Case study Cisco Public
Retooling Pays Off Multitasking between network contracting and certifications
As a freelance Network Engineer/Systems Engineer located in Indianapolis, Indiana, Randy Gates currently has a great deal of freedom. He contracts for businesses of all types and sizes, and could find himself on the job for a day, two weeks, a month, or more, depending on the needs of each customer.
“Everything is tied into the network now, so you can’t go wrong with Cisco Routing and Switching certification,” says Randy. “Once a person learns how a network operates, they get a tremendous understanding of what goes on in the real world.”
To Randy, other training and certification vendors and their technologies simply weren’t that impressive. Since Cisco networking, collaboration, security and other products are everywhere, Randy has been inspired to learn as much as he can through Cisco certification.
Randy Gates, Network Engineer/Systems Engineer Various small, medium, and large companies
Needed a specialty and a skill to be more of an IT expert.
• CCNA Routing and Switching • CCNP Routing and Switching
Professional benefits • Gain and build on networking skills
• Improve IT career prospects • Able to work for more companies in different industries
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He’s been able to apply what he’s learned from his Cisco CCNA and CCNP Routing and Switching certifications to his work as well. “The core knowledge from Cisco helps me expand my knowledge of routing and switching, IP subnetting, IP addressing schemes, firewalls, the Internet of Things, Power over Ethernet, and more. When I run into different problems, I know what to expect, and can give my customers a layout of what’s happening on site.” The flexibility that contracting provides allows for the freedom Randy needs to prepare for Cisco certifications and target CCIE Routing and Switching certification. “I want to retool myself and better my skills through Cisco. It’s hard to study when you’re working 9 to 5, and this way, I can prepare for the exams and work around my contracting.”
Getting his (army) boots on the ground in IT Randy first got into networking when he took an office work course that focused on Star Systems networked computers. He then joined the U.S. Army, and started connecting modems, sending files, adding computers to the network, configuring Microsoft Mail, and gaining proficiency in Windows 3.1 and 4.1. A turning point for Randy came during one Christmas holiday, when he was migrating the mail system to Exchange. Some contractors were brought in to help, and he noticed that they typically worked from 9 to 4, then left, while he had to continue working. “I talked with one of the contractors, and asked how much he earned per hour. When he told me, I said ‘What?’ It was definitely way more than I was making as a Staff Sergeant in the army. Later, when it came time to re-enlist, I gracefully declined.”
Case study Cisco Public
“Everything is tied into the network now, so you can’t go wrong with Cisco Routing and Switching certification. Once a person learns how a network operates, they get a tremendous understanding of what goes on in the real world.” Randy Gates Network Engineer/Systems Engineer
After leaving the army, Randy worked for a print company in its Network Engineering department. “Everything was coming at me fast, and I needed more knowledge of what actual networking was.”
Multiple certifications that are career stepping stones Realizing that he needed to gain an IT specialty, Randy turned to CCNA Routing and Switching certification as his most logical choice. “All t