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  1. Junior Member
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    Default What kind of jobs/salary can be open with a CCNA/CCENT?

    I am 23 years old and am just so miserable as I cannot figure out what path to take in life. I've tried going to college for different paths on and off and never seem to be able to keep in it as I keep changing my mind on what path to take.

    I can take a course to have A+ and CCENT, and I was going to do this.

    However, can someone who knows from experience tell me what one can expect by having these? My intentions are to get the CCNA later on after the CCENT, but I always worry about where I will end up with after I go through all this work to get these?

    Once I have these certs, what can I expect to make as far as money, and what job titles will I be qualified for?
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  3. Senior Member miller811's Avatar
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    #2
    Quote Originally Posted by jtballer View Post
    I am 23 years old and am just so miserable as I cannot figure out what path to take in life. I've tried going to college for different paths on and off and never seem to be able to keep in it as I keep changing my mind on what path to take.

    I can take a course to have A+ and CCENT, and I was going to do this.

    However, can someone who knows from experience tell me what one can expect by having these? My intentions are to get the CCNA later on after the CCENT, but I always worry about where I will end up with after I go through all this work to get these?

    Once I have these certs, what can I expect to make as far as money, and what job titles will I be qualified for?
    Everyone's situation is different. It depends on where you live, the current condition of the job market, the marketable skills you already have. There is no magic formula to tell you with this piece of paper you will make XXXX dollars per hour/week/year.

    Do you already have any IT experience?
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  4. nel
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    #3
    Sounds to me you need to decide what you want to do and what makes you happy. Do you want to do networking? Sys admin stuff? programmimg? DB's etc

    Pick something you enjoy because theres nothing worse than having a job you hate. i know, ive been there.
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  5. Senior Member
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    #4
    jtballer,

    First off, welcome to the TE forums. The question about jobs and certs has come up many time before on these forums. A couple of questions for you... what type of Information Technology background do you have? Depending upon what that is will help you land a job. Certs are used as justification that you have knowledge in a specific area or field. A+ and CCENT are excellent certs if you're knew to the computer world. I would personally recommend you go after a Net+ before jumping into the CCENT (if you have no networking background). These certifications are used to lay the foundation down for those who do not have a lot of IT background.

    As far as what type of job... Most people will agree that landing a CCENT and A+ would probably land you a some type of helpdesk or call center. This is usually the starting point for an IT professional.

    Salary will be vary based on your region, the type of business you're with (small/medium/large). There's not really a "pay chart" for the IT field.

    I think most people get to a point in their life (usually not as young as you) where they are unsure of what profession they want to be in. Me personally, I just decided about a year or so ago that I really wanted to do networking... I'm 28. So, good on you to be already thinking of what path you want to go down. You're still young. Enjoy life!

    I hope this helps.

    V/r

    ~Peanut
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  6. Senior Member wbosher's Avatar
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by peanutnoggin View Post
    I think most people get to a point in their life (usually not as young as you) where they are unsure of what profession they want to be in. Me personally, I just decided about a year or so ago that I really wanted to do networking... I'm 28. So, good on you to be already thinking of what path you want to go down. You're still young. Enjoy life!
    Couldn't agree more!! I spent most of my working life crawling around under cars, then a nice chunk of it on a factory floor. It wasn't until a couple of years ago I decided to get into IT...and I'm 38.

    Don't stress out too much about it. Try a few things until you find something you really want to do, there's no hurry and it's not all about the money (although it certainly helps).

    You've got about 40 years to figure it out.
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  7. Senior Member
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    #6
    If you don't have experience; not a lot, you'd still have to start low like a helpdesk role which wont pay much. A CCNA and some experience will give you the base to get into a more technical role, but Cisco certs are there to be built upon, they wont just land you good jobs with high salaries because you need experience to back them up.
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  8. Password Reset Refuser
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    #7
    Not sure about CCNA, but A+ can land you a few contract jobs doing PC installation/Server Maintenance/Desktop Support using starting at somewhere between $9 to $15 an hour. Definitely think about getting that Net+ first as the concepts are either to grasp here, and its a good starting point. I felt just like you a couple of years ago, I lost my scholarship and dropped out of school. Needless to say, my parents were pissed. I took a couple of semesters off, went to community college, wandered around aimlessly until I came across an A+ class, and things took off from there. I'm 23 also now, doing some helpdesk work at around 35k - 40k and if things go right ill be moving to a new position making a significant amount more. But once again, its about where you live and who you know. I live in D.C., which is a thriving market for IT work right now and i have a few friends in IT already who provide guidance and opportunities. Hang in there, and do something because you enjoy it, not because it's profitable. Hell, if I enjoyed psychology, I wouldve never dropped out the first time around
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  9. Junior Member
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    #8
    mrgetdown, thanks for the input. I have a friend that lives in arlington that I visit all the time, and yeah DC is a great thriving market for a lot of things. I live about 2 hours away and would definitey consider moving to the area if something opened up.


