View Full Version : Career: Network Engineer vs Software Engineer ?

May 2nd, 2013, 05:44 AM
I'm a 24 year old who has not worked in the IT Industry professionally, and have been considering going back to college. Problem solving intrigues me so I've always leaned more towards Software Development. Lately it seems like it has become very competitive to find a paying career in programming for entry level candidates. Being a Network Engineer on the other hand, seems like it's more diverse, and your not limited to working for an IT company in a large city (I live in a town of 90,000). Which would be easier to gain an entry position ? A close friend is in the process of obtaining a Cisco CCNP, and he advises me to work towards a CCNA.

Which career seems more rewarding vs time it takes to become "qualified" ?

May 2nd, 2013, 01:15 PM
Get as much of a diverse education as you can and can afford. Getting some certificate may be a quick way to get you your first job, but it is not that good a long term career plan. Five years from now, Cisco may decide to change their standards and then your certificate would be worthless, however, a broader education will let you keep up with the change and adapt as you progress in your career. IT changes very fast, you don't need a quick way to get your foot in the door, you need background to keep up with the future change.

May 3rd, 2013, 03:32 AM
Both paths are reasonably sensible and secure, so I think it wouldn't be irresponsible to say that you should do what you love. In your case it seems to be software dev, so go for it.

May 3rd, 2013, 05:26 AM
Network Engineers do the real work. Software Engineers just think the internet works from "magic". ;)

May 8th, 2013, 02:27 AM
check it out http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2140928

Software engineer salary (http://computerengineeringsalarydata.com/computer-software-engineer-salary/) is $95,000 per year, $4,000 higher than network engineer

May 9th, 2013, 11:25 AM
view here network engineer job description (http://job-des-criptions.com/what-are-the-job-descriptions.htm)

May 9th, 2013, 04:24 PM
Investigate both and try to be honest with yourself about which one gets you excited the most. Then go with that one. Disney leaves me cold but I have to admit they got some things right: Follow your heart. And remember: Steve Jobs didn't say "do what you love", he said "love what you do". Never do it because you think you should. Do it because you can't seriously imagine doing anything else. But whatever you settle on, give it 100% and then some.

May 10th, 2013, 12:59 AM
With all due respect, living in a small town seriously limits your job/career prospects. When I got out of school, I moved 60 miles and got what turned out to be the job of my dreams.

If you look at the largest employer in your town, how many people do they have in IT? My guess would be four. The head of IT at that company or organization could probably give you much better advice than you will find here, and I bet he would be happy to give you half an hour of his time.