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My Major - Network admin

Mmmm... Cocks...Mmmm... Cocks... Registered User regular
edited April 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
So last year I applied to some schools but never ended up going. So this year I made some phone calls and they can squeeze me in this summer. How bout that. Only thing is that when she went to confirm my major she started spatting something about business stuff. What I planned on going to school for was hopefully something like a network administration job. Now I remember when I was on the Penn State website going through the various computer majors and one stating something about it being for people who wanted to do just like I wanted. So now that I need to choose my major(again) I can't seem to find this damn list.

Here's my choices:

Baccalaureate (4-year) Degree Majors
Computer and Information Systems
Computer Engineering
Computer Science
Information Sciences and Technology
Information Systems
Management Information Systems
Security and Risk Analysis
Software Engineering

The site now (if its the same PS site I don't know) but the site I'm viewing now seems to be stating general things about the majors and not really what jobs are "compatable" with each.

I mean - it should be the Information Science and Technology one or the Information Systems one. I'm just no good with these general terms.
I really hate running in here asking something that seems very obvious - but this is a choice I need to make now that will effect the rest of my life.

Mmmm... Cocks... on

Posts

  • PirateJonPirateJon Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    "Management Information Systems" as any job after the first 5 years will almost require some management-type stuff.
    this is a choice I need to make now that will effect the rest of my life.
    Not really. It'll help open doors, but it's not as critical as all this.

    PirateJon on
    all perfectionists are mediocre in their own eyes
  • Mmmm... Cocks...Mmmm... Cocks... Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    PirateJon wrote: »
    "Management Information Systems" as any job after the first 5 years will almost require some management-type stuff.
    this is a choice I need to make now that will effect the rest of my life.
    Not really. It'll help open doors, but it's not as critical as all this.
    Well it'll certainly be affecting college which is an immediate thing I need to take care of.
    internets wrote:
    Careers in Management Information Systems include statisticians, systems analysts, risk and cost analysts, supply chain and information systems, marketing, and finance.
    That sounds off. Here's the site I'm looking at now

    http://www.psu.edu/admissions/steps/choosing/divcomp.htm

    The reason I was leaning toward the Information Systems one is because it actually meantions "network managment" but I still have this big 'ole doubt sitting in me for some reason. I guess I'm just looking for that reassuring page where it straight out said "network administration"

    Mmmm... Cocks... on
  • mindlarmindlar Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Between the MIS, IS, and IST majors there is going to be a lot of overlap. If you want to be a network admin, any of the three of them will be good. The IS degree is probably closest to what you want. Network management for all intensive purposes is the same as network administration.

    The three majors are all going to help you get a job within IT.

    mindlar on
  • Mmmm... Cocks...Mmmm... Cocks... Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    mindlar wrote: »
    Between the MIS, IS, and IST majors there is going to be a lot of overlap. If you want to be a network admin, any of the three of them will be good. The IS degree is probably closest to what you want. Network management for all intensive purposes is the same as network administration.

    The three majors are all going to help you get a job within IT.

    Ok, sounds good. I guess as I go through college and I do want to switch between one of these it probably won't be a big deal.

    edit: Damn I was really hoping on going to University Park. But it looks like if I do go with the IS degree that won't happen. GAH!

    Mmmm... Cocks... on
  • 3lwap03lwap0 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    As a network admin, I can tell you some classes will be worthless. Anything programming won't do you much good, but may broaden your educational horizons. The only notable exception is VB, since scripting is a great skill to have.

    Really, if you want to be a network administrator, find a job and start getting IT experience. No one walks out of college into a network administration job. Your four year degree will land you on the help desk, or maybe mid-level support with all the other guys who have no practical experience. You've got to cut your teeth, and the sooner you can do it, the better. Most colleges won't let you intern until you're at least a Jr, or Sr, so don't wait. Go work at Bob’s house of computers, whatever - start now, and when you graduate, you'll have a degree and a few years of OTJ exp.

    3lwap0 on
  • Mmmm... Cocks...Mmmm... Cocks... Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    3lwap0 wrote: »
    As a network admin, I can tell you some classes will be worthless. Anything programming won't do you much good, but may broaden your educational horizons. The only notable exception is VB, since scripting is a great skill to have.

    Really, if you want to be a network administrator, find a job and start getting IT experience. No one walks out of college into a network administration job. Your four year degree will land you on the help desk, or maybe mid-level support with all the other guys who have no practical experience. You've got to cut your teeth, and the sooner you can do it, the better. Most colleges won't let you intern until you're at least a Jr, or Sr, so don't wait. Go work at Bob’s house of computers, whatever - start now, and when you graduate, you'll have a degree and a few years of OTJ exp.
    Oh I know - When I went to an open house at Altoona I talked with a teacher about interships and honestly why not, stuff only gets you ahead of the rest of em. :)

    Mmmm... Cocks... on
  • blincolnblincoln Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    PirateJon wrote: »
    "Management Information Systems" as any job after the first 5 years will almost require some management-type stuff.

    Maybe. The usage of the term I've heard is at older shops and means the same thing as plain old "Information Systems" or even "Information Technology".
    3lwap0 wrote: »
    As a network admin, I can tell you some classes will be worthless. Anything programming won't do you much good, but may broaden your educational horizons. The only notable exception is VB, since scripting is a great skill to have.

