Career advice (how long in a NOC?)

Unanswered Question
Oct 6th, 2008

Here's my situation. I have a B.S. in Computer Engineer. 7 years later I got my CCNA and landed my first IT job which is working as a NOC tech (entry level). I have really absorbed a lot here and even earned my CCNP in May of this year. Currently I've been in the NOC for 7 months.

So the current situation is that I have B.S., CCNA, CCNP, and only 7 months job experience. I am currently just an entry level NOC tech and do very little troubleshooting. When is a good time to leave the NOC and get an engineering position? Currently I make $35k/yr.

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tim.giles Mon, 10/06/2008 - 09:04

Hi Richee,

It sounds as though you've answered your own question.

Working in a NOC is invaluble for getting hands on experience but its not v-useful if you aren't using your CCNP/CCNA knowledge and aren't doing much troubleshooting.

What level of support are you at the moment (1st line, 2nd line, 2nd/3rd line), as it would be better if you could go to the next level within the NOC and have a few more months doing high-level troubleshooting. If your company lets you do this then it'll give you more skills for the engineering and installation work.

Going straight into engineering is quite a jump but it all depends on whether you feel confident and knowledgeable enough to do it....if this is yes then go for it!

Good luck...

dwgray0422 Mon, 10/06/2008 - 10:56

Congratulations on earning your CCNP. If the company you are with does not have higher level support positions for you, perhaps you should look at other companies. Many companies have support positions that also do network implementation projects, or you could look at larger NOCs that may have a tier 2 position for you. As Tim has stated there's a big jump from NOC to Network Engineer. Most Engineering roles require some degree of project management, alot of detailed documentation, as well as change management and support experience. I wish you the best of luck in reaching your carreer goals.


lffrwatson Tue, 10/28/2008 - 06:17

Your career path sounds a lot like mine. I have a B.S. in EE with computer engineering option. I graduated college not knowing much about Cisco. I say a NOC job is a good place to start. If you dont mind a little travel maybe a field tech position would be great. No cisco certification will tech you what you will see out in the field. I have been in situations where cisco TAC was dumbfounded that I got stuff to work. Hands on is the key.

I was also like you starting out making ends meat on salary. I saw to many guys do non networking stuff and stick to their engineering degree and make a fortune. I worked my way up and I have CCNP, CCDP, CCSP, CCVP, and fixing to take the CCIE lab. I can safely say I'm almost at six figures in my salary. So just remember all the hard work you put in now will pay off in the future. Good luck.


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