When I finished my Bachelor, there were many paths to choose, many ways to go. suggestions were booming around me all over. Some were saying there are lot of demands for .net developers, some said php. another group was encouraging about database administration while one other group was opposing saying that db admins will be obsolete in the future. Some were saying networking is a relatively easy path but there is no good pay rate in our country. But honestly the reason I chose networking was for simply two reasons- one is that I hated programming & the other was I was too lazy to even try to learn any kind of programming.
Whenever I say that I don’t know any programming language, the first reaction of anyone is like- WTF! how did you become a computer engineer without any programming language! I have so many reasons to say but lets not go that way. It didn’t attract me that much, that’s it. Well, the field of networking also have some coding or something like that but that’s negligible if you ask me. That’s the main reason I chose networking as my career path although that ‘career’ has not yet started for me anyway.
So, what to do when you choose a path on an impulse? You ask around whoever is working in that sector. So did I. And everywhere I went, all I was hearing is you have to get a certification to get a job as a fresher. CCNA, CCNP, RHCSA, RHCE, MCSA, MCSP etc. So I got myself into a CCNA course for 6 months, gave the vendor exam & got myself certified by Cisco. So, right now, I am a Cisco Certified Network Associate- Routing & Switching. Honestly if you ask me, this certification have a good value in this sector & the materials you for this exam also helps you to answer the technical questions that are generally asked in an interview for a job in networking sector.
the Cisco certifications have a hierarchy as well. The first one is CCNA. Then comes CCNP where P means professional. Then the third tier is CCIE which is Cisco certified Internet Expert. Currently there are around 38000 people in the world who have this certification. And the top certification from Cisco is CCAr which is Cisco Certified Architect. As far as I know, there are only 9 people in the whole world who have this certifications & these are the legends of networking field. So trust me when I say it is a big thing to have one of these certifications in this field. The reasons there are so small number of people holding the last two certification are many. The exams are hard to pass, it takes a lot of money just to appear in the exam. And if someone from Bangladesh wants to appear in one of these two exams they have to go to other countries which have the labs for the required exam that our country doesn’t have. That’s why most of the people stops at CCNP.
Now back to my career. Although until now I don’t have any work experience in this sector, I have given some interviews before I left Bangladesh. There are some things I noticed which can be helpful for a fresher to enter this sector. I am trying my best to point out some of those-
- Certifications is a must. If you see the job circulars for networking jobs then you will notice that almost all companies say that a Cisco or MS certification will be an added advantage. So, why not get that advantage?
- Try to build up your basics about different aspects of networking like different network infrastructures, topology, protocols & their uses things like that. They don’t expect you to know how a DHCP server works, all they expect from a fresher is what is the meaning of DHCP & why do we use it.
- When you enter the industry, try to go up the hierarchy of the certifications. The more you go up, the more it will help you o gain deep knowledge & advancement in your career.
Now it will seem like all I am blabbering about getting a certification. You don’t have to take an opinion from a guy who haven’t even got his own first job in this field. But that’s actually another chapter of my life filled with bad decisions so let’s not go there. But that’s my basic idea about this sector. Right now I am living in New Zealand looking for a job in this sector. So, let’s pray that I get one so that I could share my actual experience in this sector with you guys. Until then, do whatever your mind says to do & choose your own path. And please feel free to give your feedback & contact me if you need any kind of help. I will try my level best to help you guys.