out with high standards, and wound up with "Must show up on time and not swear at the customers when answering the phone." So, if your kids are well mannered (as I'm sure they are with a FReeper for a parent....), they'll have a huge leg up on the competition.
end of brain dump. Tell your kids I said "Good Luck."
Cisco does not build or operate the networks it sells.
If they release technical staff, they will have a job overnight.
MCSE, or Microsoft Certified System Engineer, is a certification that is being replaced with the Microsoft Certified Information Technology Professional, or MCITP. The MCSE still exists for Windows NT and 2000 Server but you can no longer sit for those exams (they’ve been retired), and while you can still sit for the Server 2003 exams, there are 6 you must pass and they’ll soon be retired, too. The MCITP: SA is for System Administrator and requires passing 3 exams and the MCITP: EA is for Enterprise Administrator and requires 5 exams. The MCITP: EA is basically the MCSE for Server 2008, with a new name.
So, ITT and Devry are the training institutes (and there’s many others) that can provide you the training to get ready for those exams, but you still have to pass them on your own, and you can’t bring in books, cell phones, notepads, etc into the testing room, so you should either know your stuff, or you can be like some people who cram the answers collected by cheaters called “brain dumps”. Brain dumps are bad because often they’re just wrong, and seriously you won’t learn anything.
Now if you are interested in other industry certifications there are a ton of them out there... Like already mentioned, Cisco (routers, switches and firewalls mainly), various Unix and Linux, even Apple has certification tests and some interesting certifications.
The main thing to consider is whether you’ll get a job after spending all your time and money getting certified... I have over 50 certifications but I have to as I teach this stuff. Honestly, if you’re not already in the industry I’m not sure it would be a wise investment. The jobs aren’t out there right now, I’m sorry to say. Better to go to college and get your IT related degree, and perhaps volunteer as a student worker on the campus IT staff to get some experience.
Others may have different opinions but I’m very saddened at the lack of prospects for new comers in the industry right now. I am also a Microsoft MVP and I can tell you I am asked to find people jobs all the time and it is hard right now. Not impossible but much more difficult than it’s ever been in my 35 years doing this.
Your community colleges may have suitable certificate and/or degree programs. And you can probably find someone there to give you a straight story as to what is the best program for your needs and what are the true job prospects for graduates.
I don’t want to discourage you but there are a tremendous number of certified IT people who are out of work. The job seeker pool is crowded. Much of the serious advice on this thread is good advice. Get a basic training in computers - A+ - get a low level job... Let the corporation pay for higher level training. Corporations will do this for sharp younger people but not for anyone in their 40’s or beyond. Leaning CISCO VOIP is a good area - (computer network based phone systems). For Cisco Call Manager and Unity (voice mail) training a private school charges about $3200 and it won’t make you certified. Getting base level employment with municipalities, city, county, state universities, school districts or even State bureaucratic employment will help assure eventual paid training towards certification... IF you can get past the bias favoring women and minorities for such positions.
Having a EE and talking about these morons who finally get the routers right is apples and oranges. It is moving fast. I knew the lay of Schneider long before they did.
No cursing? What kinda outfit are you running there?
She (it was a girl?!) started off by saying "I'm calling about the f#%$#%ing interview?"
I was a little dumbfounded, figured that I might have mis-heard her. Nope, she dropped the f-Bomb a number of times in the 2-3 minutes I spoke with her. Needless to say, she didn't get the job. :-)
Found out from a buddy of mine, later on, that she likely needed to interview to keep UE bennies, and threw the interview. I'd not run into that before; it was a bit of an eye-opener.
RE> Network Systems Administration: Is this hooking up and maintaining networks?
Yes. Installing and maintaining switches, routers and firewalls (LAN). Understanding network security is typically crucial. Knowledge of types of Telecom data lines is usually important (WAN).
RE> Whats Information Systems Administration?
This is typically installing and maintaining operating systems as servers or desktops in a corporate environment, such as MS Windows or Unix, printing and backup systems, and can also include managing telephone systems (many phone PBXs run over the network these days). Usually systems and network administration are kept as separate functions, but in small companies they can be combined.
RE> Are these good routes:
Can be to achieve internships, which is a good first step, but for actual network admin, engineering, or consulting positions, see my earlier post.
Best of luck.
I would have reported her as a no show.
That’s wild. Ask them about the triangle of power. If anybody drops any curse near me they are toast.
