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Career advice to getting into hardware/ networking career

This is a discussion on Career advice to getting into hardware/ networking career within the Certification & Career forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hi I'm looking at redundancy in the next few months and researching career options in IT. I'm 42 years old

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Old 08-05-2016, 09:50 AM   #1
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Hi I'm looking at redundancy in the next few months and researching career options in IT.

I'm 42 years old and would prefer to get into the physical hardware "on site" side of things that's not prone to offshoring.

I took a short A+ course about 10 years ago which I enjoyed and found easy but never really pursued a career out of it as another opportunity came along at the time in my field of work (business administration) and I was put off by the low salaries and limited job opportunities with just an A+. Most of it was 14k shop repair work unless you went self employed and the local paper here is satuated with no fix no fee computer repair ads.

I'm confused with all the various course abbreviations, i.e MCSE, MCSA, N+ etc etc...

My question really is what sort of course / job entry route would be best for someone in my position. I'm a married father of two so wouldn't have 0000`s hours study time available to do anything too long and advanced. I would really be looking at several months to a year rather than years. I would be willing to work for a low entry level salary if it led to a proper career path with opportunities.
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Old 08-05-2016, 12:49 PM   #2
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Posts: 1,290

Hi mate,

I'd recommend that you study the CCNA Routing & Switching certification from Cisco to start with:


ICND1/2 goes into a lot more detail than the composite exam btw.

If you don't have any previous experience of networking, it won't really matter what certifications you do hold, so I wouldn't worry about it too much. The most important thing, at least to start with, is understanding (fundamentally) how networks work. If I was interviewing you, certificate or not, I'd still ask the same questions. :)

There are other network certifications you can take, but the CCNA not only teaches you about networking, but also how to administrate Cisco networks which practically every company in the world will use to some degree.

The amount of time it takes depends on your aptitude really, but that certificate will open a lot of doors for you so it is worth sticking with. If you have the time, a few hours a day studying should see you clear the exam in a couple of months.

Salary wise, entry level networking is (depending on your part of the world) roughly £25,000 p.a. CCNA plus 1/2 years worth of experience is normally around £35,000p.a. Once you have a few more years of experience (or if you have a gift for it like me :), even less) and some more certs, you won't have any problems finding work that pays really, really well.

If you need any more help or have any more questions, just let me know.

Best of luck.
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