    But to answer a lot of the other posters, I have basically no experience. But since I sit around on a computer about 95% of my life I figure I might as well do something with computers and get paid for it.

    I'm going to take this course I believe and see what happens from there
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  10. Senior Member hypnotoad's Avatar
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jtballer View Post
    mrgetdown, thanks for the input. I have a friend that lives in arlington that I visit all the time, and yeah DC is a great thriving market for a lot of things. I live about 2 hours away and would definitey consider moving to the area if something opened up.
    Log on to the job site of your liking and see what kind of jobs are out there for you...location/salary/experience required/job skills/certs/etc.
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  11. Junior Member
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    #10
    i've looked at a few websites and a Network and Systems Admin seems nice. They seem to make pretty good money, but what are the qualifications for that?

    Do you need a degree? It says on some sites that with a CCNA you can get a job like that, but then I always worry that really I would need more like Microsoft Certs and other expereience.
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  12. Senior Member
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    #11
    A+ and CCENT? Maybe $10-$13an hour at Geek Squad.

    Upgrade those to CCNA:Sec and MCDST you might snag a nice help desk job making shy of 20 after a year at Geek Squad.
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  13. Senior Member xwesleyxwillisx's Avatar
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel333 View Post
    A+ and CCENT? Maybe $10-$13an hour at Geek Squad.

    Upgrade those to CCNA:Sec and MCDST you might snag a nice help desk job making shy of 20 after a year at Geek Squad.
    Those numbers are spot on. I took a similar track a few years ago, you have to start somewhere.
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  14. Senior Member
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    #13
    Check the range of jobs out there, what you are interested in at least, and see what they require.

    I find a lot of places over here are asking for CCNP, some for CCNA, many are after MCSEs, and you'll find every so often, some will ask for Juniper, VMWare and Checkpoint qualifications.

    However, the biggest one I see? Experience. If you have no experience, then it aint gonna get you very far, certifications get your through the door into the interview, and prove you have a minimum level of knowledge, however in that interview they see what you actually know, who you are, and what you can bring to it all.

    I'm lucky in that I've been working in a network based role for about 2-3 years now (first year was DSL Customer and Tech Support, past 2 have been core networks with Cisco and Linux-based backbones to it all), so I have the CCNA, will have CCNP knowledge very soon, and also my experience. Take away the CCNA and I still get interviews and job offers, take away the experience and I'd just get my foot in the door then pushed out the moment I fail to show anything more.

    To put it simply, you need to work on a helpdesk, in a NOC environment, or a call centre (what I've done in the past 3 years constitutes all three) to get the ground fundamentals and experience, and then you can start expecting to command higher salaries and jobs when you prove your worth.

    It's a long road, its took me 3 years of dissatisfaction with jobs, but I think in the very near future I'll be starting to get onto the right track, some people take way less, some people take years longer, some people never get beyond the helpdesk.

    It's an individual path really
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  15. Mobo Wizard ULWiz's Avatar
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel333 View Post
    A+ and CCENT? Maybe $10-$13an hour at Geek Squad.

    Upgrade those to CCNA:Sec and MCDST you might snag a nice help desk job making shy of 20 after a year at Geek Squad.


    It could be my area. But with my current certs i have landed contracts for 15 to 25 a hour. I also have 12 years in IT though which might be the reason why.
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  16. Junior Member
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    #15
    daniel,


    is that your job? help desk?
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  17. Senior Member billscott92787's Avatar
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    #16
    Depends on your situation. I have only been in IT for almost a year. But, I did it on my own four about 4-5 years, working on pc's out of my house. I currently have no certs (praying November 21st. I will have my CCNA). I was able to obtain a position with my company making approximately, $26 a hour after one year. This is a help desk position for VPN support.
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  18. Junior Member
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    #17
    Average for helpdesk is anywhere from $9-$15/hr on the low end and anywhere from $15-$28/hr on the high end. I was lucky and found someone locally while working another job who happened to be an IT manager and I got my foot in the door that way. I've always wanted to be in IT and now at 26, I'm actually ready to get started.

