My day job
I worked as a Network Engineer in Higher Education for the past 5 years until our department was outsourced last fall. I moved on to a Network/Systems generalist role in the health care industry for a brief tenure, but plan to be moving to another network engineering role soon, pending clearances. I’ve dealt with everything from traditional routing and switching to wireless, security, system administration, device management, and cloud. I also utilize automation and scripting as much as possible.
My educational path
I haven’t always worked in Information Technology. Once upon a time, I had the idea that I wanted to work in academia as a historian. I learned a lot on that journey both from my successes and failures and feel it gave me a great foundation in academic pursuits and taught me how to learn and systematically inquire. For a variety of reasons, I didn’t finish my graduate degree in History and spent some time (too much honestly) regretting it. Thankfully, I worked in IT during my years in college, and was able to get a job again as a one-person IT admin. This gave me some time to re-evaluate my career options and I developed an interest and passion for networking. So, I bought some CCNA books, built a home lab, and began pursuing professional certifications to play catch up. I generally try to obtain one to two certifications every year.
While working at a university, I aggressively sought to keep furthering my education through professional certifications and in August, 2020, I completed an M.A. in Educational Technology. While growing through my program, I also taught networking and security courses for the Computer Information Systems program at the university. I’m currently pursuing the CWNA and CCNP Enterprise certifications. I believe it’s important to continually improving your skillset through education. While certifications aren’t a sign of completeness of knowledge, I feel they are a great way to build a solid foundation in a given topic.