Do you guys like your jobs?

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I posted a while back asking about Cisco certs.

I have a degree in EE, was a stay-at-home dad for the past 10 years,
and I'm looking to get back to work.  I thought I would shift gears
and look into IT.

Looking at the jobs at, many of the Network Engineer
positions aren't what I thought they would be.  I thought a Network
Engineer was on par with a EE or ME, but many of the positions require
only a high school education.

So I don't know which way to go.  I love computers, learned to code as
a kid, networking "black magic" fascinates me.

Is there a specific area of IT I should focus on given my background?

What kind of salary should I expect?

Re: Do you guys like your jobs?
On Mar 4, 6:25=A0pm, Mitch@_._ wrote:
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Spend less time worrying about what kind of education you have, and
more time worrying about what education you're going to need. There
are many avenues you can take it. So start studying up, because it
might not be as easy as you might think...

Re: Do you guys like your jobs?
Are you sure these are Network Engineer positions that only require a HS
diploma, or are they simply HelpDesk postions?
A huge difference in pay and in experience and education.

While I feel the degree is quite useful, without any real world experience
on live production networks, you really can't hope to start out
in a great position.

I suggest you get some books to study networks, perhaps Microsoft and Cisco,
get some pc's, setup a lab with some switches, and start there.

Good luck

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Re: Do you guys like your jobs?
I just don't want to get into the field with the wrong expectations.
I'm trying to figure out what the various career paths are in IT.

Re: Do you guys like your jobs?
You may find that once you choose a certain area, you'll find/develop an
interest in some other discipline. I started out as many have - desktop
support. I switched to network engineering after a year or so of that
and have been doing it for the past 16 years. I'd suggest you take a
chance and go for it!

Mitch@_._ wrote:
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Re: Do you guys like your jobs?
Mitch@_._ wrote:
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In my experience, deciding which way to go in the IT field is like being
a doctor.  You can't specialize in them all -- only one or two.  It's
just too complex now days.  Sure, there will be people who can
specialize in more than two arenas, and if you're up for that, go for
it.  But focus on one and build up upon that.

You'll find that the current job you're doing will require a certain
skill set, and you'll be using that skill set while the others you know
just linger in the back.  Good luck.

Re: Do you guys like your jobs?
I come from a similar background - degree in EE and came over to
networking nearly 15 years ago where you actually needed some
conceptual background to do this stuff.  You are right in that back
then, many "Network Engineers" were actual licensed engineers (people
with a PE license).  In those days we are talking about matching
impedence on thin-net segments, 5-4-3 networks, vampire taps, etc.
All of these things are gone today and with it much of the specialized
education requirements.  In the dotcom boom, we saw a radical shift in
what is today called a "Network Engineer".  Network Engineer's became
nearly anyone who worked on computerized systems (system
administrators, desktop support folks, and generally anyone who could
spell the work 'engineer').

Unfortunately you are going to find that a lot has changed in the 10
years you have been out of work and it is going to be difficult work
to get caught up.  I have confidence that you can do it.  First, if
you are interested in "coding" you want to look at programming jobs.
Nearly all of that has gone the direction of programming.  Today's
programming has some resemblence to ASIC programming so you would pick
it up pretty quickly.  Not too many kids coming out of high school
which are proficient with programming.  So your degree may open some
doors and you'll find the starting pay is typically higher than doing
networking (there are a lot of kids doing networking).

If you want to do networking, just be aware that any kid interested in
computers in high school probably already knows some networking and
will be stiff competition.  This is why the starting salary's for
networking people is around $10 - $15 / hr (adjust for your city &
location, etc etc).  A lot of kids coming out of high school today, do
networking jobs while they are pursuing their college degrees (hey -
it still pays more than what their friends are making at Pizza Hut).

If you don't mind EE, you might thinking of blending the two.  I know
that Intel (and others) are looking for people with EE backgrounds
with interests in networking.  This is huge $$ for them and they can't
find enough qualified people to do the work.  If you want to make some
money starting out this might be a good place to look considering your
background.  Plus, if you decide to go full-time into networking
you'll build experience at a higher pay rate.

Don't short change your degree.  The fact that you know how this stuff
works puts you miles ahead of many people in the industry.  Just got
to find the right job.


On Mar 4, 4:25=A0pm, Mitch@_._ wrote:
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Re: Do you guys like your jobs?

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Thanks a lot for your great reply!

So, given my background, what job titles should I be looking at if I'm
searching Monster, CareerBuilder, etc.?

Re: Do you guys like your jobs?
I would look for titles like "hardware engineer" or "hardware test
engineer", etc.  Within those jobs, then look for the ones that have
major exposure or requirements for networking.  In particular look for
networking companies like Intel, Juniper, Cisco, Foundry, Sun
Microsystems, IBM, Google, VMware, etc.  These companies hire a lot of
EE's that have or want networking skills.  A lot of the ex DEC
(Digital Electronics) people went to these companies (still great
networking people with deep EE skillsets).  Also check these company's
website's for those jobs which are not posted on Monster, Dice, etc.

Good Luck,

On Mar 25, 6:52=A0am, Mitch@_._ wrote:
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