    I wish I started sooner but, I'm more motivated about it now than previously. I'm currently at around $23/hour but would definitely like to increase it ASAP. Not bad, for my first IT position Helpdesk Technician I. Although, I have only been working for about 2 months now and it's my only IT position. I plan on staying for a while until I can get my BS in Information Technology from WGU.edu and a few other certs like CCENT, CCNA, etc. It's a small environment in which I can have my hands on many different things on a LIVE operation. If you can find something like that where you can learn about everything, it's better for your future knowledge.

    From reading around here and from what I know, the best way for a raise is to get your certs and experience and then look for a better job. Usually, the better job isn't with the same company that hired you. In IT, they are all stepping stones and you have to go out and find the better job.

    My advice, I would find the first IT position you can get. If it's helpdesk at a company or BestBuy, Staples, Local PC Repair shop, etc. Get it and gain some experience. While doing that, learn and acquire your certs A+, Network+, Server+, etc. If you can get a BS in Information Technology from WGU.edu, which is what I'm working towards. While doing all that see if you can find a better IT position with your current expertise and skills and keep looking for a better job. Never be satisfied. Keep climbing to the top, one step at a time.

    Your 23 now and if you play your cards right by your late 20's, you can easily be at 70-90k if not more if you get lucky. Just my 2cents, I may be wrong, I'm human.
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  19. Senior Member
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    #18
    im at a service desk, making close to 48k, i would think with a ccna and a couple years of expierence as a network engineer around 60-70k, and withing 5+ and ccnp, maybe close to 70-80k???

    im pretty sure at my current position, an entry level network engineer with ccna will be making 70k
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  20. Senior Member JeanM's Avatar
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    #19
    Experience counts more than cert(s) without. You have to learn how to walk before you can run as they say
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  21. Senior Member SharkDiver's Avatar
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    #20
    Experience is VERY important, as everyone else has said.
    23 is still very young. At 23 I was going to be a rock star or Professional Wrestler.
    Keep working at it and it will happen.

    I had a similar experience with my current position.

    I wanted to work my way up at my company, but no one seemed to notice me. So I got the A+. Still no one noticed, so I got a Net+ and a Security+. I got noticed a little, but not enough, so I got the CCNA. Peers started noticing me, but no one higher up. So, I got the CCNA Voice and the CCNA Security. I finally started getting a few interviews. Now after getting a CCNP and another year of experience, I finally got the job I wanted.

    Just work at it and put your time in. As you see, I had to overwhelm them to get what I wanted, but it eventually worked.
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  22. Senior Member JasonIT's Avatar
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    #21
    not that this still doesn't apply, but this was almost 4 years ago now, he's not 23 still.

    J
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  23. 1337sauce
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    #22
    He should provide us with an update of how he's doing
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  24. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #23
    sorry for the bump. but I am curious myself on how he is doing. I'm 26, AS, BA holder and working on my CCENT; my first cert.
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  25. Happiness is !!!!! MAC_Addy's Avatar
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by isual View Post
    sorry for the bump. but I am curious myself on how he is doing. I'm 26, AS, BA holder and working on my CCENT; my first cert.
    Seeing as though his last activity was in 2009 and only has 4 posts, I think he's long gone.
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  26. Senior Member bbarrick's Avatar
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    #25
    Quote Originally Posted by jtballer View Post
    daniel,


    is that your job? help desk?
    I was in your shoes as well, thought I always wanted to be a programmer but really just wanted to work with computers. Don't think about what you will get now think about what you want 10 years from now. Right now go get a help desk job or any entry level tech job you can find an actual company(ie local hospital, corporate hq etc.), nothing wrong with Geek Squad but I think you will see more doors open elsewhere. I was in the same boat as you and was trying for jobs I had no business trying for. So I gave up till a couple of years ago then I just stumbled across an on site help desk position for 14 bucks an hour. Recently I was just accepted another IT job for more money. I hope the trend continues, especially after I get my certs because with the experience and certs there's only one way to go and that's up.
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