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Thread: seeking advice regarding career shift...

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001

    seeking advice regarding career shift...

    Hi there!

    I’m planning to have a change in career shift from a systems engineer (jack of all trades, master of none, in my country) to a specific career of systems administration / network security.

    I had been a senior technical support engineer / junior systems administrator for a local ISP until it went bankrupt then a webmaster for a Macintosh-based company during my early 20s until it met the same fate and I ended up working for another IT company as a systems engineer focused on training newly hired employees on the basics of the Internet and developing Internet applications (open-source).

    Since last year, I’ve been yearning to get back into going back into systems administration and would also like to venture into network security. Unfortunately, eventhough my current employers have networking-related projects that would require a certain level of systems administration; I wasn’t given an opportunity to be involved with it probably due to my limited or outdated skills/know-how.

    Early this year, I’ve enrolled myself in the Cisco Networking Academy at our local university. Currently attending my 4th semester and with great hope that I would be able to take the CCNA exam by the end of this year or early of next year to be certified. With hopes that this would enable me to have an opportunity to take part in networking-related projects.

    Now, the question is what other course of action (training, opportunities and even reading materials) that can be suggested to assist me in shifting from a systems engineer to a systems administrator or network security specialist?

    I would really appreciate to hear from you, guys. Thanks.

  2. #2
    I'd rather be fishing DjM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    The Great White North
    You may want to check out some on the courses offered by SANS. I have taken a few and they are quite good.


  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Continue taking advanced courses in routing and Switching and mastering TCP/IP......

    As far as security goes, build yourself a nice small lab with a few cheap PCs at home and teach yourself..(mix it up and install different OSs like Linux and windows)....there are alot of great tutorials and threads and network tools listed here that will keep you busy and learning...

    You might want to also install a DNS server, Email server, Syslog server, a Web server, a domain controller(win2000server), a firewall on a linux box, to name a few and have fun testing


    If you can also dish out a few hundred dollars, buy yourself a used Cisco router or two off ebay to simulate a WAN as well....

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    I don't know if you want to do this or not because I don't know how the job situation is in the Phillipines. As for me I am still working on my business as an IT consultant and have done what you have done but after being laid off twice and seeing friends in the same industry get laid off because of outsourcing or the company going under I personally decided to make the computer business a secondary source of income. Here in California the computer industry is very saturated now don't get me wrong there are jobs but most are contracts for a certain amount of time and then it is done then you are sitting waiting on something else to come. I still love to do that type of work and love to learn about it more and more each day but I have taken a different route in my career. Sorry for run on sentences but I am a little busy and still wanted to give you my insight.

  5. #5
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    If you get a chance to go for a DBA position/course I would take it...........Oracle for example. Those guys will have jobs longer and wont be outsourced if the company is worth working fo in the first place.

    Just my £0.02


  6. #6
    Ninja Code Monkey
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Washington State
    I agree with DJM....check out SANS/GIAC. I have finished one (GSEC), in the middle of another (GCIH), and am currently lining up my third class from them (GCWN).
    "When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes." - Erasmus
    "There is no programming language, no matter how structured, that will prevent programmers from writing bad programs." - L. Flon
    "Mischief my ass, you are an unethical moron." - chsh
    Blog of X

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