Engineering a top network
Name: Sean Wilkinson
Job Title: Network Engineer
Works at: IFB (Internet For Business)
Qualifications: Bsc Honours Degree in Computer Network Management and Design, Cisco Certified Network Associate Qualification.
WHAT DOES YOUR ROLE INVOLVE?
IFB provides critical connectivity and ICT services to the on and offshore oil and gas sector, professional services and public and third sector. As a network engineer I’m involved in the troubleshooting and configuration of computer networks. These networks are now essential for the operation of nearly every business today.
On a day to day basis I fix and configure the devices that connect companies to the internet and allow them to pass traffic in between different offices and across the internet.
BEST PART ABOUT YOUR ROLE?
I would say job satisfaction is the best thing about my role along with new challenges.
I enjoy fixing and figuring out issues that are encountered when working with data networks. Also as network technologies are constantly evolving you are always learning new information.
YOUR JOB’S BIGGEST CHALLENGE?
I would say that my job’s greatest challenge is staying current. If you
do not keep on top of the new standards and information you can quickly fall behind as information that was once correct becomes redundant.
That’s why it is important to keep learning new material and to renew your networking certifications. I am currently working towards my Cisco Certified Networking Professional Certificate (CCNP).
BEST CAREER ADVICE?
The best career advice I can give is if possible, try to secure a placement at a company where you can gain experience in the area you are studying.
Often at the end of a work placements students are kept on as they have been trained so they can hit the ground running when made a full time employee.
I secured a placement while in my third year at university and got employed at the company off the back of that.
If I was talking directly about IT or networking, I would say securing a placement and completing Cisco Certifications or equivalent are very strong skills to have in your arsenal when writing a CV.
From my experience, employers in the data network sector are far more interested in someone with a Cisco certification rather than an honours degree in the subject.