Originally Published: Thursday, 1 March 2001 Author: Jobs Staff
Published to: interact_articles_jobs_ask_staff/Ask the Jobs Staff Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

Ask the Jobs Staff: General advice on a career in computing?

Dear Jobs Staff: Hello. I am getting ready to enter ITT Technical Institute. There I will train and get a degree in computer networking systems with Linux. I am also looking at getting my certificate in Cisco networking. I am writing to ask for some tips on how I can make my career in the computer networking field a happy and successful one? I would also like to know if I get certified in Cisco will that help me? And if you have any tips that may help me for my future career and my quest in the computer life. What would an entry level job pay with what I will be doing? --New to the Industry

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Dear Jobs Staff:

Hello. I am getting ready to enter ITT Technical Institute. There I will train and get a degree in computer networking systems with Linux. I am also looking at getting my certificate in Cisco networking.

I am writing to ask for some tips on how I can make my career in the computer networking field a happy and successful one? I would also like to know if I get certified in Cisco will that help me? And if you have any tips that may help me for my future career and my quest in the computer life. What would an entry level job pay with what I will be doing?

--New to the Industry

Dear New to the Industry:

As far as certifications go, the Cisco "CCIE" certification seems to be extremely well-regarded, and other Cisco certifications don't hurt either. While some jobs will look at certifications, others are more concerned with experience, so just having a certification (or a degree) will not necessarily get you a job by itself, it just tends to help get past the initial resume scanning.

Cisco certification won't necessarily help you get a Linux job, but it really depends. For example, if you're applying with an Internet service provider, and they have Linux servers and Cisco routers, they'd probably be quite happy to have you on board! On the other hand, if the company just has Linux servers, they might not really care about the Cisco certification.

Now, many of the people we've talked to in the computer industry are not big fans of certification. (That's not to say that most people in general don't care about certification -- just the people we've talked to. Certainly, many people are impressed by certifications, or there wouldn't be such a big market for certification courses.) There are just so many quickie courses leading to certification, that sometimes people can get "certified" and still not really be able to do the work. From what we've seen, people who aren't technical (HR people, some managers) may be more impressed by certifications than are the technical people, so just don't expect any certification to get you a job by itself.

As to making it a happy and successful career, well, that rather depends on you. Number one: don't be desperate and take the first job that comes along. When you're being interviewed for a job, try to do a little research on the company beforehand. Even talk to some of the employees, if you can, and see if you think it would be a place you'd enjoy working. If not, you might want to look elsewhere. Sometimes, you have to take a job you don't like much just to pay the bills, but if possible, try to find something where you'll enjoy it. We like to say, think of a job interview as going both ways: try to do a little interviewing of the interviewer to see what the company and the job is about. See if you can meet your potential supervisor and maybe even some co-workers before you take the job. If you hate everyone, it might not be a good place to work.

Entry level pay varies hugely, depending on where you are. It can range as far as $30US an hour to $8US an hour depending on where you live, and the company. Very hard to say, but if you go to somewhere like salary.com , you can do a little research on approximate salaries for various jobs in various areas, or browse through the Job Announcements here at linux.com/jobs and see what jobs may have been posted in the past.

Good luck!

The Jobs Staff





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