    Programming is good for anyone in IT/IS to know, because it makes you more familiar with how things happen at a lower level. It can also come in handy for writing utilities. But yes, not so much a requirement as a really good thing to have.

    blincoln on
    Legacy of Kain: The Lost Worlds
    http://www.thelostworlds.net/
  • FristleFristle Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Well if you want to be a network administrator, and not a coder, then you can rule out the Computer Science major, because that's just going to be 4 years of coding. You can go through a CS undergrad degree and not do anything network related, shame as it is to say it. CS departments still consider networks a specialty area.

    FYI, I did Computer Engineering. At graduation time I got a job that I would have been more prepared for if I had done CS, because I decided that all I wanted to do was code. All I knew about networks at that point I had taught myself from two books on TCP/IP and Windows Server. But go figure, it was as much or more useful to me than all the engineering courses I had taken.

    On the other hand, someone has already said it here in this thread, that a degree is just for opening doors. A CS or Comp. Eng. degree carries way more status. It will not open more doors per se, but it will open much better paying ones. Even so, some of the smartest guys I work with started as network admins somewhere. It's a great job to get broad experience, and there seems to be a lot of mobility within the industry, so don't worry about being locked into anything.

    Fristle on
    Fristle.jpg
  • ElectricTurtleElectricTurtle Seeress WARegistered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Not to detract from the value of any four year degree, but for network admins it's also somewhat important to get certification. Most companies looking to hire network admins are going to want years and years of experience or somebody with a couple years experience in support and an MSCA/E or CCNA/P/E (but then, if you have a CCNE, you'll have to fight job offers off with a stick). Certifications are a lot easier and cheaper to acquire than ye olde BS, so it shouldn't be too hard to get both.

    ElectricTurtle on
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  • PirateJonPirateJon Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Not to detract from the value of any four year degree, but for network admins it's also somewhat important to get certification. Most companies looking to hire network admins are going to want years and years of experience or somebody with a couple years experience in support and an MSCA/E or CCNA/P/E (but then, if you have a CCNE, you'll have to fight job offers off with a stick). Certifications are a lot easier and cheaper to acquire than ye olde BS, so it shouldn't be too hard to get both.

    True. In my experience the degree helps get past HR and the certs show your manager you know a minimum amount about the subject.

    The point i was trying to make to the OP is that after being a network admin for a few years, you will top out on advancement. Typically the only place is to go out - to a vendor or a big enterprise - since up would be about management just as much as it would be about technical skills.

    PirateJon on
    all perfectionists are mediocre in their own eyes
  • 3lwap03lwap0 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Certifications are a lot easier and cheaper to acquire than ye olde BS, so it shouldn't be too hard to get both.

    Uh yeah, they're not easy. I just finished my MCSE, and it was a far bit harder than my four years at my state U. Cheaper? Cheaper than college, sure, but so's buying a house these days. :P

    3lwap0 on
  • TrueJavierTrueJavier Registered User new member
    edited April 2007
    If you intend on becoming a Network Administrator then I highly suggest you take the CCNA courses. They will prepare you for the certification which is something I also recommend you do. The CCNA certification is the most respected out of all the beginner certificates since it is the hardest.

    Plus after passing each CCNA course you get a little certificate stating that you passed the class (but it's not the actual CCNA certification) that makes your resume look good. Not all colleges have a Cisco program so I suggest you research into that.

    TrueJavier on
  • 3lwap03lwap0 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    TrueJavier wrote: »
    If you intend on becoming a Network Administrator then I highly suggest you take the CCNA courses. They will prepare you for the certification which is something I also recommend you do. The CCNA certification is the most respected out of all the beginner certificates since it is the hardest.

    Plus after passing each CCNA course you get a little certificate stating that you passed the class (but it's not the actual CCNA certification) that makes your resume look good. Not all colleges have a Cisco program so I suggest you research into that.

    I have to caution against this. You'll figure this out as you progress in your career, but i'll just break it down to you now. Now granted, the title Network Administration can imply several different types of job responsibilities, so let me explain.

    When you jump into IT, usually you start off as unmolded clay. You'll fall into a speciality, and just run with it for a while. As an example, not all Network Admins touch the routers. Most companies segregate personel there, with a infrastructure team, and an actual administration team, mostly server/client side.

    Now, not every company does this, but most do. The reasoning is pretty simple - these are specalities that are hard to master, and easy to screw up. So if you want to focus your education on networking infrastructure, then by all means, take some Cisco classes (and hope that whatever company you work for actually uses Cisco products). My suggestion is a generic certification, N+, A+ Security + etc, - find out what you want to focus on, then plan your vendor specific certifications.

    3lwap0 on
  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Honestly, I'd wait and see how things work and end up in reality before even worrying about certifications. The certifications that actually mean something really require that you actually work with the thing in question and only matter to most people if you do. The ones you can get without being someone who works with Cisco, Windows servers, etc. and not mean any less, like N+, A+, S+, etc. mean almost nothing anyway and even those technically are supposed to show something along the lines of 6 months experience.

    To agree with what 3lwap0 said, don't specialize your training too much until you're at the point in your career that you need to specialize. You never really know what you're going to end up doing. I started out working towards being a Windows network admin. I then tinkered with some Linux stuff for fun which lead to some small contracts for friends of friends who needed Linux servers setup and didn't want to pay a real Linux admin/consultant. This lead to a full time job which included configuring and maintaining a couple Apache servers on HP-UX which lead to writing web based apps to go on those servers. This lead to a job as a full time Perl developer with some some Linux admin responsibilities and occasional Cisco PIX stuff. The windows certs I studied for and spent money on in my early days have been meaningless pretty much my whole career. That money and time would have been better spent on beer.

    Jimmy King on
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