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Network Technologies as a Career

Author: Michael Thomas

Published: August 3, 2020

What are network technologies? If you’re a consumer or client, this term often represents IT in general, the concepts you’re not familiar with or the things you have IT work on.  However, for a technology professional, network technologies represent the components that operate in the background, the components that most clients or consumers have no idea exist until something goes belly up.  These components range from cables to  virtualization, with much in between.  In fact, if you have a wireless cable modem within your home, several of these components function around you and you may not even know it.  For those of you looking to get specific details around these components, we plan to discuss them in future articles, so stay tuned.  For the time being, know that these are the areas that keep IT running, manages the flow of information, secures the organizations investments, keeps your business prospering, and without a professional to manage this fascinating arena of the digital age, many issues can arise.  In the mean-time, you can research network switches, routers, wireless access points, servers, and firewalls, to get a idea of some components.

So how does a person become a professional in this arena you may ask.  There are several pathways you can use, but much like anything else, it merely takes a single step to start that path.  For me, I started off in a Cisco Internetworking Academy at a young age.  Cisco is one of the worlds leading vendors in network technologies, making it very difficult to enter into this world and not encounter their products.  It was this academy where I began to build my foundation for architecture and my future.  I learned how to build simplistic networks, accounting for future progression, selecting the right equipment, with respect to Cisco, and much more.  Over my years within technology I acquired more skills that focused around desktop troubleshooting, server administration, and firewalls, but I always relied upon what I had learned at the Academy for the foundation of my work.  Today, I still focus on network architecture with long-term goals in mind, leveraging strategic thinking aimed at preventing issues become they become realistic.

If you’re interested in entering this field, then you’re in luck.  If you have a home network then you have a place you can start.  You can begin by picking up books that focus on networking.  Comptia’s Network+ documentation is a start and will give you, at a high-level a path forward.  In addition, there are several learning platforms available on the internet that can assist.  For those that are not novice and are interested in developing a career within this field, the next step is committing yourself to obtain a certification, such as the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), which is recognized by many organizations as THE entry level certification.  Comptia’s Network+ certification is also out there, but more doors are opened with the CCNA.  Most organizations require certifications to even be considered for a network administrator or engineer role and are dropping the degree requirement.

One thing I would like to add, my career is built upon nearly 20 years of certifications, that all started with a CCNA.  I just recently obtained my bachelors and I can tell you that I got where I am today based solely upon my certifications.  If you’re interested in a administrator level role as a career, a $300 certification compared to a $30k-$150k degree is a great option.  Not discredit the opportunities a degree can offer, I sought a degree for the simplistic fact that my career could grow no further without it.

Interested in more?  Join the Society of Technology Professionals to learn more skill-sets and grow your career.


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