Brilliant. Next time.....I'm sure there will be a next time....that's EXACTLY what's going to happen.
“Any Cisco certification program such as CCNA, CCNP, or CCIE can help get a foot in the door in an entry Network Admin position. I highly suggest CISSP certification which can really make a candidate attractive for well paying network security positions. Also it is advisable to study Checkpoint firewalls or attaining CCSA and CCSE certifications.”
I agree. Problem with the CISCO exams is you have to have hands on experience because part of the exam is lab work. I just finished reading the CCNA and while I know most of it, I have no hands on for the labs.
In my opinion, the CISSP is the most coveted of certifications. Security is hugh and series right now. And if you can obtain it in the military and have them pay for it, you are set.
A+ certifications are ok for starters and the courses aren’t too expensive.
The other course that is pretty easy and doesn’t cost much money is ITIL V3 Foundations, which is Service Management. Getting this and then getting on a help desk might be the best way to go.
I have my PMP (Project Management Professional) designation as well as SCRUM and was sitting unemployed for almost a year. Got my ITIL and the first week got more than a dozen calls about positions.
I would suggest looking on the web for the free stuff first. Some of these courses can run 3k or more.
There’s a big difference between the “server admin” sorts of tracks and the “network admin” sorts of tracks.
Server admins can get value out of an MCSE, and good solid knowledge of Linux (or full-on Unix). They manage the servers, software, databases, storage arrays... the hardware that sits on the network.
Network admins need Cisco certifications, period. CCNA is a good start, CCNE will open doors. They manage the routers, switches, firewalls and all the cloud-hitting stuff that gives people ~access~ to the servers.
In either track, the hip thing ~right now~ and for the forseeable future is “Security”. That’s the thing that everybody is worried about.
But nomatter what, experience and ability trumps schoolwork and certs. I.T. is an industry that moves and changes too fast for much of the schoolwork to have any practical application in the working world. By the time somebody gets a BS in Comp Sci, much of what they learned is obsolete. The basics still apply, but much of the advanced stuff will have changed.
I think I would advise to get an entry level job in I.T. first, and get the rest of the education and certs along the way. That’s a way to get the experience clock started, and still have the coursework be useful during the ride.
My .02 (from a Director of IT in a publicly held company).
I’ve been a MCSE since 99 and have way too many certs. I would focus on one of three technologies, MS, cisco or vmware. Vmware is a bit more advanced and does require a well rounded understanding of ms, network and some unix.
I know a lot of high schools offer tech training and quite a few state colleges have cheap classes as well.
One of the best places to apply at bigger companies is their help desk. They usually have a high turnover rate because any good company will train them up and promote from within. I routinely hire from our help desk.
“Network Systems Administrator” is a bit confusing. There’s Network Admins who do the networking (routers, switches, cables, etc.) and there’s Systems Administrators who handle servers and services. These are two separate career fields.
In a nutshell if they are strong in logic skills they would do better in networking. If they are better in reasoning (multi-variable problem solving ) they will do better in systems.
Cisco for networking and Microsoft and COMPTIA for Systems. Cross-trained is also important and will distinguish and advance them beyond their peers as each field must know the other field’s capabilities and needs. When one engineer can deduce what two IT departments and the supervisor are trying to accomplish it’s easy to get ahead.
Now, I’ll give the advice as others and say they should join the military in an IT Military Occupational Specialty (MOS). This will give them the all-important US SECRET security clearance which will open a great many opportunities once their 3 years are up. US SECRET IT jobs cannot be outsourced and draw from a limited pool of applicants.
-Only for a FReeper....
A better question would be, for example, "what career path in computer industry is most valuable?" Instead you picked a position of menial labor (roughly speaking) and proceeded from there. Sysadmins are janitors of server rooms; they fix old software, they talk to ISVs, they crawl under desks to connect cables, they fix broken computers... why in the world would you want your children to go into that job? Besides, IT departments are outsourced to India by thousands. Today's Internet allows Indians to manage your network from Bangalore, securely and reliably. You only need one local IT guy to, basically, replace the hardware when it fails. A monkey (untrained) can do that.
A bunch of earlier replies in this thread talk about Cisco and other router jockeys. Those jobs may be more lucrative... and at the same time they are more rare. How many companies you know that have a need for a Cisco router? If you just look around, most businesses (incl. small businesses) don't need any of that stuff even if you give it to them for free. I work in computer and hardware industry for a long time, and I can count all the Cisco routers that I saw on one finger of one hand. It's like going into general auto industry in expectation that you will be driving F-1 or Indy cars but getting an old pickup truck for delivery of groceries instead.
If I were to express an opinion, I would say that the best one can do in computer industry today is to become a developer. The absolute best if you have mastery of both hardware and software, and can do system design. That is not required, though. There is plenty of room for software development. You can write a program, post it on a Web site and collect revenue as it comes. The easiest, of course, is to write for smartphones - and that market is wide open and growing. Today's software for smartphones is laughable, compared to what it may be. But most is rushed to the market, with a generally correct idea that money today is better than more money tomorrow.
The reason why I think this is a better investment is because you as a programmer are not easily replaceable. You are an inventor, and inventors are unique. Sysadmins, on the other hand, can be replaced overnight. A sysadmin can't easily open a business and sell his product - he has no product, he has a service, and it's hard to sell it in the age of "clouds." A programmer can *always* set up a small business and code for fun and profit, be his own boss. A programmer is mobile, and if he is good he will be in demand. In the end, only the intellectual contribution is valuable in today's world. You can't beat Indians or Chinese on price, but you can invent better than they do, or invent in a way that US customers value more.
Ditto that. Every single place that I've worked uses the help desk as the farm team for more senior IT positions. With maybe "Interns" as a developmental-type league.
And, thinking about it, the only IT guy that I can think of who *didn't* start on the help desk, is me. My first employer was pretty desperate (they must have been, to hire me) and tossed me into the deep end of the pool to start with. Almost 20 years later, I guess I did OK. Things were a little different then, though...computer knowledge was still next to witchcraft in a lot of people's eyes. Not anymore.
I once had a phone interview on a cell phone standing outside of my office on a hot windy day. I wasn't happy about this arrangement since I requested the interview be around lunch time so I could be somewhere outside of the office to take the call. But these people didn't actually phone me until 2:00 pm, after I was forced to be back at the office, so I had nowhere to take this interview other than outside in the heat.
About 20 minutes into boiler plate technical questions, some drone on the other end of the line asked me what polymorphism was. Sigh. Growing tired of the whole thing, I mouthed "you gotta be f@$%king kidding me", thinking it was just to myself.
A short time later the head hunter called me and told me the interview didn't go very well. They told him they could hardly hear me because of the wind. But the one thing they did hear was me dropping an f-bomb on them while mocking their stupid polymorphism question. Never got that job.
Interviewing, IMHO, is a two way street. The applicant is checking me out just as hard (likely harder) than I'm checking out them.
And I'll be honest with you, I needed to go look up "polymorphism". Figured that it was "having many forms", but in relation to what? :-)
I had a conversation with a friend who is a small business owner just the other day, regarding clouds.
He said, (regarding the app we were discussing) "We'll just put it in the cloud."
I replied, "Good idea. How are you going to do that?"
He didn't have an answer. Sez me, that might be an interesting niche to fill. "Cloud technology" is great, but someone still needs to know how to use it AND be able to explain to businesses how they can safely and effectively leverage it.
Sure you can do that. However you will be building a business that is in decline from day zero. All your business will be derived from the belief that Amazon, Google, Dropbox and every other cloud provider are too stupid to offer neatly packaged solutions to small businesses.
Perhaps they don't have it sorted out yet - but they will have it done in a year. This is a simple thing to do, it's just marketing - slick sheets, good choice of words, and very little of coding. MS did that with their Small Business Server, for example - bundled together what most small businesses need and sells it as a "business in a box." Amazon can do that too, and you will find it hard to compete with them. Why will a customer want your advice if they can take it, for free probably, directly from the horse's mouth? If you are at Home Depot and have a question about a pipe fitting do you hire a contractor on the spot or simply ask the nearest Home Depot worker?
Admittedly, not every business depends on unique offerings. You can open a pizza joint and be profitable, even though most pizzas are alike. But you will find very few pizza places that are valued in billions of dollars. If you want that level of valuation you have to look for businesses that offer unique services or products.
You can decide which way to go - the commodity path (pizza) or the unique path (whatever you can invent.) There is about the same amount of effort on either path; but the commodity venture has a ceiling that is hard to break. On the other hand, it requires no inventor's abilities; a tradesman's skill is all that one needs to bake pizza.